In the interest of full disclosure, I want to make it very clear that I am getting married in less than two months. I can legally do that in the State of Tennessee on the same day that I apply for a marriage license. An ordained minister who I have never met will perform the ceremony. What kind of ordination does he have? I do not know. Perhaps he is like the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. In other words, maybe he is ordained in ignorance and a minister of vile hatred and stupidity. He doesn’t know what my fiancée or I believe about marriage, and we don’t know what he believes. It doesn’t really matter; in the State of Tennessee anyone “charged with the care of souls” can perform weddings. They even let Non-Christian religious leaders perform weddings. Can you believe that?
Anyway, I’m not writing this about my impending nuptials. That is a matter of deep personal commitment between my fiancée and me and is absolutely no business of yours. That is unless, of course, I invite you to the wedding to celebrate with us…or if my fiancée is really a fiancé (she is not). Apparently, many people in our free society seem to think it’s OK to mind other peoples’ business when they live in a way that is different from their own personal convictions. That is what I am writing about.
The whole issue of “gay marriage” is getting out of hand. I don’t care which side of the fence you are on, you’re wrong.
Christians (or any other religious group) have no right to harp on the “defense of marriage” or the “traditional family.” It’s bullshit. Traditional families went extinct (thankfully) a long time ago. Traditional families in history were usually formed due to reasons of finance, politics, to solidify ownership of land and resources, or some other necessity. They were often arranged or performed under duress and many a fair maiden’s hand was given in marriage against her will. Traditional marriage has made a mockery out of its supposed intended religious purpose for centuries. Why would Christians want to defend that?
The bottom line is that traditional families are horseshit. Families are people we freely associate with. They are people that we love and value because of a shared culture, heritage, values set and yes, sometimes, shared DNA. I realize I’m making a broad sweeping statement here without any evidence or research, but why should I be any different than the other people in this argument?
On the opposite side of the spectrum, homosexuals and their supporters have no right to clamor for equal marriage rights. They ALREADY have equal marriage rights. An openly homosexual man or woman can still legally get married to a member of the opposite sex in ANY STATE IN THIS COUNTRY. They have the same fucking rights as any other person. Straight people cannot marry members of the same gender either. The rights and privileges are the same…no matter what your sexual orientation. Now, before you start rolling your eyes, hear me out. The issue isn’t restricted rights. The issue is a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of marriage in this country.
Assuming for a minute that the argument I made above about traditional marriage is bullshit (it’s not), we have to wonder what marriage’s purpose is and where it came from. In its most basic form, marriage is a holy sacrament of the Church. It is an earthly representation of the relationship between God and his creation. The way that a man and a woman join to become one is the same way God will someday join with his creation for eternity.
At least that’s my understanding of the Christian idea of marriage.
So, what’s my point? My point is, according to the Church, marriage is originally designed to serve a religious function. The Church belongs to God, and God created marriage to be a form of worship for believers and the Church. It is solely for those who wish to commune with God and his Church. It serves no secular purpose (my original argument makes clear that it mainly serves a secular purpose, but that argument is bullshit for the sake of this point, remember?).
(All of you Christians clamoring against my point, just hold your tongues for a minute. I’m taking this somewhere.)
Let’s assume my point about religious marriage is true. If it is true, then marriage belongs to the Church and the idea of a secular or civil marriage should not exist. I mean, civil marriages serve no purpose, so what’s the point? Marriage falls solely within the realm of the Church. Thanks to the First amendment to our Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This means Congress should not be dictating to the Church what marriage is.
It’s up to the Church to decide what is and is not allowable within the realm of marriage. This means it’s up to the Church to decide whether or not same-sex marriage should be granted the same standing as heterosexual marriage. If a Church decides that it is, then it should be allowed, no questions asked. If a Church decides that it isn’t, then find another Church. This point can also be made for polygamy. Who is the government to tell consenting adults how to live if the Church says it’s OK? That being said, Warren Jeffs is still a dickass.
However, recognizing that our society has a long-standing tradition of recognizing marriage as a legal contract outside the realm of the Church, then we have to reconsider who gets to decide what marriage is. If the law sees no difference between a Church marriage and a Civil marriage, then the Church doesn’t own marriage. Marriage is instead as I first described it. It is a means to enact a contract between individuals to secure property, finances, or other necessities. Love and affection may be a part of it, but that might not necessarily be the case. So, if this is true…and marriage inherently bestows certain legal rights and privileges to the couple, then the argument can be made that it belongs to the government…and not the Church. Since our government belongs to the people and not to God (he gets the Church…let’s not be greedy), then it’s up to the people to decide what marriage is.
Personally, I am of the opinion that marriage serves no civil purpose (or at least it shouldn’t). Yes, I believe marriage is a holy sacrament. It’s a commitment between a man and woman. It is a representation of a shared faith and a desired communion with God. Therefore, I shouldn’t need a license to get married. I just need a Church. As I established above, the minister who is performing my ceremony doesn’t know me. He won’t even meet me until 30 minutes before the ceremony. But in accordance with his conscience and the sacraments of his faith he has no problem joining my fiancée and me in the eyes of God and the world. Quite frankly it’s a sham. Even he recognizes that marriage is more of a secular device than it is a holy sacrament. Otherwise, he’d refuse to marry people unless he was sure they were going to protect the faith. He doesn’t give a shit…because he knows it belongs to the world…to the government and not to God.
So, why am I getting married in what is essentially a civil ceremony? Because I recognize that my opinion and religious ideology has no bearing on anyone outside of my own life. Whether or not I like it, God’s law doesn’t bind my marriage, but instead the laws of the State of Tennessee take precedence. If I were only taking God’s law into account for my wedding then the fiancée and I wouldn’t involve the government at all. It’s none of their business what we do. However, we recognize that to protect ourselves legally we have to go through the bullshit routine established by the people.
Ok, I said this wasn’t about my impending nuptials, and it’s not. I swear I have a point. However, before I make it, I have to direct your attention to a little document that we love to love called the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the Continental Congress blessed us with a beautiful pipe dream in that document that goes something like this:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Damn it. Even those guys were involving God in things…let’s take it a step back even further…in May of 1776, George Mason wrote:
“That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent natural Rights… among which are the Enjoyment of Life and Liberty, with the Means of acquiring and possessing Property, and pursueing [sic] and obtaining Happiness and Safety.”
This predates the Declaration by at least two months, and it is well documented that the idea was not originally Jefferson’s. That’s not really relevant. The point is we as a society love to express how much we value the idea that ALL PEOPLE are born equally free (whether God has a hand in that or not is up to you to decide). We claim that EVERYONE should be afforded the opportunity to live in accordance with their own conscience without interference from the government or other people. NO ONE should be forced to live in a manner that is inconsistent with his or her own conscience (in so much as their actions do not infringe on the rights of others).
It’s at this point that I feel it is imperative for me to point out that this liberty that I describe is especially precious to those of us who have some sort of faith. We recognize that persecution for our beliefs is a way of life (whether you’re a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Pastafarian, or whatever…someone wants to deny you access to worship freely). The freedom to worship in accordance with your conscience is paramount to liberty. However, the only way to protect this freedom is to allow others to disagree with you peacefully and live in accordance with their own ideas.
So my question is this: if as a nation and as a society we believe that everyone should be free and equal, then why do we have laws (or seek to make laws) that make it impossible for other people to live in accordance with their own consciences and values?
How can the Church justify getting involved in the secular government in order to deny someone the right to establish his or her own model of what a family is?
How can people outside of the Church justify trying to force the Church into accepting ideas that are incompatible with Church doctrine?
How can the Church try to legislate morality for a secular world? Why does the Church try to break through the boundaries of the separation of Church and State, when it’s that very separation that protects their beliefs from an intolerant secular majority?
Why do homosexuals want “marriage equality” (though, they already have it), when marriage is an irrelevant relic from an intolerant Church?
The answer is simple. Marriage shouldn’t be within the realm of government at all. It should be up to the churches to decide what marriage is. If homosexuals want marriage, then they need to take it up with the Church or start their own church. It’s that simple. The government should stay out of it.
The government SHOULD no longer recognize ANY marriage. Heterosexual, homosexual, polygamous, whatever…none of them SHOULD be afforded any recognition by the States. They SHOULD serve no purpose outside of the liturgy of the Church. This is my opinion. This is what I believe.
HOWEVER, since marriages ARE recognized by the States…and marriages DO serve purposes in society outside the realm of the religion, then there should be no restrictions on who can marry. Passing laws that restrict marriages to only heterosexual couples defies the very fabric of what we as a society believe. It defies our society’s core value that ALL men are born free and equal. Even if the Church disagrees, the Church’s very survival depends on allowing others to live in a way that the Church perceives as sinful or wrong.
So, there it is, folks. I disagree with passing laws recognizing same-sex marriages. Coincidentally, I’m against laws recognizing heterosexual marriages, too. In my opinion, these laws violate the First Amendment because they respect the establishment of religion and they prevent the free-practice thereof. However, since laws recognizing heterosexual marriages already exist, then in the name of liberty we either have to abolish those laws, or pass laws evening the score for those among us who are not heterosexual. For the sake of liberty, it’s the right thing to do.
P.S.- For all of those people out there who are calling people bigots for holding true to their convictions, remember this…As long as I do not try to force you to accept my position, then just because what I believe offends you doesn’t make me a bigot. It makes you a thin-skinned butt plug.