Clete Wetli, Contributor
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”- First Amendment, Constitution of the United States of America
In response to the Nashville Statement, a document sanctioning discrimination by state and church, produced by Evangelical Christians and initially signed by over 150 Evangelical Christian leaders, let it be known that it is our duty as Americans to stand against prejudice, discrimination, and the advocacy of hatred toward any class of person. Our Constitution guarantees life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all who live in America including the right to marry who they love regardless of their sexual or gender identity. Of course, your personal religion or individual belief system may not approve of such legal, civil unions and, because America is a free country, you are entitled to practice your beliefs in the way you see fit so long as your practice does no harm to others. Simply, if you disapprove of gay marriage, then don’t get gay married. If your church doesn’t agree with same-sex marriage, then don’t perform them. However, respect the rule of law and recognize the legality of marriages recognized by the state. Same-sex marriage will have no ill effect on your marriage, regardless of how many times you marry, regardless of your religious beliefs, or lack thereof.
The signers of the Nashville Statement are welcome to their unfortunate opinion, but their public display of prejudice, their willingness to try to infuse their brand of religion into civil public policy, and their immoral advocacy of discrimination endorsed by Evangelical Christian churches is hereby condemned.
The Nashville Statement is objectively a rejection of Christian values and the rule of law in America.
Evangelical Christians are free to believe and practice what they wish, but realize that many Americans don’t really care what they believe or practice, and want them to keep their noses out of other people’s business. If you happen to make wedding cakes for the general public, then, yes, you make them for everyone including people who don’t live in ways you personally approve. Stop being bigoted. Live and let live.
WE AFFIRM that no church or state can or should deny the legal right for people to marry who they choose. Marriage can be for a multitude of reasons and frankly it’s no one’s business except the people who are marrying each other. In America, they can have as much or as little sex as they want, they can procreate or not, and that marriage is a legal construct that should not and does not require the approval of any religious doctrine.
WE DENY that any religious group should be able to deny anyone the legal right to marry, although it is the religious group’s right to not acknowledge that marriage within their church. Hopefully, if that’s the case, the married couple will find a much better church that does not promote discrimination and bigotry.
WE AFFIRM that your body is your own and that no else has the right to tell you who you can have sex with or love if you are a consenting adult. Not being married and having sex does not make you a bad person. Polygamy is against the law for good legal reasons, but polyamory is your choice. Again, your love life is your business.
WE DENY that supposed people of faith, like the Evangelical Christian leaders who produced the Nashville Statement, should ever feel compelled to advocate discrimination and bigotry in the name of their religion. Nor, should they ever cause any type of distress to people because of their gender or sexual identity or legal sexual behavior.
WE AFFIRM that the discomfort of Evangelical Christians with matters of sex and sexuality, particularly the sex and sexuality of others, may be indicative of their own insecurities and unhealthy obsessions, but should not be the primary focus of their spiritual leadership particularly if they are representing the Christian church. A careful reading of Biblical scripture will help in determining that the primary message of Christianity is love, inclusion, and forgiveness, not finding ways to denounce, denigrate, or discriminate against people you do not understand or particular lifestyles you do not condone.
WE DENY that there is scriptural foundation to the Nashville Statement’s claim rejecting “that physical anomalies or psychological conditions nullify the God-appointed link between biological sex and self-conception as male or female.” There is no “God-appointed link” when discussing the issue of gender identity which is clearly a personal and individual matter.
WE AFFIRM that the Nashville Statement’s comments about sexual and gender identity and sexual behavior is the product of a narrow interpretation of Christianity and does not speak for all Christians or those who have different faiths or those who do not have any faith.
WE DENY the Nashville Statement’s validity having come to believe it to be the product of misguided patriarchy, confused religious zealotry, blatant discrimination, religious arrogance, and obvious hypocrisy. The signers of the Nashville Statement should spend more time trying to figure out how to get a camel through the eye of a needle than producing controversial documents that advocate bigotry and endorse exclusion. For they will find it easier to solve the dilemma of the camel than they will finding the Gates of Heaven that they claim in their pride to know so much about.
LASTLY, live and let live. Try living as Jesus did instead of encouraging the people that you are supposed to lead to discriminate and judge others, it’s not their job and it’s not yours either. Spend more time loving your neighbor instead of trying to figure out who they’re sleeping with or what private parts they have. Jesus never asked you to do that, just like he never asked you to sell books, amass wealth, or build mega-churches. When you’re without sin, then you can hurl that stone… In the meantime, drop the rock and help those in need.
People who love the Constitution
Franklin, editor of twentytwentynews.com
People who think
Everyone who’s not an Evangelical
People who like having sex just for fun
Married people who haven’t had sex in years
Jerry Waters, rumored to be asexual
People who marry with no intention of procreating
People who don’t need approval to be who they are
Every drag queen you will meet on Earth
Pat, a transgender friend
Pat, who’s married to Pat
Pat, who sometimes sleeps with Pat and Pat
People who mind their own business
People who bake wedding cakes
People who believe in love
People who believe in diversity and inclusion
Adam and Eve
Adam and Steve
Decent people with morals who have no use for religion
98% of the people who drink Zima because they genuinely like it