Because life is a series of edits

On Gay Marriage

In Health, Humanity, Marriage, Thought on May 19, 2008 at 11:36 am

In light of the activist action of California’s Supreme Court late last week, here are some things to keep in mind with regard to the question of homosexuality and gay marriage:

  • According to a 2005 study by The Kinsey Institute, 90% of men aged 18-44 considered themselves to be heterosexual, 2.3% as homosexual, 1.8% as bisexual, and 3.9% as “something else.” The numbers are almost identical for women. It’s amazing how powerful a lobby the homosexual community has for being less than 7% of the population.
  • Joseph Nicolosi‘s research in the late-90’s on reorientation therapy’s effectiveness has not been refuted. In fact, Robert Spitzer, who argued in 1973 that homosexuality is not a clinical disorder, wrote in 2001: “Contrary to conventional wisdom, some highly motivated individuals, using a variety of change efforts, can make substantial change in multiple indicators of sexual orientation, and achieve good hetero-sexual functioning.”
  • Homosexuality is not the worst of sins, but neither is it merely a “non-ideal, lesser of two evils” sin. Contrary to what more doctrinally-liberal churches teach, homosexual relationships are not God-given, nor is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18 and 19 merely an example of God’s wrath being poured out in response to the sin of inhospitality.
  • Apart from Scripture (which is quite clear in both Old AND New Testaments that homosexuality is not God’s model for marriage), there are some very compelling secular arguments against the cultural endorsement of homosexual behavior. Robert A.J. Gagnon, Associate Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, has written as much as anybody on the topic and offers six helpful points here.

Considering where things stand, a defining federal Constitutional ammendment may indeed be necessary if traditional marriage is to be legally preserved in the United States. As much as I hate the idea of trying to legislate morality, I honestly wonder if the nation understands (or could ultimately survive) what’s at stake by not doing so.

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  1. What is that, exactly? I always hear people talk about how legalising gay marriage is going to make America and its interests erupt into a fiery volcano, but few if any people ever go into much detail. What are you expecting is going to happen? Are you imagining a scenario where a man and a woman try to get married and the FBI storms into the wedding and says ‘Sorry, you can’t do that any more. Gay people can get married as well, you see.’

    Or maybe we’re looking at an unstoppable wave of STDs and gay pride paraders picketing outside Sunday schools? (All right, so the STD thing is a legitimate concern and worries me as well, but let’s not blow it out of all proportion). You might not like legislating morality, but unfortunately that’s what people on both sides of the argument are attempting; apparently society hasn’t progressed beyond the point where the automatic response to something you don’t agree with is attempting to ban it.

    Here’s an experiment: you stop treating homosexuals as if they’re the harbringers of a poorly defined apocalypse and they might be persuaded to stop screaming ‘hate speech’ at the drop of a hat. Or, alternatively, we could all start trying to censor each other at the same time and turn the United States into a bigger circus than it already is.

  2. not sure I agree with you on this one.

    if you are using the bible to prove your point that homosexuality is wrong, then you also have to include the scripture that says:

    (1 Tim. 2:12)
    “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.”

    (Lev 19.18b)
    “You shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. ”

    do you believe in this as well?

    I am interested in your response.

    Thank you.

  3. Mull over this:

    (Deuteronomy 13:7-11)
    “If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or your intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known,gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the LORD, your God…”

    The bible is a deeply ugly book.

  4. vitaminbook, i agree with you that the church has much to atone for in its treatment of gay/bi/trans persons. showing respect for persons is a fundamental virtue for any community, christian or otherwise. in our day of dialogue by sound bites, etc., our society seems to have lost its way in being able to have a civil discussion in the public square no matter what the issue is. i have always loved g.k. chesterton who said something akin to the fact that “i never let anger spoil a good argument.”

    it does seem to me that in this discussion/argument that cries of “homophobia” and “hate speech” are ad hominem attacks and not truly arguments. there is a definite push by the gay community to silence opinions that disagree with their views and to call those opposite views “hate speech”. if this is the case, then dialogue becomes impossible.

    as to legislating morality, every society does this to some extent. isn’t making murder against the law a moral statement as well as a societal standard? it must be possible to disagree and still live in the same society.

    certainly we’ve recently seen a spate of public service commercials pointing out the fact that children do best in families where there are both mother and father. those aren’t founded on arguments from the bible and it is a huge area of concern that so many households are single-parents (read that as single mothers) rearing children on their own. the societal cries for fathers seems to be growing. it seems to me that this is one valid reason to oppose the idea of two same gendered persons as a legitimate marriage

  5. Thanks for the thoughts here – many to consider and discuss. And yes, I agree with Augustinian that there’s no need to escalate our language at the expense of having a discussion. In fact, one thing that would help me is a little more disclosure as to where each of you is coming from so I can take more seriously/humanly your points (you can read more of my thoughts on this here).

    Nevertheless, what are the key issues being raised? I make out three main ones (all legitimate) concerning:

    1) the slippery slope of gay marriage more clearly defined (vitaminbook)
    2) the use of ancient Scripture (Old and New Testaments) to address modern issues (escapethedrain)
    3) the brutality of the Bible (transientreporter)

    With regard to the first issue, Gagnon is pretty specific as to what would presumably lie ahead if gay marriage were legalized. You mentioned STDs as a legitimate concern and Gagnon agrees, but I would argue that just as legitimate a concern (if not more so) is his sixth point: “the normalization of all consensual sexual relationships, irrespective of number and degree of blood relatedness.”

    In other words, if we refuse to draw the line somewhere, we will not draw it anywhere. If marriage is no longer defined as between man and woman, what then is wrong with polygamy? Incest? Beastiality? Adult/adolescent or child? If there really are no limits, then there should really be no limits. Think about the implications of this – not just physically, but emotionally and socially – and help me understand how this could be positive.

    With regard to the second and third questions, let me try to address these in an actual post in the next day or two, as this is getting too long to be helpful. Other thoughts?

  6. Yes, it is still taboo in the world. I am living in Mars! xx

  7. I don’t think it’s okay to limit the rights of others to be less than your own and claim that it’s ‘consistent with your religion.’ People who are different do not deserve to be happy any less than you or I.
    On that note, protecting the minority is a very important part of this country.

    *I’d just like to see if as many gay married couples divorce as much as straight couples. Maybe in the long run, it will even out; for now, I think they will appreciate it more than people who see it as “the next step.”

  8. In other words, if we refuse to draw the line somewhere, we will not draw it anywhere. If marriage is no longer defined as between man and woman, what then is wrong with polygamy? Incest? Beastiality? Adult/adolescent or child? If there really are no limits, then there should really be no limits. Think about the implications of this – not just physically, but emotionally and socially – and help me understand how this could be positive.

    There’s a fundamental difference between several of the types of relationship you’re talking about. Here’s how I look at it:

    Man/woman? A-ok. Man/man or woman/woman? Also a-ok! Man/woman/woman/woman or woman/man/man/man or whatever other combination you can come up with? Once again, a-ok! Brother/sister? I wouldn’t advocate them having children, but it’s entirely up to them whether they decide to pursue a relationship. Bestiality, adult/teenager or adult/child…well, now we’re getting to the area where consent becomes an issue.

    With all of the above except for the last three, it’s very clear cut where and when consent has been given. If three women are involved in a polyamorous relationship with a single man, there’s a problem if one of them has been blackmailed into it – I think we can all agree on that. (I’m taking it as a given that nonconsensual romantic or sexual relationships should be illegal). With an adult and a child, however, it’s not clear that the child can give consent and, of course, you have to remember that children would be in a position to be exploited by this kind of thing even if it was legal.

    To look at the issue in more detail, the implication in this line of argument is that the only thing ‘wrong’ with polygamy or a thirty year old man having sex with a twelve year old is that ‘marriage is defined as a union between a man and woman’. Clearly this isn’t the case, and what marriage is defined as has nothing to do with why most people would agree that adult/child relationships are harmful.

    You might personally think that a sexual relationship involving three or four people is wrong, but so what? That doesn’t mean that it should be illegal. If I thought that it was ‘wrong’ or ‘immoral’ for a man and a woman to be married because it supressed homosexuals (I don’t actually) that shouldn’t have any bearing whatsoever on your ability to marry.

    In that regard, then, the slipper slope is a non-issue. Those who are against gay marriage seem to think that it will open the floodgates for legalized adult/child relationships, but I don’t think that’s being realistic – it’s like saying that legalizing voluntary euthenasia would open the floodgates to legalized, free-for-all murder.

  9. There is no reference in the New Test. that gay marriage is wrong, at least not by our Savior. Gay life was not addressed. Jesus died for EVERYONE, and accepted EVERYONE!!

    Visit http://www.beautobeau.com to learn more about gay happiness.

  10. augustinian,

    it does seem to me that in this discussion/argument that cries of “homophobia” and “hate speech” are ad hominem attacks and not truly arguments. there is a definite push by the gay community to silence opinions that disagree with their views and to call those opposite views “hate speech”. if this is the case, then dialogue becomes impossible.

    Who’s ‘the gay community’? I’m gay and I don’t do that, and neither do any of the gay people I know. There are a lot of gay people out there who really don’t like the mouthpieces of the ‘community’, but unfortunately nobody seems to know that we exist.

    Having said that, every attempt to ban ‘hate speech’ isn’t automatically unjustified. A lot of people today would agree that racist speech shouldn’t be tolerated, and I suppost most gay rights advocates feel that ‘homophobia’ should be taken as the same thing. (For the record, I actually do think that people should be allowed to be racist or anti-homosexual if they want).

    As for the other thing, I come from a single-mother household and the worst that seems to have happened is that I’m gay (if that was indeed a factor) and I want to be a writer rather than getting some normal job. I can safely say that my home life would have far worse if my father had been around and much better had my mother become a lesbian and hooked up with a like-minded woman during my formative years. Note the ‘like-minded’ part – I don’t see how a surrogate second parent’s sex would have made a difference, so long as the person was good at raising children and helping to foster a stable family.

  11. California was wrong to upturn the will of the voters. I’m not opposed to civil unions, but we hold marriage very dearly and don’t want to see its definition altered. If there were a national vote to decide the issue once and for all, I guarantee that gay marriage would not win out.

  12. There is no reference in the New Test. that gay marriage is wrong, at least not by our Savior. Gay life was not addressed. Jesus died for EVERYONE, and accepted EVERYONE!!

    Visit http://www.beautobeau.com to learn more about gay happiness.

    See, that’s the kind of bullcrap I’m talking about. The Bible is pretty clear on homosexuality and what the Christian idea of marriage should be.

    As for the website, no, all persons are not entitled to unconditional acceptance, just as I’m sure you don’t ‘accept’ that some people just hate your guts because you’re gay. Or maybe you do – if a White Nationalist Neo-Nazi told you that he despised homosexuals, would your reply be ‘That’s all right, I unconditionall accept you!’? Or is it something that only works if it’s going both ways?

    (Sorry for the double post)

  13. Paperdreamer, make sure I understand your point: based on your desire for others’ unlimited rights, would you say pedophilia should be made legal?

    With regard to your question on homosexual divorce rates, I didn’t have much time to a lot of looking, but I did come up with this study by the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, which seems to be the one most quoted in the case against gay marriage (the study takes place in Scandinavia).

    On the flip side, here‘s a report on a study about gay marriage in Massachusetts, which seems to be the one most pointed to as being a reason for gay marriage. In either case (for or against), I would suggest the evaluation of this statistic is utilitarian at best; even though the divorce rate of heterosexual couples is 50%, I would not argue that fact as a legitimate reason to do away with heterosexual marriage.

    Vitaminbook, thanks for your follow-up thoughts (and sorry if my question to Paperdreamer seems redundant in light of your perspective – I’m having a hard time keeping up, but I’ll have more later on). Oh, and for the record, I appreciate your integrity in affirming that the Scriptures do speak to the topic of homosexuality – that’s intellectually honest and admirable.

  14. I never said it should be unlimited. And I think it is in poor taste to discuss pedophilia and homosexuality together. Homosexuality is between two consenting adults and does not victimize either participant. Pedophilia is inherently predatory and a crime against the innocence of children.

    I never said to do away with heterosexual marriage. I said homosexual marriage is a valid desire, legally and socially. You are basing your argument on the idea that homosexuality is entirely reversible. I will say that it is against nature to be homosexual. But do not think that this concept of what is “natural” by evolution makes these people unfit to legally express their bond.

    Before college, I never knew anyone who was gay or bi. I was basically apathetic about the issue. Then, I had a friend who came out 2 years ago. It was traumatic and difficult for him. When people tell me that gay people are “evil” and that their marriage will bring down the world, I see his face. He changed the way I see people forever. How many gay people do you really know?

  15. “I don’t think it’s okay to limit the rights of others to be less than your own.” Okay, so rights are not to be unlimited, which implies that there are to be some limits. How do you arrive at those, and is consent the only consideration for them?

    Thanks for sharing a little of your background. Like you, I never grew up around anyone who claimed to be gay, but I do “really know” friends now who have shared with me about their tendencies, asked for help, and been able to change, as well as others who have not (changed, that is). I love each of them equally.

  16. Me too :)

    I limit them when they start to hurt specific people. Someone else being gay doesn’t make you gay. Someone being a pedophile targets little kids, who don’t have the power or cognition to say no.

  17. I never understood why people think legalized same sex marriage will result in people marrying kids, animals etc.

    love is to be shared, enjoyed.

    two consenting adults who love each other should be able to have a legal marriage with all spousal rights.

    You and others are commenting on how much marriage is sacred and should be protected (from homosexuals)

    How sacred is this marriage you speak of when we have the highest divorce rate in the world? (talking the U.S. in general)

  18. Craig,
    I would still love to hear your thoughts on my first comment and the contradictions I find with taking the Bible literally.

    Thanks!

  19. This is such a hot button topic. It is really hard for a lot of people to remain “grace-filled” when speaking about homosexuality. I do know several gay people and I love them. I hurt for them and the pain they feel from some family members and members of the community who cannot “love their neighbor as themselves.” However, that is not to say that I agree with legalizing gay marriage. It is an often confusing topic because there are so many things in life nowadays that people are “born with a predisposition to”. Where do you draw the line between predisposition and responsibility or lifestyle choice? You can be an alchoholic and recover, be on the wagon…that doesn’t mean you didn’t love liqour and wish for it often or think about it. Drunkenness is a sin…so…why is the same not true for homosexuality? I’m just throwin that out there…in the end though it is really about God’s grace and where people have their hearts in the end isn’t it? Jesus did die for us all but that doesn’t mean he meant for us to continue in sin. Just my humble opinion.

  20. In regard to the post above:

    Why don’t the rest of us heterosexuals worry about fixing heterosexual marriage, which is threatened by 50% failure rates, first & then worry about whether the other 7% are also able to get married. Marriage as currently functioning in the US doesn’t seem to be worth defending right now. And please don’t tell me that it’s because gay people want to commit to each other.

    PS – I’m most disturbed (yet oddly amused) by your first factiod in your post in which you site a survey that suggests that 3.9% responded that they were something else other than hetro, homo or bi-sexual. Those are some confused people. Maybe we should worry about them…

  21. “Drunkenness is a sin…so…why is the same not true for homosexuality?”

    Drunkeness has negative effects on others. It can make you a societal burden, cause you to drive your car into oncoming traffic, and make life very hard for others.

    Settling into a long-term committed relationship with my partner, on the other hand, has done none of that, and in fact provides positive societal benefits. The status of marriage for us would strengthen society, not harm it.

  22. So, you’re saying that someone who is pure of heart, but gay, is a sin?
    Is that person more wrong than a jerk who is straight?
    You’re making statements on the same book (The Old Testaments) that also allows the following (taken from a site I will post in a minute)
    Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves,
    Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27
    I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7
    I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
    And there’s even more mentioned on this site (The one I said I would mention.)
    http://www.humanistsofutah.org/2002/WhyCantIOwnACanadian_10-02.html
    Now, I won’t say if I’m gay or not, but either or, I don’t hate people for what I am not.
    I learn to respect people for the individual, and not for a label that others give them.
    To be honest, this is like saying you can’t marry someone because of their religious belief.
    now, how would you like it if you couldn’t marry someone because of something you are, that could be changed, but would make you miserable by doing so? I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be happy.
    Love is love, and there should be nothing to stop the freedom and right to get married just because of what’s in between someone’s legs. It’s just doesn’t sound right.
    Like I said before, what makes a pure-hearted homosexual worse than a tainted-hearted heterosexual?
    I’m not saying everyone fits into those categories, but it just seems like if you were given the choice to support those two specific people, it wouldn’t be right to judge based on sexual orientation alone.

    One more thing. This is to everyone who agrees with the creator of the original post.
    What would you do if one of your friend’s ended up being homosexual? what about if that was your best friend? How about if your brother, sister, mother, father, or even one of your grandparents ended up being homosexual?
    Would you want that person to be miserable and conform to what you want them to be, even though they would rather be happy with who they are, just like they would wish for you?

    I’m going to end this long message with a quote I believe in, no matter what.
    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire.
    Just remember, for us to defend you, you must defend us in return.

  23. It is so great that so many people believe in Christian principals. Considering that there is a separation of Church and State in the USA and Canada I wonder why so many use the Christian religious argument against gay marriage.

    Personally speaking, who loves who and who lives with whom and what they do behind closed doors is none of my business.

    God is the Judge, not us.

    Judge not lest thee be judged, I was taught from a young age. Maybe you did not attend the service the day that was preached in your church.

  24. the interesting thing to me is that all of you who’ve never posted on this site are now pouncing on a guy for expressing his opinion. (which raises an interesting questions of how and why you found this blog and now are commenting en masse. smells like an agenda to me.)

    the irony here is that you are practicing the same sort of intolerance you assume he has. as far as i read craig never said that he despised homosexuals, never said that they didn’t have a right to voice their opinion, never said that as individual people they were less important or human than other people. in short, he was expressing his thoughts and opinions. if you all are free to promote homosexual marriage why is he not free to be against it? why is he targeted for making a case against it on his own blog?

    it seems that your tolerance is actually intolerant when it comes to someone who disagrees with you, which is a mockery of the definition of the word tolerance.

    i personally think it’s generally fruitless to discuss these types of issues via blogs so i’m not going to enter into the actual discussion. i just wanted to throw in my observation that all the “open-minded” folks seem pretty narrow-minded when it comes to a differing opinion on this issue. i simply find that interesting.

  25. Here’s all I want to know. Gay people are living together and acting like they’re married right now. They have ceremonies for their legally unrecognized unions and everything. What terrible things will happen, how will it affect anyone negatively, if they’re allowed to sign a piece of paper and get the same rights, tax allowances, etc, as other married people? (I don’t want to hear about alternative ways they can get those rights. That comes after you prove that there’s a reason to bar them from the easiest, most complete, most socially accepted way to get those rights.) How will a gay couple paying their taxes differently and checking a different box on vital information forms affect anyone else?

  26. Hey, your post is still on the board. It is very exciting to discover something in this site. Have a good day!! :)

  27. Travis, I found Craig’s blog because it was featured on WordPress’s homepage, not because I was looking for a fight. But if someone is going to suggest in the public realm that all gay people have a choice to be gay or not (some might, but I don’t and I have ten years of ex-gay ministry behind me to prove it) and use that as a means to keep gay families and their children from having the same protections and responsibilities as non-gay married couples, I’m bound to chime in.

    Travis, it sounds as if you think all gay people are a part of some vast, well-organized underground network. If so, you can relax. I don’t have time for that anymore than most people do. I have a family to take care of, a church we are committed to, and a struggling neighborhood to support. I feel lucky if I find a few minutes a week to dialogue on this issue, so for that I’m grateful to Craig.

    Maybe one day we’ll all use our spare minutes to end poverty and feed the hungry TOGETHER instead of to fight for or against ways to keep certain families disadvantaged. I look forward to that day.

  28. troy,

    exactly where did my comment sound like i believed in “some vast, well-organized underground network”? i simply said that it was interesting to me that a number of people who’ve never been to craig’s blog suddenly found it and were all ranting on his comments about how ridiculous and cruel they thought his opinion was.

    please tell me as well why you feel it necessary to engage on this issue on a complete stranger’s blog. yes, it is public but it’s not like it’s a culture shaping blog (no offense craig). this is why i said it smells like many of the new commenters have an agenda (not a network or conspiracy). there are literally millions of sites and blogs out there that tear down and attack things i hold dear and that are central to my identity every day and yet i don’t feel it’s necessary, effective, or usually even the slightest bit helpful to go to those sites and tell them how wrong they are.

    with that said, i do find it interesting that you chose to overinterpret one or two sentences in my original comment while completely ignoring or avoiding the actual point i made. but, you know, whatever.

  29. Travis, commenting on the blog of someone you don’t know and disagreeing with them is not some dirty trick, but business as usual in the blogosphere. Craig has the options of creating privacy settings, moderation settings, and if all else fails, of deleting comments he doesn’t like. We’re not doing anything unfair.

    Here’s the difference between what Craig said and what his detractors said. He said he thinks certain people should not be given a certain right. Others said they should be given that right. Both sides disagree with each other; it’s not saying “I think you’re wrong” that’s intolerant, and I support the right of both sides to say that. It’s saying “I want to limit your rights” that’s intolerant, and since no one here argued that any of Craig’s rights should be limited (there’s a difference between saying “I think you’re wrong” and “I don’t think you should have the right to say that,” and I didn’t see any of the latter, nor did they say that he shouldn’t have the right to marry a woman, or anything else like that), the others were not being intolerant.

  30. Judgesnineteen, I’m not trying to limit anyone’s rights. Everyone already has the right to marry adult members of the opposite sex. What the homosexual community wants is the right to marry members of the same sex, which is not a right anyone else has. I suppose this would/will change per the changing of our laws (which is what this whole discussion has been about), but I think that would be a mistake for reasons I’ve already listed.

    In advocating gay marriage, the gay community is not asking to be treated the same as everyone else; they are asking to be treated differently. They should have the Constitutional right to argue their point, but so should those who do not agree with them (and without the accusation of being “intolerant”).

    For what it’s worth, I appreciate the difference in your tone here from that on your own blog regarding our discussion. It’s obvious you’ve been hurt by Christians at some point in your past, and I’m sorry for that. Please forgive me if I’ve opened old wounds.

  31. i’m not tolerant and i don’t want to be. you see if i tolerate you then i have no capacity to love you or care for you or engage you in a meaningful way, tolerance amounts to putting up with you without getting to know you well enough to look into your life and say what you’re doing is wrong, harmful to yourself and others. tolerance creates a lonely culture where people are less likely to know and respect others that aren’t in their own group, be it Christians, homosexuals, democrats, yuppies or whatever. the problem we’re facing now is that if one is not tolerant of any variety of sexual orientations or religious/spiritual pursuits then you are labeled as hateful and antiquated. i am neither but i am also not going to tolerate anything that is destructive to our society. the need for honest relationships where one is really free to love and respect despite differences is clearly evident from this discussion. Do not misinterpret this, I am not suggesting a new Christian tolerance. What is in view here is the ability to accept anyone, and non-Christians in particular, where they are with the hope and prayer that through relationship they wont stay where they are. That real love is to point people to the only health and healing available, which is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. This may be long process but should be a welcome one, as we love people the way they should be loved and in the place they currently are. unfortunately by taking a stand for or against something there will be some that will automatically refuse to engage you in a helpful and meaningful way. the hope is that through an ongoing relationship, not through a blog, that you can love the person that you disagree with in a way that affirms and respects the beauty that’s inherent in them and you do this with out an agenda, you love them, not tolerate them, because they are worthy of love

  32. Travis,

    Is the main point of your comment (that I missed) this part:

    “my observation that all the “open-minded” folks seem pretty narrow-minded when it comes to a differing opinion on this issue.”

    Let me address it then:

    I don’t care if anyone is “open-minded” on this issue. Because I live in America, I care that some families in this country, included mine, are not treated equally.

    Craig believes my rights aren’t limited because I am free to marry a woman even though I am not able to give her what she deserves in terms of being romantically valued and cherished and she can’t provide that to me. But I believe two consenting adults of legal age are smart enough to figure out who they should or should not commit to.

    Regarding why I feel it “necessary to engage on this issue on a complete stranger’s blog”:

    I trust that Craig is what he says when he says he is a follower of Christ, therefore I expect that he will welcome the “stranger.” I find one of the biggest assets of the blogosphere is that it brings together the ideas of people who would likely never meet. I don’t believe in keeping people who have different points of view apart. Yes, there will be conflict, but there will be growth. And I happen to believe Craig’s is a “culture shaping” blog (go Craig!).

  33. Oh, and Travis asked:

    “exactly where did my comment sound like i believed in “some vast, well-organized underground network”?

    Your earlier quote:
    “(which raises an interesting questions of how and why you found this blog and now are commenting en masse. smells like an agenda to me.)” is what made me think you saw things this way. If not, I apologize.

  34. I appreciate the culture-shaping kudos, Troy. To whatever degree it’s true, I’ll own my influence. Thanks.

  35. Craig, whether or not a right is being denied (I was thinking later I should have written denied rather than limited, especially in view of the conversation above on how limiting rights is sometimes good), and likewise, whether or not homosexuals are asking for different or the same treatment, depends on how you word it. I’d word it this way: heterosexuals in the US currently have the right to marry someone of the sex to which they are attracted, while homosexuals in most of the US do not. Since most people, especially here and now where marriage is usually about love rather than just financial arrangements, are only interested in marrying people to whom they are attracted, this arrangement is effectively taking away the right to marry from homosexuals. There are of course those homosexuals who do marry people of the opposite sex, and I know some of them who, after having three kids, couldn’t stand it anymore and got a divorce. Their wives (these were gay men) were understandably devastated, and I assume their kids have a lot to adjust to as well. That seems like a much worse thing for society than for some people who are already living together to have their union recognized on official documents.

    Incidentally, I don’t use the terms tolerant/intolerant myself, I was just trying to respond directly to Travis’ comment. I recognize the problems with those terms and I prefer to speak directly about human rights. Also, sometimes certain labels get so charged that people feel like what I really mean when I say them is “You’re a terrible excuse for a human being and everyone should hate you!” That’s not what I mean. I’ve been Christian, I get how this works. I know you don’t hate gay people and that you think you’re being fair. My issue is with your arguments, not your conscience.

    As for me and my blog, yes I have been hurt by Christianity, and I’m sure that does affect my tone on my blog where I air my own thoughts. Just so you know, I didn’t name you simply because I feel bad pointing out the names of people I pointedly argue against, not out of disrespect. But I do stand by everything I said about your arguments. I appreciate your trying to be understanding, and that’s not sarcastic, but still, I’d really just prefer an answer to my original question.

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