Land of the Free

Friday, 13 August 2010
I constantly encourage others to start a blog. With more blogs on the internet, there's more space for opinions, debate and education.  On my blog, I obviously wax poetic with my opinion.  Below is my opinion about same-sex marriage.  Please feel free to post your thoughts and I ask for your respect, as I WILL respect your ideas and thoughts on the subject.

What is the big deal about allowing same-sex marriage to those who seek it?  The United States of America is supposed to be the land of the Free.  We are Free to pursue whichever religion we want to.  Thankfully, people of color have the same Freedoms as whites (remember it took a war to accomplish this) and women have the Freedom to vote (this took years of advocating).

We are painfully behind the times when it comes to Freedom of choice regarding who people wish to marry.  Canada and Mexico both recognize gay marriage.

I understand and have studied the "moral" debate which comes from conservative religions.  They would say, "God meant for one man and one woman to be together."  In fact, some religious people would say God meant for one man to be with several women to build up a kingdom in heaven.  Again, conservative religious types say "homosexuality is a sin." Cheating on your spouse is also a "sin" but people do it all the time and they are not legally banned from doing so. What's my point? I feel some voters do not realize many United States citizens lack the FREEDOM to marry who they want to marry.

Usually it is the conservative Christians who have the most to say on this subject.  But, from my religious back ground, I just cannot see why people who believe God is "all-knowing, all-powerful and omnipotent" think gay marriage would somehow prove He is lesser or tread on the idea that God is no longer in control. That's ridiculous.

In my opinion, the Freedom the USA stands for should be all encompassing.  We have the Freedom to worship how we wish, vote how we wish and all humans should have equality when it comes to marriage. 


Amber C said...

Okay, I'll bite. Why should people support something that they don't believe is right? I don't follow your analogy of cheating on your spouse, or substituting any other sin, for homosexuality. Is there a group of serial adulterers demanding their right to have society's stamp of approval on what they do?

I'm not trying to be facetious; in fact, it's quite the opposite. If someone is gay and wants to live their life with their same-sex partner, fine. Go for it. No one's stopping them from doing so... this IS a free country. Same as cheating... if you want to cheat on your wife, you can. If you want to drink yourself into oblivion every night, you can. But that doesn't mean that you are entitled to the support of people who believe that those actions are wrong.

The gay activists know that, which is why the movement is focusing on desensitizing young people and breaking down the idea that homosexuality is wrong. That is how real change will happen, and the media's doing a pretty good job of pushing it. Equality arguments will get you nowhere with people who think that homosexuality is a sin/against nature and that marriage was not created for same-sex couples. If someone believes that homosexuality is morally wrong, then you're not going to convince them that the benefits of marriage - and yes, there are benefits - are to be extended to people who are doing something morally wrong. That is why the argument of equality is, in my opinion, a total waste of time.

Denae said...

The fight for equality will never be a waste of time. Perhaps in your eyes, but not mine.

What about a black woman marrying a white man? Conservative Christians would say that is also a "sin." But thankfully now, it is legal.

Do remember that most white Christian Confederates believed God wanted them to have slaves (since guidelines for a master/slave relationship are supposedly in the Bible) so they fought to the death to keep their "right" in tact.

Some conservative Christians also believed God did not ordain women to have any say/rights/make decisions over their husbands which is why women still do not have equality in church leadership or in government and still get paid less in companies despite having more experience and education than their male counterparts.

Please don't fool yourself into thinking the younger generation are desensitized to a pro-gay message. Times change and modern ideas and education promotes a productive society.

Thanks for your comments. I knew we would disagree on this.

Chris F. said...

The solution to this problem (the funny thing is that it was a non-issue until the government became involved) is to get the government out of this.

If two men or two women want to live in the same apartment or house, that is their choice. If two people want to set up wills and trusts, so as long as the paperwork was done properly, the gender should not not even be an issue.

If a church doesn't wish to conduct ceremonies for gays, that is their right. If a person is not comfortable engaging in sexual activity with someone of the same gender, it is not for the government to decide otherwise.

The key wedge issue in all this is the marriage license. Some advocates claim that merely granting marriage license would then give them the legal right to all the rest. But it was precisely the marriage license that was used to prevent "mixed marriages" amongst blacks and whites. If you seek a government "right" to do something, then it is not a right. It is merely a privilege that is then incorporated.

Of course, the government can't grant the right to marry since governments don't have the right to even exist. It would be just as absurd if they passed a "law" regulating gravity, physics or the worship of God.

Amber C said...

I didn't say that the fight for equality was a waste of time. The ARGUMENT of it is. Gay marriage will happen, but I don't see it happening by demanding equality. It will happen through continual efforts to change perceptions that it is wrong.

I don't think I am fooling myself into believing that kids are desensitized. I could provide a lot of examples for this, but here's one for you: have you picked up a Seventeen magazine lately? Subtly different from when I read it 15 years ago. I don't recall ever seeing any references to lesbian couples, but the messages are different now. Were we so antiquated and uneducated as teens?

I shouldn't have to remind you that "conservative Christians" don't have the market on correct biblical interpretation. People can bend and twist the Bible to suit their personal interests, and that's been happening for years. Slave owners had motivation for demoralizing black people. Men want to be served by and superior to women. Where's my personal interest in not supporting gay marriage? My goodness, I cheered when another lesbian couple moved onto my old street. I suspected that they'd make their home look gorgeous, and they'd mind their own business. I was right on both counts. How's that for positive stereotyping? :)

Believe me, I wish I could interpret the Bible differently, on many issues! Do you think it's easy for me, as someone who has a large number of homosexual friends and colleagues, to come to the conclusions that I have? It would be so much more comfortable and convenient for me to not be conflicted, and to hop on board with you and my other friends.

I'm curious about your definition of a conservative Christian. What is the difference between a conservative Christian, and a Christian you "approve" of? What does a genuine follower of Christ look like to you? What do their Bible study and prayer habits look like? What kind of worship? What about their values and how those values are expressed? Perhaps that is a blog post for another day.

Lastly, how did you "know" we would disagree? You know I'm a Christian, but don't jump to conclusions. I'm a flaming centrist, and Sarah Palin makes me want to vomit.

Denae said...

Amber - Thanks again for your comment. I knew we'd disagree because you've posted about homosexuality on my blog before.

Chris - I appreciate your thoughts on this.

Casey said...

I think everyone has the right to their own religious beliefs. Unfortunately, many refuse to recognize that their religion is a faith and a choice. Islam teaches that many of my life choices are job, my relationships, that bikini in Hawaii, etc...Christianity teaches that many social choices are wrong as well. However, people in this country can make a choice in their own religious practices and rituals. God Bless America.

We are not a religious state. As such, we can not create laws and regulation based solely on a single religion's doctrine. No matter how popular that religion is... Gay marriage merely addresses a civil issue, not one of faith. Just like the Catholic Church refuses to recognizes second marriages after divorce, all Christian churches can continue to deny gay marriages. And Amber can continue to think the marriages are illegitimate in God's eyes. That is fine. But this is 2010, and like it or not, we are a nation of choices.

Time to move on...

Jeregano said...

I will say
1) Equality and the fight for it are VERY important here in the United States and it is always worth fighting for the rights of others, even if you disagree with their use of them. (EX: KKK rallies are terrible things where hate filled speeches and rhetoric are yelled for children to hear, but if I start advocating for limits to their free speech than there is no moral foot for me to stand on when someone starts trying to remove my free speech rights).

2) If a person can't see that argument for equal rights then it is also important to not that this country has a freedom of religion as well that guarantees no one religion can enforce it's religious beliefs on others. That means that no one in the society can say that the government cannot recognize a union of 2 people based only on THEIR religious belief. The governments allowing same sex marriage is not the same as religious institutions recognizing it. Much like to matter of divorce, many religions do NOT recognize any type of divorce, but the government does. Same for female equality, some religions don't believe the sexes are created equal, but the government does recognize them as equal. Now people can choose to live with their religions, and religious institutions can choose to recognize and not recognize what ever they want, but the United States of America is not a religious institution. It cannot force religious values on its people based only on religious arguments. Like Casey said, whatever your personal choices are about your religion and their values, you cannot force those on the government or the people of different religions, not in this country.
Now in the old Taliban run Pakistan....well that is what a religion run country had to aspire to.

Annie said...

Denae, very well written! You touched on some of the issues that have been on my mind for quite a while. The right to marry is, in my opinion, a civil rights issue. In a country where so much depends on marriage (visitation rights, insurance etc) - I think EVERYONE should be free to marry whomever they want to - regardless of religion.

Teri's Blog said...

I don't think it is a religious issue. I know some people who voted for prop 8 for different reasons. I think it is a voting issue and in America voting is a private thing. That's why polls can show one thing and the vote is another. So it is sad that one judge can invalidate all those votes. However, this is part of the checks and balances that the Founding Fathers designed.

Amber C said...

Hi Denae -

The post you referenced wasn't passing judgment on my friend's homosexuality... it was about overbearing people advancing their agenda at every opportunity. That's why I had no recollection of a previous discussion on this topic.

I enjoy hearing everyone's perspectives. I've been mulling on this over the past few days. I understand that you can't legalize morality, and I have no interest on imposing my religion on anyone. I honestly don't expect people who aren't Christians to conduct themselves by the standards set forth in my faith. But, ultimately, I'm not going to vote to advance something which I feel is wrong or which leads our country in the wrong direction. That's what we all have the privilege to do when we vote. For me, gay marriage is the one issue I just can't get past.

Teri touched on another point which I think is worth mentioning. Do you think that conservative Christians, or any type of Christians, are really responsible for the passing of Prop 8? I mean, we're talking about California here! Is California 52% conservative Christian? Hardly. I'd be surprised if it was even 10%. Like Teri was saying, many people do have different reasons for not supporting gay marriage. I'd wager a guess to say that for many of these Californians, religion had nothing to do with their vote.

Tina L. Hook said...

*Sigh* The world is such a crazy mixed up place. We have so many real problems that need our attention--it seems silly that we should spin our wheels over who gets married to who. What a waste of our collective resources.

PS I love gay people. And their spouses. There. I said it.

Denae said...

Amber, Florida Girl Meets the Midwest, Teri's Blog, Annie, Jeregano, Casey and Chris F.,

Thank you so much for discussing this controversial but important topic here. I appreciate your opinions, ideas and debate more than you know. Please post on future topics! We are exercising our right to free speech despite our gender, religion, race or sexual preference - which is a wonderful thing. I try to often remember my fellow students in my graduate classes in London who were from China. They were rarely even able to search a topic on Google in their country since the government feared "propaganda" would come up. I am thankful for my freedoms.

Teri's Blog said...

So true! I can't believe the freedoms that I don't have even here in England of all places! Soooooo spoiled in USA!