kerravonsen: Cally: Silent but sure (Cally-silent-but-sure)
[personal profile] kerravonsen
So, the US Supreme Court has ruled that gay marriage is legal. Many people are celebrating. Others are gnashing their teeth. Me, I am doing neither.

I haven't posted on this issue before, because it would have just been asking for trouble. There have been things I've said repeatedly in person, but I haven't discussed this in depth with anyone; sometimes because I couldn't get that far, sometimes because the person made assumptions they couldn't get past (either that I agreed with them, or that I disagreed with them), or because there were things I just couldn't unpack fully. I'm not sure that I can untangle it all in a well-ordered way, so I'll just touch on points, bit by bit, in no particular sequence, and hope that some sort of order will emerge.


A. I am not for gay marriage. I do actually believe the Bible, that homosexual intercourse is a sin. Not the desire; the act itself.

On the other hand... there are a lot of "other hands" in this. And I generally don't get past the first statement without people making a whole lot of assumptions about what else I believe and stand for, based on that one sentence alone.

B. Where in the Bible does it say "Thou shalt prevent Unbelievers from sinning"?

That's one of the things that has puzzled me about the virulence and passion that has gone into legislating against LGBT things, or indeed, legislating against abortion or other things which ought to be up to the conscience of the individual. There has only ever been one government in the history of the world which has been a Theocracy, and none of our present governments is one. Maybe it's because I'm an Australian, but I can't understand bringing religion into government. The government is secular; if it makes laws that go against my religion, I'll just have to disobey them, won't I? (shrug) I don't expect my government to obey God. Of course I'm going to campaign for things which I consider to be moral, just, and right (as far as my understanding goes, informed by God's Word) but I do not consider "preventing Unbelievers from following their own beliefs" to be one of them.

I mean, controlling people's actions isn't going to change their beliefs, it it? Sometimes I wonder if these "impose Christian laws" people are afraid that God will smite their country for its sins. Which is really really dumb, because if they were really afraid of that, it's a stupid way of going about it; if they are afraid of God smiting their country for unbelief, they should be trying to foster belief, shouldn't they? Not preaching hate. I really don't understand these people. Possibly they don't understand themselves, either.

C. I have NEVER EVER condoned violence against LGBT people. EVER. I consider it hideous. There is no justification whatsoever for beating up a gay couple or anyone like that. None. Never in my name, never in God's name.

D. I voted Greens, even though they were for gay marriage.

Why? Because it was the only issue which I disagreed with them on. All the other parties fared much worse on the issues I care about, such as the treatment of asylum seekers, the poor, health care, education, and so on. When it comes down to it, I do not think gay marriage is as important as many people (on both sides) think it is. How many times is homosexuality mentioned in the bible? Once, or maybe twice. As a contrast, how many times is the wickedness of the rich, of the oppressors of widows and orphans, mentioned? Tons of times. Over and over again, the bible speaks out against the oppression of the poor by the rich. I consider that a pointer for my own priorities: social justice outranks gay marriage.

E. The destruction of marriage as we know it? Too late, it's already happened.

Yes, really. Because nobody would ever have been able to say the phrase "gay marriage" with a straight face if the meaning of "marriage" hadn't already changed. Marriage used to mean a lifetime contract entered into as the basis for forming a family, the primary socioeconomic unit of society. Back in the days of matchmakers, love and romance had absolutely nothing to do with marriage. Oh, it would happen if you were lucky, but it wasn't what defined what marriage was. Now marriage is defined entirely in terms of love and romance; sex is purely recreational, and children are an afterthought. Those who are pro gay marriage have all been talking in terms of "love"; those against it have often talked in terms of "family" and "children". They are speaking different languages; no wonder nobody can understand each other.

When did the meaning of "marriage" change? As ever, it was a gradual thing. You could blame the "free love" of the Sixties, you could blame contraception, you could blame all sorts of things. Whatever you blame, it's not really relevant, since the meaning has already changed. The Supreme Court didn't change the meaning, they simply codified a change which had already happened.

Those fighting against gay marriage were trying to close the barn door after the horse had escaped. Mind you, I don't know enough history... but I know that homosexual acts were illegal in many countries for many years. How were those laws repealed? Was there as much fuss about it then as there is about gay marriage now?

The institution of marriage has been breaking down for a long time now. The ease of divorce, the attitude that "I'll love you until I don't feel like it any more", the expectation that it is all about romance rather than being in it for the long haul... it has already caused great suffering, the breakdown of families, psychological damage to children. And will continue to do so. Will gay marriage make things worse? I don't know, but I do know that gay marriage isn't the cause of the current troubles with the institution of marriage. More of an effect than a cause.

Thing is, it doesn't mean that marriage is dead. It has never meant that. Because the laws defining marriage, the usage of the word "marriage", they have never prevented anyone from having a true, committed, marriage, until-death-do-us-part. My parents had such a marriage. My siblings have such marriages. And may they set such an example that my nieflings will have such marriages.

Marriage is not dead. The world is not ending.

F. My feelings?

Indifferent. I mean, it's nice to see so many people being happy; may they enjoy it while it lasts, because all happiness is fleeting. Am I upset? No, because I consider this day to have been inevitable. All the fighting against gay marriage has been a rearguard action, because once marriage started to mean "two people who love each other forming an exclusive sexual commitment", the battle was lost even before it started; they just didn't realize it yet. And maybe they will keep fighting, and maybe they won't. I remain unmoved. Why should I care whether unbelievers sin or not? Or even whether believers sin or not, if they aren't people I know personally? Nothing I can do about it, is there?

Yes, this is possibly quite cold of me, but this isn't an issue I even want to feel passionate about. It is so divisive, why would I want to throw more axes into the fray? Of course, my very neutrality will make everyone on both sides hate me, but heh, that was inevitable too.


(Note, because this is a contentious issue, I am screening comments except those on my flist. I trust y'all to be nice to each other.)
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Kathryn A.

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