My Story

I am deeply interested in religion, politics, current events, history, musical theater and books! I left the LDS church a couple years ago and have spent a lot of time since then thinking and considering various religious influences in my life and in the lives of those around me. For more information on why I left the LDS church, look here. I also love to sing, act, dance (tap preferably) and perform on stage whenever possible.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Who Determines What is Moral?

Today in the Deseret News there was an article about Vermont's Legislature overriding the Governor's veto to legalize gay marriage. That makes four states now with legalized gay marriage. Hooray for progress! However, in reading some of the comments in the article this one really struck me...
The economic downturn is troubling but nothing compared to the immoral practices this country is starting to embrace. Legalizing gay marriage is just plain dangerous and destructive. Our society becoming immoral will destroy us. I hope for our countries sake that this trend does not continue. It amazes me how blind people have become.
As I read that it sounded eerily familiar to things I have been reading in the book "Reading Lolita in Tehran". In this book, the author describes the many freedoms that were slowly taken away from the Iranian people all in the name of morality. If you replace the words "Legalizing gay marriage" in the comment above with any number of other freedoms that were withheld from the Iranian people all in the name of morality you start to see the problem with this line of reasoning. Freedoms such as:

"Allowing people to read fiction from American authors"
"Allowing women to go outdoors uncovered"
"Allowing freedom of speech"
"Allowing religious freedom"
Etc. Etc.

So my question is: Who gets to determine what is moral and what is not? Just because the majority believes something is immoral, does that make it so? Every right that was taken away from the Iranian people (women especially) was similarly explained away as being "immoral" and destructive to society as a whole. Now, these same arguments are being used in the United States to justify the restriction of rights of a minority or, rather, the rights of our friends and neighbors.

As has been proved by history, what is considered "moral" will vary greatly depending on religious and political influences. Maybe instead we need to focus on love. If we love our neighbors, wouldn't we want them to be happy? Wouldn't we want them to have the same freedoms we have? Its time for those who think gay marriage is immoral to examine a little more closely that other Christian value... "Love thy neighbor as thyself".

1 comment:

Ender said...

Oooo, this probably won't be received well. The easy answer is: "God decides what is moral," with the following, descriptions of how we know what God's will is etc...

It can be frustrating.

If I still blogged, I would probably instead mention that allowing gay marriage is a step toward morality. Somehow churchy people in this country seem to think that homosexuals are the only ones who are sexually promiscuous, and that allowing them to marry somehow promotes it. The truth is, everyone out there is having sex, and from the standpoint of someone who wants to see more restraint in this area on a social level, I applaud those who are saying, "It's not about sex for me, it's about love."

If anything, homosexuals getting married are improving the moral level of their group.