It's not often that a landmark civil rights case is decided, let alone two on the same day about the same thing. Recently, there was widespread disappointment about the weakening of the Voting Rights Act by the very same SCOTUS, so this move by them is to be heralded even more. I was also proud of my son and daughter who were genuinely interested and pleased at the result. We talked about it a lot this morning, and they both seemed to understand it was a big deal.
There are a lot of issues on which I have disagreements with my friends. Gun control, for example, is one. I can understand the arguments my opponents use, although I do not accept them (this is when the facts are not in dispute). So while I am a gun-control advocate, I can hear the arguments on the other side and I can consider them. I can imagine a set of facts that would sway me. I can imagine an argument could sway me. It hasn't yet, but I can envision it happening.
On the subject of same sex marriage, I cannot for the life of me understand the opposition. It's not just that I don't agree, I fundamentally cannot understand the arguments against allowing same sex marriage. I know what they are--I just lack the mental power to make them make sense. This bothers me. A lot. Here's what I hear usually.
It's against the Bible and God's Will
It is? You presume to know God's will? Oh, I see. You are pointing to the Bible. Specifically, Leviticus 18 and 20. Wow...put to death? Seriously? And I notice that there doesn't seem to be anything against being a lesbian there. Seems like we should get the Bible right, if we're going to quote it.
So, let's start enforcing all the Old Testament laws, I guess. "If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but
continue to be hostile toward me, 28 then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over. 29 You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters." Okay, let's see where that comes from...hey! It's just a few lines later, in Leviticus 26: 27-30! So if we disobey God's will, we will literally eat our sons and daughters? That sounds...odd.
What should we do with all this cursing? "For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him." That's right in the same section as the anti-gay stuff! Leviticus 20:9! When people are using the Bible to show God hates fags, they have to dance around these words, too. Why is this never brought up?
Deuteronomy 22: 28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives. Huh. So non-engaged virgin rape is punishable by a fine of $327.25 (in today's silver market) and forced marriage. I don't remember seeing that one on the books.
Oh, wait...you're saying that Old Testament covenants are no longer in force. Jesus hit the reset button. But...then why did he say in Matthew 5: 17-19 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands
and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
That sure sounds like he's saying the laws are all in force.
Oh...wait...you want me to look at Hebrews 8:13...okay. "By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear."
So...he IS removing Old Testament law. Righto. Then the Leviticus rule against gayness would be void, right?
Oh, only SOME of the old laws are obsolete.
Where does it say that?
It doesn't? You're just making it up?
You hate gays, don't you?
This is not to mention that we are a nation of laws, not a theology. We govern based on the Constitution, not the Bible. But you knew that--I was just reminding you.
Gays are trying to redefine "marriage."
I didn't know there was an official definition we all had to carve to. I kinda sorta thought that the whole point of America was to, y'know, live your own way without hurting others and allat. Did we have an official definition of marriage that I missed? But let's accept this premise for a moment. Yes, they are. They are trying to redefine it as something like "the union of two consenting, non-related adult humans." It does not remove ANY of the existing marriages. I am a man married to my wife. I am still married under this "new" definition. So what's the problem? And before you start, no, no one is arguing that I can marry nine women, or a child, or a horse, or a 1975 Pinto with a shot electrical system. Just that I should be allowed to marry another consenting non-related adult.
It will harm the family unit
No evidence of that. No credible stuff, anyway.
The purpose of marriage is to have kids. Gays can't have kids.
First of all, yes they can. There is nothing about a gay man or woman's biology that stops them reproducing. But I think I know what you meant. So...we are also going to outlaw marriages for postmenopausal women, yes? Impotent men? Infertile couples? Couples who just don't want to have kids? Next.
But it's just...icky.
Ah! NOW we come to it. Here's where I think almost all of the anti-same sex marriage people live. The "Icky" factor. Listen up, now, kids. I'll tell you a secret. I myself find ricotta cheese disgusting. Yeah, I know, I am an Italian, so I ought to live on the stuff, but to me it is like eating moist chalk. I hate it. It is super-icky to me. My mother even makes lasagna with a little square without ricotta so I can have it.
Ricotta is ICKY!
Clearly, though, my aversion to this Satan's toe jam cheese should not result in legislation outlawing the product. Some people (weird, perverted people) actually LIKE ricotta. Who am I to prevent them from enjoying it? Seems to me that if more people just came out (see what I did there) and said a version of this when trying to outlaw gay marriage, we could make some headway on the matter. If opponents of same sex marriage just said the truth--"I find it disgusting"--then they could be shown that their disgust cannot equal prohibition to all.
I truly think most Americans would be on board with that. There are groups of heterosexuals in this: a group that celebrates the ruling (it's about time!), a group that doesn't care (whatever. Marry, don't marry, I don't care) and a third, somewhat small group, that is against it. If that last group could just admit that they are against it because it is "icky" to them, I think they would see the logic of the decisions.
Anyway, long post. Rambling, I'm sure. A moment in history, today. There need to be others, and I hope to see they day when the 50th state allows same sex marriage.
Be seeing you!