For those who think their Bible trumps the Constitution in civil matters, this week has been disappointing. The theocratic lunacy of presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and other Christian fundamentalists appeals to and multiplies the ignorance of those who think “freedom of religion” means Christians’ right to tell others what to do, and their fantasy that the Bible has anything legitimate to do with court cases or law. It is astonishing to hear conservative voices raised in anguish that the Supreme Court’s decision means loss of freedom when, in fact, it is an expansion.
Non-theocrats are exhilarated. They know that religious freedom is not freedom specifically for Christians. They know that shrieks about “God’s definition of marriage” and other witless comments are and have always been completely irrelevant to the question of gay marriage. They know that the relevant question is not whether gay marriage is right or wrong in the view of one religion or another, nor whether they approve of homosexuality or not. No, it is a matter of liberty as much as were decisions in Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965 and Loving v. Virginia in 1967, each having been fought by incensed religious lobbies. Ranting church leaders and bloviating politicians seeking their favor are extraneous despite their claim to speak for God.
No one has fewer rights now than last week except for the “right” to control this republic by Christians’ holy book or, rather, by idiosyncratic interpretations of that book (for there are many Christians who disagree with the fundamentalists). But we don’t have to become entangled in whether fundamentalist Christians or liberal Christians are right about their interpretations, for that, too, is immaterial. The question was only whether gays wanting access to marriage can be denied in view of the equal treatment under law promised by our Constitution.
America is a freer country this week!