Sunday, May 13, 2012

As Atheists in Mississippi, We Understand the Absurdity of Voting on Rights

Same Sex MarriageAtheists in the U.S. know what it means to be a member of a tiny minority group. Atheists in Mississippi know this particularly well. In this context, I think we can all understand perfectly well why it makes no sense to put minority rights in the hands of the majority. Allowing residents of a state to vote on whether some of their neighbors are allowed to marry is ridiculous. Nobody voted on whether I could marry; why on earth would it make sense to do so for someone else?

Here in Mississippi, I have met many decent Christians. But I've also encountered some who would be perfectly thrilled with voting away our ability to marry simply because we are atheists. I've met some who would readily deny us custody of our own children for the same reason. And of course, there are plenty of employers in Mississippi who would not mind firing us if they learned of our atheism.

I don't support same-sex marriagebecause I'm an atheist; I support it because I am for equality. But I will say that my experience as an atheist in Mississippi makes me appreciate the absurdity of submitting minority rights to a public vote.

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