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Opinion

Faith does not require any approval

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April 30, 2009

It’s obvious that the issue of same-sex marriage is a passionate one for many people. We live in a great country where we are able to share our beliefs and opinions if we so choose. It was my choice to share my beliefs on this issue and I stand by them. 

Despite much criticism, my beliefs aren’t something I am willing to compromise. I don’t think anyone should. I think to be able to call something a belief you must hold steadfastly to it, and so I do not waver on what I believe is wrong and what is right morally. I find it to be important to stay true to your convictions. I am convicted to the truth of the Bible and the existence of Jesus Christ and therefore what He says is what I believe. You are just as free to disagree as you are to agree with me. The thing about beliefs is that it shouldn’t matter whether someone agrees with you about them or not as long as you know for yourself that you believe in something for a reason and can proclaim it without hesitation. 

Did I misquote the Constitution? Yes. Deserving of critique? You bet. Funny? Absolutely! I can laugh at my mistakes, but you know what, I still believe God has played a big part in making this country. Our money doesn’t say “In God We Trust” for nothing, but that’s trivial because I believe God is founder of this world. Even if Christianity was a minor religion in this country, I would still be standing for God. Even if this country wasn’t founded on Christianity, if our founding fathers really were Deists, it wouldn’t matter; I would still believe that God has a place in this country and in the issue of same-sex marriage. I don’t need political or social credibility to know the truth of my beliefs, that’s called faith. For those of us who believe in Jesus and are committed to Him, that’s all we need. 

The point of my column was to express that I do not believe that someone can say that religion and morality has nothing to do with same-sex marriage and that it should be kept out of it when for people like me, who have certain religious and moral beliefs about homosexuality and marriage, it means everything. If I think homosexuality is wrong and I believe that marriage is for a man and a woman, then of course I am not going to support same-sex marriage. To me, that is not discriminatory, it’s standing up for what I believe in. It’s my obligation as a Christian to do so. I believe that everyone has an obligation to stand up for what they believe in. 

My religious beliefs cannot be separated from my political views; it’s not something to be turned off or on depending on the circumstance. It doesn’t work to say “it’s 2009, things have changed, so sorry God you’re just going to have to wait until I’m done discussing political/social issues in public, see you when I get home.” Call it whatever you want, but if I believe that God created this earth, created mankind, gave time its existence and laid down the laws of life but also believed that He only has a place in certain places or at certain times or in certain issues, than I’d be a hypocrite. I would be a Christian in name only and not in heart or soul or spirit. 

In light of me comparing same-sex marriage to polygamy and bestiality in regard to marriage, it is my personal opinion that I think if you allow same-sex marriage you open the door for many other types of “marriages.” Who’s to say that people would never ask for those things to be recognized under the law if it’s only about equality and freedom like some people say, then when do you say it’s not a marriage?

You can’t if it is about those things only and religion/morality has no place in it at all. Only through morality (sense of right and wrong) can we say yes or no, which laws do. When we change or make laws, we are making statements about what we believe is moral (right); that’s why I am doing what I believe is right to keep the moral laws imposed by God alive otherwise we will be governed by things that are not of Him. As a believer, I don’t want to see that happen. 

Life is defined by the choices we make. The reason I believe that homosexuality is a sin is because I believe we are born into a world of sin. Every person, even the righteous of people, are tempted with sin from the time they are born and can fall victim to it if they give in. That includes me. A sin is a sin to my God, it doesn’t matter what it is. The liar, the thief, the coveter and the murderer commit their acts by choice. There’s not genetic explanation for any of those things in my opinion, it’s just that sin got the best of them. 

It was not my intent to offend anyone by what I wrote, but I also know that I can’t control that people may take offense to something they don’t agree with. I will also say that there has been much that has been misconstrued about what I said. I don’t hate gay people nor do I think that they should be ostracized with any sort of cruelty. As a Christian, I believe in loving all people. I have love for gay people; I just don’t agree with same-sex marriage or support something I believe to be a sin. If I did support something I believe to be a sin out of the sake of equality or freedom, then it would be pointless to believe it’s wrong. Why have beliefs at all? 

Those who share my view of marriage and define it how I do, will lose their right to define what constitutes a marriage; so if people gain the right to call same-sex marriage, a marriage then I lose my right to say it’s not. That’s my point, I don’t want to lose that right, but this is America and we are free to fight for what we believe in, and we should. That’s what life should be about, standing for something. At the end of the day, I’m a girl who knows where she stands and that’s all that matters to me. 

I think it is a sad fact that I couldn’t state my opinion or share my beliefs without people having to resort to obscene insults, threaten acts of physical harm upon me and all the other expressions of hate that have spread by the Internet and elsewhere in a land where we are supposed to have freedom of speech and freedom to believe. Why is it that people can’t honestly speak their minds without people who preach tolerance (which is not agreement) show intolerance about someone else’s beliefs?

Why can we no longer believe and express it without being chastised? It’s because we are too worried about being politically and socially correct that any expression that is not “correct” is considered unfair or inappropriate. Everyone loses out when we worry about those things. And frankly, people don’t practice enough respect.

Shawna Carpentier is a student at UW-River Falls.