Recognizing the real threats to society

If same-sex marriage is so harmful to society, then why allow criminals to marry?

An amendment such as a ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional according to the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The Treaty of Tripoli 1791 clearly shows that the government of the United States is a secular government. Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli reads, “As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” The Treaty of Tripoli was presented to the Senate and signed by the president without contention by the Senate. The Bible, or any other type of religion, has no standing in American law.

This does not mean the government cannot recognize God. Separation of church and state is simply means the government cannot tell the American people which church to attend, how to worship or even to worship God. The First Amendment is our guarantee against religious rule in America, and an amendment banning same-sex marriage is religious rule.

The government has taken up issue with religion in America to pass an amendment that will weaken the First Amendment, destroy religious freedom and increase hate and discrimination in America. Marriage never has been an establishment of a government but of God and the church. Marriages, as spoken of in the Bible, were always between families, not the government or even a church. Marriage was later made an establishment of the church. In 866 Pope Nicholas I declared that there should be consent to marriage between the couple. In the 12th century Pope Innocent III decreed that weddings had to be in a church and that wedding rings be included in the ceremony. In 1563 the Council of Trent decreed that marriage take place before a priest and two witnesses.

Marriage is an establishment of religion, therefore the government cannot make any rule concerning who can enter marriage. The government cannot rule on gender, age or the number of wives in a marriage, nor can a state require a marriage license and a fee. People simply do not have to ask the government’s permission to marry.

I keep hearing the same argument that same-sex marriage would be harmful to American society. How? If same-sex marriage is harmful to society and should be banned, then why does the government allow murderers, rapists, child molesters and other criminals to enter marriage? If same-sex marriage is to be banned on the grounds that it will degrade American society, then why are pornography, gambling and alcohol legal in America? If America is going to rewrite the First Amendment and ban same-sex marriage on the grounds that it is degrading to society and will harm the institution of marriage and family, then by all means pornography, gambling, alcohol and anything else that possibly would degrade family life as we know it needs to be banned as well.

This is not meant to be funny, it’s the truth. A ban on same-sex marriage is opening the door for religious rule in America: the reason many came to this country and the purpose for the First Amendment was to escape religious rule. There is no credible evidence that same-sex marriage will have a negative effect on American society. If anything it will, in time, cause there to be less hate and discrimination in America. What happened to “love thy neighbor” in America?

Ronald Noga is a resident of Sandstone. Please send comments to [email protected].