03 August 2008

Same-Sex Marriage in California

In case you are the Grinch and heartless, please know that my posts have typically taken on a frivolous, relaxed approach to life. When you are living in Hawaii though, that comes easily, and without much effort. This post is different though, like a polka-dot in a sea of stripes. This is my first post where I will duck under the rope and enter the political ring with my fists up and make my presence felt. I do so because I think the issue at hand- Same-Sex Marriage in California- is a topic I feel strongly about and I want my voice heard. I will uniquivocally say that I believe marriage is a sacred union reserved for man and woman exclusively. California is voting in November to recognize only marriage between a man and a woman, a ruling that would put back into effect a law passed in 2000 that has since been reversed. I urge all my Californian readers (you know who you are, both of you) to vote in favor of keeping marriage between a man and a woman. A few weeks ago I heard a man say (is that ambigious or what) that Americans are all about rights and freedom. I whole heartedly agree, unless they violate the laws of God. I believe strongly that marriage is ordained of God and should be reserved naturally between a man and a woman. I also believe that Families are sacred, divine, and eternal. Same-Sex marriage, while offering rights to a minority, violates God's definiton of marriage and therefore leads to unhappiness. Without going too deep into my feelings about same-gender attraction, let me link you to an interview I found to be very helpful between a reporter and two Church leaders regarding same-gender attraction. In this interview they talk openly, intelligently and frankly about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' view on the topic, of which I agree. I do think that marriage is a sacred union reserved only for man and woman, and I hope and pray that Californians will recognize that principle in November. There, time to tag out of the ring for now.


Tom said...

David -

I read the interview with the elders, and feel I must comment on their suggestion that people who are attracted to those of the same sex must live lives of total celibacy.

"merely because one has an inclination to do something, that therefore acting in accordance with that inclination is inevitable. That’s contrary to our very nature as the Lord has revealed to us. We do have the power to control our behavior."

In centuries past (in fact, as recently as the last century), people thought being left-handed was wrong, perverse, disordered or "of the devil." A left-handed person can, if they choose, exercise the tremendous willpower required to write or throw a ball or brush their teeth with their non-dominant hand.

But why? It's not natural for them, and their actions will feel clumsy and unnatural. With practice, they will get better at doing those things, but they will never feel as natural or normal as they would if they were in balance with their brain/body structure.

The elders also say: "Some people promote the idea that there can be two marriages, co-existing side by side, one heterosexual and one homosexual, without any adverse consequences. The hard reality is that, as an institution, marriage like all other institutions can only have one definition without changing the very character of the institution."

They make a statement without evidence to back it up. How does changing the definition (which has been changed many times over the centuries, to one degree or another) of CIVIL marriage specifically change the character of the institution in a way that is detrimental to civil society?

They then go on to fall back on their usual argument (it's against God's law), which has no bearing in civil law. However, like everyone else who is interested in denying marriage equality, they are unable to express a rational argument why it is better for the State to do so.

Publicola said...

We have started a blog specifically to defend traditional marriage in California and to promote the passage of the constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot this November that retains marriage as between a man and a woman.

Pleas join us at http://calmarriagedefense.blogspot.com/

Tom said...

"We have started a blog specifically to defend traditional marriage in California"

And what, exactly, are you defending it FROM? If you were agitating against divorce, that I could understand. That actually does destroy marriages. But more people wanting to marry? Doesn't seem like much of a threat.

The "defense" of marriage types remind me of the old kindergarten joke: A guy is wearing a strange hat. Someone asks him why. "To keep away tigers." The other person responds: "There are no tigers anywhere even close to here." And the answer comes back: "See how well it works?"

You're looking for a threat that doesn't exist.

Anne said...

It saddens me that there are so many people who share this point of view. I understand that your thoughts on same sex marriage come from your religious view, but your definition of marriage does not reflect what everyone believes.

As an American you should recognize the separation of church and state. Being one of the most important parts of the First Amendment, this is the same law that allows you to practice your religion freely in this country. Don't the articles of faith state "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law".

Just because someone is gay or bisexual does not make their love any different from yours. Why is it ok that you can celebrate your love and commitment to someone who you're in love with and someone who is attracted to the same sex can't? They can't help who they love.

While the Church is trying to say that homosexuality is ok, what they are really saying is that it's ok just as long as you suppress all your feelings and emotions that would cause you to actually be gay.

As Christians is it alright to have such negative and in many cases hateful feelings towards an extremely large community? Instead of putting energy towards degrading a group of people shouldn't Americans and our government be more focused on putting an end to modern day genocides, the poverty issues in our own country, or our environment that is deteriating?

It may sound simple and even silly but I think as Christians, as Americans, and simply as human beings, we need to be more focused on love and loving our neighbor without judgement. Religion is such a complicated issue and in many cases the negative aspects of religion overshadow what Christianity and Mormonism are all about.

If you get a chance you should try and see "Brideshead Revisited." Its a beautiful film but more importantly it highlights the dark side of religion and how it can ultimately destroy a family. I have had numerous friends (many of whom are LDS) who have struggled their entire lives trying to be someone they are not because their "Christian" families will hate them or tell them they are going to hell if they do otherwise. This pressure takes such a devastating toll.

I don't mean to lash out if I come off that way and it is not specifically directed towards you so no hard feelings. Just something to think about. I hope all is well in HI. :)

justpulse said...

Dave, props to you for stating your beliefs so firmly. You know well that I have plenty to say on this subject, and I sort of feel like I have a particular right to have strong feelings about this.

In response to one of the other comments, to the idea that in America we have a separation of church and state -- this country was founded by religious men (and women). And it was intended to be a religious, God-fearing nation. What has happened is that people have become so blind to the fact that God is our creator and we owe everything to him. As such, we should follow his law.

God never said that left-handed people should force themselves to be right-handed. He did, however, clearly state that marriage is between men and women. I understand that people with same-sex inclinations most of the time have no control over their feelings, but anyone who trusts God will discover that a celibate life living by God's rules is a thousand times happier than a life of sin without God. This life is not about us doing what we want. It is about learning to want to do what is right. That's why God gives us challenges that force us to grow and make the choice to follow him.

I have lots more I could say about this, trust me. :) Great post. I will call you this week to chat more, about other stuff too.

Tom said...

Justpulse -

First off, there are many negative references to left-handedness in the Bible. Here's just one: "Ecclesiastes 10:2 "A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.""

These -- and other references -- have been used over the years as justification for persecution of left-handers, including tying children's left hands to force them to use only their right hands -- up to murdering lefties because they were thought to be witches.

But that's beside the point. The founders may have been religious men, and one can find competing quotes from all of them. But the final document they left for us, the one that we all submit to, is the Constitution. And because there is no state religion and there is a guarantee of free practice of religion, NO ONE CONCEPT of what God "wants" for us has the power to trump any other concept of what God "wants."

So...whose version of "God's law" do we follow? The Bible? Which translation? Whose interpretation? The Book of Mormon, too? Do we outlaw working on the sabbath? And which one -- Sunday or Saturday?

Then there's the little matter of the fact that you are basically calling for the establishment of a theocracy. Theocracies, in case you've noticed, are behind much of the terrorism in the world, so I'm not sure they are the best model to follow.

So, justpulse, are you prepared to have ALL Biblical laws and proscriptions apply to you?

Jen R. said...

Good for you Dave for standing up for what you believe in. If I were still a California Resident I would definitly be supporting the cause...sadly I am lost to that great state...perhaps someday I'll be back! And you know how I was just talking about back commenting on my blog?? Well apparantly you have a blog stalker that keeps checking back on yours! ha ha ha

justpulse said...

Oh Tom, I don't want to start a fight here. But I will address a few of the things you said. First off, I'm not calling for a theocracy. In this world, trying to combine church and state authority generally leads to bad things. I think a state religion would be a terrible idea. But I am saying that the attempt to ban religion (e.g. the whole "in God we trust" thing) is just ridiculous. The founders never intended for Americans to be without belief in God. They just wanted people to have a choice in how they worshiped. Choosing not to worship still falls under that freedom, but if people want to be true to the Founders' intentions, they'll recognize the importance of God in our nation's history.

And you're right, there's not just one concept of who God is and what he wants. That's for us to decide. I know what I believe, and I know what God says about homosexuality. For me to pretend like gay marriage is okay goes against everything I believe. Clearly you believe differently, but you wouldn't expect me to adjust my moral compass to other people's beliefs, would you? I'm not expecting that of you. Your beliefs are your own.

Lastly, there are lots of things in the Bible that have really lost their meaning over the years and after so many translations and changes. Many Christian sects throughout history have abused these alterations to the point of persecution and even murder. The Bible is not my source in saying homosexuality is not part of God's plan. But God's word, unadulterated, is very clear on the subject. If you disagree, that's perfectly within your right to do so.

Tom said...

Just -

Thanks for your response. I think the challenge here is finding the balance between our religious selves and our secular, civil selves. You can believe any sort of behavior you want is sinful -- homosexuality, drinking, dancing, the wearing of toupees, whatever.

But at the moment, your religious belief is compelling your to use your civil power (your vote and your attempts to persuade) to choose to remove a civil right from a group of people whose behavior is compelled by an accident of birth.

That, I think, is wrong, and violates the most important of all Christian thinking (in fact, of all religious thinking): to treat others as you would like to be treated.