Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 01, 2011 7:20 AM

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Christian ethics do not belong in state gov’t

Bob Vander Plaats is proposing that our society “keep the bond between Christian conservative values and public policy closely knit.” He wants to do this by preventing gay couples from marrying.

Never mind how easy it is to see that gay couples raise healthy children, never mind the vast number of religions that have nothing against gay people, and never mind all the Republican, Christian politicians who’ve been caught having sex with male prostitutes — those aside, proposing legislation prohibiting gay marriage shows a complete disregard for human rights and U.S. law.

Vander Plaats claims that he’s concerned about the Constitution. Sure. Recall that the First Amendment begins, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Vander Plaats and other advocates of laws prohibiting gay marriage cite religious ethics as justification. If the people advocating laws prohibiting gay couples from marrying haven’t even gotten 10 words into the very first amendment, can we really trust them to care about U.S. law?

A better question is: Have they even read the book from which they claim to draw their ethical code? Let’s imagine a world where we really did base our policy on what the Bible says. It’s an amusing thought.

Exodus 20:4 says, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing.” Oops.

Leviticus 19:28 says, “ye shall not inscribe on yourselves any marks.” So much for tattoos. It really makes you wonder where the people getting biblical tattoos took their religion classes, doesn’t it?

Looking at these, it’s a pretty good thing we don’t base American laws on the Bible. Let’s keep it that way.

Asher Stuhlman
UIowa Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, and Freethinkers president

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