Sunday 13 May 2012

Thought Picnic: As Touching Gay Marriage

They matter
A few days ago, President Barack Obama expressed his support for Same-Sex Marriage, stating that, “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”
Whilst I have never been an activist for Same-Sex Marriage, I have not been able to see the reason why those opposed to it have any just cause because their arguments have in my view been counterintuitive.
I know many people in same-sex relationships who are loving, committed and exemplary, there is no reason why such people who having devoted their lives to each other should not also have that relationship recognised by the state and have full spousal benefits cognisant of that relationship.
You have issues if it affects you
Years ago in 2005, I penned a blog – Does Gay Marriage Affect Your Marriage? I think it remains a valid question to those who are vehemently against gay rights which in my view is the next battle in recognition of basic human rights over the centuries from feudalism, slavery, democracy, women’s rights, miscegenation, racism, disability and now this.
I tweeted this - Gay marriage is hardly about values, if the marriage of homosexuals affects your heterosexual relationship, you have issues.
As it fed into my Facebook status, I found myself having to write a longer comment supporting my view of gay marriage.
The function of the state in marriage
Marriage existed before religion was established and it is blessed by the different cultural underpinnings which might or might not be religious - not every wedding happens in a religious setting and in most cases a marriage must be registered in a registry to be valid than being conducted in a church.
For the purposes of correction, [This is in relation to an erroneous comment I was responding to] the bible says what God has joined together, let no man put asunder, but that again is a Christian perspective it is different from Islam which allows polygamy and even until the advent of the church the patriarchs and many of the personalities of the old testament were polygamous.
Marriage is about love and commitment regardless
In these times, the issue of marriage is one of commitment and love regardless of the pairing and that is what secular society has taken to consider regardless of religious persuasion, what the state is doing is refusing that one religious persuasion exercise undue influence over the persuasion of others - in other words, the state is standing up for all faiths or lack of faiths than just for the usually predominant Christian view of marriage.
In that context, my statement is quite valid because the issue of marriage is one of rights of partners within a relationship being recognised by the state, it is of no import to any religious persuasion and it should not be is the state is exercising a secular oversight of the people it governs who are not of the same religious persuasion and even if they are of the same persuasion they do not in terms exercise equal beliefs and influences of faith.
Example is better than antagonism
If the church thinks the institution of marriage is weakened by the state allowing for gay marriage, you have to wonder what they think about marriages of other religions, pagans or atheists because none of these follow the apparent sacraments that the fundamentalists so constantly abuse in not making the case for marriage stronger in their conduct and use of it – gay marriage is a red herring for the failings of religion to ensure that marriages work and last.
The presence or absence of gay marriage will not change the divorce rates nor will it reduce the apparent existence of sexual sin amongst the clergy or adherents of any of the faiths, the issues are just mutually exclusive.
Whilst many will not be able to tolerate the idea, I believe that if homosexual couples have a spiritual life and what to see their union blessed in a religious service and find ministers who are sympathetic to the idea – they should go for it even if it includes a bridal-gown and bespoke vows – I will applaud rather than be appalled.
This is where we have reached in the battle for human rights just as religions have jettisoned the many customs I listed before, which religionists once found support for in their holy books.
Christians failing like Lot
As for the matter of Sodom and Gomorrah which is used to condemn homosexuality, there is a deeper lesson involved, I will have you know that before those cities were destroyed Abraham had pleaded to have those cities spared if just 10 righteous persons were found in the cities – in the end, only 4 were found – Lot, his wife who looked back and turned into a pillar of salt and his two daughters.
Christians, if they do care at all can carry the mercy of God for any city and become the love of God to people who they think are not on the right path – however, with all this activism, Christians are not emulating Abraham by any stretch of the imagination, it is as if they are urging on the destruction of the cities in which they reside, in the process, their lack of Christian compassion for others will leave them running for cover from destruction with nothing but the clothes they have on; just being saved by the skin of their teeth.
Gay marriage is not the issue if the gospel is concentrated on, the example of Christ is what we should strive to show to others.
Luke 15:1-2 (NLT) is an interesting reference to the kind of people who sought to keep company with Jesus - 1Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!
I do not see a good deal of the message and activism of Christians getting notorious sinners to come round and listen – Pause and think.

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