Religion and the same-sex marriage amendment

Several listeners taking in this afternoon’s rebroadcast of last night’s forum on Minnesota’s same sex marriage constitutional amendment noticed that a lot of it was dueling Bible passages.

They’ve let us know they noticed that:

This discussion is so incredibly far off base it is absolutely incredible. As the discussion went on during the “MPR Debate: Constitutional amendment on marriage,” all I heard, over and over again, was Jesus and the Bible define marriage and the law must follow the Bible. While in their own context that’s true, government must support ALL the people, not just Christians and their theology. The desire to marry and enjoy all the benefits of the laws of the land that surround marriage has NOTHING to do with religion it has to do with civil law. Thus, engaging in a religious debate is simply false. Where are the voices of Buddhists, Atheists, Jews, Wiccans, etc? Where are the voices of the average American with no religious axe to grind? Admittedly, the reason you invited Reverend Jerry McAfee because religion has been extremely vocal on this issue. But, frankly, I am tired of being preached at by Christians who are continuing to try to do with legislation and the vote, what they have failed to do with persuasion. — James Garlough, Apple Valley

Listening today to the debate on the marriage amendment, it seems to me a glaring lack of attention is on the need to strengthen the separation of church and state in our country. A sub topic is the 3 branches of government balancing each other.

Health care debate, marriage ammendment, role of the judiciary, a preacher saying that our countries law should be based on the bible? What about separation of church and state?

I am a Catholic, who is all for freedom of religion and also for granting the civil right to marriage to lesbians and gays as a way to strengthen marriage and family.

By the way, the Catholic church states that: “the Church’s leaders are to avoid endorsing or opposing candidates or telling people how to vote” (US Conference of Catholic Bishops) Many of us question if they should be campaigning for amendments. The hierarchy is treading a fine line on their own teachings. — Sue Nichols/St. Paul

Voting “NO’ does not remove the protections of the constitutional concept of separation of church and state. I would argue voting “YES” tricks us into doing just that. Why impose religious values on marriage from a governmental perspective? Christians are not the only ones who can be married. Children are not taught only Christians have rights. Why discuss religious issues in school at all? Different religions are free in this country to define marriage in their own way. — Fritzie Borgwardt/Edina

If you removed the religion from the public discourse of government, what would this debate sound like?