Guest Commentary: Religion has nothing to do with rights


By Creighton Chavez

Whether you are religious or not, the arguments against same-sex marriage just don’t work. I’m Christian, born and raised Baptist and still deeply involved in my faith ­— and I am in support of same-sex marriage.

This isn’t an issue that should have the interference of religion in politics. In fact, religion should be kept out of politics as much as possible. Separation of church and state is like a wall that was created to keep the government from interfering with the people’s religious practices, but it also works in the same way to keep religion out of the government.

But if you are still going to keep people from their rights by using commonly believed Christian practices, I’m here to tell you that your arguments don’t stand. The most commonly used arguments are Bible verses like 1 Timothy 1:9-10 from the New International Version (NIV), “We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.”

What most people don’t know is that this version of the Bible was most recently translated in 2011, but the American Standard Version (ASV), written in 1901 says, “…as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for abusers of themselves with men, for menstealers, for liars, for false swearers, and if there be any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine.”

The comparison of these verses shows that over the years and in the midst of different social issues, the Bible’s translation can differ, and though maybe only slightly, the differences take this verse from being unclear on the issue to condemning homosexuality. Until homosexuality became a large social issue, there was no mention of it in many passages in the Bible. It’s something that has been added in as the issues change.

Yes, there are instances where homosexuality is condemned in the Bible, but in the Old Testament. The Old Testament remains as the word of God, to show the goodness and grace of the Lord, to show that before he sacrificed his only son, there was so much that one would have to endure in order to ensure access to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Even if you were to view the New International Version as the most correct version, it has to be taken into consideration that in the Christian faith, Jesus Christ came to die on the cross for the sins of man. In doing so, he allowed for any sin to be forgiven through the acceptance of Christ as Savior. To say that the Bible says all sins are equal would be a lie, but the Bible does say that all sins are equally forgiven. Hebrews 8:12 (NIV), “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

The Bible also tells us that judgment is not for us to do. God says to love one another equally and He will determine what fate he sees fit for those who have sinned. It is not our job to determine who is righteous and who is to be punished. That is for God and only God. Our job as Christians is to spread the Gospel and live as he would have us live, kindly and peacefully among all men, accepting one another for our differences. Salvation and the Christian life is a gift not to be forced on those unwilling to accept.

You can pull a few misinterpreted verses here and there in an attempt to condemn homosexuality, but for every verse you pull to try and put homosexuals in the wrong, there are 40 more telling you that that is not your place.

In the end, you can argue religion to try and say that same-sex marriage should be illegal, but it doesn’t matter. Your personal religious beliefs should not keep someone else from having the same rights as you.

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