22 December 2013

Who owns "religion" and "marriage"?

I'm honestly perplexed as to why the use of the term "marriage" continues to be a sticking point even among some who support full civil union rights. Does the Westboro Bigot Central being called a "religion" in legal or cultural terminology make you feel like your religion or conception of religion is slighted or demeaned, or do you just qualify and classify different religions differently and shrug it off when loonies call themselves a "religion"?

Is the Westboro circus kind of the drunken Vegas marriage of religions? You're not a fan, you think they're completely misguided and idiotic, and you think it's a mere parody of what you believe marriage to be about, but it regrettably slips through the basic requirements or guidelines meant to define and protect relationships like yours?  And same-sex marriage might be...like a nonprofit that does good things and which you even could donate to but which just doesn't have the elements to make it a "religion"?

There may be some among you who actually believe legally recognized religions _should_ have to meet stricter requirements before receiving specialized tax statuses or exemptions or being able to operate in certain ways.

Do you just "tolerate" religions you believe are false being able to use the term "religion" because they meet some minimum requirement, but draw the line at other groups or churches you think don't have the traits that make up a "religion"? Do you think the population should just vote to determine who can be called a religion, or set the guidelines for what constitutes a religion? Would you maintain that view if your religion was eventually marginalized to the point of being very poorly regarded by most of society and unlikely to court much sympathy if under fire?

Is it actually, subjectively different since it's also objectively a different thing? Government doesn't create or set up religions: it just recognizes certain organizations as religions for tax, prisoners' rights, or other practical reasons. In that way, it's different from marriage because government both creates its own marriages and recognizes or incorporates marriages created by religious entities. But I'm not sure how much that distinction actually comes into play for people who are discomforted by the thought of having the same-sex unions called "marriages".

Anyone have some insights from a personal perspective?

No comments: