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Religion should not inspire legislation

By: Lacy Hilliard
Tomahawk Writer/Photographer

Social media feeds are still all aflutter with everyone weighing in on the federal court’s decisions to strike down the ban on same sex marriage in our neighboring states of North Carolina and Virginia. Also inspiring roving Facebook philosophers is the vote on Amendment 1 in Tennessee.
What’s troubling about the content of many of these posts is that those identifying themselves as religious often feel it is their duty to oppose the rights of others. While I understand that the religious texts clearly identify what is and is not acceptable under God’s law, it seems that selective memory is often at work. I haven’t heard a single person touting legislation that would eradicate divorce. I also haven’t seen a single post pertaining to the abomination that is shellfish.
It is not only cowardly to hide behind religious beliefs as a means to condone one’s stance on social issues it is also unconstitutional. Our founding fathers, who possessed wisdom far greater than any legislator I’ve become acquainted with in present day, wrote very plainly, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” They did this with the intent that the United States government should respect the rights of all citizens and not just those with shared opinions.
I implore anyone currently pushing a religious agenda to reexamine what they’re asking for. Remember that not every American shares the same religion and therefore, when the door is opened to legislation inspired by personal beliefs, it may not always be your beliefs that are imposed. How would a Christian feel if a law was enacted that required women to wear head coverings?

If opponents of basic human rights, whose opposition exists solely as result of their religious beliefs, refuse to recognize that imposing legislation on Americans who may not share their beliefs is unconstitutional, perhaps they’d be better suited in a theocracy. I hear Iran is lovely in the springtime.