© 2008, the Institute for Applied Common Sense
In our immediately previous post, “Would Jesus Discriminate,” (http://theviewfromoutsidemytinywindow.blogspot.com/2008/11/post-no-66b-question-to-ponder-would.html), a very lively discussion developed about the subject matter of Rev. Dr. Cindi Love’s book of the same name.
In one of the comments to that post, “Stever” brought up an interesting point, about which we occasionally thought during the week following Sen. Obama’s election to the Presidency. Having previously lived in California for many years, one of our Senior Fellows contacted a number of his friends in California to discuss their thoughts about the election. Interestingly, virtually all of them had something to say about Prop. 8 and its effect on same-sex marriage, as if it were equal in significance.
In fact, one friend suggested that in a state disposed to electing an African-American, one would have thought that it would have also been able to handle same-sex marriage. (We will not delve further in the accuracy of any portion of this statement, at least not right now.)
Stever mentioned our country's obsession with who sleeps with whom, contrary to many other parts of the modern, industrialized world. Should one simply look at the religious views of the original settling colonists, and their successors, one can easily identify the roots.
However, why have these views, about such a relatively small aspect of the human body, spirit, and condition, persisted and occupied so much of our time and energy over the years?
In the grand scheme of things, aren't food, clothing, housing, shelter, and lack of disease or deformity the most important things to humans, as opposed to where someone places his or her appendage or orifice? How did such a biological, reproductive function evolve into a moral issue? Of course, there are many tomes written which explore this history. However, this is the 21st Century. Even if one has a conflicting view, why is it such a big issue that there is uniformity in behavior or conduct, either way?
We think that part of the answer is that when certain basic needs in society have been addressed, we then move on to deal with the less significant issues. That does not explain the sexual philosophies of so many in our country, who still struggle to provide the basics for themselves and their families.
As we prepare this piece, we are listening to a C-Span2 Book TV presentation (http://www.booktv.org/program.aspx?ProgramId=9946&SectionName=&PlayMedia=No) by Charles Taylor, author of A Secular Age (http://books.google.com/books?id=s67LGgAACAAJ&dq=%22+A+Secular+Age%22&ei=KmsfSb-QFJWyyQSP3ZWsBQ). During the discussion, Taylor looks at the history of secularism and its relationship with the force of religion. He notes that as a country becomes more prosperous and “advanced,” it becomes more secular.
We are often reminded of a comment made by someone in Afghanistan about why the Taliban was welcome to his country, from 1995 until the US arrival in 2001. He noted that prior to the arrival of the Taliban, there was utter chaos and difficulty merely surviving. The Taliban (like Marshall Tito in the former Yugoslavia) established order, so that people could live in peace. In response to the complaint of westernized countries about the Taliban's position on women's rights, he said, "Who cares about women's rights when you have order?"
We here in the US have the luxury of looking at others and questioning their values and practices, and the discretionary time to address issues that are not necessarily basic survival issues. Some would suggest that we are the moral compass for the rest of the world. Are we?
A friend of our Senior Fellow earlier in the week said that she wants to be able to "love" whoever she wants to love. But what does that mean? What does love have to do with marriage? (The character of Gregory House, played by Hugh Laurie on Fox’s House, claims that a successful marriage is based on lies.)
What if the law permitted "spiritual love," but no same sex touching, or penetration, or genital contact? Would society be satisfied? Would we allow members of the same sex to get married as long as they did not have sex, or hold hands or kiss in public, so that minors could not view this conduct? Perhaps we could allow members of the same sex to marry, but not allow them to become, let us say, public school teachers, where they might come into contact with children.
What’s the deal with this same sex marriage thing? And why is it so important now that folks have difficulty feeding their families, filling up their gas tanks, and finding a job?
If we all decided to become more “religious,” and follow the purported dictates of God, would our country’s financial situation improve? If the individuals desirous of becoming married to one another agreed to abandon their quest, and marry individuals of the opposite sex, would the interests of our society be advanced and improved?
You tell us.
© 2008, the Institute for Applied Common Sense
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