No, I am not going to beat this issue to death. Personally, this issue annoys me, but that is another discussion altogether.
I was reading a very thoughtful piece on Pajamas Media entitled, Christians and Gays Behaving Badly, by Elizabeth Scalia.
I had never heard of her, so I read the tagline and learned that she is the blogger at The Anchoress. No wonder it was such a thoughtful piece. I have been reading that blog for a couple of months and it is very good. (I have to add that to my blog roll. Done)
She has some thoughts on California’s Prop. 8 and the aftermath, calling out both the Christians and the gays.
To the gays,
Tearing others down does not build up. Instead of bullying the electorate, the gay community needs to calmly make their case, ask for support, and bring it to a vote as many times as it takes. If the Christians are wrong to proselytize without actually getting to know their neighbors, well, the gays are also wrong to browbeat, intimidate, or ruin others, instead of working within the democratic process.
To the Christians,
The Christians at Castro need to remember that Jesus joined others in community. Excusing nothing, he loved others, even in all their faults and — only when asked to — he healed them. He never just said, “Hey, I’m going to whip a little faith on you, whether you want it or not.”
She concludes with,
Meanwhile, the churches should reconsider their roles in authenticating marriage. Governments issue birth certificates; churches issue baptismal certificates. Governments issue death certificates; churches pray the funerals. Governments issue divorces; Churches annul. Both work within their separate and necessary spheres, serving the corporeal and the spiritual. It is only in the issue of marriage that church and state have commingled authority. That should perhaps change, and soon. Let the government certify and the churches sanctify according to their rites and sacraments.
I agree that civil and religious marriage should be separate, but I think the reason that marriage is such a problematic topic is that in all of the examples she cites, marriage is the only one that uses the same language in both the secular and religious sense.
The word “marriage” is being changed, and not everyone approves.
The other issue being ignored in this debate, at large, is that religion is not the only reason for defining marriage as it has always been defined. The other is tradition. Not everyone is ready to let go of the traditional meaning of marriage. Surely no one believes that 52% of Californians are religious conservatives. Therefore, there must be something else at work here that goes beyond religious belief.
Surely the Christians and gays involved in this publicly are making the most noise, but in order to find a solution, we need to open up the discussion beyond those narrow factions.