Thursday, November 26, 2009

If your marriage isn't sacred. don't blame the Gays

Are you sitting down? You should be. It’s about to get intense. Here’s the thing. I’m a conservative. I’m a Southern Baptist. I voted for McCain. I’m Pro-Gay Marriage.

See? I told you it was intense.

Here’s the thing about gay marriage. Actually, here’s the thing about marriage in general. Marriage is not a constitutional right, so get that idea out of your head right this moment. Marriage, for all intents and purposes under the law, is a legal partnership between two consenting adults (Yes, I agree to limiting the definition of marriage to two, and only two, adults. Let’s not get silly. We’ve all seen the wonders of polygamy.) Yes, a marriage is entered into with love and trust and emotional attachment and all those other wonderful, gushy things, but my marriage contract doesn’t mention any of that. My marriage contract, as far as I can see, is a legal document. I had to swear an oath…raise my right hand and repeat after the clerk of courts, even.
Marriage (again, under the law only) provides couples with protection in the event of the death of a spouse, tax exemptions, the ability to share insurance, adopt children, ect ect ect. There is literally NO reason to exclude a citizen of the United States from something that is given to the rest of us over something that is, at it’s base, a purely moral, and mostly religious issue. It seems to me that this resembles the miscegenation laws a bit too much. Remember? When a black woman and a white man (or vice-versa) could not marry because of the color of their skin? Or even, and this is a bit of a stretch, but go with me, the fight in the early 1900’s that secured the vote for women. Men beat these women in the streets because they found it morally reprehensible that women would want to take a hand in their nation’s politics. American History is littered with inequality based on the argument of morality and tradition.
It is not enough anymore to deny marriage to certain individuals based on the beliefs of the religion you practice. I mean really. If a national law allowing gay marriage did pass, how would churches feel if they were then required to marry homosexuals? You would hear pastors in pulpits across America screaming “Separation of Church and State!” Government and Religion in our country are not meant to mix, as much for the Church’s protection as for the Government’s. The Government can make no law restricting or dictating the practices of any religion, and Churches cannot expect Congress to uphold a practice that is discriminatory simply because it goes against the words of the Bible.
So what is the Church to do? Well, for one, if you find homosexual behavior morally reprehensible, don’t marry them in your church. Simple. There are at least 200 churches, notaries and justices of the peace in Jacksonville ALONE. Homosexual couples aren’t going to be offended that you won’t marry them.
Sidetrack! Actually, I can't say that. Maybe they will be offended, but homosexuals who would be offended, listen up. No church is, or should be, required to do anything that goes against their moral code, and you can't be offended every time someone disagrees with you, that would be exausting, and also pointless. In fact, how much integrity can a religious institution have that will go against what they truly believe in order to be politically correct and earn the few dollars that an officiation fee would bring? Come on, No one is required to agree with anyone else, and really, if they find your behavior morally reprehensible, why would you want them to marry you anyway? Remember that the fact that someone doesn't agree with you doesn't make them judgemental. It makes the different.
Where was I? Ah yes, churches that won't marry homosexuals on moral grounds, and homosexuals who may or may not, but shouldn't be offended. Point is, there are other officiation options. Also, Church, listen up for a minute, because this is important. Isn’t our goal to win souls to Christ? How good a job are we doing by telling homosexuals “Jesus Loves You! We Love You! But we don’t want to have the same rights under the law that we have, because Jesus says you don't deserve them. Sooooryyyyy” What makes the church think that outlawing gay marriage will somehow achieve the goal of winning people to Christ, which is, I thought, supposed to be our primary focus?
“But Rai! What about the sanctity of marriage?!”
What about it? If your marriage isn’t sacred, don’t blame the Gays. Maybe you need to look at your own life and decide what’s going on to make your marriage less than sacred. The governemt doesn't make a marriage sacred. A marriage is sacred because of what it means to the two induviduals entering into it, not because of how the government defines it. If your marriage suddenly loses sanctity because Gay Gary and Lezzie Linda* are allowed to marry their respective partners, it can't have been that sacred to begin with.
“But Rai! Don’t you believe what the Bible says about Homosexuality?!” Actually, I do. I don’t approve of the lifestyles of my homosexual friends. There. I said it. But, to be fair, I don’t approve of the lifestyles of a lot of my heterosexual friends. I’m judgey that way. (Ask me about my plan for your life. I dare you) That doesn’t mean I’m going to ask them to turn in their voter registration cards and social security numbers until they’re ready to ascribe to my version of morality. I love them, because that’s what Jesus told me I'm supposed to do, and I leave the legislation to offer equality to everyone, because that's what it's supposed to do.
Point is, we have to stop seeing the law as a way to push the religious agenda. The law is there to protect the citizens of our country, and to provide equality for as many as is possible. It is not there to evangilize, to win to Christ, or to proselitize. That's OUR job, and if we're expecting the law to do it for us, we are being lazy.

*I apologize for the use of Gay Gary and Lezzie Linda. They are close friends and said it would be ok.

No comments:

Post a Comment