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i love poetry, politics, and people i would be better off staying away from.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vow-trageous Stance for a Conservative Christian to Take

In November 2012, Minnesota residents will have the right and great privilege to stand on the right side of history.  On the ballot, voting Minnesotans will be asked whether marriage should be defined as only between one man and one woman. 

One man. One woman. One sandwich.  Can somebody please
get her an apron?
Some people may think they know my stance.  I'm a conservative. I'm a Christian. She must be for a "traditional" view of marriage.  Some who know my stance may think I'm less of a conservative or Christian because of this stance. I am not standing against the values our country holds dear; I'm embracing them.  As a conservative and as a Christian, I wouldn't be doing the right thing if I voted to keep marriage as listed in the traditional sense. I'll try to break it down, although the lines seem to blur occasionally.

As a Christian:
To say that gay people shouldn't be allowed to make a life commitment to another because they don't follow the word of God, you're forgetting a couple basic things:  1) that Christians are sinners and 2) straight non-believers are allowed to marry.  Atheists and people of other religions besides Christianity are all able to get married in America, as long as it's to a person of the opposite sex.  The government isn't jumping in here, shaking a finger and saying, "No! Marriage is an institution of God and, therefore, should only be practiced by believers."  Additionally, if people think being gay is a sin and that's why gay folks shouldn't marry, then liars, thieves, etc. also shouldn't marry.  It's not like I haven't sinned before. Hell, I do it everyday!  All humans do.Yes, even you have committed a few atrocities in your time here on earth.  And yet, I hope to walk down the aisle someday in a (slightly off-) white dress, just like many of my gay friends do.  (Well, I don't know if they'll go for the dress, but you can be sure that whatever they wear for that big day, they'll look FABULOUS!)  Joking aside, if someone told me I couldn't marry the person I love, whether you think it's because a choice I've made or because of a genetic predisposition, I'd be devastated.

Sadly, he doesn't come with
Zipporah and the Ethiopian woman
that he married.  Then it really would
be an "action" figure!
Additionally, people continue to point out "what the Bible says" about homosexuality.  Really? Let's instead look at what the Bible says about marriage?  Now, granted, this isn't all it says, but I thought it would be good to look at some of the marriages of the pillars of our faith.  There's Moses.  You know Moses.  Wrote the first five books of the Bible.  Spoke to God on the mountain.  Chiseled the Ten Commandments onto stone tablets.  That guy.  Yeah, he had two wives.  Most people today would be appalled at the thought of a man having two wives!  Oh, but it gets better.  Abraham, father of our faith guy, had three women he married.  Jacob/Israel one-upped his father and was joined in Holy Matrimony with four ladies.  How do you think he got the twelve tribes of Israel? Bow Chicka Wow Wow!  Oh, but like Jacob said to his first wife, Leah, I'm just getting started. David,

Psalmist? Rapper? What's the difference?

the psalmist, the man after God's own heart, David had at least eight wives and yet more concubines!  Geez!  It's like a late 90s rap video!  As a child, I hated sharing my toys with the bratty girls on the playground.  That said, I'm glad that our view of "traditional marriage" has at least changed from the days of the Pentateuch.

I also think it's important to point out that Jesus never mentioned anything about homosexuality.  Additionally, many of the types of people Jesus would have been hanging out with during his time on earth were the ones the church shunned, and still shun today.  Just a note.

As a conservative:
Generally, Republicans are for limited government.  I don't understand, then, how most Republicans can want so strongly for government to come barging into the love lives and bedrooms of law abiding, American citizens.  "Come on in, Senator!  Do you want to join us or just watch for the first round?  Pull up a chair if you like, we're gonna be at this for a while. . . ."  So many people bring it back to our country being founded on Christian beliefs, yet more than that it was founded on the idea that a person holds certain rights and freedoms (life, liberty, pursuit of happiness stuff).  Why are we trying to limit those freedoms to a certain group of people?  It's similar to the racist and sexist laws of America's dark past.  Blacks can't eat here or use this drinking fountain. Women can't vote.  Gays shouldn't be allowed to get married or raise kids.  Our laws on marriage have changed many times and in many ways, just as our laws on women and people of color have changed.  Women are no longer property of their husbands, divorce is legal and even common, people aren't required to marry according to social class or standing, people aren't betrothed at age 12, etc.

For those who say this is a sin issue, let me clarify something:  Our government isn't there to judge sin.  It is there to judge a general view of right and wrong.  If our government was in the sin-judging business, I'd be sitting in county for talking back to my momma yesterday, even though we've already made our amends (for today, anyway.  Lord knows I'll be yelling at her again about something tomorrow).  We're all sinners.  We'd all be in jail.  Gay and straight, male and female.  We all miss the mark.  But it's not our government's job to be a moral police.

I went to Memphis, TN over spring break this year.  I visited the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed.  I found myself considering who I am and what I stand for.  I thought about what my parents, who lived in this era, felt about blacks coming into their schools and restaurants.  I thought about what side of history I'd have been on if I grew up in that time frame.  When blacks were getting bullied at school.  When business owners refused to serve them simply because they were "different".  When police stood idly by watching white kids and adults beat black kids and adults, burn them with cigarettes, cut them with razors, spit on them, kill them.  Sound familiar?  How much bullying do we have going on in schools nowadays against kids who aren't "the norm"?  I nearly cried standing there, looking in to Dr. King's hotel room, wondering if I'd have stood with the black kids my age and fought for their equality had I been born years earlier or if I'd have been spitting, mocking, bullying with most of the white folks.  November 2012 I have the chance to be on the right side of history.  That's why I'm voting "No" on the amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.  I hope the majority of Minnesotans find themselves doing the same.