25 October 2008

Love Makes A Marriage (Part Two)

Love Makes A Marriage

Spokesmen for Right Wing defenders of traditional marriage are known to say, with insufferable smugness: There's no marriage discrimination against Gay people. If they want to marry, they have the right to do it like everyone else does. They can marry a member of the opposite sex!

Oh, yeah? Would these jokers want a closeted Lesbian to marry their son? Or a "down low" Gay man to marry their daughter? Maybe they should send their marriage-age heterosexual kids down to the nearest Lesbian bar or Gay disco to scout potential daughters and sons-in-law; they obviously believe physical attraction has no bearing on matrimonial bliss, so why the Hell not? It'd sure beat mate-shopping at those boring church socials, wouldn't it?  Snap!

Maybe these Old Testament "Christians" need to find out firsthand what tremendous heartbreak and devastation a sexually incompatible marriage can bring to a family. Maybe they need to find out the hard way that "ex-Gay" therapy isn't all it's cracked up to be!  Lord, deliver me! Can Conservative ideologues really be such blooming idiots???

I'm not a Conservative ideologue, but I am one of those who thinks the word "marriage" isn't a good description of loving unions between Gay men and between Lesbians. Like the ideologues, my reasoning is religion-based, but that's where we part company; our approach to doctrine couldn't be more different! My reading of Gnostic Christian scripture (the Gospel of Philip in particular) makes me view LGBT folk as people who come into the world already married. The Gnostics believed we were "wed" prior to birth. All human beings are made in God's image, but the Lord has singularly blessed LGBT folk by making their souls reflect His image more accurately.

LGBT souls are, like God, a blend of male and female. In Scripture, this blend is called Fullness (for a more detailed explanation, read my essay series titled “We Are Family” under the Blended Gender sidebar link). Straight people, on the other hand, do not possess blended souls. God has granted them the ability to procreate as couples, but they lack the Fullness that is our Divine birthright! Heterosexual marriage is their means of approximating Fullness! Gay couples come together solely for love and Earthly companionship; heterosexual couples seek companionship, too, but their unions serve another, more important purpose: to make whole souls that have, for procreation's sake, been split into separate male and female parts!

That, then, is the significance of Jesus Christ's teaching about heterosexual marriage:

MATTHEW 19: 4-6
(Jesus Christ said)"Have you not read that the One who made them at the beginning made them male and female and said: 'For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh."

Homosexual union isn't the same. It isn't God merging two halves of a soul, but binding two complete souls together! David and Jonathan's love was described this way:

1 SAMUEL 18: 1-3
When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul . . . then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.

So from a Scriptural perspective, there is a difference between Gay and Straight couplings, and I’d prefer that a word other than "marriage" were applied to our unions. However, that obviously isn't the case, so what's the use of getting all swollen up about it? (I’m just thankful that a derogatory word isn't being used, knowing how much Gay people adore insulting descriptions of themselves and their activities!)

In both laymen's and legal parlance, there's just one valid description of a loving covenant between adults: Marriage! I understand and accept that fact. Establishing some kind of separate-but-equal substitute for Gay couples would be discriminatory; State Supreme Courts in Massachusetts, California and Connecticut have all said so!

Predictably, these progressive decisions have enraged Conservatives. They bellow like wild boars (bores?) about "activist judges" and trumpet Chicken Little alarms about the "dishonoring" of marriage. Why shouldn't there be different kinds of marriage, though? After all, there are different kinds of parenting. When a single person or a couple adopts a child, they legally become the child's parents. They are not called "caretakers" or "guardians" because they didn't conceive the child. They’re called parents!

Long ago, the concept of parenting was legally expanded to include adoptive child-rearing. Similarly, there’s now an inclination among jurists to expand the legal concept of marriage. Same-gender couples are being included, and it's high time that they were, isn’t it? There's nothing about an expanded definition of civil marriage that negates/corrupts marriages that fall under the original definition. That fact has also been affirmed by State Supreme Courts.

All the courts are trying to do is throw a protective legal arm around all spouses, much like Jesus Christ tries to throw a protective spiritual arm around all humankind. If the word "marriage" is applied to Lesbian and Gay unions in such a spirit of inclusiveness, then how can it be sinful? Inclusion is both a Democratic and a Christian value; but I detect neither Democratic nor Christian values in the language of marriage equality opponents, many of whom loudly proclaim faith in Jesus Christ. The nerve of them!

Here's what I'd like to ask these "faith-based" activists: What's Christian about railing against Gay promiscuity on one hand, and on another, making it hard for Gay men to opt for monogamous commitment? What's Christian about denying Lesbian and Gay couples legal protections like hospital visitation, family insurance policies, joint tax filing, child custody, property and inheritance rights? What's Christian about denying Lesbians and Gay men the documented health benefits of marriage? What's Christian about preachers labeling Gay men "f*ggots" from their pulpits, as some Black ministers do?

What's Christian about handing children Fred Phelps-style picket signs and compelling them to march against Gay Rights? What's Christian about marginalizing people whom God has blessed with born eunuch status? What's Christian about using the power of the State to persecute people on religious grounds? That's exactly what a corrupt church hierarchy did to Jesus Christ and His apostles . . . have they forgotten? I've got some disturbing news for all these "Christian" Fundamentalists who believe that homosexual relations are sinful. They can dismiss it at their own peril!

They won't walk through the gates of Heaven one second sooner because they persecuted those of us who practice same-gender love! On the contrary, if they become so caught up in sanctioning the perceived sins of others that they ignore their own sinful behavior, they won't walk through those gates at all! Make no mistake: A person's eligibility for Eternal Life doesn't depend on what he stops other people from doing. It depends on what he stops himself from doing! Breaking the Lord's commandment to love your neighbor as yourself is definitely something anybody who calls himself a Christian should stop . . . stop it right now and not later!

Fundamentalists should also stop vilifying the change that civil marriage is undergoing. The inclusion of Lesbian and Gay unions hasn't "dishonored" heterosexual marriage one bit; the only people capable of doing that are heterosexual husbands and wives who make a mockery of their vows!

For far too long, though, society has dishonored loving commitments between same-gender couples. I'm talking about commitments such as that between children's book author Maurice Sendak and his late life partner Dr. Eugene Glynn, the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and her devoted wife, Nancy Earl; and the late Gay Rights pioneer Del Martin and her mate of over fifty years, Phyllis Lyon. What an injustice that these marriages were never afforded legal recognition! What a sin that these bonds had to endure the stress of not only stigmatization, but criminalization prior to the repeal of sodomy laws! What an evil reflection on our democracy, on our morality, and on our so-called civilization!

In a more recent email to me, Jerry Maneker made this observation:

The Golden rule can only be recognized if one is capable of (real) empathy . . . unfortunately, so many people can't, or don't, place themselves in someone else's shoes. They do what most soldiers do: They depersonalize "the enemy", and make it seem that he or she is somehow not human . . . a fiction is created that says such things as "being Gay is a choice", "Gay people are only interested in sex", etcetera. (It’s) despicable when anyone is so callous, but when professing Christians (are), it's downright perverse and sinful!

Amen, Jerry! Nothing about this kind of discrimination is Christian. When will those who claim that blessed designation start following Jesus Christ's example morally well as rhetorically? When will they turn off the four-lane highway of bigotry and intolerance, and get on the narrow path that the Savior charted for His lambs? Let's support policies that really do affirm Christian values, policies which are truly faith-based and inclusive instead of self-righteous and exclusionary! Love makes a marriage, God is love, and love is not obligated to conform to limited human understanding! If it were, then God would never have sacrificed His only Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from sin!

Personally, I'm not optimistic that California's Proposition 8 will be defeated.  If it becomes law, I will oppose voter repeal efforts.  I don't encourage validation of unconstitutional processes like that ballot initiative. The very idea of making minority group Civil Rights subject to public opinion is barbaric!  It calls to mind Pontius Pilate putting the Savior's fate to a vote. Such processes must be vigorously attacked!

The attacks should be mounted at the judicial level, and if jurists refuse to curtail such outrages (a likely result, given the large number of reactionary judicial appointments), then a sustained movement to affirm constitutional principles will be necessary. Believe me, these anti-Gay ballot initiatives are only the first step in a documented Dominionist plot to convert our government into an oppressive theocracy (read my blog series "Satan In The Pulpit", found under the Politics sidebar tab; it includes a review of Chris Hedges' disturbing but important book from 2007, American Fascists).

Fortunately, the movement to affirm constitutional (and Christian) principles has already begun! It's been jump-started by ministers who, in defiance of their corrupt church hierarchy, are performing more and more same-gender weddings and Holy Unions. It's been jump-started by businesses that both welcome and solicit the patronization of same-gender couples. It's been jump-started by elementary schools that teach children about the diversity of human families.

Jerry Maneker has always been part of that movement, but he took a giant step into deeper activism when he performed his first same-gender wedding. Praise the Lord! Just like the Savior did, Reverend Jerry lay hands of blessing on those who'd been cursed by society. He truly did follow Jesus Christ's example; and that one gentle act was ten times more empowering to LGBT folk than the pompous jawboning of a hundred radical “queers”!

He's had the misfortune to encounter a bunch of those types lately, and some of them have tried to link him with anti-Gay forces. I think their perspective has become queered (BTW, that means "twisted") to the point where they can no longer distinguish friends from enemies! Jerry is definitely a friend of the Gay Rights movement, I'm terribly proud of him, and I know his first same-gender wedding ceremony won't be his last!

1 comment:

  1. A word to "Anonymous": You're correct that I won't allow your hateful proclamations in my comments section. However, it's not because I have any problem with people speaking the truth (which you don't do . . . you flatter yourself). It's that I don't allow Bibliolaters to practice their sinful Bible worship here. There are lots of places on the Web where that kind of behavior is welcomed and encouraged, but this isn't one of them. Take your phony Old Testament Christianity and Apostle Paul fetish elsewhere. And BTW: Truth-tellers don't conceal their true names.