Those of you upset with the happenings in Massachusetts need to take a deep breath and stay calm: state sanctioned marriage of same-sex couples is undoubtedly here to stay. Conservatives may protest as long as they choose, but society, whether to its ill or its fortune, has already moved on from that discussion. Certainly the futile fight will continue on in a world where the Flat Earth Society still gets some traction.
Most would probably read my first paragraph as a tacit statement of support for gay marriage, but one would be incorrect: state sanctioning of any marriage is obnoxious.
I held this viewpoint long before the gay rights aspect of the matter became an issue. When my fiancée, who is now my wife of twenty years, and I went to get our marriage license I was truly incensed by the intrusion of the government into my life. We took the religious aspect of the marriage covenant very seriously: who was the government to have any say in a private matter?
Which brings us of course to the definition of marriage.
My definition of marriage comes from the Christian Bible and no other source. The interpretation of scripture is clear in my view, but there are is a whole non-Christian world out there as well as overtly Christian churches that take a different view. I exercise my freedom to practice my religion, in part, by attending a church which does not sanction same-sex marriage and I will not be attending churches which take a contrary view. I suspect same-sex couples will not be attending my church either.
We have long blurred the lines of marriage as a religious institution and a civil institution and it would’ve been wise for us to use this debate to end the muddy thinking that has led us to this argument. We need to sever the legal tie between the legal institution and the religious practice by creating a civil union with all of the same legal rights and privileges that marriage enjoys today. Marriage should be optional.
But the state sanctioned same-sex marriage juggernaught will not be denied and I’m afraid, fuzzy concept or not, it is here to stay.
As will be the whining by the religious right no doubt. The missed opportunity for the Christian community to reach out to the gay community is astounding. How much further would the cause of Christ be served if the substantial energies being dedicated to the “defense of marriage” were rather put into the service of AIDS victims? Rather than offering humble service to our fellow man, instead, the right is trying to shout the world down. I must have missed the Sunday School lesson about how that fits into the Golden Rule.
The actions of my brethren are enough to make my head spin.