Sunday, August 8, 2010

Homosexuality and the Mark of Cain

I just read an opinion piece on CNN about how same sex marriage is damaging to opposite sex marriage – to families. The writer is worried that people who disapprove of same sex relationships may lose their licenses and'missions' because they refuse to serve same sex couples. He said he's offended that opposition to same sex relationships is seen as racism.

Just last year a Justice of the Peace in Louisiana denied a couple, a black man and a white woman, a marriage license. I remember his argument was that such a marriage was bad for the children. As if a child of mixed race could never do well. Do I need to point out that our president is of mixed race?

Racists often point out that their views are for the good of the children.

Same sex couples may not be able to procreate in the most obvious way, but they can contribute to the wellbeing of families, both with direct kinship and in their communities. There are children who need to be adopted.

How difficult of a choice would it be for a pro-life person to allow that child to be born and raised by a loving same sex couple? Which would they hate more the death of a life they want to save or the affirmation of a family that's not within their accepted guidelines?

I think one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome is the source of values. If values are based in a book written a good while ago and frequently reinterpreted over the centuries, then there isn't nothing to really argue with. Homosexuals are evil. Black people are baring the mark of Cain and deserve to be discriminated against. Women belong to their husband. Adulterers (the women, of course) should be stoned. The world is six thousand years old.

Oddly, that reinterpretation of things... most nice little religious people won't buy that whole being black is the Mark of Cain anymore. If they do, the rest of us think they're narrow minded and uneducated. Any rational person understands that the color of our skin means functionally nothing about the abilities, worth, or essence of the person under that skin.

If we base our values on science, knowing that it's not religion, it's not static, it's always learning and measuring and changing... well that's not as sodding comforting as an unchanging world where what we know is what we know. I can make a statement today, act on that statement a the basis of my values, and find years from now that I was wrong. That's more than a little scary if my self-esteem is rooted in my being right. If my sense of personal safety is rooted in there being a god who knows the truth of all things and he's revealed that truth... then to question that truth is to lose both my self-esteem and my sens of safety.

So then you're faced with rejecting and discrimination for the sake of one's personal comfort or allowing God to be bigger, braver. Homosexual couples and heterosexual couples are pretty much the same. A black person and a white person are pretty much the same. A man and a woman are pretty much the same.

The American way is to think things through, to be reasonable. Our founders were doing just that when they made our constitution and rejected the Divine Right of Kings. Maybe Elizabeth I was in their minds, stepping outside the safe and traditional role for a human with ovaries. Maybe they could also step outside of their traditional role of subject. DC is bordered by Virgina, after all, and Virgina was named after the Virgin Queen. Just a slight digression, but really, we could all stand to call on a history of people who think for themselves and embrace rational solutions. Sometimes I think some people honestly see our pilgrim ancestors were all God-Fearing Puritans and they left all the wicked Cavaliers back in old England? Sorry, boys and girls, America was founded by people who didn't really want to buy into the religious norms of the time. So spouting fear rooted discrimination now... it's not going to work in the long run.  

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