Friday, May 11, 2012

Same Sex Marriage - Politics and Dogma

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I generally try to stay away from politics. My goal is to reach people and to get them to consider new paradigms about their sexuality that lead to happiness and fulfillment rather than strife and fear. Any discussion of politics, especially in a country which is so woefully politically polarized as ours, can quickly turn into something that pushes people away and causes them to close their minds rather than make them at ease and ready to consider new ideas.

In a perfect world, I would like to avoid the topic of religious dogma too, but while dogma can be just as polarizing as politics, if not more so, unlike politics it simply can rarely be set aside. It is an ever present part of most of our lives. It is inculcated into us beginning at a very young age and we find it almost impossible to examine unemotionally as it has always been a part of us, and in many cases a part of our parents and grandparents before us.

The only thing touchier than discussions of politics or dogma is the discussion of a matter which is entwined with both. Same sex marriage is one such present day hot button.

Unless you've been living in a cave or unconscious for most of the past week, you know that Vice President Joe Biden began the week by announcing on a Sunday morning talk show that he was very comfortable with the idea of same sex marriage. Evidently, this was, as is so often the case with Biden, an example of his mouth getting ahead of his brain. His announcement caused a commotion in the White House as the Obama administration, by their own accounts, was surprised and unprepared for Biden's blockbuster revelation of his own personal opinion on the volatile issue.

There was also great commotion on the presidential campaign trail, in the lesbian and gay communities, in the press; and, of course, in the temples of Fundamental Christianity. Conjecture and hyperbole immediately began to flow over the airways and into the newspapers like hot lava out of an erupting volcano.

Perhaps, not since 1967 when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mildred and Richard Loving in Loving vs. Virginia thus recognizing Mildred Loving's (a black woman) marriage to Richard Loving, (a white man) as legal had there been such an outpouring of contempt, horror and howls of coming doom from the dogmatic pits of Fundamental Christendom. With the Court's ruling in 1967 racist Christians proclaimed that marriage had been irreparably corrupted and that civilization, as we had known it, was at an end. And in a way, thankfully, I guess they were right (more on that in a paragraph below).

From 1962 - 1965 as a teenage high school student, I worked in a local soft serve ice cream and hamburger shop which would not serve black people. This hamburger shop which was located on the fabled Rout 66 where it sliced across the Texas panhandle was a very busy place. I remember to this day how embarrassed I always was to have to tell black people who came into the shop to eat that they would not be served. It just didn't make sense to me. I didn't understand what the color of one's skin had to do with their sitting down in a booth to eat a  hamburger.

I was a married college student in 1967 and I remember the Loving case and the headlines in the newspapers and on the television. I remember being confused about that issue too. How could the present disputed marriage of Mildred and Richard Loving have any bearing on my own marriage or the marriage of anyone else? I was married to my high school sweetheart. Life was tough for two young people like us who were barely 20 years old and working to make a living for ourselves while I attended college at the same time, there was no doubt of that. But damned if I could see any way whatsoever that the Loving's were making either my life or my marriage any less than what it was or should be. Actually, in spite of the never ending hard work, my new wife and I were very happy. Being 20 years old, there was more than enough energy to meet the needs of long days of work, school and the pleasures of nightly sex. It was all pretty rewarding actually. I sure wouldn't have wanted the State of Texas digging into the validity of my marriage. Why should the State of Virginia be digging into the legitimacy of the Loving's marriage? It didn't make sense to me. I didn't feel threatened in anyway by the Loving's marriage.

This week, more than 45 years later, the same old arguments, the same old predictions of disaster and the same old warnings of an angry God began to flow forth because two politicians happened to announce they, personally, were in favor of allowing same sex marriage. This led other politicians to proclaim anew their abiding rejection of same sex marriage, but there was a difference implied in the statements of these responding politicians. Biden and Obama had been careful to say they were speaking of their personal opinions. They were in no way suggesting that others didn't have the right to think differently. Not the case with the radical Republican politicians. They not only disagreed with Biden and Obama on a personal basis, they renewed their opinions that the government should be used to stop such same sex marriages by passing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America forbidding the marriage of same sex couples. Why? Well, because marriage has always been between one man and one woman! What other reason need one have to try to bring the full force and authority of the Government of the United States of America against a large segment of its own people who are just trying to live their lives?

The Fundamental Religious Right was quick to answer that last question. Well, because God Himself is against same sex marriage! God sees same sex marriage as an affront to His will and as an abomination! And if that isn't enough, allowing marriage between same sex partners will destroy the whole institution of marriage itself! So much for separation of church and state! It seems that Fundamental Christians only want separation of church and state when someone is trying to interfere with their celebration of Christmas! When someone is doing something they personally find objectionable, they are more than ready to use the State and all its force and authority as a weapon against their fellow citizens.

I know I seem to be confused a lot, but I'm confused again. When all the same things were being said about marriage and God and the country going to Hell back in 1967 over the Loving's marriage I was a newly married 20 year old myself having been married just over a year. Forty-six years later, I'm still married to the same beautiful woman, we're still happy, we have kids and grandkids, our lives together have been blessed beyond measure, not to mention beyond our wildest dreams back in 1967. Yet, wasn't the Court's blessing of the Loving marriage supposed to destroy all marriages? Wasn't civilization itself supposed to end? Wasn't an angry God supposed to wreck vengeance on the nation?

Well, a lot of marriages were wrecked over the last 45 years, that's true. Many of them were marriages of Fundamental Christians themselves. I know some of those divorced Christians personally, some of them are even (gasp) preachers. We've reached a point in this country where more than half of all marriages end in divorce. And since more than 75% of the country claim to be Christians (more or less), many of these broken marriages are broken Christian marriages. It's gotten to the point where young people are not marrying at all. They just cohabit together and let it go at that. Now let me see, are young people today abandoning marriage because the Lovings destroyed it back in 1967 or are they abandoning it because they see what their parents and the parents of their cousins and their friends did to the institution of marriage in the last 45 years? Hint: most young people today don't know who Mildred and Richard Loving were. They just see what happened to their parent's marriage and in some cases what happened to their parent's marriages (as in two or more of them, none of which really seemed to work).

And isn't God just an unpredictable one? All these marriages of all these God fearing people who were doing God's work by predicting the end of marriage because of the Lovings, God let their marriages fail. But heathen me who never saw the Lovings as a threat and who didn't see God as mad or threatening either, well God let my marriage not only survive for 46 years but blessed it beyond my imagination (oh, and we'll keep it a secret just between us that to add to all this, I'm a bisexual guy).

And here is another secret to consider. Back in 1965, I was just a kid working at a burger shack doing what I was told to do even though it embarrassed me to tell black people they wouldn't be served. It didn't make sense to me then. And as it turns out, it didn't make sense to a lot of other young people either; and now, we live in a world where no one would ever think of telling a black person they couldn't be served in any restaurant in the land. And you know what? All these politicians and Fundamental Christians of today are pissing into the same winds they were pissing into in 1967 because telling same sex people they can't be married makes no sense to young people today. Forty-five years from now, the young people of today will have changed the world. Same sex marriage will be no bigger a deal than black people sitting down to dinner in a nice restaurant. It will just be the way it is supposed to be!

And what of God? What will God think of same sex marriage in the year 2057? Well with any luck at all by that time the spiritualization that young people are embracing today instead of fundamental dogma will have finally brought us to the point that we understand God as the God of Grace He truly is. A God who does not hate for any reason. A God who loves without reason. A God whose hand is always stretched out to us with an eternal unmerited offer of redemption, no matter who we're married to and no matter who we love!

That God has always existed and He exists now. Fundamental Christians just don't know Him because they continue to have the audacity to impose their own faults and prejudices on God. What a shame. And, if you're really scared of God, what could be more scary? If you're a Fundamental Christian, think about that and get back to me on it. Oh, if I'm slow to reply it may be because you caught me away. Two of my guy friends are getting married this summer. My wife and I are invited to the wedding! You think being in such close proximity to a gay wedding could ……….?

Jack Scott


  1. Bravo !!!
    Personally, I don't think my daughter and her friends will accept that it will take forty five years for American Society and Polity to recognize and accept marriage equality of all God's Children.

    I live in New York, where Marriage Equality is embedded in law and in a Diocese of the Episcopal Church where the Blessing of same sex marriages are permitted.

    God's Love rains down...

  2. I have to agree with you and Gerry. I've questioned all this theo-political nonsense almost as long as Jack. I've read about many religions from around the world and have seen a basic message from all.. love each other no matter who they are. I don't care who a person is, they have their lives and it is hard enough in this life for each of us. Religiion and politic are basically about power and control. I just wish they would do the job each was created to do and stay out of my personal life.

  3. A very encouraging and spiritually energizing post. Thank you.

  4. Thanks for the post Jack. I could not agree more.
    Well said.



I deeply regret that I must reinstate the verification process for those who want to leave comments on my blog. This is due to the intolerable amount of spam that spammers are attempting to leave on the blog.

At the same time I am changing settings so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will not have to have your comments moderated. My hope is this will encourage more readers to take the time to comment. The fact is I want to read comments with those of you who disagree with me as well as those of you who agree with me. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and non-threatening.

The only reason I take the time to write this blog is to spur your thoughts and comments. Please do not let the spammers cause you not to comment. I know entering the verification words and numbers is a pain in the ass, but I hope you will not let the spammers cause you not to comment.

I still very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott