Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Same Sex Marriage Pt. 2

I had no intention of doing another post on this subject but sometimes life intervenes.

There was another letter in this morning’s Baltimore Sun that just made my blood boil.  As you know, I usually vent my steam by pounding out a post right here, but this one bothered me enough that I felt the need to submit a counter-argument to the paper.

Here’s a summary of the letter that pissed me off:
Bible Bible Bible.  Everyone needs to be as holy as me.  Also, the gays have diseases.”

You can see the offending letter, in all its religious froth, by clicking here.

My response is as follows:

The letter by Robert Greene on 3/1/2011 (Gay Marriage Contradicts God’s Word) demonstrates several of the inherent weaknesses of the anti-same-sex marriage arguments.

The most glaring is the notion that the Bible is supposed to be the basis of our state and nation’s laws, despite the intended separation of church and state. 

It’s not.

But for argument’s sake, say the Bible should be a source for our laws.  One must then ask, ‘why is the issue of same-sex relationships dragged into public debate when so many of the other things the Bible espouses are not?’

The Bible also speaks against eating particular foods like pork, bacon, shrimp and rare beef.  Is anyone protesting outside restaurants?  Is one person enjoying a seafood buffet an affront to those that prefer chicken?

The Bible speaks against wearing clothes made of two different kinds of thread.  Shall we now picket at the mall?  Drive Under Armor out of Maryland?

There are Biblical restrictions against tattoos and horoscopes and lending for profit.  Is The Sun now supposed to turn down tattoo shop advertising?  Kill the business and horoscope sections? 

The conclusion here is that people like this writer continue to cherry-pick parts of the Bible that support their personal viewpoints.  And that’s all fine until they want the rest of the Maryland to snap to their point of view at the expense of our own beliefs.

The other argument mentioned is the threat of disease. 

Perhaps someone can explain how the monogamist restraints of marriage promote the spread of disease to the population at large?  Is not a base foundation of marriage to keep sexual relations within the married couple?

Married or not, there are STDs rampant in society, from which everyone is at risk.  The best prevention, short of sealing one’s self in shrink-wrap, is to maintain a relationship with one person.  What better way is there to accomplish that than to get married… formally, legally married? 

The bottom line is that people are free to believe anything they want, whether line-items from the Bible or hysteria over disease.  And they are perfectly within their rights to be the arbiter of morality within their own family.  But they must afford everyone else that same right to live and love as they choose.  Public policy must work for all Marylanders, not just a select group of religious dogmatists.


I submitted the letter tonight.  I strongly doubt it will appear in the print version of The Sun, but I expect it will make the online Reader’s Response section.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

And I promise that I’ll post about something else next time.  Unless I don’t.  Life’s all about the unknown.


Unknown said...

Awesome. I wish people would get over other people's sexual orientation, and worry over more important things. Your post is right on.

bluzdude said...

Thanks. And you're right. The amount of attention paid to this issue is way out of whack in relation to the effect on the lives of the majority of the general public. People need to look after their own affairs and stay out of their neighbor's.

Dazee Dreamer said...

That was so well written. Thank you so much for sharing that with us.

Mary Ann said...

You are creating a valuable groundswell of outrage at the bigoted biblethumps who assume their primeval prattle still holds sway among civilized people.
Keep the faith. Be Blessed.

bluzdude said...

Thanks. Sometimes I get eloquent when I get pissed. Of course, other times I make John Blutarski look like Poet Laureate.

Mary Ann,
Well, we'll see if the Sun piece gets any traction. This site doesn't get much Maryland traffic.

IKNAB said...

Very well put, sir.

sherry stanfa-stanley said...

Great letter, Bluz. The biblical facts especially push your point home. I think you should expand your audience--probably a few senators, etc., who should read this.

bluzdude said...

Thanks, dude.

I'm not so sure how this opinion would be received by a lot of the State Delegates. Many are scared of and beholden to the church groups that mobile people to get them elected. But every little bit helps.

Cassie said...

Bravo. That was very tastefully written. I wouldn't have been so composed.

And you're right. People make things go in their favor. And always with the bible. You never EVER hear about anything other than gay is bad.

Well then, put me in time-out because I say Gay is great.

bluzdude said...

I would put it as "being true to yourself is great." As is minding one's own freakin' business.

Cher Duncombe said...

Great post, Bluz! I hope the Sun publishes it and I will be one of your many fans waiting to hear. The cartoon was priceless!

Jessica R. said...

It makes me sick that crazy people like often get all the attention, thus making all religious or spiritual people seem like crazies. I consider myself both religious and spiritual, but, like you, believe in equal rites and the ability for people to make their own decisions.

Great letter and point well made. I hope they publish it!

Judie said...

The Bible has been changed so many times over the centuries. In the early years, even the scribes changed parts they didn't agree with before they sent the writings on to the next scribes, making it practically impossible to know what was actually written. Also, many scribes couldn't even read and were just copying the individual letters. If they made a mistake, the meaning could be changed entirely. Emperors and popes also changed portions of the bible to suit themselves. During the Inquisition, all parts pertaining to astrology were removed, despite the fact that astrology predicted the birth of a Christ child, and the Magi followed the stars to Bethlehem. Now the evangelicals have again changed the King James version of the Bible in to "contemporary" speech, thus changing it once again. So, who knows what it actually said in the beginning? I do know that if Jesus came to earth and showed up in some of these churches who spew hatred of all people whose beliefs are different from theirs, and if He had long hair, wore sandals, and a robe, they would probably call him a terrorist and not let him in the door.

Mary Ann said...

Amen. And their seeing his posse of 12 guys would make him even more suspect. J. C., the gay terrorist...oooo...and he speaks Aramaic too.
Must be stopped before he infiltrates our welfare system and applies for food stamps... .

Mrs. Bachelor Girl said...

I'm pretty sure that's the first letter I've ever wanted to give a standing ovation to.

bluzdude said...

We’ll see what happens, Cher. But I’m not optimistic. In this morning’s news, there was a story about how 2 of the Same-Sex Marriage bill’s sponsors are backtracking and refusing to vote it out of committee. The sponsors! That tells me the black churches in Baltimore are buttonholing these delegates and telling them, “We put you IN office, we’ll take you OUT if you don’t drop this thing.”

As for the cartoon, that one killed me. I got this email once that had all these Jesus cartoons. I filed them away for future use. (they were all in a similar, silly vein.)

Religion and spirituality are absolutely fine, right up until people try to administer their brand of religion or spirituality to other people that don’t necessarily share their beliefs. Our country was designed to prevent that very thing from happening.

Bottom line, discrimination against anyone’s innate characteristics is wrong. Every time.

I’ve often said that the Bible is like that “Operator” game we played as kids, where a message is started and whispered to the next person, who passes it on, and so forth. The end result is never what it started out to be.

Maybe Jesus really DID say “Castanets.” Church music could have been so much more fun.

Mary Ann,
No doubt they’re all there to deposit anchor babies.

Mrs. Bachelor Girl,
Thus far, The Baltimore Sun seems unimpressed. The letter (sent last night) has not yet appeared on their online forum, although there have been letters posted on the today’s news, like the SC decision regarding the Westboro Baptist Church nut-jobs.

Hey, maybe they’re holding it for the print version tomorrow!

But probably not.

Sassy said...

I'm not a religious person and I haven't read the bible since I was a young girl, but isn't its overall message is to "love one and other"??? Or am I wrong? It's interesting how 4 simple words can be totally lost and ignored because some people have never lived their lives outside the box and embraced others for who they are instead of what they are.

bluzdude said...

Of course it is. And that's one of the reasons I hammer on this issue. I can't stand the hypocrisy running rampant on the religious right. It's all about The Lord this and The Lord that... It's about what everyone ELSE should or should not be doing.

Where's the loving your neighbor? Where's the helping the poor? Where's the judging not?

Last time I checked, Jesus never said anything about a strong military or building walls on your borders. OR, persecuting anyone for the way they were born.

Unapologetically Mundane said...

I actually am offending by people eating seafood buffets, but only because seafood is gross. I'm being dragged to one this weekend, ironically, but you can bet I'll picket myself.

bluzdude said...

You should eat a lobster by biting right through the shell, like the mermaid does at the restaurant in Splash.

Judie said...

Rod decided to read the Bible from start to finish a few years ago. I asked him what he thought when he was finished. He told me he thought that it was a very violent book for the most part--a lot of killing and sacrifice, etc. Of course, when people pick and choose what they want to read in it, they could see it a lot differently. Too bad they can't keep everything in perspective.

Gina said...

I get so frustrated by those kind of small minded people! But even though I usually have a well thought out, educated, eloquent response IN MY HEAD - when I try to express it, I get so tongue-tied with rage that it generally comes out as GRGHHMMPPHHHACCCKKKKMOTHERFUCKER!

Judie said...

Gina, my husband's family are evangelicals, and have been trying to convert me for years. They quit trying though, when I started asking them questions about their faith that they couldn't answer. Now they are very careful around me. I take no prisoners.

Sally-Sal said...

I wish the people who have those retarded goggles on were forced to look at (and change) the wrongs in their own life before they start going after others.

Both of my parents are in same-sex relationships. They raised me to believe in God, although I like to comment on the sexiness of Jesus, which only underlines my extremely good taste.

bluzdude said...

Breaking News: The Sun ran my letter this afternoon, on their website. So it may or may not appear in the paper. The online edition is always the first step.

Ultimately, to me, it doesn’t matter what they choose to believe from the Bible. But they can’t inflict their views on the rest of society. That’s hubris and self-importance at its worst.

Part 2: And there’s nothing the religious people hate more than when non-religious people know more about their “faith” than they do. I think the only part that really sticks is the “holier-than-thou” part.

I start out that way, and then over time, the argument starts to dial in. I read that original letter over breakfast and just started steaming. I stewed on it the rest of the morning and before long, I had what I wanted to say all lined up in my head.

My biggest problem is that sometimes it leaks out before I can spill it all out.

These people are far more interested in condemning and controlling others than examining their own lives. And why is it that the ones that are shouting the loudest in public are invariably the ones caught banging teenage boys or hookers or farm animals? Compensating much?

Sally-Sal said...

They all fit nicely into a catergory I like to call "knuckle draggers".

bluzdude said...

You're too kind to them.

Gina said...

Sally-Sal - you aren't alone in your good taste - Jesus is totally on my 5 Dead Guys I'd Do list.

bluzdude said...

Gina (and Sally)
When you chicks are hanging out with JC, ask him for Mary Mag's number for me... if he doesn't mind my mackin' on his girl...

Anonymous said...

We Christians love to break out Sodom and Gomorrah to bash homosexuality. We ignore the fact that what they were engaging in was violent rape, not consensual homosexuality. We also ignore the following verses (sorry to bust the Bible out on ya, Bluz):

(Ezekiel 16:48-50) "As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done. Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen."

Basically, they were being Republicans. (Okay, that was a low blow--pun not intended.)

The good news is, people under 50 are much more in favor of gay rights. Even Christians under 50. Change is inevitable. We'll outlive them.

Cristy said...

Well written. I'm glad it made it out there for more people to see. Good sense like that deserves an audience!

bluzdude said...

Wow, you’re really digging deep today.
Yeah, it felt good to get off my chest, even if it only drew 8 measly comments.