Quandry.


So NC passed legislature to change their constitution so that gay marriage is not legal.  This is not news.  In fact, some would wonder what took NC so long since they are the last “southern” state to pass such legislature.  What surprised me about it is that they include civil unions in this change.  I find that curious.

Marriage, as I have come to understand it, is the formal acknowledgment between God and church that you are bound to another person for life, good times or bad.  Unless, of course, someone cheats.  Or if things just don’t work out.  Or if a short enough time period has passed to make the divorce sensational news.  The short and long of it is: it’s a religious institution governed by the church.  Strangely enough, it is also governed by the secular government.

That would be why I’m curious.  We have this separation of church and state which I consider vital to the moral health of the church (because politics corrode everything they touch).  Certainly, at the beginning of the country when they were laying down the constitution and all that, that the guys making the rules followed the basic blue prints of the past few thousand years of human civilization, i.e. marriage doesn’t happen unless the government approves.  Why?  Because separation of church and state didn’t become a viable idea for such a very long time.  The church ruled everything.  The church told you if you could hold a specific job, live in a certain neighborhood, associate with certain people, eat certain food, and so on.  And what did that lead to?  Persecution and death.  Marriage has always been dictated by the government.  It gives you rights, like, say, to all of your wife’s possessions.  That’s how it worked and it did work because atheist was a very dirty word for a very long time.

Now, atheism is, strangely enough, a belief system in its own right.  Where ever college students gather, there are church groups and atheist groups almost side by side.  People don’t need to be married by a religious leader or even the captain of a ship because of a magical invention called a civil union.  That’s where the judge has you sign a piece of paper, exchange rings (if you want), say a brief verbal contract and Waalaa!  Legally married.  Same rights and privileges of a married couple without the huge price tag and the whole “believe in God” thing.

What am I getting at?  Ah, that’s right.  Why the blooming bollocks is the government telling anyone who is allowed to get married?  The church decides that.  If the church believes that homosexuality is a sin, fine.  Don’t marry gay people.  However, I have yet to hear a secular argument against gay marriage.  Everything I do hear has something to do with the “sanctity” of marriage and the “moral institution” of marriage.  Quick, without resorting to a reference from Leviticus, explain to me why gay civil unions should be outlawed.  I’m waiting.  If you said that “marriage is between a man and a woman and that’s that,” you failed to listen to the question.  This isn’t about marriage.  It’s about legal rights for American citizens.  Not religious beliefs.  Legal rights.  The right to say that this is my partner for life.  When I’m sick in the hospital, I want him/her allowed to visit me as my family.  When I want to adopt one of the millions of kids abandoned by people who uphold the “sanctity” of marriage because they aren’t gay, then I can because I won’t be bringing that child into a broken home.

I know this is upsetting to many people.  First, there are the people who believe that this country will go to the dogs if we start accepting people deemed immoral.  I have no way to answer that argument because I don’t know.  There are even some who believe that this country was founded on Christian beliefs and I have to argue with that.  I don’t like to, but I have to point out that several of our famous Founding Fathers (Jefferson and Franklin, for example) were Deists.  They believed God was like a great watch maker.  He built the universe and now just lets it run without any interference and that includes sending down Christ to save us all.  Not exactly Christian beliefs.  Don’t even get me started on the Puritans.  This country was founded after our ancestors watched their country torn apart by the church.  Politics corrupt everything.  The church still suffers from this, but not as much as it would if it were given back the power it had just 200 years ago.  I want my church as far away from the pestilence of government as possible.

I don’t like making these arguments because I know how many of my Christian friends won’t listen to it.  That’s why I’m writing it down, I guess.  This is my belief.  The government dictates civil unions.  I’ll leave the marriages to the church, to those who believe what they vow is held accountable in Heaven.  Marriage isn’t being ruined by homosexuals.  It’s being ruined by people who have conveniently forgotten that it is a religious institution, not just a legal box to check off to get life insurance or a green card.  Those people who think that a wedding is the time to show off their wealth (whether they can afford it or not), to impress all the people who looked down on them in high school, to relive prom, or to boost their celebrity, they aren’t getting married before God.  The wives who dump their husband because he was deployed and she just wasn’t ready for him to be gone.  The kids who marry to defy their parents or because they had an “accident” and don’t want to get in trouble.  Those who marry for money, prestige or political gain.  What is all that blasphemy compared to two people who love each other and just want to be legally accountable to each other?

Now I have to step out on a limb just a bit more.  I don’t believe homosexuality is a sin.  I know what it says in the Bible.  The best I can do is consider the acts a sin.  The problem is, there is a lot in the Old Testament that we completely disregard and I know that most of those are just the Law of Moses, whereas God apparently abhors homosexuality.  I guess that’s something that simply doesn’t change.  Lucky for me, I’m not gay.  I don’t know what I’ll do if one of my kids turns out to be, but I guess I will love them because what else can a mother do?  As a Christian, it is not my duty to condemn homosexuals.  That’s for God to do.  My duty is to love them and treat them as my neighbors.  I could be wrong, but I don’t remember Jesus saying “blessed are the poor, but the gays are effed.”  Sorry for the sacrilege.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, “Bad form, NC.”  I will pray for you and for our country.  I will pray that our politicians can be Christian without making it a part of their political agenda.  A good Christian doesn’t have to prove it.  A really good Christian doesn’t even have to tell anyone because his behavior advertises for him.  I pray that my Christian community tries to remember that over 200 Protestants were burned for heresy by a Catholic queen in less than a decade.  Thousands upon thousands were murdered by the British government because of their religious beliefs.  Even better, the right religion was determined by who was in charge.  So one year, everyone must be Catholic.  No, now everyone must be Anglican.  No, wait, Catholic again.  Oh, no, now Puritan is the way to go.  Drat, back to Anglican.  Or is it Protestant?  Imagine one day finding that being Baptist is no longer in vogue and if you don’t flee the country now, you’ll lose all your legal rights and maybe your life.  Maybe the Presbyterians will start looking threatening and suddenly everyone is so afraid of some clandestine Presbyterian plot to overthrow the government that being of that denomination becomes very dangerous.  Be grateful that we aren’t dictated which denomination is correct by the government.

Allowing the government to dictate marriage is a bad idea.  Let it run the secular side of things, keep the country running so we can focus on loving our neighbors and our God.

Rant complete.  Please feel free to ignore this entirely.

Advertisements

15 Comments

Filed under Ramblings

15 responses to “Quandry.

  1. Gage

    This all makes sense, but from what I understand civil unions don’t receive quite the same rights that marriages are afforded. Which is a problem. Fix that problem and then that’s cool.

  2. Petra

    Marriage has become such a “trend” that many don’t pause to think if they REALLY want to spend the rest of their lives with that other person. I mean hey, if it doesn’t work out there is always divorce, right? And those are our heterosexual couples…
    Of course there is never any guarantee that a marriage will last, for so many reasons, and it IS a good thing that one can dissolve the marriage instead of having to be stuck in eternal hell if the spouse turns out to be a sadistic psychopath for example (male OR female), but I feel people rush into things way too fast. Why do they do so? Because they can.
    Now shine the spotlight on homosexuals, who are in the core just like you and me, and sometimes even better than us. All they really want is what you have mentioned in your blog. They generally already know that they found their partner, what they want is the same rights that we have, be it admission to the ICU whe their partner is in the hospital, or shared health insurance, or the same inheritance rights.
    I have been married for almost seven years now, and I have yet to find a homosexual person who threatened my marriage… I say it is time to get out of peoe’s lives – and especially their bedrooms, I mean YIKES, I don’t wanna know what my hetero neighbors do behind closed doors either! – and concentrate on us again, on being better people, on doing good deeds, on helping others, regardless of religion, race, or sexuality.

    Ok, so this turned into half a blog, sorry about that, but I kinda HAD to…

  3. Anonymous

    Homosexual marriage is wrong. Living with your partner (same sex or opposite sex) without some sort of legal arrangement is folly. It is a legal contract that determines the rights to property. There are no legal documents that determine who can get information on the health of another other than HIPPA, and I believe that only takes a signed paper giving those priveleges. It is hospital POLICY that determines who can go into the ICU, not law. It is a privelege, not a right. As a privelege, it is determined by the capricious will of the institution, ie… the hospital. The tax advantages given to legally joined couples are not enjoyed by those who are not legally joined, homosexual or heterosexual. Yet, people of the same sex are able to form partnerships, LLC’s, Corporations, etc legally. A civil union should be just like a business partnership though outside the realms of retail or service industries. It is a way to manage finances, physical needs, emotional and spiritual needs. At this point in time, I don’t believe that civil union and state-sanctioned marriage are the same, and they should be.

  4. first of all, i think you’re confusing “civil unions” with “civil ceremonies”. civil unions are only one in a handful of states, and they’re granted less rights than marriages. they’re the compromise for gay marriage that started with vermont in 2000. Civil ceremonies are those that are held without church involvement — such as with a judge. here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_union#United_States

    secondly, i’m wondering how you settle in your mind that homosexuality isn’t a sin but homosexual acts are? are you not expecting them to get it on with the other consenting adults they’re attracted to? are you going so far as to say “anyplace you can stick a penis other than a vagina is a no-no”?

    I do agree with the basic premise: that marriage is a religious institution and the government should not be defining it for their own version of it. i’ve just got a couple of different angles on it. marriage isn’t just a ceremony and checkbox, it’s a contract that you’re signing in the presence of witnesses and everything else that goes with it. at what point did it become a great idea to invite lawyers into love? why don’t we have other legally-binding contracts for other emotions? I promise to fear you for the rest of our natural lives, and if either of us doesn’t hold up that bargain, then we split all our assets gained during that period. i promise to be filled with elation for at least the first 10 minutes of every encounter with you. and the government should be concerned with its citizens as a whole, not in small groups within the citizenry. that leads to discrimination and unequal treatment under the law. there’s no ifs ands or buts about that. the very instant the government decides that it needs to pay attention to a subgroup of its citizenry, good or bad, it has stated that part of its citizenry is different from the rest.

    fourthly, we have dealt with an issue nearly the same as this before as a country. from the end of slavery to the civil rights amendment, the country as a whole treated blacks and whites differently. the citizens were told who they could hang out with, who they could love, and where they could go. and it was supported by churches, by the majority of the populace, and the governments involved. There are still people out there that can tell you what it was like to be told they couldn’t marry someone due to the color of their skin, what it was like to be told that they couldn’t use certain facilities, and what the lie behind Separate But Equal was. and yet here we are again.

    tangentially, your pronouncement that politics corrupts everything it touches makes you sound like an anarchist. which is cool, i’m an anarchist myself. we don’t all wave black flags and throw firebombs, though sometimes it’s really tempting.

    and Gage, if we made civil unions equal to marriage, what would the difference be? why couldn’t we just make marriage available to everyone? making that distinction is another case of Separate But Equal.

    • Anonymous

      The only basis I have for what constitutes sin is the Bible. It’s a section I don’t feel easy withat all. I use that argument when dealing with Christians who follow the “God hates fags” mentality. I only know one guy who has ever managed to be gay and abstinent. I don’t like that he feels it’s necessary. I don’t expect anyone else to believe that is necessary. When people get into these arguments, that’s the only thing I can offer. When it comes down to it, my belief in this matter is not important.

      Thanks for the incite. I didn’t realize civil unions were so different.

    • Gage

      Ideally I think marriage should be available to everyone. I have no problem with gay marriage at all (I’m for it, actually). I see the “separate but equal” point… I guess I just feel that separate but equal is better than separate and unequal? A crappy way to look at it, but after living in Alabama all my life I have a bleak outlook on most things that the uber-religious like to whine about.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s