>Soulforce Epilogue: Why I Love to Hate Prop 8

Posted: 24/10/2008 in homosexuality, prop 8

>Much of Mel White’s article talks of civil liberties. Prop 8, the prop to ban Gay marriage (again) in California, is on the next ballot here in California. I can kill two birds with one blog, as well as hammer the Gay-issue done for now, at least for purposes of this blog. When I go vote, I am not voting “no” on prop 8. I am not voting “yes” either. If I do anything with that section of the ballot, it will be to take a black pen and scrawl “category confusion” across it. The best thing I can do is abstain on Prop 8.

Let me frame it in some context and background. There are two competing groups with two competing, but not necessarily mutually exclusively agendas. On one side of the ring, we have the homosexual couples that would like all relevant economic, medical visitation, and other legal benefits afforded to heterosexual married couples. On the other side, are religious conservatives who believe that their definition of marriage should protected against secular encroachment. What I think, along with a few others, is that both groups should be reconciled according to a certain principle of liberty –“one group may believe, speak, and practice whatever it wants to, as long as it does not intrude on what another group wishes to believe, speak, or practice.”

Additionally, I also think that definition of marriage is the proper domain of religion, not government. I have never like this scenario: when at a wedding the pastor is obligated to say “by the authority of the State of California” in the same breath as he says “by the authority of God.” Am I really the only Christian who thinks this is strange? Whenever I get married, I don’t really care for the “authority of the State of California” since I think marriage is a sacrament from God, administered to Christians, for the life of the Church. It is not a driver’s license or passport. The state has no authority in this matter anymore than it does to legally define a Baptism.

This is part of the reason why I refuse to vote on 8. Either way I choose, I imply that I believe the government has the right to do something it doesn’t. When people ask the government whether or not gays should marry, (or whether or not only heterosexuals should marry), the government should scratch its head and reply, “Why are you asking us? Go to a church.” This places the religious sacrament where it belongs. Churches/Denominations can then decide the gay-marriage issue according to their own polity, ecclesiology, and leadership.

Now of course, there are several legal aspects attached to marriage as it understood right now. If a couple is married, they file their taxes differently. They also have hospital visitation rights. There are plenty of other aspects that need not be expressed here. For all these, I support the parallel concept of a civil union. I believe that homosexual couples and heterosexual couples should have to get these civil unions for whatever legal benefits need be. I think that the rights in question should be the same for both. There is no reason to deny a homosexuals hospital visitation rights or force them to still file as “single.”

In the end, this model is simple. Do you wish to be married? Find a church for your wedding. Do you need legal benefits? Go to the courthouse for your civil union. This reflects the principle of liberty I mentioned earlier in this blog. Both groups do as they please so long as they do not intrude on other’s toes.
Some may object to this because it still reflects anti-gay bigotry. After all, I have not allowed gays to get married. This is a misunderstanding, as I want gays to have the same legal rights as heterosexuals. Yes, I think they should be legally barred from marriage, but that is because I think that marriage is not legal concept. If homosexuals want to be married, there are plenty of churches that will do it. But even if homosexuals can’t find one, they will have to accept that they are not accepted. Legislation cannot change the beliefs of religion. But I think that most of the homosexual lobby is concerned with getting the legal rights. I don’t think they really want to “change marriage” or trespass on someone’s religious beliefs.

Others may say that even though I don’t like it, I should still vote “yes” on Prop 8 to “protect marriage.” There are many reasons for this: the proper rearing of children is a common argument. Another is that marriage will simply lose its meaning if homosexuals get married.

To this I reply that I don’t think gays getting married could harm marriage any worse than heterosexuals already have –especially evangelical heterosexuals. Even though there are plenty of great Christian marriages out there, the divorce rate among evangelicals is actually higher than it is in the general populace. I have not even hit thirty yet, and I have had to see half a dozen divorces in between Christian couples younger than me. Furthermore, simply because a marriage gets the genders right, doesn’t mean it is everything a marriage ought to be. Does anyone out there doubt the occasional sham of a Christian marriage does less harm than two gay people? I think not. Maybe instead of blaming the judicial branch or the “gay others”, Christians should look at their own community and figure out what it is that we are doing so wrong that it causes these problems.

So there is my explanation. Neither a “yes” nor a “no” vote on prop 8 truly reflect my views. Both of them imply something I disagree with. I believe that people should have the legal rights conferred to them regardless of their orientation. Above all, I think the definition and defense or marriage is the role of the church.

With this blog, I mark the end of the homosexuality discussion. Feel I’m completely wrong? Totally full of it? A bigoted religious blowhard? A spineless liberal Christian? Then feel free to email me at uberbeanmail@gmail.com I plan to post responses in a later blog.

  1. Steev says:

    >I said it on Facebook, and I repeat it here.I’m with you.You describe my opinions on the subject better than I could on my own.

  2. Jonathan says:

    >You know the funny thing… Google Ads put a “Protect Marriage” ad at the bottom of your blog… haha.

  3. Daniel says:

    >I thought you did a good job explaining your position, and I think you have a good perspective. In the same vein, I just reread an article my dad gave me a while back on the "wall of separation of church and state." It gives a historical perspective on Jefferson's metaphor and how the Supreme Court has 'misinterpreted' his original meaning. Here's the URL:http://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis/archive/issue.asp?year=2006&month=10

  4. Johnna says:

    >Hi, I found your blog through Tweb.You said:On one side of the ring, we have the homosexual couples that would like all relevant economic, medical visitation, and other legal benefits afforded to heterosexual married couples.In California, civil unions do provide relevant economic, medical visition, and legal benefits. The argument against 8 is that civil unions there is no such thing as separate-and-equal.A reason to vote for Prop 8 is to protect religious liberties.http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91486191Don't just skip it. Research it out and vote.

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