I figured I’d just cut to the chase and entitle this post what it is about. A girlfriend wrote to me this morning and asked me to say something about the topic after encountering a fair bit of vitriol on the web for having a differing view than many others out there. Here's the scoop: North Carolina voted to ban gay marriage, the civil unions’ bill was dashed in the Colorado state house, and a short while later President Obama finished his evolutionary cycle and decided he is indeed for gay marriage.
It’s a heated debate and no doubt will continue to be. But I find myself fairly peaceful about it all. And it’s not because I don’t have an opinion on it that you likely already know if you read these posts even occasionally. It's because I am confident in who ultimately makes the decisions.
For a whole lot of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender people the President has just done something great. For others who support traditional marriage North Carolina has done something great.
Tell me, do you wonder who is right?
Do you wonder who is capable of really deciding who is right?
If the President says it’s OK, will that be good enough for you to think its now right? If he didn’t would it make it wrong?
How about the States? At least some of them voting for it? Maybe most? Would it have to be all?
Would the Supreme Court saying anyone can marry anyone else ( same sex unions) or even several anyone’s ( polygamy, polyandry) make it right? And why narrow the field down so much when we have even better choices among the animal kingdom if we wanted that sort of thing ( bestiality), or bar attraction between family members ( incest),and why should we have age limits (statutory rape, pedastry) on who can be sexual with whom- I mean heck we all have different appetites so- would that make it right?
Actually it wouldn’t. These institutions and people could only make things legal. They can say things like: Abortion is legal. But despite its legality for the last 39 years, lots of people (including me) still think it’s wrong, and will not be convinced otherwise. That doesn’t make us simple , or bigoted, or prejudice, or close-minded. And it might just make sense to us in a different sort of way, with a different set of eyes, that don’t think all things begin and end on this earth, and that our actions or inactions have consequences that last beyond the confines of time and space. We might even feel we have an obligation to speak up based on our beliefs or we would be responsible for NOT acting when we believe something to be wrong. (If a child is running towards a hot fire and I do nothing- haven't I actually become partially responsible for the burn?)
So if it really is a matter of right and wrong (i.e morality) well then governments can’t really solve that one can they? It just isn’t their job. All any man can do when it comes to matters of rightness and wrongness is follow what he believes to be right before God and other men and then live what his informed conscience tells him to the best of his ability. And here is another catch- he may even think he is doing everything right- and still be wrong! (Remember those dudes who flew the planes into the Twin Towers in hopes of lots of virgins? Well, do you think they got the virgins or not? Who do you think decided things for them? Did they meet with fire instead? Did they find the red guy with a pitchfork? Did they just disappear into ‘nothingness’ and all that was left of them was an awful legacy of destruction? )
As part of this democracy I can tell what my vote would be on these issues. I can sign petitions and choose candidates. I can argue and debate. I have a responsibility to do so, even if you don’t like that opinion. But as for the rightness or wrongness of it all, well in those matters I humbly submit myself to a higher authority who is capable of really deciding, and I won't get a definitive answer until after I leave this world so I muddle along as best I am able until then. I can't simply listen to the president, or the courts, I have to listen to that little voice inside of me. I do not believe religion should be forced on anyone, but I also know it shouldn't be forced out of anyone.
For me this has never been about legal or illegal, it’s a moral choice, and I’m doing the best I can to live by the dictates of my own conscience. Hope that’s OK with you.