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Author Topic: Same-sex marriage amendments  (Read 2578 times) Average Rating: 0
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Aaron
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« on: November 04, 2004, 07:44:23 PM »

I live in one of the states that had a so-called "gay marriage ban" on the ballot Tuesday. It passed, as it did in all 11 states where similar amendments were put before voters. Personally, I voted for it. In general, I'd say I'm a middle-of-the-road voter. In economic issues and foreign policy (and the war), I lean left, but on the moral issues such as abortion, I lean right. I accept the church's teachings on homosexuality, but generally try to bury my head in the sand as far as the whole issue goes, for fear of sitting in judgment of others or becoming aligned with the evangelicals, many of whom seem to spew hate and hostility toward homosexuals who, even if their lifestyle is not right, still deserve the love that we are called to give to everyone, regardless of anything they may have done. All of us are sinners -- no exceptions.

But I walked into the voting booth on Tuesday and there it was right in front of me: A choice to vote for or against gay marriage. The church disapproves of gay marriage, I disapprove of gay marriage, and so, well, I voted for the amendment that says marriage exists only between a man and a woman. I agree with that statement.

And yet ... since then, for reasons I can't explain, I've felt guilty about my vote, and haven't wanted to admit to people how I voted, and I've felt slightly ashamed. I've been trying to figure out the reason for my guilt, and I think I've pinned it down to this: it's one thing to disapprove of a behavior. It's another thing to take action to forcibly supress it. In casting that vote, I crossed a line, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I know that gay marriage is wrong, but I'm not sure that me, in essence, forcibly preventing someone from doing it, might not also be wrong, too.

Since Tuesday, there's been a lot of talk among the (very liberal) people I work with and among Democrats interviewed in the news about how mad a lot of people are, and how they feel that their rights are being taken away from them by radical religious zealots. "I hate this state," said one girl at work. "I want to move. Bunch of bigots." Those words stung, knowing that I had also voted for the amendment. The sad truth of the matter is that there are bigots out there. There are a lot of evangelicals out there who don't take the more subdued stance of say, Orthodox or Roman Catholics, but rather are very vehement and vocal and venomous towards homosexuals in a way that I don't feel comfortable with and seems rather un-Christian. The other day I read an article on Salon.com that included a visit to an evangelical church where the preacher was getting people whipped up into a frenzy and chanting about passing "Issue 1." For people like the ones talked about in this article, I fear that it would not be a far leap for them to go back to puritanical times of witchhunts and burning people at the stake. Personally, I want no part of that crowd.

But at the same time, I also cringe to see society moving further and further away from the values that I know, through the teachings and tradition of our church, to be right and true. I don't want my children to have to read textbooks in school that portray same-sex marriages as legitimate, in the same way that the sacrament of marriage is in our church. For us as Orthodox Christians, where is the middle ground? In politics, how do we draw the line between tolerance and acceptance? How do we influence values in the political realm in a positive way, without going too far and becoming hateful and persecuting?

Since Tuesday, I've almost begun to question whether I should be involved in politics in the future at all. If voting could be an occasion to sin, either in not upholding the teachings of my church or else in persecuting somebody over the choices they've made in their life (when I myself am by no means perfect), might it not be better to just abstain from voting altogether?

Has anyone else grappled with these issues, and if so, how do you feel about it all?

Sincerely,
Aaron
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2004, 07:59:29 PM »

This has crossed my mind also but came to the conclusion that since this issue has been shoved down our throats by the left I don't mind defending my values at the voting booth. Now, if there was no need for these ammendments & they weren't being pushed on us by the left I would maybe feel differently. Thats the difference for me I guess. I would say the left is much more dangerous at this time because they are pushing for all this while the evangelicals are not pushing for anything.
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2004, 10:08:24 PM »

Aaron,

Quote
Since Tuesday, I've almost begun to question whether I should be involved in politics in the future at all. If voting could be an occasion to sin, either in not upholding the teachings of my church or else in persecuting somebody over the choices they've made in their life (when I myself am by no means perfect), might it not be better to just abstain from voting altogether?

This election was the first election I was able to vote (I am 20) and so it was basically expected that I'd vote, since this was "such an important election" (which it was, I grant). When it came time to figure out how I'd vote, I basically went with the values I was raised with and believe in...however I quickly realized that the side this put me on was not necessarily correct and Christian in all things, which made the idea of voting a tricky one. In the end, I did vote (altho I don't think my absentee ballot envelope was even opened, being a NY absentee ballot, where Kerry won every county no contest), but to be honest, I think if one day I fully and thoroughly examine every issue and its reprucussions on BOTH sides, I'd quickly find that there is sin in voting for or against many of them (and the way the 2 parties in our country are divided renders neither platform fully Christian in what it upholds). And I further think that if I went through this process fully one day, it may compel me to abstain from voting as well...

So my point is, I sympathize. I was also curious though, does anyone on this board know if Orthodox monastics are allowed to vote? Both the ones who live in separate communities and the ones who work pastorally with laypeople on a regular basis...
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2004, 10:21:34 PM »

I don't think you should beat yourself up too much.  It's like Saint Paul said about food offered to idols, "Let each be fully convinced in his own mind."  If you're fully convinced, and have tried to examine your views by Christian standards, you're acting in faith, and that's what matters.  "Man looks at outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart."  It's difficult, but I think we should do what we can to make things better.
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2004, 06:22:43 AM »

I emphathise with the original poster. The news of the numbers voting against same sex union in the eleven states that offered this item was staggering. It appeared to go against all the reported indications of public opinion I had read. My thoughts before reading this thread had been that in the privacy of the voting booth folks felt able to express their convictions and not be pressured by real or imagined social expectations.

Across the pond there is a vociferous and erudite campaign to advance so-called 'homosexual' equality. Somehow 'marriage' has been targetted as a benchmark. Like the original poster I do not want one individual or group of sinners somehow treated totally definitely from all other sinners. However marriage is only possible between a man and a woman. Anything else is a cruel parody and major rebellion against the Almighty. It also puzzles me too. In many parts of Europe marriage is a shrinking phenomena. People live together, but chose not to marry, or are in a 'relationship' but chose to live apart. So why all the energy placed into this particular innovation?

Hopefully the popular expression in 11 states may give pause for reflection on the part of politicians, and social commentators. However, the lobby behind this cruel phenomena have lost a battle but will go on and seek to win the war.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2004, 11:51:54 AM by gphadraig » Logged

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Stavro
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2004, 06:33:46 AM »

I think the original poster is torn between "the choice of the lesser of two evils".
There is always the choice of not voting at all, which I adopt until a democrat with a sound christian moral agenda appears, if ever. And , are there degrees of evil ?
« Last Edit: November 05, 2004, 06:34:54 AM by Stavro » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2004, 05:07:38 PM »

Robert George has an excellent piece in the Oct 2004 issue of "Touchstone" magazine on the issue of "gay marriage."  His bottom line is, much as they did in the Dred Scot case and in the Roe v. Wade case, activist judges will force "gay marriage" onto Americans, despite the majority of Americans who don't want it (most of whom are not illiterate homophobes, no thanks to the media).  He makes a convincing case that an amendment to the U.S. constitution may be the only way to stop the activist judges.
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2004, 11:30:12 PM »

Thank you all for all the thoughtful responses!

Aaron
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2004, 11:41:16 PM »

Robert George has an excellent piece in the Oct 2004 issue of "Touchstone" magazine on the issue of "gay marriage."  His bottom line is, much as they did in the Dred Scot case and in the Roe v. Wade case, activist judges will force "gay marriage" onto Americans, despite the majority of Americans who don't want it (most of whom are not illiterate homophobes, no thanks to the media).  He makes a convincing case that an amendment to the U.S. constitution may be the only way to stop the activist judges.

Let's not forget that it was "activist" judges who forced integration onto Americans despite the fact that the majority of Americans didn't want it.  

It was "activist" judges who overruled the will of the people of Oregon (influenced by the then powerful KKK) to outlaw all private schools.  

It was "activist" judges who allowed Amish parents to keep their children out of high school for religious reasons.  

Let's remember these examples before we decry "activist" judges.  

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penelope
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2004, 12:07:18 AM »

^The ends don't justify the means.  The American Supreme Court is fundamentally anti-democratic, and in serious need of reform.  Just because it goes the way you like a few times doesn't mean there's no problem with the way it operates.  And now that I think of it, I'd probably trade all three of the rulings you mentioned to get R. v. Wade revoked.
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2004, 12:21:09 AM »

^The ends don't justify the means.  The American Supreme Court is fundamentally anti-democratic, and in serious need of reform.  Just because it goes the way you like a few times doesn't mean there's no problem with the way it operates.  And now that I think of it, I'd probably trade all three of the rulings you mentioned to get R. v. Wade revoked.

The Supreme Court has claimed the authority to solely interpret the Constitution since Marberry (sp?).  Ultimately, someone needs the ultimate authority to interpret the Constitution.  

The Supreme Court is overwhelmingly conservative (meaning deferring to legislators) since "a stitch in time that saved nine."  

I don't know if I'd trade Brown for Roe.  Segregation is fundamentally evil just as is abortion.  Plessy v. Ferguson denied the personhood of African Americans.  Roe denies the personhoood of fetuses.  

Pierce affirmed parent's God given right to oversee the religious education of their children so I don't know if I'd Pierce for Roe, either.  Actually if Pierce had been allowed to stand, there might not be any effective Catholic voice in this country.  

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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2004, 12:24:51 AM »

More on the ends justifying the means.  Brown doesn't justify the Court's authority to interpret the Constitution.  

Rather the Court has that authority.  It claimed that authority for itself while the founding Fathers were still alive indicating that they themselves agreed with the Court's claims.  Further, someone has got to be the ultimate authority.  What does "liberty" mean, for example.  Or property?  

The Court was wrong in Roe in denying the personhood of unborn children.  It was wrong in insisting that the same right to privacy that respected parents' God given right to educate their children encompassed abortion and artificial birth control (earlier case).  

But being wrong in Roe doesn't mean that the 'means' are wrong.
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2004, 12:37:04 AM »

Quote
I would say the left is much more dangerous at this time because they are pushing for all this while the evangelicals are not pushing for anything.

Must you bring your screeds against the "left" into every vaguely political discussion? The conservative movement currently has control of all three branches of the federal government, and control of a heck of a lot of state government as well. I as a libertarian have much more to fear from the conservative movement than you do from EvilLeftiesOfDoom.
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2004, 04:40:24 AM »

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Must you bring your screeds against the "left" into every vaguely political discussion? The conservative movement currently has control of all three branches of the federal government, and control of a heck of a lot of state government as well. I as a libertarian have much more to fear from the conservative movement than you do from EvilLeftiesOfDoom.

Yes, because that's what we are talking about here. If it weren't for radicals appointed by the left who took it upon themselves against the will of the people to impose gay marriage on everyone then the original poster would not have had to worry about whether to vote against or for the ammendment.  The liberal movement as I stated before is very dangerous because they are going beyond the defined parameters the founding fathers intentioned in the constitution & subjected the american people with thier corrupt secular world view through thier minions in the courts. This would not be an issue today if they didn't break the law in san francisco & by the radicals in massachuesets. The founding fathers put forth ideals that live today mostly as the “conservative” movement, the modern day liberal movement is the "antithesis' of this and find much more in common with the ideals of Karl Marx. Taditionalist are not the ones dividing the country with such moral divides, we are merely reacting to recent evils forced upon us which are reminescent of sodom & gamaroh.

The left seems to believe that ethics, morality, accountability, etc. are all obsolete icons of the religeous right, not a fundamental part of human behavior and life. A good example of this was with the recent democratic nominee who in public claimed to be Roman Catholic, but then when pressed on the abortion issue said his religious beleifs would be checked at the door when dealing with policy or the appointment of supreme court nominees. He also claimed to be against gay marriage, but yet would do nothing to prevent the spread of it by radicals in the courts.  Claiming that morals and ethics are passe and only relevant to Christian Nutjobs, as the libs do, is not what America wants. The left this time around have shown themselves to be unethical in the extreme, with a complete ends justify the means viewpoint, which is absolutely frightening to those of use with a moral compass. Even religion has little to do with it, and until the left starts acting in a forthright manner they will continue to worry and scare off the majority of the country.  
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2004, 10:39:11 AM »

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[A bunch of venom, not much sense]

Whatever.
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« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2004, 11:24:54 AM »

Incidentally, is the ban on political discussion still in effect? Are constant snipes at "liberals" considered political discussion? If the ban is still in effect, I'll be happy to shut up, but only if Nacho does the same.
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« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2004, 11:39:39 AM »

Incidentally, is the ban on political discussion still in effect? Are constant snipes at "liberals" considered political discussion? If the ban is still in effect, I'll be happy to shut up, but only if Nacho does the same.

I've wondered the same thing.  What I've come to realize is that Nacho and Orthodox Bagpiper cannot post without droning on and on about the dreaded liberals.  The result of listening to talk radio, in my opinion.  

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« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2004, 01:07:54 PM »

A good example of this was with the recent democratic nominee who in public claimed to be Roman Catholic, but then when pressed on the abortion issue said his religious beleifs would be checked at the door when dealing with policy or the appointment of supreme court nominees.

Without addressing the issues mentioned, I want to point out that affiliation on the basis of moral tenets is about as Protestant as Christianity gets, so I'm wondering why this principle keeps getting trotted out on this board.

As far as the rest of this is concerned: I'm surprised that Nacho's choice of phrasing is allowed here on any subject. As a conservative moderate who is wondering why-in-the-world the various commentators are treating this election as a world-shaking event (when, by the numbers, it is nothing of the kind), I'm appalled by the bitterness of the rhetoric. I have to hope that the ideologues on both sides of the spectrum believe that they have the best interests of the country in mind, and I demand that these ideologues grant the same respect to their opponents. And I would also demand that the ideologues admit that SIN might be behind some of their more self-serving assertions--

but then, if they admitted that, they would stop being ideologues.

What the country needs now is a sense of magnamity. Kerry and Bush, when the election was done, showed this in their exchanges. The rest of the country needs to do what Christ would have happen, and follow suit.
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« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2004, 01:57:14 PM »

I just got back from a talk by Chris Matthews (Hardball) at the local college here. It was very interesting.
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« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2004, 03:08:48 PM »

The chattering classes need something to chatter about.  The political media machine devours controversy, it needs it to attract viewers and drive ratings.  So naturally even the smallest discrepancies are magnfied and pounced upon as more fodder for vitriolic exchanges on Crossfire or Hardball, shows which themselves are populated mostly by political journalists (who are also fishing for a story) and erstwhile political operatives like Carville, Begala, Buchanan, etc.  It is a self-contained feeding frenzy, and it serves to polarize people into camps, or at least encourage people to be herded into one or the other camp, which each party sees as being in its own interest from time to time, hence the participation of the political operatives in the feeding frenzy.    I agree that it would be nice if we could all get off the merry-go-round, but until as a society we cease to partake in politics as blood sport and stop watching shows like Hardball and Crossfire, we're just going to get more of the same.
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« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2004, 03:11:28 PM »

I think it's time for us to get serious about the ban again.  This thread will be closed at 5 pm to give anyone posting at this moment the chance to respond.

Anastasios
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« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2004, 03:42:43 PM »

I think it's time for us to get serious about the ban again.  This thread will be closed at 5 pm to give anyone posting at this moment the chance to respond.

Anastasios

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