The last 24 hours or so the news has been a buzz with President Obama’s revelation that he is for same-sex marriage, thus being the first president in history to state an opinion one way or the other.
In thinking through all this myself it seems there’s much ado about… well, not “nothing”, but rather much ado about stuff that isn’t important right now. Of course if you are gay and want to marry your partner or are looking for civil legitimacy and equal social justice, it is a big deal. Maybe I am part of that slightly-over-50% that either agrees with gay marriage or doesn’t care one way or the other… or a little of both. I dunno. There’s so much seemingly “real” stuff going on in the world that filling the news with the Prez going along with same-sex marriage and how that will or will not affect the election. I gotta tell ya though… I certainly hope the determination of the next leader of the free world, the most powerful leader on the planet, the leader who is traditionally looked up to in representing our country… is not determined because of whether or not he goes along with same-sex marriage or not. Puh-leeez. I hope as a nation we have more sense than that. He’s made his statement.. he’s made his opinion known. He himself cannot force same-sex onto Amercian society… he needs the support of Congress, and Congress and the Supreme Court will likely have to determine states rights or not on the issue, and we are still years away from that… well past the term of the next president. Now let’s move on.
My Thoughts On Freedom Of Religion… and Same-Sex Marriage (yeah, who really cares… but maybe it will blandly entertain)
We all learned in grade school that our country was founded and settled initially by the Puritans who came here seeking freedom from religious persecution in Europe. Our nation’s founding fathers established the principles of our Declaration and Constitution based on Biblical ideology and universal religious doctrine of the day. But let’s look at this a little closer. The Puritans arrived here allegedly because of religious persecution back home. The Jewish people have a history of being persecuted.. and I am sure if you look hard you will note many other religions at various times have been persecuted… from Rome persecuting the Christians (then surrendering to Christianity to the point where it is now the seat of the largest Christian religion), to the Crusades where Christians tried to push the Muslims from the holy lands of both those religions. Here’s my point to all this.
A religion exists at all simply because there are enough followers and believers in a unified doctrine that dictates a spirtual and/or real life “guide” or laws for daily living… generally centering on a single or multiple holy diety to which is paid worship, devotion, and penitence, in exchange for benevolence and forgiveness in this life or the next, or both. Therefore it is natural for each member of a given religion to presume that their trust and faith in their own religious beliefs is, in fact, the only way to go; that all other religions are somehow “not correct”. I mean, that’s the whole idea. What I believe in spiritually is the only way to believe. Your religion is wrong and is likely sacrilage to what I believe in. Now, yes, over the millenia we, as humans trying to live together with some measure of peace, have learned to “accept” different religions; more like tolerating each other’s spiritual world. So while we pride ourselves as a nation of being this melting pot of diversity, religions, by design, are intolerant of each other in their preachings (remember, one goal is to constantly seek new members into the fold, preach the teachings of the prophet(s), and make new converts from other belief systems). So given all this basically intolerent diversity how can any free country hope to achieve a universal acceptance of political precepts when there’s so much religious disparity? And that brings us to issues like same-sex marriage, stem cell research, abortion (One true irony in all this is when we go to war someplace. You’d think each time there would be this great debate on “my tax dollars” going toward the making of weapons to kill and sending our children to kill other human beings… which is typically against all religious beliefs in some form. But somehow that’s never a moral debate when we start these things.).
As a nation we prefer grand religious debate over same-sex marriage rather than debating the moral dilemma in sending soldiers to another country to kill people. You see anything wrong with this picture? Yeah.. hypocracy to the extreme. So I go for same-sex marriage… make it legal, whatever you need to do. Within my own religion I will practice my own thing… and I will tolerate your desire to engage in same-sex marriage. I will still reserve the right to wince with internal gross-ness when I see same-sex guys engaging in affection toward each other in public or on TV and the movies (being a guy, watching two women do that isn’t as “bad”, thankfully).
Being adopted I suppose I have my own “special interest group” made up of me. And my interest group hopes that many of these same-sex marriages do spawn loving families.. because God knows, hetero-marriages have their fair share of child abusers. Maybe this will help to even things out a bit in favor of the kids.
But you know what? Either way, life will go on.