Monday, November 14, 2005

An Odd Sort of Argument

Well, Texans did even worse than I expected, voting nearly 75% to 25% to approve a the Texas constitutional amendment to ban nontraditonal marriage. This is too bad, because:

1. The amendment is redundant, because Texas already has laws prohibiting gay marriage. But our representatives obviously don't have enough work to justify their paychecks, so they resort to passing laws about cheerleading and other unnecessary legislation.

2. The amendment denies legal, emotional and perhaps even the spiritual benefits of marriage to a long-ostracized minority group. For many voters, I suppose this outcome was just what they had in mind. That doesn't make their behavior any more ethical, or any less harmful.

3. God thinks that, all things considered, gay marriage is OK.

Statement #3 is simply a summary of what I think God thinks about gay marriage, which arises from an aggregation of the following experiences:

1. My upbringing in the church, which included lots of Bible reading. This means I have a good idea about what's actually in there, and what's not.

(An aside, here: please don't expect me to take seriously your comments about scripture if you haven't at least read the entire Bible. I consider that a minimal standard for competent discussion.)

2. Masters of Divinity friends discussing good ways and bad ways of interpreting the Bible.

3. Discussions with helpful acquaintances who considered themselves gay or lesbian.

4. A few years spent attempting to empathize with other people.

5. A few years spent thinking about suffering (disease, famine, natural disaster, pogroms, abuse, depression, post-nasal drip) and the way God interacts with the world.

6. A few years spent attempting to ask questions clearly and answer them precisely.

These ideas and experiences have lead me to the conclusion expressed concisely in statement #3: God thinks gay marriage isn't such a big deal. To support statement 3, I suppose I could provide a well-reasoned analysis of the Bible and the world, trying to prove that God thinks one way or another. This is probably what Paul was expecting when he once asked me to post on the topic of homosexuality. But in my experience, this sort of analysis isn't helpful unless you and the other party have spent some time trying to understand the history of thought that underpins your reasoning.

So here's my invitation to you. If you can spare a few brainwaves, take some time to think about God and gay marriage, and then take a few minutes to write a brief post for the rest of us. But don't just share your reasoning in this post; also summarize the experiences that make your belief ring true.

3 comments:

connor said...

I’m sure you’re not surprised to be drawing a blank on this one, but I’ll try to give it a go. For starters, I’m undecided on the whole gay marriage/homosexuality issue when it comes to Christianity but where government is concerned I like your friend’s idea of getting the state out of marriage.

More importantly for Christians, I believe that we have already persecuted gays enough. Whether you’re okay with homosexuality or not, this is still true. I’ve known (aware of knowing) roughly three homosexuals in my life but have never talked to these people about it and I was only aware of one of these people being homosexual at the time I knew them. A member of my youth group at church growing up happened to be homosexual (no one knew it). This person did exhibit some stereotypical homosexual behavior and of course people made jokes and all that fun male teenage stuff. I’m sure it was a terrible experience for this person and I’m pretty sure that these things and general hatred towards gays pushed this person to becoming an alcoholic at one point. Even now that this persons sexual orientation is out in the open I’ve heard people talk about the terrible pain this has caused this persons family and “we should of know it” stories about the persons past eccentricities. No one seems to care about the actual person and these are active church going Christians I’m talking about, but I guess that’s not surprising.

This experience, along with my opinion that sexually orientations are not chosen, has led me to conclude that Christians should accept gays (sexually active or whatever). If Christians can’t accept them without confronting the debated sin of homosexuality then they should stop accepting regular old remarried divorcees.

connor said...

thats - "we should of known it" - in the last post. Sorry and if the grammar is bad don't worry I only scored in the 20% percentile in grammar on the PSAT in high school so I have an excuse.

Rick said...

Thanks for your blog. I appreciate the work you are doing. Please note that I've added a link to you at http://jesuswasaliberal.blogspot.com
I'm sorry not to have sent you an e-mail but could not find one. Thanks.

Godspeace