One of the biggest issues coming out of the gay marriage debate is the role that different religions have in influencing people one way or another, some decrying a lack of separation between “The Church” and “The State”.
Historically, we Americans tend to love having religion, so long as no religion becomes big enough to tell anyone what to do. We have had anti-Catholic riots, anti-Mormon mob killings, and various other anti-religion demonstrations of varying degrees of force. Currently we continue with anti-Muslim sentiment (because “they” must all be the same and want to take away my rights) and a renewed anti-Mormon sentiment (because “they” told their followers to be against gay marriage).
I don’t pretend to know what the founding fathers were thinking when they put in the First Amendment of the Constitution “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” nor do I know how the Supreme Court defines the “Separation of Church and State”. What I want to know is – how do you separate someone’s religious beliefs, no matter what religion they belong to, from their political beliefs?
To me, religion can’t directly influence politics. People are extremely free to go in and out of any religion if they don’t agree with what the Church as a whole believes. If a Church declares that it is against Gay marriage, and directs its members to work against it, each person has to decide if they believe the same as that Church, or if they do not. You do not have to believe what anyone tells you to believe, and if you don’t believe what your Church believes, why be part of that Church?