Iowa = no to gay marriage

This makes sense to me:

“If we remove the gender requirement for marriage, there is no rational basis to define the number,” he said. “So we open up the possibility of the constitutional recognition of polygamous relationships. That’s a slippery slope. And I don’t know where the logic is to draw the line. We wouldn’t recognize incestuous relationships between two consenting adult brothers and sisters. That raises up within us disgust, and we can’t accept that. We draw lines. We define marriage.”

Rich Anderson was quoted in this article regarding Iowa’s recent ruling to ban same-sex marriage.

Yes, my religious beliefs lead me in understanding the right and wrong of this argument. But Anderson’s statement puts into colloquial language exactly why we need boundaries. Limits are the key to reaching our potential, because we learn how far we can go without destroying ourselves. If we don’t set them, we become overrun by chaos! Too many things will begin to blur the principles on which we stand.

The truth is: if we don’t draw a line now, when will we? If we don’t set laws now, when will they change? If we don’t stand firm in what we know is good, natural, and uplifting, we will quickly spiral into a tumultuous fall down that extremely “slippery slope.”


4 Comments to “Iowa = no to gay marriage”

  1. Just wanted to interject, as I recently blogged on same-sex marriage from another point of view ( in case you want to see how the other side thinks).

    I don’t agree at all with your categorization of gay marriage as a slippery slope which could lead us to chaos. It’s a fallacious argument, in my view. Long-term gay couples are made up of two people who love each other. Their love is no more or less valid than the love between two straight people. Gay people were born gay, they love people of the same sex, and they should be allowed to celebrate that love. If you’re against gay marriage, which you clearly are, then support a ban within your church. Your religious beliefs have no place in a debate about the equality of people’s personal relationships before the law.

    Don’t mean to be rude or disrespectful – your beliefs are your beliefs, and you’re welcome to them – but many of my best friends are gay, and I find it extremely sad that they can’t enjoy the same rights that I can.

    • Thanks, Evan. I did watch that video before posting this article, and while I was impressed with his speech, impactful speaking doesn’t make it true, right, or good. And I mean absolute truth, authentic dignity, and the natural order of creation. I am well aware of “how the other side thinks,” though it is all too common for people to assume I am ignorant because I choose to stand against it anyway. There are a great many flaws to the argument that gay couples are the same as straight couples… and when it comes down to it, I believe in equality of dignity. And each gay, lesbian, or transgender person in my life is far more valuable than their physical desires. My argument drives people crazy if they can’t see past the here and now, but man and woman are compatible. That’s how we were created. And a physical, sexual life is nothing compared to the price and value of our souls. Same-sex marriage is more of a legalization of homosexual sexual relationships than it is about having rights. Each of us has our own rights as single, individual people. And that should be enough.

      I wouldn’t need to fight a ban on gay marriage in my church, seeing as the Catholic Church has help firm for 2,000 years in defending sexuality, marriage, and chastity as God’s gift to us. If you are interested in knowing more about how people like-minded to me think about it, you should read about Theology of the Body, from the collection of audiences given by Pope John Paul II. Or maybe, you’d be interested in reading what Catholic bishops have to say.

      Religious beliefs have place in every debate and in every realm of our society, because some of us live our lives by them. They are defining, they are constant, and they guide the direction our society moves — IF society listens. Some people oppose gay marriage because they dislike those who identify as a member of the LGBT community. Some are homophobic. Some are adamant and have no good reason. The difference is that I think each of those people deserves to be who they were created to be, to be called to holiness and to God, and to live without acting on unnatural sexual tendencies that degrade their person, their sexuality, and their soul.

      • Thanks for your long, extensive and obviously well-thought-out reply. Too often, the issue of gay rights devolves into a shouting match (and my side is just as guilty), so I’m glad that we can actually debate about this.

        I’m aware of what the Catholic bishops say – I went to a Jesuit high school, and while I have a lot of respect for many of the positions of the Church, I disagree completely with Catholics’ stance on gay people and their relationships; what I meant was that you have every right to fight for the continuation of the ban on gay marriage in the Catholic Church.

        I think that we have a fundamentally different way of viewing homosexuality. You see it, if I understand your point correctly, as merely sexual, disconnected from feelings and love. Moreover, you see the homosexual act as something that is unnatural and wrong, not only from a religious point of view, but also from a moral standpoint. Correct me if I’m wrong, of course.

        Having known more than my fair share of gay people, some of whom I’m happy to count among my dearest friends, I can tell you that their love for their partners can be just as sincere as the love between two straight people. They love someone of the same sex because that’s the way God made them. I don’t subscribe to the notion that homosexuality is a choice, because, as a good friend said, “Why would we choose a lifestyle that makes people hate us?”

        When a gay person wishes to get married, it’s for the same reason as when a straight person chooses to do so – out of love. While I lost my faith long ago, I believe that if there is a God, He would want us to be with the people we love, and to be honest to ourselves and our own feelings – and yes, desires.

        I’m not accusing you of being homophobic. You have your reasons for being against gay marriage, and they seem to be of a mainly theological and moral nature, much as I disagree with your moral stance.

        I do not believe, however, that there is anything wrong with homosexuality, and I would challenge you to come up with a reason for your beliefs beyond scripture – a scripture that is itself contradictory on the love between two people of the same sex. I do not believe that the homosexual act is any more unnatural than the heterosexual one, because it is based on the same God-given sexual urges and desires that we all feel, much as they are directed towards different people. When two consenting adults engage in a consensual sexual act, who are we to judge? You say that homosexuality is based on ‘unnatural sexual tendencies that degrade [gay people’s] person, their sexuality, and their soul.’ I disagree – I find nothing unnatural about such tendencies. Both of those positions, however, are personal opinions.

        What I am trying to say in a roundabout way is that the state should not have the right to choose whom we love and can marry. Religious marriage and civil marriage should be two separate things. If the Catholic Church wishes to continue denying gay people the right to marry, so be it. The state, which must remain religiously impartial at all times, should allow different faiths to decide for themselves how to approach the issue of marriage.

  2. Well, seeing that my argument will be about theology, morality, doctrine, and beliefs, I don’t believe we have a need to continue the discussion. I will continue to maintain that our journey here on earth is to bring us closer to God through Jesus, so that when this life is done, we can enjoy glory and eternal life. And it takes a great many decisions that are counter-cultural, difficult to swallow, and even more difficult to uphold to fulfill our end of the bargain (aka convenant).

    If you have background in Catholic social justice and morality teaching, and it sounds like you do, you should consider delving into some of the things I put forth above. When rooted in our quest for salvation and in light of God’s saving love, our sexuality makes sense. From that, our understanding of marriage, chastity, sex, gender, and purpose is solidified.

    In the end, sex is meant to be unitive AND procreative. One quality without the other degrades sex — it makes it less than what it could potentially be. And we should all be reaching for our potential, all the time.

    All that said, my post was not necessarily only about gay marriage. This is not a political blog, nor a Catholic blog, but a personal one. And I have been working on the idea of limits and freedom, and the friends I have discussed this with should recognize the revelation I had in discovering this article and tying it with those ideas.

    It is in line with my thought process, that setting limits allows us to have true freedom. It cuts out the crap and gives us a way to see what it good and true. And among many examples, this one stood out. Just because we can do anything we want doesn’t mean that we should do it.

    And while it branches into a completely different debate, our society and our government do not understand love the way it should be understood. And that’s the root of the problems. Being in love with someone doesn’t necessitate marriage. We can love one another, deeply. We can share our lives with one another. We can be committed to friendships and relationships that last a lifetime. And nowhere is it required that we be married to make that happen. Somehow, marriage has become an entitlement, and I disagree that it is.

    Thanks for offering your point of view, Evan.

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