Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A thought on gay marriage

I have recently encountered a family values' politician decrying the rise of gay marriage because it is not natural and true to his Biblical faith values, while also warning that it is a slippery slope to polygamy.

This is hilarious, in particular, because the Bible has absolutely nothing to say on the subject of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender marriage rights beyond some general and archaic rules against copulation in the same sections as stoning adulterous wives and avoiding shellfish. At the same time, the Bible has quite a lot to say about polygamy in that it was a widely accepted thing, and encouraged therein, with so much polygamy that it is sort of ridiculous to suggest that God is not okay with it.

In conclusion, the Bible does not mean what you want it to mean, only what it actually means. The Bible is also just a tool of God, not the only tool. Christ came to this earth to teach love and acceptance and to uplift the poor and downtrodden with hope and eternal life, to carry all of our sins and hatreds and pettiness for us into death and to be resurrected from that death in the promise of an eternal life for us all. He started a church based on these values, of love and charity and decency and social justice. People who say they follow that message while driving fancy cars in nice suits and fat bank accounts probably aren't qualified to interpret the message for others, as they have missed it for themselves.

Gay marriage is the slippery slope to polygamy, and this is actually a good thing. Consenting adults ought to be able to define the terms of their lives. Instead of howling about it, how about finding a way to make the polygamy and polyandry that consenting adults, in full consent with each other, choose to do, an accepted and socially just choice and no danger to children or women or exploitable individuals.

It's definitely not something I'm interested in for myself, but I am also -- I hope -- big enough to see that just because I don't like something, it doesn't mean other people can't have it. I don't like cow meat, and it causes cancer, and it contributes to global warming, and it causes heart disease and diabetes and all sorts of things, but I have no interest in legislating cow meat away from anyone else's plate. What disgusts me does not disgust others.

When people of faith, in particular, throw around polygamy as a warning shot against the gay marriage love train, it not only makes no actual sense logically, but it also denies that it is even possible for anyone to define a marriage for themselves, on their own terms. People who would say they want big government out of the bedroom do seem -- as usual -- very interested in what's going in in our bedrooms, and they are judging, and they do not like it.

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