Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

February 14, 2014

Feb. 14, 2014: Letters to the editor

Kokomo Tribune

---- — ‘Legislated religionis forced religion’

It is wrong to amend a constitution at either the national or state level to define what marriage is. And the Indiana state law is illegal when it forces a definition of marriage upon us.

Our nation has a working relationship with God, and our Constitution recognizes and acknowledges our rights pertaining to life come from God. Our Constitution is written to ensure we have these rights. God has made one of our rights the right to reject him and his principles.

Our rights do not come with a religious attachment; that is an option we must choose on our own. God will not have us forced to him, nor will he have himself legislated upon us. Legislated religion is forced religion, and forced religion is the same as no religion.

To amend our state constitution to force God’s definition of marriage upon us is making marriage a right with a religious influence going from an option to a mandate. It is in effect writing a law establishing religion, at least over one aspect of our lives, because if we were to do anything there under those circumstances it would have to be done through religious adherence. If we have no choice, if all other options and alternatives are eliminated, then religion is being forced upon us, and this is not only unconstitutional, it is against God’s wishes as well.

In a perfect world, everyone would choose God’s definition of marriage, and the current debate would be irrelevant. But this world is far from perfect. People come together in their own understanding of marriage. They don’t let God join them together to become “one flesh.” They join themselves together in a way they can never become one flesh, and they come to the government for their rights, just like everyone else.

The government has a different role to perform than does the church. It must provide constitutional rights to everyone, whether they accept God or not. The state constitution must accommodate people of religion and people not of religion equally.

Marriage between same sex people cannot, of course, be performed in the church. It will have to be a civil ceremony, and it will have to be constitutionally recognized by a government that operates under God’s given right to choose. We must come to terms with this reality as a part of our imperfect world, and move on with our cumulative incompleteness. We have no choice, as long as we have a choice.

One thing we must do is keep certain boundaries around marriage in order to maintain the basic elements of civilization. God gives people the right of marriage — people, not plants and animals. And two people at a time, too — three is one too many.

The government, working from its constitution, does not define marriage, it does not write its constitution to define marriage. God has defined marriage, and it’s out there for people to choose or not. The state constitution should acknowledge the right to marry as being for two people, without any riders or attachments to define it further. It will be up to people to choose which two people it will be, to accept God’s definition or their own.

Any deviation from God’s plan does not please him. But he allows us to choose, and our state constitution should ensure that we will live out our lives in the way we have chosen.

Jeff Hatton