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Some Things Are Just Stupid

Do. The. (Moral) Math.
(A brief exercise in logic and love)

It just won't stop happening. Stories and protests, letters to the editor, religious campaigns, political resolutions, legislative maneuverings, court battles, "Protect Marriage" protests, prayer vigils, news conferences.

The entire firestorm. And all because men want to marry the men they love, and women want to marry the women they love.

The logic? Just isn't there.

Listen to me.

Heterosexual love, marriage and procreation are not compromised or endangered by allowing homosexuals the benefits of love and marriage, or the rights to have children.

Let's be very clear about that. Any law passed to allow homosexual marriage would be prescriptive, not proscriptive. That is, it would be  prescribing a right for a previously deprived population - same sex couples. It would *not* do so by proscribing someone else's rights. It would *not* proscribe heterosexual marriage.

Nor would allowing same-sex marriage work against heterosexual marriage rights on any other level.

It would not convince heterosexual fiances and fiancees to cancel their weddings, spark the dissolution of existing marriage, or tempt heterosexual couples not to have children. If it did, it would speak to the weak love or confused priorities of those heterosexual couples, not to same-sex marriage, or the near mystical destructive power apparently ascribed to it by its opponents.

Think about that for a moment. If a heterosexual man or woman believe that allowing someone else to legally express their love will hurt their marriage, or will turn a nation's heterosexuals into non-marrying singletons, their logic bone's broken.

And, when it comes to procreation, the other concept that same-sex marriage opponents say they want to protect, please consider this:

Given that our species continues to procreate so enthusiastically that we're threatening to knock our own planet out of orbit with sheer weight of numbers, I feel safe in predicting that same-sex marriage will not lead to the extinction of homo sapiens.

And finally, we come to the nut of the problem, the nut of my anger and despair at such a simplex world-view:

Some people appear to believe that merely by allowing such a law, one places one's society at risk from a creator who, for reasons known only to that creator, has arbitrarily decided that one kind of love is inferior to another, or actively evil.

When and why does a creator determine that?

Please do not point to your holy books, of whatever flavor (generally those of Levantine Monotheistic descent, but not, by any means, exclusively). A horrifically large number of rules and regulations in holy books are negatives - "thou shalt nots" - for whom the reasons amount to "because I said so."

That is not a reason, nor an answer. For anything.

Nor would a creator which provided for me this beautiful brain, this marvelous consciousness, wish me to let either atrophy by settling for "because I said so."

Math and logic, logic and love. They braid together so beautifully that God and the universe can't pull them apart. I don't imagine God wants to. But somehow, the word hasn't gotten to everyone. Or maybe it has, and people are simply trying to ignore it? You tell me.

I am willing to wait for your answer.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 2nd, 2007 06:28 am (UTC)
Excellent post.

First off: I'm not against gay marriage, just to be clear.

But I think I understand both "sides" of this thing or at least some of the people on either side.

The reasoning for some of the Christians who are against gay marriage is this: they see marriage as sacred. Invented by God. Specifically for a man and a woman. And the laws set down by God were put there for our own good, even if sometimes we don't understand the logic behind them-- presumably God (being God) knows what's best and has a reason.

Most Christians I know who have this feeling, aren't of the "homosexuality is evil" school. Most are fine with gay folks becoming domestic partners and having the same or very similar rights as those afforded to married heterosexuals. Some may still think that it's best if a child is raised by a man and a woman, but most are even open-minded about that realizing that whether people are good parents is the important thing (not their gender).

'Course the folks I'm talking about are reasonably intelligent and kind folks (like my parents and other relatives and friends of mine). These aren't people who are running around protesting gay marriage, but they are people who might vote against such a thing-- depending on how the law is worded.

I'm not saying this is right. But I do know that some of these people get crankier about the issue the more that they aren't understood and are painted by the "other side" as being intolerant or crackpots, etc.

I don't really "get" at all the people who think gay marriage harms marriage, though. I understand if they think it's changing the definition of "marriage" from what it's been for many years.

I'm crazy enough to think there is moderate middle-ground on this issue and the abortion issue, but too often people on the far end of either side of both these issues make things unnecessarily complicated and the dialogue far too heated to the point where very little productive dialogue can occur.
Aug. 3rd, 2007 02:18 am (UTC)
Boy howdy, do I understand some of what you say - largely because I'm the possessor of a lovely, fully-operative Protestant Christian mom (moderate fundamentalist varietal.) I also grew up in The Church (capped letters optional).

That's why I said, at the very end, what I did; don't point to your holy books, or tell me that God said it, and because God said it, it has to be right.

I don't buy it, not from a book, not from a scroll, not from a person; not from my wonderful, beautiful mother, who is an honorable and good person. Who I love more than I can say, and who really likes my gay friends. Who honestly believes they can't marry.

Not from anyone.

I understand that there are a lot of people out there who believe there is a middle ground. But what middle ground? What middle ground is there, when an entire group of people are being denied marriage?

There is an argument that I could make in the middle ground: let civil marriages be allowed, and leave churches, synagogues, temples - all religious bodies - free to endorse or reject religious ceremonies. A law that allows civil marriages, marriages by judges, is not interfering with the right of religious people to protect what they see as their religious heritage or traditions.

After all, civil marriage wasn't created by God. It was created by landowners who wanted to find a non-violent way to grow their holdings, by legally joining compliant offspring. Han China, Aquitaine, Spain, the kingdoms of the Ganges, the antebellum South; doesn't matter where, doesn't matter when until a century or two ago.

The problem is that people who oppose unequivocal marriage all too often insist on taking that opposition into the civil arena, even as they tout the religious basis of their opposition.

So I'm eschewing the civil marriage/religious marriage debate, and trying to take it to the home ground. I'm talking about God.

I don't believe any God who helped create my brain, fully capable of questioning; my species, which survives because of curiosity and unwillingness to stick to species instinct; and my soul, which glories in love, is going to say, "Don't question me. Because I said so." Nor is that God going to say, "You, there, you can love in My name, but YOU? You can't."

If we're talking about the Christian tradition (the only one I'm comfortable to approach or assail, because I was born in it) well, let's see. Jesus, we're told, told his followers that he was not there to carry on tradition, or to obey the old rules, but to shatter them. I don't know whether he ever endorsed the rules of sexual stratification that came out of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, etc. In the New Testament, I only recall Paul, that poor man, even approaching the issues of gender.

I know I risk coming off as a stiff-necked extremist. Believe me, I'm no extremist. I live for the middle. My immediate instinct in any fight is to mediate. I know and love not only my mother, but others who share her beliefs. I have dear friends out there, I'm sure, who are uncomfortable with the idea of unequivocal marriage. I am truly sorry that they feel that way, and I am offering them a way to leave that discomfort behind.

I'm asking them to question why they're uncomfortable, to stop accepting the reasons they've been given. I'm trying to couch that request within their paradigm, to speak to them using the language of religion.

After all, the issues of procreation are brought up as issues of religion by many who oppose marriage rights for all. The issues of "deterioration of society" are brought up as religious issues by those people as well.

I'm trying to say those arguments make no sense, not even religiously. And I'm trying to suggest that people use the minds God gave them, to realize that "because I said so" is suspect - to see that if "because I said so" figures into the argument, then it's a safe bet it wasn't God who said it, it was some human, forging God's signature on a bad check.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )