Sunday, July 19, 2015

How is Diversity Working In A Climate of Differences?


In a previous article, “Hobby Lobby May Be Forced to Close...Is This Diversity Working? we have stated that with the way things are going, Hobby Lobby may be forced to close down because its religious belief on marriage is in danger of being compromised for the sake of the law.

First, this article takes a look on how marriage is viewed; then it presents some opinion on same-sex marriage; and lastly, it invites readers to join in the conversation through the given questions at the end.

Marriage As Religious/Moral Issue
Basically, devout faith believers, specifically Christians, view marriage in the context of their religious beliefs, as well as Christian Ethics; hence marriage is both a religious and a moral issue for most Christians. For others, they may view marriage only as a moral issue; while many people may also view marriage only as a fundamental civil right.

Marriage As Secular Issue
It seems that there is more to the marriage debate than religion and morality, for it also involves law and politics, as this research article discusses. An excerpt from its abstact reads:
Three understandings should form the basis of any discussion about the place of religion and morality in the same-sex marriage debate. First, though some people who defend marriage are personally religious or have religious motivations, support for marriage as the union of husband and wife does not require belief in the religious teachings of any particular faith. Second, many people, including some professional gay-rights activists, enthusiastically mix religion with law and politics in support of same-sex marriage. Third, the question of how marriage should be defined in law raises inescapable moral considerations that should be confronted directly. - Read more at:
 
The following articles present their respective views regarding the debate on same-sex marriage from a religious context:

1. Christians should oppose same-sex marriage
A Christian who opposes same-sex unions to other Christians who have come to support same-sex marriage – a call to re-think their beliefs on marriage. Read on some of the questions raised by the author.
 
The traditional views of the Catholic Church and the Evangelical churches can also be included here: they stand firm against against the SC ruling on same-sex marriage (the Catholic Church view such relationship only as same-sex union, not a marriage) and homosexuality.

Consequence of this view: to treat homosexuals and those into same-sex relationships with scorn, disdain, and/or exclude these people from their circles, e.g. firing employees in same-sex relationships from work– even if the Churches teach about compassion.

2. Same-sex marriage should be supported
From someone who seems inclined to accept same-sex marriage to Christians who oppose same-sex marriage are some of these questions he raises to challenge their thoughts, views and religious/moral beliefs.
 
Argument against this view = based on religious/faith principles.
Consequence of those supporting homosexual relationships is also some measure of hatred towards those who disagree with them and/or feeling threatened with work discrimination, for example.

3. Christians should be compassionate despite being against same-sex marriage.
This article is from a Christian point of view addressing fellow Christians – a call to compassion towards others. The writer does not exlicitly gives his view on same-sex marriage, but he calls out to fellow Christians to be more compassionate, less judgmental about those who are into same-sex marriage and their supporters. Read more at:
 
4. Reject the sin, but not the sinner
This article proposes being compassionate towards homosexuals, but not condone a life of sin; it is not to compromise either, but a Christian response without the hatred or denunciation.
"Unfortunately, when we embrace a life of sin, no matter what sin it is, we fall into deception. Moral compromise always leads to deceit. The gay community has adopted the position, " You will accept us whether you want to or not!" The gay community seeks acceptance from the straight community, the politicians, and God. The problem is they want endorsement of a lifestyle versus acceptance of them as people deserving mutual respect. There is a big difference between these two concepts. Christianity cannot, nor should it, condone sin in whatever form it is expressed.[...]The church is failing to demonstrate love partly because we think loving a gay person is an endorsement of their lifestyle."
Read more:
 
5. Tolerance and Diversity
In a write-up published last year at the height of the issue on contraceptives and the SC ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, the issue of tolerance is highlighted, explaining why religious freedom is good for diversity. It gives a more objective, sensible explanation about religious freedom and diversity.
"Everyone understands, of course, that religious freedom has limits. Our respect for religious faith must sometimes take a back seat to other serious public interests. No one is suggesting, for example, that we should ever permit honor killings or human sacrifice in the name of religious liberty. Still, a sincere belief shouldn’t have to be clearly right (or popular!) in order to be protected. This is the basic point that the public needs to understand, and often doesn’t."
 
Questions for readers: let us know what you think.
  • In a climate of differences in views, beliefs and principles, how can we keep diversity working in society?
  • How do you understand tolerance? Diversity?
  • How do tolerance and diversity intersect on an issue divisive as this, one that strikes a deep chord because aside from being a religious and a moral issue, marriage is also a right, as well as a secular issue?
  • Should tolerance be a two-way street?
  • If you are an employer who stand against same-sex marriage based on religious/moral beliefs, how do you stand up for your religious principles without being discriminatory, and running afoul of the law?
  • Under what circumstances can you accept or tolerate a same-sex couple?
  • Where to draw the line between religious freedom and personal dignity/integrity - so as to make sure no one is punished by law, or discriminated and ostracized for standing up for one's strong, sincere beliefs, religious or secular?

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