One thing that people of religious backgrounds, especially Christians who think they have been wronged by gay people gaining the same rights and responsibilities that straight people have had for years, is that they will tell you religion is very sacred to them. But they’ll also tell you that religion is something that is protected by our Constitution here in the United States. Indeed, that first amendment states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
So honestly, it is confusing to me when I read that US District Court Judge John Gerrard ruled that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster isn’t a real religion. He stated that it was a parody, brought forth by those who were trying to fight creationism being taught in Kansas. And indeed, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was started by a man during that time, in response to what Kansas was doing. Gerrard ruled that the religion was only a parody, and thus did qualify as a “real religion”, ruling against a Nebraska man who is serving time in a prison that prohibits him from worshiping the way that his religion calls for.
While the case may be called “silly” by some, it’s a fundamental crack in the wall of what the State considers a religion – and that’s dangerous. What if an anti-Islam judge rules that Muslim people are not worthy of having their religious views respected? What if a gay judge rules that people like Pat Robertson and all those of the same ilk that are virulently anti-gay disqualifies Judeo-Christian values as a religion? Would that be right?
So while we are a nation that respects people for their deeply held religious beliefs, as well as the right to have no religious beliefs, we have honestly not only a step back for personal rights, but have started down a dangerous path from which there could be no turning back.