Tuesday, October 21, 2008

No on 8, #4

I have received a lot of liturature from the Yes on 8 folk as well as having seen a lot of television ads... One thing stands out to me, well, maybe two.

First the arguments are based on fear - fear that from what I can see is completely unfounded

and

there are lots of untruths being told... let me be straightforward, at times they're just lying and other times they're twisting the truth to the point that it isn't recognizable.

No church, synagogue, mosque or other religious institution will be forced to marry anyone they don't want to. I know churches that refuse to marry divorced people. Divorced people have been legally free to marry forever. Nobody forces those churches to go against their stated beliefs. I know churches that will not do marriages for all kinds of other reasons, nobody forces them. No congregation will be forced to do marriages of a gay couple if it goes against their faith. Period. Anybody who tells you anything different than that is lying.

And nobody can tell a church that they have to change their doctrines about anything. If your congregation believes that gays should not be allowed to marry, you can continue to preach that every Sunday from now until the turn of the century. Nobody can tell you what to preach. And they can't sue you or charge you with a crime because of it.

They say that "marriage has always and everywhere been between a man and a woman." First off, I don't know how in the world anyone could say that... there is no way to know what has always and everywhere been, but beyond that, it implies that marriage as an institution has always been exactly as it was in the 1950's - 1 working man, 1 stay at home woman, 3 school aged children, and a dog. Sorry. I wasn't even then. Any anthropoligist would tell you that the institution of marriage has always been fluid and always will. Marriage in the Bible was very different than it is now and it changed through the times when scriptures were written.

And don't raise anything about childbirth. In marriage in our culture, childbirth may be a purpose of marriage but it is not the defining purpose. If it was, then we would disallow ayone who is sterile or who chooses not to have childen from marrying and require those beyond childbearing years to call their relationship something else.

"They are forcing their view on me..." Who is? Nobody can force you to change your belief system. What you think of believe about a neighbors relationship is irrelevant. You don't have to accept a gay couples relationship any more than they have to accept yours.

"Gay marriage diminishes "'real' marriage" How? How does a same sex couple who are committed to one another and love one another and wants to formalize that relationship in the context of their faith community impact your relationship in any way at all? We've been having gay marriages in CA for a bit now. As far as I can see, nothing has changed. Massachusetts hasn't fallen into the sea... and it has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country, lower than most of the states in the Bible belt.

Bottom line is that allowing a gay couple to marry won't change a thing for any straight person... but it makes a world of difference for that couple. Be fair to them. Let them formalize their commitment of love. And don't tell me as a pastor who I can or cannot marry.

8 comments:

Matt said...

I wonder if Jesus would perform or attend a same-sex wedding if he were asked. I'm not being antagonistic, I'm seriously wondering how he would respond to such a thing. I'm sure his response would be different than most, if not all, of us expected.

Chad said...

The human rights argument stirs up a lot of emotion and instantly paints anyone who is against gay marriage as being a bigot and a hate monger. That is unfortunate. When I say "no" to my children it is not because I am a bigot or hate them. Rather it is evidence of the fact that I truly love them and want what is best for them.

Prop. 8 is an opportunity for us to speak as to what is best--what I truly believe is the Father's best for His children as revealed in His Word.

It is also interesting how we have placed "our rights" above righteousness. Granting everyone the ability to do what is right in their own eyes has become our supreme ethic. We have lost sight of any objective standard for righteousness. In the name of "our rights" we kill thousands of unborn children each year. Rights? Yes. Righteousness? No. Gay marriage is another example of us demanding our rights without regard to God's standard of righteousness.

In the end we sell God short of His ability to miraculously transform lives. Jesus didn't die to simply forgive us and leave us as we are. He also came to change us and to set us free--all of us. Because I love all people, regardless of their belief or behavior, that is the message I will proclaim, even when it is labeled as bigotry.

Gen said...

Chad,

I hear what you are saying, but unfortunately, it sounds like a stand for selective righteousness. Are you fighting to make divorce illegal or unconstitutional? Are you fighting to not allow couples to live together when they are not married, thereby being fornicators? Are you fighting against greed, gluttony and a host of other things that are not righteous and not God's best for His children? Are you you working to eliminate fast food restaurants because they are bad for your health and therefore destroying the temple God gave you? This may sound ridiculous, but sin is sin right?

Please tell me how prop 8 speaks the Father's best to His children. Because the ads I hear in support of prop 8 are based on fear. I hear nothing of what you are speaking about. And many who I know who are voting yes on prop 8 are doing so out of disgust and fear of something they know little about. Tell me, where is the heart of the Father communicated in that? How does voting yes on prop 8 allow for God to transform somebody's life?

Chad said...

Gen,

1. The sin issues you mention are valid. But we are not voting on these. We are voting on the definition of marriage.

2. Without question there are some supporting prop. 8 out of fear. But, does this in any way change the truth of what God designed marriage to be? I am voting for an issue, not a group of people who support the issue.

3. How does voting yes on prop 8 allow for God to transform somebody's life? It upholds a standard for God's best for His children in relation to marriage. It communicates that all of us (especially me) are in need of forgiveness and transformation by a God who is both loving and powerful. Transformation in all of our lives begins with the recognition that there is a need for change.

roy said...

Chad,

"It is also interesting how we have placed "our rights" above righteousness. Granting everyone the ability to do what is right in their own eyes has become our supreme ethic."

Actually, I think that was God's idea... God has given us free will and has given us the responsibility of making moral decisions.

gen said...

Chad,

1. You are right, we are not voting on these issues. And that is what bothers me. It bothers me that this is THE issue. It is THE issue that is seen as something so completely perverse and potentially destructive to the fabric of society. I just emphatically disagree. There are so many other things that have been damaging to marriage and family that have been overlooked.

2. Well, this is where we fundamentally disagree. I do not believe that the "truth" of what God designed marriage to be is so clear as you might think it is. Marriage has gone through many phases. There was even a phase in Christain history when marriage was not as idolized as it is now. We could go back and forth with scripture on this one, I know. But the term "traditional marriage" is incredibly misleading. Who's traditions are considered to be counted as "traditional marriage"? How far back do we go in Judeo-Christian history to come to a definition of this traditional marriage?

3. And finally, I do not for a second believe that voting yes on prop 8 is going to open someone's eyes to the need that they need God's transforming power.People who are in same sex relationships see this proposition as another attempt at the religious right to impose their values on a group of people who want to live in a legalized committed relationship with the one they love. They do not see prop 8 as an act of love. This will not move people to see there is a need for change. If anything, it continues to reinforce the shame or anger many feel about something which is inherently a part of them. It is not all of them, but it is an integral part that is damaging to try and change.

Chad, I know we could go round and round on this. I believed for many many years that same sex relationships were sinful. I know all of the arguments and principles that are associated with this belief. I really do understand them. But, I never ever allowed myself to look at scripture through a different lens. I have allowed myself to do that and I have done a lot of study on the issue from both perspectives and as you can tell, my understanding has changed. And yes, this is for many personal reasons. I do very much understand the issue from both perspectives.

I agree with Roy that God has given us the responsibility and free will to make our own moral choices. So I understand why you will vote yes for moral reasons and I will vote no, also for moral reasons.

Michael Mahoney said...

"It is also interesting how we have placed "our rights" above righteousness. Granting everyone the ability to do what is right in their own eyes has become our supreme ethic."

Interesting, Roy, that seems to be the very position you are advocating. You are willing to place the "rights" of homosexual couples above the "righteousness" of God's word.

Yes, God has given us free will. And with that come the consequesces of wrong choice. A wise man (and you know who) says that we all look at the world through our own windows. We need to make sure that those widows are clear, and that we look at the world with the coloring of the Word of God. God will not give us a pass for acting in a secular manner because of politics.

As with all things, this is a matter of conscience. The child does not see the actions of the parent as an act of love when the parent disciplines the child. But the parent still must do it. Homosexuals will not see opposing gay marriage as an act of love, either. But for those who look through the lens of God's Word, it must be done.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that God's word suggests or commands that Christians must strive to create legislation or amend constitutions to regulate morality. The parent child analogy breaks down when you try to apply it to politics. It is not my role or your role to parent society.

When I read God's word it says to make discisples, it says to love the Lord your God and love your neighbor. I get the principle that speaking hard truth can be a loving act. However, the lens of God's word is fuzzy. When I look through the lens of God's word I come to a different conclusion on same sex relationships.