08 November 2008

Way Over My Head

After the recent Prop. 8 debates, I have been pretty frustrated being compared to a racist in my desire to protect traditional marriage. (Sidenote: Language is so interesting. Depending on the side of the argument you are "protecting marriage" or "limiting rights." Same meaning, wildly different baggage.) I just want to give a few thoughts about why I think the racist argument is so inappropriate. I hope I'm not opening my mouth to "remove all doubt" about my foolishness again.

For me a human is a dual individual made up of two elements, physical and spiritual. There is a physical side and an immortal will which can control the physical body. This is why as a Christian I love Jesus, because I think he did something profoundly awesome for both of the important elements of my being. But that's not what I am going on about in this particular post.

I think that sexuality is more heavily weighted in the immortal will. Race is part of the physical body, determined at birth. Race can not be changed unless you are Michael Jackson. Contrarily, sexuality is discovered by most during adolescence or young adulthood. While certainly the body and the will are intertwined very integrally, in my opinion the will is stronger than the body due to its immortal nature. This is why homosexuals (including an acquaintance of mine) can choose not to act on homosexual desires, thus choosing not to "be" homosexual. Those desires may still exist, but human will can make choices that quell the desires and still achieve fulfillment in life.

I guess this is an answer to my own question from my previous post. I've read much more since then, and I think "chocolate craving" is fundamentally a choice. The choice can definitely be swayed by the body, but at its heart, I believe it is a choice, just as my faith is fundamentally a choice for me. That is why I don't think I am the bigoted equivalent of a racist for asking that gay marriage be defined differently from traditional marriage according to the law.

BTW Har, this post is not directed at you specifically. Your post was well articulated and very polite.


The Rookie said...

Love this post! Thanks for putting it out there. Just one more reason I love reading you.

TravisandLori said...

Great thoughts - I completely agree!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if chocolate craving is a choice, but focusing on chocolate craving and giving into chocolate craving is definitely a choice.

(I kinda prefer to use the comparison of a proclivity to something *bad* though -- craving chocolate is a GOOD thing!) (Although, bizarrely, I haven't been craving chocolate during this pregnancy. I've got a bit of growing chocolate stash in my sewing room because my mind still thinks I want it, but when I'm scrounging for things to munch on I seem to always choose something non-chocolatey. It will be so sad when my taste for chocolate comes back and my chocolate is all stale.)

Oh -- here's another thing: some homosexuals who choose *not* to act on it get lots of criticism and pressure over their decision from practicing homosexuals -- not unlike the kind of criticism and pressure that, say, some stay-home-moms get from extreme feminists. It really belies the whole claim to tolerance when in fact there's only ONE lifestyle that (the more radical amongst) homosexuals truly endorse or approve of.

laceeJ said...

AMen SiSTa! Very well put!

Amy said...

Jared and I have been discussing this a lot. Jared is not endorsing gay marriage, but he is also very sensitive to the idea of discriminating when making a law. He also likes to push me when I take a stand on something to explain why I feel that way. I like your explanation and as was stated in an early comment, become very frustrated that it comes back on us that we are being bigots when they are the same people who if the table is turned do the same thing. They are out fighting for what they believe. Can we coexist with practicing homosexuals? Yes, but when they want to change the definition of marriage it is no longer their choice and our choice because that is what will be taught in schools and become the norm affecting our families. We also know that the strength of a society is in its morals and that lifestyle is not moral if you look at what is natural based on our physical bodies. Anyway, I have been mulling this over a lot lately, so I am glad that you opened this up so I could air a few of my thoughts.

Kate said...

Jen, I definitely disagree that the same-sex movement is directly analogous to the civil rights movement for many reasons (primary of those that sexual orientation does not relegate you to a particular political class from birth), however, I am confused about the decision to make this THE battle we as a church are willing to get up in arms about.

I can think of 100 things that are more universally hurtful & contrary to Christian doctrine, like, Genocide, war, poverty. Where are the proclamations on that? How do SS Marriages destroy families more than mass indiscriminate killings?
What exactly are the criteria for deeming an issue a "moral" one?

Heber J. Grant was a staunch Prohibitionist and called Prohibition “the greatest financial and moral blessing that has ever come to humanity.” The church was a huge backer of the 18th amendment. But, seems like we gave up on that issue once it lost popular support, even though we still cling to alcohol as the most important prohibition of section 89. Why are we not marching in the streets to defend the world against the ills of alcohol & spending millions to re-vamp prohibition? More specifically what is the exact element or nature of that issue that makes it not worth the political/economic capitol we would have to expend to support it.

Will we abandon the same-sex marriage cause if it is struck down by the courts or abandoned by popular opinion? What then, about it is moral? Obviously on many issues we personally choose to abstain from certain activities while not advocating legislation banning them for all Americans. Why the level of specificity on this issue?

Jen said...

Kate, while I'm definitely not a church representative, I have a theory about your question. The Church has asked members to take political action several times in history, as you mentioned. But as with Prohibition, when the popular vote has gone the other way, the Church has left the issue alone.

I think that is because the Church is a religious and not a political organization. When something becomes a law, we obey, honor, and sustain. We have a humanitarian arm that sends supplies when possible to countries needing aid. When we have a chance to tilt the balance of the law in our favor on what we view as a moral issue, and the majority of the population is with us, we do it. But if we get up in arms about issues that are moral to us and continue to fight them when we are in the minority, I think we become guilty of trying to force our morality on the population the way others are trying to force alternative lifestyles on us.

BTW, if anyone is still reading, Jessika pointed out this article about the topic by Orson Scott Card that I enjoyed:


sara said...

Hi Jen - I was just skimming through the Prop8 debate on Mrs. Dub's SIL's blog (lavidasteffa) from last week; I'm sorry I didn't catch it sooner or I would've jumped in and taken your side :)

Actually for a few days I was involved in another prop8 debate on another blog AND an abortion debate on yet another... it sure wore me out!