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SCOTUS is giving me some hope, today June 26, 2015

Posted by shaunphilly in Polyamory.
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In a world where there are more than enough reasons to be pessimistic, every once in a while something happens which makes me feel more optimistic.

Source: Huffington Post

I am happy that I now live in a country where anyone can marry anyone they want. Well, one at a time, for now. But it’s a start.

I’m smiling a little better today. Congratulations to all the couples out there who, finally, have the right to marry.

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Jonathon Haidt on preferences and morality November 28, 2012

Posted by shaunphilly in Culture and Society, Religion.
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Saying ” because I don’t want to” is a perfectly acceptable justification for one’s subjective preferences.  Yet moral judgments are not subjective statements; they are claims that somebody did something wrong.  I can’t call for the community to punish you simply because I don’t like what you’re doing.  I have to point to something outside of my own preferences, and that pointing is our moral reasoning.  We do moral reasoning not to reconstruct the actual reasons why we ourselves came to a judgment; we reason to find the best possible reasons why somebody else ought to join us in our judgment.

This is from page 44 of Jonathon Haidt’s book, The Righteous Mind which I am currently reading.

This idea is central to how I have been thinking about morality in recent years, at least in conjunction to ideas very much like those in Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape.  I take it as axiomatic that preferences exist as the basis for much of our opinions, whether they be about politics, sex, religion, etc.  I realize that our values are not chosen, but are the result of fundamental emotional/pre-conscious processes which we don’t have immediate or easy access to.

But when it comes to things like public policy, especially when it comes to things like sexual orientation, I recognize that there is a significant burden on those who seek to limit personal freedoms which derive from our fundamental preferences and desires.  Religion is a devastating vehicle for such preferences—preserving and sanctifying them—but it is but one example of the great-grandparent of all vehicles for such things; culture.  Culture is not good or bad, per se, but it carries traditions and concepts which we put there, often without knowing why.  Culture is the storage space for all of our un-chosen fears, hopes, and everything in between.

It may be one of the great ironies of the human condition that we have to be willing to reject the specific preferences that we have for the sake of personal rights of others.  I say it’s ironic, because those same sets of preferences are the bases by which we rationalize morality at all; our personal preferences are the bases for enlightened self-interest, the golden rule, etc.  If we didn’t share the universal sets of personal preferences, then morality would not be relevant because we would feel no compulsion towards any particular action, let alone compassion.  It is because we care about our own preferences that we can, and feel compelled to, care about the preferences of others.

I cannot change, and did not choose, that I am sexually attracted to women rather than men (overwhelmingly, anyway), any more than another person cannot change that they are attracted to men, all genders, etc.  Thus, the same desires I  have to create various levels of intimacy and commitment with women are analogous to the desires that gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, and even sapiosexual people have for the subjects of their desires.  My preferences are mine, and their preferences are theirs.  When put next to each other and looked at inter-subjectively,  no subjective preferences have a privileged status and all must be given equal initial weight (my like of John Rawls will be apparent here).  Thus, gay marriage is as much a right as any other form of marriage between consenting adults, because my preference for women is no more inter-subjectively valid than a preference for men and so forth.

Cultural tradition (specifically religion), the storage space for those bigoted fears, disgusts, and shames concerning homosexuality, are not sufficient reasons to create discriminatory policies against some forms of those desires for intimacy and commitment.

We have our preferences, but those preferences cannot inform, on their own, how we create policies that affect other people, at least in cases where no non-consenting victim exists.  And we have to keep in mind that as we dig into our minds (in the sense of Nietzsche’s concept of being archaeologists of the soul), we may find that preferences can change, and that we may grow new ones as we grow and learn.  Because while we may not choose our preferences, we can at least expose our mind to new ways of seeing issues which may alter the way our unconscious mind prefers to react.

Pay attention to your immediate and unconscious reactions.  Be mindful of feelings of disgust, shame, and fear in the site of things which we cannot find reasons to feel disgusted, shameful, or fearful of.  Sometimes interesting facts emerge while probing our preferences.  And sometimes our preferences, and thus our values, are actually just wrong and will need to be replaced, if that’s possible.

For the sake of our species I hope that values can be replaced.  But if not, I hope that we can at least convince people who have those damaging preferences that they should accept that their preferences will not become laws to govern all.

 

 

Marriage rights and religious discrimination September 21, 2011

Posted by shaunphilly in religion, atheism, polyamory, culture.
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3 comments

Now, I’m no lawyer, but I have some thoughts,  Any lawyers who come upon this are free to slice and dice the argument as they like.  This will, of course, be a brief sketch of the idea, not a comprehensive argument.

Marriage and family

Now, those who think about marriage rights in the United States, as well as many other Western nations, have had to deal with the question of gay marriage in recent years.  And while I know some atheists who oppose gay marriage, it is my opinion that their opposition to such things are ultimately based upon cultural values and traditions which are carried to us on the back of religious doctrines and tradition.  That is, while homophobia, discrimination, etc are natural human phenomena which are merely magnified and perpetuated by the many kinds of religious institutions, it is primarily religion that is the social basis for opposition to equal marriage rights.  There simply is no coherent argument against gay marriage.  Religious arguments, while still not coherent when seen from the outside, are at least more internally consistent.

The so-called definition of marriage is deeply problematic, and not challenged often enough.  The idea that it is only marriage when institutions, both civil and religious, wed one man and one woman, is not particularly traditional or universal.  The history of marriage, which is too complicated to summarize effectively here, is one based upon property relationships.  Contained within but also found outside of the traditional religious scriptures of many faiths is the idea that a wife is property, and the idea that marriage is a union of two people whom love one-another and both enter into willingly is a relatively modern idea.  The idea of the nuclear family, with (stay-at-home) mother, (bread-winning) father, and children (and possibly grandma or an uncle or aunt being around) is an idealized picture that is not more than a hundred years old.  Sure, families may have looked that way previous to that, but it was not the definition of family until more recently.

The bottom line is the traditionally conservative definition of marriage, and therefore of family, is not actually traditional.  It is a conservative notion, for sure, but it seeks to conserve an idea which is younger than the airplane or the automobile.  In a world that moves and thinks faster, where innovation is the bedrock of many economies, it is absurd that we should expect cultural and personal ideas not to change.  Marriage has already changed from a hierarchical property relationship to one between consenting equals, and it will continue to change as we learn more about ourselves and what we are capable of.

But change into what? Into whatever consenting, mature, and responsible adults want it to change into.  We are, after all, the arbiters of our own culture.  We bow to no universal definitions or standards.  Or, at least, we shouldn’t.

Religious discrimination

Descrimination is not allowed under the law in Western “Democracies” (I’m not getting into that today…).  In the United States, Title VII protects people from “discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,” and many other nations have similar types of laws.  Now, this may not seem like a way to argue about marriage (and perhaps it is not, ultimately) but allow me to present an argument. Similar or very different arguments might have to be levied in the legal whirlwind of other nations, but I’m an American, so I’ll pretend no other places exist for a little while, as is our way.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that a religious institution would start marrying homosexuals in the United States.  And, let’s say, this church wanted to do so throughout the united states, even in states that don’t recognize or allow gay marriage.  And, let’s say, the church proclaims that this act is part of their religious doctrine.  Now, despite the fact that Christian, Jewish, Mormon, and Islamic texts say otherwise, there are other religious institutions that could, hypothetically, do so without this contradiction.  Hindus, for example (As far as I can remember) don’t have the same problem with homosexuality. And what about the Shinto? Ah, how we always forget about them, don’t we?  But it does not matter what religious group steps forward to do this, because the first amendment protects all religious views.

Wouldn’t these acts and doctrines, by whatever religious group that decides to act in such a way,  be a challenge to the state not recognizing gay marriage?  In the face of such an act, the state and/or federal government not allowing these marriages to be recognized equally with a Catholic, Jewish, or Hindu marriage seems to be religious discrimination issue.  Would a religious institution who had, as part of their beliefs, the idea that anyone should be free to marry anyone, be discriminated against if they tried to do so?

Now, I know how I would respond to this.  I would say that there is a distinction between what a church does within it’s doors and what the state is compelled to recognize.  That is, the Temple of Holy Perversity can marry Adam and Steve, Lilith and Eve, or (perhaps) Adam, Steve and Eve, but that does not compel the state to recognize this union legally, with all the rights and privileges that come with it.  That is, the marriage could be a religious one, but not a civil one.  A person who took this road might argue, as some do, that marriage is a religious institution and whatever legal rights “married” people get now is really a civil union we call ‘marriage’ for the sake of simplicity and tradition.  They might argue that the state should only recognize civil unions, and not any marriage that a religion can conceive of.  Many people seem to be moving in this direction, although it contains seeds of further problems associated with discrimination.

Why, for example, should the government recognize the civil union of Billy and Barbara while rejecting Bobby and Mike?  On what basis does it accept one type of civil union and not another? Tradition? Is this traditional distinction not based upon a biased practiced which has been perpetuated by religious bigotry and centuries of  discrimination against homosexuality?  Would accepting this traditional idea, carried to us by religion, not a way to respect one set of religious traditions over ones that might not accept those traditions? In short, isn’t the civil union compromise merely a way to shovel off the question of discrimination and religious preferential treatment one step further down the line?

It also seems to me (and my legal understanding of the issue gets fuzzy here) that the term “marriage” not only is not a mere religious term (because religion has usurped the idea, much like it has done to morality), but that to allow one type of union between people to have automatic civil rights and benefits while denying it to others seems to be an inequality that is not only unfair, but possibly illegal.  For the states or the federal government to recognize one type of union while not another, especially if where that line lays just [sarcasm]happens [/sarcasm] to overwhelmingly coincide with the lines between religious opinions in our culture, seems a little like discrimination based upon religion to me.

I’m going to start my own religion

Now, since it is unlikely that any established church or religious institution is going to take this step, even though many specific congregations are in favor of gay marriage, we might have to start our own.  And of course, since I’m an atheist, it might not be me.  Or maybe not.  Humanism, for example, is recognized as a religion, legally, according to some precedent.  And while many atheists, including myself, are not particularly comfortable with having atheism recognized as a religion (because it’s not a religion), I will admit that in the legal sense there is meaning to talking about it as if it were.  This is not a double-standard, because the point of the law against discrimination, as I understand it, is to protect people from discrimination based on whatever religious position they take, not what religion they adhere to.  So while atheism is not a religion, it is protected in the same way as any religion would be.

So, could Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism, or any sect thereof be the group that takes this step? Sure.  And if this group starts performing ceremonies which marry two men, two women, or groups of people and these people who have all decided, as adults of their own free will, to enter into this arrangement, then does the state have to recognize it?  Perhaps not, but what happens when these people start losing their jobs as a result of it.  Can’t they point to their religious group, who not only blessed the union but performed it as part of their religious beliefs, and say that there are being discriminated based upon their religion?

And couldn’t they also point to the traditional religious groups, point to the fact that those who attend and marry in those mainstream places of worship don’t face this discrimination, and say that’s not fair! That’s discrimination! and be right?

Not only morally, but legally?

That’s my question.

It is a question that has implications for not only gay marriage, but polyamorous marriage.  And while much of the LGBTQ community does not want to address the larger polyamory issue when it comes to marriage (a political decision, of course), I believe that it is a question that my generation will see come to more public exposure in my lifetime.  Will we solve it? Well, these things change slowly, but if the polyamory community can get itself into the public sphere the way atheists did over the last 10 years, we might be able to make some headway.

There is a lot of work to be done.

Marriage, commitment, and polyamory August 15, 2011

Posted by shaunphilly in religion, atheism, polyamory, culture.
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8 comments

Awwww....

So, Ginny and I are engaged.  That’s right folks, marriage! That ancient institution of property-arrangement designed to let everyone know that this woman is mine.  If you want her, too bad; I have obviously paid her father some bride price (or she has paid me some dowry) and so she is spoken for.

Oh, wait, that’s right! The concept of marriage has changed.  Those valued ancient traditions that defined our culture and gave the sacred institution of marriage meaning have been radicalized and re-defined by social progressives (probably feminists and socialists) in an attempt to destroy the traditional concept of marriage.  And as a result, women are no longer property by which men can get their jollies and also continue their genetic line (the legitimate ones, anyway).

Now, marriage has come to mean the willing entrance into a committed and potentially life-long relationship by 2 or more adults.  It’s an arrangement which gives each adult who has entered into it certain legal rights concerning decisions for and access to their spouse(s).  It has changed from being a property arrangement not unlike owning a cow to being a decision to bind one’s life to other adults in emotional, financial, and legal ways.

Oh, wait, I got ahead of myself.  We are still somewhere between that traditional marriage and what actually makes sense to emotionally mature and intelligent adults.  We still live in a culture where the idea of marriage has not yet evolved past the transitional stage of a civic union between one man and one woman.  We live in a culture with such a bad sense of history, genuine adult relationships, and full of conservative fear that we still think that commitment is defined by an arrangement between two people who have no obligations of love, intimacy, or time to other people.

I keep forgetting that the vision of actual human emotional achievement and popular maturity only exists in my head.

*sigh*

What is commitment?

Commitment is not the same thing as exclusivity.  To be committed to something is not to eschew consideration to other things completely.  It does not mean that comparable relationships are forgotten.  Go ahead, look up the term.  There is nothing about commitment that necessarily implies that to commit yourself to a person (or to a cause or idea) means that you give up any effort towards others.

And yet, if you hear someone say that they are in a committed relationship, it is understood to mean that they are unavailable for romantic and/or sexual relationships with people other than the person to whom they are committed.  It does not imply that perhaps that relationship is of mere primary (or at least very high) importance to them.  It does not, in ‘polite’ society, mean that any further arrangement of relationships must consider the impact to that existing relationship.  It does not mean that that relationship is something of great importance to their life, and that perhaps, if things work out, you may be able to share some of that importance with others as well.

That would be silly.  Except that it wouldn’t be silly at all.  It would be pretty awesome, actually.

I am committed to Ginny.  I intend to keep her as a primary part of my life, and to grow and love her as long as I am able to do so.  All decisions that effect my life will have to consider her and how it may affect her.  All further relationships, whether with Gina or anyone else, will have to be weighed in terms of their implications for my relationship with Ginny.  And since Ginny and Gina get along so well, it means that the continued existence of my relationship with Gina (which is young but relatively strong considering its youth) is preferable for all involved.  So, not only does my relationship with Gina not threaten my relationship with Ginny, it may actually complement my commitment to Ginny.  It may actually add value to that other relationship.  Isn’t that awesome?

This is a concept that I think more people in our culture need to understand.  In the same way that many friendships can complement other friendships, romantic relationships can also add to the ones we have already.  Jealousy, resentment, and pain are not the only result of your lovers knowing about each other.  There are also wonderful things, like friendship (and occasional new lovers) that can be derived from this.  If you love someone, the qualities that you love just might be noticed by the other people you love.  Crazy, I know!

What is the meaning of Marriage, if it does not mean commitment?…oh, wait….

Are you getting it yet? In the same way that being committed to one-another does not have to imply romantic and sexual exclusivity (although it can also mean that, if the people involved desire that for whatever reason), marriage does not have to imply exclusivity either.

But further, in the same way that 3 (or more) people could possibly find a way to arrange commitment and share each other emotionally, sexually, etc, there are times when those same 3 (or more) people can find themselves all ready to commit their lives to each other in ways that walks, sounds, and acts like marriage.  What sense is it to have (for example) 3 people living together, sharing a bed, finances, and activities together and say that this could not be considered potential marriage for more than 2 people?  How does polyamorous marriage not make sense for those for whom such arrangements are desirable?

But much more basically (and more personally relevant to me right now), how is my marrying a woman who I love, despite the fact that I love another woman (openly and unashamedly), not marriage?  How does my being in another relationship de-legitimize any meaningful use of the term ‘marriage’? Well, frankly, it doesn’t.  But many people seem to think that it does, and I think that this is an obvious point of needed re-consideration by our culture generally.  We, as a society, need to re-evaluate our values about relationships, marriage, and commitment.

Gay and polyamorous marriage are really about the same thing

I believe that those who were once considered liberal and open-minded, the radicals of the past, are in some ways tomorrow’s conservatives.  We, as humans, get so caught up in the definitions and causes that our cultural ancestors fought for that we forget that it is the continued struggle for freedom and choice that is the fight, not the updated definitions of things like marriage.  Less than 50 years ago I, as a US citizen, marrying a black woman would have been illegal.   Those who now take that for granted have now accepted the new conservative definition of marriage which is problematic for both gay couples and polyamorous groups who desire the same rights.

Granted, there are issues related to the abusive treatment of women in polygamist religious groups, such as the FLDS organizations and Moslem societies which support such things, and I do not want these women to keep experiencing this abuse, when it is abusive.  I want marriage to be a consensual and informed decision among adults, not one controlled by religious ideology in an abusive and patriarchal culture.  Marriage, at bottom, is NOT a religious institution, but rather a civic one.  Religion cannot tell us what marriage is any more than it can tell us what morality is.  They have not earned the right to have an authoritative position on such things.

In conclusion (a message of loves)

I love you Ginny, and I look forward to a life of sharing how wonderful you are with other people, because to do otherwise would be taking too much away from the world.  You are brilliant, beautiful, and as authentic a person as I could hope for.  And Gina, I love you too. You are talented, you make me laugh, and seeing you happy brings joy to my days.  I hope that our relationship will continue to grow into something meaningful and enduring.

Take that, convention!

Kirk Cameron on marriage: The blind leading the blind August 10, 2011

Posted by shaunphilly in religion, atheism, polyamory, culture.
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4 comments

*headdesk*

Ow, that hurt,  But not as much as reading this:

Woman with a Mancard: My Night at Kirk Cameron’s Marriage-Strengthening Event

Now, I’ve found Kirk Cameron’s Christian antics annoying for many years.  Since my friend Brian Sapient debated him and his Sith master Ray Comfort back in 2007, I have found him to be a pretty dense tool (almost as bad as Tof Friel, really), but this recent event just makes me want to scream with frustration.

Now, I want to write more substantially about the concept of marriage in the next day or so (mostly because I just got engaged to the lovely Ginny), but for now I want to say a few quick things about the idea of marriage, relationships in general, and the role of men and women in them.  I want to say these things because I think that the current model of marriage in the evangelical Christian community is poisonous for both men and women, advocates an immature way for men and women to communicate and interrelate, and just generally sucks giant troll balls.

And what’s worse, it informs many of our ‘traditional’ definitions of marriage.

Kirk Cameron advocates a model of marriage with the man (and there always will be a man, as marriage is defined as an institution between one man and one woman of course), is supposed to “play the role of Jesus Christ to your wife.”  There is no equality, no real sense of compromise, and certainly no meaningful feminism here.  The man is unambiguously in charge of his wife.  This is not a relationship of equals, but one of a power relationship.  Just as we are to obey God, the wife is to obey the husband.  Sure, if he has “crossed the line” (meaning, is emotionally/physically abusive) then he is not “protecting her” (because that is part of his job, of course) and is not doing his job well. But I doubt that divorce would be an option, as god ordained these marriages, and only we can fail in them;  not god.

This is but one of the many aspects of current Christian trends that makes me feel sick.  It promotes clearly obsolete gender roles, places people (specifically women) in a place of subservience (and not in the fun and kinky way that some women like, although I’m sure there is some overlap), and (again) it promotes vigorous suction on the balls of the troll which may or may not live under the bridge near your house.  His name is Ted.

The irony for me is that many people in our culture, even less batshit nutzoid people than Kirk Cameron, think that gay marriage or polyamorous marriage (not to be confused with the often harmful polygamous marriage) is unhealthy while finding this version of marriage proposed by evangelicals to be relatively healthy.  At least (they may say) they are really committed to each other.  Or they may say that at least it is the way god intended marriage to be.  This is an indication of a fundamental disease at the root of our culture when it comes to thinking about marriage and gender roles. There is no wonder that divorce and teen pregnancy rates are higher among so-called red states; it is these areas which are more prone to this unhealthy model of marriage.

I love my future wife.  I love her in a way that a man who sees himself as the master of his wife simply cannot.  I am genuinely interested in seeing her free, fulfilled, and treated as the equal that she is.  I cannot, not would I try, to “put my foot down” or to make a proclamation about what will be what.  It may be hard, we may disagree, but we will communicate openly about all of our desires, fears, and joys. Further, she loves me (this I know, for the Bible…wait, never mind…).  She desires me to be fulfilled, free, and will allow me to be who I am, genuinely, inside.  Neither of us has to pretend.  We don’t have to strive for some fantasy ideal or deny aspects of our selves in sacrifice for our relationship, because our relationship is about a celebration of our selves.

I will put my relationship against that between Kirk Cameron and his wife any day of the week.  Any man who sees his wife as subservient, who plays off of old cultural roles for each spouse without any hint of skepticism towards their ideological merit, or who gives men “man cards” which their wives are not even allowed to see is a weak and cowardly man.  His worldview is weak and cowardly, and it is a conservative worldview whose influence stretches beyond the evangelical Christian world, but surely dominates that world.

I know too many people, men and women (they are really boys and girls, even in their late 20’s or 30’s) who are inexperienced sexually, relationship-wise, and therefore emotionally stunted.  They see this ideal life and marriage set up before them and do not relent even as they fail over and over to find it’s reality.  They believe that Jesus will provide for them, and cannot see their own blindness.

And many of these “values” seep into mainstream culture, where (outside of the educated upper middle class generation I grew up around) these ideas are still held with reverence.  Heteronormative monogamous male-dominated marriage is more the norm than I think many of us educated and elitist types want to admit–and possibly more than we realize.  This idea of the traditional marriage, which is not even traditional if we want to be truly historical about it, is what is doing damage to real human relationships.  Not gay marriage.  Not polyamorous people who are married and who may want a legalized polyamorous marriage.

It is the closed-minded version of what god wants, what is right, what is ‘Merican even, that will destroy our relationships.

[/end rant]

Gay Marriage and New Traditions April 24, 2009

Posted by shaunphilly in religion, atheism, polyamory, culture.
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7 comments

I’m not bisexual. I’m not homosexual. How do I know this?

I’ve tried.

And so when I find some insecure guy who will call me “faggot” or anything similar because I am comfortable with my sexuality, I simply respond that I know I’m not gay because I have tried to be with men and found it less than stimulating. How does he know he’s not gay if he simply calls people names? Sound like, perhaps, he doth protest too much…

But I digress…

There is a stigma in many sectors of our western society against homosexuality. The recent debacle over the Miss America pageant, where miss California was asked about gay marriage and answered honestly that she thinks that marriage is between a man and a woman, is an indicator of how real this issue still is for many people. And while I applaud her willingness to be honest, I think her opinion is disgusting.

One of the arguments that is used against gay marriage is that if we start allowing gay and lesbian people to marry, then we will have to allow other “redefinitions” of marriage to become legal as well. If we allow gay marriage, some say, we will have to allow three people to get married!

Oh noes!

I find this slippery slope argument to be a little offensive, and not only because it isn’t true. I understand why many in the gay community want to back away from defending polyamorous marriage, but I think that this is short-sighted. In the long run the issue of polyamorous marriage will come to the front as well, and once gay marriage becomes more accepted, then the new “traditional” definition of marriage will be thrown down; “marriage is a contract between two people, if you allow three people to marry then we will have to allow people to marry imaginary friends or your dog!” people may say. How fickle tradition is.

I’ll only point out, in light of that, that nuns, all of them, are supposedly married to Jesus. If that’s not a polyamorous marriage with an imaginary friend, I don’t know what is.

The fact that something is traditional and therefore good, is not a good argument to keep it unchanged in itself. Marriage is a cultural institution and has already changed and will inevitably do so again. Culture, like language, evolves and changes.

It is no longer a property arrangement as it used to be, nor is it illegal for people of different races to get married anymore as it used to be. At every step of cultural process towards greater individual and social freedoms, the cultural conservatives, represented here and now by the waning Religious Right predominantly, will fight to keep the most recent definition of “tradition” alive. The irony about this is that their traditions would be considered liberal by their great-grandparents. Their inability to recognize this is part of the problem.

The Bible and the Koran (among other scripture) are full of old rules, laws, and prohibitions. And whether there are contradictions of any of these rules is not relevant here, because all I have to bring up the fact that the Bible says that you should not eat certain fish (cf Lev. 11:9-12, Deut. 14:9-10) or wear mixed fibers (Deut. 22:11). And for those of you who would argue that Jesus made the Old Testament obsolete, I give you Matthew 5:18

Matt 5:18 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

So why do some people focus on the comments about homosexuality (the ones that do not appear in the New Testament at all either) and then say that the ones that talk about homosexuality still matter but the ones that talk about shrimp do not? Hypocrisy?

There are a number of possible explanations, but I think that insecurity and fear are prime candidates. In our culture, being gay is something that most people have to come to acceptance of over years, especially if they are raised in an environment of conservative “traditional” values. If you happen to be bisexual, at least you are able to express part of your sexuality, but those feelings of attraction for others of the same sex will still exist but will be repressed.

And repression, is, of course, healthy.

spoing

Sorry, that was my sarcasm meter exploding.

I think that the opinions against gay marriage are the result of many factors, but I think that the fear and insecurity of people’s own sexual preferences plays a part. The presence of homosexuality within the evangelical Christian community, especially among those that proclaim (loudly) of its ‘sinfulness,’ is obvious. Except that Ted Haggard is how completely heterosexual. He doth protest too much….

These conservative voices are an oppressive and repressive force on us. Their martyr syndrome, the feeling of being persecuted while having sway over a large segment of society (mostly because the more moderate voices can’t challenge them without exposing their own weaknesses of trying to shelter their own faith), is illusory. The irony of their being the oppressive force in society while screaming oppression is truly a beautiful farce of epic proportions.

Oh, the irony, it hurts!

Oh, the irony, it hurts!

But I am really heterosexual. I would not mind being bisexual (I’m sure my girlfriends would not mind, either). In fact, I might even prefer it. But alas I am probably a ‘1’ (at most) on the Kinsey scale, which is just fine with me. But being heterosexual I fully and apologetically support gay marriage.

In fact, I support the right for anyone to get married to anyone, so long as each party is competent and willing to make that decision. I don’t see how the government should be able to have a say in this at all, whatsoever, in stating that marriage is defined according to any particular religious or non-religious view. Government should, like with all matters of conscience and religion, remain neutral.

And if certain churches don’t want to perform the ceremony, then they should not be forced to; they will be allowed their bigotry so long as they don’t try to enforce it on other groups. I’m sure that there will be other churches, temples, synagogues, fields, houses, and other places with open-minded people that will be happy to watch Adam and Steve, Adam, Eve, Steve, and Lilith, etc to join together in love (or whatever people get married for).

Seriously, how do some OTHER people getting married make your marriage less meaningful? That makes no sense.

Social conservatives, get over yourselves and stop being assholes.