Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Facebook Debate on Same-Sex Marriage: Part 1

If you are familiar with Facebook at all, then you know that one thing people like to do is set up groups with the hopes of finding one million people who are for or against something. "I bet we can find 1,000,000 people who are against abortion," or "I bet we can find 1,000,000 people who eat cereal for dinner," or "I bet we can find 1,000,000 people who think these '1,000,000' groups are stupid" or whatever. Well recently, a Facebook friend of mine invited me to join a group called, "I bet we can find 1,000,000 people who are for same-sex marriage." I had to politely decline. Of course, that resulted in a debate on the topic, and I would like to share that here.

This is my first real foray into the same-sex marriage debate. I've read a lot about it and I've followed it in the news, but I've never put my views to the test in an actual debate with someone. So, this should be a learning experience. I hope my rookie attempt at defending the institution of marriage is in some way helpful.

My opponents in the debate are "Windy," "Josh," and "E.D." Mine is the only voice in favor of traditional marriage. I will be structuring our comments in the order in which they appeared in the Facebook exchange. My words will be in tan, Windy's in brown, Josh's in gray, and E.D.'s in the golden color that I typically use for Scripture verses.

Pax Christi,

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Sorry Windy, I can't join the same-sex marriage group

Yeah, I kinda figured. I thought.... Hey, you might be one of those people who doesn't think it's right to force their personal religious beliefs on other people.... Guess I was wrong.

Windy, you can't divorce law from morality. Every law we have is based on some belief about what is best for the human person and for society and what is not. Underlying our laws against murder, and rape, and burglary, and assault, and perjury (to name but a few) are real beliefs about life, sex, the right to your own property and personal integrity, and telling the truth. Was our government "forcing personal beliefs on other people" when it made all of those things illegal?

Are you saying that same sex marriage is equal to the offenses of murder, rape, burglary assault, & perjury?? In all of the offenses you listed other people are harmed, against their will, and it is only right to protect people from being harmed by others. In same sex marriage, I wanna ask you, who is getting harmed??? I know that you find it ... See Moreoffensive to your morality and beliefs, but it does not harm you, your family, or really have anything to do with you since you are clearly not gay. There are rights and privileges granted to those whose marriages are recognized by the state, and it is only fair, and RIGHT that all consenting adults be granted the same privileges and rights as any other human is allowed, sexuality shouldn't be an issue!
Your bible states that homosexuality is an abomination to God, yet it also states eating shellfish and wearing clothes of mixed fibers are also abominations to God.... no fair cherry-picking.

This why we need tougher laws to separate church and state because of uneducated people who compares such nonsense about gay marriage to hard core criminals and to think that there are people like this teaching or should I say brain washing our youth. It... See More’s like there is nothing else better to do hating on equal civil rights for all. The GBLT community who are tax payers and they follow the same rules as the heterosexual community and the GBLT community will not rest to all the discrimination has stopped. Also, our government has screwed up several times such as when African Americans did not have civil rights and treating them like they were nothing. So basically you are saying the government should still hate on the African American community?? It’s obvious that our government has made several mistakes and people should be joining forces to get through these hard economic hardships and help your neighbor instead of fighting with them…

As if there's never been unjust laws past by government!

surely he's not saying that just because something's illegal, it's therefore immoral. surely...
and Josh...that's just the devil making you have good, logical points! :)

Windy and Joshua .... both of you missed my point entirely. Read my comment again. I wasn't saying that same-sex marriage was equal to murder or rape or the rest. It's obviously not. What I was saying was that you can't divorce law from morality. You charge that the ban on same-sex marriage is a "forcing of our beliefs on other people." I didn't get an answer the first time, so I'll ask it again: Were we forcing our beliefs on other people when we made murder and burglary and perjury illegal? What about the law against a father marrying his daughter, or a man marrying his sister? The issue isn't that this ban on gay marriage has a moral underpinning. All laws are based upon some belief about something, and there's no escaping that fact. The issue instead is that you don't happen to agree with the particular beliefs that this law is founded upon. So, the whole "you're forcing your beliefs on others" and "separate of Church and state" argument is really just a red herring.

You two also speak of same-sex marriage as a "right." How do you define a "right"? Is it the freedom to do whatever the hell I want to do? If that's true then a person can claim a "right" to do anything. The problem with this debate is that people often speak of "rights" when they really have no idea what they mean by that word, or they haven't defined it in a way that is really logically consistent.

Windy .... if "all consenting adults should be granted the same privileges and rights as any other human is allowed" does that mean we should let a mother marry her son or a brother marry his sister, if they're both all for it? Surely your logic doesn't apply in every case like you think it does. Also, you mentioned the Bible. You're wrong to say that my stance amounts to "cherry-picking" which laws I want to follow and ignoring the rest. The fact is, the new covenant law of grace has abolished laws on eating, and washing, and dressing, and other ceremonial laws of that type. Jesus said that it is not what comes from the outside that defiles a man but that which comes from the heart (cf. Mt 15:11,17-20). The moral laws have not been abolished. They are universal. The laws against homosexual activity are among these, for they are upheld in both the Old and New Testament.

Joshua .... surely you can engage in a debate without using insults and ad hominem attacks. That sort of argumentation doesn't really do much to further your cause.

E.D. .... read my comment again. I said that every law has within it some statement of belief about what is best for the human person and for society. It does not necessarily follow from this that if something is illegal it is therefore immoral. Since you are someone who enjoys "good, logical points" I am surprised that that fact escaped you. You seem to find Joshua's arguments to be particularly "good" and "logical", which I find odd considering that he made a most illogical statement when he said that it somehow follows from my position that the government should still be hating on African Americans. Perhaps you or Joshua can explain that logic to me.


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