When misguided religious teaching gives way to truth

Monday, April 25, 2015

By BRENT CHILDERS

Faith In America executive director

As the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to hear marriage equality arguments today, we'd like to look beyond today's formality hearing to that day when the majority of the court decides the matter.

For all of our supporters who have been with the organization for some time, you know we have not focused that much on just the legal recognition of two gay individuals but rather the societal recognition.

We know this morning what each and every U.S. Supreme Court Justice knows – American society today is ready to embrace gay marriage. But it is not gay marriage that society is ready to embrace but rather lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

For many years, society has withheld that embrace because Americans have been taught that homosexuality is sin and those living the mythical "gay lifestyle" are a threat to our children, our families and our society.

We already have reached a point at which it is somewhat unbelievable to think we have mistreated gay people so badly – our citizens, our neighbors and our family members. For a younger generation, it is even more unbelievable.

We have seen times in this country's past when a societal consciousness awoke to bigotry and hostility being disguised as religious truth. Civil Rights Icon Mildred Loving knew much about religious truth being disguised as bigotry. Sitting in her home in 2007, she said a Bible used to sanction bigotry and discrimination was not the Bible she had sitting by her side.

A majority of U.S. Supreme Court Justices in 1967 knew that it was time that American society embrace interracial marriage. With all the gains being made in African American civil rights at that time, how could states continue to tell African-Americans children that they somehow were undeserving of marriage's sanctity – it's societal worth and its dignity.

That time has come again in America. As a majority of justices will soon acknowledge this truth can no longer be thwarted by religion-based bigotry.

And they will speak that truth – that young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals are indeed as deserving of marriage's sanctity and dignity as any other citizen.

Considering their mistreatment and suffering, perhaps they are very much more deserving.