Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bigot (Part 4)

This is the fourth, and I believe final installment of my series on the attempts to redefine marriage. In the original post, Bigot, I spoke about the lack of a reason to redefine marriage. There is no right being denied homosexuals, other than the "right" to force others to call them married. Whenever the subject is brought up by individuals, the conversation focuses on "why shouldn't two people who love each other be allowed to marry?" The answer, of course, is the nature of that love. Should parents be allowed to marry their children? Should currently married people be allowed to marry?

But this argument is divorced (pun intended) form the legal arguments for redefining marriage. For instance, Google, Microsoft and Starbucks, along with over 60 other businesses and firms, filed a brief to uphold a circuit court decision to strike down part of DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law which defines marriage as between one man and one women). They claim that homosexuals are discriminated against by having to pay tax on money paid for benefits for their partner.

Now, that would truly be discrimination if those couples were married (e.g. if the definition of marriage were already changed). So the reasoning is circular. If we take the opposing stance, that the definition of marriage is not relevant to the claim of discrimination, the same claim of "discrimination" could be made of anyone who wants to pay for another person's benefits, whether they be a parent, friend, or a cohabiting heterosexual couple. Yet the brief seeks only a remedy for homosexuals. In other words, it in fact discriminate against the cases above.

But the main point is that legal arguments don't involve the "love" of homosexuals, but are all about one of two things; money or religious liberty. In the case of the brief mentioned above, the article itself notes "Essentially, the companies are asking the federal government to help them save money."

In Bigot Part 2, I discussed what marriage is, and why it is harmful to make it what it is not. Marriage is ordered towards strengthening families, and notwithstanding Disney movies which attempt to redefine a family as any group of individuals who work together towards a goal, family means children and their parents. Marriage is designed to give children a mother and a father, both of which have an important role.

Redefining homosexual relationships as marriage is harmful to the institution of marriage and to children. The reason is the redefinition of mother and father into a concept of "parent". Because two men or two women can't have a child by themselves, in each and every case of a homosexual couple "having" child, there is at least one (possibly 2) real biological parent who is separated from that child. So rather than being the institution that ensures a child has a right to both its parents, marriage becomes the means by which a child is separated from its parents. This also commoditizes children in that the in each case there would be a contract, and presumably money changing hands, so parentage becomes a financial transaction, not an act of love.

In Bigot Part 3, I discussed the negative effects of redefining marriage. Whether by intention or not, the redefinition of marriage does not and cannot allow for the religious rights of Christians, Jews, Muslims, and just about any other person of faith. All religions that have some claim on morality include sexual morality and that morality universally recognizes the principle that the purpose of sexuality is procreation.

We live in a society and despite claims that "what I do is none of your business" when "what I do" becomes a matter of law it affects everyone. Redefining marriage to include homosexual relationships is incompatible with moral teaching. When a force meets and object something has to give. In countries where marriage has been redefined we see an erosion of religious rights, followed by an erosion of civil rights of religious believers. At first, there are conscience clauses and exceptions for religious reasons. But those exceptions can't last, because the concepts involved are fundamentally incompatible.

In the UK, it started out by a denial that redefining marriage harmed children. This led to religious organizations that disagreed being denied the ability to run adoption services. This is the state of things in the US right now, in places like Illinois. In the UK things have progressed along their natural course to the point where the High Court has officially ruled that people of religious conviction cannot adopt or foster children if their religion claims that homosexual acts are sinful. As I speculated, the logical conclusion to this is either to outlaw the religion, or to outlaw contact with children for any such believers (including keeping their own children).

Nor is the OK the only place where this is happening; they are merely the first to take this step. In Germany, parents are being jailed for teaching their children Christian beliefs about homosexual acts. In Canada, there is a court case pending involving people who were fined or jailed for reading the Bible in a public place.

In fact, throughout most of the western world religious freedom is being taken away in the name of redefining marriage. This redefinition does not convey any rights to homosexuals, but deprives children of their rights to a mother and father, and deprives people of their rights to practice their faith. For all of these reasons I can definitively say that I am not a bigot. I think that name belongs more accurately to those who cannot let Christians live in peace, without forcing them to approve of sin.


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