By now you’ve heard it all in regards to Prop 8. You’ve heard every argument for and every argument against, seen the commercials and youTube clips, read articles, emails, editorials, opinions, and blogs. It’s on the radio, on TV and can be found anywhere and everywhere in cyberspace. Perhaps you are an activist in California, displaying your sign and bumper sticker (until they get stolen), making phone calls, pounding the pavement, waving signs, and working tirelessly to support the issue. Or maybe you are No on 8, for all of your own reasons, and will stop reading this blog entry because of it.
But I hope you’re still reading, and because I feel like it’s all been said (most of it far better than I could ever say it), I’m taking a slightly different approach in explaining my stance.
While eating out with my family tonight, I overheard a conversation between two women comparing the reasons they were “good” growing up. One of the two said she had no choice but to be good, or dad’s whip came out. She then laughed about how that could never happen today without her dad being hauled off to jail, and went on to say that for better or for worse, parents today are afraid to discipline.
Somehow that thought turned my mind to Proposition 8. For better or for worse, we are afraid to bring out the whip, so to speak, to draw a line in the sand. By we, I mean society as a whole, as it has become mainstream to accept alternative lifestyles, and ANY lifestyle, for that matter, really, with one important exception (an exception that goes back to the aforementioned whip). By law, we must not harm our children. Thank goodness for that, and yet…how to define HARM?
There is obvious harm to children who are physical or emotionally abused. But how many other ways can we hurt children quite lawfully, including through divorce, infidelity, and any sort of neglect, to name a few, all of which can happen within a “traditional marriage.” So traditional marriage itself is not always the safe haven we envision when touting the preservation of the family.
In fact, the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) that I belonged to for many years as a part of my major (Family Science/ Marriage Family and Human Development) is probably the foremost leader in its efforts to redefine family to include just about any group of people. I never saw more transvestites and cross dressers in one place before attending conferences that focused on the “family.” It was a real eye opener for me to realize the majority of people academically studying ‘family’ used the term very liberally, despite volumes of research evidencing the healthy aspects of a two-parent, two-gender family.
So if traditional families aren’t always ideal, and the fight for alternative families has become the quest for countless Americans who truly feel that a Yes on 8 means intolerance, bigotry, and inequality, then why oh why do I still plan to check yes in the little box on the ballot? I have no beef with the “other side.” I have no reason to squelch the marital bliss that I myself feel entitled to for friends, family and plenty of really nice strangers whose sexual orientation differs from my own. I’m not trying to be mean, self-righteous, un-accepting, or ignorant.
I just…(forgive me for this, Postal Service, but I have to!)
“I have to speculate, that God Himself did make us into corresponding shapes like puzzle pieces from the clay.”
For all I know the Postal Service is No on 8 (???), but their lyrics nail my thoughts on this nonetheless. It’s not rocket science, it’s my gut that tells me: A man and a woman were made to fit together, with the result of procreation, for a reason. Think Adam and Eve here. Two people. Two genders. One mission. Of course it gets complicated and messy with any number of variables such as hermaphrodites (intersexes), abortion, infertility, adoption, all things that can be used to dilute gender and child-bearing arguments. But my analysis persists: Men and women are most complete in their union.
And that’s the extent of my argument for tonight. We fit.
Do I believe homosexual tendencies exist? Absolutely. Do I have and love gay friends? Of course. Am I relieved to be attracted to the man in my life rather than a woman? Infinitely. Do I believe it can be a huge burden to be attracted to the same sex (yes) and do I know why it happens and how it is fair (not at all).
And yet: However real to me same sex persuasion, it is also real to me that God drew a line in the sand when he created us, by nature of HOW he created us--and it makes a whole lot of sense to me to back Him on this one. He taught us to “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” But I don’t believe the translation of that is to “Live and let live” or “Anything goes”. If that were how He felt about things, He never would have given us a bold set of commandments to live by. He draws the line. He makes rules. He expects us to live them. And He did not mince words in saying: “Honor thy father and thy mother.” Father. Mother. Man. Woman. Two people. Two genders. The reason we ourselves exist.
Same sex couples can be couples. They have rights. They have privileges. They do not need to be married to have them. Marriage is an institution, a sacred union that should exist for those who choose to follow the natural course of a man, a woman, and all the necessary equipment for propagating a species.
Marriages won’t be perfect. Families will be broken, and children will continue to be hurt in a multitude of ways. I wish it weren’t so, but it is the nature of an imperfect world. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to fight for the ideal. We should preserve the framework that is most likely to offer kids a fighting chance in a very challenging world. It is not our place to redefine things that God has already made clear. He can love with a perfect love and still have expectations, still draw a line in the sand. We can emulate this love and acceptance without compromising our stand on this moral issue.
It’s one check in a box, but it’s a mark that can alter the natural course of a planet and a people, and I am not prepared to play God when there already is one.