Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Season of Politics - History, Ground Rules and Decorum (Part 2): amendum

Robert from 'Thoughts of a Father' posted an interesting comment that I felt deserved more than the comment reply on my post The Season of Politics - History, Ground Rules and Decorum (Part 2).

In his comment, he objects to my assertion that the defense of marriage group were looking to discriminate against homosexuals. He proposes the slippery slop argument that if we allow same-sex marriages, we then open the flood gate to all other forms of human configurations. An argument that I have pondered many times.

While I do hope that for the most part, people weren't thinking of it as an attack on homosexuals, I do believe that the original intent by those in power, was that very thing.

The notion that this was "Defending Marriage" to me was just such a hypocritical assertion as to be almost insulting to those of us that believe strongly in marriage. Marriage is not under attack from same sex parterners, I believe they are actually going a long way to provide inspiration to marriage.

The greatest threat to marriage in our nation is infidelity and divorce. If we are truly trying to protect marriage, why don't we tackle the big issues? How many kids need to have Mommy's house and Daddy's house? When a celebrity marriage that lasts 10 years is considered a success, how is this not attacking marriage?

One point for me that was lost during this entire debate was the fact that marriage actually has two sources, legal and religous.

In one form, marriage is a legal union of two individuals, pledging to the government that the pair will be a single unit in the eyes of the legal system and to the government.

There is also a religious marriage that happens in a church, synagogue, masque or other house of worship. Depending on your faith, you are pledging your union to your divine.

I think it is important that we keep these two concepts separate. Since marriage has the two different sources and meanings, I feel that the only logical conclusion is that this ammendment was just simply to limit the rights of same-sex partners. From a legal standpoint, I don't care what your bedroom antics are like, if you and a partner choose to legally join to become a single unit, that is fine. Then it must also be followed that this bind should be for a lifetime and monogomous.

The slippery slope argument, interestingly, can be applied to why we allow marriage in the first place. We do we allow men and women to get married and not other groups? I know, I know, that's bit absurd of a notion, but no less logical. We allow it because the idea of husband and wife has been around for as long as we can remember. But then again, so has homosexuality. It is no less a stranger to nature as heterosexual bahavior.

Ultimately, I feel, this is a states rights issue. The federal government shouldn't be defining for the states what they feel is a legal union between two people. Since the birth of our nation, each state has been in charge of their concept of marriage. Let that be.

Since the idea of this was to protect marriage, I still can't find how this isn't an attack on homosexuals and thus legal discrimination. It does nothing to protect marriage. It only legally says that non-heterosexuals may never have the same benifits as heterosexuals. How is this not discrimination?

There is no easy answer to this debate. I am personally, not a religous person, but I am a HUGE proponent of lifelong marriage and family. I know this concept can seem foreign to some, but it is possible to not be religious AND still be a family/marriage person. It is in a house filled with love, respect and commitment that we build our future for our kids. It is in this environment that kids get the best start. I'm also deeply in love with my wife and can't imagine a day without her at my side. Go figure.

I believe that the government has no business enforcing morality. Government should be about enforcing civility and protecting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all of its citizens. To do this, you have to use a very metered hand and at times do like parents do. Let the kids fight and argue.


Robert said...

What a great conversation of ideas. After reading this post and rereading the previous, I see we are really very much in agreement on most points. The manner in which we can discuss the points in which we disagree is quite impressive. I don't think either one of us felt attacked at any time. I appreciate such manner of discussion. I love your point about the real threat to marriage. How true. They say the divorce rate of those in the church is right up there with everyone else. That's scary. I'm a public school teacher. I can't tell you how many students with whom I work that come from broken homes. A far too common question among elementary school kids is whether or not they have both parents at home or not. Why do we applaud people that "do the brave thing" and leave the marriage because they fell out of love? What happened to commitment? Is it merely a commitment to a feeling and once it's gone, I'm out of here? I know I'm preaching to the choir here now since we hold the same views on this. Perhaps on the homosexual issues we can agree to disagree. But I sure enjoy the dialog.