04 November 2008

Prop 8 - Summary

Summarizing The Debate In Relatively Benign Terms

As I understand it, the legal argument comes down basically to one side saying that SINCE marriage was always culturally understood to be an institution, between a man and a woman, and was (they argue) initially meant to be a foundation for procreation and the rearing of children (regardless of whether that intent has been eroded by excessively casual treatment of the institution), that's what the definition is or should be, vs. the other side saying marriage is a contract granted to two people committing to each other, not a man-woman pairing (because what distinguishes a marriage from shacking up is not who's involved but the legal arrangements and contractual commitment), so the parties are (or should be) irrelevant, aside from being citizens with rights.

My Important Self-Reminder

Among all the harsh and accusatory rhetoric, I see occasional intelligence and real love from people on both sides of this painfully divisive issue. Whether you're struggling to understand how anyone could possibly say they love and support you and simultaneously proclaim that you should not be allowed to call your morally inferior relationship "marriage", or whether you're struggling to understand how an entire society seems so resistant to understand and embrace the nature and sanctity of the divine institution of marriage, or whether you're stuck somewhere in between and terribly uncomfortable with reconciling reason, beliefs, and faith, and the role of the church and the prophets along with what it means to truly sustain them, there's something I think we all would do well to remember. Stemming from what I wrote in a comment on a friend's blog:

An important reminder, on a personal level, is to work it out for ourselves and work to lift each other where we can and forgive one person for disagreeing with a church policy, forgive another for obeying blindly without thought or conviction, forgive another for unfairly slapping their child, forgive another for disobeying the Lord's counsel given through many prophets to avoid R-rated movies or have more than one piercing in an ear, forgive yet another for having a homo-romantic relationship, forgive others for thinking themselves more righteous than others because they don't drink caffeinated beverages...

That's not to say we shouldn't really work through our questions raised by situations like this, but maybe sometimes, while we're upset with others' lack of understanding or in turmoil over our own spiritual angst or cognitive dissonance, it is helpful to step back, be still, and let ourselves refill with love, patience, forebearance, charity, kindness...

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