Those who know me, know that I'm a fairly devout religious person. I go to church, I actually believe in a God, I pray every day, I fast, I tithe, etc.
And those of you who know me, know that I am also fairly progressive (as religious people go) in my attitudes, politics, etc.
So here's the rub. There's been a bit of a dust-up recently about "Religious Freedom". I put quotes around it because even though it's just a couple of words that make a good deal of sense on their own, it's also become a term that looks an awful lot like a line in the sand that forces people to choose a side. It's a piece of rhetoric that turns us into us and them.
For reasons too complicated and boring to explain, I went to a meeting last night about "defending our religious freedom". It was exactly what I expected: Some speeches about how the evil people in the world and in the government were going to squash our right to worship. There were many, many examples discussed:
-The small business pharmacist forced to fill a prescription for abortive birth control
-The Christian Student club being shut down by the university for wanting to have a Christian leader.
-The Photographer being sued and fined for choosing not to photograph a gay wedding.
So I struggle because I refuse to live in fear, but on the same token - I don't want to get told I'm going to get sued for something that is against my moral compass or religious creed.
I don't like the us vs. them rhetoric. In my perfect world - I get to live my religion the way I want, and you get to live your life the way you want. I've always thought of this topic in terms of a game of basketball:
Me and a couple (million) people want to go over here and play a game. The game has rules. No one is being forced to play any of the game. It is 100% voluntary. The rules are established by a governing body and if we choose to play, we play. If some one decides that they don't want to play by the rules anymore - and instead want to run without dribbling the ball or lower the hoop to 6ft for easier dunking - I would expect the whistle to blow. The person must then choose to play this game, or go somewhere else and start a game with people who like the altered rules.
So I ask you hubski - give me the non-believer POV. If I'm a baker and choose not to make a cake for a gay wedding, should I be sued, fined, or put out of business? If I'm a minister, should I be forced to marry a gay couple?
Can't we all just get along?