Despite the countless examples of why marriage has never been ‘traditionally defined’ the way they think it is, fundamentalists still stick to the argument that allowing gays to marry would be ‘redefining’ marriage. And because marriage is a religious institution, according to them, the government has no authority to do so. You could waste your time trying to present a logical argument to these people, but if they were logical, they wouldn’t be fundamentalists. Instead, I say fight fire with fire. If marriage is a religious institution, you have every right to form a new religion that defines marriage anyway you’d like. Then by supporting heterosexual marriage and not homosexual marriage, the government would be violating the first amendment by “respecting an establishment of religion” and “prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Think this is an original approach? Think again! Turns out it was done 500 years ago, with Christianity! In fact, the Protestant Reformation, which paved the way for nearly every denomination of Christianity besides Catholicism, was sparked in part by one man’s wish to redefine marriage.
Henry VIII was the King of England from 1509 to 1541. At the time, England was a Catholic country, part of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. But after Henry’s wife Catherine of Aragon did not bear him a male heir (and after he decided that he liked her cousins more), he needed a way to get out of his marriage. Pope Clement VII denied his request for an annulment on the grounds that it violated church doctrine, so Henry, undeterred, decided to form his own church whose doctrine would allow his annulment. Thus began the Church of England, one of the first official Protestant Churches in Europe. It is to this redefinition of marriage that all major denominations of Protestantism in America owe their freedom to practice their religion, including Baptists, undoubtedly the most outspoken opponents to gay marriage.
Now the good news is that we live in a day and age where you don’t have to be a king to start a new religion, and you don’t have to go around destroying all the churches that disagree with you, as Henry did. All you have to do is decide to start one and voila! it shall be done. As a matter of fact….
I hereby proclaim a new religion that I shall call Equalitism. Its doctrines are simple:
1. Love everybody.
2. Gays can get married.
Bam! Now any government that does not recognize the rights of gays to marry is violating my constitutional right to practice my religion. Anyone care to be a disciple?