Monday, October 20, 2008

Proposition 8, evangelicals, and misspent energy

About two months ago I got a knock on the door from a woman who said she was doing a survey about a california initiative called proposition 8.  At the time I didn't know what 8 was and when she told me that it defined marriage within CA law as "one man and one woman"  I told her as politely as I could that this would exclude about 10 percent of our population who are in loving relationships with members of the same sex who want to marry one another and I said I was absolutely against this.  She thanked me for my time and left.  
Since that encounter prop 8 has now taken over as the focal point cause for evangelicals.  They are everywhere, on the corner of orchard village and lyons here in valencia holding signs, and on the lawns of my next door and across the street neighbors.  All the evangelicals are whipped into a frenzy because the majority of their political energy is directed towards anti gay and anti abortion causes.   
My question about this issue of gay marriage is why do they care so much?  Leviticus has some archaic laws that no evangelical pays attention to or even knows exists.  (because most don't know what is actually in their bibles)  In chapter 19 of Levitcus we are told the following things..don't mate two different kinds of animals, don't plant a field with two different kinds of seed...don't wear clothing made out of two different kinds of material..don't eat meat with blood still in it...rise in the presence of aged people...and  in Levitcus 20:13 it tells us that gay people must be put to death...along with aldulterers....and also if you have sex with your wife during her time of the month..well you don't have to die for that one...but you will be banished for life (as good as dead) from the tribe....So why out of all these decrees does Levitcus 20:13 stoke the fires of hate and bigotry so much in the evangelical's heart?  (the others are simply ignored)
It boils down to simple fear, bigotry and hatred.  These people believe that their families are under "attack" from the gay agenda.  Their fear is as false as all classic xenophobias throughout history.  What do they think is going to happen?  Is a flamboyant gay man going to suddenly break into their house wearing nothing but a pink thong and start sing "I will survive!"  Is this what they are fighting against?
No they will say it is to keep marriage sacred.  Are you kidding me!!  Sacred?  In addition to the ideal (true love) People marry for all sorts of different, betrayl, lust, unwanted pregnancy, to gain citizenship, to gain standing in society etc.  There is no test that decides that two people are fit to be together and are marrying for the right reasons.  An 18 year old man can marry a 90 year old worth 20 million dollars, and there is nothing anyone can do about it!  And that is why folks 50% of all marriages END IN DIVORCE.  Tasha's parents (married for over 40 years) are the exception now guys not the norm.  My own parents, and the parents of my two best friends are divorced, so I know of what I speak.
So now back to the frentic energy of these white mid to upper class mini-van driving evangelicals in upscale suburbs.   Evangelicals look around you!  Go volunteer to be a big brother or big sister to a disadvantaged youth.  Volunteer at a soup kitchen.  Give money to Make a Wish foundation.  Go visit an AIDS hospital and LOVE these people as you claim you are called to do.   Be a true missionary, help people without proselytizing to them no strings attached.  Contribute to society, you need to know that there is a better way and you don't need to hate anymore.

***The Yes on Prop 8 campaign continues to mislead people by using schools and kids for political purposes.  As a result of this the California Superintendent of schools Jack O'Connel has just been featured in a no on 8 ad where he states.."Prop 8 has nothing to do with kids or schools"  And of course that is true!  Well in 25 more years people will look back at the yes on 8 people in the same light as those who supported Plessy V Ferguson and those who opposed Brown v Board of Education.    

***Update #2 Apple has just given 100K to fight Prop 8!  Excellent and great job Apple!  In their press release they stated, "we strongly believe that a person's fundamental rights-including the right to marry-should not be affected by their sexual orientation"  

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Baptist_Mike_in_Utah said...

I am glad I am no evangelical. They sound awful.

I am in agreement with you on some of what you say here Garrett. But I am a Bloody Baptist that does not look at what i believe through the political filter.

I will get back to this when i have more time. I think the 50% divorce this is a bit skewed. There are plenty of people who marry and stay married until death do them part. Statistics show this, but those who do divorce tend follow that pattern at least one more time, so the number is a total of all marriage, 50% end in divorce.

Your ultra conservative, Baptist friend in Utah


You forgot to mention that Dennis and I have been married almost 35 years. Oh, and Dennis brother, Jerry....................40 years, brother John................... 27 years. I also have several friend that have been married over 25 years. So I tend to agree with Baptist Mike that the 50% may be a bit skewed. It may take in people who re-marry 2,3 or 4 times to get the 50%.

Now on to the issue of Measure 8. What makes this country so great is we have what is called freedom of speech. If someones passion is to go up and down the street or stand on a street corner for a cause that they believe in, what is wrong with that?? That is what the brave men and women of this country fought and died for. My point is that the "Yes on 8" people may feel they are doing just
as worthy of a cause as someone that works in the soup kitchen or visits with those inflicted with Aids, etc. Who are we to judge.

I will be voting Yes on 8. I am sure that this comes as no surprise to you. First and foremost I am not against gay people. But I believe a marraige should remain between a man and women, simple as that. One of my main reasons is the effect I believe it has on children. Life is complicated enough and to throw a child into a situation that sets them aside from other children is wrong. How does a child explain who their Mom is and who their Dad is when they are the same sex? I know the big argument is "what does it matter as long as the children are loved by two people". Who could disagree with that. However I still feel putting a child into a same sex marraige is wrong. Love ya, Susan

Baptist_Mike_in_Utah said...

Another hard part in determining a statistic on marriage is that those who stay married for a lifetime cannot be added until one dies. Those that divorce are recorded much quicker. I have a friend my age that has been married 3 times. Each of his wives have now been married at least twice. That is 4 people involved in at least six different marriages. My wife and I have been married now for 12 years, but we cannot be included into the statistics until one of us die.

Now to the prop 8. I am in Utah so I do not get to vote on it. I agree Garrett with you. I also agree with your friend Susan. Garrett, historically people got married for many reasons throughout history. I know a pastor who is in his 80's, he married his wife when he was 19 and she was 13. At that time in history that was common. The girls family could not afford all the kids, so when a man came calling they gave him their blessing because it was best for all involved at the time. They are still both alive and in love today. People married in the past for status reasons, read any of Jane Austins great books for examples of that. It happened here as much as England. Anyway, i think you covered all the reasons in your post so I do not have to get into them here.
But for evangelicals to think they have a monopoly on proper reasons to marry is silly because they would not agree with themselves 100 years ago. By the way when is the Palin shotgun wedding going to take place?
Susan, you are 100% correct that people should be able and willing to voice their opinion if they believe in an issue. I see no problem with trying to persuade people to your way of thinking even if you are a member of "PETA". But it should be done with honesty and integrity, not using false information or harrasement to do so.
Now the topic of "marriage". I believe that "marriage" is between a man and a woman until death do you part. I believe it was created by God and defined by God. So it does not matter to me all that much what people or governments define marriage to be. Marriage is a commitment between two people (man and woman) before God. I dont care about a state certificate, a ring or a ceremony. This definition would differ a lot from what people, even evangelicals define marriage as.
Now gay marriage, I am not in favor of it, I do not believe it constitutes biblical marriage. But biblical marriage is not what is on the ballot. The ballot is determining what the state would recognize as state marriage. They are two different things. Prop 8 does not change the bible and does not change how you have to feel about gay marriage. Church folks get scared needlessly into thinking that what the government does impacts Gods word. Well it does not! Now if the state says that all churches must perform gay marriage than you have a whole different circumstance where they are dictating to churches what the Bible "should" say. But that is not the case here.
I have heard some say, that the slippery slope will lead to the government doing that thing or else you lose tax exempt status. To them i say "pay unto Ceasar what is Ceasars". If money is enough to get you to conform, you dont have much faith in the bible anyway.
Last point of my ramblings. These evangelicals have it all wrong anyway on what the bible teaches about morals in society. The job of a "christian" is not to change policy to mandate morality through the government. Jesus never attempted to influence the political process or the laws of the land. Jesus advocated being seperate from the process altogether. "christians" should focus on infuencing first their own family, their own churches, their own community, all the people around them. Holding a sign does not do that. Meeting with your prayer group and talking about how bad this world is does not do that. Getting out and living what you say you believe, no strings attached does do that. Most or at least many of the "evangelicals" I come accross cannot do that, because they do not believe what they say and/or know why they believe it.