Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Question/Comment - Gay Marriage; Perhaps Marriage in General

The below comment/question was posted to my latest blog entitled More Consistency & Lessons on Love

Thank u for your post. I live in ca and have been married for 7 years and me n my hubby also have spats that can be totally avoided. I was interested in reading Marks review until I read all the mixed reviews. I stumbled onto this page from your husbands page. I heard him on the radio last week. I was just wondering about gay marriage we had prop 8 here in ca and it just bothers me that people think I hate gay people because I do not support them getting married. What is ur take seeing as you work so closely in the community? I am just looking for answers and it seems every one is afraid to speak out against it because they are viewed as bigots ?

Here are my thoughts:

First, I want to say that I am not going to reveal my personal thoughts on Gay marriage. I believe that because we live in a country that allows for freedom of speech, thought, and religion it is vital that each of us take the time to formulate our own thoughts on issues based on free will not influence by others or entities (I include religious institutions in entities). As a U.S. citizen and Christian I feel I need to be cognizant with my choices as it relates to certain issues, policies, and political outcomes. I do not shy away from how I would vote and have supported varying efforts with regards to Gay marriage (you may infer what you wish from that statement).

Second, I think it is vital that as you decide how to move forward in your support or lack of support for Gay marriage you consider three different areas when assessing how to vote.

The first, looking through your "moral" lens. The lens which has dictated your ethical, right or wrong, and/or standards for life. As a Christian there are a variety of lenses one may use as the compass for this "moral" lens depending on where you fall on the spectrum from progressive to conservative. Unfortunately, I believe this lens has become bigger then it should be and has clouded some of our judgement in making appropriate decisions with regards to voting and/or supporting. As a check and balance we need to also be aware of other factors which affect the way we do vote on other issues or the way in which we should vote for all issues. Your "moral" lens can only be determined by you as an individual and there is no right or wrong answer primarily with where you decide your individual convictions are with regards to this lens. (Please understand I am speaking from a western perspective to a question asked by a U.S. citizen. I would have a much different thought process with regards to what is happening around the world like in Uganda)

This then leads me and us to the other two areas which I feel we need to look at when voting for and/or supporting what is deemed contentious areas.

Second, it is important to look at the legal aspect. Since we are speaking about Gay marriage it is important that we ask ourselves if two Adult U.S. citizens have the same legal rights whether that person is Gay or Straight. There are a number of rights and privileges which have been granted to "married" couples in this country. We need to ask ourselves do we feel it is legally right or wrong to limit the access to these rights and privileges based on sexuality.

Third, we need to assess Gay marriage through a lens of Human Rights. You need to ask yourself does an Adult who is a U.S. citizen have the same rights to live, marry, and love another consenting Adult of their choosing. Should they be given the same choice to enter into a marriage contract as do each heterosexual adult. Lets face it the concept of marriage as it is represented with in modern society and as it is viewed by our federal and state governments is simply a binding contract.

These three lenses are how I try to look at each issue.

However, I will say that because we have freedom of religion in this country I do believe that if/when Gay marriage is legalized that churches, denomination, and religious institutions should be able to determine their individual stances on how they will choose to proceed with their individual bi-laws as it relates to Gay marriage. I do believe that religious institutions should be able and have the right to determine that performing a Gay marriage ceremony is not in alignment with their interpretation of scripture, but in the same breathe I do believe all religious institutions need to recognize and work with an existing Gay couple and perhaps one day a Gay married couple.

Just as in the debate over providing insurance coverage for contraception and abortion, I am a huge advocate for women's rights and do believe there are still many inequalities for women. I do not believe we should force certain people groups, institutions, and religious groups to have to provide something they believe is not in alignment with their belief system whether or not I agree.

In this pluralistic society and possibly post-Christian nation we need to understand what is our Kingdom purpose in loving people as Jesus loved and making sure that all of God's children know they are loved and lovable.

Kurt Cameron has been in the news lately for his comments. I have not seen the interview so I do not believe that I can review what was said. However, I did see a brief clip of the conversation where he talked about Adam and Eve as being the first "married" couple. I believe he said something to the effect of marriage being almost as old as dirt. I do not agree with his statement. I do not believe that "marriage" was why Adam and Eve were created. In fact, I think the only thing we could say is older then dirt is the concept of partnership. We can not presume to understand or even imagine what God's divine purpose was for the two people in the Garden of Eden because it got screwed up before anything could even happen or at least be recorded in scripture. Many scholars even have different views on whether or not we could even call Adam and Eve male and female by our current human definitions (but I digress). If we are to take marriage from biblical times, then we as women especially, would be incredible disappointed in the relationship we would be forced to be a part. Marriage as we understand it is a very modern day concept which has been twisted, changed, evolved, and modernized to fit our current time period...

Perhaps you are frustrated with my answer, but I think it is very important that each of us step back and truly think through our thoughts and positions. No, I do not think you are a bigot if you disagree because disagreements are what helps us as a people grow and stretch, but you do need to be willing to grow and stretch. You need to be willing to take the time to look into the issues at hand. Learn about it from all perspectives not just the one that has been thrust upon you from one side or the other. You need to ask yourself where you fall within the three different lenses and what will help you establish kingdom here on earth.

- A perfectly tarnished child of God