Friday, November 14, 2008

Gay marriage, and California's Proposition 8

Someone I deeply respect is Gay Patriot -- both for his invaluable insight into what it means to be a gay American, and for his steadfast conservatism. Therefore, it was to him I turned when pondering the issue of gay marriage.

Here's my own viewpoint on gays: Gay people are normal. They're simply sexually oriented toward the same sex.

Here's my viewpoint on marriage: It is a spiritual compact -- quite apart from, and more than, the civil and legal aspects that accompany it. Furthermore, its spiritual nature is borne of historical legal tradition stretching back to when Homo Sapiens first organized communities.

To me, this is the invisible barrier gays are butting up against when trying to convince the prevailing culture that they ought to be able to be ~married~ in the same sense as men and women.

Quite simply, the traditional spiritual tradition -- across all cultures -- clearly states that a spiritual union can ONLY take place between a man and a woman. So ... in order to enjoy proper recognition of properly spiritual marriage, the task of gays is to up-end human history. And human belief. And change it.

Not an easy task, to say the least.

Me? I believe there is a way forward, spiritually. I believe it was PEOPLE, and not Jesus Christ Himself, who forbade such unions. I believe that all who truly love should be able to consecrate their union.

But it's going to take time, and a lot of soul-searching on the part of everyone (read: pretty much everyone), to find the courage to question and examine Biblical texts -- first and foremost -- and then to wait for insight to come, from which change will come.

Everyone lauds the American Constitution as a baseline standard, but flexible, template for guiding our national way forward. Daily challenges to its limits are expected. Why are we afraid to apply the same scrutiny to the Bible?

The Bible was given to us as a moral compass. Its basic truths will last forever. But what if the people who wrote its texts had as their lens base, human standards, rather than love-inspired, divinely guided acceptance of EVERYONE (he-LOOO our Lord Jesus)? Are we to go out and smite Philistines with the jawbone of an ass if they offend us? Does this include gays?

Here is where I depart from a lot of my fellow Christians. Me, I take our Lord Jesus' ACTUAL WORDS as my base standard, rather than all the "smiting hip and thigh" stuff from the Old Testament. Jesus came to fulfill the INTENT of the law. Not the letter.

The letter of the Biblical law sez: Gays are bad. The intent sez: We are ALL good.

So, I guess my point is, gays ought to be able to be married, and spiritually bond like we all want to -- but 1) They've got a load of history and tradition to navigate first, and 2) They should realize this is why people don't want them to get married, and it is going to take TIME to change.

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