Letters to Editor, Opinion

LETTER: Prop. 8 not the issue here

The liberal and anti-religious sentiments of the editorial board of The Daily Free Press, in ‘One Step Backward’ (Nov. 6, p. 8), remind the world yet again how often people misunderstand the idea of separation of church and state. While the staff’s argument that children should be educated about issues such as homosexuality and safe sex has value, bias prevents the board from recognizing that there are always at least two sides to an issue.

This country was originally founded by white Christian males. The idea that no one religion should be favored over another was not in reference to Christianity versus Islam, Judaism, Atheism etc., but rather that no Christian sect should be favored over another. This original belief in non-preference, however, has through various Supreme Court decisions led people to assume that religion should be left entirely out of the political arena. Yet the theory that one should create ‘government policy’ devoid of any connection to ‘religious value,’ or that ‘human rights decisions should never be made with religious considerations’ is entirely ridiculous (sic).

A person’s religion is not merely a head-scarf or crucifix that can be taken off and ignored when discussing politics. The faith a person has affects every aspect of his or her life, from how to dress and what to eat to who to vote for. Moreover, the non-faith of a person has similar repercussions. Atheists are just as influenced by their atheism as Jewish people are by their Judaism. To insist that all people be secular in their political decision making is just as discriminating and controlling as the same-sex marriage ban that the staff rails against. Furthermore, the staff’s claim that ‘right or wrong’ cannot be determined is contradictory, for the implications of arguing for the allowance of gay marriage indicate the board’s opinion that gay marriage is not wrong.

The fact of the matter is, everyone has the free will to determine what they deem to be morally correct, and everyone has the free will to either attempt to act in accordance with these morals or to reject them. Part of the doctrine of many religions is that homosexual marriage is wrong in the same way that pre-marital sex is wrong, and the fact that the board accuses Californian voters of unjustly pushing their beliefs on others ignores the fact that allowing same-sex marriage pushes secular beliefs onto traditional religious ideas of what marriage should be.

This is a two-sided street. If it was wrong for Californian voters to overturn the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, it is just as wrong that The Daily Free Press, in ‘One Step Backward,’ seeks to push a secular and liberal agenda on its readers by claiming that whoever lets religion influence their decisions is anti-American.’

Emily Schneider

SED ’09


  1. bias prevents the board from recognizing that there are always at least two sides to an issue.<p/>There were “two sides” to the issue of slavery as well. You might recall we fought a war over it. Abolitionists were on the losing side of the argument from the Bible’s perspective, just like the pro equality movement is now. The Bible does more to impugn religion that I ever could.<p/>It’s sad to see someone like you who, despite a good education, can still be so narrow minded. I worry about the students you will teach very soon.<p/>No matter, demographics are changing and your backward views will soon be universally recognized for what they are.

  2. While I respect your concerns of giving religion the gravity it deserves, this nation was founded by Enlightenment-influenced Deists. Jefferson specifically made sure that there was separation between Church and state to protects those of different faiths from each other from causes of religious bias. Making a decision that affects other people’s lives depending on your religious beliefs can be unfair. Not to mention that time will probably make gay marriage or at least civil unions common – much like interracial marriage. The language used in Prop 8 is eerily similar to the language used in the laws against interracial marriage – which I think most people without the bias of racism can agree does not affect the institution of marriage in any way. Look at the case Loving v. VA, which in hindsight comes off as absurdly unnecessary. Why is it that the Supreme Court had to explicitly say that it was unconstitutional to prevent two people who loved each other get married? <p/>With the passing of Prop 8, there should have been immediate legislation giving civil unions the same rights that gay married couples would have received. While I firmly believe that separate but equal is inherently unequal (and the rest of the Civil Rights movement), there should have been something done to respect the gay community’s legal rights. As the poster j brings up, the basic rights the heterosexual couples receive are not conferred to gay couples which is a crime. To not respect these couples is a crime. Without some kind of civil union legislation to confer these right, Prop 8 is inherently unfair and does not give the gay community respect. I believe Robert Sesek’s plan (Prop 8 prevents progress) of making civil unions the government institution and keeping marriage to the religious community protects the sanctity of marriage (as those who passed Prop 8 saw fit) while also giving the gay community equal rights. <p/>Lastly, the Freep is published in bluest of the blue Massachusetts at the university once known as “Berkeley East”. Complaining about this paper pushing a secular and liberal agenda is similar to yelling at a tidal wave.

  3. 21-24 talks about Adam and Eve becoming one flesh, an idea which is conferred into "marriage" in Matthew 19

    The separation of church and state concept has nothing to do with spirituality. It has everything to do with preventing dogma from creeping into the political process. You pose the challenge to someone to make moral decisions outside of religious considerations. Fine. I’ve been doing that since I decided that religion wasn’t for me. Am I immoral because I’m a non-reductive physicalist and have no religion of my own?<p/>And speaking of immoral, let’s pose the question of gay marriage morally. Should we prevent two people who love each other and want to live together and receive all the established governmental perks of legalizing their union? No. What basis do we have for doing that? Why is it wrong? The answer for most people is dogmatic, not moral. Genesis 2

  4. Andrew Tyma