Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Prop 8 Overturned

So the news today is that the highly controversial gay marriage ban in California, known as Proposition 8, has been struck down by Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker. I could go into all the details of this ruling, but those are points of interest which many others are sure to write about on other sites, so I will refrain from going there. I will, however, give you my thoughts on this decision…

I say it’s about time.

As you all know, I am a Christian. I am also gay (I say that only meaning that I find other guys attractive). What this means is that I can somewhat objectively look at the issue of gay marriage from two different perspectives. In a lot of ways, I do agree with a lot of those in support of Prop 8. I believe marriage was designed and defined by God, and that it was meant to be something between a man and a woman only. I also agree that marriage has historically only been that way. However, I am not in support of Proposition 8.

My reasons for this are many. To begin with, I don’t believe anyone has the right to tell two consenting adults what sort of relationships they should or should not be allowed to have with each other. It’s nobody’s business if two men (or two women) want to love and be with each other and celebrate their relationship through a state of marriage. Just like what goes on in their bedroom is no one else’s business. I really wonder what straight people would think and feel if they were told they couldn’t have sex anymore, or date, or get married. They’d find it a travesty and an outrage. And yet, when they tell gay people they can’t do those things, it’s supposed to be perfectly okay, and they can’t understand the outcry against them. Go figure, but I find the argument on their part more than hypocritical. Just as I think it’s nothing short of immoral to prevent gay partners from having things such as inheritance, medical, and parental rights.

Secondly, I don’t think it is right for Christians to force (or at least try to force) their viewpoints onto others. I get so frustrated by people who think everyone should believe exactly as they do. And, again, when they try to force their viewpoints onto others and the response given back to them is mostly negative, they just can’t seem to understand this. They cut their own throats by trying to bully people into their way of thinking. Now, on this point, it is my belief that if Christians would say “live and let live” and allow gays and lesbians just to live their lives and make their own choices, and actually treat them with kindness, respect, love, and understanding—you know, the way Jesus treated people—then the response given back to them would be more positive. As I’ve said before, you can’t win flies with vinegar.

Thirdly, the whole argument that gay marriage will destroy the family is so bogus it’s laughable. How can gay marriage possibly devastate the family more than divorce? You’re talking about two men who may or may not somehow end up being able to raise a kid. Wow, the horror of it! It’s not like that’s something that doesn’t already happen among heterosexuals. I’m helping to raise my brother’s kids, for instance (think of Two and Half Men also—that’s a more common family set up than you may think). Oh, and, if you didn’t know, Christians have the highest divorce rate in this country. Anyone who has been through a divorce or experienced their parent’s divorce should know just how devastating that can be on everyone involved. Seems like if marriage was so important to Christians, then they’d actually, you know, work more on their own marriages.

And before this post just turns into a complete rant, I’ll leave my reasoning at that. What I’ve said so far is enough in itself to believe that gay marriage should be allowed. I don’t have to agree or approve of gay marriage, but I’ll be if I’m going to block others from it if that’s something they want to do.

7 comments:

Jarred said...

Just as I think it’s nothing short of immoral to allow gay partners things such as inheritance, medical, and parental rights.

Um, this statement seems to contradict everything else you said in the paragraph it came in (and the rest of the post). Did you leave out a "not" or otherwise make a mistake when writing it?

Brandon said...

Indeed I did. My bad. :)

I'll go back and make that correction.

Alexandra said...

Hey. So this is a bit after your post..

But I agree with you. Marriage is a civil rights issue. I personally believe that marriage is man/woman as set up by God. But I am happy that Canada has it. As it is not my right to impose my belief on others... And I go the optimistic route, that with having gay marriage, a gay couple will not sue a pastor who does not wish to perform said ceremony...

Anyways. Found your blog through a bunch of links. Its encouraging to know there are others out there who seek to serve God despite our human condition. So thanks.

Mark said...

hey man, you commented on my anonymous blog, My Journey - I am commenting here using my public one. Thanks for your comments and promise to pray - I appreciate it.

Checking your blog out, and agree with you on some, others not - for instance, even as a gay guy, I think gays openly serving in the military is a bad idea, not going ti argue, but think on this - the majority of serving military don't want it - they should have a voice. They didn't.

Onto gay marriage - I agree partially with your thoughts, but here are a couple of things I consider:

First off, God intended marriage to be between a man and woman - He says homosexuality is wrong, an abomination, so there is no way He would be ok with the institution of marriage, which was His idea, being between two people of the same sex.

The other big issue I have with it is this: the gay right doesn't just want tolerance. I read what they say, what they want - they want to shove it down everyone's throats. The more rights they get, the less Christians have. There are stories of Christians being sued for refusing to photograph gay civil ceremonies, for refusing to rent them a building for their civil union ceremony - stuff like that.

Now what do you think is going to happen if gay marriage is legalized nation-wide..... what happens if your pastor, or my pastor is asked to perform a wedding between 2 guys or two women? If they refuse, they will get sued, and the gays always win. And I think you would agree that no one should have to do anything that is against their beliefs or conscience like that.

I'm not trying to just argue, just throwing that out. The whole plan of the gay right is to make it so no one can say they are wrong - I study this stuff a lot, read a lot, listen to what the loud voices of the gay right is saying - they want a world where no one can say their lifestyle is wrong, where they can do anything straight people do, where straight people are forced to accept them - in the church, military, wedddings, etc.

If they keep getting their way, the day will come where our pastors will get in trouble for preaching against it. Churches and other Christian organizations wil not be allowed to refuse emplyment to openly gay people.

That is why I am against the gay military and gay weddings overall. People have the right to do in the bedroom what they want between consenting adults, but the more it is accepted and thrown into the public light, the worse off we will be. They want kids in elementary to learn about homosexuality and that it is ok - so even though I am a gay man really struggling right now, I can see where more tolerance and rights for gays will take us, and it isn't good.

And again, not trying to argue or be rude, as I did appreciate your comments, but think about what I said. God bless

Mark said...

Brandon, one other thing - about Christians forcing our beliefs.... you have a point, but it is God's Word that says sin is sin. God said murder is wrong, so is it wrong to force people to not murder? Society still says murder is wrong, but if it were legalized, would it be ok to force our beliefs about that? Hope I haven't made your upset, just trying to make you think more about your positions on these topics ;-)

Brandon said...

Alexandra, thanks for commenting. It was good to find your blog too.

Mark, it is good to hear from you as well. Do not worry about disagreeing with me. As long as you are civil about it, which you have been, I don't have a problem with it. I generally will listen and consider the views of other people. My thoughts on doing so is based on the acceptance that I am not perfect, and so therefore I can from time to time be wrong about certain things, which I don't like to be. If I consider the views of others, I may actually find that I have been wrong about things and can then work to change my actions and/or beliefs.

I'll try to address your concerns point by point. First off, concerning the military. I understand the desire to consider the viewpoints of the majority. However, I do not feel that just because a majority believe in something, they are necessarily right about their beliefs. I understand why a lot of people believe gays serving in the military is wrong. But I believe most concerns can be dealt with. I also believe it is unfair to discriminate against gays, which is exactly what the ban served to do. Now, I don't think gays should be in everybody's face telling everyone what they do in the bedroom and the like, but when a gay man can't even talk about his partner, be seen with his partner, or even recognize among others his disinterest in women--to essentially hide a huge part of himself for fear of losing his job--I believe that is wrong. Imagine telling those in the majority that they couldn't talk about their wives, kids, or their interest in women to fellow servicemen. They'd be appauled. And yet that is exactly what they want to do and have done toward gays. There is an unfairness to this. And when the government has told every other business that they aren't allowed to discriminate in such a way, I do find it a concern that they believe they can. There has been an injustice here. That is why I'm glad there has been a repeal of the ban on gays from serving.

As for gay marriage, I agree with you about the origins of marriage and God's views on the matter. However, as I think I have pointed out elsewhere on my blog, there are two types of marriage: religious and secular. Not every marriage we have allowed in this country has been before the eyes of God. Atheists, for example, may marry each other. Agnostics may marry each other. These are not exactly what I'd call religious in nature. However, they are allowed. These types of marriages have always taken place, whether a priest performed the ceremony or not. People, gays included, have chosen to live in a married state even if not officially or legally being married. Gays do this now. My point is that if gays already live this way and wish to actually be legally married, then why not allow them to be? And even though you and I would agree that their marriage falls short of a God ordained marriage, not every man or woman in a gay relationship is nonreligious. There are gay Christians who believe homosexuality is okay. That is their belief, and as such, how can we impose our beliefs on them that they are wrong? They are not trying to change our beliefs so much as they are trying to gain the right to live as they believe. Some may try for this in a better way than others, but I do believe they should have a right to live their lives freely. Their lives do not affect how I will live mine.

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Brandon said...

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Concerning the rights of Christians, Christians can still believe as they wish, and given that in this country we have the right to practice our religion as we see fit, that alone should prevent any harm befalling our preachers. I admit, I may be naive and optimistic in this belief, particularly since we have already seen the loss of our freedoms to pray in certain public places (though I do suspect this may change sometime in the future). As for preachers being forced to marry gay couples, I do not see that happening at all. Preachers now can refuse to marry straight people if they feel the couple shouldn't be married for some reason. This has always been a preachers right. That couple can go to another preacher or may then seek out a judge or the like who will marry them.

On the point about where our society is heading, I definitely do hope for the best. My hope is that one day a kid growing up and realizing he is gay won't feel as though it is the end of the world, where others won't look down on him and mistreat him, where he can feel comfortable to talk about what he's going through with other people rather than hiding what is going on, isolating and tormenting himself by that. My hope is that younger gay people won't have to go through some of the things I had to go through and the worse things I saw others go through. If educating our children (at the upper elementary level particularly and above) will help achieve that, then I believe it is a good thing. I do not think it should be taught in schools that homosexuality is right or wrong. However, I see nothing wrong with teaching our kids what homosexuality is and to be compassionate, tolerant, kind, and understanding toward people who are gay, or different from them in other ways. I've always felt that if teachers and administrators would simply enforce and teach a policy of doing unto others the way you'd want done unto you (the golden rule) then a great deal of the bad things that take place in schools would no longer take place. But also, I think it is very helpful to the gay kid to at some point be taught about homosexuality--safe sex measures, how to cope, where to get help, etc. I always wished someone had taught me a few things more about it when I was younger rather than finding out on my own and being wrong about some of what I found out, which only caused problems for me.

As for murder, and I've told people this before, I really am surprised the argument you mentioned hasn't come up in court before. What will prove out if it does is that murder does harm to another person. That harm should not be allowed. Regardless of religious belief, if we ever as a society reach a point where doing harm to someone else is okay for any reason, then that's when our society is so far gone from God that it wouldn't really matter anymore anyway--our society at that point would be lost completely.

But on the point of sharing Christian beliefs, I believe we as Christians should do that. But we have to allow people the freedom to choose God, as God gives everyone the freedom to choose him, or not choose him. I believe people should be allowed to live their lives as they see fit. We can share our beliefs, but we should never try to force others to live as we believe they should. We do more harm for Christ in trying that I believe. We end up turning more people away from God. Rather than by force, I think we should live by example, and prove Christ through our example. I honestly do believe we would do more good that way that by getting involved in the political climate trying to impose our beliefs on society at large. Let two gay men get married if they want. Be kind, considerate, and understanding toward that couple. But still keep to your beliefs and if asked, share them. Allow that couple to see that Christians are not the bad guys, and may actually know a better way to live.

Again, I appreciate your comments. Feel free to comment anytime. :)