Whorled View

October 30, 2008

Proposition 8 … LGBT forced the hand.

I was nearly 30 when I first married, and it was not for lack of trying or lack of desire.  I had in fact been engaged previously to someone else 7 years earlier but I’m convinced now that the earlier endeavor would have resulted in a difficult marriage.   I had forced the engagement thinking that marriage would make me happy, make her happy, make us happy, and generally make everything peachy-keen.  But I would have been wrong.  Getting married that time would have been a needy response to  a long distance relationship that was generally a bad idea from the start.

Marriage never fixes anything on it’s own.  If you’re not already happy being together even when times are tough and when your differences (everyone has differences) are painfully obvious then getting married isn’t going to help at all.  In fact it may make things worse.

Marriage is, above all, a sacrament, introduced by God and ordained of God, no matter what your religion is, or regardless of who you call God … It is in so many ways the most symbolic representation of our relationship with our Creator.

So fortunately I spent another 7 years finding the right kind of person and to have done it at the right time of my life.  I now see in retrospect that it had to be that way, and I’m grateful that I met Melissa when I did … no earlier, no later.

One other thing had to happen too though … I had to know that God wanted it.  At the time I didn’t know how important that was, and neither was I seeking for “His” approval but in retrospect it was necessary in my case.

Seven years later, the second time I was engaged … this time, the right time … things were completely different.  I felt different.  I was different.  The girl was different.  The relationship was dramatically different.  Instead of a needy dependency for nurturing there was a calm assurance of deep respect and mutual appreciation.

as Americans … we believe in marriage … precisely because it is a religious institution.

In fact, it will probably surprise you that despite getting engaged on our 3rd encounter it was not love at first sight … nor was there great passion right away, neither did we even deeply love each other when we got engaged on our second date.  What’s more, I’d venture to say that both of us had preexisting relationships that were still at the time very heartfelt, but very quickly we learned something that made all that moot which I suspect few people probably learn when they make that choice:

God wanted it.

Thomas Jefferson’s “separation of Church and State” was never intended to mean a separation for God and State. Historically you’ll find that our founders believed our country had everything to do with “Divine Providence”.

Far be it from me to tell you what the spirit feels like.  I think that, like most people, throughout my life I’ve largely been guided by instincts, wisdom, and my heart (love, peace, joy, charity, hope, faith, etc).  Those things are wonderful and essential to a happy fulfilling life but for me feeling the spirit itself is an entirely different experience than all those things, and I can no more describe to you my spiritual experiences than describe the taste of salt to someone who’s never had anything salty.  Only a few times have I deeply felt it, and then only briefly for only a moment or two.  One experience stands out though.  The day after our 2nd encounter … it lasted for nearly 8 hours non-stop.  I remember going home for lunch that day wondering how much longer I could take it as it was so intense and constant.

While the experience was sweet … like honey is sweet (if you could taste the spirit it would be sweet exactly like honey), I was simultaneously overjoyed and a little upset and anxious.  I was upset and anxious because I knew what God was telling me and yet I had no idea whether Melissa was having any kind of the same experience.  What was I to say to her … “I know you don’t know me … and being nearly 30 I probably sound desperate enough to come up with something crazy like this … but God told me we’re supposed to get married.”

That would have gone over like a lead balloon, or so I’d supposed.  I was wrong, and we were engaged on our next date.

Truth be told, I did not say that … but I didn’t have to either.  We were married 3 months later and have been insanely happy with each other with a love that can only grow so quickly and immensely when two people are … well, to get real sappy … meant for each other.

the LGBT community is intent on removing all sacredness and turning it into a social tool to command respect in a way that would trample religious ideals.

Now this sounds like a really long winded way to get around to what this post was intended to discuss: Proposition 8, and why the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transexual) community forced the hand that put that proposition into motion, but everything I mentioned has everything to do with that topic.

Marriage is, above all, a sacrament, introduced by God and ordained of God, no matter what your religion is, or regardless of who you call God.  It is in so many ways the most symbolic representation of our relationship with our Creator.  There are sacraments in marriage, throughout marriage, and throughout each day in one’s marriage, that are all symbolic of our relationship with God.

Admittedly, I don’t think everyone should expect to have the courtship Melissa and I did, nor do I think it makes us or our marriage any “better”, but I do think there’s a synergy that exists when marriage is intertwined with the divine and I’m grateful ours started out that way.  Similarly marriage has demanded a greater reliance on God from me, and it seems obvious to me that my spiritual growth is and will continue to be accelerated through close association with my wife (even if I sometimes fail to take advantage of doing so).

[Government sanctioned traditional marriage] IS proof that we do not have a Godless state

Overwhelmingly we, the Americans, are a God-fearing people.  Unusually so, and surprisingly so since we are just a melting pot, an amalgamation of the refugees from all the other countries.  But with good reason are we so God-fearing.  Our country was largely founded by those who were deeply religious, and even today many of the refugees who come here do so so they can practice their beliefs in a free country.

In short, believing in God is part of our identity as Americans.  We believe in marriage, not because it’s a social institution, but precisely because it is a religious institution.

Similarly, nowhere in the constitution or any of the amending articles, is God excluded, and certainly not with respect to marriage either.  While respecting no particular religion, our leaders have always been God fearing people.

Cry foul if you want, Bill Maher, but those are the historical facts, and they are as true today as they were then.  You don’t like it, then move to Russia or China where the mention of God is still taboo.

Each member of [the LGBT] community needs to be loved and appreciated the same way [as are] straight people

Nowhere is the respect and reverence for God more evident in our federal documents and laws where the right to marry not only exists but is encouraged.  The reverence for God has nothing to do with “Church” lest others complain I’m promoting a theocracy or the favoring of one religion over another.  Thomas Jefferson’s “separation of Church and State” was never intended to mean a separation for God and State.  Historically you’ll find that our founders believed our country had everything to do with “Divine Providence”.  Our constitution was founded upon the idea that our inalienable rights exist only because God gave them to us.

We are only created equal because God is no respecter of persons (not because we can marry whomever we find cute or sexually stimulating).

Now the LGBT community wants to take that sacrament: marriage, and turn it into a self-serving political tool to forward their agenda.  Marriage is NOT a tool.  It IS a sacrament.  It IS proof that we do not have a Godless state like Russia, or China, or the Scandinavian countries who’ve seemed happy to rid themselves of the “outdated” institution of marriage.

[Proposition 8] does NOT mean people in the LGBT are any less equal, nor does it mean we think any less of them

Marriage will never be a purely social or political tool, although it’s often used for social and/or political reasons.  I’ve read many treatments on this topic and they’re all wrong, incorrectly stating that historically it was designed to be a tool to be used for social reasons so we should use it now to include the LGBT community.  It was not created for that purpose.  Rather marriage has historically been a religious institution first, often manipulated for social or political purposes.

That said, I want to be clear in my opinion that people in the LGBT community are no different than straight people with regards to their value to society – you may disagree with me, and that’s okay.  I think gays and lesbians have been poorly treated although it seems that they do tend to play the martyr (even now they’d claim I’m being condescending when I’m really sincere).  Each member of that community needs to be loved and appreciated the same way that straight people are, but unfortunately no amount of love will prevent their community from operating with a selfish mob-mentality insistent on destroying the sacred nature of marriage.

marriage must be government sanctioned, and must be the only sacrament sanctioned by a government

That is why Proposition 8 is necessary.  It does NOT mean people in the LGBT are any less equal, nor does it mean we think any less of them.  It’s only because marriage is the most universally sacred institution throughout all the world … it is the great common sacrament among all civilizations and religions … and the LGBT community is intent on removing all sacredness and turning it into a social tool to command respect and trample religious ideals.  Marriage is intrinsically a sacrament in nearly every sense of the word, and it is and always must be the only sacrament sanctioned by a government that was originally founded on Godly principles entirely by God-fearing men who never wanted our government to become an atheist entity.

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8 Comments »

  1. Thanks for the great post. I especially liked your conclusion where you wrote “[Prop 8 passing] does NOT mean people in the LGBT are any less equal, nor does it mean we think any less of them.”

    God bless.

    Comment by Jesse — October 30, 2008 @ 9:06 pm

  2. I’m still at a loss on this issue. I am glad that there are so many blogs helping explain this issue to me.

    Comment by Mayor of Concord — October 31, 2008 @ 12:55 am

  3. This is, as you can imagine, a huge, divisive issue in California right now. It is hard because Yes on 8 sounds like “We hate gays”. And I can definitely see that if I were gay, I would want marriage, and I would want the acceptance that comes with that title of “married”.

    However, in MA and San Francisco, it’s been demonstrated that gay marriage can and will lead to parental rights being ignored (Prine & Prince in MA, and the lesbian field trip for first graders in SF). I will be voting Yes on 8, but I am sad that so many will interpret that as a vote for hate. It’s not.

    Comment by Sally — October 31, 2008 @ 2:25 am

  4. Very well said, Sally.

    Comment by Jesse — October 31, 2008 @ 2:31 am

  5. I have a problem with the idea often floated on both sides of the fence that since marriage is a religious contract that the government shouldn’t be offering marriage licenses or have anything to do with the institution. It’s based on the wrong conclusion that our government should be divorced from religious ideals. Historically speaking nothing could be further from the truth … see what was said on the matter a few months ago in the senate: http://demint.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=JimsJournal.Detail&Blog_ID=09d75a2e-c040-174e-a17f-fd2b4831f11e.

    The dismissal of God and religious ideals in government is a radical departure from the historical record of our country. Critics of this historical record compare us to theocratic dictatorships like Iran, but fail to recognize that unlike Iran our government has never promoted a specific organized religion (ie. Jefferson’s separation of “church and state”). Sadly, both our history and Jefferson’s comment on this matter have been grossly distorted and misinterpreted.

    The fact is that although our government should not promote any organized religion, it has and should continue to promote religious ideals that point us to God, to serve one another and follow the golden rule (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1_Corinthians_13). Promoting marriage is the best way to do that. Marriage heals society (look at Australian history for proof), but it does so precisely because and ONLY because it is the most religious institution than anyone and everyone can and should participate in as God defined. Take God out of the marriage and it becomes no more binding than a financially binding contract between a John and his hooker.

    Take marriage out of government, and government becomes a Godless entity, and as Christ said, “He that is not with me is against me” (Matt 12:30). I for one do not want to support a government that is against God.

    Comment by lullabyman — October 31, 2008 @ 1:57 pm

  6. It’s hard to boil it down, but as others have already recognized: on the simplest level this whole thing is not about equality per se, it is about moral approval. Once you get into morality things get pretty messy, except for one thing: anyone who thinks that government has no right to define morality is dead wrong. Our law books are full of rules about what you can or can’t do, regardless of how strongly you feel about it. And equality is a part of morality, not the other way around. In other words, morality trumps equality, not the other way around. The Civil Rights movement was very much a moral fight, not just a skirmish over separate bathrooms and schools, although that certainly was a part of it. In the end, the state decided that segregation (based on the arbitrary sign of skin color) was immoral. It officially endorsed a new morality that would eventually, slowly, change the way our country looked and operated. It didn’t make it illegal to be racist on a private level. But it decided on an official stance regarding skin color that would make it illegal for institutions (government, companies, clubs) to be racist.

    The the state is not obligated to ideologically endorse any and all sexual and family practices, even while allowing those engaging in them to otherwise be treated equally in the eyes of the law. If a man wants to live with five women (either together or separately), that is not a criminal act. He can still buy a house, send his kids to school, and work for the post office. He can love all five of them. He can sleep with all five of them. (I wouldn’t recommend this.) But he can’t be married to all five of them. That’s how the state tries preserves it’s basic identity and culture without violently oppressing it’s citizens who are acting relatively harmlessly. But it won’t officially sanction this kind of polygamous behavior without considering the long-term interests of the entire nation (why is it politically correct to feel sorry for children in polygamous families, but not same-sex families? Just a question). The polygamous man is equal to any other man, except that the state doesn’t morally approve of all his choices. No matter how passionate the polygamous man feels about his lifestyle or his wives, most people are not willing to make polygamy an institution in their society. It remains a behavior, not an arbitrary designation like race.

    If a man wants to live with another man, that’s fine. The government is even willing to say that they can enjoy many of the same legal benefits of married men and women. But so far the state has been unwilling to grant moral approval to that lifestyle. Many people do not want to make homosexuality an “institution” in their society at large, rather than a mere behavior. These are not hateful people, for the most part. They are people who are opposed to endorsing a new “official” morality that will inevitably, slowly, change the the look and feel of our country. The time may come (very soon) when the state and most of its citizens decide to approve of homosexual behavior as a cultural legacy. For many Christians, including myself, and many other religious believers, that would be in opposition to the will of God, a God who loves without limit but who certainly does limit his approval of our behavior.

    Comment by Joe — October 31, 2008 @ 8:01 pm

  7. Right on, Joe.

    I’d even go so far as to say there’s far more hatred against Prop 8 than among Prop 8 proponents. I directly see a lot more statements like “I hate religious people” than “I hate gay people”.

    I googled both terms and 95% of the links for “I hate gay people” were quotes of Tom Hardaway (NBA star) saying that, and if you consider 95% being just about Tim Hardaway the score is:

    “I hate gay people” = 6135 * (1-0.95) = 31 hits
    “I hate religious people” = 1170 hits

    It also goes to show that when bigots are hatefull the media makes such a big deal about it that it is assumed that everyone hates gay people. According to the math (above), there’s about 30 people who hate religious people for every 1 person who hates gay people.

    Funny, Hardaway immediately responded later that day that he did NOT hate gay people, and that it was a slip of the tongue made in relation to a gay person on his team he didn’t get along with and that he was sorry. The following day he released a written apology contradicting his original statement. Later he lost his job over the comment. Despite being a 97-98 MVP and having made great efforts to make amends he is now defined by that one careless statement. he director of the YES Institute, which sponsors the program Hardaway has been attending, described him as “genuine” and said that the staff was “surprised how real our relationship with Tim got.”

    None of the media reported that fact. It didn’t serve their agenda.

    Comment by lullabyman — November 1, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

  8. It’s so simple, treat others as you would like to be treated. These arguments are the same ones white people used to use to justify treating blacks as second class citizens. I used to be a christian, but now I can’t stand by a God whose followers care more about judging others than about making the world a better place. As for lullaby man, maybe you should think about the reasons why so many nonbelievers do not like christians. You ask that people stand back and accept your opinion as reason based off of an old book that not all of us belive in. How would you feel if the majority told you that loving your wife was a sin? We can’t help who we love, and some of the most moral people I have ever met were also gay.

    Comment by moriahbethany — March 25, 2010 @ 5:00 pm


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