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An Exchange on Gay Marriage

The following text was posted on Facebook.com. I stumbled upon it through a friend of a friend, and commented appropriately. I know it is a bit lengthy, but I wanted to leave the text intact to give you the whole package. I’ve added emphasis in some of the parts that I touch on in my reply.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we all know it’s coming: the day that you either walk down that aisle or watch that woman walk towards you. The world today has so many opinions about how to ‘officially’ define marriage (we know what the definition is) these days: gay, bi, poly, mono, etc. (it is truly rediculous). I’d like to share some ideas on this subject.

First of all, as I have stated in earlier notes, marriage is ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN– this is the definition according to God and the Holy Scriptures comprised into One Holy Bible, consisting of an Old and New Testament. Anyhow, this union is under constant attacks increasing in power and ability, as well as tactfulness. We need to stand up against these and defend what marriage is and testify that all other so called definitions are wrong.

Now for the main topic of this note (aka the title), I want to talk about the beauty of this concept of marriage. People talk about a ‘One and Only’ concept that says that there is one person that is out there for you. Agreed, the goal is to marry one man/woman and live with him/her for your entire life. I would like to disavow the ‘one and only one person for me and all other people are out of luck’ theory, which says that the person you will marry is there and no matter what you do, you will marry this person (I have to be careful when talking about this because a very thin line separates truth from fiction).

I say that the beauty of marriage is that it is a CHOICE: a CHOICE as to whom you will marry, a CHOICE to stay with them and devote yourself to them, a CHOICE to love them, etc. I will now expound on this.

The beauty of marriage is that you get to CHOOSE to marry one person and devote yourself to them for all of life. The beauty comes from “(Insert your man or woman’s name here), out of everyone on this planet God has made, I CHOOSE to marry you and to live this ONE life with YOU and YOU ALONE! I DEVOTE myself ONLY TO YOU, in sickness, health, sadness, joy, rich, poor, on the mountain tops, in the valleys, NO MATTER WHAT!!! I do not have the ‘cheat sheet’ for life; I do not know where He will lead us. I will do my best to believe in, cherish, appreciate, always make time for, and always love with the love God gives me to give to you.”

God WILL provide IF WE ASK HIM TO AND LET HIM people! So, I challenge everyone to ask of Him who gives and see where He leads you (Trust me: He can open doors which you NEVER thought possible (all you have to do is TRUST Him). I will admit, I do not know where He wants me to be or whom He wishes me to be with at this time, but that does not mean that I stop building relationships, because one of these He will allow to flourish despite ALL obstacles into a lifelong happiness.

Go forth and be blessed!

My Response:

“I say that the beauty of marriage is that it is a CHOICE: a CHOICE as to whom you will marry, a CHOICE to stay with them and devote yourself to them, a CHOICE to love them, etc.”

How can you exalt choice when you seek to deny loving couples the option to marry because it defies a 2000+ year old definition? Let us not forget that the same book of the Bible that frowns on “man laying with man as with a woman” also condemns the wearing of blended fabrics and the eating of shellfish.

The human genome has shown us where our hair color, eye color, etc is developed, and as more research is done on the X/Y chromosome, I believe that you will see that gender identity and sexual orientation are not a conscious act of abomination, but a pattern no more changeable than hair or eye color.

By urging the fight against same-sex unions, you do nothing but create a culture of fear and anger against homosexuals and create division in a world that is already full of hostility.

His Private Reply:

First off, I would like to thank you for posting on my note (I do apprecate all resonses and discussions). Can I make something clear to you please? As we know, the Bible condemns homosexual actions; it does not, however, condemn the homosexual himself or herself. We are supposed to love one another as He loves us (He does not hate you or anyone – He hates the sins). So, I do not hate people for the sins they commit (trust me man, I got a list of my own daily). I just wanted to make it clear that even though I do not advocate homosexual marriage (it is not marriage after all – I was making the point that marriage is a choice within God’s laws and the way He designed it), I do not condemn anyone, ok? Some find that hard to believe (and sometimes my human nature gets the better of me), but I try my best to not judge someone for their sins because, if I do, I am judged by the same measure which I was using to judge (aka if I judge you for your sins, then God is going to judge me for mine – I sin daily, so I would not be able to withstand judgment without the blood of Christ, which covers and erases ALL transgressions). I do apologize if I came across like I hate homosexuals (this was not the intention); I was making it clear where I personally stand on the issue and making it known what I believe. Thanks again for responding to my note and have a great weekend.

My rebuttal:

Thank you for responding. I realize the note was old and did not know if you would even see my comment.

I think where we differ is that the definition of marriage given by the Bible and the legal institution of marriage in the United States are not the same thing. While many marriages are sanctioned by and overseen by churches, other marriages take place in front of a judge or justice of the peace not for the fancy thrills, but so that the legal benefits of marriage will be recognized.

Death benefits, tax benefits, custody issues, and other legal quandaries currently present greater frustration to homosexual couples than heterosexual couples because their union is not legally recognized. Love should conquer tradition in this situation and let willing couples join in a legally binding union.

If you sin daily and Christ’s blood covers all of your transgressions, then will it not cover the daily transgressions of homosexuals? The fact that someone defines themselves as “saved” does not infer that they will cease sinning, as most would agree. How then do the transgressions of homosexuals (i.e. their acts) differ from the daily trangressions of you or I?

In 2006, there were over 2.2 million marriages. Also, since the 1980’s there have been approximately 1.2 million couples file for divorce per year. With these staggering statistics, and this large of a percentage of God-supported marriages ending in divorce, should love and the bond between humans not count for a little more than just the sex of the two people involved?

No further response from the fundie…

You see, life was all good when he had only his ancient text to refer to. Clinging to the quotes of people whose bones have long since disintegrated is a weak defense. When presented with statistics, which are easily verifiable, reproduceable, and FACTITIOUS, and logical arguments like “love > ancient scripts”, today’s sound-bite Christian has little to say.

Masturbation: The Supreme Sin

I believe it was George Carlin who first put into words what I had believed for so long yet couldn’t quite express. He said it perfectly. Mankind has urges, desires, and wants, and then God sets all of the rules in exact opposition. This is one of the key reasons I believe organized religion to be malarkey. Religion, in its earliest days and to this very day, seeks to keep mankind in order. In an article I came across on DesiringGod.org, the specific area of control is sexual desire. This website purports that the human body is a vessel provided by God that we do not own, but merely cohabitate with our Lord. Since God created our reproductive system for reproduction, anything contrary to that is a dirty sin. The author of this site offers ten words of advice for single people facing sexual desire. I share with you a few of those.

First, do not seek regular sexual gratification through masturbation, that is, the stimulation of your own self to sexual orgasm or climax. Masturbation does not solve sexual pressure for very long, it tends to become habitual, it produces guilt, and it contradicts the God-given design of sexuality. Our bodies and desires were designed for the sexual union of persons, and masturbation contradicts that design. But perhaps worst of all, masturbation is inevitably accompanied and enabled by sexual fantasies in the mind which we would not allow ourselves in reality and so we become like the Pharisees: well scrubbed on the outside, but inside full of perversions.

Pure bullshit right from the start. Masturbation does not create guilt. There’s nothing to be ashamed of unless you create rules that forbid the act. What’s that about fantasies that we would not allow ourselves in reality? Who says I’m not replaying past fantasies or that my fantasies are easily accomplished. Play it up with big words and scare the kids that much more. Deuteronomy 23:10 states: “If there be among you any man that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall ge go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp.” It then explains that once the sun sets he can wash his pubes and return to camp. God doesn’t care about a nocturnal emission that can also be accompanied by fantasies. All you have to do is wash yourself. Why should self pleasure be different?

Second, do not seek sexual satisfaction through touching or being touched by another person, even if you stop short of sexual intercourse. Everyone knows that intimate touching is the prelude and preparation for sexual intercourse, and therefore it belongs where that event belongs, namely, in marriage. Where the permanent commitment that characterizes marriage is missing, caressing becomes depersonalized manipulation; it turns the other’s body into a masturbation device to get a private physical thrill. God made us in such a way that if we try to turn that moment of touching into a personal, spiritual expression of love, we are not able to do it without making promises of faithfulness. Implicit in our hearts at that moment is the statement: You may touch me because you have promised never to leave me nor forsake me. You may have me because you are me. We are so made that we cry out for permanence when giving away our most intimate gifts. They belong in marriage.

This is just some outdated bullshit. This is purely an authoritarian edict that presupposed that one cannot determine for themselves what is truly passionate, spiritual, and permanent. By using loaded words from the beginning like “depersonalized manipulation” you demonize the act without any support.

Third, avoid unnecessary sexual stimulation. It doesn’t take any brains to know that there are enough X-rated movie houses and adult bookstores in this city to keep a person livid 24 hours a day. To visit these crummy places is temptation enough. But the real test is what you do with the more legitimate sources of sexual stimulation. PG movies, Time magazine, the newspaper, television, drugstore magazine racks, rock music lyrics. In our society you cannot escape sexual stimulation, but you can refuse to seek it. And you can avoid it often when you see it coming. This is the great test of whether we are enslaved or free. Can we say no to the slave driver in our bodies who wants us to keep on looking and keep on lusting?

Is this guy asking if I jerk off while reading Time Magazine and watching A Bug’s Life? Though it does bring a new meaning to Avril’s song “My Happy Ending.”

Fourth, when the stimulation comes and the desire starts to rise, perform a very conscious act of transfer onto Christ. I wish I had learned this much earlier in my life. While riding down the road, if some billboard or marquee puts a desire into my mind for some illegitimate sexual pleasure, I take that desire and say, “Jesus, you are my Lord and my God, and my greatest desire is to know and love and obey you, so this desire is really for you. I take it from your competitor, I purge it, and I direct it to you. Thank you for freeing me from the bondage of sin.” It is remarkable what control we can gain over the direction our desires take, if we really long to please Christ.

So when the Casino Le Fantastique billboard makes me itchy, I need to pray? Basically, you are saying that Jesus is a moodkill. Sure, call it “freeing me from the bondage of sin”, but this is no different from Austin Powers yelling “Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day!” to keep from becoming aroused.

Christians spend so much time worrying about people having sex that they don’t look at the big picture. Does it really matter? Is “lost innocence” even a concern in today’s society? I know some people who somewhat regret their first sexual encounter, but live fulfilling lives nonetheless. Not everyone who has sex before marriage is going to transform into a guilt-stricken, cry-baby that sits in the corner all day wishing things had gone differently. Stop worrying about the bedroom (or kitchen, den, hallway, turnstile, deep freeze, etc.) and worry about yourself. Worry about leading a good life in more important ways such as taking care of those less fortunate and generally spreading goodwill. I’m sure at the end of the day, you’ll feel a lot more accomplished with zero guilt.