Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Rainbows and religion

There is a huge gap between morality and law. Morality concerns right and wrong as a basis for personal and social development. Law concerns the prevailing social notions about property rights. With that in mind, no religious or spiritual teacher is or is ever likely to be obliged to officiate at a wedding that goes against her/his religious tenets, but civil authorities may well be so obliged. And, regardless of anyone's personal beliefs, couples in duly recognized LGBT marriages (whether sanctioned by religious authorities or civil authorities) must be accorded the same or similar social and economic rights and privileges as couples in the traditional form of marriage.

Some people complain that the U.S. Supreme Court has endorsed sin. The simple fact is that laws invariably tolerate a lot of sins. The moment that legislatures enact laws or that courts interpret laws on the basis of religious notions of virtue and vice, the separation between Church and State is lost; and all of the drawbacks of a religious state (including first- and second-class citizens) result.

Some people argue that allowing LGBT marriages is a slippery slope. What will be next? Well, hypothetically, let's say that a person chooses to change her/his/its species. Instead of transgender, we would have someone who chooses to be transspecies. He says: "All my life, I've felt like a dog in a human body. All I want to do is to hump females of every species. Now that I am a dog, I feel liberated." And let's say that some other person, a woman, likes being humped at any hour of the day under any and all conditions... and let's further say that she wants to marry that once-human-now-dog. If tomorrow a civil rights movement garners support for such type of marriage, then eventually it will be permitted, because law is about society's notions of property rights. And once again, politicians will hail the new civil right as a victory for freedom and love, when all that has transpired is just a reflection of society's degradation.

In the final analysis, law never was and never will be a bastion against social degradation. To use it as such is like trying to stop a tidal wave with a lego. Religion, with all its loopholes and convenient interpretations, also cannot halt social degradation. If it could have done so, it would have happened already. The only way to resist social degradation is to popularize a healthy philosophy like neohumanism.