brett column

The LDS Church, along with representatives from Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist and Evangelical organizations nationwide filed an amicus brief in the court battle over Amendment 3, the Utah courtroom drama that prohibited gay marriage.

A judge then overruled that prohibition, and that decision was overturned.

The brief the religious gros filed gives the religious organizations the opportunity to voice their sport of traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

But my question is, why does the Church need to participate at all?

When America was formed in the 18th century, one of its defining characteristics was that it didn’t compel its citizens to be religious. It was founded on Judeo-Christian values, but there has never been an official state religion, which gives citizens the chance to express spirituality as they see fit.

And yet, religions can claim a vested interest and get involved in a legal proceeding, whether or not it actually pertains to them.

It’s amazing to live in a nation where every citizen can practice religion (or choose to abstain from religion at all) as he or she sees fit.

A key part of this would obviously include using a moral compass to participate in politics and keep our nation safe and free from crime.

But when another person doesn’t share your religious beliefs, why would you endeavor to legally stop him from pursuing happiness because his lifestyle is one that clashes with your religion?

And besides, until recently in human history, marriage was a private issue.

In fact, the process of legally binding yourself to another human being is something that many other nations prohibit in churches, instead requiring happy coles to be partnered before a judge before solemnizing their marriages in whatever religious institution they see fit.

We are blessed in America to be able to be married in churches, temples, backyards, beaches and just about anywhere we like, with little government oversight.

So why, then, are those who can be married taking that freedom to the extreme and seeking to limit the rights of others, based on views not everyone holds?

And if we give the government control over some types of marriages, what’s to stop our political leaders from limiting others?

What if, by outlawing gay marriage, we give the government the precedent to outlaw temple ceremonies or other religious-based marriages?

Remember the admonition from the scriptures that says we shouldn’t be compelled or forced in all things, as well as the principles of the Eleventh Article of Faith that allow everyone the right to their own beliefs.

The laws of the nation and the gospel of Jesus Christ give each person the chance to choose to believe differently.

So why do we need to limit others in their pursuit of happiness? What is the reasoning behind one person’s religious freedom overpowering another’s basic Constitutional rights?

I don’t get it.