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The marriage amendment and people of faith

wedding ring placement
REUTERS
Once marriage is redesigned to mean everything, it will mean nothing.

Since 1998, 32 states have held votes on genderless marriage, and all 32 states voted it down. Four states have Nov. 6 referendums on the issue. Maryland, Maine and Washington will have an up-or-down vote on legalizing genderless marriage. Here in Minnesota, there’s a measure to amend the state constitution to protect the current definition of marriage. Will the 0-32 losing streak end for marriage redesigners on Election Day 2012? If so, it will be in large part due to a clever strategy, a strategy not in play in previous referendums, a strategy to capture the votes of “people of faith.”

While referendum opposition groups in other states in other years have left people of faith on the sidelines or on the other side of the line, there has been a concerted effort in Minnesota to organize people of faith and secure their votes against the marriage amendment. 

Several churches, and at least one synagogue, in South Minneapolis currently display large orange banners and marquee messages on busy streets declaring, “People of Faith VOTE NO Don’t Limit the Freedom to Marry.” A passer-by might ponder the suggestion, if the person considers him- or herself a person of faith. For people of faith, faith provides a common ground for discussion of this issue.

In the Bible, Jesus lays out a clear vision of marriage

What in my faith would encourage me to vote in favor of genderless marriage?  I will comment as a Christian, but the same question should be considered by Jews, Muslims, and people of other faiths.  What is written in the holy books of your faith regarding marriage? While there is abundant scripture regarding marriage, no scripture teaching directly supports genderless marriage. In the book of my faith, the Bible, Jesus lays out a clear vision of marriage in Mark Chapter 10, as he answers an inquiry from Pharisees regarding divorce: “But from the beginning of the creation, male and female made he them. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh: so that they are no more two, but one flesh." While the Bible contains hundreds of passages regarding marriage, it does not attempt a comprehensive list of all the things that a marriage is not. 

Many biblical arguments in favor of genderless marriage focus on the ministry of Jesus, and with good cause; what better source for wisdom? References often are made to Jesus hanging out with sinners and tax collectors. Other than Jesus, all men and women who have ever walked the Earth are a member of one or both groups. A notable encounter and a favorite one of mine is Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, as told in the book of John (Chapter 4).  During their brief encounter, Jesus confronts her with her sins, shows her immeasurable mercy and grace, and gives her the free gift of salvation.  The woman’s life was transformed; her sins forgiven, and her life was on a new course. The women left her water jar, and went to town to tell others.

Faith seeks a higher power

Frequent MinnPost commenter Greg Kapphahn offered us these words in a marriage-amendment Comments discussion on Aug. 31, “For Those of Us Who Believe that the Holy Spirit is the vehicle through which God is immediately and constantly present and active in human society, ... gently, and in easily-ignored ways, whispering into our thoughts, shaping our internal visual images, nudging our hearts, bubbling new awareness up from deep within us, ... and who believe that what most people describe as "conscience" is a product of that interaction between the Holy Spirit and our own spirits, ...”

I find Greg’s words to be truth eloquently stated, but would add the caution that what we believe to be the leading of the Holy Spirit must be judged against a moral reference. Questions must be asked; is this this aligned with God’s will, is this congruent with God’s nature, is there scriptural basis for what I believe to be the leading of the Holy Spirit? Without these tests, we may be doing no more than listening to the voices in our heads. We should not be looking primarily within ourselves for the truth; faith seeks a higher power. As people of faith, our personal sense of fairness is not the best Litmus test.

What some faith leaders have to say

June 06, 2012 Quad City Times: 

DES MOINES — A prominent leader in the Iowa/Nebraska branch of the NAACP — the country’s oldest civil rights group — announced today that he is resigning as branch president and a national board member in the wake of the national organization’s decision to endorse marriage between people of the same gender.

The Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr. of the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines issued a statement saying he was stepping down from the NAACP national board and as Iowa/Nebraska state conference president “due to the NAACP’s position and support of same-sex marriage.

During a Statehouse rally in March 2011, Ratliff said his support for traditional marriage was biblically based, adding, “This isn’t a private interpretation, a Burger King religion, and by that I mean a ‘have it your way’ religion." 

Rick Warren, Saddleback Church Pastor and best-selling author, who delivered an invocation at President Obama’s inauguration, had the following to say earlier this year in an interview regarding Christian-Muslim relations:

Our culture has accepted 2 huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.

'Another Catholic Voting No'

LOOK, there is another one and yet another! While feigning ubiquity isn’t a new tactic, it may prove effective for gathering No votes in the Catholic community. What changed for Catholics voting No?  Was it God, was it the Roman Catholic faith, or was it them? In politics, the positive spin for change is “evolve”; the negative spin is “flip-flop.” To them I ask: Is faith leaving you, or are you leaving your faith?

On page 1 of the Bible (Genesis 1), we learn, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."  Though we are told plainly and early that we are created in God’s image, many believers have created a God in the image of man. The creation of marriage is recorded shortly thereafter in Genesis Chapter 2, and today it is undergoing man’s attempt at redesign. Unavoidably, once marriage is redesigned to mean everything, it will mean nothing.

Consult your God

People of faith, does marriage belong to God, or is it ours to redesign? I invite all people of faith to examine their faith, not in a knee-jerk fashion, but in a truly careful and honest examination, with an open and willing heart.

After a floating address to a big crowd gathered on the shore (Matthew Chapter 13), Jesus is asked by his disciples, “What is it with you and all these parables?” Jesus replied, “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”  Christ’s teachings  are for those with a willing heart.

Study your scripture, and seek God’s leading as you cast your vote.  

Steve Rose lives in Minneapolis.

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Comments (30)

Clear vision of marriage?

I don't think the Bible defined marriage, at least not in the way the current amendment proposes. Regardless, we live in a democracy, not a theocracy. Admonish the faithful (or non-faithful, as you would suggest) all you want, but this argument has no place in public policy.

Why is this article here?

In the US we have a policy - and a good one - of separation of Church and State.

Scriptural arguments - such as those above - are irrelevant in this argument. I know this might be hard to believe, but there are actually some rational people who do not believe in God. Thus appeals to him are really not relevant in this matter.

Please stop trying to enforce your own religious beliefs on others. No one is forcing you, or your church, to marry couples you do not wish to.

Thank you.

This is a religious issue

This is all based on what many people believe is the truth of the Bible--so it doesn't apply to those of us who don't believe the Bible has the answers. Or don't necessary believe in god. If you want to privately disagree with same-sex marriage, go right ahead, but don't block the way for the rights of those who want same-sex marriages.
This constitutional amendment is flying in the face of all the changes in our society about homosexuality especially since the 1960s. Most younger people can't understand what the problem is. I don't either.
This is a violation of church and state and when it goes to court, I hope the courts will agree. Why else is the Catholic church spending loads of money on this issue? Ignoring the big issues of poverty, homelessness, educational, income gaps and the like. What kind of a religion is that?

This isn't about the Bible

As a Christian you're free to follow your religion and it's scriptures how you see fit. That freedom is guaranteed by the constitution. No one is stepping into your church or faith and telling what you can and cannot do. However you live in a secular nation that guarantees your religious freedom by separating religion from government. No matter what you think about your Bible, you have no business imposing those beliefs on anyone else via our constitution. If you start trying to make your religious beliefs the law of the land, you invite the same divisiveness, and oppression, that characterizes theocracies.

Jesus as the Plumbline

As an addendum to my statements regarding the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, I would add (and often have added) that as we consider the things which might seem to us to be inspiration we are called to use Jesus as our plumbline;..

to measure whether what we seem to be being inspired to believe and to do will build beautifully (as in creating beautiful new realities which are harmonious with), and true (in the sense that a perpendicular post is "true") on the foundations of God's reign of love, as we see Jesus working to build it in First Century Judea,...

or whether following those inspirations would create ugliness, weaken or even tear apart the fabric of God's reign of love for all of God's creation, and, thereby, interfere with what God is always trying to build among humans within the context of the society of our own day.

For those of us who would like to believe that God inspires us only to preserve the past and maintain the status quo, it might be important to remember that this is exactly the opposite of what Jesus did in First Century Judea. Indeed, Jesus came to correct the very mistaken and misguided Jewish faith of his day - a faith whose leaders earnestly believed and loudly proclaimed was all based entirely on their own scriptures.

As is so often the case, the very human limitations of the Chief Priests, the scribes, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees prevented them from realizing how their perspectives, their "interpretations" of the ancient texts tended to serve their own interests,...

both to maintain their positions of power and status,...

and to protect and increase their own wealth.

Jesus was killed because he did what God almost always calls us humans to do - to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. The leaders of the Jewish faith in First Century Judea (a faith which afflicted and impoverished the common people in massive ways) valued their own comfort, power and status so highly that they were willing to kill God's Messiah in order to attempt to maintain those things.

More than anything else, Jesus asked God's people to change their attitudes, their religions practices, and their ideas about what it meant to be "faithful."

For example, Mr. Rose, in quoting the passage from the Tenth Chapter of Mark has completely ignored what Jesus was doing in that passage. Jesus was CHANGING the definition of marriage as given to the Jews by Moses. By Moses' definition, marriage was a very loose and unreliable structure because a man was able to walk away from his marriage by simply handing his wife a paper on which was written "I divorce you."

Mr. Rose, thereby, ignores a very substantial way that Jesus, himself, redefined marriage from the institution defined by Moses, giving it a new, and far more solid definition. Mr. Rose also ignores the way that the church, over the past two thousand years has, itself, redefined marriage.

Jesus, in the verses which immediately following those Mr. Rose quoted, says, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery." According to Jesus' own words, then, marriage is a lifelong commitment between a man and woman and divorce is completely forbidden.

This would render marriage a VERY DIFFERENT institution than it is today, because, with the exception of a few of the most deeply conservative churches, Christianity has found ways to accommodate our current understandings of how destructive and damaging some marriages can be to the couple, themselves, and to the children they are raising.

Again, in this very substantial way, the church has already redefined marriage, and redefined it in direct contradiction to the words of Jesus.

I believe that this redefinition is NOT due to lack of faithfulness on the part of the church, however, nor is it merely an accommodation to the demands of a changing society. It is, rather, a change in the definition of marriage directly in response to ways we humans are now capable of understanding our own natures, the nature of human relationships, and the reality that, we humans, because of our own limitations in understanding and foresight, sometimes make substantial mistakes which can and should be rectified.

Jesus does not address homosexuality, as such, because the societies whose relationship with God the Bible records had no understanding of basic human psychology, nor were the people of those times and places capable of realizing that some humans created by God to be attracted to members of their own gender in exactly the same ways most of their brothers and sisters are attracted to the opposite gender.

This failure by Jesus to address homosexuality directly amounts to neither rejection nor approval. It is left for us, two THOUSAND years later, to pay attention to the Jesus of the Gospels, to his life, his ministry, his teachings, his attitudes and his constant calls to us humans to change; to examine the way he embodied God's presence as walked among our ancestors in the First Century, then to extrapolate how he would treat GLBT people, today.

Please do examine the scriptures as you make your decision on this anti-gay marriage amendment, but as you do, be sure to remember that although the society and the faith of Jesus' day excluded many people: the poor, the disabled, those with birth defects, tax collectors, Samaritans (such as the Samaritan woman whose previous life make her forgiveness and acceptance by Jesus all the more radical), lepers, etc., Jesus INCLUDED all those people within the reign of God's love as he, himself defined it.

Be sure, as well, to take notice of how the nature of the relationship between God and God's people, and the nature of the faith: the beliefs and practices regarded to be "faithful" by God's people, changed through succeeding generations,...

both within the Bible, itself, and within churches over the two thousand years since the Bible was judged to be complete,...

as the ability of God's people to understand who they were, whose they were, and how God was calling them to live NOW, changed.

Perhaps you will not want to be among those who seek to stand in the way of that God-inspired, God-guided process.

Another unwitting footsoldier for intolerance

This article by Mr. Rose is merely a regurgitation of talking points put out by organizations like Minnesota for Marriage and the National Organization for Marriage, and the SPLC-certified hate group The Family Research Council. While I respect their right to their opinion, religion has no place in the crafting of public policy, and this amendment never should have been put before the people of Minnesota in the first place. The First Amendment to our Constitution forbids government inhibition or endorsement of religion, and this marriage amendment is the enshrining of a religious doctrine. Mr. Rose is free to join a religious community where they discriminate against same-sex couples. That is their prerogative to do so. But we craft secular laws for the overall public welfare, not to satisfy and pacify one religious segment of the population. I know many religious people who oppose this amendment on the grounds that it not only infringes on the rights of same-sex couples, but it also infringes on their own religious freedom.

I am an atheist. I was raised a fundamentalist Christian, and even attended a Christian college where I studied theology in addition to music. But I ultimately came to the conclusion a few years ago that there is no evidence for any of the claims of Christianity or of religion. That said, I've studied the same scriptures that Mr. Rose claims to have studied, so I understand where he is coming from. I am also a gay man now in a committed relationship, and when I came out in 2008 I scrutinized that same Bible for a year and a half to find out what it really said about my orientation. The answer is that is says nothing about committed same-sex relationships. It does, however, say a lot about treating people as you wish to be treated, and leaving the judging to God, the latter of which is something that the pro-amendment community seems all too glad to do in the name of defending marriage. If he's so concerned for defending traditional marriage, why not simply ban divorce? If he's concerned about family, why not limit marriage to only couples who are able or choose to have children? The fact that this amendment speaks to neither of these points should tell us something about its fundamental motivation.

The truth is that Mr. Rose likely doesn't fear or hate gay people. He simply doesn't care about us or the effect that even just this amendment campaign has had on our lives and our emotional well-being. We're not just another issue, like abortion, the economy, or stem cell research. We're human beings who feel, who can be hurt, and who love, and who deserve to be loved and recognized the same as opposite-sex couples are, and Mr. Rose ought to be ashamed for what he is inciting his brothers and sisters to do to their neighbors. After all, who is my neighbor?

Here's another way of putting it...

I'm an Atheist. I don't actually care what your Bible says. Why should I be bound by your religious beliefs? This is my county, and my constitution as well as yours. I don't step into your into your church and try to change your Bible to my liking, what makes you think it's a good idea to change our constitution to suit your religious beliefs? I have no problem with the Bible defining YOUR beliefs about marriage. But when you try tell me that your Bible defines MY beliefs, you're acting as an agent of repression and oppression. We've had over 200 of very little religious violence and oppression, let's keep it that way- vote "no".

Why is this article here?

As one of the commenters inquired, “Why is this article here? “

Answer: The column asks people of faith who oppose the marriage amendment, what in their faith supports their position?

If you are an atheist, this question is not directed towards you. I appreciate Greg’s response, as it addresses the question posed.

In Mark Chapter 10, Jesus does not, as you assert, redefine marriage. Verse 5: “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law, Jesus replied.” So the structure of marriage that Jesus explains is how God had always intended it be; Jesus explained why Moses wrote the divorce law. Then Jesus continues in verses 6-9 to provide a clear and succinct summary of marriage, including that the parties to a marriage are a man and a woman. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

While researching this column, I found accounts of faith groups organizing and planning their opposition to the marriage amendment, with no indication of their motivation. It seemed that their opposition had been previously concluded, and was questioned by no one. I find it puzzling that they arrived at the destination, but left no clue of the path traveled.

I'm glad the column is here on Minnpost.

This illustrates as we get down to the wire that the primary function of this amendment is to build a particular religious view into our constitution. While the article may not be directed at Atheists, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, etc (that would be all the other people of "faith" not mentioned in the column by the way) the amendment IS directed at everyone.

Didn't Make it to Paragraph 4?

"the same question should be considered by Jews, Muslims, and people of other faiths." Atheism is not a faith.

The Bible is the Bible

It's simply dishonest to claim that an article that discusses the Bible exclusively is an attempt to represent ALL religious faiths, maybe that's why the claim didn't make it into the original text.

Atheists have a lot of faith in a lot of things, God just isn't one of those things.

This is the original text ...

... MinnPost does not allow me to edit after publication.

It would be dishonest if I were to make an attempt to represent ALL religious faiths. Others can chime in regarding their faith; I make an honest account of my faith alone.

Atheist have faith that there is no God, though they cannot prove it.

Hehehe

There is so much irony in this statement: "Athiest [sic] have faith that there is no God, though they cannot prove it."

Back to the point--that is, regardless of your faith, you have the freedom to believe what you will of it because of the Federal Constitution. The same part of the Constitution that provides you with that freedom provides a similar freedom to all others. That is, your faith in God is a moot point when considering the law. What should be considered is basic public good, not faith (or lack thereof). This amendment doesn't pass the sniff test when viewed in light of the First Amendment. If you would like to live in a place where it does, I might recommend somewhere in the Middle East.

Where is the irony?

People of faith, whose faith is central to who they are, are to set aside faith on election day? Irregardless of their world view and moral compass, they are to vote for the basic public good?

Perhaps the basic public good is allowing parents to teach their children about alternate family structures when they determine it is age appropriate. Genderless marriage would embolden such teaching to children of all ages in public schools.

Irony, found

The IRONY you so fervently seek is that you attempt to use Christian (i.e., Christ-based) arguments against 'genderless marriage' when (1) Jesus said NOTHING about homosexuality, and (2) he DID say that divorce is a no-no under almost all circumstances. Which leaves the irony of you claiming to represent Christianity by espousing a position NOT taken by Jesus, and pointedly ignoring one he obviously considered very important. Where's the fervor for outlawing divorce? Oh, wait, that would inconvenience some "good Christians," wouldn't it.

Not that theology has any place in legislation anyway. If you don't want a same-sex marriage, don't enter into one. Period.

Period.

Christ provided a clear and succinct description of marriage. Does genderless marriage fit that description? No. As I previously stated, the Bible does not provide an unabridged list of everything that a marriage is not. Because the Bible does not tell me not to kick my dog, I get the green light?

If marriage is redefined in Minnesota, I will have a genderless marriage. There will be no difference in the marriage of same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Gender will not be a requirement and we will all have genderless marriages. Period.

GOT YA

If you are Christian, it would be Jesus or God who defines your marriage, correct? Or even more logically, that all marriages are unique and it would be the couple themselves who define their own marriage. Not some legislation in the state. And so this gets to the REAL point here and what this is really about. This is about you wanting a man given priviledge. You want to feel special in the eyes of other men. That is not Christian. And it certainly defies The Golden Rule. You stated it yourself, "If marriage is redefined in Minnesota, I will have a genderless marriage. There will be no difference in the marriage of same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Gender will not be a requirement and we will all have genderless marriages. Period." ----Where is your faith sir? Why are you so enthralled with how a secular society defines your civil marriage? They are not altering your Bible or redefining Biblical marriage. So how the heck does Minnesota have power over your definition of Biblical marriage? Furthermore, the term genderless marriage is non-sensical. Every person is either man or woman or both so how would a marriage be genderless? It is impossible. Unless you know of a person who is actually an "IT".

Got Not

My point regarding all marriages being genderless was in response to the previous comment advice, "If you don't want a same-sex marriage, don't enter into one. Period." Marriage is marriage, and after genderless marriage is legal, there will be only one definition of marriage.

The term genderless marriage certainly is not nonsensical. If marriage laws make no requirement of gender, then marriage is genderless. Look at the application for marriage in Iowa; it is available online. Applicants are not required to state their gender.

Here's the irony

Faith by definition denies certainty and cannot be confirmed by proof. Fundamentalists are the only people who don't seem to grasp this. As for the rest, you're not voting on your faith, your voting to disregard basic human dignity, and pretending that's an act of faith. If you want to read an Existential Atheists take on it you can check out my latest blog:

http://pudstrand.fatcow.com/blog/?p=578

"people who don't seem to grasp this"

You seemed to be speaking for others. Personally, I have never encountered a person who doesn't grasp that faith denies certainty. I have however encountered atheists that don't seem to grasp that they cannot prove atheism, that it requires faith.

Since you have no experience as part of a faith group opposing the marriage amendment, we are a bit off topic. I noticed the shameless shilling for your blog, which I will not be checking out.

Thanks for keeping the thread alive until election day.

You have your logic

You have your logic backwards.

There is no need to "prove" atheism.

Unless you know all things ...

Unless you know all things, how can you know that there is no God?

Knowing all things

Unless you know all things, how can you know that there IS a god? However, since knowing all things is distinctly in the realm of things only God can do, we must rely on faith. While it is true that atheism (belief that there is no god) also requires faith, and the burden of proof is harder when proving a negative, all the evidence favors the atheists.

Only the agnostics have it wholly correct, though.

Regardless, whether or not there is a god, the First Amendment allows you believe what you will, but not enshrine your faith in law.

The First Amendment Extends to Beliefs?

"the First Amendment allows you [sic] believe what you will, but not enshrine your faith in law."

The First Amendment allows me to say what I will. As a person of faith, who believes that God designed marriage, I will vote to support God's design, which is already enshrined in law.

This amendment does not address civil unions, which are a strictly secular construct.

God's design enshrined into law

Civil marriage is a secular construct as well. If was not then atheists couldn't get married or marriage would only be recognized if performed in a church. Our gov't is a secular gov't so when they define things they have to base it on that. It just so happens in nature that most people are straight and seek marriage of the opposite sex whether they believe in god or not. And that the initial intent of marriage was to encourage responsible procreation for the benefit of children. This a secular argument I am making here. Not a Biblical one. That being said. There are children of gay couples who deserve the same diginity as children of straight couples. And not only that, you fly in the face of the Golden Rule which isn't Christian at all. You engage in the bigoted intolerant side of religion, but then ignore some of its treasures or good teachings. I don't get it. Why do you choose this? You could simply not vote at all. You wouldn't be voting against Biblical marriage and you wouldn't be violating the Golden Rule. Which is why I think you are seeking earthly treasures in this life. The idea of having power and oppressing another.

Proof and faith

Steve, the more you try to argue this more you demonstrate your confusion about the nature and requirements of faith. I'm not attacking you personally, "faith" is the subject of your article therefore your grasp of it is a legitimate topic.

It's simple, do you have to prove there is no spaghetti monster orbiting the earth in order to believe there is no spaghetti monster circling the earth? Or do you have to prove there is no spaghetti monster orbiting the earth in order to simply not believe there is no spaghetti monster orbiting the earth? According your logic you yourself MUST believe in spaghetti monsters since you cannot PROVE they don't exist. Obviously that's absurd.

No form of reason or logic requires that we prove the things we don't believe in don't exist. Proof is required only if we want to declare the existence of something BEYOND faith. The fact that you are demanding proof simply demonstrates that you have no faith, you substitute certainty for faith and must believe contrary to reality that faith requires "proof" of some kind. In truth there is no proof that can verify faith. And by the way, the absence of proof is not proof. Beyond that you obviously aren't able to recognize the difference between faith and "not faith". The result of that logic is to label everything anyone thinks as faith. Listen, we don't "believe" 2 x2 = 4 because we have "faith" in mathematics.

The point I'm making is kind of obvious; look how incredibly difficult it is for people like Steve to consider or understand different perspectives. Once and while such people step out of the shadows and pretend to be champions of "faith" who would dictate our conscience and duties. Is this the kind of mentality you want to use to change our constitution?

Evidence for a Spaghetti Monster?

Look out the window, and you will see evidence of God, or what I will call a creator for purpose of this discussion.

The mere presence of a creation points to a creator. What are the chances that all we see in the universe around us merely occurred by chance? Study a group of insects, for instance a bee colony, and explain how that structure and organization came to be without any outside organizing influence. Out of chaos came order and extremely detailed order? It would require a lot of faith to believe that it was neither designed nor created, it just happened. Yes, it just happened; I am sticking with that.

And there we have it

No faith. You don't have faith in God despite lack of evidence, in fact you don't seem to even be able to conceive of faith. You believe only because you think you see evidence. You want argue about "proof" when there is no proof.

In the meantime, the answer my question as to whether people want to put this kind of mentality into the constitution is... "NO".

I don't have faith in God?

Perhaps you were thinking of yourself with that statement. And, the argument about "proof" was all yours as well; I never took your bait on that topic. I wrote about evidence, faith, and creation.

I would like to end my participation in this conversation with a verse from the Book of Hebrews Chapter 13, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

I hope this is changing

For decades I've wondered how and why Christians in America let all these people from Pat Roberts to James Dobson act as the voice of Christianity in America. These people have no viable concept of faith, and frankly no viable concept of religion. You wouldn't believe how many times acolytes of such people have declared Atheism to be a religion, you can have no viable concept of religion and make that claim.

I hope this is changing. I know there are thoughtful and compassionate people of faith. In fact I know most people of faith are thoughtful and compassionate. Don't think for a minute that Atheists put these amendments down last yesterday, there aren't enough of us to do that. I would guess around 98% of those who voted against these amendments were religious people. Are we finally reaching the point where decent people of faith are taking back their voice from these faithless blowhards and bullies? I hope so.