Thursday, March 28, 2013

Meet the Flintstones

Can we get serious here for a minute?

I really didn’t want to get into this whole “gay marriage”
thing, because, frankly, it doesn’t have any direct effect on
me. But everybody else is expressing their viewpoint on
it, so, why not? My position on the subject isn’t going to
win me any friends here in the sunny south, but, when has
that shut me up? And I’ve learned over the years that if you
see an injustice occurring, whether or not it has any direct
impact on you, and you don’t speak out against it, then you’re as guilty as the people who are committing the injustice. In the 60s, during the Civil Rights Movement, I never said much, and I regret that. Of course, I was just a kid who didn’t have to sit in the balcony, or wait outside for one of my white friends to bring me a burger.

The most prolific argument against same-sex marriage is on principle, primarily from people who loudly proclaim that they are “Christians.”

Stop there.

Before you go hollering that I’m saying all Christians are against “gay marriage,” re-read it. I’m just saying that most of the people who are against it call themselves Christians, and insist that God is the one who defined marriage: One Man, One Woman. Cool. And it’s short and sweet and it fits well on a bumper sticker, or a Facebook post.

But it ain’t exactly true, is it? I mean, at least there’s a point of contention. Lots of those guys in the instruction book (aka The Bible) had more than one wife – even though each of them was only one man. Abraham, David, Solomon, Jacob, Abijah.

Deuteronomy 21 gives instructions regarding how a man should disperse his inheritance in the event that he dies and has sons by both a beloved wife and a hated wife. Of course, that same chapter goes on to say that if one of those sons is rebellious, mom and daddy should take him into town and have him stoned to death by the elders, so…

Anyway, I’m no Bible scholar, but I think that shoots down the “one woman” part of the bumper sticker equation.

All that aside, The Bible is full of all kinds of stuff we’re not supposed to do, much of which is not included in legislation regarding how the country works. The country, for those who don’t understand, is something different from religion, and it really creates problems when those two things are confused. The Bible and The Constitution are two entirely separate documents; and a marriage contract is another thing altogether.

From Wikipedia: “Marriage (also called matrimony or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that establishes rights and obligations between spouses…” Also, this: “A marriage is a contract. You can write that contract yourself (in which case it’s called a ‘premarital agreement’), or you can accept the default contract written by your state legislators.”

So, what we’re dealing with here really has nothing to do with your religious beliefs, unless it is you that is contemplating gay marriage. As far as the government is concerned, it’s not that different from buying a house or a car or going to work for some corporation that requires a contract spelling out obligations between you and your employer. Sure, there are things in other contracts between people that you might consider unethical or immoral – but since those contracts don’t have your name on them, you generally don’t go ‘round protesting them, do you? That’s because the terms of that contract, unless it’s the “special” kind with some guy name Guido, taking out a “hit” on you, aren’t really any of your business. Why then, should a marriage contract between two consenting adults be any of your business?

Perhaps the misunderstanding exists that if same-sex marriage contracts are codified, or accepted as legal and binding by the government, dudes will have to divorce their wives and marry other dudes; and the same for women. Let me assure you, to the best of my knowledge, that is not the case. It simply allows people of the same sex to enter into marriage contracts, if they so desire. So rest easy. Joe and Marge are safe, unless one of them decides to take off with the pool boy or the maid – and that could happen anyway.

It seems that many folks are only concerned about the word, “marriage,” being used to identify unions between same-sex couples. But we don’t get to own words. You can call me a “queer-lover,” and I can call you a “bigot,” but that doesn’t stop everybody else from using those same words as they see fit. Let those two ladies call their union a marriage. You can call it what you want.

Newsflash: homosexuality exists, and there are no (enforceable) laws against being a homosexual. It has been around since way before any books were written, and unless some bright do-gooder invents a “cure” and slips it into the world’s water supply, gaydom will continue to exist. People are people, and people should be able to enter into contracts with each other. If a marriage contract between two homosexuals is not considered valid, then why should we consider an installment loan contract between those same two to be valid? Highlight that last sentence, will you? Because I think it’s profound.

© 2013, Rick Baber