Sunday, March 18, 2012

What Government has joined........

Whenever I hear my conservative friends talk about "traditional marriage", and the need for a "traditional marriage amendment",  I react in one of several different ways:  Looking over my glasses and saying "Really?", running screaming from the room, putting my fingers in both ears, and grabbing shoulders, shaking them, saying: "Do you hear what you're saying?????  You're saying, 'Congress, stay out of my business!'  'Mr. President, stay out of my gun case!', 'Government, stay out of my pocket!' 'Government, please regulate marriage!' It makes you sound very silly."

I am a Christian.  I am a Christian who believes that the Bible is a library of books inspired by God, and inerrant (although our interpretation of it is often errant).    I'm  not an expert in theology.  My reading of scripture, together with the input of some really smart people who  know Greek, Hebrew, or theology, has so far guided me to a belief that to act on feelings of attraction for someone of the same sex is a sin.

That makes no sense if we look at it from a human perspective.  But I also think that God has a better view that doesn't make sense to us. (He knew about pork being a totally awful thing to eat if you're wandering around a hot desert before we did, right?)

Now.  How do I, as a Christian, act as a result of the knowledge of any sin....including speeding, drinking or eating to excess, cursing, or taking a pen from work home?  I avoid it, and if I see other people sinning, and their sin doesn't hurt anyone, and especially if they strongly disagree with me that their behavior is sinful, I do not act any differently with them than I do with everyone else.  If they have a need that I can't fulfill myself, I tell them I will pray for them (and do).  If they ask me where my peace and joy comes from, I tell them.  (OK, I'm not always very peaceful, but I have a lot of joy).  And I remind myself that I sin every day, often not even being aware of it when I do.

I do not:

  1. Introduce them to Christ by telling them they should leave their lifestyle (they won't listen, and they will immediately get the idea that Christianity is all about following a lot of rules.  It isn't.).
  2. Call them names.
  3. See their sin as somehow worse than the other sins mentioned above.
  4. Lobby my congress members to make laws that force them to do or avoid doing something they want to do or not do.  That would be a complete disregard for the Zero Aggression Principle.

Here is another reason I can't agree with passing a "traditional marriage act".  It's another case in which we would make government in control of something personal.  Think about it.  Do we really want another law? And do we really want to give the government that high of a pedestal? If we get a majority to agree with a federal definition of marriage, do we presume that no one in government at a later date will decide to alter that law in a way that takes away our own rights?

The Zero Aggression Principle implies no one can force anyone else to do their bidding.  And what are laws, but force, all backed by the guns of the police and armed forces?  Remember President Reagan's words:  "A government big enough to give you what you want is big enough to take everything away."  Applying this to the idea of a "traditional marriage" amendment or law, one can say "A government strong enough to define marriage is big enough to take marriage away."  Or at least to redefine it according to popular opinion in the future.

I agree with you that God, the God of Abraham, of Jesus of Nazareth, and of St. Paul, intended for marriage to be between males and females.  Why, though, do you need a government to write that into a law?  Why do you care what they think?

This gets back to the people who cry for the right to "marry" people of the same sex.  Do you think that somehow they hurt you by doing what they do?  As long as they do not force you to endorse it (and that's a topic I may address later, because there is a big push these days to endorse the popular views of the moment), how does it harm you?  As long as they do not force you to do anything, how does it harm you?

And not to offend my gay friends, but I believe God marries whom he wants to marry.  A Christian or Jewish wedding, at least,  doesn't happen in our four dimensional space, it happens in the realm of God.  God marries us.  The priest, rabbi or preacher presiding is just a mouthpiece, a translator.  Regardless of any government-made "certificate",  if God truly does not intend for same sex couples, or polygamists, divorcees or even Democrats to get married, he won't marry them!  He doesn't have to, simply because some earthly huddle of idiots declare who he can and can't marry.

Legislation that is based on forcing someone to do what the majority think they ought will never solve such a problem.  In cases where someone's own rights and property are being violated, a good government will intervene to prevent or stop it, and in those cases may have to introduce legislation to minimize harm (for example, the two Civil Rights Acts, in the 1860s and 1960s.).  But if no one is facing physical or property damage or being forced to do something they do not want, legislation to force them can be a nasty beast with a two edged tusk.

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