11 July 2004

Religious Roots

Who else likes the Velvet Teen?

If you didn't know, there is currently a "Battle for Marriage," which means, of course, that marriage is "Under Fire." If you don't believe me, I suggest you try to wade through the eleven arguments against gay marriage made by Focus on the Family. I've been so livid after reading this that I couldn't comment on it. But don't worry, my satirical voice has returned. I'm wondering if an argument can be made against gay marriage that doesn't include any of the following propaganda:

1) "If courts create their own arbitrary definition of marriage as a mere legal contract, and cut marriage off from its cultural, religious and natural roots, then the meaning of marriage is lost and the institution is weakened." But given that fact that we are talking about a "law" for what amounts to a "legal contract," what's the problem with defining marriage as it is: a legal contract? Is the government now in the business of sanctioning not only a legal contract but also a spiritual one? I guess that's okay so long as it's Christian and not say, Muslim or one of those other religions. Now, given my religious beliefs, yes, I believe that marriage in front of God is sacred and worth defending on all these fronts. But we're talking about the government here. We're talking about laws. We're not talking about the "natural and religious" roots of marriage. Give me a call when the Evangelical Free Church of which I am a member starts marrying gay couples.

2) "If we let the gays marry, tomorrow everyone is going to become a polygamist." Really, now are we arguing about gay marriage or polygamy? Let's try to stick to one or the other. Don't worry, though, I'm terrified of polygamy as much as the next guy. I'll do anything to make sure that doesn't happen between our shining seas.

3) "The health care system will stagger and perhaps collapse." This one really gets me. I can't count the times I've had this conversation:

Me: Oh, hey Dave I heard you and Laura are getting married. Good work, dude.
Dave: Well, we're basically getting married because Laura wants to share my health benefits.
Me: Oh? That's cool, I guess.
Dave: Yeah, I mean, we really don't like each other or love each other or anything. We just want the health benefits. I think there's some sort of tax break too.

But those gays or those gays pretending to be gay!

Me: Rick, I heard you and Rick are getting married.
Rick: Yeah, I mean, we're not really gay but we want the health benefits. It's a small price to pay though, getting married. I think it will be kind of fun.

(A side note, I once seriously considered claiming I was in a domestic partnership just so I could have a chance to live off campus at college. So maybe I shouldn't throw any stones.)

And also, Mr. Dobson/ Focus on the Family, as Christians, shouldn't we strive for everyone to have equal medical care? I mean, you want everyone with AIDS to suffer and not be treated? That seems a little bit un-Christian/ hypocritical.

4) "Religious freedom will almost certainly be jeopardized." Again, I'm terrified! They're going to haul me off to prison for saying I don't think being gay is Biblical. Like when they hauled me to prison for saying that divorce was wrong. Also, and I hate to bring up the Bible again, isn't a big part of our Christian religion being persecuted for our faith? Or was that only for those poor saps in "non-Christian" countries (like commie countries)? Again, call me when they start throwing people in prison and I'll go get thrown in prison too, right after they throw me in prison for refusing to kill for my country. Take a fricken' number.

5) "Other nations are watching our march toward homosexual marriage and will follow our lead." The same way they followed our lead in Iraq. We're like the Pied Piper and the "nations of the world" are the rats.

6) "The gospel of Jesus Christ will be severely curtailed." Cause the gays will be trying to, uh, stop everyone from, uh, talking about Jesus. I buy that connection too. But again, don't worry, I'm terrified. I'm calling my senator as I type this. Crap, he's not in, hold on, I'll leave a message: "Mr. Senator, hi this is Stephen Pihlaja, not calling about the draft again, don't worry. This time I'm calling about the gays getting married. Is it true that if the gays start marrying, I won't be able to be a Christian anymore? I'm really upset about that because I really like being a Christian — well, except when it's hard. When it's hard I don't really like it, and if it was hard a lot of the time, I don't know if I'd want to be one anymore, really. So please, you have to save my Christianity! NO GAY MARRIAGE."

By the way, I just thought of a way to get past the health care problem: Why not have universal health coverage? Then we don't have to worry about Rick and Walter and Philip marrying Rick just to get his health coverage. They can continue having their gay commune while the rest of us can rest peacefully, knowing the gays aren't getting married.

Sorry, where was I? Oh, yeah, I'm terrified.