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What is going on here?

February 3, 2010

So, here we are.  Our president wishes to repeal the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy currently enforced in the military. 

I, personally, am all for it. 

But I am for it in the kind of way that doesn’t understand why anyone would be against it.  So I want to know… am I missing something?  What is going on here?  I’m not trying to be offensive, I’m just curious.

I have many gay and lesbian friends, and they just live their lives like everybody else does, some are nice, some are a little crazy, some are funny, some are serious… they have the same dynamic that everybody else does.  I mean, they’re people, just like the 6 billion others on this planet, flawed and interesting, all different, all with a story to tell. 

From what I understand the main objection to homosexuality is religious.  So, being a child of the late 20th century, I Googled “where does it say in the Bible that homosexuality is wrong?” Just to see what kind of answers I got. 

Keep in mind,  I’m certainly not a theologian, I do have a pretty basic understanding of Christianity, but really that’s about it.  So if I’m wrong, let me know, or point me in the direction that will help me understand. 

Here’s what I came up with:

“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”
Romans 1:26-27 (NKJV)

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV)

“Knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,”
1 Timothy 1:9-10 (NKJV)

That was the core text, and this was the interpretation given beside it at :

“These three references indicate that homosexual passions and acts are unnatural, shameful, contrary to sound doctrine and deny entrance to the Kingdom of God. This being so they cannot be the basis of a Christian marriage sanctioned by God’s Church. The Church exists to save people, not to bless the means of their damnation. No marriage can be sanctioned by the Church if the very basis of the marriage involves acts that put the couple outside of eternal salvation. No matter what our society may legislate, the law of God is clear – that a marriage is not a godly marriage if it is a same sex union.
Hollywood has propagated the myth that when it comes to marriage “all you need is love.” This is simply not true. Marriage is not based on emotion any more than any other partnership in life is. Marriage, like many human activities, involves emotion but it is not constituted by the presence of any particular set of emotions. I do not deny that many homosexuals feel deeply for their partners; however I do assert that no matter how deep the feelings, what they have is not a marriage in God’s sight. It is a beautiful deception.
Just because an emotion is deep or powerful does not justify acting upon it. Like drugs, like adultery, like the abuse of alcohol or the love of money, or the power rush of human ego trips, there are emotions which are powerful and addictive and ultimately terribly destructive. Same sex marriages must satisfy criteria other than emotion. A marriage is more than a sexual pleasure center. A marriage is a social unit that is interwoven with dozens of other lives.
Same sex marriages do not last. Less than 5% of gays have ever had a relationship that lasted 3 years or more. Sex is not enough. Passion cannot sustain an inherently unstable social unit.
Marriage is a fundamental social institution that does not exist just for the emotional satisfaction of two individuals but for the greater good of the community which stands under the blessing or curse of God. Societies that put emotional fulfillment before right actions and principles will soon give way to a multitude of addictions and deep corruptions and collapse. God will judge any society that institutes same sex marriages.”

Okay, so I don’t know how accurate this is, but this sounds really familiar, like something someone would tell me if I asked them the same question.  This may not be the right answer, but it seems to be the most popular one.

Is this right?  Is marriage an institution meant for social betterment, not based on emotion?  I have never been married, but the married couples (the happy ones, at least) seem to love each other.  Did they get married to satisfy each other, or society?  If I ever get married, it won’t be because I think society will benefit from it, but because of the love I feel for the man I plan to spend my life with.  

How does marriage benefit society?

And what about people that never get married? 

I mean, I can understand marriage contributing to society in a time where a person’s place in the world was determined by their marriage.  Daughters were useful for forming alliances, wifes were useful for throwing parties and looking pretty and raising children, and there weren’t any other options.  But what about today? Obviously populating the world is no longer an issue, we’ve overaccomplished that.  There are housewives still, more power to them, but it’s no longer a mandatory or even a common occupation for a woman anymore.  At this point in our economy, if you’re going to have a family, you have to have both people working unless you just happen to be upper class.  A single person can work and take care of him/herself without a partner.  So where is marriage today, if not an emotional connection?

And what makes homosexuality so special?  What I mean is, sodomy was just one on a list in the biblical text of things that we shouldn’t do. The list says, in the corinthian text, “Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” 
In the Timothy text it says the law was created for, “the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.”

Well… Doesn’t that include everyone?  I mean, hasn’t everyone at least lied?  This statement equates liars with “manslayers,”  and all kinds of other terrible things.  Does that mean God sees all these sins as equal also?

If so, then what makes homosexuality so special?  If liars can be politicians, and fornicators can get married, why can’t the homosexuals?  What makes the sex between two unmarried people any more or less bad, just because of the sex of those involved?  Aren’t we all sinners?

I’m not sure about how I feel about all of this, but my general response is that people tend to overreact when it comes to policies that they can actually understand.  People don’t take a stance on things like our nation’s budget because most people don’t know the innerworkings of our own political system.  But ask people about gay marriage, or abortion, or any other issue like that, and they blow up because it is something that they can relate to their everyday lives. 

Is the debate over gay marriage America’s secret cry for help, because we feel so excluded from the processes that govern our everyday lives? 

Or is it really about the maintenance of an ideal community, sanctioned by God?

If so, is keeping the homosexual population from marrying working towards that ideal?

Again, I don’t want to be offensive, I just want honest, unemotional answers.

So many questions.  So few answers.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2010 1:44 am

    Good thoughts, Samantha.

    First of all, the statistics regarding gay relationships are in grievous error. Whoever wrote that is full of shit.

    As I understand it, the “gay agenda” is concerned with equal rights, not with upending the institution of marriage and ending civilization as we know it. It doesn’t hurt anyone to have a gay couple living next door. It doesn’t hurt anyone to allow gay couples the same inalienable rights that they themselves enjoy.

    It comes down to bigotry. Some people (read: white American Protestants) are convinced that they are right, totally right, absolutely right, and they won’t allow anyone to contradict their dogma. I’m of the opinion that such behavior hurts us more than it heals us.

    Also, questions are better than answers.

  2. Jenna permalink
    February 5, 2010 8:24 pm

    Unemotional answers, right? I’m just going to repeat stuff that I’ve heard over the years (splashed with my thoughts, I suppose). Here we go.

    I’ve heard it said that, basically, “marriage” is a religious thing. Unions and being legally bound together (i.e. “going to the courthouse and we’re gonna get married,” common law marriage, etc.) are fine amongst a good portion of liberally minded, white Protestant Americans, even in regards to gay marriage.

    Now, do I think they’re blowing a lot of smoke for no reason? Indeed. I think it’s like those girls that stop eating because it’s the only thing they can actually control. So, in a way, I think you’re right. It’s kind of like a sad cry for help. They latch onto abortion and gay marriage issues because, especially if they’re religious, there is a clear black and white answer. Does that make sense? It feels nice to be in control of something.

    Homosexuality is so “special” because it’s a more obvious sin. Also, because men, unlike the God they worship in this text, put sins in a hierarchy order of worst to least. Homosexuality is traditionally considered a perversion of the sex that God created. But this group hates murder too, which is why they object to abortion.

    However, homosexuality has been around and accepted for a long time. And America has come a long way in the past few years (we’ve still got a long way to go).

    I grew up in a very Christian home, but a good portion of my best friends are homosexual. And my parents were fine with that. And my grandparents came around pretty quickly, you know? It’s the concept of hating the sin, and not the sinner that needs to be reinforced.

    By the way, nice thoughts (yours are much more organized than mine). I hope I helped a bit. I could probably explain in further detail if my ramblings were confusing somewhere. Also, I hope marriage was more for societal bereavement in earlier years (read: marriages for alliances for money, politics, status, etc.) than it is now. I hope. I hope marriage is based on emotion, because that’s why I can’t object to gay marriage/unions. They’ve got the right to love, too.


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