Lotta argument out there on the marriage redefinition thing over religious doctrine and Bible verses. Quite understandable, as this is a freedom of conscience issue as much as it is a cultural issue. If it really were a “why can’t we just get along” issue, I think it would have already been settled. We were actually a long way toward getting it settled in the public conversation — and pretty much in favor of tolerance and protection of these relationships without fundamentally redefining a basic cultural institution for 320 million people without their consent.
Well I ran across one of those arguments over at Pirate’s Cove, and there was the ubiquitous Z-type over there spewing out Bible verses about stoning people and such for various things, which we clearly do not do, and called them out for picking and choosing which Bible verses to follow…. along with the tired old “Christians hate gays” meme … well, I had to leave a comment. Which follows:
It’s a myth that Christians hate gays, perpetrated by those who want you to be riled up at them. They conflate disapproval of behavior with hate. They are two very different things. But propagandists throughout history try to frame their arguments by stripping words of their meanings and by re-defining words as they understand the emotional power of some words over others.
Leaving Christianity aside, it’s hardly just Christians that eschew homosexuality. And if we’re concerned with religious liberty, then it really doesn’t matter why someone thinks something is right or wrong, whether he read it in a book, had a holy man tell him so, or just came up with it on his own. If he thinks something is wrong, that is his right to believe it, church or no church.
I myself, for the record, am not saying homosexuality is right or wrong here, I’m saying people have a right to their own conscience — which means THEY DO get to pick and choose which pieces of scripture to stick to, and which not to — and YOU do not get to choose them for them. One would think this would be reflexively clear, but it’s apparently not. So it doesn’t matter how many verses from the Bible you come up with to tell Christians what they should or should not believe. Religious liberty is just that.
Which also means they should not have to accept any behavior they do not wish to accept, and not to facilitate any activity they do not want to facilitate, to whatever degree they do or do not want to.
A lot of gay people actually get this. Not the activists, though. The activists and their allies are after something else — government-forced acceptance. Which is no better than government-forced acceptance of a particular establishment of religion.
I say that any society has the right to define its own cultural institutions, but that should come from within the society of people not from a board of unelected Ivy League, Ivory tower self-congratulatory elitists flipping definitions like toggle-switches in a giant social engineering experiment where people are little gears and light bulbs within a machine.
In the multi-cultural model, to the extent that it can even work there must be some level of respect for others’ beliefs and institutions. But one side shows nothing but contempt for them, and it’s not the Christian side doing it. It’s the activist side, projecting.
So spare us the various Biblical arguments, often taken out of context — and invention of rights that do not exist.
Let people choose who they want to associate with and how they behave toward each other in those groups, and let them choose whom not to associate with — and therefore the extent to which they wish to participate in the activities of other groups.
As Atheist Anarchist Christopher Cantwell put it,
“a “license” is an indicator that you do not have a “right” to do something. Licenses are a thing government issues, specifically to prevent someone from doing something, until they get government permission to so do. They are, by their very definition, a constriction on rights, a limiter of freedom. To license a thing is to outlaw it, and to then grant one permission to break that law. To say that you are fighting for gay “rights” by seeking to have licenses issued to them, is not just a complete failure to understand rights, it is a complete failure to understand rudimentary English.”
The real solution to this was to get the government out of it completely. I think I read somewhere that even in states where “gay marriage” was legal, only about 6 or 7% actually did do it, as this guy’s article underscores. There must have been some other reason it was really being pushed … and going back to Cantwell:
“The answer is quite simple. To expand federal authority, centralize power, and give the left a win that they would never be able to accomplish through elections. While portrayed as being a lessening of restrictions on gay people, it is an increase in the power of the court and of the federal government, which could just as easily be used to federally ban homosexuality entirely.”
So be careful what you ask for, and be careful how you go about getting it, and who you … (and I realize the irony of this metaphor) get into bed to do it with.
You, I, nobody — has the right to demand approval of any of our relationships. The government, especially the Federal government has no jurisdiction here unless the people, through their congress, decide to. And even then it is to be limited, through the courts, citing authority in the Constitution. It is not the court’s role to insert itself and invent rights out of thin air.