I was chatting with my friend Carl the other day. "I am so weary of having my rights being treated as a political football." I know how he feels. These last two weeks have been horrid and now that we have had this passed forward to the 3rd day after the official end of the session in Albany the frustrations just build.
I was feeling charitable enough on Monday to remind him that this is part of price of democracy. If we were in a totalitarian state there would be no hope. It always reminds me of the reason I am proud to be an Episcopalian. Our polity, and the hard work of many years of prophetic and energetic leaders, has allowed us to move forward on issues of radical welcome for LGBT persons. In the Roman Catholic church this has not happened. It is a patriarchy that cannot evolve.
This charity is fleeing as theocrats attack me.
The United States of America and New York State are republics, representative democracies. The rights of minorities can be protected when government sees and acts on these inequities. The genius of the founders is not in what they did, but what they prepared for. The prepared a system that could react to slavery, and eventually actions striking down Jim Crow laws. They prepared the way for the right of women to vote though they could hardly have imagined it. The founders knew that there would be things that they could not imagine. The system was established with this in mind. Today we call in visionary.
The "separation of church and state" is similarly worded in a broad way. It simply says that there shall be no state religion. We are not and cannot be a theocracy. The wisdom of this is all too evident in many parts of the world today.
And yet those who want purport to worship the Constitution cannot see its true brilliance. Many of these same people fail to see the same brilliance in Scripture.
They chose to sacrifice the human rights of others on the altar of their personal beliefs. Sadly many of these are Christian.
Let us all pray that the human rights of all are defended in the NYS Senate this week and that the United States of America never become a theocracy.