11.08.2008

Tolerance Is a Moral Value: My Thoughts on Legislating Hate As a Value

As a Quaker I believe the movement to isolate and scapegoat homosexuals, to promote hatred against them, and to impose in law one group’s religious beliefs on us all, is blatantly immoral and contrary to Jesus’ teachings.

With half of marriages ending in divorce, unquestionably the right thing to do is to strengthen marriages. But diverting the question to whether two people of the same sex can have legal rights together completely loses track of the problem of frail marriages.
The now, sadly passed, constitutional amendment really had nothing to do with marriage; but thinly veiled attacks on gays and lesbians, part of a pattern of discrimination and institutionalized hatred. It is a strategy of power practiced by would-be tyrants throughout history.

Some have portrayed persecution and hatred of gays as a Christian thing to do. Nowhere is it found that Jesus said anything about homosexuality. Nor did Jesus ever suggest encoding Christian teachings into a Sharia-like law to force religious beliefs on society.

I believe that God loves us all equally, and that we are called to treat each other with the same love in which God created us. We have no need to hate, or to discriminate against, any group for any reason. It is simply not Christian to do so.

Several Quaker meetings have married gay and lesbian Quakers, and many other meetings have passed minutes affirming their willingness to do so.

Quakers have often appeared at the forefront of social change in the United States. Just as Quakers abolished slavery within their communities long before the Emancipation Proclamation, so have many Quaker meetings recognized gay and lesbian marriage in advance of our nation's courts. Let us hope that soon, history will not fall so far behind its conscience.

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