My wife and I got into a discussion the other day. She had gotten into a heated Facebook argument about gay marriage. We believe the legal, societal aspect of marriage is a legal one – a contract. Others believe it is a religious institution. I personally believe it is *both* – and my marriage means more to me than a legal contract. But this is not the crux of our problem.
We are bothered by those who seek to impose “God’s Law” on everyone. We are annoyed and frightened by those who can’t separate science or governance from “faith”: defined in Hebrews 11:1 – “… faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
The clues here are “things hoped for” and “things not seen”.
This is the problem – not all of us have equal measure, or the same “impression” or “feelings” about those things that can’t be seen. Not everyone has the same “hope”.
Let’s talk about the Law of Gravity. A Muslim, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Christian, a Hindu and an Athiest all go to Wal*Mart and buy a scale.
They weigh each other. The atheist weights 173 pounds. He weighs 173 pounds when he weighs himself, and he weighs 173 pounds when each of the other people weigh him.
Just for kicks, the group asks one of the clerks to weigh him. He weighs 173 pounds.
It doesn’t matter what science book we read. It doesn’t matter whether we believe in holy communion or offering sliced fruit on a shrine. It doesn’t matter whether we believe in worship of dead ancestors or no worship at all.
173 pounds is 173 pounds – Measurable and verifiable. There is no interpretation. No feelings. No impressions.
Now let’s talk about God’s Law. What is it? Answer: it depends on whom you ask – even if someone says “The Bible” or “The Koran” – it still depends on whom you ask. Of course there are those who claim to be the one “true” religion – to them I ask, according to whom? Can your statement be *independently verified* like the 173 pound athiest?
So having a religion is well and good if it makes you happy. Perhaps there is a beneficent God, and a Holy Spirit. Maybe the Catholics are right. Maybe the Jews are right. Maybe the Protestants are right. Maybe the Methodists got it right and the Episcopalians screwed it up. Who am I to say? (I don’t have any measure to verify they are or are not true, just my feelings – which do not compare to the unarguable result produced when we all tested Gravity by weighing and comparing our result).
Until you have a test, that gives an answer like “173 pounds” – your religion is no more right than anyone else’s – and you certainly have no businesses trying to create real laws that affect real people who believe differently than you do.
And by the way – your religion doesn’t belong in the classroom either. But we don’t mind if you want the teach the proper use of a scale.