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pudge's Journal: Them Gays Are Comin' To Get You 60

Journal by pudge

A lot of people have apparently presumed I am anti-gay-marriage.

This is true.

Sorta.

Read on if you care.

I believe homosexuality is a sin. Am I certain of it? Nah. Can I argue pretty convincingly why it is, from the Bible? Including the New Testament? Yeah. Can I also argue why I think many Christians make way too much of it? Sure. But this is not about my religious beliefs, and that's the point.

Marriage is a fundamentally religious establishment. That does not mean you cannot be married if you are not religious, it only means religion created the institution, evolved it, and made it a cornerstone of our society. The state did not create marriage, it recognized what the churches had already created. And in doing so, it created a whole set of laws that go above and beyond what the religious establishment offered. They ended up creating something else, something separate, though intimately related.

At the time, there was no reason to think we might want to use those same laws for something other establishment than the husband-wife marriage. But now we do. And this causes a lot of confusion and anger, because we don't think of these as two separate things, but as one: marriage.

There was no reason to call it anything other than marriage. It's like in programming: I write a method called saveUserKarma(). But wait, I need to save other things about the user too. I could create saveUserEmailAddress(), but if I change the method just slightly, I can use it to save the user's email address. But the name doesn't really allow for that.

As I said, marriage is a fundamentally religious establishment. And if I remember correctly, the Constitution says something about Congress making no laws respecting an establishment of religion.

The answer seems pretty simple to me. Marriage is religious, which is why we have the problem: many people believe homosexuality is sinful, and gay people should not enter into the religious institution of marriage. Marriage as a civil instituion is not religious, but we have treated them as one and the same thing, for historical reasons. But government cannot legislate religious institutions.

So change the name. Simple.

Civil marriages for none, civil unions for all.

A civil union would be purely legal, a marriage purely social. A civil union would not be bound by anything having to do with beliefs -- including the incidence of love itself -- but only the legal union of two people (for starters ... one step at a time) for the purposes of sharing resources over some extended period of time. Two good friends or siblings would be treated the same as any loving couple who decides not to get married, or one who does.

Obviously, this creates many legal complexities, in that a civil union is not intended to be necessarily permanent, and marriages are. But we already have a framework for this in divorce law, and this might actually end up improving the divorce process itself. Further, it very likely would tend toward making the married family unit less stable and less significant in society, but that is a social problem I believe can be addressed by society, without government.

Is this not an idea libertarian-conservatives and liberals can get behind?

On The West Wing this week, a Congressman wanted the White House to back a bill dissolving all civil marriages. The show treated it like a joke, but I believe it is the answer to the problem.

This discussion was created by pudge (3605) for no Foes, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Them Gays Are Comin' To Get You

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  • Civil union for everyone.
    If I want to get married? I go to my religious establishment of choice, get married, and get my civil union document stapled to my marriage certificate.

    There could be problems down the road, however. You say 'civil unions for all' meaning give gays 'union' rights, but now, other things that are currently illegal will want rights (pediphelia, beastiality, etc..). Of course, I'm against those things, and think they are fundamentally wrong, but wasn't that the stance of homosexua
    • There could be problems down the road, however. You say 'civil unions for all' meaning give gays 'union' rights, but now, other things that are currently illegal will want rights (pediphelia, beastiality, etc..). Of course, I'm against those things, and think they are fundamentally wrong, but wasn't that the stance of homosexuality a century ago? Would this be a stepping stone down the wrong path?

      I don't think it will be, assuming you are smart and make sure civil union law is closely related to contract
      • How about something less deranged... like polygamy?
        • It seems to me polygamy would have to be honored. Isn't it already honored in parts of Utah? How does it tend to work there? Are polygamists going to other states and demanding recognition?
          • Isn't it already honored in parts of Utah? How does it tend to work there? Are polygamists going to other states and demanding recognition?

            We ignore it, unless child abuse or controlling husbands are involved. Then they are prosecuted. There are about 30,000 polygamists here...and 60,000 in the West overall. In fact, in Colorado City (population 8,000), polygamy is the norm. In another town, a lot of polygamists live without any problems under a gay mayor. No joke. Overall, most polygamists are go
        • I honestly don't see where it's a problem--see "Mike Hawk"'s comment about changing the basic unit of taxation to "household", where if you're living at the same address, you have the legal priviledges of a married couple or a family.

          I know a lot of people living with good friends as roommates who would welcome that, and I don't see polygamy as being nearly the problem that pedophilia or bestiality is--it's closer to "normal" than homosexuality, I think.
  • I'd prefer "household". Most of the "rights" that the pro-gay marriage lobby want are already available. They don't want you to know that they are so that they can make it an issue about marriage. The State should recognize only "households" and these should be moderately easily changed. We should pay taxes by households, have "rights" by households, and be recognized by the State as households. A number of problems remain unresolved by saying a marriage or civil union is only between two people. Wasn
  • by Zeriel (670422)
    I'm in complete agreement. As for the "bestiality" slippery slope, let's just explicitly limit civil unions to "consenting adult citizens" even though that's implied, since civil unions would be best served by being a branch of contract law.

    Seriously, Pudge, this is the first time we've ever been in stone-cold 100% agreement on an issue of governance, and I like that, cause you strike me as a sensible guy and I have this forlorn hope that eventually all us sensible people will make sensible laws and it'll
  • Tuesday I voted in Michigan for an overly broad amendment to the
    Michigan constitution to ban gay marriage and civil unions. I didn't
    like the options I had, but to allow same sex couples to marry was the
    option I disliked most. I will take responsibility for my choice too,
    and defend it.

    However, the pro-gay marriage groups need to take responsibility for the
    11 states voting for amendments to their constitutions also. Had the
    issue not been pressed, nor if I thought the issue would come to a head
    in the next
    • What we have now because of the arrogance and impatience of the pro-gay marriage groups is a bad set of laws that will now be harder to reverse to their detriment.

      "Maybe you could limit yourself to fighting for interracial water fountains for now, Rev. King? Shouldn't push too hard for equal rights..."
  • Even though I come from what is obviously the opposite side of the belief spectrum, I agree that we need to separate a civil union from a religious marriage. We'd have to come up with a term for the state of being in a civil union as opposed to being "married". Also, this would only work if all legal considerations of a person were based on the civil union - insurance, credit, taxes, etc. Those who chose marriage in a church would have to attain a civil union as well in order to qualify for such benefits
    • To separate them as thoroughly as you've described, you would have to accept that other religions could offer them marriage.

      Religions can marry anyone now, and nothing would change in that respect.

      Separating marriage as a solely religion-controlled option could open the door to polygamous marriages even though the civil union could be limited to two individuals.

      You can do that now. Polygamy is only outlawed as a legal institution.
  • Marriage is NOT a religous thing. It is in fact a "very legal and very binding" contract to create a Marriage of wealth between two families. See also dowery.

    The Cathlolic Church recognized this and made marriage forbidden to the priesthood specifically to prevent them from dying and leaving their "wealth" to some woman.
    • Marriage predates both dowries and the Catholic church, by many years.
      • well clearly then marriage as a contract is comlpetely wrong.

        Marriage predates organized religion.

        Those were examples pudge. We use examples to illustrate a point.
    • Actually no, it had nothing to do with women - but children. The Catholic Church explicitely forbade marriage because they didn't want clergy to have children. They wanted to prevent bishops and thus pope's from having "heirs to the throne" so to speak. There are lots of other reasons and plenty of biblical justification for celebacy of clergy -- but married clergy were a reality for quite a long time.
  • Interesting journal. I actually agree with the president that gays should never be able to have anything approximating marriage, I'm actually surprised to see you take John Kerry's stance on this. But that's ok. Here's what I wanted to ask you:

    You stated that homosexuality is a sin. Do you think that people are born homosexual, or that it's a choice? I find this question fascinating because if they're born homosexual, that means that God creates some people in the image of sin, which I think might teach me
    • I'm actually surprised to see you take John Kerry's stance on this.

      I'm surprised you think I do. John Kerry has the same basic view as Bush: no gay marriage, but perhaps gay unions.

      I find this question fascinating because if they're born homosexual, that means that God creates some people in the image of sin, which I think might teach me more about how He works. On the other hand if homosexuality is a choice, why does it seem to be a choice that falls on people like a curse?

      I don't find the question
      • They outlawed civil unions in Ohio, and to my knowledge Bush supported it. But that's hardly interesting, I am sure the nation will follow.

        What's interesting is this concept of suppression of nature. I guess from what you said about your temper that you believe that people can be born with certain tendencies, and from that I can infer that you believe some people are born gay. Now, that to me sounds like you believe that people can be born with a curse, because surely desiring human contact and suppressing
        • I guess from what you said about your temper that you believe that people can be born with certain tendencies,

          That's fact, as far as I am concerned. I've seen far too many examples of people who inherited traits for it to be mere coincidence.

          and from that I can infer that you believe some people are born gay

          Not at all. I have no idea. I am saying it doesn't matter.

          Why do you think God would create such people?

          DId you miss the part about original sin? I'm pretty sure I mentioned it.
          • I'm familiar with original sin, I was born in it too. But wouldn't you argue that homosexuality goes beyond original sin? To be born homosexual is to be born with more sin. It is an abomination against God. Even if a homosexual is able to repress his or her nature successfully, the thoughts are still there, and the thoughts and urges are sinful. Imagine the torment of a life filled with sinful urges as powerful as the urge you or I feel towards our wives (unsure if you're married here, just guessing, but I'
            • please lead. For me anyway. This is fascinating.
              • People are born with all sorts of troubles. People are born with mutated limbs, with diminished thought capacity, with horrible genetic disorders, muscular distrophy, mental retardation, a gamut of horrors. But God loves them all. And we find our human strength by showing love for them.

                But homosexuality is different. Homosexuals are born sinners. They cannot escape their sin. They are damned. This is a totally unique case. As Pudge acknowledges, their existence contains a greater amount of inescapable orig
                • The CIA and FBI. Damn you for inventing crack and AIDs and homosexuality!
                • could it be... SATAN?
                  • If Satan had the power to corrupt mankind at birth, then why wouldn't he corrupt all of us? Satan had to tempt Eve with the apple, he was unable to reach into her mind and corrupt her directly. Satan can only tempt to corrupt, but mankind must make the choice to sin. The Bible is consistent on the theme of choice and free will. But there is, now and then, rare cases in the Bible where the free will of man is overruled by evil. When is this?

                    Also, what accounts for the limited numbers of gay people? Why are
                    • I honestly thought you were going for Satan there, and it didn't make sense to me either.

                      I'm running out of entities that have the ability to corrupt people at the genetic level, that aren't God.

                      Be coy if you like. Frankly, whenever I see descriptions of the universe as some moral obstacle course, I can't believe this is the plan of a deity.

                      So God's out there creating the galaxies and quasars and the supernovae, and suddenly thinks to himself ... hm, mental note, on planet #12230942-KLQ, new rule: if imp
                    • then why wouldn't he corrupt all of us?

                      We are all corrupt.

                      But there is, now and then, rare cases in the Bible where the free will of man is overruled by evil.

                      Rare? Read Romans 7.

                      Also, what accounts for the limited numbers of gay people?

                      What accounts for the limited number of people with hot tempers?
                • But homosexuality is different. Homosexuals are born sinners. They cannot escape their sin. They are damned. This is a totally unique case.

                  I disagree entirely.

                  As Pudge acknowledges, their existence contains a greater amount of inescapable original sin that Jesus cannot forgive.

                  I acknowledged no such thing, not even remotely. First, I never said they have a greater amount of sin, and more importantly, I never gave the slightest hint that their sin cannot be forgiven. I don't know where you got any of
                • As Pudge acknowledges, their existence contains a greater amount of inescapable original sin that Jesus cannot forgive.

                  I didn't see Pudge acknowledge that. On the contrary, he specifically disagreed with your assertion that it goes beyond original sin or means the person was born with more sin.

                  And, of course, I believe the Bible disagrees as well. There is only one kind of unforgiveable sin: the kind that is not brought to Christ.

            • But wouldn't you argue that homosexuality goes beyond original sin? To be born homosexual is to be born with more sin.

              I disagree entirely.

              Even if a homosexual is able to repress his or her nature successfully, the thoughts are still there, and the thoughts and urges are sinful.

              Even if I can repress my temper, the thoughts and urges to lash out are still sinful.

              As to how someone should live their life, I make no recommendations. That's between them and God.
            • But wouldn't you argue that homosexuality goes beyond original sin? To be born homosexual is to be born with more sin. It is an abomination against God.

              That presupposes that homosexuality is a worse sin than others. I do not believe the Bible, at least, teaches that to be the case.

              Just for fun, I don't believe the Bible teaches original sin [bible.ca]. (more [bible.ca], still more [bebaptized.org]).

            • the thoughts and urges are sinful

              Thoughts and urges are not sinful.
              The urge to do wrong is temptation.
              To act on that urge is sin.

              There are passages in the Bible that refer to thoughts as sin, but they are about entertaining wrong thoughts, as opposed to merely having them.
        • BTW, Bush has never been all that clear on civil unions, until a couple of weeks ago, when he said he thought states should make that decision on their own. [washingtontimes.com]
  • I agree totally. I have thought this for years and was both surprised that West Wing brought it up and disappointed that they treated it as a joke.

    But to support this, it means legalizing gay marriage. You take all authority of blessing "marriage" from the government and replace it with the the authority of creating "civil unions". Now, only a church can create a "marriage". The very first thing that will happen is that there will be a new church created that blesses gay "marriage". Will you support
    • As I noted to another, nothing will change. Churches already perform gay marriages (without force of law) all across the country, and will continue to be able to do so. When you take the government out of it, you are necessarily saying that anyone can do anything with it that they choose.
    • Great. If the Church of Bruce declares Adam and Steve man and man, great. If I think that the Church of Bruce committed an abomination, I simply won't recognize it. Now, thier civil union is a different matter. It is a legal contract, to be honored to the full extent of the law. IOW, Adam and Steve get equality by not approval.

      The beauty of this idea is that it breaks the legal and moral interconnection.

      • Like I said, from my liberal point of view I think this is a good solution. It truly is a separation of church and state that also gets the government away from governing morality. But I have trouble understanding how a conservative can accept it.

        Why would a conservative who is unwilling to allow gay civil marriages be ok with gay church marriages coupled with civil unions? What makes this acceptable, or at least "ignorable" (I simply won't recognize it), while the current situation requires a constit
        • I'm not trying to bait, just trying to understand why the change... And would such a change be acceptable to a wider audience[1]?

          One word: Marriage. That WORD is linked to moral/ethical/religious acceptance[1] among tradional/religious people. Using a different word breaks to connection in theory, AND in a very real way for these people. It's just another unfortunate thing that we allow in the name of freedom in the US. If it's called marriage, however, it implies social approval. It's just that simple. R

          • One word: Marriage.

            Yeah, I understand that, but because it is not government sanctioned gay marriage it is OK? Is that the difference? I guarantee that if such an idea became law, there would be massive amounts of gay marriages in gay friendly places of worship. And they newly married couples would use "marriage" as the word to describe their relationship. The word "marriage" would not disappear for gay couples, but instead would be embraced. Now the couple would have civil rights as a couple and
            • Yeah, I understand that, but because it is not government sanctioned gay marriage it is OK? Is that the difference?

              Yes. So my church won't sanction it, my government won't sanction it, and it therefore has nothing to do with me, and bothers me a lot less. That's how it will work for a great many people.

              I guarantee that if such an idea became law, there would be massive amounts of gay marriages in gay friendly places of worship.

              Of course. That happens now, too. It will increase, yes, that is a give
              • Makes sense. So if I understand this correctly, the problem that many conservatives have now is not that gays are married, it is that they are married by "their" government. The government sanctioning of gay marriage is seen as "my" government dishonoring "my" beliefs.

                By removing from the government the sanctioning of marriage, any kind of couple (gay or straight) gaining a legal couple status is tolerable. In addition, the separation creates a loophole where you can honestly believe that it is not "my
                • The government sanctioning of gay marriage is seen as "my" government dishonoring "my" beliefs.

                  Largely, yes.

                  By removing from the government the sanctioning of marriage, any kind of couple (gay or straight) gaining a legal couple status is tolerable.

                  For some, yes.

                  In addition, the separation creates a loophole where you can honestly believe that it is not "my" church sanctioning the gay marriage, so "I" can tolerate it.

                  Again, this "loophole" -- not a loophole really, since it is actually the point -
            • The word "marriage" would not disappear for gay couples, but instead would be embraced.

              But that wouldn't MATTER. The people who are opposed to the pairing wouldn't HAVE TO call it marriage. And that would make the differnce.

              couple and to have the right to be married in a church of God.

              Totally beside the point. Churches can do that right now. It conveys nothing more than sanction WITHIN that church. legal marriages (using that word) convey sanction in society - the pairing needs to be acknowledged as a m

        • Another reason people found this unacceptable was the judicial activism of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. The Massachusetts Supreme Court basically said in their decision an amendment to the Massachusett's state constittution would be required to ban gay marriage, so people in other states feared their state Supreme Court might say something similar and what do you know state constitutional amendments all round. Here [wikipedia.org] is the wikipedia entry on the court case. Note that 38 states have laws against gay ma
  • Damnit, Pudge.

    I'm trying to take a breather and regroup here and then you not only bring up a topic that I am interested in, but YOU ESPOUSE THE EXACT SAME LOGIC THAT I USE WITH REGARD TO THIS SUBJECT. Bless you, man. We disagree a lot, and some of my friends wonder why I even hang out on here, but you just proved me right again. Damn. You look at problems and try to solve them honestly for most part (just as we all do, no one's perfect). That's what I appreciate.

    My wife and I argue this with people

  • I too think Civil Unions should be available to all as whatever a government can do to recognize a "love commitment".

    However, I still think marriage deserves distinction and should be available and recognized by the government. A family is a political unit, a love commitment is not. Its more akin to a corporation.

    As a political unit a family deserves recognition from the government as such. I think preserving marriage as a political unit helps preserve inididuality (an individual is a political unit).
    • I understand the distinction. I just see no government interest in recognizing a love commitment. That's the very problem we are looking to avoid: government deciding which "love" is worth recognizing.

      The government's real interest here is not in the love business, but in protecting the rights of individuals in a relationship -- whatever that relationship is -- and in encouraging such relationships, which helps our economy etc. (through the pooling of resources).

      Is there some government interest I am ov

      • I just see no government interest in recognizing a love commitment.

        My favorite bite on that...

        "You need the government to recognize your feelings? Do you want them to send you a card every time you feel sad? Or do you want the government to start handing out Birthday cakes?"


        But for Civil Unions, I'm not pushing them but I can tolerate them.
  • Yes. It is elegant in it's simplicity.

    But it will never happen. The point is social approval. Not tolerance or acceptance or equality.

  • I have been saying this for a while now. Get the government out of the marriage business. Let people get married in a church. Have the government set up its own institution (civil unions) that allows a person to have an exclusive reciprocal relationship with another that would give them the hospital visitation rights and rights to not have to testify against one another. If you wanted to prevent abuse you could include a cost for dissolution of the union and perhaps limiting the frequency with which som
  • As I said, marriage is a fundamentally religious establishment. And if I remember correctly, the Constitution says something about Congress making no laws respecting an establishment of religion.

    You couldn't have expressed my sentiments more exactly. But changing the name does not solve the problem. You deftly pointed out why government should not be involved in marriage, but you didn't give any justification why they should be involved in civil unions.

    The White House staffers on the West Wing treated

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