Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Proposition 8

Pamela Case in today's Town Crier tried to paint a fairly down-the-middle explanation of the motives of Proposition 8's supporters and detractors. This is the proposition that would define marriage to exclude same-sex couples.

I think she's overly generous describing many of the proposition's supporters.

It's not that they're defending "traditional marriage," the definition of which has changed through societies and time (witness polyandry and polygyny). What they're trying to codify in state law is a particular interpretation of Biblical precepts.

Some supporters of Proposition 8 don't even try to hide their desire to blur the separation between church and state. Others are more subtle, but the end game is the same.

The problem here is simple — religion-driven Prop. 8 supporters confuse the role of the state and the role of the church.

When it comes to religion, marriage is a holy institution blessed by God.

When it comes to the state, marriage is a freely entered contract between two able-minded adults.

One has to do with salvation, the other with taxes. See the difference?

The state has no business getting into the realm of sanctification and Sacrament, but that's exactly what the religion-driven pushers of Prop. 8 want to happen. They want religion tied up in state law. Make no mistake, they're pushing theocracy.

Everyone should have the right to practice religion freely — so let churches and individuals condemn same-sex marriage all they want. It's their right.

But it should also be the right of same-sex couples to have the rights and priviledges via a secular state-codified contract that heterosexual couples have. That's why Proposition 8 deserves the no vote it's likely to get.

2 comments:

Mike McLellan, D. Min. said...

Jon:
Good point. The problem with making this a Biblical issue is that the Bible (or at least the ethical codes of the Bible) do not define "marriage as between one man and one woman". It is between one man and as many women as he could afford. In a recent column I believe I noted that heterosexual marriage is not a very good model for committed behavior, nor were those who framed the Constitution.

Cheri Matthews said...

I notice it's really the churches that are pushing for this constitutional change — with sermons and big bucks. You've articulated well why that's not a reason for us to prop up Prop. 8.