Tuesday, March 26, 2013

And Now for Something Completely Different

This will not be related to movies or TV in any way, shape, or form. I finished The West Wing about a month ago and have been struggling to finish my write-ups, so I can't make any promises on a timeline for their posting, but I'll say that I hope they're coming soon.

Instead, with the United States Supreme Court making decisions on California’s Proposition 8 today and the Defense of Marriage Act tomorrow, I’ve jotted down my argument about same-sex marriage. This is a Facebook post I just posted on my wall. In my opinion, same-sex is the single most important issue facing my country right now and should be treated as such.

I consider myself a moderate conservative, and anybody who knows me halfway decently knows that. (I'm probably more conservative than I'd probably admit, though.) Nevertheless, I feel like I'm in an interest position. I'm neither gay nor a flaming tea-partier (obviously liberal is completely out of the question). I also like to think myself more levelheaded about social issues than most people out there. I completely understand both sides, and therein lies the dilemma. There are good arguments to be made on both sides, but each side also had a number of points with which I disagree wholeheartedly. Let's talk it out and reach a conclusion that makes everybody at least halfway happy.

Being from the right, I'll start there, first. I find the complete lack of respect for human rights present in the argument appalling. I don't think I'm even acquainted with, much less know, a single person who still thinks that sexual orientation is a choice. I mean, seriously! With all the crap gays get these days from the right, why the hell would anybody choose to be gay? So there, gays are born gay. Live with it. Even if they weren't inherently batting for the same team, the argument that a common law marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman is fine, and is indeed what I believe, but that doesn't mean it's okay. We live in a country founded upon a laundry list of civil rights, the list of which has only grown longer since the country's foundation. If we value human rights so much, then why can't we find it within ourselves to accept everyone, and I mean everyone, not just white males, not just white people, not just people of all races, but gays too? I think it's inherently anti-American, not to mention anti-constitutional, to deny people the right to live and love, whomever they so choose. If someone says, but the Bible says that homosexuality is wrong, then yes, you're right, well sort of, screw you and read my response to the liberal argument.

Now for the left. I've already pretty much solved for the civil law of same-sex marriage, so religion is what's left. The Bible does indeed call homosexuality an abomination (Leviticus 18:22), but there are a number of things that are outdated. Biblical literalists are some of my least favorite people, not because they are sometimes ridiculous in what they believe (everybody should be free to interpret the Bible and its message pretty much, though not entirely, how they want), but because they are so uncompromising in the their opinions and viewpoints. The Bible is free to be interpreted, not free from interpretation. Personally, I do not believe gay marriage is right. Scratch that, I don't believe religious same-sex marriage is right, but that doesn't mean that another Christian might think that verse is out of date. (If you think the entire Bible is up to date, then you're as dumb as they come. We've done just a handful of things in the last 4-10 thousand years as I recall.) Yes, marriage existed outside of Jewish and Christian law during and before Leviticus was written, but I'm a Christian secure in my faith and beliefs, I believe that passage from Leviticus still holds pretty much true today, and if I were a priest, I would absolutely refuse to carry out a same-sex marriage. Shoot me, but that's what I believe. That being said, however, anybody who makes any sort of civil law at the city, state, or national level has absolutely no right to legislate on any law involving what goes on inside a sanctuary, a chapel, a synagogue, a mosque, etc. I don't think I know anybody who legitimately thinks that freedom of religion is a bad nor anybody who thinks that freedom of religion doesn't also mean freedom from government interference in religion. If the state, the voting public included, starts going around voting on propositions (looking at you California) and legislating on the legality of same-sex marriage. The church should. Plain and simple. The right seems to think that religion should play some huge role in what things should be legal and illegal, but that simply should not be the case. Constitutionality should be the be all and the end all. In other words, state, stay the hell away from the church and leave the each and every church to make its own specific decision as to whether it will carry out same-sex marriages.

In summation, my views can be boiled down into two main thoughts and one clear solution: civil same-sex marriage should be legal and whether religious marriage should include same-sex marriage should be completely and totally up to the discretion of every church in its own right.

If you've made it this far, bravo! I didn't realize how damned long this would turn out to be when I started. I'd love to hear everybody else's opinions on the issue, too. Please don't use this as an opportunity to troll. This is the single most important social issue facing our country since the 1960s and to cheapen the argument surrounding it in any way does nothing but soil the name of this great nation, this beacon of light and hope and human rights and liberties the world over.