Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Gay Baptism?

I received a handful of vituperative emails regarding my opposition of Proposition 8. I feel obliged to say something about the matter.

Primarily, I wish the government would stay far away from defining marriage. It seems like such a complicated word these days. Every religion has a new way of defining the word. (I'll use the Mormons as an example because of my familiarity with the religion.) A Mormon marriage is more commonly referred to as a sealing and is far more intricate and complex than a simple civil union. Two temple-worthy individuals are sealed for time and all eternity. It is a beautiful thing. No matter how wonderful it is, I don't want the government to declare LDS marriage as the only definition. That messes with other people. Generally, the government getting involved, and narrowly defining anything puts limits on other people. So if there must be an official definition in the constitution, it should be the broadest possible definition as to include the largest variety of Americans. Alas, limited government finds a fair-weather friend in the right-wing.

Let's just say, for some reason, the government felt that it was important to get involved in how we define baptism. (A notion almost as ridiculous as them defining marriage.) They would probably include all sorts of baptisms: submersion, sprinkling, misting, etc. Would the Mormons be outraged if one of the versions of baptism included in the definition had some cleric using Dr Pepper instead of water? I'm sure nobody would care, because nobody is scared of Dr Pepper affecting their kids. (Scratch that. Few people.) Also because the state's definition wouldn't change a thing about how Catholics, Mormons, and Protestants baptize. It would only let a few more people into the party. And it's always good when people bring Dr Pepper to a party.

All other discussions that bounce behind this issue, like Dr Pepper cans strung behind a Just Married car, should not really be part of this discussion. Gay adoption, gay civil rights, teaching gay marriage in school, your kids' sexual development... These things may be important to discuss and resolve, but in many ways these are inevitable and unaffected by the definition of marriage.

I'm not trying to convince anybody of anything. I know it is the 11th hour and I don't intend to affect anybody's vote. I'm mainly responding to people who have sent vitriol my way. Some people who support Prop 8 are bigots. Look up the word. Many others are not bigots. I know people who are sympathetic with the gays but support the proposition because of their faith in religious leaders. I know gay people who plan on supporting the measure for this reason. If my faith were stronger, maybe the instruction of religious leaders would have the weight to overpower what I feel is correct. That's a cognitive dissonance that I have to deal with.


Farook said...

Interesting thoughts that you posted...

MackAck said...

Amen, amen, and amen.

I hope you don't hate me for using your baptism example without directly citing you. If it helps, I didn't take credit for it myself ("my smart friend said X Y Z...").

Also - kudos for the Dr. Pepper cans behind wedding getaway car analogy. I like the imagery. That'll have to be at my wedding. That, and lots of cheesecake. Yeah.

David said...

what's the opposite of "amen, amen, and amen."?

David said...

Ha. Very funny, Manning.

Mackenzie, don't forget the pie.

David said...

i do agree with some of what you're saying, i wasn't trying to completely steal your thunder there. i wouldn't have said anything but amen, amen, and amen was just too much. besides mackack and i are enemies now for a season.

David said...

Well, don't be too hard on her. We don't want her going to Taiwan emotionally battered by your barbs.
Just keep the gloves on.

gonzo said...

"maybe the instruction of religious leaders would have the weight to overpower what I feel is correct"

Where is this instruction from religious leaders? i missed that one, was it some fireside or something? the reason i'm asking is because i heard a lot of people mis understood what they said.