Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Rainbow Contradiction

In the Old Testament book of Genesis, scripture tells us how God decided to wipe all of humankind from the earth with a great flood because of their wickedness.  Only the righteous Noah and his family were spared because of his faithfulness to God.  After the flood, God made a covenant with Noah and his kin that He would never again send a flood to destroy the earth.  His promise of this covenant was the beautiful rainbow He set in the sky.

I have always loved rainbows, since I first heard this story as a child.  There is something about them; about the prism that the rain droplets make that separate the light wavelengths into their different beautiful colors that has always fascinated me and made me feel joyful. 

These days, it is both ironic and frustrating to me that the rainbow has been recognized as the symbol for the gay rights movement.  I don’t know if this misappropriation was done intentionally and mockingly of God or not, but regardless, I have long ago discovered that God allows us to suffer the consequences of our own sinful actions – particularly when we purposefully choose to take a stand against Him.  As a nation, we seem to have done precisely that, and embracing the LGBT movement is just one more example of our turning our backs on God. 

It seems that we are once again presented with another significant opportunity to turn away from Him.  The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is expected to release its ruling on gay marriage in the next few days; likely it will be on Monday June 29th.  SCOTUS will rule on whether states can legally ban gay “marriage”, and also whether states can refuse to recognize a same-sex “marriage” that was legally performed in another state.
 
Many learned folks presume that the SCOTUS will indeed strike down gay “marriage” bans.  Regardless of whether they do so this month or not, it does seem that public opinion would suggest that it is inevitable that gay “marriage” will eventually become the law of the land within the next few years. 

I, personally, don’t think the government should be involved in the institution of marriage of any sort.  Marriage, as it has been defined and held to for millennia, was and is only between one man and one woman.  It is a religious sacrament.  It is the bedrock principle of western civilization.  Without this sacrament, it is impossible to believe that our societies would have flourished and prospered.  Government really should not be inserting itself into this by granting licenses to whomever it deems appropriate to engage in holy matrimony.  That is something better left to the churches.  Or, if a person is a non-believer, they can become “married” through a civil wedding.  Regardless, the government should stay out of it.

Personally, while I see the long-term societal harm of gay “marriage”, I am rather Libertarian on the issue.  If two gay people choose to form a union, so be it.  But to misappropriate the term “marriage”, which is a religious sacrament between man, woman, and God, to describe their union seems to be a slap in the face to those of us who still do hold marriage to be a sacrament – to be sacrosanct.  Gay people can call theirs a bonding union or what-have-you, but it is not marriage. 

God created marriage and words mean things.  We can twist words and try to give them new meanings but saying that two men or two women joined together in a civil ceremony is a marriage is about as ridiculous as calling a man, a woman.  You can call it whatever you want, but that doesn’t make it so.

Of course the upcoming SCOTUS decision will have many drastic long-term ramifications for our society.  If they do strike down gay “marriage” bans as expected, we can also expect further lawsuits against religious institutions that still recognize the sacramental nature of marriage and refuse to “marry” same-sex couples.  These institutions will be targeted as discriminatory and hateful and in violation of federal law.  Already there are efforts under way to remove the tax exempt status of many faith-based organizations that refuse to recognize, let alone celebrate the LGBT culture and lifestyle. 

Those individual Americans that believe homosexual actions are wrong and sinful will also be further ostracized and targeted via force of law in the coming decade.  Already private businesses have been shut down and destroyed for refusing to take a peripheral part in gay weddings.  In Canada, it is considered hate speech and illegal to preach against homosexuality.  In certain states, Catholic adoption agencies have been forced to shut down because they refused to adopt out children to gay couples. 

How long until the federal government insists that since gay “marriage” is the law of the land, that churches must “marry” gay couples or lose their tax exempt status, or even worse be fined?  This likely decision would seem to me to create additional great conflicts as it places the “right” of gay “marriage” up against our 1st amendment right to freedom of religion and the exercise thereof.  This probable decision will likely only serve to further divide an already fractured nation.

Despite all of this, we are all still called to love our neighbor as our self.  God tells us not to condone sin, but also not to condemn our brother or sister.  It is His place for such judgment.  We must love our neighbor, regardless of their sin.  And we are all sinners; me, most especially.  Love the sinner, hate the sin, we are told.  That means we love each and every child of God, not just the straight ones.  Everyone.

Our country and the world is indeed changing, and I fear it is certainly not for the better.  It is infinitely easier to be on the right side of history than it is to be on the right side of Truth.  That said, I will stick to my beliefs and do my best to live my life according to them, regardless of the contempt that our new “enlightened” society throws at me.  Even Christ said, "In the world you will have troubles, but take courage; I have overcome the world."  John 16:33 


And I know and believe in Him when He tells me this.  All of that said, I still want my rainbow back. 

27 comments:

Jerry Critter said...

While your passionate, religious argument may evoke strong emotions, it has no basis in law, and the SCOTUS ruling will be based on law. The law on marriage has no basis in religion.

Want proof? Look at the first amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."

Look at the law. There are many legal restrictions on marriage. If marriage was tied to religion, these restrictions would be unconstitutional as they restrict the free exercise of marriage.

You can have your religious marriage, but you can't restrict other people's non religious marriage based on your religion.

T. Paine said...

Jerry, thanks for your comment. That said, very little that SCOTUS does is based in law anymore, as evidenced in their deplorable and tortured ruling yesterday in King v. Burwell, but I digress. That said, I can appreciate your sentiments on this issue, even if I don’t fully agree. This is a large part of the reason why I said that, to my mind, government should not have any say whatsoever about who can marry. It should be up to religious institutions for sacramental marriages, and civil institutions to conduct the ceremony for any other folks wishing it.

My statement of marriage being tied to religion is based on historical fact. I recognize that we are far removed from this today. Just the divorce rate itself is proof that people don’t take marriage seriously and no longer look at it as the sacrament it was originally established as and intended to be. While I decry that fact, I also understand that in our ever-increasing secular society today, people are free to engage in a non-religious “marriage” as they so choose, and further I would defend their right to do so. That doesn’t mean that I think gay “marriage” is good for children or society. We will indeed reap the long term consequences of it accordingly.

All of this being said, I don’t wish to restrict other people’s “marriages”. I simply want the word to mean what it has always meant throughout history instead of “evolving” into the joining of any two, three, etc. people etc. into some sort of legal union. Words mean things. Usurping that word to mean something else, especially when it has deep religious and sacramental connotations, is a slap in the face to those few of us left who still do take marriage to be an institution established by God.

Jerry Critter said...

"...government should not have any say whatsoever about who can marry."

Allowing "gay marriage" is a step in that direction. It is reducing governments say on who can marry. And religious institutions can refuse to marry anyone they want. Seems to be a step in your direction.

T. Paine said...

If that was indeed the case, then all would be better for all involved; however, we both know that this will not be the end of it. The next step will be for the LGBT community to now sue and/or bring charges against religious institutions for not “marrying” them. They will argue that since this is now federal law, they are being discriminatory by not allowing them to be “married” in a church.

Jerry Critter said...

I hope you are wrong. Are you aware of any cases where a church has been forced to marry a couple. Gays are not the only ones churches have refused to marry in the past.

T. Paine said...

I hope I am wrong too, but I think we both can be assured that this next step of legal challenges will indeed occur. I am unaware of any such cases currently where a church has been forced to marry a couple by force of law, to date.
And you are indeed correct that gays are not the only ones excluded from having their marriage performed by some churches in the past. Heck, there are many Christian churches that will not marry atheists, since such couples don’t recognize the sacramental and divine nature of the act. Of course there are other examples as well. Some are egregious where some past (and perhaps present) churches would not marry inter-racial couples. I bet we will see the first major legal challenge for gay weddings against some Christian churches though within the next three to five years at most.

Dave Dubya said...

Being from a rural area, I grew up unaware of gay issues and even civil rights problems.

Where I'm from, gays and blacks were "the others" and not to be trusted. I needed to learn that homosexuality was no more a choice than one's race.

After moving to a larger community I met gays and blacks, and learned they were often victims of prejudice, hate and ignorance.

I came to understand the problems of segregation and racism and anti-gay bigotry. I also learned that gays, like blacks, are also human and not a threat to society.

At first I was taken aback by the idea of same sex marriage. I even sort of felt it was revolting. I had the same impression that they were trying to redefine marriage.

Marriage is a civil and legal institution as well as religious. No religion owns marriage. Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and any other faith are free to define marriage as they wish. The same applies to atheists. They just can't, and don't, define it for others.

The meaning, value and purpose of marriage is different for every couple. Other couples' marriages do not define or diminish what couples have made for their own.

In other words marriage is still defined as union between a man and a woman. Every man and woman married to one another defines their marriage. It will always be that way. The fact same sex couples want to begin their relationship with a legal commitment and public vows doesn't take anything away from others.

All are entitled to the same rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It rings of hypocrisy and absurdity when thrice married jerks like Limbaugh and Trump pontificate on the sacred meaning of marriage.

The rainbow is for ALL of us, not just gays, and there are plenty of rainbows to go around.

Besides, they're a lot prettier than a Confederate flag anyway. ;-)

T. Paine said...

Dubya: I needed to learn that homosexuality was no more a choice than one's race.

Paine: Dave, I typically would agree with your statement, especially in the past. Unfortunately I don’t think that is always the case today. With gay issues being so front and center in our society, and celebrated in many venues, I think that teens and immature others that are still trying to learn who they are and going through the typical teenage angst may ask themselves, “What is going on with me?” and then end up answering their own question with “Maybe I am gay.”

I think there is absolutely a genetic component for same sex attraction for a lot of people; however, with today’s culture, I think it has almost become “cool” and “anti-establishment” to be gay. Sadly, I think there are a lot of kids today that fall into that category.



Dubya: After moving to a larger community I met gays and blacks, and learned they were often victims of prejudice, hate and ignorance.

Paine: And hate towards these people is absolutely unacceptable. They deserve the same respect and dignity that every person deserves.



Dubya: At first I was taken aback by the idea of same sex marriage. I even sort of felt it was revolting. I had the same impression that they were trying to redefine marriage.

Paine: Dave, I truly appreciate your straightforwardness and honesty on this topic, my friend.



Dubya: In other words marriage is still defined as union between a man and a woman. Every man and woman married to one another defines their marriage. It will always be that way. The fact same sex couples want to begin their relationship with a legal commitment and public vows doesn't take anything away from others.

Paine: And I am certain there are many very good and loving gay people that want precisely what you described: a legal commitment and public vows. Unfortunately, there are plenty in the gay rights movement that have expressed in moments of candor or even in blatant taunting that they could care less about marriage but simply wish to destroy churches and religions that they feel have “oppressed” them over their lives. Their goal is not to be able to marry, but rather it is to destroy marriage.

Masha Gessen, a journalist and author who campaigns for homosexual 'rights', made the comments in Australia on a panel at the Sydney Writer’s Festival. She said:

“It’s a no-brainer that (homosexual activists) should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. …(F)ighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there — because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie. The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist. And I don’t like taking part in creating fictions about my life. That’s sort of not what I had in mind when I came out thirty years ago.”

She is not alone.


Dubya: The rainbow is for ALL of us, not just gays, and there are plenty of rainbows to go around.

Paine: Indeed. I truly love the beauty of rainbows. Several years back I saw a rainbow paint scheme that I really would have loved to have done on my Harley, but with the connotations of what the rainbow means today, I decided against it. Like I said, I want my rainbow back!

By the way, I do appreciate greatly your ability to articulate your opinions here without being nasty and condescending, Dave. It’s refreshing to be able to have a discussion and debate without it falling into juvenile belligerency. Cheers to you, buddy!

Dave Dubya said...

Curious. Your citing of one individual raises a few questions.

"Their goal is not to be able to marry, but rather it is to destroy marriage."

You say "they" but you only produce one person saying this. Do you believe this is the consensus of most gays, even the ones who want to marry?

What evidence is there that this is not a small vocal anti-marriage minority saying this? If "She is not alone" then where are the others?

Can we assume there are anti-marriage heterosexuals? How are they a threat to others' marriages?

Who else is saying this? Why should we judge the many on the words of one person?

Wanting to get married in order to destroy marriage makes no sense.

How would any other couples behavior change our personally defined marriages? After all marriage is an institution of two individuals in our culture.

Obviously there are those who see, or imagine, a threat to their marriage. I can think of many other greater threats to a marriage than other peoples' marriages, or opposition to marriage in general.

Jerry Critter said...

TP, have you even considered that many of your fears appear somewhat irrational? You seem to have a very pestimistic outlook on the future.

Dave Dubya said...

It’s a complicated issue. I want to add a couple more of my thoughts.

If we recognize, as you say, a genetic component for same sex attraction, why would there be any discussion of it being a choice? I’ve never heard of one gay person saying it was a choice. In fact, only non-gays make this assertion. Guilt ridden, or oppressed, gays have attempted to change, often with destructive results.

Sexual identification is complicated for some, but I highly doubt any teen chooses to be gay to be cool.

Even if they did, wouldn't you agree the greater danger is the choice to smoke or drink in order to be cool?

I don’t know of anyone who chose to like girls because it was cool.

I also would imagine anyone thinking, “Maybe I am gay,” would be so , or have bisexual inclinations. But that is who they are, and there can be a long process to determine this for some.

I admit there’s much I don’t understand, but it makes no sense to turn from one’s natural inclinations, and then desire to join a minority that is struggling with equality. I don’t get that at all.

Sure, anything is possible, but it has been clearly shown that gays were born that way. It happens in nature, and I doubt animals turn gay because it’s cool.

It seems sexual identification follows a continuum rather than two polar alternatives. Most of us identify with one end or the other, but there are possibilities in between. One thing gays and straights agree on is consenting adults should be the rule. When some say pedophilia is a only a “gay problem” they are ignorant or just hateful.

God made gays for a reason. Who are we to say it was a mistake?

Jesus criticized hypocrites, the greedy, the money changers, the rich and powerful, and even lawyers. He said nothing of gays. Perhaps live and let live is best.

I would be more concerned with corporate super personhood than gay marriage. So-called trade agreements written by the rich, that put Americans in competition with third world labor will always be a greater threat to prosperity and standard of living, and by extension marriages, than any real or imagined gay agenda.

My wife thinks any blonde on two legs is a greater threat to marriage than gays getting married. And in the big picture, she’s absolutely right. Luckily for her, I’m a loving and faithful husband.

There is much we don’t understand about ourselves, let alone others. Too often our lack of understanding can lead to fear and mistrust. Also, all too often, there are those who incite fear and mistrust of others for their own purposes.

One thing is certain; humans are strange critters.

Jerry Critter said...

"One thing is certain; humans are strange critters."

And some have said that Critters are strange humans.

h/t to Dave Dubya for the straight line.

T. Paine said...

Dave, below are a sampling of quotations from people promoting the militant gay agenda. By having the “right” to marry, they are able to redefine its meaning. Since the SCOTUS decision last week, there is already a gentleman in Montana that is filing a lawsuit because he wants to “marry” his second wife using the same arguments that SCOTUS made in their opinion. If we continue to redefine “marriage” into whatever iteration society wants in order to satisfy their own proclivities, then marriage becomes meaningless. It was largely not taken seriously by many heterosexual couples before, but now it is certainly headed to destruction with other historical anachronisms.

I do not know how widespread in the militant gay movement this goal is, but is not insignificant. Further, they are already attaining this goal, seemingly with the consent of an amoral society.

"A middle ground might be to fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely, to demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution. [Legalizing "same-sex marriage"] is also a chance to wholly transform the definition of family in American culture.”-- Michelangelo Signorile homosexual community leader OUT magazine.

"Opting out of marriage altogether will provide a quicker path to progress, as only the death of marriage can bring about the dawn of equality for all." Dr. Meagan Tyler -female homosexual community leader.

"And after all, we are advocating the destruction of the centrality of marriage and the nuclear family unit... ."-- Ryan Conrad, homosexual community leader.

"But perhaps the next step isn’t to, once again, expand the otherwise narrow definition of marriage but to altogether abolish the false distinction between married families and other equally valid but unrecognized partnerships."-- Sally Kohn- female homosexual community leader, NGLTF organzier.

"Wouldn't marriage's death as a state institution, including for straight people, be the best solution? ...Scrap the civil register; make no distinction in the state's eyes between married and unmarried citizens."-- Alex Gabriel, homosexual community leader

"Marriage is the proverbial burning building. Instead of pounding on the door to be let in... queers should be stoking the flames!"--National Conference on Organized Resistance, a homosexual organization.

"We must aim at the abolition of the family, so that the sexist, male supremacist system can no longer be nurtured there."-- Gay Liberation Front: Manifesto

“Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex and family, and in the process, transforming the very fabric of society. ... We must keep our eyes on the goal ... of radically reordering society’s views of reality."- Paula Ettelbrick, female homosexual community leader, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, former legal director, LAMBDA

"... fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there—because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie. The institution of marriage is going to change, and it should change. And again, I don’t think it should exist."-- Masha Gessen, female homosexual community leader, PINK TRIANGLE founder.

T. Paine said...

“TP, have you even considered that many of your fears appear somewhat irrational? You seem to have a very pestimistic outlook on the future.”

Jerry, how are my fears irrational, sir? I have already seen where there is now a push to remove tax exempt status from churches that refuse to accept the SCOTUS ruling. If I don’t want to be ostracized and condemned, I am not allowed to speak up and defend my faith in Christ on the matter of homosexuality. Facebook has “rainbow” filters that many people are using for their profile picture. Obama, who is supposed to be representing all of America, has decorated the White House with rainbow lighting. Hell, I don’t dare speak my mind at work for fear of being fired for “insensitivity”, as my fortune 50 company has internally changed its logo to rainbow colors in support of the gay agenda. Currently my company is making a 5% cutback on personnel. I have removed my Facebook page for fear of not being “rehired” into a new job position because I am not celebratory of the gay agenda. My company has a gay employees group that is supported by them. Do you know what would happen if I tried to start a Christian employee group or even a “Family Values” group within the company? Yeah, I have fears, but that is only because I see those fears becoming reality. I can choose to either tow the company and pop culture line, or I can choose to stick up for God and my faith. I will certainly choose the latter, but I have no illusions that it will likely be costly for me to exercise my human and first amendment rights of freedom of speech and free exercise of religion. You are correct; I am pessimistic regarding the future of this country, but luckily I know that we are not made for this world, but providentially for God’s kingdom. In the end, Truth does win.

Jerry Critter said...

I guess I ask that question because you often seem to embrace the "worst case scenario" as the most likely outcome. You are not alone. It appears to me as a fairly common behavior among religiously fundamental/conservative folks. I am not sure which is the cart and which is the horse, but the two seem hitched together, and you have been traveling down this road for generations without reaching your assumed end.

T. Paine said...

Dave, I think you may have misunderstood me to a certain extent. I do think most gay people are that way because of genetic predispositions. What I was saying was that with the celebratory culture of the gay agenda in our media, schools, businesses, politics, etc. these days, the stigma for being “gay” has been largely erased. Being “gay” is just another legitimate choice in our pop culture today. With the confusion, struggles, and anxieties of growing up these days, I think it is far easier for a teenager to experiment or convince him/herself that their inability to fit in or be cool is because they might be gay. I have seen this phenomenon occur with several of my youngest daughter’s friends. After about a year or so, all but one girl decided that they were indeed straight. That one girl still seems to be very confused and very unhappy though. I think for some of her friends, it was indeed a misguided (albeit temporary) choice.

“God made gays for a reason. Who are we to say it was a mistake?”

It is my belief that God gives each of us our own cross to bear. Whether that cross is a predilection towards alcoholism, gambling, narcissism, gluttony, sexual promiscuity, or homosexuality does not mean that we should act upon those predispositions. Doing so typically only brings grief and unhappiness into our lives. I think we are given these crosses in order to look to something beyond ourselves for help in guiding us and strengthening us in this world – to turn to God. I have had several crosses that I would not have been able to bear were it not for my faith in God and His love and grace given to me. Sadly, too many people embrace their crosses in a negative way and fulfill their human earthly desires. In a culture where we all want instant gratification, we ignore the harm that embracing these proclivities cause us in the long run. By then, the addiction or behavior is exceptionally hard to overcome, especially if we are only relying upon our own will to do so.

“Jesus criticized hypocrites, the greedy, the money changers, the rich and powerful, and even lawyers. He said nothing of gays. Perhaps live and let live is best.”

Jesus also didn’t say anything specifically about pedophilia or necrophilia either, but I am quite certain that He doesn’t approve of these things either. That said, we need to treat everyone with respect, whether they are money changers, gay, or even lawyers. It isn’t up to us to condemn the person. It is only up to us not to condone the sinful behavior, whatever that might be – especially our own sinful behaviors.

You are correct though… humans are indeed strange critters.

T. Paine said...

“I guess I ask that question because you often seem to embrace the "worst case scenario" as the most likely outcome. You are not alone. It appears to me as a fairly common behavior among religiously fundamental/conservative folks. I am not sure which is the cart and which is the horse, but the two seem hitched together, and you have been traveling down this road for generations without reaching your assumed end.”

You make an interesting observation Jerry. I typically am a pretty upbeat person and don’t see myself as pessimistic a vast majority of the time. That said, I am indeed a student of history and see too many scary things occurring that suggest we are repeating our past mistakes while adding new ones to the mix. It is my faith that allows me to know that despite how bad things become in our temporal world, if we remain faithful, repent of our sins, and love Him, God will bring us to a world that is beyond our comprehension where human sinfulness is absent so only love remains. Because God is Love.

John Myste said...

“In the Old Testament book of Genesis, scripture tells us how God decided to wipe all of humankind from the earth with a great flood because of their wickedness.”

And yet, here we are, and you rarely hear a peep out of Him. Nice try, God.

“Only the righteous Noah and his family were spared because of his faithfulness to God.”

Oh, yes, them and about 7 billion other wicked people that spring from his bosom.

“After the flood, God made a covenant with Noah and his kin that He would never again send a flood to destroy the earth.”

Which was much needed since His first flood did not destroy the earth and God normally has sticktuitiveness.

“about the prism that the rain droplets make that separate the light wavelengths into their different beautiful colors that has always fascinated me and made me feel joyful.”

That is not what happens!!!! God put that rainbow there.

“These days, it is both ironic and frustrating to me that the rainbow has been recognized as the symbol for the gay rights movement.”

Filthy thieves! It is just another good stolen from us Christians.

“but regardless, I have long ago discovered that God allows us to suffer the consequences of our own sinful actions”

No He doesn’t! Per the dictates of His continuing doctrine of Guilt by Association, He crucifies His earthly children to forgive us for our sins. As unintuitive as it sounds, it actually works. Since He decides when to forgive and when not to forgive, He can decide that torturing one innocent being is good enough and then just forgive the rest of us. I suppose He could have just forgiven us outright, without the added torture, were He omnipotent.

“As a nation, we seem to have done precisely that, and embracing the LGBT movement is just one more example of our turning our backs on God.”

We have not “embraced” the movement. We have stayed out of it, allowing them to be treated just like other people, per the Constitution. Do you think we should get involved? Perhaps a Constitutional Amendment denying them certain rights other couples enjoy is in order? Let’s go whole hog!

“Regardless of whether they do so this month or not, it does seem that public opinion would suggest that it is inevitable that gay “marriage” will eventually become the law of the land within the next few years.”

It will never happen. Instead gays will be guaranteed equal protection under the law, as is appropriate.

“I, personally, don’t think the government should be involved in the institution of marriage of any sort”

That is an incredible statement. What you are saying is that the legal contract of marriage, and thus divorce and other legal considerations of a family unit should be abolished! Otherwise, the government is involved, which offends your sensibilities. Wow! That is an interesting idea.

“Marriage, as it has been defined and held to for millennia, was and is only between one man and one woman.”

Or, two people in love. For millennia, you never married your wife. That certainly should have been forbidden, as it was a new idea when you did it.

“It is a religious sacrament.”

John Myste said...

Part II:

“It is a religious sacrament.”

I don’t think SCOTUS modified the religious sacrament of marriage. Phew! The pope would be hopping made if SCOTUS started emending his rules. Oh, wait, perhaps not this pope. Aahahhahaha.

“It is the bedrock principle of western civilization.”

I thought maybe liberty or something could be cast as that. Instead we have to consider Western Civilization as a whole, like Democratic Athens, who allowed one, and only one wife (and only one concubine and only one contracted prostitute and only one sex slave) or something like that. I may have missed a sexual partner. I think Athenian men were allotted four concurrent sex partners if I remember correctly. Whatever, the point is, in Western Civilization, marriage rules (marriage between one man and one woman, of course, as both Athenians and Romans and other founders of Western Civilization took male lovers all the time and that was perfectly OK). In fact, it was wrong for a slave to reject the advances of his owner during the founding of the bedrock days.

Is it possible by bedrock of our civilization you just meant the Christian Bible? C’mon, let’s get out of the closet and say what we really think.

“Without this sacrament, it is impossible to believe that our societies would have flourished and prospered.”

Killing Indians, marketing slaves and plundering the world also helped. It was not just marriage. Lots of good things came together to produce the perfect world in which we now live.

“Government really should not be inserting itself into this by granting licenses to whomever it deems appropriate to engage in holy matrimony.”

Right, government should not decide who can or cannot marry and it should not issue legal marriage contracts. As you noted above, the government should stay out of it! Why are you just now taking issue with the government’s involvement. Hasn’t it been involved from the beginning? C’mon, I hear that door creaking. Government involvement is not your real issue.

“That is something better left to the churches.”

And churches should come in. Well, not the Unity Church, though, as they support gay marriage. You know, the Churches that condemn it. That’s what we mean.

“Or, if a person is a non-believer, they can become “married” through a civil wedding. Regardless, the government should stay out of it.”

Right, all weddings, Christian or otherwise, are not legally institutions. The government should keep its gay nose out of things.

“Personally, while I see the long-term societal harm of gay “marriage”, I am rather Libertarian on the issue.”

Right, gays should have and enforce the liberty to not get married.

“But to misappropriate the term “marriage”, which is a religious sacrament between man, woman, and God,…”

Don’t dirty it up. It is between a man and a woman if they are Catholic, for example, and then that would be a Catholic Marriage. I agree that the Church can define a Catholic Marriage as whatever they want. Thankfully, SCOTUS did not comment on this.

John Myste said...

Part III:

“ Gay people can call theirs a bonding union or what-have-you, but it is not marriage.”

Right, gay marriage is not marriage. It is um, … the same thing, but with a different word. So now we have to have two words to communicate the notion of a marital union, one for the gays, whom we rightfully reject, and one for the rest of us good people.

“God created marriage and words mean things.”

God never used the term. Neither did Jesus. Oops. I do acknowledge that the legal institution means something, and the Catholic Church does not get to deny this legality to those who don’t practice Catholicism or to those it condemns for any other behavior.

“We can twist words and try to give them new meanings but saying that two men or two women joined together in a civil ceremony is a marriage is about as ridiculous as calling a man, a woman.”

Can a man be another man’s boyfriend? I am quite certain gays usurped that term as well by this definition, since Catholics think of a female and a male when they hear the term “boyfriend” and the union of a loving couple we call marriage is not allowed if they both have penises, so I am thinking there are lots of other words we have to trim down to the Catholic expectation. Perhaps we need a list.

John Myste said...

Part IV: Conclusion: One thing is clear: now that we have gay marriage, those who are not gay cannot have the kind of marriage they had before. Their lives are ruined, their families torn asunder. We have denied them exclusive use of the word “marriage” as it applies to their legal contract and now their entire experience will be voided. I know this, because if this were not the case, then your entire argument would be pointless.

I am going to propose an alternate view. I think it is possible that the entire effort to deny gays the right to a legal marriage contract is, from the alpha to the omega, motivated purely by religious belief and all non-religious arguments are justifications. We should proudly argue what we believe for the reason we believe it and if we cannot do this, we should consider renouncing, or at least silencing, our opinions on the matter.

When don’t argue what we believe for the reason we believe it, we become easy targets of ridicule for an opinion that ultimately made some sense, had we presented the overarching argument in support of it. It feels like we cannot present the real argument, but it is too precious. Were it to be refuted, the fundamentals of who we are would crack. We have to present lesser arguments in hopes of persuading someone. I other words, we have to find a way to trick our opponent into drawing the right conclusion.

Why do we detest the rights of gays to marry? Because we feel that it legitimizes homosexuality and to us, homosexuality is an abomination. We believe the Bible, God’s word, teaches this. We are therefore deeply offended by anything that would legitimize something so abhorrent to God. That is the whole of our opinion and all other arguments are made absurd in their transparency. In the eyes of the contrarian, they not only devalue the argument, but the credibility of one who makes it.

I would rather support a religious argument with which others will never agree, but which they cannot quickly refute in a significant way, than to make lesser arguments for others to easily target and easily satirize, because if I choose the latter, then the whole discussion changes. It is no longer about the topic of concern, but becomes about the absurdity of the arguments I put forth to prove a position I hold for reasons other than the arguments I presented.

Argue what you believe for the reason you believe it and your position will be strong; thus all assailants will be weak. It is when we deviate from this formula that we provide weak points for our philosophical opponents to target. Arguments for the sole sake of persuasion look good on paper, but only before they are ravaged and their puny interiors exposed. Only the actual reason we believe something is strong. It is what convinces us. It is “our gut." It has the power to persuade and the strength to endure. It is real.

John Myste said...

"Jesus also didn’t say anything specifically about pedophilia or necrophilia either,..."

I think the age of consent was around 12 years old (when a "woman" could marry). I may be wrong about that, but if I am not, then Jesus would have condoned pedophilia as we currently understand it and thus would not have needed to comment on it.

That said, the idea that any issue that for which we have no Jesus opinion is thus decided by His neglect is clearly false, so I see what you are saying.

I am not sure if Jesus would have opposed necrophilia related to a gentile. I suspect He may have been indifferent to it. I would have to research Jewish Law of the time to get the answer, since Jesus was a Torah Loving Jew.

I would like to say that Jesus' opinion on the matter it trivia at best and should not be weighted too heavily. I think Jesus focused more on doing unto others as you would have them do to you and less on keeping the policies of tradition. Therefore, even if Jesus had rejected homosexuality, I doubt it would have concerned Him very much. I think he had more important things on his mind and he considered the nitpickers over such social policy to be a bit disingenuous.

He may have said "let he who is without sin cast the first stone," or something like that. I suspect if homosexuality had been a big social issue at the time, Jesus would have come done on the side of the gays.

Dave Dubya said...

Yes, John.

I suspect if homosexuality had been a big social issue at the time, Jesus would have come done on the side of the gays.

Let’s ask a Sunday School teacher:


Jimmy Carter was asked on Tuesday whether he believes Jesus would approve of gay marriage.

"I believe Jesus would. I don't have any verse in scripture. ... I believe Jesus would approve gay marriage, but that's just my own personal belief. I think Jesus would encourage any love affair if it was honest and sincere and was not damaging to anyone else, and I don't see that gay marriage damages anyone else," he said.

T. Paine said...

John, it amazes me that people don't realize what it is that took place with SCOTUS decision. The "right" to marriage was not at issue - never was. The definition of marriage was. Much like the personhood issue in the Citizens United case... the rights of a person were not the issue - the definition was. And, SCOTUS got that wrong as well. They overstepped. Regardless of your sexual ethics, they got it wrong.

As for governmental involvement in marriage, I guess I need to clarify. They should have no business in issuing marriage licenses to determine who can and cannot get married. Once a couple is married in a religious or civil ceremony, then the legalities of the union can and should be adhered to and if sadly needed, adjudicated by the courts in the event of dissolution etc.

“I am going to propose an alternate view. I think it is possible that the entire effort to deny gays the right to a legal marriage contract is, from the alpha to the omega, motivated purely by religious belief and all non-religious arguments are justifications. We should proudly argue what we believe for the reason we believe it and if we cannot do this, we should consider renouncing, or at least silencing, our opinions on the matter.”

I absolutely believe in MARRIAGE because of my religious beliefs. And indeed, those are my reasons for so believing it. That does not invalidate my additional sub-arguments in any way though. Indeed, the societal and family arguments I made flow because of my religious understanding and belief in what marriage is. I absolutely get your point, and I am not ashamed or embarrassed to say I believe in marriage because I believe God instituted it for the good of human kind. I was not so much trying to justify my belief through secondary arguments but rather show the repercussions of what happens when we redefine marriage.

As for Christ’s opinions on pedophilia and necrophilia, well the age of consent was indeed younger then and life expectancy was typically much shorter. The concept of having sexual relations with young children is certainly something He would have not condoned though. It would be better that a person tie a millstone around his neck and be cast into the sea then hurt the least of these children.

T. Paine said...

Further, as a “Torah-loving Jew”, Christ would also not have condoned necrophilia. Orthodox Jews to this day keep kosher dietary rules. Meat, which must be obtained through the death of an animal must be stored separately from milk, which is life giving to mammals. Life and death are separate and not to be paired in Jewish law. Performing the procreative act with someone who is dead would have been seen as a grave violation of moral law, and rightfully so. That said, you got my point that just because Christ did not explicitly condemn something did not mean He gave His consent.

“He may have said ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone,’ or something like that. I suspect if homosexuality had been a big social issue at the time, Jesus would have come done on the side of the gays.”

Truly, that is what you think? Please recall that after Jesus addressed the crowd that wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery, that he then turned to her and asked if anyone had chosen to condemn her. After she said, “No”, then He said, “Then neither do I. GO AND SIN NO MORE!” (emphasis is mine)

Again, Christ being God in the second person of the Holy Trinity, would not condone that His gift of procreative sexuality (meant to be used in the marital embrace) should otherwise be used in non-fruitful homosexual acts of one man placing his penis into one end or the other of another man’s digestive tract. Man perverted God’s procreative gift from its original intention. I don’t think Christ would approve of that, even if the two men truly loved each other.

Dubya, I will politely reject Jimmy Carter as a subject matter expert on gay marriage and most other things too. Why do I think Carter is wrong? Read my previous paragraph, my friend. That doesn’t mean that I think Christ would necessarily condemn gays, just as he did not condemn the adulterous woman… provided that they try to live their lives by not sinning any more.

Dave Dubya said...

Jimmy Carter admitted it was just his opinion. The opinion that matters here and now is the Supreme Court. They are not a religious tribunal dedicated to enforcing the Bible. That is theocracy and we all know that a theocracy is not a free society.

The founders knew this when they declared there be no religious test for governing.

If there are no victims, we are free to sin. Sin is often in the eye of the beholder. We are free to buy as much alcohol as we want. We are free to abuse it. Nature, not religion or legislation will be the ultimate judge of that behavior.

If greed is sinful then perhaps the Supreme Court should prohibit anyone from amassing great wealth. The public good would be better served if billionaires paid the same share of their income to social security and medicare.

That ain't gonna happen. They own the politicians, so we get tax breaks for the rich and cuts in aid for the poor. What would Jesus say about that? Where's the Christian outrage? Far too many Christians seem to think wealth alone is virtue and should be endowed with superior rights.

What if the country was as obsessed about what Jesus said of the rich, as they are about what he didn't say about gays?

We are all free to have consensual sex between adults. Now we are all free to make a legal commitment.

This in no way effects other marriages. Each married couple defines their own marriage. Religion and government do not.

And who believes this should be a rule of marriage:

“If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband's brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her."

This would be law in a theocracy. The same is true if procreation was the sole purpose of marriage.

As I've noted, gay marriage is the least of threats to traditional marriage. I think deep down anyone can understand this. Plain bigotry and fear of the unknown, are the determining factors for suppressing gay rights to marriage.



John Myste said...

“The "right" to marriage was not at issue - never was. The definition of marriage was.”

I keep forgetting that we don’t really mind gay marriage. It is all a squabble over a vocabulary word and that I world will collapse if we include gays in the vocabulary.

“They should have no business in issuing marriage licenses to determine who can and cannot get married. Once a couple is married in a religious or civil ceremony, then the legalities of the union can and should be adhered to and if sadly needed, adjudicated by the courts in the event of dissolution etc.”

I agree. This, of course, includes gays. Yes!

“As for Christ’s opinions on pedophilia and necrophilia, well the age of consent was indeed younger then and life expectancy was typically much shorter.”

I used to think that life was much shorter. Many people lived into their 80’s and 90’s, and if not killed in war, it was common. I don’t think the life expectancy, when left to its own devices, as changed very much.

“The concept of having sexual relations with young children is certainly something He would have not condoned though.”

I am not so sure about this. I believe that if the child was of child-bearing years, He may have found it appropriate. Younger, of course not. The body is not ready, he would have said. Frankly, I am appalled at His careless attitude about children. They are not mentally ready. I think Jesus got it wrong.

“Truly, that is what you think? Please recall that after Jesus addressed the crowd that wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery, that he then turned to her and asked if anyone had chosen to condemn her. After she said, “No”, then He said, “Then neither do I. GO AND SIN NO MORE!” (emphasis is mine)”

Adultery is violation of the Ten Commands and is also a violation of the agreement one made with one’s spouse. Nothing like Gay marriage.