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Video: His tone is civil, but his logic is holy

by Jeremy Hooper

One of the biggest problems we find with those who fight against our marriage equality is that they have a total inability to disconnect the civil and religious aspects of marriage. That's exactly why arguments like the one presented here are made far more complex than they really need be:

Alright, so around the 1:05 mark, this dude goes through the various possibilities of who defined marriage (God, the state, etc.). And he's right that on a personal level, all of us have the right to pin the origin of marriage on whoever or whatever we wish. For some, the custom is prescribed by God. For others, the legitimacy of the custom didn't begin in earnest until that special day in 1992 when Dwayne Wayne and Whitley Gilbert tied the knot on "A Different World." Views differ.

But here's the thing: For this issue, it doesn't really matter where any of us personally place the origin of marriage. The fact is that when we talk about marriage equality or the bans waged against the same, we are talking about the CIVIL CUSTOM. Even when marriage equality is in place, churches can still make their own rules about whether they marry gay couples. On the same token, gay couples have religious commitment ceremonies all the time that have no legal bearing. Because just like church and the state are different things, so are marriage certificates and church ceremonies.

Even if a highly utilized one, the religious component is still an optional one. So when considering these issues, it's not a debate between whether God or the government set the marital ball in motion. If it were, then we'd need to extend the debate to include the millions of heterosexual couples who have married in a wholly secular fashion. But it's not. It's a matter of state and federal recognition of the legal contracts existing between two committed, tax-paying citizens. There are varying religious rules that govern those who chose to enter a particular faith, while there is a concrete set of laws that the nation and its states use to govern and protect ALL within it. For our purposes, we must deal only with the latter (while still conscious and respectful of the former).

So basically, the idea of neutrality that this dude keeps bringing up is pretty much a red herring. If all of the pro- and anti- gay marriage arguments were purely secular, it would be one thing. But let's be honest, here: The "con" side is unapologetically fronting for the army of the big heavenly guy! True, it would be somewhat of a choice for the government to acknowledge gays' right to marital equality. However, the choice to remove bias (most of it faith-based) on a civil level is not on the same footing as the choice to keep said bias in place! The state is commanded to operate apart from the church. And it is a complete and utter fallacy to act as if by extending CIVIL rights to same-sex couples, the government would be going against those who put marriage in the hands of God.

GAY MARRIAGE: Can the State Be Neutral? [GodTube]

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Your thoughts

How utterly convoluted...

It reminds of the "Friends" episode when Phoebe and Rachel find out that Chandler and Monica are secretly dating, and they start playing tricks on each other, because "see, they don't KNOW we know they know we know they know we know!"

And Joey, the utterly sensible one in the mix, for once, just keeps smacking his head and going, "NOOOOOOOO!"

It's so simple. Two people loving each other isn't a "controversial moral issue" except for those who make it so. It's not like "some people say it's okay to kick babies, but others don't, and for the state to remain 'neutral' means they think it's OKAY to kick babies, who are currently crying because they're being kicked!"

Guys like this seem to want to be nicer than their LaBarbarian counterparts, obviously, but they still just don't seem to get where "free expression of religious belief" stops and impugning my freedom begins.

Posted by: Evan | May 5, 2008 9:39:06 PM

When I hear someone preface their comments with things like "I'm not hating anybody. I don't have contempt for anybody. In fact....I'm not doing it because I hate them, I'm actually doing it because I love them." I know that I'm in for the biggest insult, demoralizing statement this person can come up with. I recall my days in the AoG back in the '80's and the way those people leveled each other was to start their judgment and condemnation by saying "Now I'm just speaking the truth in love...."

I'm amazed this guy got through the video without having to do several takes. That was confusing to watch.

oh, and does the lisp give us any indication of what lies beneath the surface?

Posted by: keltic | May 5, 2008 10:47:44 PM

Evan, you hit it on the head:

Two people loving each other isn't a "controversial moral issue" except for those who make it so.

This guy is a very little person who doesn't get out much. His opinions are worthless.


Posted by: dave b | May 5, 2008 11:00:10 PM

This is what kills me about the religious fundamentalists. They abdicate all personal responsibility for developing a set of morals to a book that has frequently been proven wrong.

Posted by: Reverend Antonino Stefano Pelliccia | May 5, 2008 11:20:53 PM

What's really funny is that this is the second version of this video that has been posted on Godtube. A few weeks ago a text and audio version (nearly word for word) was posted (i am not sure if this is the same user or not) and after posting a comment it was pulled the next day by godtube with the message that it had yet to be approved (and never will be). It seems even his message was still to positive for godtube and had to be removed. I just find it funny and sad.

Posted by: Patrick B | May 6, 2008 3:06:54 AM

Wow Evan, very well said. I would love to see you in an argument ...er, discussion with my husband. He always claims I confuse things by using facts and logic. He would crumble before you.

Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | May 6, 2008 2:46:53 PM

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