I try not to talk politics on The Realist Adjusts the Sails. They are always so touchy and iffy, and things can get way overblown way fast.
But sometimes, a certain political issue is more than that to me – it is a fundamental part of my internal value network, and I would be doing TRATS and its purpose a disservice if I didn’t comment on it.
So today, I comment. And today’s political issue / fundamental internal value: same-sex marriage.
I couldn’t be more thrilled to find the Supreme Court has ruled that all people living in this country should be treated as equals in the eyes of the law. Especially since a bunch of white-powdered-wig-wearing rebels wrote this document, oh, 239 years ago that stated anyone living in this country is “created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
It took us long enough to put those words into action.
Because that is what this is ultimately all about: hypocrisy. I don’t want to hear any more about what a great nation we are, and all the wonderful and amazing things we do, when there are people living in this country who are denied their basic human right of the “pursuit of happiness.”
I don’t want to hear about all the loving and wonderful things Christians do, how open and accepting they are, when they cry “foul!” every time the homosexual community takes another step towards equality.
You can call me black-and-white on this if I am in fact, being black-and-white on it, but I believe if you call something a “right” then it is a right, and all are entitled to it. We don’t get to pick and choose who has access to public education, a fair trial, or the protection to speak their mind. Why do we get to pick and choose who gets married?
Don’t call it a “right” unless it is a right. Call it what it is: a privilege.
But see, here is where we cross the fuzzy line that, for so many, starts meandering in. We are a nation that has built its entire structure and culture on the concept of equality. The first European settlers here sought asylum from persecution, and their plight prompted those powdered-wig-wearing rebels to ensure their new nation protected its citizens – by making everyone equal. We have fought wars (or so we claim) to ensure equality, and we’re proud of the steps we have taken in our past to make equality more of a reality. Look at us! We freed the slaves! We gave women the right to vote! We gave black people the right to vote! We’re a great nation!!
Yeahhhhh, but we aren’t going to let gay people get married. And while we’re at it, we’re going to limit who can have access to medical insurance…
For everyone we want to have access to these, they are “rights.” But for those we don’t want to have access to them, well, we won’t call marriage or healthcare a “right,” but rather we’ll say how these non-entitled parties will abuse the institution of marriage, or the low expense of medical insurance, if they had access to them. In other words, we can’t call things like marriage and healthcare a “privilege” because that word violates our standing as a nation of equality. So, we’ll talk about why only certain folks should have these rights, skipping over what makes a right, a right.
But I call a spade a “spade,” and by flouting this doctrine of equality while trying to prevent everyone from achieving equality is nothing but hypocrisy.
And I know I’m treading into boiling oil right now by turning to the arguments against same-sex marriage made by Christians. So I want to be clear before I end up on a Missing Persons poster: I brook no argument with the doctrines of Christianity. I was raised Catholic, and I believe, deep down, the message inherent in all religions is a good one. I do, however, take issue with those who use these doctrines to suit their own purpose, and thereby, skewer the dogma, and the messages, to fit their own arguments.
For example, many Christians cite one obscure verse in Leviticus as the reason behind why they are against same-sex marriage. “Man shall not lieth with man as he would with woman,” or some such fancy language. Fine. The Bible states homosexual behavior is an abomination. You know what else the Bible says is a sin?
- Eating pork and shrimp.
- Having sex before marriage.
- Getting a tattoo.
- Letting women speak in church.
- Having an affair.
- Getting a divorce.
- Working, in any capacity, on a Sunday.
- Dishonoring or fighting with your parents.
And on, and on, and on. So, here’s my question. My black-and-whiteness again: if the Christians are going to argue against same-sex marriage because of one passage in the Bible, why aren’t they arguing against all of these other behaviors too? Why don’t we find Christians picketing outside grocery stores and restaurants that sell pork and seafood? Why don’t we find them blasting tabloid agencies like People, Us Weekly, and TMZ for spreading gossip? Why do they take jobs, or let others work jobs, that require hours on Sunday? Why do they perform any kind of labor on a Sunday?
Furthermore, according to a 2006 study posted on WebMD, the percentage of Americans who have had premarital sex is (drum roll please): 95%. That means, if you pull 10 people off the street, nine of them had sex before they got married. Pretty staggering. Even more staggering is the research from this same study that finds premarital promiscuity has been the trend since the 1950s. So if you ask me, premarital sex is a far bigger issue than same-sex marriage in terms of violating Bible passages.
I also tend to see a lot of cross tattoos, or tattoos featuring Jesus’ face at the moment of his death on the cross. Funny, that.
Speaking of Jesus, his name tends to come up a lot in these discussions too. And here is what I remember learning about Jesus in my Bible Study days: Jesus was all about love. That was his message. “Love one another as I have loved you.” I remember that covenant was the one Jesus established with his followers, and it, in essence, usurped some of the earlier dictates handed down in the Old Testament.
Love one another as I have loved you.
And some of the people Jesus loved: lepers, prostitutes, cripples, and the deeply poor. He embraced the outcasts of his society, and he did it over and over again while his apostles were always screaming, “Lord! Look at what you’re doing! You can’t spend time with this riff-raff! They aren’t worth it!” To which Jesus always replied that every man, woman, and child was a brother and sister in Christ.
That is what I remember. Jesus was all about love. I also remember the whole “What Would Jesus Do” movement when I was in high school (have I mentioned yet that I am old??). Everyone was wearing “WWJD” bracelets, and kicking that question back at every adversity. But it is a good question.
What *would* Jesus do? What would a man who preached to love one another, no exception, do?
I believe today, we found out.