Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gay Rights

I spend more time than I like thinking about Gay Rights. It seems to be THE issue for a lot of people these days. So now, in risk of offending my friends and family both on the right and on the left, I'm going to spell out my views.

1) I do believe that homosexuality is immoral. I do not think it is worse than any other consensual sexual sin. I take issue with Christian homosexuals taking their identity from their sexual orientation before their faith, and with their ignoring or discrediting parts of the bible that condemn the practice of homosexuality. When conservative Christians point to Leviticus, homosexuals fall back to the "God Hates Shrimp" campaign (effectively saying that the Old Testament, or at least Leviticus, is not a legitimate guide to morality). When we point to Romans, they say either that it wasn't talking about homosexuality, but going against one's natural sexual orientation, or that the homosexuality practiced then was not like the homosexuality practiced now. I respond in the following: Leviticus outlawed many things; Acts 10: 14-15 and 11: 8-9 has God declare that He has made some things clean, and that no one must call them unholy; Romans reaffirms that homosexuality is immoral. I conclude that the only rational response from these passages is that homosexuality is wrong.
HOWEVER, I do not in any way shape or form advocate any sort of discrimination against homosexuals. Like Christ told the adulterous woman "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more" (John 8:11). We are NOT to condemn. We are to love. I have my sins, and am no more holy than any homosexual. I would even say I am less holy than some.

2) Gay marriage. It bothers me when people talk about it as a right. Marriage is not a right for anyone: it is a blessing. As I see it, Marriage belongs to the Church, not the government. If we are to truly have separation of Church and State, the State needs to back out of the Church's business. Here is the core of what I'm saying: The government should not offer "Marriage" to anyone, regardless of sexual orientation. They may, if they wish, offer "Civil Unions" for the purposes of taxes, visitation, and inheritance, but the legal aspect of a marriage is just that: legal. A civil union. The marriage is a pact between two people and God, as witnessed by those the couple love. If you want to get married: find a religious institution which will marry you. If you want to get legal benefits, get a civil union. I think this should be the case for all couples in the United States.

3) Don't ask, Don't tell. I honestly don't know what I think about this. That alone should give some credence to the possibility of repealing it. I can appreciate the reasoning behind the ban, but I feel that the reasons are no longer relevant. There is enough questionable behavior in the military that the moral claim has lost all weight. One could argue it would make someone uncomfortable, but it shouldn't make anyone more uncomfortable than having a member of the opposite sex fighting alongside them, and with women in the military, that defense loses weight as well. In "the Republic," Plato even argues that soldiers would fight better with someone with whom they shared a relationship beside them, because they would not want to appear cowardly in front of their beloved. Maybe he was right. I'm not saying that the rule NEEDS to be repealed. I'm just saying, I don't see the arguments supporting it anymore.

Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I'm wrong. If anyone would like to discuss or respond rationally to this post, I'll be happy to have your input. However, any comments that are in effect yelling at me or insulting me or my views without rational discussion, I will not allow. The same goes for anyone who belittles or insults other commentors.