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Constitution must not sanction favoritism

Dear Editor,

One must never attempt to match wits with Kevin Evans on the medieval customs and more which informed the teachings of the Old Testament of the bible.

But Evans cannot go unchecked when his theological predilections lead him to misrepresent the constitution. Imperfect though that document may be, it is still the supreme protection for all of us.

We still have miles to go to facilitate amendments which would make the constitution a better document, one that serves everyone regardless of race, faith, color, gender, sexuality or handicap.

Evans attempted to misuse the language in the preamble to the constitution to justify his own religious views, which do not support giving equal rights and judicial protection to people who do not share his sexuality.

It is his right to practice his nature as he sees fit, but he should not use the constitution to invent a right to force upon all of us, his interpretation of his own religious teachings.

The majority of the people in this country self-describe as Christian and that is their right. But just as not all of us are left-handed or are ambidextrous, not all of us share the Christian faith. We come in all faiths – Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Rastafarian and more. Furthermore, Christianity is divided into numerous denominations with different interpretations and practices.

The founding fathers were likely all Christians. But they were also politicians who knew that the church played a part in bringing them to power. No doubt they decided to placate certain pastors by inserting the reference to Christianity.

Britain has a state-recognized church which peacefully co-exists in their hyper-secular society that is similarly built on Christian values.

What Evans omitted from the preamble was that we the people recognize that in order to preserve and guarantee our freedom we will need “self-discipline, industry, loyalty, unity and an abiding respect for Christian values and the rule of law”.

It does not say we must be Christian, it simply begs respect for a set of values.

There is a chasm of difference between Christianity and Christian values. For starters, fundamental human values are not unique or exclusive to Christianity. Values like service, compassion, social justice, peace, dignity and community are common to most religions and so our non-Christian brethren probably have no problem adhering to them.

Therefore, it is beyond the pale for Evans to attempt to conflate the preamble with his own disdain for gays in general, and, in particular, his curious preoccupation with what gay people may or may not do in private.

He points out that a couple, who might be gay, decided to thumb their noses at our public decency laws by engaging in questionable behavior on a public beach. In so doing he stumbled onto the central argument of the equal rights movement around the world. The rules which make illegal intimate behavior in public apply equally to gay and straight couples. Their sexuality ought not matter to the policeman effecting their arrest.

It is only when the government passes laws that benefits or discriminates against one of these two groups that the constitution ceases to protect both of them equally.

White people didn’t live in a free society until blacks were given equality. We didn’t have a fully functioning democracy until women were allowed to participate in the vote. And we cannot have justice for all until sexuality is nullified as a precondition for participating in anything the state sanctions.

The emphasis, of course, is on the state. Even though the constitution grants freedom of religion, the most progressive amongst us must accept that the church or houses of worship should be generally free to practice within the confines of their religion whatever form of discrimination makes their members happy.

We do not have to join a religion, but by virtue of our citizenship we implicitly sign a social contract to pay our taxes, defend the constitution and love who we want to.

Evans tries to obfuscate by throwing around fancy biblical terms for men who seek relationship with minors, but we have secular laws to punish that and, in any event, studies have proven that pedophilia has as much to do with homosexuality as possessing brown eyes has to do with cataracts.

The Reverend Dr. Evans should spare us the hate sermon and instead familiarize himself with a timeless ditty from the book of Romans in the New Testament, found at chapter 2, verse 11: “For God does not show favoritism.” Neither should the constitution.

– The Graduate

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