Monday, June 05, 2006

Defense of Marriage?

I have some random thoughts about the Defense of Marriage amendment to the Constitution. These may seem contradictory, but these are things rolling around in my head right now.

- Politically speaking, this debate and its timing right now seems nothing more than pandering to me. Republicans have been in a bad place lately. They have failed to make any traction with the war, the economy, or immigration. The President's poll numbers have been horrific. The hiring of Tony Snow as press secretary seemed to be a ploy simply designed to win back some from social conservatives. With the mid-term elections around the corner, this current debate has the same kind of smell. I am not necessarily opposed to it, but it seems to me that there are bigger fish to fry right now.

- On a personal level, does limiting marriage to a male and a female do anything to really protect or defend marriage? If an solitary gay couple wants to have the legal status of "married," what affect does that have on my life or anyone else's?

- On a societal level, I can see that a case can be made that redefining marriage could have a corrosive effect on the culture. To my limited knowledge, no human culture ever has gone down this road and survived to tell the story. There may well be a reason for that.

- However, - try to follow my logic on this one - if the basic rights of Americans are "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," then health care has got to be a key component of "life," right? It is the means of preserving life. And, what is the primary way of gaining health care in our society? It is health insurance. And what is the primary way of gaining health insurance? It is through your employer or through your spouse's employer. It seems to me, then, that allowing gay marriage would be a key way to protect the basic rights of a significant segment of Americans by giving them a pathway to health care and, thereby, life.

- Furthermore, while I would never argue that a gay household is the ideal one, if it can provide a stable and loving environment for children who would not otherwise have such an environment, should we be so quick to dismiss it? In Arkansas alone there are 18,000 foster kids needing homes.

- Finally, I think that the discussion by Christians of homosexuality, in general, and gay marriage, in particular, needs a lot more nuance and care than it usually gets. I don't have the answers. I am far from even knowing what the right questions are. But I do know that we need to be thoughtful, considerate, and gracious - not just cut-throat about Congressional elections.


ness said...

I don't think there is a single political action than can place some kind of bandaid over this social issue. Cultures go the way cultures go, like water finds its path. Making an ammendment about it won't change the direction the water flows. Christians are going to have to figure out another way to navigate politically than just having things the way they like them. And unless a Christian is going to step up to the plate and adopt or do foster care (or support those who do like crazy), they have to shut up about gay parents.

klasieprof said... over 4 years of doing recruiting, Gays are not stepping up to the plate much either.
Never had one apply, call be seriously interested.

shack said...

First, I totally agree with ness' comment. Secondly, I just watched some of the news specials that were on last week about the foster care system and the kids that go through it. I had to limit myself as to how much I watched, because it was just so heart breaking.

One of the last things I saw was a "catching up" with a boy who they'd interviewed earlier in the show. Now they're interviewing him as a 16 year old after having been adopted by a gay couple. The story he told and the love that was shown to him by his adopted parents spoke loudly to me.

I don't have it figured out either, but for anybody to take a hard-line position on the issue of gay parents and adoption/foster care seems outside the bounds of being motivated by love and more like being motivated by trying to "be right".

Robb said...

Shack, welcome and thanks for your comments! I am at a point in my life where I think way too many Christ-followers are way too dogmatic about things.

Donna, that's a fair assessment. However, do you want the pool of possible foster parents to be larger or smaller? Just a thought.

klasieprof said...

OH Hey..I'm NOT against the Gay factor in Foster/Adoption.
If there were a gay church in our area, and I could weasel my way to have an informational meeting, I'd be there in a flash.
Kids need LOVING enviornments. The "facts" of gays getting kids to sexually abuse them are simply not supportable.
Give me a gay female/male/ single or married home ...ANYTIME over a child stuck in a group home or Instititutional setting for any amount of time.
The problem with not having enough homes is diverse.
One is: Kids especially older kids is that (older being over EIGHT), most homes want little kids. Older kids...may be there through no fault of thier own, and we dont have a "tradional" (single married or gay house/home) to put them in. So they are put into "managed" care-in a group home with up to say 12 other kids, or in an Institutional setting simply to have their needs taken care of. Neither is a good long term solution, and adoption for these kids Decreases exponentially.

What we need is everyone of these Christians protesting at abortion sites is to sign up to take 2-3 kids into their homes. I am NOT pro abortion...but somehow..after seeing what horrifying things parents can do to their babies..pure TORTURE..I somehow (please dont think me evil) can't help but wonder if the child would have been better off not being born. (You cannot believe what people do to thier children).

AND please keep in mind..the "DIane Sawyer Expose" was done in response to them placing camaras a month before in a step family home, watching the step dad beat the crap out of the teen girl, and them NOT reporting it to authorities, DHS< or her own mother.

ness said...

I didn't watch it for a number of reasons, but I would have made it a point if it had been John Stossel doing the report.

I was just reading in Jeremiah this morning where he said (like Job) that it would have been better if he'd never been born. We have earthly perspectives, of course, and God knows better, but from this vantage point you do wonder.

Of course, how many would actually get abortions? That doesn't bring in any more food stamps, now does it? When a girl is pregnant is probably the only time that people do take real pity on her and treat her better. sometimes anyway.