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There is a dangerous naiveté in post-modern and secular societies. The extreme focus on individual happiness and the emphasis on feel-good-factors have serious long-term repercussions on the common good. The political shortsightedness and the loss of a moral compass is a threat to fundamental human rights – like religious freedom.

One cannot tamper with dignity of life and expect no consequences. Abortion has dramatically skewed demographics and created huge gender imbalances in many countries. Girls and handicapped are sorted out for destruction – hundreds of millions worldwide. This will have serious implications on families and societies for generations to come.

Likewise, it is naïve to believe that one can redefine marriage without any major disruptions to children and the common good. Its effect on religious liberty is addressed in an open letter from religious leaders across a variety of faith communities in the United States.

They rightly observe that “altering the civil definition of ‘marriage’ does not change one law, but hundreds, even thousands, at once. By a single stroke, every law where rights depend on marital status—such as employment discrimination, employment benefits, adoption, education, healthcare, elder care, housing, property, and taxation—will change so that same-sex sexual relationships must be treated as if they were marriage.”

They cite several examples on how Christian organizations already have been facing government sanctions, the targeted withdrawal of government co-operation, grants, et cetera.

“So, for example, religious adoption services that place children exclusively with married couples would be required by law to place children with persons of the same sex who are civilly ‘married’. Religious marriage counselors would be denied their professional accreditation for refusing to provide counseling in support of same-sex ‘married’ relationships.

Religious employers who provide special health benefits to married employees would be required by law to extend those benefits to same-sex ‘spouses’. Religious employers would also face lawsuits for taking any adverse employment action—no matter how modest—against an employee for the public act of obtaining a civil ‘marriage’ with a member of the same sex. This is not idle speculation, as these sorts of situations have already come to pass.”

The 39 religious leaders and signatories – Protestants, Jews, Catholic and others – conclude: “Marriage and religious freedom are both deeply woven into the fabric of this nation. May we all work together to strengthen and preserve the unique meaning of marriage and the precious gift of religious freedom.”

2 Responses to “Is same-sex marriage a threat to religious liberty?”

  1. Peter Henrysson says:

    No objections. However, it is taken for granted that it is the Christian understanding of marriage which is assumed by the law. If that is no longer assumed, freedom of religion as a consequence is threatened, too. But that is so only because both the understanding of marriage and of freedom of religion is built on the Christian understanding of the world. We have naively believed that life can go on as usual even though the basic Christian teaching – underpinning law and society – is denied or at least removed from public life. That is why it is indespensable to work for the rediscovery of the close and dependant relationship between a basic Christian understanding of the world and the foundations of Western civilization. I believe this should be done by insisting onand arguing for the factual existence of such an intimate relationship. If that is not done, soon enough, more of the Christian heritage will be lost and further limitations placed on the freedom of religion and other freedoms.

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