...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Thursday, March 04, 2004
      ( 9:49 AM )
God Hates Shrimp

Emily over at Strangechord went down to the Multnomah County Offices yesterday to pass out congratulatory cookies and take pictures. Her photos are great.

This one is my favorite. (it is a supporter holding a sign that boldly states "God Hates Shrimp" and names Leviticus 11:2-12 as its reference).

This picture really puts into perspective for me one particular issue that is raised in the gay marriage debate. I realize that most people against it are so because of their religious beliefs. And while I honor anyone's right to believe what they believe, I confess that I do not understand how you can take only one or two bits of the Bible literally and claim that as your argument, yet let all the other bits not matter. I was raised to believe the Bible was God's literal word and that every word of it was literally true. When I became an adult and explored my relationship to and with God in different lights, I realized that I don't believe that fundamental underpinning of the Christian Conservative: that the Bible is literal truth. So I find God's word in many other ways besides the Bible itself. I will always defend the right of those who believe it to be literal to do so, but I do not understand the arguments they may use against certain things.

A case in point: One of the major arguments I hear conservative pundits keep bringing up is that if we allow gay marriage, then this opens the door for polygamy and all sorts of things like marrying your kitchen appliances and such. But why are these folks against polygamy? It's very clearly in the Bible, and God's favorite son, King David, was a very popular polygamist, as was his son Solomon. There are many "laws" or edicts in the old testament that are very different from what we consider social norms now. This is just one argument against gay marriage that I don't understand.

If people are so adamant about "protecting marriage," and I think I've said this a thousand times so far, then why are there no laws against divorce? Why are not people required to go to marital counseling before getting a license? Why are there not fully-provided child care benefits, ensured jobs, and healthcare for families so they can stay married against financial odds? If this is purely a moral issue, then I don't understand how the morality of one edict in the Bible is more important than the foundational edict of our society: that all people are created equal and due equal treatment under the law.

If marriage is only in the purview of religion or "sanctity," then is my marriage not really real because I got married in a courthouse (on a Friday afternoon because I could leave work early that day)? Nope, my marriage is valid because I signed a piece of paper along with my husband, and nowhere on that paper does it mention God or tradition or sanctity. This issue is important to me because it's important to people I love and care about, and it's important for our society. But I understand that it's an argument that must take place and a discussion that will have to go on, probably for years. But that's a good thing for this country. When we talk about stuff, it's more likely to resolve itself than if we just fight forever.

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