marriage-equality

How LGBT And Religious Right Can Coexist

in Culture/Philosophy/Politics by
   

In recent years, the rise of the LGBT fight has ignited a bitter feud with the religious right. Unaccepting of the LGBT lifestyle, the religious right has sought to use the force of government to combat it. Attempts range from wanting to pass constitutional amendments to define marriage as one-man one-woman, to limiting various rights of those within the LGBT community. The religious right has also voiced a concern regarding the LGBT crowd forcing the lifestyle upon them.

To many observers, it appears that the two crowds cannot coexist. But this is incorrect.

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Many LGBT individuals and supporters, like those who are more religious, want to live their own lives without being forced to compromise. Some may call this intolerance, but it’s actually not. We should be able to live our lives how we wish, so long as it is consensual and does not impede upon the life and freedom of others. This means that gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender human beings, should be able to live the lifestyle of their choosing, while religious people have the right to not necessarily agree with that lifestyle.

Where this issue becomes bitter is when the boundaries are crossed and the force of government enters play. Why should the government be involved at all?

For religious individuals, the issue relates to homosexuality being a sin. But to what extent does an individual wanting to be romantically and sexually involved with the same sex affect anyone else? It doesn’t, just as someone choosing to read the Bible and believe in God doesn’t affect others. These are individual choices.

At the center of the issue is individual choice. Do we have a right to make our own decisions?

For the religious right and social conservatives, the issue with the transgendered crowd is the fact that we are biologically born a certain sex. While this is true, gender roles are defined by society rather than something we’re born with. For many transgendered people the issue is more than just wanting different genitalia, it’s also about the role and the lifestyle.

Our next question should relate to social issues and government. Should a government be in the business of defining social standards and interfering with the private lives of consenting adults?

To answer yes is to open pandora’s box. If government can limit the rights of transgendereds because society defines what is acceptable for gender roles, then why can’t government limit the rights of religious individuals based on what society defines as morally acceptable?

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Famous Christians, such as Tim Tebow, are often criticized for publicly praying. And while the ridicule is constant, Tebow is still able to do so because it’s his right to practice freedom of religion. But what if government eliminated that right based on social norms?

When we allow government to take more than it should, they always take even more than that. Religious individuals allowing the rights of LGBT human beings to be deprived ultimately creates precedents that will work against them, and vice versa. We should not force ourselves on others, whether it be physically, politically, socially or otherwise.

To this point, we may not always agree with the actions of others, but we should always defend the rights of consenting adults to practice as they wish. This is what liberty is.

Chris Dixon is a liberty activist and writer from Maine. In addition to being Managing Editor for the Liberty Conservative, he also writes the Bangor Daily News blog "Undercover Porcupine" and for sports website Cleatgeeks.