It seems that for the past decade, the morals and values of our country have been under heavy global scrutiny as we’ve made our mark on foreign countries under the guise of promoting freedom, ending tyranny and implementing democracy.
Our nation’s willingness to introduce these qualities to people of other nations would suggest that we possess them ourselves, and in fact, that we have mastered them. Yet events such as the Chick-Fil-A scandal and the Defense of Marriage Act in the Supreme Court suggest that we as a nation are just as far from those values.
The Huffington Post recently reported on legislation proposed in Washington, which would allow businesses in the state to deny various services to all members of the LGBT community and others based on religious differences. The lead sponsor of the bill, state Sen. Sharon Brown, told The Associated Press that religion should be protected by the state government.
Lawmakers and zealous Christians alike should not be promoting discrimination under the guise of protecting religion. The better question is whose religion should be protected?
It seems that now more than ever, what has really been on trial, both in the Supreme Court and state legislatures, is our nation’s religion. Do we have a national religion? The answer should be no. The answer should be that the first amendment grants everybody in the nation the right to practice their religion without persecution. Considering the multitude of people who flock to our borders and the faiths they bring with them, as a country we practice not one faith, but many. However, incidents such as DOMA and the proposed legislation in Washington prove that we are a Christian nation, and a bad one at that.
How can we as a nation judge the moral compasses and cultures of other nations when our own moral backbones are rooted in religion as well? How can we judge when our culture is compromised by our misguided laws? No different than other cultures, we operate on our biases and preferences, much of which stems from our faith.
The true issue at the heart of these matters is that the cultural dynamic of America is shifting to one of tolerance and acceptance. As Christians, we should naturally embrace these values since they are the same ones we are taught to practice in our own lives. Instead, we have made a moral regression and continue to persecute others for the ways they live their lives and, essentially, who they are.
In reality, those in favor of discriminating against those of the LGBT community are neither defending their religion nor exemplifying its values. They’re attempting to preserve America as a nation that caters to everyone but the marginalized.
Our moral compass should not be guided by religious bias or any preference or prejudice which disenfranchises a group of people. Christianity is not our official religion and lawmakers should not use its values to advance their own political agendas. If lawmakers are going to legislate from Christian values, they should consider all of them, not just the ones they prefer.