Friday, January 30, 2009

Is Gay Marriage a Good Idea?

Is Gay Marriage a Good Idea?
“A recent Salt Lake Tribune poll found 56 percent of Utahns support extending legal protections, short of marriage, to same-sex couples. But 70 percent oppose tweaking the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage to permit civil unions.” (Salt Lake Tribune, Tuesday, Jan.27)
There doesn’t seem to be a more sensitive issue in the news today than the topic of Gay Marriage. I tend to sit on the fence with this one. I am morally opposed to gay marriage as I am to homosexual activity. The problem for me is I have a live and let live attitude in life. I don’t think that just because something is morally wrong it should be illegal. I need to see how it hurts or harms other law abiding citizens, or even non citizens, before I see a reason for making it criminal. So I used to not be all that opposed to gay marriage being recognized by the state, as long as the state did not tell me that I had to perform the weddings. What do I care if a gay man gets to visit his lover in a hospital and take out insurance on him? And I do consider this to be primarily a state issue. But I have to say the aftermath of Prop. 8 in California has got me reconsidering the issue.
You see I believe very much in the separation of Church and state. I would love for everyone to be Christian and believe in the death and resurrection of Christ as the sole source of their salvation. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."( Acts 4:12 (ESV) I would also like it if everyone shared the same morality that Jesus espoused and recognized that things like pornography, premarital sex, shacking up, homosexual activity, gossip, believing in any God other than the triune God, and skipping church on Sunday (even if it is to watch the biggest game of the year) were wrong. (It should be noted here, that while the activity is condemned as sinful in the Bible, nowhere is anyone actually condemned for being what we call a homosexual. Plenty of people in Paul’s Corinthian congregation were evidently tempted by the activity; Paul addresses these same people as saints. Paul doesn’t shun them for their sinful temptations, but he does warn against falling prey to and giving into those temptations. The same as he warns those with heterosexual temptations against falling prey to their particular struggles in life. No one is condemned for “being” anything but guilty of sin.) But I hardly think we do anyone any great service by locking them up for those morally wrong activities. I don’t want to force these ideas on anyone. Partly because I don’t think keeping them from these activities is going to save them, only Christ can do that. Secondly, I don’t think making these activities illegal helps or protects anyone. I see a reason for drunk driving laws, laws against murder including abortion, rape, theft, and perjury. These laws protect me and other innocent people, or at least insure that justice is possible to some degree after the crime has been committed. I don’t see how a law against people skipping church is going to protect me from anyone. I tend not to think a law or proposition not permitting two men or two women to call themselves married is going to protect me or traditional marriage.
I like “traditional marriage,” as it has been defined, one man and one woman. I happen to think that the current laws governing no fault divorce have done more to destroy this than anything though. (Being divorced I’m a little bitter on that issue.) The way the laws are currently written I have come to the conclusion that as long as the milk is free, a man has nothing to gain and everything to lose by getting married. A woman can step out at anytime for any reason and take half of everything a guy owns, and if they have children together clean out his bank account for a good long time. I still like traditional marriage though. I think it is the honorable thing for a man to do, even if legally speaking it is a losing proposition. If we are serious about protecting traditional marriage we would do well to revisit those laws, I think they are more corrosive to traditional marriage than allowing homosexual couples to visit each other in the hospital.
However, I have been aghast at the back lash many churches and private citizens have been dealt in the wake of proposition 8. It has not endeared me at all to the gay community or their cause. Windows being broke, and harassing people at their places of work and business for expressing their political opinion and supporting it monetarily is not endearing behavior. Furthermore, when I hear of churches being sued because they refuse to marry homosexual couples in a state that does allow it I begin to think that my previous understanding of tolerance is misguided. I’m all for tolerance, but tolerance should not mean mandatory acceptance. I have my reasons for considering gay marriage immoral. It is not in line with my religious beliefs. I would like to think I could tolerate it though without condoning it. If I can’t do that, then I will oppose it. It makes me think that at the very least as the current propositions are being brought before the attention of state legislators that they might also consider writing in protection for institutions that remain morally opposed to the gay lifestyle, and do not wish to condone such behavior.

1 comment:

AltWorlder said...

This seems like a good and temperate attitude towards the issue, in my eyes. Certainly as Christians we are to oppose homosexual activity, but I don't think that we necessarily have to actively campaign against it within the secular arena of the state. Left-hand and Right-hand Kingdoms and all that.