Thursday, May 10, 2012

I used to be Opposed to Gay Marriage....

It's true.

Not because I was on some tyrannical rampage to eradicate the LGBT community, or out of some homophobic fear.  My opposition was never aligned to the limiting of human rights or civil liberties.

I had a hard time with sharing the word marriage. 

I remember having a conversation with a friend of mine around the time when same-sex marriage became legal in Canada.  Probably not unlike how the recent political conversations around the same issue have brought it to the forefront for many Americans these days.  I said to my friend (I can't actually remember who it was I was speaking to) that I would have felt so much more comfortable if the government had chosen to call it something else.  I didn't actually have any issues with the mutual rights, respect or privileges, just the name.

I feel like marriage is a specific religiously defined and culturally adopted institution, but because it remains at it's core a spiritual union - I had a hard time sharing the name.

But the reality is that a percentage of the people who get married, heterosexual marriage - do not necessarily consider it a spiritual union.  I would guess it's a rather large percentage (but I am only guessing based on limited anecdotal information).  So we don't use the word marriage to mean what it was originally defined to mean.  Nobody's ever put a stink up about that.  I never complained or even considered it a problem when it was an opposite sex couple. 

So if we've adopted a relatively civil and non-religious definition of marriage, then what is the issue with once again changing or expanding that civil definition. 

Now before any of my religious friends jump in to disagree - consider that I am talking about a civil definition.  For those of us who recognize or engage marriage under it's religious definition, we do so in parallel with it's civil definition (hence a marriage license).  But not everyone who gets married embraces both definitions.  We've been making a logical thinking error - it's called the "Fallacy of Affirming the Consequent"

Here's the sad part we have neglected to focus on.  In being exclusionary we've actually been oppressing others.  Where's the love in that?  In the Bible Jesus tell us that the greatest commandment is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind: and love your neighbour as yourself."  If love is the greatest commandment - how is our deciding that one group of people (no matter what criteria we use to identify the "in group") should be treated better or deserve more rights than another.

Furthermore, we're all equally eternally damned up-front, because relationship with God, and eternal life is not something we have the ability to earn.  It's a gift freely given, and open to be received by all.  Once received, this gift does not equal to perfection or perfect living...and we all continue to struggle through this "mortal toil".

So again, I ask - what right do we have to condemn another?!?!

We live in a world where unspeakable atrocities occur daily.  Children are forced to kill others as soldiers, serve as prostitutes or slaves, die of diseases or starvation.  The majority of the world's population lives in poverty, with limited access to clean drinking water or food.  With no opportunities to be educated or build a better future.....

Imagine the world we could live in, if we choose to focus our energy, individually and collectively on speaking out against injustice and famine and other atrocities.  That conversation is what should be at the forefront these days..... 


ghanima said...

Well said, Miriam. I realize that the vast majority of your group of friends consider themselves very religious, and that publishing this opinion will undoubtedly be considered controversial. I just wanted to let you know that -- whether or not I am considered Damned for my spiritual beliefs, and whether or not that matters to you -- I approve of your message.

Like you, I think humanity has far more pressing issues to concern ourselves with than what people who are in love wish to call their union, and that we ultimately need to be good to one another.

MiraFabulous said...

Thanks! I appreciate your support, and approval. It is no doubt a controversial position to take.

I woulnd't count my "religious" friends out so quickly. For most of us, our relationship with God does not equal to dogmatic, unthinking belief. It's more about relationship for us, and in any good relationship, both parties have the need and right to think and determine.

ghanima said...

I just want to make it clear that I don't believe that considering oneself religious necessitates dogmatic, unthinking belief. I'm glad that you choose to be someone who decides what's worth concerning yourself with, based on your interpretation of The Message.