Tag Archives: Same-Sex Marriage

What’s good for the goose…..SHOULD BE…..good for the gander.

28 Oct

Good for the goose...

Let’s move outside of gender and look at the left/right political divide in the United States in 2015.

On a three-day class trip with 47 eighth-graders we spent some time in Atlanta at a museum.  I snapped this photo.

Grounding for civil disobedience  It says:  “I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.”

It should not surprise you that these noble words come from the heart and pen of the very courageous champion of rights for all races, Martin Luther King, Jr.

What struck me is that they could be the very same words from:

  • Kim Davis – the elected Democratic clerk from Kentucky who maintained that being forced to sign a marriage license for a same-sex couple violated her religious freedom.  Because she believed that this freedom to practice religion is guaranteed in the US Constitution, she chose to submit to a jail sentence rather than violate her conscience.
  • Randy Alcorn – the pastor who cannot make more than minimum wage due to a court decision against him in a suit brought by an abortion clinic.  Alcorn had protested the killing of unborn children numerous times, even being jailed. For details here is a link

So why do I bring this up?  Because what drives points of view, what lies behind arguments are foundational beliefs or principles.  And if we LIKE, that is ACCEPT, as rational MLK’s premise that being willing to suffer legal and punitive consequences for breaking the law of the land is actually a commendable HIGH regard for the law, then we ought to view the actions of Kim Davis and Randy Alcorn in the same light.

That does NOT mean that one has to agree with the viewpoint on same-sex marriage or abortion, but one must grant the reasonableness of the foundational basis and outworking of that principle.

If a person cannot be fair-minded and tolerant to grant that point, then what lies between them and the hypocrite?

As a parting thought, many have weighed in on these moral issues of our times and drawn the comparison to the valiant and fruitful work done quite contrary to the majority view in 19th century Britain and America that:

  • trafficking and possessing other human beings was normal and to be accepted

I hope that one day future generations will look back in disbelief at changes in the last decades of the 20th and first decades of the 21st centuries.  The two most drastic have been:

  • that we legally and routinely butchered unborn babies
  • that the ‘State’ supported and championed the redefinition of marriage, thereby undermining the unity of families

Both these laws have brought a degradation to the flourishing of society.  On the one hand, the next generation is reduced through murder; and on the other hand, the likelihood that all children receive the care, love and stability from living with their own biological parents is weakened.

Logical Gal and the State’s interest in marriage

19 Mar

I revisit the marriage debate that is very much present in our culture and courts. 

Marriage Debate

How do you even begin to tackle this issue?  Where does one wade in?  Like any emotional and complex issue, the questions are often more important than the answers.

Taking the time to think and formulate questions requires patience and resolve.  Too often I have succumbed to the temptation to jump right in with my point of view (backed by reasons, of course .)Smiley Face - small

Had I resisted that first impulse and taken the time to prepare the field of reasonable discussion with the fertilizer of clear terms and thoughtful questions,  my results perhaps would have been better.  At least they would have turned out differently!

Questions - asking good ones

Hence, my interest was piqued when I heard an excellent question framed this way.  For the sake of focusing just on the questions, I am skipping any term-clarifying work that should always take place.   On to a jump-off question:

When someone is defending the legitimacy of same-sex marriage, a first question could be this:

  • For which essential public purpose does the State licenses marriages? 

That is a brilliant question because it takes marriage out of the realm of ‘love’ and ‘rights’.   It focuses on the fact that the State actually has chosen to care about marriages enough to regulate them.  Why would the State even do that?   After all, the State doesn’t care about where I go to church or who my friends are or even which career I choose?  Why marriage?

It turns out that the State and our entire society have a very compelling interest in marriage. Research shows Report about what serves children best that AS A GROUP, AS A RULE and BY NATURE, a hetero-sexual couple in a long-term stable relationship, caring for and raising their own biological children provide the best environment for those children to grow up to be responsible, healthy and functional citizens.  The next generation IS society’s # one resource. Society won’t continue without succeeding generations of adults who can take on responsibility!

The question advanced serves to focus the discussion away from the emotionally charged question of love because it is irrelevant to the State.  As the man discussing this strategic question on the radio remarked, when he and his fiancée applied for a marriage license, the question of whether they actually loved each other was not even on the application form! That isn’t important to the State.

Marriage License App

I was struck by the simplicity and power of one question.  The ability to focus the discussion away from emotionally charged areas allows for fruitful and rational discussion.  No one denies that love is important to 21st century Americans.  But that is not something the State needs to be concern about!

Further Thought – What powerful clarifying questions have you encountered?