It's fun to read the letters to the editor. One learns so much about the way other people think (or don't!). Last month someone decided to give everyone the benefit of her deep thought and reasoned argument. She was upset that Proposition 8 was being challenged in court:
We have the right to preserve and protect the definition of marriage. We did so, twice. We have voted. Judge Vaughn Walker should uphold our vote and not be swayed by the unhappy minority. Judges are to interpret the law, not make the law. Again, the majority has voted. Uphold the vote and be done with it. Quit listening to the minority of California.So there!
I guess it doesn't matter that this might be a matter of fundamental human rights. A majority of the voting population should be allowed to trample upon them. (I also presume that the letter-writer sees no significance in the falling level of support for hetero-only marriage in the two votes she cites. Third time could be the charm! It ain't over, baby.)
Nevertheless, the writer's abasement before the god of majority rule makes me wonder how far she would allow it to be taken. I'm pretty sure she would pull up short if I were to point out that the majority opinion is against her religion. While nowhere in her letter did she mention religion, Proposition 8's noisiest supporters are right-wing Christians—and Christianity is a minority religion.
Let's do the math. While membership numbers are often unreliable and religions aren't required to audit their membership rolls, it scarcely matters. Most of the 6.7 billion people in the world will reject any particular religion you claim to name. Let's look at Christianity, since that's America's most popular religion.
What about Islam, which considers itself the religion fated to replace Christianity (and, for that matter, all other beliefs). The news isn't so good.
It's barely one out of five. However, that's still better than Hinduism, which can claim almost one person in six:
Sometimes I wonder if my home parish still has me listed as a member of the local Roman Catholic congregation. It's possible. The church register is notoriously unreliable. If so, this final result is also inflated.
All religions are therefore minority religions. Folks who are eager to tromp on minority rights might want to keep that in mind while they are embracing majority rule and demanding the right to gang up on others. Next time it could be your turn.