Should the Government Make Lifestyle Choices?

So, the past week has had me thinking a lot on the gay marriage issue.  The religious stance (most religions don’t accept homosexuality) versus the government stance (it’s a civil right).  I’ve always split the two, choosing to keep my biblical view separate from the secular/legal view.  However, as I was forming an argument for not using the Bible as a grounds for government law and action I found myself asking “Where does the slippery slope go?”

Why should gay marriage be allowed?  Because it violates an individuals constitutional right to equality.  Therefore two people who love each other should be allowed to get married.  But then where do we stand as a society when it comes to Polygamy and Incest?  If it’s consenting adults who love each other, why should the state say it’s wrong?  But where does it go from there?

As I thought about this I googled the question and found a great article from the Council for Secular Humanism asking the same question.  In it they conclude by saying “that the state should not abuse the power to prosecute people or forcibly remove their children… because authorities don’t approve of their ‘lifestyle’.”  This could be a scary thing in both directions, because who will ultimately decide which lifestyles are appropriate?  Either the government says “It’s your life do what you want as long as you aren’t harming others” or they set some sort of boundaries.  But how and who sets the boundaries?

As US culture continues to shift with the growth of non-believers, Muslims, Hindus, and many other beliefs the ability of the government to enforce a standard (and Christian) agenda will become increasingly complex.  Eventually won’t setting guidelines about marriage wind up alienating groups other than the LGBT community?

But then why limit it to marriage only?  With a push towards a nationalized healthcare system, why shouldn’t the government provide regulations on consumption?  New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is already looking to ban soda’s larger than 16 ounces.  What next, no more king size snickers bars?  Or maybe employers are required to give a 20 minute exercise period during the work day.

It’s not an easy question and one that further complicates the gay marriage question for religious faithful even further.  When all is said and done, won’t there always be one group who is struggling for their equal treatment under the Bill of Rights?


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