Monday, December 18, 2006

Warning: Religious blather

I don't usually address news in this blog. I figure there's about a zillion other sites you can check if you want that. But this news article is about one of the touchier religious subjects so, this being a blog about my religion of one I have to have an opinion.
The article in question talked about a group (2 or 7 depending on what you read) of Episcopal churches in Virginia splitting from the US Episcopal church and joining a church in Nigeria. The issue that is driving these parishes from the main church is the issue of homosexuality. See, back in November US Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was installed as the first woman to head an Anglican church. She supports V. Gene Robinson, a gay man elected bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

Now, you may not know this, but after years of controversial research scientist have been able to determine that gays may actually be human. This has come as a surprise to many people in Christian, Muslim, and various African groups I'll collectively refer to as "Other". Around the world, including America, there have been calls to have all homosexuals rounded up and imprisoned or executed. If you're having trouble finding people with these attitudes you can start by looking for people who think acknowledging that other religions have holidays around the Winter Solstice is an attack on Christianity. But with these recent findings of a common ancestor with you and me homosexual males and females have been able to demand and achieve equal rights. This has pissed off many people. People who, 150 years ago, would likely deny that blacks are also human.
Among the rights the gay community has gained is the previously mentioned right to become a bishop, the right to marry in a few European countries and an American state or two, and the right to serve in the military as long as they don't let anyone know they're gay. It's the issue of gay marriage that I want to address here.

Pretty much all arguements about preventing gays from marrying start with the phrase "The Bible says..." or "In Leviticus..." blah blah God says it's bad. Now, I could go into the history of the book of Leviticus and translation issues, the mutation of the Bible over the last couple millenia, the bigotry of the time reflected in the book, etc etc etc. But I won't. It's pretty clear that the issue is a religious one. Even the so-called scientific studies that talk about the impact on society, the raising of children, and what not are all written by groups with an interest one way or the other. These studies can't be relied on for answers.

Since this is clearly a religious issue I suggest that the government get out of the discussion. Get rid of marriage in a legal context. As far as the government is concerned marriage is just a legal matter to determine taxation, inheritance, and who makes medical decisions. So the government gives the legal documentation a new name and makes it available to any two people of legal age. Heck, allow it to be fine tuned. I may want my wife to inherit everything, but my best friend, sibling, or ex may have a better grasp of my own desires as far as medical care. The point is that since marriage is a legal thing to the government and a moral thing to the religious then only the religious should be dealing with the issue. Grandfather in everyone who is married already and give out Legal Partner status to new people. Then, if they really want to use the title "married" they can find a church to do it for them. Some churches will do it, others won't. Let them fight it out among the congregations, not the courts.

The Church of Dougintology takes the stand that any two people of consenting age who want to spend their lives together should be permitted to get married. The leadership has seen many same-sex couples raising intelligent, straight, well adjusted children in loving homes and has seen many different-sex couples raising illiterate, violent, thugs in homes that neglect them. By the numbers it appears that same-sex couples make better parents than different-sex couples. However, this is misleading because same-sex couples only have kids if they want them while different-sex couples usually have them because of a failure of birth control. But to the faithful the important thing is the love, not the genitals. Married couples are good for a stable economy no matter whats in their pants.

In short, if you're not the one getting married it's not your business who is.

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