By Eli Berson
Religion has guided the beliefs and morals of many people since the beginning of time. These religions beliefs have been passed down through reading that have become historical artifacts. In America today, the most popular religion is Christianity by a vast majority of approximately 80% of Americans identifying themselves as christian. A popular belief among Christians is that Gay marriage and same sex partnerships are “unnatural” and wrong, thus they are opposed to voting for gay marriage to be legalized anywhere in the country.
This influential belief is preached by pastors and also many politicians, such as Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and many more. All of the evidence used to support their opposition comes from the the Holy Bible, which leads them to say that by breaking God’s rules, or “sinning” you are offending him and will be sent to hell.
When looking at the Holy bible, for what people consider evidence, I came across tons of stories and quotes that have been annotated by both pastors and non religious people. The most popular story that people tell to justify their belief on homosexuality starts at the beginning with the story of Adam and Eve. “God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve, nor Eve and Jane”. This Idea or saying is used to show that God made a man and a women for a reason and not two men or two women. In this story God creates a man. He creates this man to be in His own image and He named him Adam. After the creation of Adam, God felt it necessary to create a Helper or a companion of Adam, so he told Adam to go to sleep. While Adam was asleep Good took one of the ribs of Adam and with he created Eve. He created her in a way that she had many similarities to Adam, but differences that would cause them to rely on each other.
Another story used to justify the belief that homo sexuality is offending God, is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction. In this story “God says that He’s going to destroy cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, if two angels cannot find any good people within the towns. Once the angels arrive, a kind man named Lot invites these angels into his home and entertains them. This angers the cities’ men, and the men rallied outside of Lot’s home, wishing to do “perverse actions” to these male angels. Moments later, the two cities are destroyed by fiery rain.” Many christian ministers use this passage from the bible as an example of God’s wrath against homosexuality. They annotate this story and say that the man Lot was trying to be gay with the two angles and thats the reason he kept them at his home. These stories, and many others all conclude the christian belief that homosexuality is “unnatural” and that God is offended by acts of homosexuality.
There are tons of organizations attacking homosexuality and their main goal is to spread the word. Minister Donald E. Wildmon formed an anti- gay group in 1977 called the National Federation for Decency, now called the American Family Association. This organization, which is now run by Wildmon’s son Tim claims to have over 2 million supporters online. Their main goal is to spread “traditional moral values”, but in recent years they seem to focus on homosexuality. In 2009 the AFA hired Bryan Fischer, the former director of the Idaho Values Alliance, but now is the director of analysis for government and policy. A lot of controversy broke out when Fischer claimed in his blog, that homosexulaity gave the world Adolf Hitler. He believes that Hitler was homosexual and that he sought out gays for his army because he believed straight people were not as savage and brutal as gay could be. Ironically Fischer is considered an anti semite claiming that Jews control the media to show hostility towards Christians. The AFA is constantly attacking the gay community, with threats and law proposals. saying that being gay is a sin and trying to design a law that would criminalize homosexual behavior and cause any offenders to be rehabilitated. Another, and even more radical organization is American Vision. This organization was founded by Gary DeMar in 1986 and is know as one of the primary exponents of the doctrine of “Christian reconstruction”, the idea that the U.S was founded as a “Christian nation” and that its democracy should be replaced with a theocratic government based on the old testament law. American Vision’s goal is to restore America’s “biblical foundation”. They truly believe that the death penalty is necessary for practicing on homosexuals, because they believe the bible calls for the killing of homosexuals.
The Christian Anti-Defamation Commision is a group based out of California. It was founded in 1999, by retired army Gen. William Hollis, but this group did not show much activity until 2007, when they announced a new leader, Rev. Gary Cass. Rev. Gary Cass claims that “homosexuals have turned away from humbly worshiping the true and living God and his transcendent moral order to make an idol out of their sexual perversion and chaos. This group largely focuses on getting homosexuals out of the military, because they believe that straight men should not have to be with “evil people sponded by satan” when they serve our country. Although this group seems to have very similar view as the others, they have one unique belief. They believe that the term “In God We Trust” should be banned from public use and they have encouraged the IRS to help them, because they believe it is a violation of church and state. If this were to happen the term would be removed from all U.S currency. The Christian Anti-Defamation Commision (CADC) is unique because they are one of the only religious anti-gay organizations that believes in separation of church and state. Other groups often preach the connection of the two and often times come off as hypocritical when doing so.
Small Christian radical group, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, was derecognized by the University of California at Berkeley. This stuck the attention of anti-homosexual supporter Samuel Alito, a member of the supreme court. He, and many other leaders of anti-homosexual organizations believe that the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship have every right to discriminate homosexuals, because it’s their religious freedom. This was very controversial on the Berkeley campus, those opposed to this radical group say that if the group have religious freedom to discriminate, homosexuals should have the freedom to be homosexuals. The university unrecognized this group because under the law, any student group that receives funding from a public university is forbidden to exclude LGBTQ students.
A very well known anti-gay marriage activist is Sarah Palin. She grew up in Alaska and later became the governor of the state. In 1998 Alaska became the first state in the U.S to pass a constitution banned on gay marriage. Palin, at the time was not governor, but supported the law. Palin’s first veto as governor was blocking a bill that would’ve barred same-sex partners from receiving state employee benefits under grounds of the constitutionality of the measure. effectively, granted State of Alaska benefits to same-sex couples. However, Palin has stated that she would support a ballot measure overturning the standing state supreme court decision that mandates benefits for domestic partners of state employees. Palin is Christian and is known to incorporate her religious beliefs along with her actions as a governor. Palin believes that creationism should be taught in all schools in Alaska. If this were to happen students would be taught that we were created by God and the history curriculum would be based around the stories of the bible. Creationism completely rejects the the scientific belief of evolution and would restrict students from taking classes that conflict with the bible, like science and also remove many books that are commonly taught in U.S english classes.
Blue shows the states where gay marriage has been legalized.
Brownish yellow shows the states where the gay marriage ban has been overturned.
Red shows the the states that have banned gay marriage.
In America today Gay marriage is legal in 35 states, and this number is growing. There are many who are in disbelief that gay marriage will soon be legal throughout the whole country, such as the governor of new jersey, Chris Christie who vetoed the proposition in 2012 and still stands by his veto. Others, like president Barack Obama believe that soon gay marriage will become legal in every state, President Obama did not always believe this as well. In 2004 Obama said, “For me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” Obama says he now supports same-sex marriage, ending months of equivocation on a subject with powerful election-year consequences. Our country as a whole is becoming more open to the idea of gay marriage and that data would lead you to believe that it will soon be legal everywhere.