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Freedom has to become more than just hollow word

Last week President Obama made public his ‘evolved’ view on an issue he could no longer ride the fence on. But what struck me was not the incredibly late response on an equal-rights issue by a man deemed a liberal President, but the backward response by many of our citizens.

The fact that we even debate on a government level the ability for two people who love each other to marry brings to light an even darker issue within our country—the issue of control.

There is a reason why the founders of our nation made clear the distinct separation between church and state. It was not a direct attack on any particular faith, but an attack on the human desire to control those who think differently.

They knew that the only reason the church would mingle in government would be to legislate their own views of morality—as if any person has a monopoly on right. In essence, waging a bloodless crusade against their own citizens, fighting not for land but dominion over and subjugation of the individual

However, though we who support the right for same-sex couples to marry do not claim such monopoly nor do we seek validation in ancient words, we do see clearly what is wrong in a society where love is legislated and freedom exists as long as it fits within the narrow confines of religious hypocrisy.

We who aren’t blinded by the bitter words of a faith that claims to bestow love but too often shriek with a reactionary cringe towards those who are different from them.

Those who claim they are defending the ancient tradition of marriage, but are merely warring against a love they do not understand and in their own unhappiness seek the destruction of others.

Until we realize in this country that freedom is not just a word that one uses to portray aura patriotism or to justify bloodshed, but an idea that is always threatened by those promising to preserve it.

Until we as nation decide that disagreement does not vindicate control, but is a necessary part of living in a free society, freedom will continue to be merely a word. An empty battle cry for a cause doomed from the start by our own unwillingness to allow others to be free

Tony Burge, Jr.