Thursday, June 27, 2013

Equal Civil Rights

Our society has been going through massive cultural changes over the last fifty years that I have been an observer. I remember when Sunday morning in church was the most segregated hour in the country with whites and blacks in different churches. It was a time when a white southern woman could use the “N-word” and not cause a stir. It was a time when the word gay meant happy and certain people kept their preferences hidden.

Many very small things and some major changes have happened over the years to make the civil equality changes we are witnessing today. After the voter rights and integration in schools began a slow shift in thinking. Many people my age have not made that shift but our children and grand children have. To the great surprise of their elders they believe in equal civil rights for all people and they are taking over. The polls are showing that shift in the political arena and in society in general.

As my generation dies off the shift will become the normal because the grand children who do not see color as a test of friendship will be the leaders of our county. The same is true for gender issues and disabilities or language. Today I am a member of Hurstbourne Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and we have several mixed race families and a variety of languages worshiping together in peace and love. This is the way it should be for God loves all his children equally and so should we.

I have believed in equal civil rights for everyone for a long time and now is the right time.  For those who are having a hard time dealing with this change, hold on because it has only begun. 


  1. It offends me that civil rights for gays is equated with racial struggles. It demeans the work of MLK and others.

    That gays should have the same civil rights as anyone is NOT the issue. Gays have asked for extra civil rights. They've asked for a privilege that has never existed before: the right to create a matrimonial bond between same-sex couples. The racial struggle of the 1960s was for the rights that already existed and were granted in our constitution but had been denied by bigotry.

    God loves all his children equally and accepts that they will sin. God sent his Son as acknowledgement of that and to give us mortals a path to redemption and that has nothing to do with gay rights.

    Today we struggle with the wanton slaughter of innocent babies, euthanasia and marriage that conforms with the wishes of a vocal, activist minority. Where does this moral degradation end, Pastor? This is how God shows love or is this another test? Does God provide any sort of guideline for living a good life? Has the bible ceased to have a relevance?

    Gays should have all the CIVIL rights that anyone else has. They should be able to join in civil unions and receive any benefits that others joined by the state have. This is what the Supreme Court decided yesterday and this is inherently fair and right. The Supreme Court did not decide that Gay marriage was OK. No one in this society should be granted more rights than another. This leads to elitism and as I look at society today, that's where we appear to be heading.

  2. Interesting opinion my friend but there are two very different things to discuss here 1. Weddings and 2 marriages.

    At one time weddings were the province of the families involved. Then the church stepped in and claimed the sole right to conduct weddings and settle divorce and annulment. Then the states decided that a great revenue collection law would be to control wedding license and divorce decrees. Preachers could be fined or jailed for conducting weddings with out the state approval, and still can be.

    There is a civil wedding conducted by an officer of the court such as a Justice of the Peace or other judge. This is strictly a legal process and revenue collection controlled by the state. Civil equality is a state issue.

    The religious wedding is a worship ceremony controlled by the religion and each religion has its own rules to govern the meaning and process for their weddings. The two types of weddings are and should be separate issues. I have turned down request by couples who wanted to get married in my church for religious reasons. No religious leader is forced, by the state to conduct weddings.

    A marriage is an intimate relationship between two people who are married.

  3. Pastor, until recently, marriage, weddings, etc. have always been between a man and a woman. It has never NOT been between a man and a woman (recent events, excluded).

    The marriage provided certain rights in exchange for others and always had a social/civil component to them. In fact, one of the most important aspects was protection of the family unit for the purpose or rearing children but that was not the only vow exchanged.

    Same sex marriage is NOT based on traditional marriage. Our laws are based on common law, that is traditional law. Therefore, the right to marry someone of the same sex has never existed before. It is, therefore, a new right beyond the current existing right.

  4. It has also been between a man and many women in the past and even today in some places. This is a change to be sure. I was trying to describe the difference between a civil event controlled by the state and a religious service controlled by a church/temple and religious leaders who may decide to maintain the traditional conditions.

  5. Or maybe it's about something else...

  6. Since there are no absolutes anymore...

  7. Interesting comments/opinions all.