Posted by: Godfångst | March 6, 2009

7,000,000 Believers Can’t Be Wrong

blog_prop_8_resultsIt looks as though the ban on same-sex marriage will stand in California.

Justice Joyce Kennard, who voted last year that it was unconstitutional to deny the right to marry to same-sex couples, asked if the court could “willy-nilly disregard the will of the people.”

Good point, Your Honor. I wouldn’t do anything willy–or nilly. I respect the will of the people.

Speaking of willy nilly, doesn’t it disturb anyone that among the largest bands of pro-8 supporters were those who classified themselves as “weekly churchgoers” and Protestant evangelicals (does that include Mormons, or what? They’re not Protestants). So a huge proportion of the “yes” votes were cast by people who would probably cite religion as their main reason. Of course, their TV ads didn’t mention this; they just talked about teaching about homosexuality in schools.

Maybe that’s why so many parents with children voted for Prop. 8 as well. We simply must protect children from the influences of a tiny number of homosexuals–forget all about the majority population, who are far more likely to molest them, sell them violent video games or assault weapons, or kidnap them and sell them into sex slavery. Or divorce them and leave them pregnant and without money, assuming your daughter grows up to be heterosexual, which she won’t if she’s taught about how awesome lesbianism is. That’s why I did it. Ask my mother. I learned it in school.

Anyway. When reporters and others ask people why they support Prop. 8 or why they voted for it, their reasons usually run along these lines: “I want to preserve the traditional family,” “We must protect the (traditional) definition of marriage,” or “I believe marriage is a man and a woman.”

But how do they know marriage is a man and a woman? All they have to do to support this belief is say, “See? Here are 10,000,000 married couples–and they all consist of a man and a woman!” And all through history, too! It’s all about men and women! It’s traditional!

Look how that logic works! It’s both true and right because it always happens that way!

So you believe this, and I don’t. Your belief is something personal to you and others who believe like you. And you are the majority. 52.3% of those who voted. Isn’t that a majority? Let’s see. California population, 33,871,648. How many of those people can vote? How many did? Well, about 7 million voted to support Prop. 8. Just about 5% of the total population of California. That’s a majority, right?

Many more people wanted to vote for it, but couldn’t, I’m sure–if those schoolkids being taught about gay people could vote, THEN we’d see some real numbers. For sure.

Anyway, I concede. You win on that point. Marriage commonly is a man and a woman; that is traditional, in that it is common among people, and valued by many people, and favored as a practice by many people. But does anyone know why?

die, sinners!Many things were and continue to be common or “traditional,” like dowries, slave trading, operating without anesthesia, eating chicken embryos, beating one’s wife, cutting hair off one’s face with a sharp object (against the Bible, by the way), polygyny, eating shellfish (also in the Bible), performing human sacrifice, using leeches to cure illness, and a lot of other things. Others of these things either haven’t always been or no longer are traditional.

And who decided what was and what wasn’t? The majority.

I’m sure lots of guys in 17th-century Italy or 19th-century England wanted to marry other guys. It’s just that they were a bit more afraid of being burned at the stake or sent to prison to break rocks.

And women–well, who the hell cares what women wanted?

Furthermore, the definition of “traditional marriage” used to include the concept of absolute permanence. It no longer does and never will again. Why? Traditions change as societies change. We make our own traditions, upholding them if they are good and striking them down if they are not. We get rid of traditions that don’t suit us, like the tradition, mentioned once or twice in the Bible, that a man can have many wives. King Solomon had hundreds of wives; the Bible says, “Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites” (1 Kings 11:1).

But this particular tradition is no longer to the majority’s liking, so what the Bible says is willfully ignored, even by the “weekly churchgoers” who voted for Prop. 8. The majority gets to shape traditions and laws and every other thing to suit itself, often simply because it is the majority.

In this state, they have ensured the continuation of the “tradition” that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman. It’s still common. But is something right for all just because it is common for many?

The reason this ban will be upheld is because it is true that the people must be allowed to change the state constitution if necessary. For this was what today’s oral arguments were really about: the right to use the wonderful initiative process to change the constitution and make laws according to popular vote. It gave us a ban on Affirmative Action (Prop. 209, 1996). We also voted on parental notification on teenage abortions (those propositions failed twice), a whole lot of stuff about Indian gaming, and many other items concerning eminent domain that people almost certainly voted on without reading them. By the way, another large group of Pro-8 voters included those with “some college” or only high school diplomas.

As Ken Starr, who argued in defense of the ban, said, “The people are sovereign — and can do unwise things.”

He should know. He spent millions of our tax dollars trying to prove that a married man was fellated by someone who was not his wife.

I am certain that 7,000,000 people have done what they felt to be right. But then again, I don’t want Californians to always just feel or believe. I want them to think. So many people on both sides of this issue say, “I believe…” “I feel…” and very few people give reasons that have any real weight behind them. Especially not those who would change the lives of others–those who purport to know what marriage is, or what “traditional marriage” is, more specifically.

“I believe marriage is a man and a woman,” they say. “I want to protect traditional marriage.”

“Everybody knows” that marriage is a man and a woman, one woman said with absolute certainty in an audio file on the New York Times web page. It’s “a natural institution,” she says. Natural as in organic? Natural as in…biologically innate? What does she mean by that? Does she know? Do you?

Most people, like George W. Bush, say “natural” when they want to refer to “natural law.” God gave us marriage and engineered men and women to fit together perfectly, like the hand fits in the glove. Marriage, therefore, is not man’s to toy with. It’s God’s. Yet it was OK for straight people and Republicans to invent and promote divorce. That’s how they “protect traditional marriage.”

the best novel ever writtenThey’re full of bullshit. Marriage is shaped by man. It is a man and a woman because we made it that way, and those who didn’t want it that way were never considered, never heard, burned at the stake, told they were crazy, or never allowed to even dream of thinking those thoughts in the first place. If you silence everyone who disagrees with you about divorce, evolution, abortion, or the earth being round, you sure can make it look like you’re creating consensus and upholding “the will of the people.” Judges might even agree with you about things like women not being capable of voting or white people being superior to black people. They’re descended from Ham, you know. (Ham in the Bible–not the cured pork product.)

Everybody knows it. So it’s true.

I think everything should depend on popular vote, kind of like American Idol. We should have had a big fat popular vote in 1633. Is the earth round or flat? Should Galileo be burned at the stake, or should he be pardoned?

But that might not have worked. People who can’t read or write, have never seen a book, don’t know where they are on the map, are living in the 17th century, and have been whipped into submission by the Roman Inquisition probably shouldn’t be asked what they know about the earth.

The majority may vote as it likes. But it gives me pause. On what grounds, exactly, did they vote? Based on what information, what reasons?

Did they read the text of the proposition? What do they know about California law? Have they read the constitution they revised (or amended, or whatever)? Do they know what amended means? Can they state the arguments of the side they oppose and rebut them with reasonable logical arguments that aren’t grounded in faith or belief alone (especially since we don’t all share that faith or belief or interpret it in the same way)? Were they aware of the constitutional rights of the people they voted against? Were they aware that those were people with children, with hopes and dreams, with many of the same desires and wishes that they have? What if I wanted to have a traditional family? Would they please stop preventing me from having one by insisting on tying rights, privileges, and moral superiority to an institution that they insist on controlling–and locking me out of?

Many believe they know what the Bible says about homosexuality. But do they know what it says about loving thy neighbor as thyself, or what’s in Matthew 7:3? Or can they articulate what gave them the right, the authority, to vote on the correctness of anyone’s marriage, least of all mine? Who gave them the desire to do that to a bunch of people they don’t even know? Was it God?

It wasn’t God. It was the simple fact that there are more of them than there are of us.

“A moral wrong can’t make a civil right,” their signs said. Clever. But they have yet to prove to me that they know anything more about what’s moral than I do. Or that they are more worthy of rights, or better partners to the people they love, or better human beings. Why should their will supersede mine?

We differ, they win, for they are many, we are few. And they say that they have belief and God on their side. All we have are rights and legal documents, which don’t seem to be doing us a bit of good. And if we also believe in God, they ignore us. Our belief in God isn’t as good as their belief in God, I guess.

I would like to believe in God. But the more I see of others who claim they do, the less I want to be part of it all. If anything could make me an atheist, it’s listening to people who say they believe in God talking about God.

Solutions for dissenters:

  • Move to a new, less religious country (we recommend Sweden, where the world’s most beautiful woman currently lives)
  • Move the “faithful” to a place where their “beliefs” will be admired and respected without the intervention of activist judges (we recommend Iran)
  • Get some of them to actually read the Bible instead of being told what’s in it
  • Get those of them who have read the Bible to understand that it’s not reliable as a historical document, that it’s frequently misinterpreted, and that it was written by some really confused men who didn’t consult each other when they told their stories
  • Understand once and for all that no one owns morality. Read the Gospel of Matthew.
  • It’s really best if you read it in Greek (maybe Aramaic, but we don’t really know). You do read ancient Greek, don’t you? Of course you do. That’s how you know the Bible so well!

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    Responses

    1. I agree. If religious people truly had their way, they would kill every homosexual. Just read what they consider to be the word of God.

      “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to DEATH. Their blood shall be upon them.” Leviticus 20:13

      Homosexuality is not the enemy of marrige. Divorce is the enemy of marrige, if they really wanted to save the sanctity of marrige, why don’t they make it illegal to get a divorce?

      When have you ever heard this:

      “Gee, honey… You know Adam and Steve are getting it on next door. I don’t think I want to be married to you anymore”

      – Rafael Garcia


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