Marriage Equality and Prohibition

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“The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in the United States is closely connected with this.” Albert Einstein

They tried it – tried to ‘shut down sin’ by prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol.

It didn’t work.

On a recent weekend in San Antonio, we learned that a place called the Esquire Tavern opened the day after Prohibition was repealed. How could that be? How could it be up-and-running the day after Prohibition? Because, according to the riverboat operator, it was running all along. Ah! It went from a secret bar to an open bar.  Of course.

Prohibition did not end alcohol sale or consumption. It only proved that government is not capable of enforcing such a sweeping law, any more than it could stop gay marriage, or help “turn gays straight” with so-called “therapy.”

get-attachment.aspxMeanwhile, the cost of Prohibition, was exorbitant, as it paved the way for organized crime. It decimated the winemaking industry, taking down family farms and livelihoods in the process.

It also increased alcohol consumption! Of course it did: that’s what spurious laws produce.

“Ingenious California grape growers introduced a product they named Vine-Glo. While they weren’t permitted to make wine, the growers could still make grape juice. They sold their juice with instructional material telling consumers what not to do, lest their juice turn to wine in sixty days.”  Wink. Wink.

Or, to use Paul’s words: You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them.

Just so you know, Marriage Equality is coming. It’s only a matter of time, and not much time.

It’s the right thing. It is in line with the truth and the heart of God.

But the cost of fighting against it is exorbitant. The cost to the legal system is huge, but it’s pennies next to the cost to people — who’ve been led to believe God hates them (God does NOT hate them), who’ve been led to believe they are going to hell (no), and who are cast out of churches and families and communities for just wanting to live and love as they were created to do (in God’s name? — unfathomable).

Marriage Equality will soon be here.

Let’s not destroy each other in the meantime.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Marriage Equality and Prohibition

  1. Fascinating piece.

    I have asked various Catholic & Protestant leadership over the years if they believed it was w/in the Church’s purview to “legislate morality.” Needless to say, I received a wide variety of responses — many of which raised yet more compelling questions about church, state, and this unmerited favor we call grace.

    For example, if the answer is YES, it is a role of the church to legislate morality by teaching law, forbidding certain practices, policing behavior, and enforcing a reward/penalty system to control and modify behavior, then do laws of the state concerning those moral issues then violate the separation of church and state?

    If the answer is NO, it is not a role of the Church to legislate morality, and we depend on pure grace to “keep things in check” as the original Latin of prohibition (prohibere) asserts, then how practical is it, really, to expect society to fully embrace a life of “moderation” spiritually, and stay out of trouble civilly?

    Even though our Founding Fathers applied the laws and principles of Westernized Christianity with a legal and social structure that perpetuates a majority vote, the history of civil rights in this country gives me hope in how the majority viewpoint can shift… and in a relatively short time thanks to the rising voices of faith and reason like yours. Keep it up! You serve such a vital role. Brilliantly. Thank you.

    I am not content to surrender to a “bipolar” compartmentalization of mind, body, spirit to appease societal comfort. Instead of forced to live a fractured life, I pray for the freedom for all men to pursue the wholeness of happiness.

  2. As you know, Massachusetts was the first state to legalize marriage equality ten years ago. I was talking to a man from Boston and he told me there are no such things as “gay bars” or “gay specific” anything really remaining in Boston. He said they are no longer needed. Separation is no longer required. Reminded me of the time in the South, were I am from, when there were colored drinking fountains and colored waiting rooms. Now they are just drinking fountains and waiting rooms. Can’t wait until marriage equality has progressed that far …

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