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Texas, religion and the law.

June 29, 2015

Texas’s governor and attorney general, in response to the supreme court ruling on gay marriage, have said that if a ruling or law conflicts with your religious beliefs, you should not be legally required to obey it. That, of course, would pertain to Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, American Indians, Baha’i, Taoists, etc., and I would assume it means any law. I wonder what Scientologists, Wicca, Vodun, or Atheists can do with this newfound freedom.
I am reminded of the civil rights era when issues like school segregation and interracial marriage were met with bible verses that “proved” that blacks and whites were never meant to be equal or together. “Religious liberty” was many people’s code for racism then. I remember the posters that a “religious” group stapled all over Berea College in December of 1971. They quoted scripture that they said “proved” that black people (not the word they used) were not human, and therefore without rights.
The use of pieces of scripture, searched for and plucked out, while ignoring the rest of the bible, is not the true basis of Christianity, no matter for how many centuries you repeat them.
Islamic fundamentalist militants use the same method to justify their actions.
After many people searched 31,173 verses in the bible (thanks google), some found six or seven passages that could be interpreted to support discrimination against homosexuals. There are more verses about figs than homosexuals. People love to quote one line from Leviticus, but you seldom hear the one on shellfish or mixing fabrics, much less all that stoning of people.
Many couples choose for marriage to be a religious union, which no one is objecting to and this ruling will not change, but marriage is not solely an institution of your religion. People with no religion get married in America.
This does not mean you need to approve of gay or interracial marriage. I do not approve of much of what we Americans do and I can find passages in the bible to support my beliefs, including our consumerism, wars, and the mass incarceration of the poor. I do not like the fact we subsidize monoculture and the inhumane treatment of farm animals, both condemned in the bible. But I do not stand in front of the supermarket to castigate people buying cruelly raised meat and quote Deuteronomy 25:4 or Proverbs 12:10.
In the meantime I will look at the bible for a solution to the smothering effect the state of Texas has on my farm requiring a nursery permit, a food establishment license, an aquaculture permit, and heck even a fishing license for my own pond. I know I can find a passage in the bible to back me on these core beliefs of my religion.
Then I will move on the bigger things like funding those wars. I think this new direction the state of Texas is taking will be a fun ride. Start reading your religious texts.
If I can only find a religion that says we should not pay taxes.

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