Sunday, 2 August 2009

Same-sex marriage and the Quakers

The following is a response to this article by Anna Raccoon, following the decision of the Quakers to support same-sex marriages...

To me, the purpose of marriage is to foster stronger family units, as strong families form the foundation of strong societies, therefore it’s logical that the state facilitate marriages.

As we live in a secular society it’s only right that the civil institution of marriage should not be encumbered by religious ideology, so there seems to be no real reason to prohibit same-sex marriage as the objections to it are overwhelmingly religious in nature.

I say this as a Noachide – a non-Jewish believer in Torah – and someone who actually does believe, for religious reasons, that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

I have the freedom to worship G-d as I choose to precisely because I live in a secular society that guarantees religious freedom. The trade-off is that that society will, from time-to-time, adopt practices, laws and so forth that clash with my faith.

I have no right to impose my beliefs on others and it would be pointless to try. You can’t coerce people into sharing your beliefs or legally impose beliefs upon them. You have to do it through debate and the strength of your arguments.

As to whether or not the Quakers are right to support same-sex marriage, that’s up to them. I have to admit to knowing little about the Quakers, so I can’t really judge the decision against any knowledge of Quaker beliefs. That said, there does seem to be a broad ‘church’ of opinion among Quakers on many matters of faith, so I guess it’s up to individual Quakers to decide whether or not the decision sits well with their own convictions.

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