What Part of “Secular” Do You Not Understand?

Selling flowers or wedding cakes to a same-sex couple, or even issuing marriages licenses is not the same as being a part of a same-sex wedding ceremony. Usually no one invites their florist to their wedding anyway. However, you cannot simply disagree to do your job because of whatever religious beliefs you have. If a Muslim person worked at a grocery store but refused to handle any pork products because of their faith, they would be fired. So it is a wonder how some Christians can still have so much privilege and power and continue to ask for more.

There is no war on religion. Around 80% of the U.S. population identifies as Christian. And regardless of whatever conspiracy theories are floating around, Obama is a Christian as well. Maintaining the right to freedom of religion and trying to enforce your beliefs on others without consequence from the law are two very different things.

And while Kim Davis may be in prison momentarily, there are an alarming amount of people who support her. But the fact of the matter is that your religion does not give you a free pass to do whatever you want. When it comes to the government, it should have no power whatsoever. Everyone has their own individual beliefs and that’s great, but this persistent urge to involve Christianity in a secular government is ridiculous, especially when it comes to homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Why these alleged straight people of God have such a profound obsession with homosexuality, I know not. But I am tired of hearing the same rhetoric over and over again. We get it. You think everyone is a sinner and you still “love” gay people, you just hate the sin. How heartwarming. The thing is though, I don’t care. A lot of people don’t care. You don’t have to marry someone of the same sex, and no one has the right to force you to attend a same-sex wedding. And you also might believe same-sex marriage is illegitimate compared to “traditional” marriage, but a lot of people are gay, or LGBT, or they know someone who is. And the difference between your personal religious beliefs and the lives of these LGBT individuals is that their plight is evident and factual, and using your religion to strip people of their rights is anything but “Christian.”


Author: Catherine Caruso

Writer of words. Lover of dogs.

57 thoughts on “What Part of “Secular” Do You Not Understand?”

  1. Oh my gosh, are you willing to come over here and take Indian citizenship and shout all this out from the rooftop? 😀 Replace Christianity with Hinduism, though..
    Here, they have coined a word for us people, who dare go against their narrative – “Pseudosecular”. (Never mind the fact that it is a ridiculous word.. but the internet is strewn with the bodies of cretins who do not know the meaning of secular in the first place and then think they are too clever (by half) to ridicule or demean other people who talk sense as pseudosecular).

  2. So much is wrong with religion, it’s not even funny. I was raised Christian but “out grew it” LONG ago. There’s so much I could say, it would take several pages of blog posts to discuss the issues with religion, but hey, I’m a non conformist and don’t belong to any group or organization, so maybe I’m just a little biased 🙂

      1. I went back to Christianity, after I outgrew it…once you engage with the world outside the “walls,” you understand its premise more clearly, and learn that it’s about the challenges of living your faith. If you are focused on your life’s mission, you have little time to condemn someone else on a different path. We each come to our truth in our own way…
        As for Kim Davis, me thinks she was elected to do a specific job, knowing full well its requirements. She refuses to do it, and should be recalled… then she can take up her cause without politicians holding her hands high, and the theme song from Rocky ridiculously blaring after six days in a clean jail surrounded by her friends. She knows nothing of the persecution of Christians whose very lives are in the balance…she seems on a publicity high, and needs to come back down to earth where she belongs.

  3. I was nodding in agreement to such a ridiculous extent that my head nearly came off! Seriously though, had you asked me just ten years ago, you would have found a faithful acolyte who wouldn’t have thought twice about stripping gay HUMAN BEINGS of their rights. There’s no point in me feeling ashamed of this. I’m only glad that I’ve seen the error of my ways. Now, all we need is for same-sex marriage to be legalised in Australia. (It must surely only be a matter of time!)

  4. Wonderfully written. People hide behind religion to explain their prejudice. They then wonder why the religion is tainted in the eyes of some. Regardless of what explanation they give treating another differently or denying them their right to live life to the fullest is wrong.

  5. This is an unusual issue, one one hand I’m not in any position to tell people what they should believe, but on the other, as you said, it is the job of the florist etc. to be secular

  6. Thank you!

    There is a big difference between a Clerk of the Court refusing to issue a marriage license and thereby obstructing the rights of the couple marry in accordance with the law, and a private florist or baker refusing to accept a commission to provide items for a wedding thereby making the happy couple find another vendor to provide them with the flowers or cake for their wedding. The former deserves to be in prison for obstructing someone’s civil rights. The latter deserves to lose the commission for the service they refuse to provide. My opinion is that they deserve to be boycotted by people of conscience as well. The beauty of a free market is that they may also profit from their choice by finding a host of equally bigoted and prejudicial idiot. Public servants surrender the right to act on their personal beliefs if so doing restricts the civil liberties of the public they serve.

  7. I have been following the news on this issue, and it’s utterly ridiculous. Whoever claims that God/religion/so-called “free speech” trumps legislation rights is being elitist. Like really, who says that you were entitled to be above the law? Crazy how we’ve just legalized same-sex marriage, and people out there who don’t support it are getting their revenge by twisting the law. Huge disappointment in the U.S.

  8. Great post! I think religion and politics are something that should NEVER be mixed. Our basic human rights have nothing to do with faith. It’s a shame that people like Kim Davis get so much attention, because she is being regarded as a modern day prophet when in truth she is just an ignorant, hypocritical bigot. I have utmost respect for peoples beliefs and religions, especially when they differ to mine because I would never want to disrespect someone intentionally. It’s a shame that isn’t the mentality most people follow.

  9. A segment of American and Canadian population have taken a specific concept and used it with generalized terms. A kind of inverse of the way people use the word Kleenex to refer to facial tissues. They are all Kleenexes.

    What has happened is they have taken the concept of holy matrimony which is a religious ritual done in conjunction with getting married and applied it their understanding of of all marriages.

    Marriage is a social and legal union between two people. This union is recognized by law and society as a whole. Such unions may be agreed to through co-habitation and create a common-law marriage. Other forms of such a union involve legal witnessing and documentation before a representative designated by the government. A celebration with family and friends may follow a declaration of union.

    The definition of marriage which defaults to a religious context also tends to include a very limited understanding of gender societal roles, sexuality and gender identity.

    In the end ,the disruption caused when people with this poor grasp of law and language try to impose their misplaced beliefs on others is nothing to sneeze at – even though their beliefs have as much legal weight as a used Kleenex (of any brand).

  10. I saw a news story last night that is somewhat on topic–it made my head swim. The issue was whether a coach should be fired for wanting to pray before his team began the football game–since schools no longer permit prayer on their grounds. As I understood the story, the team was not forced to participate, though many of them were fine with it and showed vocal support for this coach they respect and admire….I just don’t see how prayer on school property can hurt anybody (assuming it’s not mandated/coerced); and surely there are more important things to get in a big fuss about, no? So the end result was that, to avoid losing his job, the coach quietly went out on the field–before anyone was around–to say his prayer.

    1. “The issue was whether a coach should be fired for wanting to pray before his team began the football game–since schools no longer permit prayer on their grounds. As I understood the story, the team was not forced to participate, though many of them were fine with it and showed vocal support for this coach they respect and admire”

      J. Lapis,
      I respect your position, but there is a flaw in it that I must point out. I went to elementary school in the 50’s, before the many Supreme Court decisions on school prayer. I am Jewish and came from an observant family. We didn’t celebrate Christmas, or Easter. Yet as a young child I was “coerced” into participating in both rituals. Whether it was decorating a class tree, or singing Christmas Carols in a special assembly, taking part in a “Secret Santa”or painting Easter eggs. I wasn’t coerced…..yet in fact I really was because at elementary school ages children tend to be afraid of not conforming. Realistically, they are looked at askance by their fellow students and by teachers as being “different” and nitpicking.

      As for a football team saying prayers before a game I have always found that to be rather bizarre. Does God take sides. Is God such a micro-manager,, that whether or not a given player scores a touchdown, or is injured, is something God determines. To my mind the idea itself is almost blasphemous. The idea that the Creator of this amazing and endless Universe, pays close attention to each little detail of every living organisms life, is to diminish the image of God.

      God is either the Creator of all things, or God is merely a puppet-master over all of us. If you see God as the puppet-master, controlling every aspect of people’s existence than we are merely puppets with no free will since our paths are ordained. I know that neither Christianity, nor Judaism believes in that doctrine, since “free will” is essential to their beliefs. If that is so, then the ideas that some supposedly religious people express regarding prayer is touching on blasphemy by demeaning the concept of their God. That was expressed beautifully in this Janis Joplin song:

      1. Thanks for your comment, Mr Spindell. I’m sorry if you were offended, and that your school experience during a time when prayer and Christian activities was part of the deal was so difficult. My only remaining thought, which disagrees with yours, is that indeed God DOES take interest in EVERY detail of His children’s lives–the Bible says He knows the exact number of every hair on our heads. I’m afraid to offend your further by saying saying “God Bless You”–so have a good day.

      2. J. Lapis,

        I wasn’t offended by your remarks, merely I disagree with part of what you have to say. I don’t disparage your right to believe as you wish. I dispute, however, the need that some people have to impose their religious beliefs on me, my wife, my children and my grandchildren.

        “I’m afraid to offend your further by saying saying “God Bless You”–so have a good day.”

        You wouldn’t offend me by saying “God Bless you”, to me because I have no problem believing it would be said with sincerity. I come from a large family of 16 aunts and uncles on both sides. Many of my relatives were deeply religious people and for the most part they were exceptionally good human beings. I don’t hate religion, nor do I hate religious people. My parents closest friends were all quite devotedly Catholic. I’ve also had many friends that were of other Christian denominations. I’ve spent Christmases at their homes singing carols. I’ve attended Christmas Mass at St. Patricks Cathedral in NYC. I’ve attended funerals in bapatist churches. I ‘ve attended Greek Orthodox weddings and felt moved at all of these services. I love Gospel Music as well. I’m neither anti-Christian, nor am I anti deep religious faith. However, since I have my own deep beliefs, honed over 70 years of life, I reject those in our country who would try to impose their beliefs upon me, or those I care for. In writing what I did there was no intention of me saying that you numbered among those who views I disagree with, merely I was stating my position.

      3. Well, I hope we’re squared away now and can put this conversation aside. It’s not my job, nor my desire to impose my beliefs on others… Your position is quite clear, and I don’t feel compelled to further detail/defend mine.

  11. I try to stay anti-politic (as I subscribe to none) but THANK YOU! People have no idea what the separate of Church and State mean. Idiots. Absolute idiots.

    Even the zealots don’t seem to get all the government did was its job! Two people can marry!! It never said the church had to abide by its mandates. (Ya know the whole separation piece).

    I said once to a family member who was talking to me about my own service in Iraq: “what are you going to do when you die and find yourself in the line to ‘heaven’ with a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Sikh? Because I’m pretty sure God is God man…”

    He was flabbergasted.

    Rock on sister! Thanks again for this post.

  12. it appears that someone had hoped that they would be able to flout the Kim Davis incident into a massive “cause” that would rally the “Christian” followers. A couple of candidates dashed down to Kentucky to try to exploit the case. We can only hope that there isn’t a snake-in-the-grass waiting for an opportunity to jump back in. The so-called meeting with Pope Francis back-fired …as it appears that the much touted meeting was engineered mainly to embarrass the Pope. Sounds like a bad movie.
    I admire your blog, and respect and agree with you so far. 😃

  13. Hi rejectreality. I am always amazed at how we make life a big drama in a lot of situations. While all the time our tiny planet hurtles through space at high speed. Certainly gives me a reality check. I would love all humans to be understanding and love each other but that will never happen. Always so nice to hear from you. Thank you for liking my poem Despair! Peace and Best Wishes.The Foureyed Poet.

  14. Thanks you so much for the post! Although I’m probably a little late reading it…

    Forgive me, but I just had to laugh a little at “Usually no one invites their florist to their wedding anyway” which is, of course, perfectly true – except in Imagine Me & You 😉

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