One of the things we learned through “God In The Box” is that many of us, across America, remain consciously uncertain of exactly who or what God is. Yet as a society, we continue to write our laws and choose our battles so often, based on what we think God wants, or doesn’t want.
North Carolina is the latest of states to make the national news headlines for its constitutional vote this week banning same sex marriage. The vote serves to make it illegal for two men or two women to share the same rights as a man and a woman. What is the inspiration of this stance? God?
We have trouble defining God. How are we supposed to know what God wants? Scripture? Which parts of scripture are supposed to be taken literally, and which parts metaphorically? At a minimum, scriptural passages and messages are often in conflict with one another, and open to wide interpretation. This is a reason why many people, even people of faith, are not comfortable writing legislation based on an interpretation of “God’s will.”
Note that the lines which divide us are not clearly marked by religions or denominations. Not only do the atheists disagree with many of the faithful, but among people of the same faith, there is often disagreement. Facebook groups and movements like Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented | Facebook are regular contributors to the progressive voice of Christians who feel their values are being subjugated by the far right wing of Christian America. Yet, its members who are tired of being misrepresented by the Right, feel no less “Christian.”
Whether it ultimately proves to be good or bad politics, President Obama staked out his position on Same Sex Marriage this week too. He invoked the Golden Rule, also taken from scripture. I wonder, are we actually capable of achieving this? Are we truly able to love our neighbors as ourselves? If we were, would we be trying to legislate different rules for our neighbors than for us?
I heard many of the religious and political pundits this week say that, “Times, they are a changing.” They say, “Look how far we’ve come,” and how, “It’s just a matter of time before marriage rights will be available to all.” But I’m not so sure. The debates are as fiery and polarizing as ever. In fact, it appears in 2012 that many women’s rights (and health issues) continue to be debated and legislated in ways that feel like steps toward years behind us, not in front of us. These too, are arguments rooted in the so-called will of a God we don’t really understand as a people. These are observations, illuminated through “God In The Box,” and reflected in the votes and actions we take today.
We’re all human beings, with our own natural ways about us. Why does one person seek to legally suppress another, in the name of God?