Friday, September 21, 2007

A storm at the Jersey Shore

We have a quaint little seaside town here in NJ called Ocean Grove. It was founded by Methodists and most of the property in the town is owned by the Camp Meeting Association who gives out 99 year ground leases. Every summer they have a big camp meeting that draws Christians from all over. Years ago they used to close the place down on Sundays. You couldn't even drive your car there. The courts made them stop that in the 70's.

Once again they are at the forefront of religious freedom litigation. They denied some Gay couples the right to celebrate their NJ Civil Unions on the boardwalk pavilion. The pavilion is used for religious services and the Camp Meeting Association felt that using the pavilion for gay civil unions would be inappropriate. They are not unexpectedly being sued.

My personal feelings on the gay rights issue is as follows.

Without going into a dissertation on why, I think homosexual conduct is a sin and is harmful to the people who engage in it.

However, I do not think that they should be punished for it or discriminated against in housing or employment.

On the other hand, I also do not believe the government should be putting a stamp of approval on it by allowing civil unions or gay marriage. Nor should Churches or religious groups or anyone else for that matter be forced to show approval for it. That is a violation of the fundamental right of religion.

This case is not about gay rights it is about whether the rest of us are going to be forced to approve of homosexual conduct whether we want to or not.

Check out this video on the issue.

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