Friday, November 05, 2004

What Moral Values would those be?

The new conventional wisdowm is that Bush won re-election on the strength of conservative Christians who said that "moral values" was their number one issue in the campaign. Moral values in this context is simply code for anti-abortion and anti-gay rights.
I'll leave the anti-abortion issue aside for now as it will come up soon enough when Bush starts appointing Supreme Court justices. But the gay rights issue - specifically gay marriage - has to be one of the silliest things on which to base a vote for president.

First off, if a gay couple wants to get married they can do so and there is nothing that the government can do to stop them. That is because "marriage" is done by the church and if they can find a church that will marry them they have every right to do so. The real issue is whether or not the government should recognize these types of marriages as legally binding.
If a religious conservative is opposed to gay marriage they can join a church that refuses to marry gay couples. Beyond that it really should not concern them for it is not any of their business. But that is not good enough for these people. They want to take it a step further and have their church's anti-gay marriage doctrine written into the law so that it is forced on everyone regardless of whether they are members of that particular church or not.

The frustrating thing here is that a majority of people seem willing to allow something called "gay unions" which would grant gay couples similar legal rights as married couples so long as they don't use the term "marriage." What is frustrating is that gays should jump at this opportunity because that is really all they need. As I have said, they can call it what they want once they get the legal rights established. So don't insist that the government use the term marriage because that just seems to rile up the fundamentalist opposition.

What irritates me the most however is this idea that being opposed to gay marriage is somehow upholding traditional moral values. How is that a moral value to tell two people who love one another that they cannot live together in a monagamous relationship? It would seem to me that the conservative position should be to encourage gay marriage as an alternative to gay promiscuity.
Of course, I don't buy into the argument that homosexuality is entirely a matter of choice and thus a sin. I believe that there is a biological element to it which means that (gasp!) God might have had something to do with it. There has always been a certain small percentage of the human population that is gay since the beginning of time. Maybe it is a way of controlling overpopulation in the species. But whatever it is I think this idea that it is a sin is wrongheaded and mistreating gays for something that they have little or no control over is unChristian. I don't care what verse out of the Bible you think forms the basis of an anti-gay doctrine. The Bible is a great book that was in most cases written by people who were inspired by God, but it is not infallible. If you believe that it is then explain to me how we can have a passage in Leviticus that advises men who suspect their wives of infidelity to force them to eat poison - if they become ill and die they were innocent, if they survive then they were guilty and the man can then divorce them.

My moral values are largely based on the Bible, particularly the New Testatment and the teachings of Christ. But they don't include bashing gays and judging people as sinners based on who they fall in love with.

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