Quick story before I get going this morning: yesterday Carlos, as part of his job, gave a presentation on rising drug and alcohol use among teens in South Carolina. As part of the presentation, it was explained that some young girls use tampons to , for lack of a better word, suck up alcohol — apparently tampons hold a lot of liquid — and then drink from them at will; there is also a rise in soaking Gummy Bears in booze and then getting drunk off those as well.
Now, the presentation was simply to inform parents and teachers of certain things to look out for, but one mother actually said, out loud, that she doesn’t have that kind of problem in her home because she runs her home by the rule of the Bible.
I know. Sigh. Big sigh. See, that’s the — well, one of the — problems I have with religion; nothing in the world affects these religious zealots because God is in their lives. Yet we all know that just because you go to church and read the Bible and say your prayers on bended knee each night does not guarantee that your children aren’t drinking and drugging and having sex. All it means is that you’ve closed your eyes to potential problems.
Well, a group of religious leaders in North Carolina have opened their eyes about same-sex marriage and have filed a federal lawsuit against the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, saying it violates their religious freedom.
These members of the clergy say they would like to perform same-sex ceremonies in their congregations, but can't because of the "unjust law" so they’ve brought the only case citing First Amendment religious freedom claims to the more than 60 marriage equality cases pending in courts around the country.
It’s a novel approach, no?
The lawsuit — which was filed by the United Church of Christ and a group of clergy and same-sex couples in North Carolina — argues, for the first time, that North Carolina’s marriage amendment ban violates the religious beliefs of denominations and congregants who support the recognition of same-sex couples in marriage, and the clergy who wish to perform those ceremonies.
If this case goes forward, and perhaps wins, it will strike a bow to those groups who use their so-called religious beliefs to divide us from one another. There are similar cases in Tennessee, Georgia and, yes, South Carolina where same-sex couples are suing for their right to marry and having a group of churches and clergy on our sides is a huge step forward.
Perhaps, rather than using the Bible as blinders to avoid what’s happening in the world, people should read the Bible for what it says about love and judgment …