Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –
I know that you, as a public officer, ought to be immune from using the Bible to justify public policy, but there was something in yesterday’s Gospel that reminded me why we should be particularly suspicious of those who claim “tradition” or “God’s will” as the reason for doing something, in this case excluding same-sex couples from the security of marriage.
According to Mark (Mark 7:1-23), Jesus was criticized by the scribes and Pharisees for failing to perform a ritual hand washing. He uses the opportunity to teach “how well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!” We learn that it is not the ritual that God wants, but the following of God’s commandment to love others as you love yourself.
I believe that when you annulled my marriage in 2004 and vetoed AB 849 in 2005, you were acting to “defend marriage” without thinking of the consequences to me and my family. I can’t imagine that you would like it if somebody annulled your marriage to Maria, but you did it to me.
As you consider the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, I wish you would use your mind to think about which tradition God would want you to defend: the tradition of hate or the tradition of love; then sign AB 43 and support the freedom to marry.