Understanding Religion

Two recent stories in the news have gotten me thinking about religion. We’re all aware of the same-sex marriage debate here in California: to my eyes, that is a case of a group with a particular religious view feeling they need to impose that view upon all society. We also have the recent shooting of Dr. Tiller, which is yet again a case of a group with a particular religious view feeling they need to impose that view upon all society.

Now, I think we must first recognize that these are religious views. The constitution says nothing about same-sex marriages; the bible does. As for abortion, we have a definition from the courts with respect to when something is murder; other definitions are impositions of religious views. Given that these are religious views, it might be understandable if same-sex marriage or abortion was banned in a nation that had an official religion. Much as I find that distasteful, nations can have religious laws. I just wouldn’t want to live there. [As an aside, I’ve been watching The Tudors of late, and being Jewish, well, you can complete the thought… Perhaps that is why I am uncomfortable going to Ren Faire sometimes, just as I’m uncomfortable watching Anastasia.]

In any case, we live in America, where there is no official religion (at least constitutionally, although custom seems to have a Judeo-Christian basis). Therefore, I think the government should not be saying anything about who can marry who, or whether abortion is legal (it is reasonable to have laws about murder on the books, and I believe it is reasonable to define murder as when an entity can live on its own).

Now, to the point of this post. Perhaps I don’t understand Christianity, or perhaps I don’t understand just certain groups within Christianity, and why they feel the need to impose their view of religious morals upon me. Everyone has their own belief system (and being secular is just as much a belief system), their own personal morals. We also have the canon of criminal and civil law, which should capture the lowest common denominator. So why must someone else’s belief system be imposed upon me?