I’m afraid the good people of One Voice Virgin Islands just don’t get it, and they never will.
At their press conference/rally July 24 – ironically staged in Emancipation Garden – they gave the ballgame away and didn’t even notice.
They said they oppose Sen. Judi Buckley’s marriage equality bill "because of Biblical principles." Exactly. Game over. They lose.
No one is saying they’re wrong about what the Bible says. No one is saying they’re wrong to believe in the Bible. That’s not the point. The point is – and this is what they’ll never understand – what the Bible says on a matter of civil law is irrelevant.
The Bible has nothing to do with this.
In this country we’ve got a thing called the First Amendment. It says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …" That means government can’t use the law to advance one set of religious beliefs over another, and it can’t use religion to direct government action.
So the members of One Voice are free to believe whatever they want. They can believe the Bible condemns homosexuality. I’m not saying it doesn’t. I just don’t care. They are NOT free to use government to force their religious beliefs on other people. They can proselytize, yes. Evangelize, sure. Argue and try to convince? Always.
Use government to force their religious beliefs on people who don’t share them? No. Of course not. Forbidden under the First Amendment.
This is a debate about civil laws, not religious precepts. Churches have the absolute right to refuse to recognize same-sex unions as sanctified marriage approved in their Bible. They just aren’t allowed to say their Bible trumps the rights of citizens who don’t believe in it.
Until One Voice comes up with an argument against marriage equality that is not based on "Biblical principles," they have nothing to contribute to the discussion.
But they don’t get that, and I fear they never will.