The most damaging consequence of the rationalist paradigm pursuant to which we reflexively ascribe legitimacy to the most illogical of assumptions is the validation of injurious and hateful beliefs. This rule seems to obtain most in the religious arena, especially when church dogma and ritualistic doctrines are perceived to be under threat.
Such is the case with respect to gay rights and the movement in Illinois to grant the legal recognition of secular marriage to gay couples.
Gay rights are the civil rights issues of our era. We should applaud the efforts of Illinois representatives who have arisen from the normal muck of Illinois politics to progressively advance recognition to a group of men and women, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends to whom the promises of the country remain elusive.
The religious-based opposition to gay marriage illustrates the elevation of doctrine over the putative Christian values of compassion, empathy and love. The perpetuation of such blinkered thinking not only threatens to accelerate the obsolescence of institutionalized religion as a means of spiritual expression but to ensure its fate as a cultural anachronism.