Conversations on Gay Marriage: Part 1

Side note: Be on the lookout for a new series of weekly posts beginning next 
Tuesday! In these posts I will ask you all the questions rambling around in
 my head, and I am confident you all will be able to answer them all 
satisfactorily. Okay, maybe not; but I do need yall to respond in the 
comments section or it won't really work. I've already got a question in 
mind for next Tuesday; I can't wait to get your responses!

The following series “Conversations on Gay Marriage” is the transcript of a Facebook conversation between myself and three friends (of various ages and stages) on the subject after the Prop 8 reversal in California. Gay Marriage is a controversial topic that often gets (Christian) people resorting to ugly rhetoric and dismissive (and easily dismissible) quips like “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” — which while I appreciate the creation-orientation of this phrase for discussions within Christian circles, I have no idea why people believe it will be an effective means of provoking an unbeliever’s consideration.

But this conversation was civil and thoughtful, even when emotional, and a example of what online conversations on controversial issues ought to look like.

Part 1 of this conversation, between W and myself (which I’ll signify with the letter R), discusses the widely used “Slippery Slope” objection to legalizing gay marriage. In parts 2 and 3, two others join the conversation, bringing to the table the question of whether the Bible still speaks to the issue of homosexuality today or if it’s simply outdated.

PS. This 3-part discussion was initially in response to my friend Adam’s post, “Christianity and the End of Proposition 8” over on his excellent blog, Thinking through Christianity.
_______________________________________________________________

W

“Who should define marriage?” Why should only homosexuals be allowed to drive this? How about the folks that want to marry children? What about the Man-boy folks? Or how about the Human-animal folks? If the definition of marriage is open for redefinition then why should just one group weigh in? Seems like a fair question and it doesn’t originate from a position of hate. I think one can argue that marriage should retain the traditional definition because once you open it up to redefinition then it will ultimately have no meaning. Maybe they should invent another institution of their very own?

R

W, I see the logic in that line of thinking, but it puts homosexuality is in the same category as sex with animals. That’s pretty insulting.

W

It is important to be gracious, but remember that ultimately God puts them in the same category. Also, if homosexuals find it insulting then they’ll be more likely to say that that group has no right to redefine marriage, which then allows us to ask why then think they are qualified.

R

Ultimately God puts all sin in the same category, so I think that misses the point. We lose the bigger battle using this kind of logic and language, possibly even simply by fighting this fight. More on point I think is that we have no business fighting gay marriage and rolling over on divorce. The reason we do it is because it’s more convenient to point our ritualistically clean fingers at the “other” than it is to get our hands dirty and clean our own house. This external conflict, this outside enemy (gay marriage), may help us feel a shallow sense of internal cohesion, but as I said earlier, I think we’re picking the wrong fight, focusing on the wrong enemy; or at least using a failing and short-sighted strategy. I don’t believe in a Culture War. It doesn’t have an Ephesians 6 vision.

W

Thank you for sharing your heart on this matter. My responses were definitely old school and I’m striving to open my mind to other perspectives. I definitely am on board with showing love and respect with to every human being.

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5 Responses to Conversations on Gay Marriage: Part 1

  1. G says:

    R said, “…In these posts I will ask you all the questions…” What is your question for this post? W asked lots of questions. Are these the questions that you want to discuss?

    “Who should define marriage?”
    Answer: Whoever needs to. The feds need to, so they have one definition. The states need to, so they have another definition. Businesses need to, so they have yet another definition. Churches need to, so… Some w/in society need to, so…

    “Why should only homosexuals be allowed to drive this? How about the folks that want to marry .”
    Answer: More than one of those groups are working toward redefining or eliminating marriage to suit their desires. Some are just at the very early stages and not in the news yet; give them a century or two. For some groups, the quickest method may be purely legal and not depend on societal acceptance.

    “If the definition of marriage is open for redefinition then…”
    Answer: I don’t think that it is possible to prevent redefining things… even gravity. The fact that there are absolutes does not prevent our society from ignoring them.

    “…once you open it up to redefinition then it will ultimately have no meaning.”
    Comment: That begs a whole other question: “What does marriage mean?” That answer depends on the realm of discussion. “Marriage” means one thing for federal taxes and quite another thing for corporate benefits. If a corporation grants partners (no matter the gender combo) the same benefits as those that are “married” – then a rose by any other name…..

    “Maybe they should invent another institution of their very own?”
    Answer: Again, a rose by any other name…. What it means to be married is detailed in various laws, corporate policy and society. If the crowd gains those same benefits and under the title of soup, then soup = marriage.

    • reneamac says:

      No, no, the questions are coming on Tuesday. 🙂 That side note has nothing to do with this post; I was just raising awareness about the new postings to come on a new day (since so far my regular posts are on Thursdays).

      “I don’t think that it is possible to prevent redefining things… even gravity. The fact that there are absolutes does not prevent our society from ignoring them. ” Quite well put.

  2. G says:

    Doh! I see now. In those posts… you will be asking the Qs. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Conversations on Gay Marriage: Part 2 | speak what we feel

  4. Pingback: Conversations on Gay Marriage: Part 3 | speak what we feel

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