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It is happening in the Brazilian Congress an attempt to prohibit same-sex marriage. This would be obviously unconstitutional, since the Brazilian Supreme Court assured such right in 2011 and the Brazilian legal system follows the principle of non-regression of fundamental rights. Despite that, the outdated law will be voted soon.

Its Rapporteur, Congressman Minister Eurico (an Evangelical Preacher), justified his views on religious grounds in order to change the Brazilian Civil Code and prohibit gay marriage. The argument is that marriage is a religious institution and, therefore, it should respect religious principles (Christian ones in Brazil).

To refute this argument, it possible to use the late and great British writer C.S. Lewis, mostly famous as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia. Anglican, he also wrote several works in defenses of Christian faith, like “Mere Christianity” (published in 1952, based on his BBC speeches between 1941 and 1944), where we can find this passage about divorce:

Before leaving the question of divorce, I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The Christian conception of marriage is one: the other is the quite different question — how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. A great many people

seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself, you should try to make divorce difficult for everyone. I do not think that.  At least I know I should be very angry if the Mohammedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine. My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognize that the majority of the British people are not Christians and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not.

In the 40’s, the respected scholar knew how important the separation of church and state is, and the difference between civil and religious life is. It is quite easy to apply his reasoning to the current debate about same sex marriage.

Let us think of Brazil, a country mostly Christian (more Catholic than Evangelical), but with people from several religions (including those who do not have a religion, like Atheists and Agnostics). Should it be prohibited to drink alcohol because of Muslims? Should it be illegal to eat beef not to offend the Hindus, or of pork for it goes against the faith of Muslims and Jews? Certainly, such prohibitions would extremely be unfair to people who do not follow those religions; likewise, it would be the prohibition of same sex marriage for those not followers of Christianity. There are some who claim that since most Brazilians are Christian, those are the values that should prevail. Well, Brazil is mostly a Catholic Country (like this post author); would the big number of Evangelicals in Brazil accept the imposition of Catholic values, strange to Protestantism, in their lives? It is also important to remember that the are passages in the Old Testament that almost no one follows today that commands people not to eat shrimps of dress certain kind of clothing.

Therefore, dear readers, it is vital to understand that the separation of Church and State is not a trick to exclude the Christian faith or to impose Atheist values; it is essential in any democratic country, because it protects everyone, including religious people.

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