Thursday, April 19, 2012

why i'll vote against

“Bad laws are the worst kind of tyranny.” Edmund Burke

1. Amendment One is anti-freedom.

From the days of our Founding Fathers to the present day, the steady drumbeat of progress in our great country has been that of a march towards freedom. That used to mean something in so-called “conservative” circles. I am a conservative in every sense in which that word can be traced through history. I believe in capitalism, our republican form of government, in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay, and for treating others as we wish to be treated. And I believe in the power of freedom to loose deep down in human beings our best selves instead of the ugliness and violence that we too often inflict on each other as a means of propping ourselves up and controlling others.

That’s why I oppose this amendment. Not as a liberal but as a conservative. Freedom comes with a great price. If you are to be free, it means you must allow others who have entered into the same social contract with you that same freedom. If some are freer than others, then a society can never be truly free. Freedom from tyranny means that you can’t become the tyrant yourself. Even a well-meaning, devout, religious tyrant is one that cannot be tolerated in this country. In fact, if you read your history books, it was just such a tyrant we fled from to establish this nation.

Sure, you can dress it up and say this is about defining “marriage” and not about freedom but that ignores so much of what this Amendment would do if enacted and so much of what it will not do if defeated. We have tried defining marriage in the past (as you see pictured here). Our last state constitutional amendment on marriage was to make sure that people of different races didn’t get the idea that their marriage was valid in this state. The prevailing thought of the day was that allowing mixed race marriages would cheapen the whole institution. (Starting to sound familiar?) But, of course, no one can define words by themselves. Words will mean what they mean as people use them to mean such. So if gays are being married, people are going to call it marriage no matter what the law says. We can’t legislate dictionaries.

To look someone in the face and say “You cannot enjoy the same right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that I do because you’re different” is the opposite of the American ideal. It is the opposite of what our Founding Fathers created this country to embody. If we are to be the city on a hill, then we can’t treat people differently and restrict their freedoms simply because we don’t like them as much. Oppression is ugly and un-American. And it is not fit for our state constitution.

2. Amendment One is unchristian.

Some religious people in this fight have decided that it is imperative to the fabric of our society to enshrine Levitical law in our state constitution. I suppose we are supposed to just ignore the admonitions of Paul that there is now “no condemnation for those who are in Christ” or Jesus’ “Give to Caesar what is Caesar and to God what is God’s” brand of church-state separation. The entire story of the gospels is that Jesus came to seek and save what is lost. He came to reconcile men and women and even the Earth itself to God. He did not come to create a government. He was not a political savior bent on ensuring that one society or nation triumphed over all others. If anything, Christ’s time in our world was a demonstration that those society may consider virtuous may actually not be the ones who would find themselves at home in His kingdom.

Church-state separation is important because Christianity may not always be the dominant religion in this society. As Christians, our freedom is important. After all, it is again St. Paul in his letter to the Galatians that reminds us that “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Restricting others’ freedom simply because we possess the political power to do so is precisely the opposite of Jesus’ mission. Christ, who even in the garden of Gethsemane, in what he surely knew were his final hours facing a long journey toward a cross refused to let his disciples take up swords to defend him. It was not a political victory he was looking to win. He may have been scorned by the people in power of his day but he did not lack for might. Christ could have summoned an army of angels to fight his battles, to release him from the cross, and make the entire Roman Empire and the world itself his footstool as He had been promised.

As Christians, we should be co-reconcilers with God. So we must ask ourselves will we take up the sword as Jesus has forbidden us? Will we demand a political messiah once and for all? Will we join him in his mission to redeem this world or will we instead embark on our attempt to control it? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” These two phrases, Christ told us, sum up all of the Law and the Prophets. The fabric of our moral universe is love. Hatred and oppression are not fit for the kingdom of God.

3. Amendment One is anti-family.

If you have been following this fight at all, then you will know that Amendment One does more than just restrict gay marriage in our state. It invalidates any civil union even among straight couples and puts in jeopardy the relationship, rights, and privileges of families all across North Carolina. I am not only a conservative and a Christian. I am also a strong supporter of family. That’s why I think it is imperative we defeat Amendment One to ensure that it cannot do harm to families in our state.

Just a few examples of some of the worst harms adopting Amendment One could do to people who aren’t gay and aren’t married.

*Children could have their health care put at risk if their parents are not married. They could lose health insurance and prescription drug benefits that could be desperately needed when a child is sick.

*The financial burdens could be further felt by the children of unmarried couples if one partner dies and wills and trusts are invalidated. Custody issues could even be altered as a child could be caught up in the system and ripped from their family.

*Amendment One would even invalidate domestic violence protections that currently cover unmarried women and leave the most vulnerable women in our society without any legal protection from abuse. (This already happened in Ohio when a similar law passed.)

Amendment One is poorly written and was put on the ballot without a thorough review of just what the consequences of adopting it might cause for North Carolina families.

And just as a reminder a vote against Amendment One is a vote for the status quo. Defeating Amendment One will have no effect on our current laws. Gay marriage will still be illegal in the state of North Carolina. No church will ever be forced to marry gay people. What defeating Amendment One will do is avoid perpetrating the tragedies described above on thousands of children and families in our state.

I promised with the title of this article that I would tell you why I’ll vote against Amendment One. I’ll vote against because I can’t look my gay friends in the face and tell them they are lesser human beings than me and undeserving of the freedoms and rights that I have been blessed simply by being born straight in American.

You may have your own reason for voting against. If so, I encourage you to write out your thoughts, and share with your friends and family. Dr. King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” This fight matters. So remember to get out and vote on or before May 8. If you need information about how and where you need to vote, you can find it here. Even if you aren’t registered to vote, it’s not too late to register and cast your ballot against Amendment One.

If you’re still undecided, I encourage you to continue doing research. Visit the Vote Against project and Protect All NC Families and learn more about Amendment One and what its passage would do to North Carolina. Then join me in voting against.

100 comments:

Jim Penny said...

Very well said, and thanks for saying it.

Kathy Bundy said...

I am humbled. Too often I am quick to write off self-described conservatives because of harsh past experience. Your words are a balm on my heart. Thank you.

zackroper said...

I've been trying to find a way to put my thoughts about this into words and honestly this just did it for me. These are almost my exact thoughts... Thank you for sharing.

Sharon Shepard said...

Beautiful sentiment, well explained.

Mark Livingston said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

I was going to vote against it for my own reasons - you gave me so many more. Thank-you!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully stated.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. So very well stated for so many reason. Please disseminate far and wide.

Anonymous said...

You can seperate church and state but you can't take away the holy joining of husband and wife as God intended. A marriage is not ordained by the state, it is ordained by God.

Cdog Zilla said...

This is an eloquent, thoughtful, and moving explanation of unassailable reasons for voting against Amendment One. Well done, sir. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Brent Woodcox said...

Thanks for all the kind words, folks. Glad to find myself in good company.

Matt said...

You are absolutely right that your point of view is the truly conservative one. For many years, all you ever heard from conservatives is that they disapproved of gays because of their "promiscuousness." Then when some gays started saying, "You're right. We want to settle down, get married, maybe even raise kids," suddenly that wasn't okay either.

Gays aren't going away just because other people want to hate on them. True conservatism should seek to bring all people into the honored traditions of our society--because splintering and dividing is harmful to those traditions.

Anonymous said...

Brent, thank you so much for a very eloquent statement of why ALL of our Republican friends should realize the conservative thing to do is think about this and vote NO. Which is exactly what I will be doing. The party should be ashamed of itself for ever having put this through the General Assembly. It's people like you who make me proud to be a Republican, not the ones who pushed this through. James Proctor

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Thank you for your voice. Excellent, informative and factual. I will pass this around to my circle.

Anonymous said...

you people need to read the bible about sadam and gomorrah and understand why god did disttroyed it, for the inmmoral acts of prostitution and sex of the same gender, talking about gays and lesbos.

Beck Gambill said...

I'm confused. Just because Jesus didn't come to establish an earthly political kingdom at this time, but rather to assert his authority over all creation for all time, does that mean we as Christians should have a separation of our spiritual lives and political or social lives? Perhaps government can't legislate morality but when the earthly law does agree with spiritual law should we not support truth no matter what the cost? The gift of marriage as established by God between a man and a woman is a picture of God's union with his church. I believe the gospel hinges on coming to God on his terms to be united with him in a holy, eternal union. (John 17 and Ephesians.) The consequences of tampering with the truth of God's word and truth are real. Not because God is cruel but because he wants our best. Perhaps I sound archaic and old fashioned. But I believe rewriting truth to suite our comfort is like playing with fire and I'm unwilling to do so. Truth and grace go hand in hand. I'm not calling for hatred or lack of compassion, love is always in order. But condoning what God has forbidden isn't loving, it's another form of slavery. Freedom isn't the absence of oppression it is life lived in the truth of Jesus, being made whole. Freedom comes as we agree with God's truth and love one another in humility. Perhaps my misunderstanding comes from using different definitions of love, and freedom. I appreciate the time and thought that went into your article and would be glad to hear your thoughts on my response. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ms. Gambill. Our nation was founded on "In God We Trust".. "One Nation Under God". I realize What Amendment One might do to the state, but I also know what the WORD OF GOD says. We should stand on what we were founded for. We should also stand as Christians as what GOD says.

Dave said...

"Freedom isn't the absence of oppression it is life lived in the truth of Jesus, being made whole. Freedom comes as we agree with God's truth and love one another in humility."

I respect your religion and your right to your beliefs, your definition of freedom is very confining and the antithesis of freedom itself. I do not share your religious beliefs. I share very few people's beliefs. But to define freedom as adhering to ONE religion's belief structure is simply wrong. There is nothing free about having to live by the word of the bible as the only truth. The only responsibility and confining attribute of freedom is that you respect the freedom of others. If you define my freedom as bound by your religious laws then I am not free because I do not believe in them. If you use the state and its laws to try to force me to follow your belief structure then how can anyone in this country be free. Am I only free if I'm Christian? Am I only free if I sit next to you in church and sing the same hymns? Do I also have to be Baptist/Methodist/Lutheran/etc? How will you feel when the Christians are no longer the majority and Islamic laws are imposed by the state. Will you be free then? No, and neither will I. If you want to be free to follow your savior, then you have to let others be free to not follow him. Freedom is a b*tch and you MUST let others be free too without telling them how they can be free.

Marriage is a religious institution and should not be, in any way, controlled by the state. People fail to see that this is the root of the problem. It should be voted down on this premise alone

Anonymous said...

Actually, if the author truly loves the republican form of gov't guaranteed in the federal constitution as he stated, then he should realize that the structure of that means that the people of each state should have the freedom to decide for themselves just how much of their moral values they want to interject into their state laws. If others don't like the outcome, they can't vote with their feet by moving to a state that is more in line with their morals. That's the beauty of the freedom that is protected by the true republican form of gov't that the founders intended when they drafted the federal constitution.

eric said...

Second, Dave you make the statement “The only responsibility and confining attribute of freedom is that you respect the freedom of others.” Does this apply to those who are imprisoned for committing crimes? It would appear that it does not and therefore, it would also appear that you are not respecting their freedom because it would seem that none of them “choose” to be restrained to prison. How does this work when governing humanity? If we are to respect the freedom of others then why do we even worry about laws? Shouldn’t everyone have the freedom to live as they want? Who are we to impose any kind of law on anyone because that would be imposing on their freedom? This kind of logic is foolish and outside of how the world works. There are laws in place, natural laws that govern humanity and they are called morals. Furthermore, they have to be objective because if they weren’t, we couldn’t hold anyone accountable to them. Therefore, since they are objective, one can choose (freedom) to live outside of them but it does not make it right. By imposing a truth (i.e. it is wrong to murder) on another and holding them accountable to that truth, they are in no way any less free than they were before. They are still completely free to follow or deny that truth, but they will be held accountable by that truth. The freedom is found in their decision to follow or not follow whatever the truth may be, not in being free from any consequences for following or denying that certain truth. Therefore, your definition of freedom appears to be illogical, pushing for anarchy, and not what we as a society practice on a daily basis which calls into question your judgment of Ms. Gambills definition of freedom.

Eric said...

Third, Dave, I agree with you when you make the statement “Marriage is a religious institution and should not be, in any way, controlled by the state.” However, because of the world we live in it must be voted on by the people so it can be honored as one man and one woman as it should be. See, if the marriage amendment was to be voted down it would mean that those who adhere to correct Biblical doctrine and stand against homosexual unions would be committing hate speech and crimes because they would speak against something that is recognized by law. How does this play out for them and their right to free speech? Where does their freedom go? Furthermore, if this became a constitutional amendment, they would have to honor a homosexual union as a “marriage” leaving them no way to stand for what they believe without judicial consequences in certain situations. For example, in Maryland (where this amendment was voted down), Catholic orphanages will not allow homosexual couples to adopt children, however the state says “based on the (new) law” they must allow homosexual couples to adopt because they are recognized by the law as a legal marriage and to not do so would be discrimination and prejudiced. Therefore, based on religious belief, the Catholic orphanages have had to shut down to stand on their conviction. Where is the freedom in that?

Eric said...

The bottom line is that morality has to be legislated because we live in a world where people choose to denounce and deny morality each day. We live in a world where absolutes exist and yet we talk and teach as if everything is relative. This is not a question of should morals be legislated but rather whose morality are we going to legislate and is that the right morality?

Anonymous said...

You don't know what the WORD OF GOD says. You know what a bunch of men decided the WORD OF GOD says. The bible wasn't written by God. Therefore, unless you have spoken directly to him/her/it/them, I wouldn't rely on it. We, as human beings, were placed on this earth to love one another, regardless of race or gender. Being closed minded and not being willing accept anything you believe isn't "right" by your definition isn't on God, that's on you.

Anonymous said...

I agree whole heartedly. I appreciate the eloquence of the author and respect his viewpoint but I totally agree with what you've stated above. Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Actually, it was for the act of gang rape and for a lack of following the customs of hospitality of the culture. Perhaps you need to reread the Bible and check your spelling, prior to posting comments like these.

Dean said...

Brent, thank you for a well-written and insightful article.

@Eric Actually, if this amendment is voted down, NOTHING will happen. NC State law will remain AS IS and will be the same as it is today. All this amendment does is codify current state law into the constitution, while taking away what scant amount of legal rights unmarried couples already have in the state (custody arrangements, domestic violence protections, etc). Please don't claim things that aren't true.

Also, your "Catholic orphanage" example is very deceptive. First, the people of Maryland have never voted on this type of amendment. Second, The Catholic Church is free to engage in adoptions, medical care, etc in any way they please. HOWEVER, and I can't stress this enough: YOU MUST FOLLOW STATE LAW IF YOU ACCEPT STATE MONIES! The Catholic Church has backed out of adoption services because they want state money with no strings attached. I'm sorry, but that's not the way it works. (Otherwise, they could just reject all Protestant parents, too...on your tax dollars).

Finally, I offer this: Do you want a constitutional amendment that bans the government from giving religious institution licenses to anyone but worshippers of Yahweh? (with all the tax benefits and other legal rights that come with it) Read the First Commandment. I take it worshipping other gods doesn't agree with the First Commandment or your worldview. If your answer is YES, then you are surely consistent. If NO, then why the inconsistency? Why do people get total freedom and government rights/benefits in very personal choice of religion, but not in the very personal choice of marriage? (Which I believe will be a moot point once the Supreme Court gets ahold of this, i.e. 14th amendment)

Anonymous said...

"Sec. 6. Marriage.
Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts."

Don't be mislead, this does NOT alter contracts or prevent them.

Dean said...

Court-enforcable custody arrangements, domestic violence protections, municipality-provided benefits, etc. are NOT private contracts. There are certain legal rights you can't draw up a private contract for. I stand by my words.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous...regarding the Word of God when looking at the evidence and the manuscripts available for inspection and through textual criticism the Old and New Testament are some of the most accurate historical accounts we have. If this be the case, why not believe them on all accounts including the supernatural? We believe other accounts with less available texts to check if it has been altered. If these texts were of no validity then there wouldn’t be so much debate from atheists on their validity because it would be easy to prove. You are going to need a little more than just a statement to discredit the Old and New Testament.

Eric said...

@Dean…thank you for your response.
@Dean...on your first paragraph, with all due respect I have not stated something that is not true. By voting to not define marriage as between a man and a woman you vote to allow marriage to be between any gender, therefore what I said was true and the law will change so please, respectfully, take your own advice and do not make a claim that is unfounded.

@Dean...on your second paragraph...you are correct and I apologize. I misunderstood the bill that Maryland voted on. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. However, the analogy still works. By not defining marriage as one man and one woman you redefine marriage and put religious freedom in jeopardy for any who believe that marriage between one man and one woman is the true definition of marriage. Regarding accepting monies from the state, I am not quite sure this is an accurate statement. However, I am not Catholic so I do not know the inner motivations of what they have chosen to do. On the surface of their faith system and what has been written they closed down adoptions for religious conviction and not what you are claiming. Unless you have evidence to support your claim than my initial claim still stands as true.
@ Dean...on your final paragraph...you commit the fallacy of bifurcation here as there is a third option and that option is to keep marriage between one man and one woman the way God created it to be for all of humanity in Genesis 2. By keeping marriage between one man and one woman you stay within the framework that God created marriage for. Therefore, you do not have to be a worshipper of Yahweh to still be within the framework of His creation. Furthermore, the reason tax benefits and other legal rights come with it is not because the government wants to recognize the religious aspect but because society recognized long ago that communities are much much stronger when you have a father and mother together in marriage raising children. They put those measures in place to encourage these relationships for the better of society and this is for the social good and that has been demonstrated through various studies both secular and religious. On a side note, the government is going to endorse some form of religion because religion is the base of humanity. Everyone has a set of beliefs that they govern their lives by and interpret life by therefore it is not a question of if the government will endorse a certain religion but rather which religion will they endorse. Finally, on your last question “Why do people get total freedom and government rights/benefits in very personal choice of religion, but not in the very personal choice of marriage?” your premise is off base. Marriage is a religious institution therefore you cannot separate marriage and religion.

Dave said...

@Eric, you stated about my comment on freedom "Does this apply to those who are imprisoned for committing crimes? It would appear that it does not and therefore, it would also appear that you are not respecting their freedom because it would seem that none of them “choose” to be restrained to prison." I did not say that there are no consequences for not respecting someone's freedom. If you steal you are disrespecting freedom. If you kill you are disrespecting freedom. There absolutely should be punishment for committing such crimes. I'm not calling for anarchy here, just stating the basic premise upon which our laws should be based.

You also stated "By not defining marriage as one man and one woman you redefine marriage and put religious freedom in jeopardy for any who believe that marriage between one man and one woman is the true definition of marriage." How does that put religious freedom in jeopardy? No matter what the state says about anything, you are always free to practice your religion (assuming it respects others' freedoms).

And I think Eric said this: "Actually, if the author truly loves the republican form of gov't guaranteed in the federal constitution as he stated, then he should realize that the structure of that means that the people of each state should have the freedom to decide for themselves just how much of their moral values they want to interject into their state laws. If others don't like the outcome, they can't vote with their feet by moving to a state that is more in line with their morals. That's the beauty of the freedom that is protected by the true republican form of gov't that the founders intended when they drafted the federal constitution." This is accurate and the way the country was built. But remember that, when you vote yes, that the next time around when there's an amendment that says 'NC laws will be superseded by Sharia law' and everyone votes yes, too bad. You're screwed. And, frankly, you'll deserve it.

The problem here is that people are putting their religious views into law. LAWS SHOULD NOT BE BASED SOLELY ON RELIGIOUS VIEWS. They should be based on basic truths that stem from the lessons that humanity has learned over our time here on earth. Yes, many of those lessons are intrinsic parts of all religions, but they too were based off of the basic need to form a society where people could get and adhere to social standards. That's just life. That's not religion. I think we all can agree that we shouldn't kill people or steal from others. That doesn't require biblical doctrine to be true. That requires the basic understanding of a five year old.

Bottom line, in the grand scheme of things, a marriage is really just two people choosing to live their lives together. I truly believe it's what is best for a family. And, honestly, I'm really not a fan of gay marriage and think it's best left for places like San Francisco. But who am I to tell two people that they can't love each other and share in each others hard work.

Anonymous said...

But what about those citizens who know there is no god or heaven or hell or any of that business? Are we supposed to be governed by mandates that don't apply to us? I don't murder people because it's wrong, not because your god told you it's wrong.

Anonymous said...

But what about us, the staunch atheists? Why should we care what your god told you to do?

Beck Gambill said...

To anonymous and the non-religious or atheists commenting. I personally wrote my comment/question directly to the author, based on the fact that we hold the same Christian values. Had I been writing to an atheist in the first place I would have come from a different angle or premise knowing our value system is different. My comment, however, was addressing questions I had regarding the living out of a shared belief system with the author.

I am interested by the non-religious or atheist perspective though. Each person has said we should have moral laws to determine how we live and used language such as right and wrong. How is that determined though, whose version of right or wrong should be used, the majority? What if the majority is "wrong"? Does that just stink for the rest of us then. Or does being the majority make someone right? When the standard of truth is based on man then truth is subject to change. I find it odd that humans prefer this method.

Interesting conversation, very educational for sure.

eric said...

@dave…thank you for your clarification. However, with morality there is a right choice or a wrong choice and all are free to make either choice but any choice made, in regards to morality, is either to be morally right or morally wrong. Based upon your response, it appears you would say that any act that is morally wrong (i.e. murder, stealing) disrespects freedom and I would agree with you on that premise. On a side note, but very important to this conversation is God. The existence of God weighs in on this topic. There is great evidence historically, metaphysically, epistemologically; philosophically and textually that He exists and He is the One True God of the Bible. With that being the case, homosexuality is a moral issue based upon the special revelation of God in the Bible. On that note, the choice of a homosexual lifestyle is either morally right or morally wrong. One does not have a choice for a third option because as has already been demonstrated, with morality, something is either morally right or morally wrong. If it is morally right, then there are grounds to deem this amendment unconstitutional and biased. However, if it is morally wrong (which is where I stand), then it disrespects freedom and should not be allowed.

eric said...

@dave…this is correct unless that religion goes in direct opposition of state law because then it is deemed biased or prejudiced. For example, in Canada where the homosexual agenda has been victorious, if a Christian pastor speaks against homosexuality as a sinful choice (which is what the bible teaches) they can be indicted for hate speech and punished in jail. That is how religious freedom can be put into jeopardy which our nation is moving closer to this practice each day. How can it be right to imprison a man for his religious beliefs?
@dave…I stand by what I say and that is why I put my name to my posts so the post about the republican form of gov’t was not me. Sorry to disappoint.
@dave…you make a great point when you say “I think we all can agree that we shouldn't kill people or steal from others. That doesn't require biblical doctrine to be true. That requires the basic understanding of a five year old.” You are right it doesn’t require biblical doctrine but it does require something that is objective for it to be true for all. There arises a problem in your thinking because you accept morality as universally true and yet you give no account for where these universal morals come from or who determines what is morally right or wrong. On that note for our naturalists in the conversation, evolution can’t govern morality because according to that thinking we are products of evolution which is a deterministic process, therefore, it can’t be right or wrong to do something because everything is determined by evolution so we can’t be held accountable for our actions. So we are back to where morals come from and who determines what is right or wrong? If a 5 year has a basic understanding of what is right and wrong then, based on what you said in your response, you would have to say that that 5 year learned what is morally right and morally wrong from the lessons of humanity. However, because they do not have the mental capacity to understand these lessons in their entirety, it must be something intrinsic to us as humans. For example, a 3 year old doesn’t need a parent to tell them that a toy that is taken from them by their friend is wrong. They know it to be wrong, but how? Furthermore, in order for all of us to agree on morals there must be some kind of objectivity to morality. If that be the case, what is the object that determines morality? There must be some type of universal element.
@dave…I disagree with your bottom line. Marriage is more than just two people choosing to live their lives together. It is a religious institution that was created by God for the purposes of humanity to demonstrate God’s relationship to humanity. Once again, either homosexuality is morally wrong or morally right. If it is morally right, than you are correct and we have no right to tell them otherwise, however if it is morally wrong, you have every right to take a stand for what is right morally.

eric said...

@anonymous…you make an unfounded statement that cannot be proven empirically. You cannot know that God does not exist. You issue an epistemological statement that cannot be supported. And yes, the same is true for theists. We cannot know empirically that God does exist. This is why we need to weigh the evidence that is founded before us and the evidence is far greater for God’s existence than it is against God’s existence. Furthermore, until you can demonstrate that God does not exist, God’s existence stands. You ask the question “are we supposed to be governed by mandates that don’t apply to us?” Based on your response “I don’t murder,” you are already being governed by a mandate “murdering is wrong” which does not apply to you. Therefore, in your logic the answer is yes.
@anonymous…what about you? You shouldn’t necessarily care what God said in the bible and you have the freedom to not think twice about it and choose to live opposite its Truth, but that does not mean you are not held accountable to its moral standard. If God exists, than you are held accountable by the Bible’s moral standard. It does not matter what your preference is. On the other hand, if God does not exist, than there is no moral standard whatsoever to hold one accountable to because we have no objectivity in our moral standards. Therefore, we cannot prescribe morality in any form.

Eric said...

@dave...sorry I misspoke on this comment below...."It is a religious institution that was created by God for the purposes of humanity to demonstrate God’s relationship to humanity." Marriage is a religious insitution that was created by God for the purpose of humanity, however it demonstrates Jesus' relationship to the church which ultimately shows how God interacts with humanity. Sorry for the confusion.

Dean said...

@Beck - Christian here, just for reference. Even the Declaration of Independence was written with words proclaiming the man could realize certain truths: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

@Eric - Thanks for the response.

Your quote: "on your first paragraph, with all due respect I have not stated something that is not true. By voting to not define marriage as between a man and a woman you vote to allow marriage to be between any gender, therefore what I said was true and the law will change so please, respectfully, take your own advice and do not make a claim that is unfounded. " -- I do not agree. State law will not change, please provide PROOF that it will somehow change if the amendment is defeated. The state DOMA law is still on the books. (for that matter, the amendment could pass and then be revoked by another vote in ten years....so what is the point?)

Secondly, I understand that religious persecution is a concern and I am very committed to allowing religious institutions and people to have the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

I also believe that those freedoms should be exercised with monies/property/time that is not at the taxpayer/government expense. The problem the Catholic Church is facing, in particular, is that they have allowed their medical and adoption services to become so entangled in public monies that they have created a Catch-22 for themselves: Follow their consciences or take public money. Let's take Massachusetts (the first state with marriage equality) as an example. Catholic Charities Boston had been providing adoption services there for decades under state contract. Since 1989, they had complied with state regulations required non-discrimination in adoption services, which included sexual orientation. In fact, their own records show that they had place at least 13 children with same-sex couples since 1989. In the same way, non-discrimination laws required they make adoptions regardless of RACE, RELIGION, MARITAL STATUS (including divorced), SEX, DISABILITY, etc. So, it wasn't until 2006 (three years after same-sex couple in that state could get married), that Catholic Charities, by dictate of their Bishop, pulled their adoption services from the state. Nothing new was required of the adoption agencies in that state with the introduction of marriage equality, so I'm not sure what the Catholic Church's agenda was there.

I will say that the state of New York implemented specific exemptions in its marriage equality bill that allowed for religious adoption agencies to discriminate. So, the accusation that marriage equality somehow will DEFINITELY end religious organizations from participating in adoptions is unfounded. I have a feeling that your ultimate beef has more to do with anti-discrimination laws (and exceptions) than with marriage equality itself.

Dean said...

Third, my "fallacy of bifurcation" is looking at the laws and Constitution of the State of North Carolina and the United States of America. I will not tolerate the government endorsing one form of religion over another. It is not in the government's mandate to do so. That being said, I still don't understand why you think the government should give license to what you consider would consider false religion, based on you line of argument against marriage equality.

Also, in a perfect world, the government would have never used the word "marriage" in handing out licenses of civil union...but, that's where we are. My argument is this: Based on the 14th amendment, if the government continues to use the word "marriage" for civil licenses (which are completely different that a religious marriage), then that word should be applied equally. If not, then change all CIVIL marriage licenses to "civil unions" and apply the law equally. Honestly, with one is fine with me...but government favoritism is not. Gay or straight, the ability to go to the courthouse and pay $60 to receive a government-issue license for a package of over 1000 rights and responsibilities should equal opportunity.

What a religious community decides its best understanding of revelation on the institution of marriage is completely within their jurisdiction.

Dean said...

In response to Constitutionality and Morality:

"Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code" --Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 1992

Even the Lawrence v. Texas decision (2003) stated that morality can not provide rational basis grounds for laws.

My argument is this: Constitutionality does not equal Morality.

Even the Constitution itself defined certain people in this country as 3/5 of a person until after the Civil War (immoral, in my opinion).

So my arguments for law will be based on constitutional grounds (mostly 5th and 14th amendments), not morality grounds.

If this were a discussion about a particular church's stance on gay marriage IN THE CHURCH, I'd argue from a different foundation of logic...but it's not.

Brent Woodcox said...

I haven't felt the need to comment much here. Simply because I have said most everything that I want to above. But @Beck, I suppose it would be fair to say I am using a Christian standard of morality to guide my vote on the amendment. It is just that my standard is "Treat others as you would like be treated" and is based on the words of Philippians 2. I think it is important for the church to have a redemptive, prophetic voice in the culture. I think the church can better maintain that voice by allowing for tolerance and freedom when it comes to lawmaking that will affect Christians and non-Christians alike than by trying to control a culture that is constantly changing.

Eric said...

@dean...I apologize. You are correct regarding the DOMA laws. After looking at my comments, I would be arguing for what will more than likely follow instead of what will absolutely happen immediately following the vote. My apologies again and thank you for the clarification.

@dean...thank you for more information regarding the Catholica church. I am at a loss because the information that I have read did not portray that to be the case so I will not pursue that any further or use it as an example until I can do more research.

@dean...I am not sure I used or would use the word definitely when speaking to religious organizations and adoption. However, it is more than likely this will follow as/if the homosexual agenda is furthered as in Canada.

@dean...I say this respectfully but you do tolerate the government endorsing one religion over another. Currently, the government endorses the athestic set of beliefs by attempting to be equal to all they endorse the atheistic worldview. This is my point. There is no escaping religion because if the foundation of our worldviews. The government will endorse a set religion the only question is which one.

@dean...marriage was created by God so anyone who is getting married is not practicing false religion but rather true religion. There is where the problem lies. God created marriage to be between a man and a woman so when the government or people begin attempting to redefine marriage they begin practicing false religion and that is why I stand against it.
@dean…for clarification please share your definition of a civil marriage and a religious marriage?
@dean…your whole premise is off again in regards to morality. You cannot find freedom/liberty in a world without an objective moral code. Freedom comes from structure and structure is found in objective morals. The reason we are in the situation we are in from a humanities perspective is because there is a moral code that is upon us all and it has been broken and continues to be broken. Also, you using court cases to prove your point doesn’t work because you are using subjectivity to imply an objective standard which does not work in any way. We cannot use a subjective mindset to imply an objective standard. Regarding the constitution defining people as 3/5 a person…..you are absolutely right that isn’t right but I don’t see how that plays on this discussion.
@dean…you cannot have any kind of constitution or society without morals in place as the foundation. Morality is what determines how we can live with each in harmony so you have to at least be willing to discuss morality is you are going to be discussing laws that apply to everyone.

Eric said...

Brent...respectfully speaking. As a Christian, the Truth of God's Word is what should define culture as it speaks to reality...not the other way around. Your exegesis is a little off based and really can't be used when looking at Scripture as a whole to support your positions.

Dean said...

@Eric - Please don't compare Canada to the US as we have very different Constitutions when it comes to the "first amendment" type freedoms. (The story I always see is about the pastor Stephen Boissoin jailed for anti-gay hate speech...his conviction was overturned by the High Court in Alberta in 2009).

Since we approach civil law in completely different manners, I'm afraid this discussion will be fruitless from a public policy standpoint, so I will not continue on that point. I see no sense in your "government HAS to endorse a religion" argument. A government should be neutral and give people a level playing field on which to exercise their freedoms.

CIVIL marriage is a government license that is given to those who seek it and offers 1000+ rights and responsibilities, many of which take the burden off the State from making family support decisions and places it on the married couple (Doesn't even have to be called marriage as as stated in an earlier point, just has to be equal opportunity).

RELIGIOUS marriage (or even non-religious marriage for that manner) is when people decide outside of any government license to declare their commitment to each other, their family and friends, and to God (or not, if they choose).

CIVIL and RELIGIOUS marriage can happen one without the other and it does every day. (i.e. Seniors who marry in a church but don't get a marriage license because of Medicaid/benefits loss issues...or people who for financial or other purposes get a civil marriage license but make no commitment to each other or anyone else)

I hold my ground on everything I've said about CIVIL marriage and I hope that equal opportunity comes. My friends that are raising three kids (including one that has lifetime special needs) sure don't need the obstacles that denial of a CIVIL marriage license causes.

Dean said...

One more thought: Be glad for the Westboro Baptist Church (despite their vile, wrong-headed theology). Their win in Snyder v. Phelps (2011) goes a long ways in protecting religious and speech freedom in this country.

Hustler Magazine v. Falwell (1988) was a great court case for speech freedoms as well.

I also agree with Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000) and its strengthening of freedom of association (the ability of a private organization to exclude those it wants).

Sometimes the interest of liberty means giving other the freedom to make choices we would not make for ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, Marriage was invented long before Christ ever walked on water, before Moses split the Red Sea, before the Pharohs built the Great Pyramids. Marriage cannot be considered a Godly gift if it pre-dates God. Marriage was invented by man to keep other men from stealing and mating with their women. Religion has little or nothing to do with the validity or the real history of marriage. Rather, Marriage was adopted by most faiths and celebrated through them. Native Americans didnt believe in God, but they had wives. The Myans, Incas, and other peoples predating modern religion had wives. Take the Relious ties out of marriage and the problems of LBGTS will be solved.

Bill said...

Anti-Christian? Christ was more concerned with the well-being of people than with their happiness. People who claim to want to make homosexuals happy often confuse the difference between compassion for the PERSON and respect for the LIFESTYLE. They think they are being "tolerant" and "loving" by supporting the lifestyle. However, it is impossible to be both pro-homosexual lifestyle AND pro-person because the homosexual lifestyle is itself highly destructive to the person as has been repeatedly demonstrated. Aside from the inherent health risks specifically associated with the lifestyle that are too many to list here, abuse rates between partnered homosexual men and women are many times higher than between married heterosexual couples: The U.S. Dept. of Justice (July 2000) found that 11.4% of lesbians and 15.4% of hmsx. males had experienced partner abuse. Compare this with non-gay couples: only 0.26% married women and 0.05% married men experienced partner violence.

Gay activists, Marshal Kirk and Hunter Madsen, wrote in their book After The Ball, 1989: “...gay men aren’t very good at having and holding lovers...[because] gay men tire of their partners more rapidly than straight men... The cheating ratio of ‘married’ gay males, given enough time, approaches 100%.” Fantastic backdrop for raising children isn't it?

Why is this? Because men were never designed to meet the intimate physical, psychological, and emotional needs of men any more than women were for women - it is bizarre that this self-evident truth must even be stated. True love is not co-dependence; it is desiring the greatest good for another. Practicing a lifestyle of mutual harm is not love.

Supporting and sanctioning that lifestyle as a legitimate foundation for social structure is driven not by compassion nor evidence, but emotionalism. Unfortunately, the government can not afford to base its decisions on emotionalism, but rather on social structures that are stable and proven. Heterosexual marriages are that standard. Pretending that marriage can be defined any other way ignores reality and the consequences doing so will bring.

Dean said...

@Bill First, I'd like you to explain exactly what the "lifestyle" of a gay couple is, then explain what is so highly destructive within a committed, monogamous relationship. Even committed, monogamous heterosexual couples face some health risks.

Second, are you a statistics major? You never compare samples that aren't equivalent. Your statistics compare non-legally committed gay couples to married straight couples. What are the violence rates in unmarried straight couples? Married/partnered gay couples?

Funny, you never hear anyone who is gay ever mention Kirk & Madsen...but a quick Goggle search show pages and pages of references from "pro-family," "ex-gay," and similar organizations. The authors themselves say they wrote most of that book tongue-in-cheek (i.e. satire), but somehow these organizations treat it like it's some kind of holy scripture. Also....same-sex marriage wasn't a legal reality until 2001 anywhere in the world, so I'm not sure how your "cheating" statistic holds any water.

Finally, have you actually met a gay couple with kids? Sat down for a meal with them? Heard their stories? I've seen some thriving families who have taken kids out of the foster system and are raising them into fantastic adults. A fantastic backdrop, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Brent, isn't your position a moral one too? Seems to me that all laws are based in moral views, even if they are not founded in a traditionally "religious" view. The better argument would be to address why equal property and contract rights, as a moral principle, take precedence over a particular marriage law. After all, the belief that everyone should have the right to contract/dispose of their property as they please is a moral view that you wish to impose on society (and one I tend to agree with).

But despite the clear importance of freedom of K, which the language of the Amendment honors on its face, I am not so sure the argument is as simple as you are trying to make it. First, I am not convinced that marriage law and contract/property rights are actually at odds. Seems like any individual will still be allowed to will their property, sign over end of life decision, etc. But even if they are at odds, most people agree that under certain circumstances gov't can legitimately treat people unequally as to property rights (e.g., wealth transfers under welfare, zoning law, tax and spend for legitimate purpose, etc.). So the marriage context would be no different from welfare if gov't has a rational reason. The reason proffered by many is that marriage law is an attempt to benefit couples who are presumed procreative (even if not actually able to procreate) so that they can provide for the children that they are likely to have. If that is the purpose of marriage law, then it makes sense to offer special benefits to heterosexual commitments and not others. I am not necessarily convinced that wealth transfers to care for children is a good policy, but if we assume it is, distinguishing b/t presumptively procreative and presumptively non-procreative commitments does make sense.

I think it would helpful for you to argue why that distinction is irrational and explain the moral basis for how you measure rationality. Or you could argue that caring for children through marriage law is a morally illegitimate purpose of government, falling outside the government's property jurisdiction. I would like to hear your thoughts on either of those issues.

Brent Woodcox said...

Jonathan, of course, my position is a moral one. It is also a Christian one. Founded in Paul's call to the Philippians to follow the example of Jesus, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." What's so sacrosanct about contracts or freedom itself unless we place a moral value on it anyway? My position is not that Christian morality has no place in politics. It is that Christian morality should not be used to limit the freedom of others who will not or do not live up to what a particular Christian sect believes.

As far as the contract angle, amendments written in this way have had far-reaching consequences on past and future contracts when they were adopted in other states. Ultimately, judges are the ones to interpret the language and so while we can be unsure of how that might shake out, I thought it was the goal of amendment proponents to remove this argument from the judicial realm. That is also not to mention the fact that marriage itself is but a contract absent some religious authority to deem it sacred. Certainly, even if marriage has gained some civil religious sanctity through law, that could not be the case with civil unions which are also banned by this amendment.

Finally, the idea that we favor heterosexual unions simply because they are presumed procreative is a farce. We don’t revoke marriage rights for those heterosexual couples who choose not to have children so blocking marriage rights for gay couples who choose not to have children is the very definition of an irrational distinction absent the true motivation which is discrimination based on sexual orientation. It also ignores the fact that gay couples can rear children, either through adoption, artificial insemination, or surrogacy. So there is no rational basis for presuming that gay people are not procreative as a matter of biology or in the eyes of the law.

beverley said...

Some of those commenting perhaps fail to understand just what marriage is. It is not getting married in a church by itself that makes a marriage legal--you must sign the papers provided by governmental authorities to make it legal. The ritual that occurs in church or synagogue or temple, or whatever venue is chosen, is a statement before your god and your chosen friends and relatives that you are choosing to become a couple. But it's not the preacher that makes it legal, it's the instrument of the state that does that. Remember that marriage is (perhaps you won't like this) besides being a commitment, is also a means of declaring ownership, securing property and other "rights" and an attempt to "guarantee" the ownership of DNA for inheritance. That's the main reason the catholic church instituted celibacy, primarily instituted as a result of the Second Lateran Council (1139) largely to prevent the wives and offspring of priests from claiming any property of the church. If you are interested, Google "history of marriage" and check out: http://wiki.ask.com/Clerical_celibacy#Fifth_to_seventh_centuries
And as for a main reason of voting NO on Amendment one, please remember that a fundamental founding principle of this nation was separation of church and state--that's why many of our ancestors came here. I encourage everyone to vote against this ill-conceived amendment. Anyone else's marriage or non-marriage should have no effect on our own individual lives or relationships. Society is strengthened by encouraging strong relationships, not prohibitions against relationships.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! If I could hug you right now I would. Thank you! I have tears in my eyes as I read this. I don't have the words to express my gratitude for this posting. Thank you!

Kiarah Crosier said...

I will agree that marriage is governed by the gods of a given religion. If the members of the marriage contract subscribe to a religion. Neither this wonderful (sincerity) piece of writing nor the brilliant (sarcasm) people trying to push this Amendment through are attempting to argue that point. But which gods "deserve" respect in the matter? Yours? Mine? Separation of church and state was put into place to prevent that very argument from

Anonymous said...

As a Christian, I agree with you. As a citizen of the U.S., I don't. It is rather arrogant to feel that we have a right to push our religion on others. That very mentality is what caused the demise of many of my ancestors (American Indians). In the name of religion, many injustices have been practiced. At the time, it seemed 100% right. Now, we are see that those so-called Christians were just using Christianity to justify murder and other atrocities. This is no different. Using gay marriage as a means to take away the rights of innocent children is wrong, immoral, unethical and unchristian. Let's not regress, people.

Anonymous said...

Were Christians the ones who decided that "One Nation Under God" really meant "One Nation (as long as you're a white, land-owning male), Under God"? Is that really our model?

Kiarah Crosier said...

"But I believe rewriting truth to suite our comfort is like playing with fire and I'm unwilling to do so."

The truth of your religion has been rewritten several times throughout history. Unless you are fluent in archaic Hebrew and Aramaic and have access to the original stories as written by the original followers of your Christ, you do not have the truth as it was originally stated.

Anonymous said...

As a Christian, I would like to comment. Being the majority makes you right. Ask anyone is the minority. US History is taught incorrectly all the time. But...the majority (the winners) tell the story how they would like for students to know it...not necessarily based on accuracy. Secondly, morality is not based solely on Christianity. There are many moral and ethical individuals who do not practice Christianity. The problem with making laws that oppress others based on the majority's religious views is that you're setting a precedent. One day Christians will not be the majority and the oppressed will become the oppressors and when that happens, votes like this will have set the precedent used to oppress the former majority.
Just consider it all...

Anonymous said...

Correction: American Indians had religious views and we historically and traditionally believed in a higher power, Great Spirit, Great Grandfather, etc.

Bill said...

@Dean - Sexual relationships outside marriage - both homosexual and heterosexual - are wrought with dysfunction. Activists always bring this up b/c homosexual relationships are only somewhat comparable to broken heterosexual ones.
But let's define the terms. "Monogamous" means something quite different in the male homosexual community than in the general population - monogamy does not seem to reign in the behavior:

- Homosexual mag. Genre (Oct. '96) - “One of the single largest groups in the gay community still experiencing an increase of HIV are supposedly monogamous couples.”

- McWhirter & Mattison, The Male Couple (1984): - Fidelity among hetero. women = 85%; hetero. men = 75%; partnered homosexual men = 4.5% - and these had been together less than 5 years - partnerships older than 5 yrs. had provisions within their "monogamy" that allowed for outside partners.

- Homosexual mag. The Advocate (Aug. 23, 1984) - 87% of hmsx. men are dating multiple people while only 11% have a primary partner

- Homosexual mag. Genre (Oct. 1996) - 40% of gay men have more than 40 sex partners

Unmarried heterosexual relationships can not compare with this level of promiscuity. (Among hmsx. men the sex drive is exaggerated and turned outward; among hmsx. women needs are inward and emotional co-dependence results.)

- Dan Savage, homosexual activist/sex columnist: “Yeah, absolutely we need to rethink love and commitment. …Because monogamy is ridiculous and people aren’t any good at it. It’s unnatural and it places a tremendous strain on our marriages and our long-term commitments to expect them to be effortlessly monogamous. And the truth of the matter is that if you’re with somebody for 40, 50 years and they only cheated on you a few times they were good at being monogamous, not bad at being monogamous.”

> In Dan's world monogamy is unrealistic, so he tries to redefine it for the rest of us.

It's funny that Kirk & Madsen's "tongue-in-cheek" comments mirror the statistics - statistics which did not originate with pro-family, ex-gay organizations but are merely cited by them (see homosexual magazine sources above - are they "tongue-and-cheek" also?). Activists don't mention Hunter and Madsen b/c their book is a candid expose of the lifestyle and outlines propaganda that has been followed flawlessly by the media who do apparently consider it holy scripture.

A gay couple deprives a child of either a mother or a father (especially if they are given preferential adoptive privileges). Sure a child needs love, but that's not all. They need the particular attributes and sex-specific role modeling that only each particular sex can provide, as well as a stable home life - do I need to cite the avg. duration of gay partnerships here? (1.5 yrs. for gay men + 8 partners per year (Journal AIDS, Netherlands study, 2003. And the Netherlands is ahead of us in providing homosexual privileges, marriage, etc.)

Let's get beyond reducing homosexuality to an abstract social/emotional question - its destructive reality has been exhaustively documented. It is inherently physically and/or psychologically damaging - the health issues alone (HPV, hepatitis, gay bowel syndrome, HIV/AIDS, depression) should prevent any informed person from affirming it - or recommending it as a "fantastic backdrop" for children. There is a reason why 2 of the top 3 health risks facing homosexuals in both men and women is drug abuse (#2) and domestic abuse (#3). (#1 is AIDS among men and cancer among women). For these reasons alone, I can not affirm the lifestyle of my hmsx. friends - and I have quite a few - family as well.

These are results of physical unions that by their very nature can not meet the needs of the partners, thus making them unstable environments for children and unstable structures for government to sanction as if normative.

Bill said...

...forgot to answer your first question about defining what the "lifestyle'" of a gay couple is.
Short answer: The unnatural, incompatible nature of the sex dictates the lifestyle. Everything else I've outlined is an outworking of that. Ignoring the fact that these consequences don't exist is not a relationship but an illusion.

Bill said...

*exist (minus don't)

Bill said...

"Anyone else's marriage or non-marriage should have no effect on our own individual lives or relationships."

An analogy: Earlier this year my wife and I wondered why our home owners insurance went up by 14%. After contacting our insurance company, we were told that severe storm damage in the eastern part of the state last year caused rates to go up across the state. But why is that fair? We didn't have that kind of damage in our part of the state. No - but because we are all part of the same larger community, we collectively pay when things go wrong in one part of it.

Homosexual marriage may not affect my marriage directly, but it definitely does affect society and the institution of marriage indirectly - just as other destructive (private) behaviors do. For example, we all pay for a high illegitimacy rate, STDs, pornography addiction, drugs, abuse, crime and racism even if we are not directly involved in them. The health costs alone related to homosexual behavior ("monogamous" or otherwise) should easily disqualify it from state support. But emotionalism and political pressure temporarily obscure reality and clear thinking in a smokescreen. Consequences always bring reality back in focus, but then it demands a higher price to be recognized.

Government rewards and encourages marriage via benefits because true (heterosexual) marriage is the stable foundation of society that produces the next generation of tax payers, not an unstable, unhealthy union that ultimately costs the tax payers. (see previous posts for instability evidence)

"Society is strengthened by encouraging strong relationships..." Exactly - which is what Amendment 1 does.

Claudia said...

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
It's actually quite outrageous to think of a man identifying himself as a follower of Christ, a Warrior for the Word, to think that loving the sinner also includes being tolerant of their sin. To think that you are willing to forego this opportunity to influence the world we live in, to bring it more in line with the Word of God rather than risk being offensive is absolutely unfathomable yet a frightening reality you are exemplifying.
I realize my comment may not change your perspective but this post has been quite disturbing to my thoughts this week, it is impossible for me to not use my voice here.

Anonymous said...

Whether or not homosexuality is a sin is a debate that will always plague Christian communities. My own congregation believes that God ordains marriage - and blesses unions of gay and lesbian couples in the same way we bless unions of straight couples. Our Christian perspective obviously conflicts with other Christian perspectives. To suggest that voting for this amendment brings our state more in line with the Word of God is outrageous. I study the same Word of God that you do. And we could go back and forth about what it says - which is the point. A constitutional amendment is the wrong place to have this debate. Let's have it in church.

Anonymous said...

Most of the people I know fighting this Amendment are Christians. Pretending that supporting it is the Christian thing to do is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

I will speak out for all of those whom this Amendment threatens. I will vote to protect ALL families in this state. I will vote AGAINST this Amendment.

Anonymous said...

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" - which is why good, Christian, men and women must fight against this Amendment. We cannot do nothing and let such ugliness reign.

Anonymous said...

Another Baptist Family voting against Amendment One.

Anonymous said...

This is hateful and ridiculous. I give thanks for the gay couples in our congregation. Thanks be to God.

Unknown said...

The Marriage Protection Amendment is very clear: “This section does not prohibit a private
party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts
from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts." Thus, the
Amendment does not interfere with your right, or the rights of others, to enter into, and enforce,
private legal agreements. Under the Amendment, private companies can provide health benefits
to any couple or family member it wants, and that agreement can be enforced in court. Nothing
in the Amendment prohibits local governments or the UNC System from providing an array of
benefits to partners, roommates, family members, or others designated by employees or
students, if they choose to do so.

Anonymous said...

This is misleading. If you hate gay people and want to make sure their life in this state is hell, then supporting this amendment is a fantastic step.

Curtis Freeman said...

http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/04/26/2026062/amendment-one-vote-imperils-benefits.html

As the N&O article today correctly reports, Amendment One is absolutely NOT clear. What IS clear is that domestic partnership benefits would be disallowed for all public employees. What is disputed is how the amendment might affect private parties. The bizarre legalize language of the second sentence tries to qualify the first sentence, but if passed, it will surely be disputed in the courts. It was in Michigan. The "Unknown" post above surely supports the amendment but is blind to the implications. Unknown simply has misstated the facts.

Bill said...

I think you are missing a blessing by not seeing the truly profound meaning of marriage that Scripture expresses so beautifully and which explains why God can not bless homosexual unions.

The "Bride/Bridegroom" metaphor found throughout Scripture is not mere poetic ornamentation, but rather THE expression of THE "profound mystery" (Eph. 5:32), THE sacred union, and THE physical reflection/symbol of God's spiritual intimacy with his people (Rev. 21:9).

Consider how the symbolism unfolds: God is the Bridegroom. The Church is the Bride. The church is barren unless she is penetrated by the Spirit of God and Christ, thus producing a fruitful (John 15:4), mutually joyful relationship (John 15:11).

The very nature of homosexual relationships which precludes a compatible "one flesh" (Eph. 5:32) union does not result in fruitfulness (either via children nor via full expression of each sex's inherent gifts), but often short-lived, co-dependent, health-threatening outcomes.

Do you think God can actually bless relationships which not only harm both parties involved but thereby distort and slander His profound relationship to his people?

Homosexual unions can not reflect this spiritual reality - not because the parties involved are not sincerely trying to find love - but because the very nature of their relationship defies the design of the Creator.

Design indicates function. (It is beyond me why this simple truth does not settle the conversation.)
When design is ignored and emotionalism dictates decision making, damage results to the parties involved, but greater damage is done to the character of God himself.

Anonymous said...

In fact, we were NOT founded as "One Nation Under God" or under the premise of "In God We Trust". The fact is that these slogans weren't added to our pledge of allegiance or to our currency until the religious movements of the 1950's. Our founding fathers, fleeing religious persecution of the Anglican church, understood well the perils of merging religion and government.

Anonymous said...

I just wonder why everyone cares so much about what everyone else is doing. Remember "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in you own eye?" Matthew 7:3. How must are conservative Christians (and I am a registered republican who goes to church every Sunday) affected by homosexuality. Let other people live their lives. We are not the 'ruling class' and whether we like it or not you can just go down to the courthouse and get married and skip the church entirely. In the US today a marriage can be a religious binding of two people under God, or a legal binding, or just the legal binding. Christians who want to get married have to get a marriage license from the state and that is a LEGAL document. Who cares if homosexual couples want those same LEGAL rights. The church is in no way required to preform marriages or to recognize them. It is a LEGAL union, not a RELIGIOUS union, so I don't understand why everyone is getting so uptight about it.

Anonymous said...

I will have to respectfully disagree. I can't address each and every argument you post, but let me touch on what I can.

A) This amendment is decidedly Christian. In Romans 12 and 1 Cor 6:9-10 we clearly see God considers homosexuality (among other things) a sin. How can we vote for something that God is against?

B) Voting for marriage is not a put-down of homosexuals. As I mentioned above, the Bible makes it clear homosexuality is a sin, but so are many other things. I don't hate alcoholics just because I consider their behavior a sin or support laws that arrest drunk drivers.

C) Similar amendments are on the book in over 30 states and they are not having the negative consequences you describe. The amendment simply states that 1m1w marriage is the only valid marriage in this state, there is no reasonable way you can get from that to the dire consequences you claim.

D) You try to have your cake and eat it too. Amendment One is bad, but anyway, we don't need it because we already have laws. The amendment is to protect our laws from being overturned by activists courts, which has happened elsewhere (Iowa being one example).

E) The amendment is not anti-freedom. This is all about defining what marriage is. If I loved my adult sister, I could not marry her, would I be losing some freedom because of that? Of course not, it is simply that an incestuous relationship like that is not a marriage. If I wanted to engage in relations with her, etc etc etc, I could. It'd be wrong but I could. I simply could not have the gov't recognize that relationship as a marriage because it isn't one.

As a Christian, tell me where their is any support for homosexuality in the Bible? Any at all? We're told to love, but loving someone and approving of sinful behavior are two different things. If someone is sinning, the most loving thing I can do is introduce them to a loving God who will save them, not allow them to continue in that sin.

Anonymous said...

Just curios ( regarding Levitical law) do all of you not engage in having "relations" with your wives seven days after her cycle is over? Also were you all marrying virgins on your wedding day? I am just curious why we as Christians pick "laws" we are most certain we don't commit? If I read through leviticus I am guilty of almost 75% of the laws. I am super conservation quiverfull homeschooling family who does actually believe God does not condone the use of birthcontrol. However I am not advocating for it to become illegal to sell BC to those who choose to use it. So I am curious why many Chrisitans I know who engage in affairs, divorce and many other immoralities find this topic the one they can stand on their high horse and forget all the Grace Christ gave them in their inequities ??? Just a curious question, I am in no way scholarly enough to engage in a heated discussion.

Anonymous said...

the anonymous above my post... Do you engage in birth control. The bible states a man should never have his seed fall on barren ground??? How can you condone people "planning" their families against God then?. I am not being hostile but there are so many laws that we ignore. Do you go out to eat on Sunday after church??? If so you are causing someone to break the sabbath? Do you gossip because in Leviticus I think that means you should be stoned? Does your pastor have a long Amish beard and lang side burns?? If not he is unpure to preach. Do special needs people worship at your church ( metal retardation and handicapped?) if so they should be asked to leave because Leviticus says they make the house of the Lord unpure??? SO yep sin is sin but we don't want sharia do we???

J. Morales said...

I notice that no one makes a positive case for homosexuality using the Bible. There is no reason Christians should support homosexuality, especially if you look in the Bible. Once again, any support for homosexuality in the Bible?

Instead people resort to quoting Levitical law and then trying to claim "hypocrite". The problem is that this is dealt with in the Bible itself! To name just one instance, Paul is commanded by God to eat food that is unclean for Jews. Thus we see that after Christ we have a new covenant and are not bound by all the OT laws.

We are however called to transform this world for Christ. I don't see how we can make a change in this world if we stand on the sidelines or actively support a movement that normalizes sin. Do Christians make mistakes? Of course they do! That doesn't invalidate the Bible though. I'm sure that the author of this article will admit he is not perfect and that he still has sin in his life, yet he believes the Bible and sees fit to judge that those who don't agree with him are mistaken in their interpretation :-)

I disagree with his interpretation because he ignores several facts. First, Romans 12 and 1 Cor 6:9-10, to name just two. Second, while we are commanded to love, the question is how do we show love? Is it loving to watch someone in sin and support them in that sin? Or is it loving to try and show them that their is a better way (life in Christ) then that sin?

As such there is no Christian perspective to vote against this amendment. We would be supporting something that God is clearly against in both the OT and NT. We would be watching sin be normalized rather then taking a stand against it. The church may not be perfect, but even Paul called himself the "chief of sinners", that didn't stop him from going out and changing the world for Christ. Obviously this amendment is only one way to take a stand, but it is still an important one.

Disclaimer: I am not an official rep for Vote For Marriage NC, but wanted to include their link for reference.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! My thoughts exactly, and I completely and totally agree with you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this comment 100%. Thank you for posting!

Anonymous said...

Exactly!! A marriage of the government is not sanctified by God. It is from the government and is a social contract dealing with legal rights and monetary issues. A legal marriage is NOT a religious marriage. It is two people signing a contact in a court room to receive governmental benefits. No one is claiming that God sanctifies it. Only that our beautifully SECULAR government does. Each individual religion can decide what their church does and does not consider marriage. But when a secular government tries to do that it is called segregation.
I do not want gays married in my church. But I do not want the government to make laws based on religion. Because one day, I might be the underdog.. a theocratic government on the other side could just as easily decide gay marriage is not a sin and force churches to marry gays.
Seperation of church and state is for the good of everybody. Vote against.

Anonymous said...

Exactly! wonderfully written.

Anonymous said...

^^ was directed at the anonymous reply
@beck "does that just stink for the rest of us then?". In fact, right now you, the conservative christains, are the majority so yes it does just stink for the rest of us. But it doesnt have to be that way.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with this!!!! They are two different things, so why is everyone all hot and bothered?

Anonymous said...

You bring another issue up at the end of your article. Being born straight? Seriously? We are going there in the same article you are referring to biblical scripture which teaches against homosexuality?

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