Monday, June 02, 2008

On Gay Marriage

I have two issues with Michael Moore's column about gay marriage that can be found in today's Racine Journal Times.

1. According to Moore, at his church, they are "advised to be nice to gay parishioners while asking them to sit quietly in the corner for life." I don't know what church Moore goes to but I believe he is Christian and possibly Catholic. I suspect that he does not understand his own church's teaching on the subject. I suspect that his church welcomes sinners but chooses not to endorse sin, and his church considers homosexual activity as sin. The church recognizes that it consists entirely of sinners but obviously stops at endorsing what it considers sinful behavior which is by no means limited to homosexual behavior. The church does not endorse pre or extramarital sex either. Do the people who engage in these activities believe that they are being asked to sit in the corner for life?

2. Moore seems somewhat ambivalent on the subject of gay marriage but he won't stand for a gay man dressing as a women. "That's the one part that honks me off, when people intentionally make a joke of something sacred" writes Moore. I am not honked off by gay people pushing for gay marriage. I am concerned that by changing the definition of marriage, we will bring harm to society. By changing marriage, legally, from one man and one women, to a orientation based system, we will have provided legal justification for people of other orientations (polygamy, bisexual multiple partner marriages, incestious unions to name a few) to also marry. As a society, we need to consider all of the ramifications of changing the definition of marriage before doing so.

I am not threatened by two lesbians skipping down Main Street dressed as lumberjacks, but I am threatened by activists seeking to undermine our system of government in order to introduce harmful changes to society.


Anonymous said...

In fact Denis, I doubt the gay parishoners are told where to sit at all. I am sure he taking literary license with that.

Anonymous said...

The 'state' should get out of the marriage business.
A 'marriage' should be no more nor less than a legal contract, if the two people decide to do such.
These two people, with or without a contract, may fit into some type of church or religious group.
Yes, insurance companies and all other businesses should be free to decide how to handle these contracts.

Preachrboy said...

Moore is Roman Catholic, I believe.

There are so many points in this article worthy of response, which perhaps means that none are. However I will add this:

The idea that most churches haven't begun to address the issue, but that Olympia Brown is so far ahead of everyone because they've settled it 40 years ago- this is preposterous. In my way of thinking, the issue of homosexuality has been settled for thousands of years (at least as far back as St. Paul - Romans 1).

It's only "not settled" or "not addressed" if you don't like what scripture, and thousands of years of Christian teaching have said.

As a Christian clergyman, I find it odd that the state has me doing weddings. The estate of marriage is a decidedly non-church thing, as marriage is for Christians and non-christians alike. I have no problem blessing a marriage (and honestly, I have no problem performing them either, it's just not properly the role of the clergy).

I'll also say that anon above me seems to prove Denis' point that if marriage is redefined, then it becomes legally feasible for many other variations to exist. This point has been made by many opponents of gay marriage (secular and religious).

It is not wise to radically alter a basic foundation of human civilization.

Denis Navratil said...

anon 8:45, I am sympathetic to "The 'state' should get out of the marriage business" argument. But how would this work I wonder. Should there be no limits to the number and nature of contractual relationships allowed by the state? Should I be allowed to enter a "contract" with my sister, her husband, the mailman etc...? What if a child is the result of this odd, multiperson "contract"? The state, being the ultimate enforcer of contracts, ought to be the entity that detrimines what kind of contracts are permissible. I just don't understand how the state could say "We are getting out of the marriage business" when it is the state that we count on to deal with the enforcement etc... of contracts. But I will gladly listen to an alternative point of view. Thanks anon.

Anonymous said...

The social contract would be treate by the courts no differently then a lease agreement, loan contract, etc. This social contract could cover many, or few, social issues betwen the two people.
The point is, the two people should decide the nature of their relationship, via contract. Not have it predefined, one fits all.

Denis Navratil said...

anon, thanks for your response, but on what basis does the state limit the number of "contract" participants to two? If we want the state to get out of the business of deciding who can marry, why would we want the state involved in detrimining the number of people involved in a contract? Many business contracts include more than two people. Why should the state differentiate between personal and business contracts?

Anonymous said...

...issues betwen the two people.
Corrected to '...issues between the people.'

Fill-in the blank social contracts could be available on the internet, which could then automatically be filed with the local court.

A 'marriage' is not made by the courts, or by some church ceremony. It is made by two people interacting with each other.
A social contract is what the state, employers, insurance companies, banks, etc. would deal with.

Denis Navratil said...

anon, you make this seem too easy. What of the children born of multiperson contracts? Everything might be just fine with no need for government involvement when the marriage is intact, but we know that government needs to step in to dissolve the contract and get involved with the placement of children. What is the best interest of the children who have three dads, two moms etc...? I guess my point is that if the state has to step in to clean up the mess of dissolved multiperson personal contracts, perhaps it is wise to limit them to contracts between one man and one woman.

Anonymous said...

Periodically, males become frustrated that the female parenting role is accorded with special distinctions and legal advantages. Should fathers take legal action to be recognised as equals with mothers, to the point we do away with the terms 'mother' and 'father', and they all are just accorded identical parent status? The gay marriage question seems the same to me. Shall we have distinct hetro-sexual marriages and homo-sexual domestic partnerships, or should we just have domestic partnerships? Do partnership and marriage mean the exact same thing?

Denis Navratil said...

anon, men and women can be treated equally with respect to their parental rights. Blurring the distinctions between genders is not a prerequisite for equal treatment.

Anonymous said...

Denis, often people argue that the female experience of carrying a child renders the mother-child relationship distinct, and many would argue closer than the father-child relationship. Family law has traditionally backed up this assertion.
We all can be parents, but only women can be mothers, similarly, we all can be part of a partnership, but only a man and woman can be married.

Discriminator said...

There is not equality anywhere. Those that are not equal should (in many cases) not be treated as if they are. A woman in many cases should clearly not be treated equal to a man and the opposite is the case as well. The same is the case for fathers and mothers. They are not equal or the same and thus it is not rational to treat them as if they are. Religions are not equal. Races are not. Nothing is! Homosexuals are not the same as normal (healthy & in line with nature) as healthy normal people. They should not care for children as nature makes clear. They should not even be around children. They should be in prison hospitals or put to sleep in a humane fashion - for the good of all - to include the sick homosexuals.