Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Religion and Homosexuality
After Watching But I’m a Cheerleader in class yesterday, I began to wonder: How does the role of religion affect gender roles and gender/sexual norms within our society? Although the United States has declared a separation of church and state, the influence of Christianity, and particularly Protestant values, is prevalent within our government, media, and “moral” social norms. Politicians have taken up moral reform as a platform for their campaigns, and issues such as gay rights have become matters of political concern. Do these issues have a place in public policy? From where do the roots of these concerns stem? I think that America’s history of passionate and at times extreme religious sects cannot be separated from our political history. In fact, religion is one of the very reasons for the colonization of this country. Although we have evolved and developed in many ways since colonization, these religious roots are still shaping the lives of many American citizens. Christian religious morals and America's history of strong religious influence have the ability to impact laws ranging from deciding what qualifies as “appropriate” gendered clothing, the limitation and punishment of certain sexual acts outside of the heterosexual norm, and the rights to cohabitation and marriage.