Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My last gay marriage post?

It's been some time since I've written on the whole gay marriage issue, but when I started on this blog, I wrote about it frequently.  I also found myself debating with anti-gay marriage people quite a bit, finding myself getting rather upset.  I'm not sure if it was their inability to see how completely unfair their stance was or whether it was their inability to see how completely illogical all the anti-gay marriage arguments are.

I figured that I'd write about it again today since apparently something or other happened involving gay marriage that's pretty significant.  For those living under a rock and cannot access Facebook, The Supreme Court of the United States made two major rulings regarding the issue.  The first one was that the "Defense of Marriage Act" (Was there ever a title more Orwellian?) is unconstitutional.  Apparently, there's something about the U.S. Constitution where you're not allowed to discriminate against other people.  The other ruling was in regards to California's Proposition 8.  If I understand it correctly, the ruling wasn't so much that Prop 8 was unconstitutional, as that had already been determined by another court.  The ruling had more to do with the fact that those who were appealing to have the ruling overturned basically didn't have a legal leg to stand on - mainly because it would have no impact on their lives.  So, that puts the final nail on Prop 8's coffin.  (Please feel free to comment and correct me if I've goofed up the details here.)

I'm not sure why I've been so passionate about this issue.  I'm  not gay myself, and if I am, my denial is REALLY deep.  There isn't anybody close to me who's gay.  I guess the closest I get to that is I have some students of whom I'm fond who are gay, and I've made a few friends online who are gay as well.  (I've even had them - yikes! - in my house, where they pressed their gay agenda on to my son; now he likes watching Tinkerbell movies on Netflix.)  I guess I just don't like it when people are being treated unfairly.

Obviously, this isn't the end of this issue.  There are still states with laws against it.  There are still homophobes out there.  But this is pretty significant, and it's pretty hard to imagine that the wind is going to start blowing in the other direction on this issue.  The genie might still have a couple of feet in his lamp, but his head, arms, and legs are out - he ain't gonna go back in there.  Shoot, even Newt Gingrich has admitted that there's no turning back on this issue, and he said that before the Superior Court's ruling.  (He had said years ago that this whole gay marriage issue was a temporary sort of thing that would eventually go away.)

You'll forgive me if I'm feeling a bit smug right now.  My past entries on this issue were always full of assurance that we were on the winning side of this issue, and I cannot imagine how anybody could see it otherwise.  To those who continue to be against it, let me assure you that your lives will not change at all.  If the definition of marriage to you is "one man and one woman" then more power to you.  As far as I'm concerned, that's the definition for me as well, but unlike you, I don't care how other people define it.  But let's stop talking about "redefining" marriage and the changing of "traditional" marriage.  This is an institution that has been redefined over and over again.  Was there a dowry involved in your wedding?  Was the father really "giving away" the bride as though she was a piece of property or was it just a nice thing to have him take part in the ceremony?  And for Pete's sakes, if you're going to talk about "Biblical" marriage, then shut up and actually read The Bible and find out what that really means, because it isn't what you think it is.  To sum it all up though, it was put best by a fella named Dave Holmes, who wrote on his Twitter account:  "As we celebrate today, let's spare a warm thought for our opponents, who have lost absolutely nothing."

My son, Logan, is going to be three years old.  He's going to see what will no doubt be his first wedding in a year.  It will be between a man and a woman, but I like to hope that in his lifetime, he'll see ones between couples of the same sex.  More importantly, I hope that when he's told that there was once a time when gay people couldn't get married, his first reaction will be complete incredulousness - kinda like the one I felt when I first heard about black people once having separate drinking fountains.  I couldn't even fathom why, much less how, that could even be true.


Tony from Pandora said...

What are your thoughts on polygamy?

Lance Johnson said...

If we're talking about what's going on in those FLDS communities, where old men are marrying 14 year old girls, then I say arrest those bastards.

If we're talking about consenting adults, then I'm fine with it, although it's not for me.

I definitely don't think that it should be criminalized. As to whether the government should recognize these unions, I'm not sure. At the very least, they should be able to have legal contracts.

It's different from same-sex unions only in the sense that the math is different. By allowing gay people to marry, the only bit of language that changes is the sexes; everything else remains the same, as there isn't any law that requires couples to have children and/or have vaginal sex. (Not to put too fine a point on it.) Adding a third, fourth, etc. person into the mix would require a whole new set of laws regarding inheritance and all that. If the government were to issue such licenses, then I would't have a problem with it. If anything, it might give the government more teeth in going after the pedophiles like the ones in the FLDS.

Actually, what I mean is that I'm for it because it's traditional, Biblical marriage. Honestly, I don't know why Christians are against polygamy outside of cultural reasons. Does The Bible specifically condemn it anywhere? I tried looking it up and found so many different answers that took paragraphs upon paragraphs to read, and ultimately I didn't give enough of a crap one way or another to keep reading.

Tony from Pandora said...

...and what if the 14 year old is consenting? 15 year-old? 16 year old? Can a man marry his dog? Is there a moral compass that directs your view of what's okay in defining marriage (you apparently frown upon pedophilia... kudos, but what else is out of bounds, and why?)

"Actually, what I mean is that I'm for it because it's traditional, Biblical marriage."

I detect a hint of sarcasm there...

Concerning 'traditional biblical marriage'... Gen 2:24 states that man leaves his mom and dad to a woman and they become one flesh. Jesus affirms the 'one man to one woman' in Matt. 19:4. No where is marriage defined otherwise. All imagery of marriage (Christ as the groom to the church the bride, to name one) indicate a faithfulness to a single partner. Of course, Abraham, David, Solomon, and others are known to have multiple wives. And there are laws in Deuteronomy that explain how to deal with property splits of polygamy, as there are laws concerning how to deal with slavery, but this isn't the same as condoning the behavior, only how to handle the ramifications of such behavior. Lot's daughters got him drunk and had sex with him. That is NOT to be interpreted that it's okay to have sex with your dad. One of the things that I find attractive about the bible is the fact that most of the protagonists are very flawed, yet God still chooses them to do His work.

And don't get hung up on the last sentence... I can just imagine you coming back with something like, "Yeah, Tony... most fictional stories work best with an imperfect hero to root for... blah, blah, blah...!!!

Lance Johnson said...

"...and what if the 14 year old is consenting? 15 year-old? 16 year old?"

Tony, I normally enjoy our conversations, as you seem to be at least somewhat more thoughtful than a lot of theists. Please take note that I used the term consenting ADULTS. So, your question is irrelevant unless you want to make the case that 16 and under are adults.

"Can a man marry his dog?"

Seriously, Tony? Fucking SERIOUSLY???? Can dogs sign contracts?

Honestly, I kinda saw the polygamy question coming, maybe even from you, but I didn't think that you'd give me the "man marry his dog" argument. I thought better of you, but questions like are the sorts of things my friends and I ask each other when we're MAKING FUN of the anti-gay marriage crowd.

Regarding The Bible and polygamy, you're simply equivocating. Nowhere is there a direct condemnation of polygamy. And I disagree with your assertion that giving laws on how to handle polygamy doesn't qualify as condoning it. Yes, The Bible doesn't condone incest through the story about Lot, but that's not a part of The Bible where the laws are being written down, is it?

And The Bible totally condones slavery. It tells you that you can beat your slave, so long as you don't beat him to death. Wonderful moral standard.

I've used this analogy before, but you Christians are like somebody who's debating on what the standard for what being healthy is, and since nobody can give you a precise answer as to what the standard is, you declare that it's Amy Winehouse.

Tony from Pandora said...

"Seriously, Tony? Fucking SERIOUSLY???? Can dogs sign contracts?"

Actually, no, that was sarcastic... I unintentionally hit 'Publish' instead of 'Preview' and couldn't clarify the sarasm... so the whole response wasn't edited the way I'd like before you having read it... my bad...

Concerning slavery... I fear straying from the blog topic too much, but all I can say is to reiterate that slavery was not condoned. One thing not often mentioned is that the laws in the bible were not give to Adam and Eve at the beginning of time. The laws were given to an already broken institution. But if you read the Old Testament and understand the culture in which it's set... the practice of slavery would ween off entirely anyway, so long as the people actually followed scripture. But of course, people are selfish, greedy, and arrogant, and do what they can get away with, like a guy reading the verse that relates to beating a slave, and thinks, "Well, as long I don't beat him TO DEATH, I'm good." That misses the mark entirely, when read with the rest of scripture. As a result... we still have slavery, rape, murder, and stealing.

"Consenting adults..."

(Again, issues relating to not editing...) Physiologically, women's menstrual period shows their age of maturation i.e. able to reproduce. It's a relatively modern, social rule that 18 is the consenting age, but from an evolutionary standpoint, why would that need to be the case? Why the need to follow a modern view of 'age of maturity' set forth by our government?
For the record, I don't have an answer from a biblical standpoint, either... Mary, mother of Jesus, was thought of to be no more than 16, and I still think of my two daughters and say, "NO WAY!!!... even if it was baby Jesus in there!!!"

And specifically blog related, homosexuality... since it offers zero 'species survival' benefits, why isn't it looked at as a genetic abnormality/mutation (no, I don't see it that way, either)? Why would that be condoned? I guess your stance could be, "Evolution WILL sort it out, but it doesn't hurt my survival, so who cares... so long as their wedding has good cake and an open bar?"

My stance on homosexual marriage can be best summed up with. "let's feed all these starving kids first..."

"Amy Winehouse"

Seriously, Lance? Fucking SERIOUSLY???? Janis Joplin, maybe...

Lance Johnson said...

Regarding slavery - Tony, I don't even know how to start with that. If you have six minutes, a guy on Youtube basically addresses what you're doing:

As to the age of a consenting adult, we'll never have an age with which we're 100% happy. I'm sure if I had a daughter, 37 would be about right. Honestly, I think that it should be in the early twenties, when the frontal lobe of the brain is fully formed, but I doubt that society is going to back me up on that one. So, I'll settle for 18. I work with high school students, so I can assure you that there's a big difference between the freshmen and the seniors.

Regarding homosexuality and evolution, you're probably better off asking an actual biologist. However, I know that some studies have been done - a quick Google search yields the following:

One way or another, the fact is that it exists in the animal kingdom, so there must be some reason it happens.