I know I said at the beginning of my blog that I didn't want the imposition on my blog of christians saying "It is god's word", but I have changed my mind. I would love to hear a christian perspective on some of my ideas. Also I plan to express my interpretations of their views so it would be unfair to prevent any from commenting on it. If I am incorrect in some way please let me (civilly). Firstly I would like to offer my interpretation of peoples interpretation of the bible. I haven't read it all but I have read bits, fairly big chunks of it in parts actually. However definitely if I misquote or paraphrase let me know. I write from my understanding of christianity's take on marriage through discussion with church going christians and research into christian groups, activists and blogs. (caution may repeat some sentiments expressed in my last blog entry but I wish to expand and clarify on these points)
I am sceptical that there is any christian that follows god's word (expressed through the bible) in its entirety. I have certainly never encountered anyone who wants to stone adulterers or rape victims who won't marry their rapists to death (for obvious reasons). It applies also to lesser things like a man being forbidden from sitting where a menstruating woman has been. I have heard logical arguments from christians for why; the onset of sanitary protection means disease spread through blood contact isn't an issue anymore, therefore there is no reason to avoid seats formerly sat upon by menstruating women. This puts a qualifier on the whole argument of god's word. By saying it isn't appropriate or relevant to follow certain parts of the bible (as examplified above) you are saying it is incorrect even though god said so because of logic and rational application of facts.
Logic dictates that the other side of this is agreeing with god's word also with a qualifier. Either there has to be a logical reason to follow god's word or at the least no illogical reason why it should not be followed. Thus it seems to remove the "god's word' argument at least as a sole basis for political policy and interpretation of the bible as it is obviously impacted by peoples opinions and views about certain things.
How this applies to the question of homosexual marriage is simple in my opinion. If there is logical reasons why homosexual marriage would be a positive thing, or at least not a negative thing then it should be allowed even though god was/is clearly anti gay.
To demonstrate this point that homosexual marriage is a positive, or at least not a negative, I will introduce a hypothetical here, from a strictly conservative christian view. Let us for a moment assume that sexuality, in particular homosexuality is a choice and that it is also wrong and condemned by god as wicked and sinful. The facts are as follows:
Being homosexual increases the chances of depression, anxiety and suicidality due to discrimination perpetuated by not being seen as equal to heterosexual (ie marriage rights)
Homosexuals are still 'gay bashed'
Homosexuals as people are seen as less than heterosexuals
Gay relations won't actually be changed by gay marriage rights (just viewed as equal)
Addressing the homosexuality (sexuality in general) as a choice argument I would just like to ask as a woman why wouldn't I choose to be gay? The benefits are:
Significantly less chance of stds
Significantly less prevalence of sexual violence
Significantly less prevalence of domestic violence
(compared to heterosexual relationships and marriages, all shown in scientific studies). This leads into the next issue I noticed while perusing the bible. One of the main verses which condemns homosexuality as sinful also includes condemnation of thieves and adulterers. It also condemns rape. 1/6 women in Australia will be raped or sexually assaulted NUMEROUS times in her life. I am not sure of the exact facts here (I am not sure anyone is) but it stands to reason to assume it is about 1/6 of men perpetrating these acts of violence. So on one hand you have gay marriage which involves 10% of the population and on the other a crime nearly 20% of people are directly involved with in one way or the another. I have however been unable to find any christian groups rallying against rape (please direct me to websites of any that exist).
Homosexuality has been proved to have no direct health issues. Being raped on the other hand generally comes hand in hand with co morbid psychiatric issues such as depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. Why when there are logical reasons not to oppose homosexual marriage and logical reasons to rally against rape do we have people pouring millions of dollars into anti-gay christian compaigns but none that I can find into anti-rape christian compaigns?
I would like to at this point out that in my opinion the idea of marriage as "tradition" also holds no weight. There is little about marriage today that resembles what it was founded on. There is a no faults divorce system and there exists now the choice not to get married and not necessarily be expected to produce children if you do. The one tradition that holds true is marriage as a union between one man and one woman. However the history of marriage as an insitution is based upon the rule of a patriarchy. The "one" man is dominant over the "one" woman. Positioning women as lesser than men and thereby implying their needs and wants are of less concern. This allowed there to be a position where rape wasn't possible in wedlock. Consequently to support traditional gender roles in marriage is to encourage a culture where sexual abuse is widespread, this I believe contradicts the bible.
Convicted sex offenders and child molesters are permitted to get married with no challenge (that I have heard) coming from church groups. Seems to me that a child molester would pose more threat to the welfare of children then does a gay couple, who have the same potential as straight couples for love and compassion and morals.
I talked earlier about there being no health problems directly involved with being homosexual so I would like to now address a constant argument presented by the conservatives against gay marriage. The fact that gay men are more prone (then heterosexuals) to contracting sexual diseases such as aids. However to say this is relevant to the fact that they are homosexual is deeply flawed. It is like stating heterosexual people contract sexual diseases for reasons of their sexuality. If this is the case, then opposite sex marriage shouldn't be allowed either. On the basis of relative std contraction only lesbian marriage and relationships should be allowed as they have the lowest amount of stds.
It has also come to my intention that several conservative church groups believe it is impossible to have morals without following a divine law. However through the application of science morals can certainly be formed and followed quite well. The bible itself is subject to the scrutiny of facts as I stated previously. The other flaw of this as applied to homosexual marriage is that it is used to state that gay people do not follow god's law correctly and are evil. However many straight couples in society do not follow the bible either, not much is said about their inability to make moral judgement. I suppose as long as you conform to a christian view of a relationship without actually being christian you are still seen as a moral person, even though it is asserted that is is not possible for you to do so.
Another point I wanted to raise is the fact that the bible sees women as lesser beings than men. How can a rational person support the right of women to vote (assuming you do) to grant equal rights but deny equal rights to homosexual couples? Returning to the std argument for a moment, I also don't understand the ramifications of std rates in homosexual relationships in regards to gay marriage. I believe they are most likely already sexually active, it is hard to save yourself for marriage when you're not allowed to marry.
I have two side notes to make here.
1) I oppose the use of the word homophobia and propose instead sexualism (allows for sexualities other than homosexuality to be discriminated against)
2) I use the term homosexual throughout this post as it is written in regards to christianity's response to the LGBT movement which has a focus on the homosexual aspect. Although to be politically correct I would prefer if I, and they, used the term "non heterosexual"