Monday, November 3, 2008

It's all over tomorrow

Tomorrow's election will be historic. And that's even if things go smoothly. I'm betting on double the drama and history with recounts, lawsuits and mass hysteria in the media. At least we don't have to worry about mass hysteria in the streets. Things aren't that bad. And as Americans, we're just not that violent. We take our aggression out in Halo games and simulated worlds. Most of us would rather blog, twitter or text our frustrations than take to the pavement.

So while I'm going to be glad when it's all over I haven't made plans to hide in the bunker yet. In fact, I'll be on the front line tomorrow night covering a local county commission race. I'm pretty sure the most dramatic part of my night will be deciding which kind of pizza I want (free food in my company is a rarity) or making sure I save my story before I shut down my computer. At the end of the night, we may or may not have a new president and I will stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance at school board meetings and my brother's Boy Scout activities no matter which man gets elected.

In the meantime, all of California -- along with many church, human rights and other socio-political groups -- is waiting with baited breath for the outcome of Proposition 8. One friend in California told me she never wants to see the number eight again.

The church I belong to is part of a coalition supporting Prop. 8. They have asked members to decide their own appropriate level of involvement. Here is mine: I support "rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights." Protecting the rights of everyone, including same-sex couples, means that I am more likely to be able to worship, work and live as I choose.

However, marriage is not a government-created right; it is not even just a "contract between individuals to ratify their affections and provide for mutual obligations." It is an institution created by God to foster the growth and development of families. Governments have often chosen to recognize marriages because marriage, when vows are kept, helps stabilize society -- but they did not create marriage. It existed long before the Constitution. There are other ways to protect the rights of same-sex couples to be part of a private, committed relationship without changing the definition of marriage given to us by the One who created it. For more information on views I can agree with, click here and here.


lifeofdi said...

As I'm sure you're well aware, since I think you read my blog, our views on the issue are completely opposite. So to accurately represent my rebuttal to this, I would say read my blog and the links in it. Especially the court's opinion regarding your assertion that marriage is not a right. If marriage is not a right in our society, and is indeed reserved for religious rights, why am I allowed to marry. I do not identify as religious, nor do I claim a belief in God. Yet I am not relegated to a civil union or domestic partnership. Why would consenting same-sex adult couples be any different?

But my short(er) argument for this comment and one on which I'm fairly sure we will still disagree, is that marriage existed before religion did. Marriage was created as a societal construct for property rights and stability. Which is why marriage has survived, even though things people once held to be a moral part of marriage (inter-race marriage, female submission) are no longer part of it.

Brooke said...

I'm glad we can "agree to disagree" on this one. I did read your post, as well as several of the links that you posted. Very well constructed, though I don't agree with you. You're right on the court opinion ... it is a right that has been established. I would have been more correct to say that it was not originally created as a right by the government because the government did not create it. Recent courts have changed that.

As for your shorter argument ... yes. We definitely disagree on that one. I believe religion has always existed -- and coincidentally, began the same time marriage did -- with Adam and Eve. The whole "One faith, one Lord, one baptism" idea. The gospel of Jesus Christ didn't begin with Christ's mortal ministry ... it's as eternal as eternity, in both directions. Unfortunately, once both marriage and religion were given to the world's first couple, it didn't take long for the human population to dilute, distort and redirect both religion and marriage. Hence the huge numbers of religious faiths and some of the morally wrong, but culturally held, beliefs about marriage such as female submission. I think that same-sex marriages is just a continuance of the distortion of marriage as it was originally given.