There has been a long and heated discussion about the intolerance shown by the religious parties towards the serious issues posed by the people. It can be anything, but the main source of disagreement the Church has with the secular state governments is the issue of homosexuality. The same-sex marriage is the debate everyone wants to have. First of all, the question should be asked that whether the state is a secular state of a religious state. If the religion is the basis for the governing state, then the religious bodies such as the Church can take stringent actions on those who are not complying with the rules of the Bible. If the state of the country is such that there is no religion who has precedence over the laws stated by the government, then the religious bodies do not have authority to impose their religious beliefs. In the past, the state and the church were working together and the rule of law was the rules stated in the Bible. Every citizen was bound by those rules, but after the revolution in many countries, including the United States of America, where the state and the Church were separated from each other and only the law stated the government had the authority to punish or give freedom to people according to their laws. The rules and laws of the Church were considered superfluous to the point that the religious beliefs held by the people were just beliefs and these were not considered the laws anymore. If the Church does not allow a person to be homosexual and does not permit one man or woman marrying another man or woman, then it should be their own opinion, but they have no authority to impose their opinions on the citizens.
The Christians are being criticized for the beliefs they hold regarding the issue of homosexuality and same-sex marriages. The one thing to be noted here is that the law of the state has given them full liberty to exercise their right to choose their life partners, regardless to the fact that an individual chooses the life partner of the same gender or different. They have been given their right in the Bill of Rights. It can be the case that Christians hold their beliefs regarding homosexuality and can still respect and have the love for these people. There are black sheep in every religion and every movement. Just because of the actions of few zealots, it tarnishes the image of the overall organization. The perception that Christians hate all people who do not follow their belief system or who do not comply with the rules of Bible, is not correct.
The media has its way of projecting things and most of them, if not every, time people fall into the deception. Christians do not hate people who have an opinion that contradicts their belief system. Hate is a very strong word and people throw this word very casually. Most of the Christians do not despise or hate homosexuals because their religion has prohibited them from indulging in same-sex marriage. They are tolerant, but there are few rotten eggs in the basket who give a bad name to Christians. People say Christians are bigoted towards homosexuals, as a matter of fact, they are anything but bigoted. Bigotry, in all essence of the meaning, is the intolerance and prejudice towards an idea or a person. Whereas Christians just have a disagreement with them. Disagreement is that you listen to other people’s opinion and are tolerant and in the end say agree to disagree. This is healthy for a discussion and debate. But in bigotry, people are not ready to listen to other people’s view.
The people, especially Church Ministers, in the past were holding a monopoly. They asked unnecessary exemptions from the state in the name of the religion. They were free from giving taxes, and on top of all that, the state was funding the Church and its school. When the revolution came in Europe, they separated the Church and the state and only one law had the power to impose rules on the citizen, which is accepted by the majority. The United States of America has declared the separation of Church and state in the constitution. The founding fathers realized that the segregation of Church and state would prove to be a vital step in making this country great. Thomas Jefferson, the third President of United States of America, wrote a letter to the Baptists of Danbury, stating that it would prove to be fruitful if the state is separated from the Church. In his letter, Thomas Jefferson said that the belief of an individual is the matter between the Creator and a man. He said that there should be no law restricting a person from his or her basic rights nor it will allow anyone to do transgression. There would be no religion who has precedence over another and only the rule of law has supreme authority.
The play ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller, has a concept of reputation and integrity (Miller). In the play, a few people were on trial for a witchcraft crime and amongst them, one of them lies on the stand just to protect the ego, whereas the other told the truth as they were on oath. The reputation is the image of the person in front of society and integrity is the image one has of himself or herself. People are afraid if someone knew something bad and deplorable about a person, they will despise and hate that person and in the worst case scenario, they will subject them to punishment. The homosexuals were afraid to come out of their closet because they were afraid that the Church would punish them for having wrongful feelings. The society was not functioning well and that is what Arthur Miller in his play showed that it is dangerous for the society and if people are honest with others and especially with themselves then society will prosper. The homosexuals have rights and they started proclaiming it and it has proved healthy for the society as a whole.
In the article ‘Do Christians hate homosexuals?’ written by Amy Orr-Ewing, the writer shed some light on the issue of homosexuality and how Christians perceive the concept which is against their beliefs. The writer, in unambiguous terms, clarifies the position of most Christians that they do not hate homosexuals just because they do not see eye to eye with them in this regard. In the past, Christian Ministers had the power to make judgments and when the power shifted from them to the state, the Church looks displeased with anything that goes against their beliefs. But the Church Ministers do not represent the stance of every Christian. The shift of power from Church to state did not happen overnight, but it was the long struggle. It is in the fourteenth amendment of the constitution that there would be no citizen whose rights would be breached without due process (Guelzo). The amendment has granted the liberty to every citizen to live their lives, and that is by extension means that no minority group would be stopped from practicing what they believe is right under the constitution.
Guelzo, Allen C. Commentary: 14th Amendment Laid Foundation of Civil Liberties. 2016.
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible: Revised Edition. Penguin, 1996.