For and Against

Friday evening, the New York legislature passed legislation permitting same-sex marriage. As the sixth state (plus D.C.) to actually allow it, the occasion was an historic one inasmuch as it came under Republican control and required votes from that party.

My audience is compromised of people who have deeply held convictions about this issue on both sides. And, many probably think they know my view. For personal and professional reasons, I am largely private about it.

Suffice it to say, I am for personal responsibility before God.

I am for self-determination in life and love.

And, I am for liberty in a pluralistic democracy.

Where these are found, I’m for it.

I am against bad and abusive relation.

I am against neglectful parents.

I am against failing our commitments.

Where these are found, I’m discouraged.

Many people believe such legal expansion threatens traditional and heterosexual marriage. But, they are confused. Our modern marriage is already sick and soulless.

Let us all be for vibrant, committed, and God-fearing marriage.

Performed by ipoet. Music produced by Gudo.

Today’s song blog here:

A Little Less Somehow

16 thoughts on “For and Against

  1. Wow, controversial topic. Did you check the new York times article ‘my ex-gay friend’. Interesting timing. God bless. Love the new album. Enjoying ‘watershipdown’ for the first time.

  2. Well, I suppose next our society will be recognizing polygamous marriage, bestial marriage, underage rape … I mean marriage and there’s just no stop. Because if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk.

  3. That is a view people hold, Nerd. I don’t know that it’s a very likely one or one that informs whether the particular decision made in NY was the right one. In law and private morality, we draw distinctions between shades of behavior all the time. We can say yes to some things while saying no to others. To me the issue is one of capacity and consent. Those are lacking in circumstances of both bestiality and rape. But, not in polygamy. And, frankly, I’m not sure I agree that polygamy should be criminalized. I respect your right to concernedly see it different.

  4. Joe,

    I understand what you are saying and agree with you to a certain extent and for other reasons, namely: there is a secular world apart from that of faith, it is what it is, and the law should not be used (in my opinion) as a iron fist to force morality on the world.

    That being said, my concern is the for the flood of discrimination lawsuits I believe are most likely to be filed against religious institutions refusing to allow homosexual marriages or to recognize them. I understand Republican legislatures in New York made sure to allow for protection against misuse of the Establishment clause and the 14th amendment to bring such lawsuits, but I wonder if it is inevitable?

    Of course this is not the first and last issue where I believe committed, thoughtful and loving men and women of faith will have conflicts between what their faith tells them is good, right and moral and what a secular society and government should be allowed to engage in if they so desire. Render unto Caeser, but our principals, beliefs and morality is not the government’s.

    There is a difference between tolerance and acceptance.

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2079861,00.html

  5. Thanks, Tanner. I haven’t read the article; I’ll have to look for it. I’m so, so glad you like the new record. The book is really a classic.

  6. Daniel, thanks for your thoughtful comments. There are so many considerations to weigh. I think that generally churches will continue to be allowed to make their own way on this issue. As strongly as I feel about the self-determination of the individual, I feel the same for the church (and religions generally under our Constitution).

  7. I honestly fail to see why the gov’t chooses to recognize marriage in the first place. It was (and still is really) a religious institution is it not?

    If the gov’t chooses to recognize same sex marriage, whatever, but when churches choose to recognize them then there is an issue. If a suitable helper/partner for man was made by God and that helper/partner was woman, then by honoring same sex marriage would a church not be essentially saying they do not like God’s design?

    Or can we at least recognize that it’s contrary to nature. Analogy: Just because someone is born blind does not mean that their eyes were not meant for seeing or that everyone else’s eyes are not meant for seeing. Even some ancient greek philosophers (Aristotle) recognized this.

    Just some thoughts.

    -B

  8. Two things.

    Brilliant point as to government’s involvement in marriage. This is shocking to most people but government should probably be out of the business.

    As to the second point, although blindness is some sort of departure from the norm, we neither marginalize the blind nor prevent them from attempting to read in alternative ways.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ben.

  9. I went back and found this quote in Alasdair MacIntyre’s book “After Virtue”, which applies and I think he says it well. He says “our choice is between Aristotle and Nietzsche, between submitting ourselves to the natural order or instead to the will to power of self-appointed “revaluators of all values.”

    Thoughts?

  10. “As to the second point, although blindness is some sort of departure from the norm, we neither marginalize the blind nor prevent them from attempting to read in alternative ways.”

    Spoken like a true law-man. You make an excellent point friend. They should have rights (i.e. hospital visits, wills, etc.) like everyone else, but do we HAVE to call it marriage?

  11. Not to get too off topic, but just interestd in your thoughts. Was reading this article:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Cant-ban-violent-video-sales-apf-3567113916.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=4&asset=&ccode=

    And wanted to see what you thought about this point:

    [Justice Clarence] Thomas argued in his separate dissent that the nation’s founders never intended for free speech rights to “include a right to speak to minors (or a right of minors to access speech) without going through the minors’ parents or guardians.”

    By the way here is the link to the other article I referenced, if interested:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/magazine/my-ex-gay-friend.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3

    *The views expressed in the links are solely those of the author/speaker and do not reflect the views of Poster ;)

  12. Ben, the “natural order” of things is hard to know. We live in a world, many would describe as “fallen” or “broken,” that leaves us to make pragmatic and thoughtful decisions about, not insignificant, but massive exceptions to the “natural order.” Your blindness comparison is a good example. I think anecdotally and probably scientifically at this point, as a society, we are aware that in the area of gender, there are large swaths of exception to the supposed “natural order.” And, unlike blindness, this particular “exception” we are discussing goes to the very core of a persons emotional, psychological, and conscious being. Under the circumstances, I feel compelled, as a matter of Biblical love to be graceful. In the comments section, I probably wouldn’t say anymore. But, if anyone wants to hit me up on email more about it, they should: sintaxtheterrific1@yahoo.com.

    Tanner, great issues you raise. I might actually treat the VG issue in a song this week. I had been considering it. The problem is that due to the nature of my job, I can’t be quite as clear about my personal opinion on it as I would like. I would say that I think the decision is an “interesting” one. Freedom of speech has NEVER been treated as absolute. And, the Supreme Court has allowed States to place time, manner, and place restrictions on all sorts of speech (see my song on Westboro Church, I think it was called, “god Hates You.”) This is especially true with minors; as you might recall, your “freedom of speech” was far from absolute on school grounds, for instance. But, I haven’t read the SCt decision yet, and I probably won’t be able to say much more about it than I have. But, great topic.

  13. the question that comes to mind, assuming it’s not our responsibility to legislate this type of morality, is then a qualification of some type of natural order. is it as simple as “line the parts up and see where they fit”, or more Darwinian in the sense of “natural selection” – as in the procreation of a species will weed out those traits that counter the “survival” of a species? More of a scientific lean than legal. interested in thoughts, even though I’m months behind.

  14. Man, Red, thanks for commenting. For those that don’t know, Redbonz is a bonafide rap celebrity and a personal musical inspiration of mine.

    I think this is always a compelling point. And, if our most serious relationships could be sort of reduced to their procreative purposes to make them legitimate, then it would probably hold more sway with me. But, we obviously don’t police heterosexual relationships that are barren (which isn’t really your point). In terms of the evolutionary issue of both the survival of the species (and the continuing presence of homosexuality therein), there has actually been a good deal of hypothesizing in the social science and gay/lesbian community about the societal value of homosexuals throughout the centuries, which might explain a continuing “natural selection” in spite of their own inability to procreate in the context of the homosexual relationship itself. Of course, we also know that precisely because that community has been closeted for so much of human history, many have been also sexually active in heterosexual relationships, which might account for any perseverance of some genetic or biological basis for the orientation, to the extent such a thing exists.

    I don’t think any of this really responds directly to your comment. It seems to me that there isn’t a real evolutionary threat to the presence of homosexual relationships. Precisely to your point, the procreative talents of heterosexual relationships tend to give them a leg up, so to speak, in that regard.

    Thanks, again Red. Really hope to have you around.

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