Friday, May 29, 2009

Same-Sex 'Marriage' & Supreme Courts: II

My new friend Shaw asked me some interesting questions in her comment to 5-27-09's “Thanks CA Supreme Court”:

She says,
“I don't understand why you would label couples as ‘cheaters’ when they were married legally…before Prop 8 was passed. How do you reckon they ‘cheated’?”

My friend continues,
“And you [would] label the legal same-sex marriages in IA, MA, VT, NH, and ME as ‘cheaters’ too?”

These are very interesting questions, deserving of a sincere & thoughtful answer. So Shaw, this one’s for you & thanks for being a catalyst.

My use of “cheaters” in the 5-27 post is part euphemistic, part literal. “Cheaters” evokes images of games, the purpose of which was to simplify & illustrate a complex concept. In a literal sense the word “cheaters” does not apply, as Shaw points out, because those who got ‘married’ where same-sex ‘marriage’ is/was legal haven’t technically ‘cheated’.

My contention is, however, that same-sex ‘marriage’ itself cheats our culture in a most profound way. It has created a moral & spiritual crisis by attempting to redefine the most elemental, Sacred relationship in our society, thereby enfeebling our entire culture. The questions remind me of an editorial I wrote in 2004, just after the MA Supreme court circumvented the people of MA & made same-sex 'marriage' legal.

Defining Marriage

Marriage is a historical social & religious institution between one man & one woman. Its origin precedes our society & has universal global significance. It was not created by any branch of the American government, nor by our great Constitution. It crosses all cultures & has extended back through human existence for thousands of years.

Now, a Massachusetts courtroom has decided that this archetypal institution is ill defined, & has declared it invalid. The arrogance here is astounding. If it weren’t so audacious, it might even be comical. But it is not funny, & it is not okay. This court asserts that the historically rooted institution of marriage will not ‘pass Constitutional muster’ because it discriminates (like a clock salesman calling foul on the 24-hour day, saying it discriminates against the time-challenged).

For years, special interest groups & their lawyers have cited ‘separation of church & state’ to tease out Faith from the public arena at every turn. Now they’re using legal marriage – where State & Faith meet - to contort our society with their own prejudicial agenda. The State, which has pried out all things sacred, is now presuming authority to force civil “rites” into the sacred. The State, essentially, is assuming the power to define & override Sacrament.

It is time to speak up. The cultural movement represented in the Massachusetts courtroom accomplishes its work through the back door of the Constitution. No lawmaker or voter is ever consulted when law is created in a courtroom. In essence, we citizens are stripped of our representative and individual voices. We are left mute and powerless while outrageous counterculture ideas are made law. The good news is that the same Constitution that has been so egregiously manipulated is the same great document which guarantees each & every one of us a voice. It is now time to be heard.


So the voices of California were heard, finally. And their Court decided, this time, to abstain from silencing them. Hallelujah!

Our friend is right, though: other states have voiced differently. If we’re talking about legality, then gay ‘married’ people haven’t cheated the law in those states. But if we’re talking about morality & the spiritual health of our nation, then the ones we’re really cheating are ourselves.

And then there’s God.

~~~

43 comments:

USA_Admiral said...

Very well said Susannah.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Susannah wrote in her marriage editorial on the Massachusetts Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage:

"Marriage is a historical social & religious institution between one man & one woman."

Shaw Kenawe answered:

Except the Bible contradicts you. And the Bible is the inerrant word of God, isn't it?

Most people today view polygamy as immoral while the Bible nowhere explicitly condemns it. The first instance of polygamy/bigamy in the Bible was that of Lamech in Genesis 4:19: “Lamech married two women.” Several prominent men in the Old Testament were polygamists. Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and others all had multiple wives. In 2 Samuel 12:8, God, speaking through the prophet Nathan, said that if David’s wives and concubines were not enough, He would have given David even more. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (essentially wives of a lower status), according to 1 Kings 11:3.

Also there are many cultures around the globe that still practice polygamy and some cultures [in parts of India] practice polyandry. So marriage between one man and one woman is not a historical social & religious institution between one man and one woman. It is in a majority of cultures, but certainly it is not universal and the God of the Christian Bible himself allowed polygamy.

Susannah:

"Now, a Massachusetts courtroom has decided that this archetypal institution is ill defined, & has declared it invalid."

Shaw Kenawe:

This is an untrue statement. The Massachusetts Supreme Court has not invalidated marriage. The MSC has actually allowed MORE people to enter into marriage contracts. Your statement is wrong.


Susannah wrote:

For years, special interest groups & their lawyers have cited ‘separation of church & state’ to tease out Faith from the public arena at every turn. Now they’re using legal marriage – where State & Faith meet - to contort our society with their own prejudicial agenda. The State, which has pried out all things sacred, is now presuming authority to force civil “rites” into the sacred. The State, essentially, is assuming the power to define & override Sacrament."

Shaw Kenawe:

If one choses to make marriage a Sacrament, one goes to a religious institution to perform a religious ceremony.

To be legally married in any state in this Union, no one has to enter a church or participate in a religious ceremony. All one has to do is obtain a marriage license from the state in which one is to be married and have a secular Justice of the Peace marry the couple.

No religion is necessaary to be married in any state in the Union. The individual states grant the legal authority for couples to be married. In theocracies, the dominant religion has that authority--but since the US is not a theocracy, it is the secular states that confer the license and right for individuals to marry.

Shaw Kenawe said...

To continue (comment wouldn't allow the entire discussion in one post.)

Susannah wrote;

"It is time to speak up. The cultural movement represented in the Massachusetts courtroom accomplishes its work through the back door of the Constitution."


Shaw Kenawe:

The Massachusetts Supreme Court's ruling was in conformance with its own Constitution--the Massachusetts State Constitution, which does not allow Constitutional rights for just some people. A marriage is a contract which allows for certain rights, granted by the state, between two people. Those rights cannot be denied to citizens because of sexual preference.

There is no religion involved in this. The United States Constitution was not involved in the Massachusetts ruling. You may be confused on this matter. This court ruling was in keeping with Massachusetts' state Constitution (written, btw, by John Adams and his cousin, Samuel Adams.)

Susannah wrote:

"No lawmaker or voter is ever consulted when law is created in a courtroom. In essence, we citizens are stripped of our representative and individual voices. We are left mute and powerless while outrageous counterculture ideas are made law. The good news is that the same Constitution that has been so egregiously manipulated is the same great document which guarantees each & every one of us a voice. It is now time to be heard."


Shaw Kenawe:

This of course is also not true, since state legislatures in, for example, Iowa, have approved same-sex marriage. The legislators in Iowa and other states that approved same sex marriage are the representatives of the people in those states.

Susannah wrote.

"So the voices of California were heard, finally. And their Court decided, this time, to abstain from silencing them. Hallelujah!

Our friend is right, though: other states have voiced differently. If we’re talking about legality, then gay ‘married’ people haven’t cheated the law in those states. But if we’re talking about morality & the spiritual health of our nation, then the ones we’re really cheating are ourselves."

Shaw Kenawe:

If you and your friends are truly concerned about marriage, you would be against divorce. It is divorce that destroys marriages, not more people wanting to legalize a relationship.

KrisEveland said...

I was shocked here in Iowa when same sex marriage was made legal. We have a few strong politicians here who stood against it, but this midwest state has gone so far left that there is no stopping it. It's a sad day when a midwest state such as Iowa begins to adopt policies further left than those of "traditionaly liberal" California.

Right-Wing Libertarian said...

Very well said, Suz ...

IMHO, this "marriage" stuff is an attempt to get Judeo-Christian based, rule-of-law governments to legitimize homosexuality in the same manner the media did. Under the smokescreen of access to benefits, what I believe what they are truly looking for is a government-sanctioned method by which they can procreate. If homosexuals can have joint custody of property, force payment of "benefits", and have access to children in the guise of "family", they can increase their numbers easily. Their headaches come when we the people say "Hey, hold the phone a minute", as was done in California. Perhaps there is more sanity in that state I than first thought.

Oh, and to Fogg I would say, one man's definition of immorality is another man's definition of a pretty good time. Yeah, dude ... your religious freedom is fine. So long as mine is also. Mine says, since there are all these fine countries which allow homosexual marriage, yet show no signs of "moral decrepitude", you could exercise your religious freedom and go there. If we let you screw this place up, there will be no place left for us to teach our children a moral value system. At least here, and for now, a marriage is between man and woman. Government sanctioning two homosexuals who want to play house will have to wait. I thank God for every day that wait continues. :-)

Susannah said...

USA~ Thanks for the encouragement. You can see our side needs all it can get! :)

Shaw~ Thanks so much for your comments. I'm glad you felt free to have your say & I'll try to keep up:

"And the Bible is the inerrant word of God, isn't it?"
I didn't say that, you did. It would make for an interesting discussion, though.

Re: Polygamy - I'm not addressing polygamy, which we know is generally a cultural phenomenon, as in your examples. What I'm addressing is what the Bible does condemn/forbid - homosexuality. NOTE: I'm not condemning people involved w/ it(that's not my place, nor my inclination). But the Bible certainly does condemn the behavior.

"So marriage between one man and one woman is not a historical social & religious institution..." Yes, friend, it is; in our society & among most Western religious culture, it is - which is why I wrote, 'historical social & religious instit.'

"The Massachusetts Supreme Court has not invalidated marriage."
I didn't say that it did. I said the court 'decided this archetypal institution ILL-DEFINED & has declared it invalid.' The definition is key, thus the title of the editorial.

"MSC has actually allowed MORE people to enter into marriage contracts"
If you say so...the 'contract' that the MSC contorted in order to to meet their politically correct, social engineering agenda is not marriage, though. Marriage is 1 man + 1 woman. Period.

"If one choses to make marriage a Sacrament, one goes to a religious institution to perform a religious ceremony." & "No religion is necessaary to be married in any state in the Union."
Absolutely right. And if one chooses to get married, one certainly may. Marriage is 1 man + 1 woman. Period. There is no such thing as discrimination here. It is what it is. Want societal "rights" & be in a gay r'lnship too, do the civil union thing. Leave marriage alone.

'No lawmaker or voter is ever consulted'-- "This of course is also not true, since state legislatures in, for example, Iowa, have approved same-sex marriage"
At the time of writing the piece in green (Feb. 2004), no lawmaker or voter HAD been consulted. The MSC forced their agenda on the people w/o consent or legislation. What I said in green was absolutely true @ the time.

"It is divorce that destroys marriages, not more people wanting to legalize a relationship."
Shaw, I am desperately concerned about marriage, which is why I care so much about this. And I AM against divorce (except for addictions, abuse or adultery). Again, if people want to get married, get married! 1 man + 1 woman. If they want to legalize their relationship, don't force me (& the rest of society) to conform & mangle a centuries old institution for somebody's 21st century whim.

Whew!

Susannah said...

Kris~ Thanks for coming by! "We have a few strong politicians here who stood against it" And we need more who will!

FOGG~ I'm glad you decided to come by. Welcome.
'It has created a moral & spiritual crisis by attempting to redefine the most elemental, Sacred relationship in our society, thereby enfeebling our entire culture.'
My statement stands. Of course God can handle morality, but we can't, apparently.

"the government may not, by law, define anything as sacred"
I didn't say that they could - which is why I say the instit. of marriage is where State & Faith meet.

"nor cooperate with your religious group in forcing me to accept the sacredness or holiness of anything."
But the Gov't CAN cooperate w/ your left-wing radical homosexual groups (not slinging epithets, just observing reality) in forcing ME & the rest of the country to accept the validity of a 'marriage' definition that the vast majority of us consider socially, morally & spiritually wrong & an abomination to God? How is THAT equal Justice for all?? How is THAT fair or right for the Judiciary to do??

"please show me an example of the moral decrepitude of any country allowing gay marriage"
I think there was once a place called 'Sodom & Gomorrah'. We all know what happened there...

FOGG, again, I'm not condemning anyone, just sounding an alarm, whether you believe in the Maker of the alarm or not. But you believe in the Constitution & that was being trampled in the MSC decision, too.

Also, I'M demanding that the foundation of our society which -Shaw points out - is in jeopardy anyway remain stable. I'M demanding the freedom to live in a society whose foundation is not twisted beyond recognition based on politically-correct-hurt-nobody's-feelings-don't-tell-anyone-they're-wrong attitudes that have gotten us where we are in the first place.

Excuse me now, please, FOGG. I have some teeth to file & some claws to sharpen.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Susannah, you typed these words:

"Now, a Massachusetts courtroom has decided that this archetypal institution is ill defined, & has declared it invalid."

The IT in your sentence references "this archetypal institution" [marriage]. You have stated unequivocally that the MSC declared marriage--the archetypal institution --invalid. There is no other interpretation of what you typed.

Also, the court found that Massachusetts may not "deny the protections, benefits and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry" because of a clause in the state's constitution that forbids "the creation of second-class citizens.

The MSC did NOT in any way, shape, or form say that marriage--"this archetypal institution" is ill defined. That is your interpretation and not what the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled on.


Susannah typed:

"If they want to legalize their relationship, don't force me (& the rest of society) to conform..."


Can you show me, with evidence to back it up, how a gay marriage forces you or anyone to conform to something. What does it force you to conform to?

You have to be very clear on what your alleging--on what is forced on you.

If a gay couple is married in Massachusetts or Iowa, how does that personally affect you and your marriage, your children, your family life? You need to establish concretely how this has a direct affect on your life--not just that it makes you feel "icky."

Thanks.

Susannah said...

RWL~ Bravo. Standing & applauding!
Thank you.

Shaw~ "There is no other interpretation of what you typed."
I'm the author of that piece, I explained it already (you're arguing w/ the author?). Perhaps this will suit you better: "...courtroom has decided that this archetypal institution is ill defined, & has declared [the standing definition] invalid." Same meaning as original.

"The MSC did NOT in any way, shape, or form say that marriage--'this archetypal institution' is ill defined."
Yes. They did; which is why they took it upon themselves to redefine marriage. We disagree.

"Can you show me, with evidence to back it up, how a gay marriage forces you or anyone to conform to something?"
Good question.
This issue forces all of society to legitimize a way of life that I (& tens/hundreds of millions of others) do not condone.

How does it force me to conform? Because it has become 'government sanctioned' in some places, I must remain ABSOLUTELY VIGILANT AT ALL TIMES the be sure that my children are not brainwashed with these aberrant 'values'. (The groups who took these issues to the courts have already paved the way in communities, schools, churches, etc. Their influence was felt there long before it got to court.) I am forced to sequester them away from school curriculum (if need be), library policies (even the school library), Guidance counseling 'lessons' & especially Sex Education lessons. I must scan their texts b/c I don't trust them. I must be in their schools, watching, because I need to be sure of what's being said/taught.

In other words, I can no longer trust that my culture has my children's best interests at heart. I can't trust that my children are emotionally, mentally, & spiritually safe in the hands of Public School officials & their policies - all because of a VERY SMALL MINORITY's claim to their twisted view of "marriage".

Do I have to conform? You're D#MN right I do! (Not mad @ you - this just makes me SO angry!)

...and - it makes me feel really "icky."

Shaw Kenawe said...

This issue forces all of society to legitimize a way of life that I (& tens/hundreds of millions of others) do not condone.Sorry, that doesn't do it anymore than having the government give a license to fish in ponds "legitimizes" that way of life. It ALLOWS people to pursue their happiness, fishing or marrying the person of their choice.

You will never have to "condone" same-sex marriages. Never. You can teach your children to be disgusted with "that way of life" until they are old enough to make their own decisions. And you have the choice to never mingle with people who are living "that way of life."

I don't know of any public school that teaches anyone how to be a homosexual. Children may learn that homosexuality exists, because that is the truth, whether you can bear to hear it or not.

Homosexuals are everywhere! They are our children, our brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grammys and grampys!

They're doctors, lawyers, priests, garbage collectors, football players, dancers, artists,actors.

It's a fact of life. Children can accept it. Believe me.

You've got it wrong, btw, government doesn't "sanction" homosexuality no more than it sanctions heterosexuality. Government is neutral about what we do in the privacy of our bedrooms.

I personally know of children who have been brought up with the knowledge that gay people exist, and those children are well-adjusted happy, productive AND religious young adults now.

Really. There's no need to fear the gaiii!!!

James' Muse said...

Susannah, if I may add my two cents:

The argument that legalizing forces you to accept it is strangly reminiscent of the arguments against letting whites and blacks marry just a few decades ago. It too made people feel icky, and they couldn't tolerate it.

Letting homosexuals get married by the state, and therefore get the tax benefits and other state rights that come along with said marriage contract, is much different from churches performing the marriage ceremony before God. In the Christian faith, it is really only the latter that matters, while the first one is merely getting the state benefits.

Why would Christians deny that to homosexuals? Christians are only to judge themselves, not the outside world. Christianity believes homosexuality is wrong, therefore don't allow homosexuals to be married in your church.

But to deny the marriage contract in a secular setting is wrong, and does not concern the Church.

James' Muse said...

Here's the verse I was looking for:

1 Corinthians 5
12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside...

What this means is that you cannot hold the outside world to the laws of the Church.

Susannah said...

James~ Of course you may add your $0.02. I just don't have time to answer you right now...Thanks for stopping in.

Btw, friends. From now on, I delete commenters whose only aim is to berate, belittle, excoriate & insult me or God. Commenters who - once I bow away from their blogs due to such treatment, after making every effort @ civility - continue to call me nasty names for the rest of their audience to see in my absence.

My friend Sandy said, a guy like that is "an idealogue beyond redemption, who fancies himself an intellectual and bolsters his own delusions by denigrating anyone who disagrees with him. Not worth our time sister!"

Right. Life's too short; they can have it there, but I won't have it here.

Z said...

Your last two paragraphs are sublime, Susannah. Thanks for the whole post of clear and rational thinking.

Already, there are cases were 2 women and a man want to marry. Is it discrimination when we deny that? Or marrying a pet?
It's all aimed at desanctifying the human being. It makes me SO MAD!

"and then there's God" xx

Throwing Stones said...

This woman is a documented pisspoor jurist. I could care less about her heritage.

Right-Wing Libertarian said...

Shaw said:

Homosexuals are everywhere! They are our children, our brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grammys and grampys!
==============================
Of course they are. There were as long as time has been recorded. And they made things, and sold things, and contributed to economies. I'm sure historically they served in battle, developed technology and even did so all the while providing continuity to their own lifestyle.

Why, given that historical knowledge, is it so important to usurp a heretofore unchallenged territory, that being marriage between 1 man and 1 woman? What is to be gained? Why is it so important to do nothing that would add to the accesses and contributions homosexuals already have ... except to water down a standard provided by the Creator when man first walked the earth? (Why, I remember being told on no uncertain terms that there were plenty of homosexuals who believe in Creation.)

I've stated my idea as to why this is suddenly so important, but I'd like to hear the reason from a true proponent. I'd like to know how accurate I really am.

Right-Wing Libertarian said...

Thanks again, Suz. I wish I could emulate your writing style.

Susannah said...

Shaw~ "It ALLOWS people to pursue their happiness, fishing or marrying the person of their choice."
Any person may marry whomever they choose. Nothing stops them - no law, no discrimination, no institutional entity. Marriage is 1 Man + 1 Woman. Period.

"any public school that teaches anyone how to be a homosexual." & "teach your children to be disgusted" & "Children may learn that homosexuality exists...whether you can bear to hear it or not."
Speaking in extremes & sweeping assumptions (what the Left wants you to believe -the worst- about people like me) confuses our discussion, Shaw. The Left wants you to believe that I foist homophobic venom on my children (who have no idea that I'm scanning their school curriculum, etc., btw. A loving parent doesn't place these burdens on their children). They know what we believe & why. They also know that kindness is fundamental, no matter the person you're dealing w/ - it's the way Jesus is, see. They also know that there's a right & a wrong, & are learning how to discern (I pray) the difference.

But I've digressed. I have the same question that RRL has, "Why...is it so important to usurp a heretofore unchallenged territory?..What is to be gained?...except to water down a standard provided by the Creator when man first walked the earth?" Why are WE the ones who must answer the questions? Why are we the ones forced to defend what is RIGHT, or be forced to accommodate people who want their aberrant behavior accepted, justified & validated? What makes them ENTITLED to "usurp" in this way, & why must the rest of society acquiesce?

RRL~ Very nice thoughts; & kind words to me, thanks.

It's like the Women's Movement (some of you know my feelings on this)...Why are women DEMANDING to be in the place where MEN have heretofore been? Can men not have their own place - just for themselves? (Women DEMANDING to be admitted to the Citadel - my dad's alma mater - when there are perfectly good options elsewhere...) Can we not allow people to have their own thing?? Must we appease, placate, accommodate EVERYONE until every aspect of our society is gray...so that nothing is special, unique, SACRED anymore?

Susannah said...

James~ Sorry for the wait. Marriage -as you know- is an institution created by God, for the foundation of the human family, to be an illustration/metaphor of the relationship of Christ to His Bride, the Church. It is 1 Man + 1 Woman.

"...to deny the marriage contract in a secular setting is wrong, and does not concern the Church."
That the government must sanction legal matters in order to organize society does NOT change the definition of marrige. The Gov't does not have the right to change it, either. The Gov't may institute civil parameters for 'civil unions' for organizational purposes, if need be. Just b/c we have sep. of Ch./State, does not give the Govt. jurisdiction over the interface of State & Church.

As for the judgement issue & the scripture you quote (nicely done, btw, thank you)...The issue is the distinction betwn. judgement & Discernment. I was clear earlier in stating that it is not my place to judge a person's soul (heaven, hell, etc.). However, Christians are ABSOLUTELY to be discerning about behavior. We are supposed to confront when such is necessary & discern right from wrong, choosing right as often as we can muster. Simple as that.

You know we could go back & forth pulling out scripture, analyzing it's meaning. I'm talking the PRINCIPLES represented by the 'full Council of the Word of God.' Remember our discussion about that?

Susannah said...

Z~ You are one of my heroes!! You know why! :) Thanks for what you said.

TS~ I'm so glad you joined us. I'm assuming you're talking about Sodomayor nomination, b/c of your passion. I haven't had the energy or the time to tackle that yet. Maybe I'll leave that one to you guys! :) Do come back soon!

RWL~ Sorry, I called you RRL twice before!

Shaw Kenawe said...

Susannah wrote: "They also know that kindness is fundamental, no matter the person you're dealing w/..."

Susannah, I don't believe you mean to be condescending here, but it sure does sound like it in that sentence. We're discussing homosexuals. You say you teach your children that kindness is fundamental (good, so far) then you add this condescending disclaimer: "no matter the person you're dealing w/..." Which means even if the person is an awful (read homo) person, be kind, dear children, because that's what Jesus would want. In the bad old days, people used to say the very same things about Jews and African-Americans--"Be nice to them, children, even if they are, you know, that sort of people."

Susannah wrote:

"Why...is it so important to usurp a heretofore unchallenged territory?.."

Excuse me but gay people are not "usurp[ing]" anything. Please give the definition of that word a careful reading--it doesn't apply to gay people wanting the same protection from the government as straight people have.


Susannah wrote: "What is to be gained?..."

Equal protection. It's guaranteed in the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution to all US citizens and provides that "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws".


Susannah wrote: "except to water down a standard provided by the Creator..."

That's a personal, religious belief, and it has no standing in the law. Just because YOU believe a god instituted marriage it does not give the State the right to deny equal protection to all of its citizens. Not everyone believes marriage was instituted by a god.


Susannah wrote: "Why are WE the ones who must answer the questions? Why are we the ones forced to defend what is RIGHT, or be forced to accommodate people who want their aberrant behavior accepted, justified & validated?"

This is where your claim that you do not "foist homophobic venom" on people is contradicted. Read your own words and think about what they say about your attitude toward gay people. It's pretty evident that you are angry that our gay brothers and sisters want to enjoy the same rights and privileges granted by the US Constitution as are granted to non-gay people.

That you and RWL don't understand this is a tragedy.


Susannah wrote: "What makes them ENTITLED to "usurp" in this way, & why must the rest of society acquiesce?"

Again, you don't understand the meaning of the word you used: "usurp." Please be more accurate. Words have meanings.

As to your plaint "why must the rest of society acquiesce?"--you don't have to acquiesce, since gay marriage does not impact you in the least--except it angers you from a religious point of view--you view homosexuals as aberrant and that is the crux of your discomfort with seeing gay people as equal under the law. You see them only in terms of your god's law, not the US Constitution--which does not share your homophobia--and you are, my friend, assuredly homophobic--by your very own words.

And lastly your words:

"Why are we the ones forced to defend what is RIGHT..."


Actually, Susannah, you've got it backward, it is WE who defend what is RIGHT. We want everyone who is a US citizen to enjoy all the rights granted under our Constitution--that is RIGHT.

It is people like you who want to LIMIT other people's Constitutional rights because certain people don't conform to your religious ideas--that is WRONG.

This will all be settled very soon, because this country always comes down on the side of granting more rights to people, not taking them away.

Susannah said...

Shaw~ "Susannah, I don't believe you mean to be condescending here, but it sure does sound like it..."
You're right, I didn't mean to condescend. Thank you for giving me the benefit of your doubt.

"You say you teach your children that kindness is fundamental...then you add this condescending disclaimer" & "We're discussing homosexuals"
In a large sense, yes, we're discussing homosexuality; but at that point I was referencing my faith & my children's faith formation: "They know what we believe & why. They also know that kindness is fundamental, no matter the person you're dealing w/ - it's the way Jesus is, see."

That's crucial, see, b/c I could easily be 'that sort of people' - depending on what 'that sort' is...The faith principle I referenced is Grace.

We're teaching our children that we're ALL in desperate need of Grace (& kindness) "no matter the person you're dealing with." (If you're interested to read about a Grace experience I had - when I needed it - please see my 2-24-09 post.)

Thank you again for giving me the benefit of the doubt (read: grace!), Shaw. (& no, I'm not being condescending)

Again, all people have "equal protection" ALREADY re: marriage. Marriage = 1man + 1woman. The equal protection argument is wearing thin.

"you don't have to acquiesce, since gay marriage does not impact you in the least"
Already explained how it affects me - daily. You may not want it to, in order to ease your justification of immoral behavior, but it does.

I think what we're really arguing here is sin. I'm calling sin, sin. You & others don't like that, don't want to hear that. So you're trying to find some legal, constitutional, societal construct to which you can point & say, "See, you're wrong. You said homosexuality is wrong, but look, ______ says it's not, so there."

Shaw~ I really am not condemning anyone - not my place. I have sin in my life. I haved sinned, do sin & will sin tomorrow. IMhO, one isn't much worse than other spiritually (separating us from God). Consequences can differ widely, of course. But -- I'm not going to agree w/ you that something is okay when it's not; no matter how many lawyers plead their constitutional case, no matter how many Judges pound their gavels, or how many watered-down-clergy give their blessing. Sin is sin.

I thank God every day that I have people who love me anyway.

James' Muse said...

But Susannah, you are now saying that the only reason we cannot legalize gay marriage is because it is a sin.

But we don't legalize or outlaw things merely on the notion of "sin."

If that were the case, we would need to outlaw divorce and a multitude of other things merely because Christianity views it as sin.

The State Institution of Marriage is different than the God-Given Institution. Marriages done by the state may not be recognized by the church (i.e. second marriages are not validated by certain denominations) yet they are still given the legal protections and rights of a marriage under state law.

This isn't any different. Because of the separation of Church and state laws cannot be made simply because "The Bible says so."

Legally speaking, we cannot, and should not, base a law based upon the Bible and the Bible only.

Homosexuality is only viewed as wrong because the bible says so, unlike other laws, such as murder being wrong because it harms a society and another individual directly. Coincidentally, it is also in the Bible.

The Bible also says women should cover their heads in church. Shall we then mandate it in the law of the land?

No.

Because interpretations of the bible vary greatly, we cannot allow a religion to mandate the laws on the land simply because the Bible says so.

Find some way that homosexual marriage hurts society in a secular way and you can then legislate accordingly.

James' Muse said...

As for the judgement issue & the scripture you quote (nicely done, btw, thank you)...The issue is the distinction betwn. judgement & Discernment. I was clear earlier in stating that it is not my place to judge a person's soul (heaven, hell, etc.). However, Christians are ABSOLUTELY to be discerning about behavior. We are supposed to confront when such is necessary & discern right from wrong, choosing right as often as we can muster. Simple as that. But there is a difference here. You can call sin a sin, and let people know that you view it as such.

But doing so through leglistlation? That's another matter entirely.

Jesus didn't go about trying to change the laws of the land. He just told the Pharisees they were wrong. He didn't fight them in the legal arena. He did so in the religious/political arean, telling those that they were not to be slaves of the law and sin. He gave his message regardless of the existing law, not trying to change the law.

Susannah said...

James~ No, I'm NOT saying the only reason gay marriage shouldn't be legal is "because it is a sin"
The ENTIRETY of my last comment was a response to Shaw's request for clarification.

She thought I came off as 'condescending', gave me a head's up on it, & I reframed my point. What I was trying to do, was to illustrate the faith principles -- part of the basis upon which my positon in this matter rests -- of this statement: "They know what we believe & why. They also know that kindness is fundamental, no matter the person you're dealing w/ - it's the way Jesus is, see."

This discussion is already tedious enough, James, please do not twist it into something it's not.

"Jesus didn't go about trying to change the laws of the land."
And neither am I. Last I checked, I'm the one trying to PRESERVE the laws that stand - not trying to change them.

"He just told the Pharisees they were wrong."
Yep - & they didn't like it. And my position tells someone their behavior is wrong & they don't like it.

(I'm NOT saying I'm better than them - just that their behavior is wrong. I'm not trying to legislate it - it's already there! And please, I'm not saying I'm Jesus either...)

"He gave his message regardless of the existing law"
And that's EXACTLY what I said:
"no matter how many lawyers plead their constitutional case, no matter how many Judges pound their gavels..." my message will be the same.

James, we simply disagree.

BetteJo said...

Oh my gosh! Nothing to contribute here - other than - fascinating discussion!

Susannah said...

BetteJo~ Thanks so much for coming by! Feel free to contribute any time. We've gotten a bit slogged in. A new voice might be a breath of fresh air! :)

Pamela D. Hart said...

Wow, this is one interesting post. I must admit that I'm the LAST person to give advice in the religion arena. I do think, however, that homosexuals should have equal rights with property, hospitals visitation, health care, etc., but how do they get that if not by marriage when they don't want a civil union?

Z said...

I simply don't want to get into the religious aspects of this, but I will just ask "Imagine God condoning the holy union of two men or two women? Imagine, IF YOU BELIEVE (and nobody has to), a reason for why God put Adam & Eve in the Garden. For fun? Or for setting the future of mankind?
Can I venture a guess as to why homosexuality occurs? NO, but I certainly can't imagine God's approval. It's like pro choicers saying that "Nowhere in the Bible does it say anything about abortion" as if LIFE isn't celebrated throughout the Old and New Testaments about on every page! It's not a book preaching of killing life because a mom isn't in the mood. (only said to make a point, not to make light)

Pamela, I'm glad you brought up rights. A lawyer can assure a homosexual couple of hospital visitation, inheritance, etc.....I have homosexual friends who say it's a LIE to suggest they have no rights. It's simply another rumor sort of like "healthcare in Germany is FREE"; it's simply untrue but the media/left has propagated that for years.

Susannah said...

Z~ Very good questions & good points. To Pamela's question: "I have homosexual friends who say it's a LIE to suggest they have no rights." I would be very interested to hear what your friends have to say on this.

Pamela~ Thank you for coming by & your comment. Sure, everyone is entitled to rights.

"But how do they get that if not by marriage..."
See my comment above(#19, I think) re: parameters of civil relationships.

"...when they don't want a civil union?"
Marriage is marriage: 1man + 1woman; not whatever we want to make it. If they choose to marry someone, fine. But a homosexual relationships is not marriage. Sorry.

Thanks again for stopping by, Pamela. Come back again.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Susannah wrote:

"Marriage is marriage: 1 man + 1 woman; not whatever we want to make it."

Merriam-Webster disagrees with that. That dictionary defines "marriage" this way:

1 a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law

(2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage [same-sex marriage] b: the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage..."And this from Wikipedia:

"Marriage is a social, religious, spiritual and/or legal union of individuals that creates kinship. This union may also be called matrimony, while the ceremony that marks its beginning is usually called a wedding and the married status created is sometimes called wedlock."

Opponents of gay marriage generally have relied on two authorities, the Bible and the dictionary—the divine word and the defined word. A 2006 friend-of-the-court brief filed on behalf of anti-gay-marriage organizations in a Maryland marriage case cited no fewer than seven dictionaries to make its point. And when the Iowa Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, it ignored the state's plea to abide by a dictionary definition that limited marriage to "the legal union of a man and a woman."

But in their latest editions, the dictionaries have begun to switch sides—though until recently, no one seemed to have much noticed.

The American Heritage Dictionary, Black's Law Dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary, and Webster's have all added same-sex unions to their definitions of marriage.*

The right-wing Web site WorldNetDaily broke the news in March about Webster's, reporting that the dictionary had "resolved the argument" over gay marriage by applying the ancient term "to same-sex duos."

As I said in my previous post, this will become quite normal as more and more states join the enlightened ones that have dealt with same-sex marriage as an equal rights issue.

Susannah said...

Shaw, you've just made my original point entirely.

Susannah:
"Same-sex ‘marriage’ itself CHEATS OUR CULTURE in a most profound way. It has created a MORAL & SPIRITUAL CRISIS BY ATTEMPTING TO REDEFINE the most elemental, Sacred relationship in our society..."

Shaw has now said:
"In their latest editions, the DICTIONARIES HAVE BEGUN TO SWITCH SIDES"

and

"This WILL BECOME QUITE NORMAL as more and more states join the enlightened ones that have dealt with same-sex marriage as an equal rights issue."

Your very examples of 'enlightenment': dictionaries rearranging the language & the normalizing of aberrant behavior are EXACTLY what I'm talking about when I say we've got a cultural CRISIS!

I guess the brings us full circle, doesn't it?

Joe said...

I drive a Lincoln Contenental. It is small, green, has a body made mainly of plastic, and says the word, "Saturn" on it, but I have declared it a Lincoln Contenental, therefore that is what it is.

Since the beginning of the Saturn line this car has been defined as a Saturn, but this is 2009, and I feel (I don't think...I feel) that it should be a Lincoln Contenental, therefore, in spite of the convention in place since the beginning of the line, I will insist that it is a Lincoln Contenental.

You see, SK, just because some dummy like me decides to redefine something, that does not do away with the years of societal convention that has applied.

Webster notwithstanding, marriage has been defined BY SOCIETY as the union of one man and one woman.

If we are to change it to include the union of two or more members of the same sex, then we will have to find another word to define the union of one man and one woman.

Any ideas what that new word could be?

Susannah said...

Joe~ Let us know what happens @ trade-in when you drive up to that Lincoln dealership!

So good to hear from you - hope you're feeling well!

Shaw Kenawe said...

Joe,

Human beings are NOT cars. Your example is silly.

Once upon a time, it was the norm for Americans to see Black people as 3/5 of a person, but America came to its senses and changed that law. At one time it was legal to own people--slaves. We all know how that ended. At one time it was against the law for a Negro and a White person to marry. We changed that, too.

Just because marriage has been accepted for a number of years as between a man and a woman, or a man and several women, or a woman and several men, that doesn't mean that society can't change, gain enlightenment, evolve and allow same sex individuals to enter into a contract [marriage, afterall, is a contract between two individuals. When people divorce, they ususally play lawyers to break that contract and divide up possessions and children].

Religious people don't have to participate in this [although there are plenty of religions that allow same sex marriages in churches!]

If same sex marriages disturb you, don't attend them.

But you will see in your lifetime more states joining with Iowa, Mass., NH, ME, VT in allowing two people of the same sex to enter into a contract that will grant them the same tax benefits, health benefits, and every other benefit that marriage gives to heterosexual couples.

There were thousands of people in this country who cited the Bible and God as reasons to keep slaves and to keep intermarriage between the races illegal.

We know how that all ended too, don't we.

Right-Wing Libertarian said...

"Excuse me but gay people are not "usurp[ing]" anything. Please give the definition of that word a careful reading--it doesn't apply to gay people wanting the same protection from the government as straight people have."

-----------------------------

I know how to use the language. What "protections" are you referring to? Marriage between a man and a woman is "protected" only by God himself. It's pretty much why one man and one woman get married in His presence in the first place. Unless you have some sort of faith in God, this protection may pass you by anyway, so why petition the government for it? If you *are* of faith, the practice of earthly lusts like homosexuality sort of speaks of your commitment to that faith as well, eh? Oh, I remember. It's about benefits, like access to healthcare, which is about to be socialized anyway, so it's moot. It's about tying up valuable time in an already overburdened family law system, right? I mean, it's about access to somebody's social security account when for the most part, you should have your own anyway. You mean *that* sort of protection? That sir, was my entire point. Homosexuality will continue even without the "in your face" attitude you people seem to have. Even without your wish to trample on those things sacred to others, knowing you get no benefit other than to hurt them. It is that same behavior that gets you all this backlash you've avoided for thousands of years previous.

Yes, sir, I've used the language a while now. We know what you wish to do. We're simply establishing the reasons at this point. Um, the government doesn't "protect" marriages. They have enough trouble protecting citizens. Government simply recognizes marriages, because they produce families. Logically because of child rearing responsibilities, government is chartered by the people to ensure that the family unit is allowed to grow. This is the primary reason that there is "family law" to begin with. Homosexuals have no place in the child bearing or child rearing process, therefore there is no requirement for the government to apply "family law" to homosexuals. If you think logically, it's sort of a QED kinda thing. I'm becoming a blog-hog, but really sir, it's all about the money and nothing else, am I right? If this is your only reason for attempting to overthrow natural and God-given laws, your priorities are very poor, and your prognosis for success is probably worse. My prayer, anyway :-)

Right-Wing Libertarian said...

Oh yeah ... in my prev. comment, substitute "ma'am" where applicable.
:-)

Shaw Kenawe said...

RWL: I know how to use the language. What "protections" are you referring to? Marriage between a man and a woman is "protected" only by God himself.

This claim wouldn't stand up in court, since civil law is not based on any gods. This is a religious belief, and you're welcomed to believe it, but not welcome to deny people their Constitutional rights because of your belief.

If your claim that god "protected" marriage is true, please explain the high divorce rates in this country. Do you march against people divorcing. Are you as upset over people divorcing and breaking up "godly" marriages as you are over people wanting to marry?

"Government simply recognizes marriages, because they produce families."--RWL

So the government doesn't recognize marriages that chose NOT to produce children? Or because of medical conditions, can't? Or people over childbearing age who get married? You know this is rubbish and not an arguing point.

"Homosexuals have no place in the child bearing or child rearing process..."--RWL

Oh please. Tell that to a certain gay couple who have raised honor students who now attend this country's top Ivy League schools, and who are members in good standing of a Christian Church.

What you've written is a libelous, and homophobic claim only the very hateful would believe and supported by absolutely no evidence except your homophobia.

"...it's all about the money and nothing else, am I right? If this is your only reason for attempting to overthrow natural and God-given laws, your priorities are very poor, and your prognosis for success is probably worse. My prayer, anyway."--RWL

That's a narrow-minded and completely erroneous assumption, which I'm not surprised to read here.

Again, marriage is not a "God-given" law. Marriage licenses are granted by the civil authority of an individual state--no religious authority can marry a couple without a state's marriage license. If it were a god-given law, only religious insitutions could marry people and you know this is not true.

You haven't made your point, except to cement what we suspected:

You use god to justify your fear and hatred of homosexuals and their pursuit of equal protection under the law.

And you will not win this battle.

Susannah said...

"You use god to justify your fear and hatred of homosexuals and their pursuit of equal protection under the law. And you will not win this battle."

RWL is stating his understanding of God relative to this issue. The argument has naught to do with "fear & hatred" & everything to do w/ desiring stability & virtue in our society.

It is a battle, Shaw. You're right. And the battle is a h#ll of a lot more serious than deluded misunderstanding of 'equal protection' brought on by our society's obsession w/ victimology.

"Where does that leave us, folks? Still on the battlefield; with a war for the essence of our culture – the very soul of our dear nation - in front of us." (from previous post)

Joe, I'm still lovin' the Lincoln allegory!

Shaw Kenawe said...

Susannah wrote: "RWL is stating his understanding of God relative to this issue. The argument has naught to do with "fear & hatred" & everything to do w/ desiring stability & virtue in our society."

Susannah, you and RWL would have some credibility on this issue if you and he were as passionately against all divorce, which actually DOES destabilize familes and impact children.

Your "virtue" argument is problematic, since not all marriages are virtuous.

The fact that this blog is so adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage and is not as deeply concerned with the high rates of divorce and not dedicating yourselves to overturning the right to divorce tells me that there's an awful lot of hypocrisy and very little concern with god's sacred institution of marriage going on.

I'm guessing what drives your indignation is mostly homophobia. But it's just a guess.

BTW, advocating for same-sex marriage is not about victimology. You and RWL are the ones claiming to be threatened by it because of its impact on the "very soul of our dear nation."

You don't give us any evidence of how exactly this is a war for the very "soul" of this country.

This country is populated with people of many different faiths and even people with no beliefs--so there isn't a one-soul-fits-all for America.

Susannah said...

Shaw~ I know you're determined to have the last word here: last word doesn't equal best word.

This discussion came full circle about 10 comments ago, but now it's just making me dizzy.

"...I am desperately concerned about marriage, which is why I care so much about this issue."
Including divorce - but that's off topic.

"Any person may marry whomever they choose...Marriage is 1 Man + 1Woman. Period."

"Your very examples of 'enlightenment': dictionaries rearranging the language & the normalizing of aberrant behavior are EXACTLY what I'm talking about when I say we've got a cultural CRISIS! I guess the brings us full circle, doesn't it?"

"...a war for the essence of our culture – the very soul of our dear nation - in front of us."

Shaw, you don't care about traditional, foundational values, virtue or spiritual things, so you're never going to "get" that last statement. You & most of the Left just don't get it; & perhaps I'm foolish to think you ever will.

For now, I won't continue going in circles. I really do appreciate everyone's willingness to meet head on with this issue. It has made for a vigorous, lively discussion!

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Shaw, you don't care about traditional, foundational values, virtue or spiritual things, so you're never going to "get" that last statement. You & most of the Left just don't get it; & perhaps I'm foolish to think you ever will."

Susannah. I'm surprised. That's not very nice of you. You don't know me well enough to make that assessment.

My family and friends have always thought of me as a spiritual person. Virtuous? Not so much. Virtuous can be boring.

Tradional and foundational values?

Yes. Absolutely.

I believe in "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."

disa said...
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