Gay marriage offers a moral litmus test – Spokesman.com – May 12, 2012

 

Barack Obama delivers a speech at the Universi...

“Don’t be misled: Opposing sin has nothing to do with how we treat other people. Disapproving someone’s behavior should never stop us from treating them with respect and encouraging what is best for them. Ask any parent whether it’s possible to oppose harmful behavior yet love a person dearly.”

32 times states have been asked to vote on Gay marriage and 32 times voters have affirmed that marriage is between a man and a woman. But President Obama says he knows better…again.

This well written commentary may fly in the face of pop culture and populism, but its a very good read for those who call themselves Christian.

Gay marriage offers a moral litmus test – Spokesman.com – May 12, 2012.

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Moral Values Then VS. Moral Values Now

Like some old crotchety dude sitting on his front porch bitching about how things were so much better back in his day I find myself wondering about the changing values of America and the results therein. It really is interesting how far we’ve come/gone from whence we came. But unlike the geezer on the porch I don’t long for times past and think, or at least say, that things were so much better back then. In some cases and instances they were better. In other instances we’re better off today.

Travel with me through the time machine and lets take a look back at how things used to be and what the changes have produced.

This protester was on his own and letting Minn...

How it used to be:

Gay marriage? Why yes. Everybody and I mean everybody was in favor of every marriage being gay. Used to be gay meant something completely different. In today’s context the question of Gay Marriage wasn’t a question at all. It was absurd. I mean really? A man marrying another man? A woman marrying another woman? What the heck are you talking about?

How it is today:

Currently six of the United States allow Gay Marriage, and the momentum clearly shows that list to be growing. Even in states that don’t currently recognize Gay Marriage homosexual domestic partnerships are not uncommon. And last week the President said he was in favor of legalizing Gay Marriage, though he hedged his bets for political reasons and said it was a issue for each state to resolve. (Once again Obama showing the conviction and backbone of a jellyfish)

The results:

Its way to early to offer an opinion on the evolving allowance for Gay Marriage. But its not too early to offer an opinion about the increasingly open subject of being Gay. As recently as 20 years ago it was a big deal when someone was “outed”, revealed publicly that they were homosexual. Now its not even a term people use. Now we discuss with serious straight faces gay children, as if an innocent child knows anything about sex or has an attraction one way or another. More open homosexuality goes hand in hand with more open sexuality.

The love of my life

How it used to be:

Living in sin, unwed! Used to be the idea of living with someone (of the opposite sex) with whom you weren’t married was completely taboo. You just didn’t do it! Because if you did…then…you could be…having sex!!!! OMG!

How it is today:

Really? This was an issue for…who? Men and women co-habitate all the time and its simply not an issue with anyone. And yes…they’re having sex.

The results: 

Certainly you have more children born to unwed parents. We’ve also seen a steady decline in the number of people getting and staying married. According to a Pew Research study published December 2011 shows that barely half of all adults are married, and the age at which both brides and grooms get married for the first time is at a record high age; 26.5 for brides, 28.5 for grooms. In 1960 70% of all adults in the U.S. 18 and older were married. Given that repeated studies show people tend to be happier, more successful, and less likely to be poor when married its hard to see this trend as anything but bad.

The Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana (w...

How it used to be:

Illegal drugs were thought to be dangerous, even marijuana, and addictive, even marijuana. But ever since most states started making various drugs illegal in the 1920s and 30s people have continued to use marijuana, cocaine, heroine, amphetamines and other drugs. Even Franklin Roosevelt‘s doctor gave the President small doses of cocaine to clear up our Chief Executive’s sinuses.

But in the Hardy Boys and later Happy Days world of the 50s, 60s and 70s drug use was for the people on the edges of society.

How it is today:

Because of our more open and informed society there is a perception that more and more of us use illegal drugs. Studies aren’t completely helpful on whether this is true or not. But certainly we’re more accepting of those who do. Legalizing marijuana efforts have been in existence since it became illegal in every U.S. state by the 1930s. They now seem to have more traction, with more and more states allowing for the medical use of marijuana.

A Gallup Poll in 1969  found that 4% of Americans age 12 or older had used pot. By 1977 that number was 24%. In a study reported by CNN in September last year 9% of Americans report using illegal drugs. It’s important to note the difference in the two things just written. The ’69 and ’77 studys merely reported on cannabis and whether a person had EVER tried it. The 2011 study reported on ALL illegal drugs and reported on how many people regularly use them.

About 200-million people use illegal drugs worldwide.

The results:

Illegal drugs cause 250,000 deaths worldwide each year. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime that’s compared to 2.25-million killed from alcohol use, and 5.1-million killed from use of tobacco. But 2.1 million years of life were lost due to drug use, more than the 1.5 million lost due to alcohol, likely because drug deaths generally affect younger people, while alcohol deaths tend to occur in middle-aged and elderly people.

Cleavage

How it used to be:

Sex and all things related to it were private, not to be talked about publicly, and often not even between two consenting adults involved in sex. I’ve done enough genealogical research and seen enough episodes of NBC’s “Who do You Think You Are?” to know sexual relations involving non-married and married couples happened plenty in decades prior to the sexual revolution. But, again, it just wasn’t something people talked about.

Mike and Carol Brady of the 1970s TV show The Brady Bunch, were the first couple shown on TV in the same bed together. The show aired from September 1969 to March 1974.

How it is today:

A female friend recently happily admitted to me over lunch that she had another “friend with benefits”; referring to the now accepted practice of having a “Fuck-buddy“. For those not in the know this would be someone with whom you have sex regularly but are not married to and don’t even consider a boyfriend or girlfriend. There are two things to consider here:

1. That “friends with benefits” is so increasingly common that its an expression at all.

And

2. That a female friend happily and willingly admits to being engaged in such a relationship.

Both issues serve as metaphors for how sex is considered not such a big deal by so many people today.

A couple years ago while on a beer drinking expedition with several friends the discussion of sexual partners came up. I revealed that I’d had fewer than 10 sexual partners in my entire life. The reaction from my friends was equivalent to me saying I was a 50 year old virgin. They teased me incessantly the rest of the night. Of the three one was 26 years old, another was in his mid-30s, and another was 50 years old. The older guys were married but had been single for much of their life. Along with the 26 year old they all claimed to have had “well over” 100 sexual partners in their lives. The fact that I was dating my wife at age 20, and had remained happily married to her for over 25 years didn’t change the fact that in their eyes I was fresh and innocent.

But that being my perspective…sex is still a big deal to me. Were I to ever engage in it with someone other than my wife I can’t imagine it being merely casual. It would effect me very strongly emotionally.

The result:

The Centers for Disease Control says 41% of all births these days are to unwed mothers. Black babies are born to unwed mothers 72% of the time.

As The Heritage Foundation determined in a recent study publicly championed during the Presidential campaign of Rick Santorum if a person graduates high school, has a job, and waits until being married before having children they have a 98% likelihood of NEVER being in poverty throughout their entire lives.

This just in: sex creates babies! Of course there are all kinds of contraceptives and medical procedures designed to keep a woman from getting pregnant. But most of them are dependent on the user actually using the contraceptive. And we know from recent news stories that money is not an issue. Contraception is easily acquired in this country. But yet we still keep having babies in less than optimal circumstances.

And the transmission of Sexually Transmitted Diseases is a national crisis according to the Center for Disease Prevention. There are over 19-million STD infections in this country costing the U.S. health care system over $17-Billion each year. 

So a more open society on the subject of sex has done….what? Created more unwanted pregnancy, more unwanted children, and more diseases; including AIDS. The positives, besides the fact that sex is fun and great in so many ways? Well, I don’t know. What do YOU think?

Many other things have changed from way back when until now. But these have been in the news a lot lately, AND I honestly believe these are the big ones.

Brunswick Church (Presbyterian), known locally...

How it used to be:

Roman Catholics make up the most populous church in America. In 1955 75% of Catholics attended church weekly. According to Gallup only 42% of those who claimed a Protestant faith attended church weekly in 1955. Twenty-percent of Americans never attended church, mosque, or synagogue.

How it is today:

According to a Gallup Poll Catholic’s weekly church attendance has leveled off over the past 15 years, to about 45%. Protestant church attendance climbed slightly since 1955 to 45%. Twenty percent of Americans never go to church, a percentage that has remained unchanged for nearly 60 years (despite constant efforts by atheists to make church-going seem like the act of crazy people).

Perhaps not surprising is the fact that those who call themselves Conservative attend church more than any of 28 named sub-groups; and of those 28, Liberals attend church the least.

The result:

Other than Catholics the percentage of people attending church has not changed much in nearly 60 years. But the drop-off from those affiliated with the Catholic church has been dramatic; and since it is the most populous church in the country such a drop-off can’t be ignored.

Is it correct to say that those who are more likely to use drugs and advocate their legalization, those who advocate Gay marriage, those more likely to live out-of-wedlock and have kids out of wedlock, and those advocating a more openly sexual world tend to be liberal more-so than they tend to be Conservative? If that assumption is true (and I think that generally speaking there is no doubt that its true) can it be too much of a surprise that these people are also more likely to not attend church?

A March 2012 Gallup poll indicates that those who go to church are happier, more often. Church attendees give to charities more readily, and lead more successful, fulfilling lives…generally speaking, according to a study published in Canada.

What I find shocking is that these figures need to be reported at all. It seems obvious to me, and has for a very long time.

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25 Years Since My Life Began…and A Lot Has Changed.

This Holy week is particularly special because I will be passing a milestone of tremendous significance to me. April 3, 1987 was the last day I spent in my life as an unmarried man. Put another way, my 25th wedding anniversary is April 4th.

I won’t bore you in this blog telling you how I love my wife, I do. Or how scared I was that wonderful day, I was terrified. It’s not necessary for me to wax-on about the many happy times we’ve spent, there are plenty. And I need not tell you of the commitment required from a man and a woman to stay married this long and however many more years we’re fortunate enough to enjoy together, total commitment.

But my reflective nature did think it was important to write about a significant change that has occurred in the last twenty-five years. Most notable is the fact that my marriage exists at all, and that no one (seemingly) has a problem with that. My wife is black, I am white. And this fact is nearly meaningless today.

This was not the case when we exchanged vows in Seattle, WA in 1987. We were a rarity. And we were a controversial rarity. My Dad was not shy in expressing his opposition to my marriage specifically and to interracial marriage in general. He told me. And in one sad and pathetic and somewhat funny telephone conversation he told my soon to be Mother-in-law. My Dad later claimed to have had too much to drink one night a couple of months before the wedding date when my would-be Mother-in-law called him on the phone to invite him to take a more active role in planning the wedding of her daughter to his son. As was told to me later he told her he was not interested in participating, or even attending the wedding. As the story goes he proceeded to clumsily explain to her the few times in his life where he felt he’d been “hurt” or “damaged” by people who were black. My Mother-in-law, being a strong and smart woman, quietly listened. And when he had finished his pathetic little rant she calmly asked, “Now, would you like to hear all the times white people had “hurt” me?” Having been born in Alabama in 1940 it didn’t take a PHd in Sociology to figure her list was long and severely more substantial than whatever my Bellingham, WA born Father was able to muster. He sheepishly declined to hear her tales. And he did attend our wedding. Though he told no one in advance that he would do so, and when my bride and I first became aware of his presence at our reception it was a pleasant surprise. He was one of the very few of my family members to attend. The cousins I grew up with and celebrated every Christmas, Thanksgiving, 4th of July and other holiday’s and special events didn’t come or send gifts or cards. My Nana, my Dad’s mother, likewise failed to come or acknowledge our wedding. One of my two Aunt’s, one of my Uncles; none attended my wedding or acknowledged it in any way.

It hurt my heart that people who raised me and loved me had such unprincipled views toward the issue of race and family. But it was a stance from which society allowed them to feel comfortable. Even in the 1980s I felt the discomfort, the staring eyes, the unwelcome attitudes, the bias from others because I was with a woman whose skin was darker than mine. It remained an issue years into our marriage. I still remember how offended I was at a news teaser from KING 5 News Anchor Jean Enerson in which she announced a feature story upcoming for the 5 o’clock news by say, “Interracial Marriages!!! Tune in at 5 o’clock for the inside story on these increasingly popular HOT couples.” Hot couples? This was about 1996 when my bride of 9 years and I were living in predominantly white Redmond, WA raising two kids, trying to pay a mortgage, driving to school and family events on a nightly basis…I didn’t feel particularly HOT. I felt like any other couple getting along in this world. And yet, Seattle’s leading TV news agency felt the make-up of my marriage was striking enough to feature it in their prime newscast and to characterize it as “HOT”? Really? Over 30 years from the signing of the Civil Rights Act? It was nearly 30 years since

William Shatner as Kirk in a promotional photo...

William Shatner as James T. Kirk kissed Nichelle Nichols playing Lt. Uhura in TV’s Star Trek;

Nichols as Lieutenant Uhura.

marking the first time in television history that a white person kissed a black person.

According to a 2010 CNN report interracial marriages were at an all-time high making up 14.6% of all newly married couples. That’s up from 6.8% in 1980. The report does not distinguish what races or ethnicities make up the interracial couples. A report in the New York Times from just 1 year ago says of every 1000 marriages white men marry black women only 3 times, versus 19 Hispanic women, 14 Asian, and 947 white women. So even now we remain an oddity. But fortunately, a much more accepted oddity.

It’s fair to say that some people have a predisposition attraction to people of a certain race, and at times a different race. That’s fine; and I find no fault with such predispositions. It just doesn’t apply to me. I wasn’t then, and am not now particularly attracted to black women. I am predisposed to be attracted to attractive women, no matter their race or ethnicity. Such is and was the case with my beautiful wife. I didn’t marry her because she was black. I also didn’t marry her because she is attractive, though she is. I married her because she laughed at my jokes, and because I thought she was one of the most genuinely kind people I’d ever met. She still is.

While interracial couples are far less an issue today than they were in the 1980’s, I’m proud my marriage served as one small example of how unimportant race is in the living and loving of people. In 1996 my brother married a woman of Philippine decent. My Dad was all over their wedding, ingraining himself in seemingly every aspect of it. Some time after that occasion I asked my Dad why he was so involved in my brother’s wedding and so uninvolved in mine; why was it OK for my brother to marry a darker skinned Philippino but it wasn’t OK for me to marry a black woman? He answered in the best way he possibly could. He said, “You were Jackie Robinson. You showed that it was OK.”

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Me and my Bride- as kids

No to Gay Marriage. Where’s the Discrimination?

The Seal of Washington, Washington's state seal.

The seal of the State of Washington

So Washington State Governor

English: Photo of , Governor of Washington sin...

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire

Christine Gregoire wants to make our state the seventh in the national to make same-sex marriage legal. Well zippity-do-dah. As if Washington state had slipped far enough off the proverbial liberal cliff already. Now we want to put ourselves in the same category as New York, Massachusetts and the politicians and judges in California. I say the politicians and judges of California because the good people of the Golden State have had the good sense to vote FOUR TIMES to disallow Gay Marriage.

Same-Sex Marriage Rally

Lesbian wedding cake

I’m going to throw a bone to proponents of Gay Marriage. I don’t think there is any doubt that some who oppose Gay Marriage do so for purely hateful and discriminatory reasons. Some people hate gay people for reasons that fall pretty close to why they hate other types of people; because they’re “different”. However, I strongly believe that the most liberal wings of the Democratic party HATE all Conservatives and put just as much logic and reason into such feelings as the discriminatory gay bashers put into their thoughts.

And should  any of our leaders do anything at all to placate either of these extremes? Absolutely not. Sadly, they do all the time. The expression, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”, comes to mind.

Most people oppose legalization of gay marriage. Constant opinion polls and ballot measures have said so repeatedly in the past 10-15 years…which is the only period of time in human history in which the matter was given any consideration whatsoever.

And while I am certain to receive comments and criticisms calling me a hater and homophobe and other colorful descriptions I’m not too worried about it. Speaking of expressions, there is one I heard when I was a child referencing sticks and stones that comes to mind. Because the proponents of gay marriage are so loud and visceral I realize I’m sticking my head in the lions mouth; but hoping, perhaps foolishly, that calm reason and debate can dominate this discussion.

My opposition to gay marriage has more to do with my political philosophy in general. The more government, the more laws the less liberty and freedom. And gay marriage creates more laws and restrictions than it eliminates in addressing a discrimination that does not exist.

I credit radio talk show host

Michael Medved

Michael Medved

Michael Medved for sharpening my point of view on this gay marriage issue. Medved has correctly and repeatedly pointed out that when it comes to gays and lesbians wanting to marry someone of the same-sex as things stand right now THERE IS NO DISCRIMINATION. ZERO!

Right now in most of this country a man cannot marry another man and a woman cannot marry another woman. No where does it say that “a GAY man cannot marry another man” or “a LESBIAN cannot marry another woman”. Meaning, a gay man can legally marry anyone that I can legally marry. I am heterosexual. I am married to a woman. Were I single I would be legally barred from marrying:

1. A minor

2. Anyone legally married to another

3. My mother, sister, or first cousin

4. Someone of the same-sex (in my case a man)

I CAN (if I weren’t already married) legally marry anyone else who doesn’t fall into those four categories. Any gay man can do the same. So I ask, where is the discrimination?

A society has a right to establish laws protecting our cumulative values. You can’t just dismiss the laws that prevent you from marrying some other people. It used to be legal for you to marry your first cousin. After divorcing my Mom’s father in 1942 my Grandmother married her first cousin. On at least one other occasion in my own family’s genealogy I found an instance of 1st cousins marrying (let the jokes begin. “That explains a lot”, etc, etc). And while I don’t recall finding instances of legalized minors marrying in my family history I do know of instances where someone as young as 16 was married. Most famously singer Jerry Lee Lewis married his thirteen year old cousin; something that wasn’t terribly uncommon in the deep South as recently as the 1950s (age or 1st cousin). And of course bigamist marriages legally occurred with Mormons in this country in the 19th century, and still exist today, illegally. The point is gay people aren’t being discriminated against on this issue and there are plenty of examples of laws that DO prevent us from marrying  some other people. And those laws apply to all of us, regardless of sexual orientation.

Also, as Presidential candidate

English: Former Congressman Newt Gingrich of G...

Newt Gingrich so adequately pointed out in last Saturday’s New Hampshire debate legalizing gay marriage creates, or expands, discrimination by our governments against many Christian churches. He correctly points out that the Catholic church in Massachusetts had to close down their adoption services because they wouldn’t allow adoption by same-sex couples. The Obama administration has repeatedly threatened to cut off Christian colleges and universities from any federal funding and research grants for opposing the gay agenda. The repercussions of legalizing gay marriage are enormous and go far beyond creating special rights for a small minority class of people.

Homosexuality and gay marriage are opposed by Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. In only four other countries in the entire world is gay marriage legal. Canada is the only country in the Americas where it is legal.

And as Presidential candidate Mitt Romney

English: Governor Mitt Romney of MA

said in that same debate marriage between a man and a woman has been the ONLY standard by which humans have existed and grown for 3000 years. And we shouldn’t throw 3-thousand years of history out the window so cavalierly; especially when no discrimination exists.

Lastly in the interest of political fairness this isn’t just a GOP or Conservative issue. Democratic President Barrack Obama is on record as being opposed to gay marriage. Washington legislators or voters should say no to Gregoire’s proposal because ultimately this is not a state issue. It’s must be a Federal issue for the simple reason that we cannot have a couple, any couple, being legally married in one state and not so in another. Ultimately, baring a Constitutional Amendment, the Supreme Court will decide the matter.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.