Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Prop 8: A Sign of the Times

I expected my views on Proposition 8 to get attention, and in that respect I was not disappointed. I was, however, let down in the respect that so many members of my own church, a people who view themselves as “set apart,” are echoing the tired arguments of the Religious Right and the platform of the Republican National Committee.

1) They say we must oppose gay marriage because of our moral values.

2) They say we must oppose it because it’s a Slippery Slope.

3) Then, they gripe about the “times,” meaning a culture that’s even discussing such views.

Now, one could rebut such arguments in a logical fashion. For example:

1) Not all “morals” make good laws, and that’s why it is only a crime to break two of the 10 Commandments (three if you count the ninth, which is only criminal in certain situations, like a court of law). You can be a person if any faith or no faith to believe that murder, theft and perjury damage society, but when you start legislating the specific beliefs of specific religions you open the door for all kinds of persecution. When has the linking of religion and government ever been good for either one?
2) The Slippery Slope argument works both ways, and more logically in the way opposite of what the social conservatives believe. Recognizing gay marriage is a wide chasm’s leap away from legalizing bestiality, pederasty or even polygamy. The first two do not, unlike gay marriage, involve mutually consenting adults. The last cannot credibly say that they were born with an inclination towards more than one spouse. However, if we base the law on our religious values, we will give precedent to people of faith (but probably not SDA faith) to alienate those who don’t believe the same way.
3) Yes, gay marriage is a sign of today’s culture. The signs of the culture that most gay marriage opponents want to return to is one of segregation, widespread barbiturate use among housewives, back alley abortions and the dishonorable discharge of homosexuals from the military for no reason related to their performance as soldiers. I’ve grown up in a society which has given its members much more freedom of choice, without denying churches the freedom to oppose those choices.

I’m not writing this post in the hopes of persuading those who’ve already decried my position on this topic; I’ve given up on them. I’m sure the case I’ve made is not the most logical one possible, but even if it were, some simply cannot accept it. I'm willing to accept their view as a differing perspective, but they've made it clear that they see mine as a litmus test. They see the world through outdated lenses which deplore homosexuality above other sins because they find it icky. I’m happy to live in the current day and age because I’m not hindered by such an outlook, but there’s another one I’d rather live in.

It’s the one coming in a couple of decades, in which citizens of other states look at the fruits of gay marriage in places like Massachusetts and (hopefully) California, and realize that it has not undermined heterosexual marriage, but has reduced the number of hate crimes and the spread of STDs. In that time frame, gays and lesbians will be able to join our church without hiding their inclinations, and will fully understand what it is they have to give up.

So, to those who oppose gay marriage bans, I urge patience: Even if Proposition 8 passes, the tide is turning against the movement that supports it. To those who favor a ban on it, I only hope you’ll be around to see why you were wrong.

Some Evangelical Clergy are urging people to vote NO on proposition 8. Perhaps that accounts for the fact that the NO side is gaining ground.

Also, shouldn't Christians be more concerned about the Parental Notification initiative? I think Christians have been bamboozled by out-of-state interests.
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