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MARRIAGE: Civil law and religion don’t mix

Letter by Carole J. Lee, Puyallup on Feb. 17, 2012 at 1:04 pm with 33 Comments »
February 17, 2012 1:32 pm

Regarding the myriad articles and letters about gay marriage in Washington, I have not seen this perspective: As a heterosexual Christian woman, I have never been more proud to live in Washington and am relieved and thrilled that many lawmakers in Washington understand that specific religious beliefs have no place in civil law.

No matter what you believe your Bible says about being gay, no matter how much of an abomination you believe being gay is based on your religion, no matter how strongly you oppose gay marriage based on your church’s teachings, your Bible, your religious beliefs and your definition of marriage based on your church doctrine have no place and no authority in our civil laws.

End of story.

Leave a comment Comments → 33
  1. Carole, you would be a great teacher, if only we could get them to come to class.

  2. CuzEyewanna says:

    Carole, before it’s all over, someone will say you are not really a Christian. Thanks for trying to set a good example.

  3. alindasue says:

    I totally agree with you.

    In order to preserve our own religious freedoms, we have to allow others those same rights – even if we disagree with their particular brand of religion. The main reason to even have a government issued “marriage license” is to register the combining of families. Anything beyond that is covered by the individual religious ceremonies, should a couple choose to have one.

  4. Great letter Carole, now be prepared to suffer the same fate as Joan of Arc on the comment board.

  5. As a heterosexual Christian man I have said much the same thing as Carole, here on these blogs. Although, I haven’t always been able to say it quite as well, or as succinctly as she has put it. Great letter Carole! There are many of us who also believe as you do.

  6. bobcat1a says:

    As a heterosexual and decidedly NOT Christian man, I think this is a great letter. Keep YOUR religion out of OUR government.

  7. The only thing I’ll add to your post is: By what right does your religion’s rejection of gay marriage trump another (Christian) religion’s acceptance of gay marriage?

    Allow gay marriage, and those churches who don’t wish to accept it don’t have to, and those who do, may perform the marriages

  8. SandHills says:

    Using religion as the focal point for this issue misses the mark. First of all, those who use Biblical scripture as their main argument are speaking to those who have, for the most part, have forgone any religious belief and therefore it’s like having an argument in two separate languages where neither side understands the other.

    Simply painting the picture of how unnatural it is for those of the same sex to desire each other sexually pretty much describes a crosswiring of normal human behavior – whether at birth or any other point.

    Even homosexuals have to admit they wouldn’t be alive if not for natural heterosexual relationships.

    Homosexuality is a deviation from natural behavior – indulging in such behavior is not a civil right to demand the status of marriage. Religion is a side issue, and Christians shouldn’t press any Biblical text on those who generally ridicule religion anyway.

  9. SandHills – Natural Law is an archaic logic that, even the tradition-based Catholic Church acknowledges is rather useless for determining law and ethics.

  10. SandHills, interesting definition you must use for “natural behavior”. I think “natural behavior” includes behavior that occurs in nature or occurs naturally. It is something that is not artificially contrived.

    Same-sex attraction and activity occur frequently among mammals in nature. Sometimes it is linked with overpopulation or crowding, and sometimes it is not.

    Studies that have looked at same-sex attraction in humans show that no one has to force same-sex attraction, people who have same-sex attraction do not “learn” it or “choose it”, it just happens. It occurs for the same reasons opposite-sex attractions exist, and I am sure that youa re not saying that opposite-sex attraction is not natural.

    I think it is “unnatural” for you, because you do not share it, and you are using your own persceptions for what is natural or not. Homosexuals feel that heterosexual behavior is “unnatural” for them.

    I feel that it is natural to love and crave cilantro. I didn’t learn to love it, or choose to love it, it was something I have loved since before any memory of my first tasting. I found out that many people do not share my natural behavior of using lots of it in my dishes. It turns out that there is a genetic inheritance factor, and some people think it tastes “nasty” or soapy” and can’t understand why people like it. Instead of arguing, I serve it on the side, because, even though cilantro haters are a small minority, which makes them “unusual” or not “normal”, their reaction is just as natural as mine.

    Studies have shown that there are (at least) genetic factors, hormonal factors (both in the womb and after post partum) and environmental factors to sexuality. Sexuality is determined before a person makes a conscious decision.

    Belief that homosexuality is “not natural” is just that, a belief and not a fact, and therefore it is a myth or a religious tenet.

  11. SandHills uses the terminology of “normal human behavior”. I don’t want to seem to be piling-on here, but what is normal? Who decides that?

    The thesaurus says alternate words for “normal” include: “ordinary, average, typical, run-of-the-mill, middle-of-the-road, common, conventional, mainstream, unremarkable, unexceptional, garden-variety, a dime a dozen.”

    Maybe a better question should be: Who really wants to be “normal”?

    “Most people want to be regarded as normal, an adjective that implies conformity with established norms or standards and is the opposite of abnormal.”

    “Regular, like normal, is usually preferred to its opposite (irregular) and implies conformity to prescribed standards or established patterns, but normal carries stronger connotations of conformity within prescribed limits and sometimes allows for a wider range of differences.”

    “Few of us think of ourselves as ordinary, a term used to describe what is commonplace or unexceptional, although many people are ordinary in some ways and extraordinary in others.”

    “Average also implies conformity with what is regarded as normal or ordinary, although it tends to emphasize the middle ground and to exclude both positive and negative extremes.”

    “Typical applies to persons or things possessing the representative characteristics of a type or class.”

    “Someone or something described as natural behaves or operates in accordance with an inherent nature or character, while usual applies to that which conforms to common or ordinary use or occurrence.”

    SandHills, you say that same-sex attraction is “unnatural” and “a crosswiring of normal human behavior”. Maybe it is, for you, because it operates in discordance with your inherent nature. But, we are not all the same. We do not all conform to that same inherent nature.

    Sir Elton John’s inherent nature is certainly not the same as your’s or mine, and you would never describe him as “normal” or “ordinary” or “run-of-the-mill” or any of those other terms would you? Get back Honky Cat! Some people like living in the city, whereas some like living on a farm. Which is “normal”? Some people like fishing is a stream and other like the hustle and bustle and big city lights. Which is “normal”?

    Elton John is most certainly unique and exceptional, as are most if not all international super stars. What difference does it really make who he wants to be married to?

    I tell you what, though. Without people like Sir Elton John, this normal ordinary run-of-the-mill world would be a crashing bore, wouldn’t it?

  12. SandHills says:

    My, my, how the PC vigilantes come out from under their rocks when e flashlight is pointed at them.

    But my views on this issue certainly aren’t expressed with any expectations of conversion, just as anything the other side can offer to alter my opinion.

    But it serves notice that there are some lines which many will not cross to appease the shrill supporters of unnatural homosexual behavior – whether you think Elton John, or RuPaul, or Rosie O’Donnell, should be held up as models of normality.

    If, infact there is a tide to follow Washington, Maryland, and other states to acknowledge homosexuall marriage then there will be many other states who will never do so.

    What then? This issue has the potential to become a symbol of how divided out nation is, as much as we have been since 1860. I predict it will take more than rhetoric., or court orders, to make homosexual marriage the law of the land for all Americans. It certainly can’t be done at the ballot box, so again I have to ask – is the dedication of supporters of the gay lifestyle willing to take it as far as Abolitionists of the mid-19th century?

  13. You don’t have to look to 1860, because this issue will not spark a new civil war. In the grand scheme of things it’s just not worth killing for.

    But, it may well follow the same path as Roe V. Wade did. Ending up at The Supreme Court, and thus becoming the law of the land, in all fifty states and U.S. territories.

    In fact, Governor Christie’s recent veto of the same-sex marriage bill in New Jersey may just create the opportunity for a SOTUS decision in the foreseeable future. Are you ready for that Sandy?

  14. SandHills says:

    Not just me muckraker, but I suspect it will be worth killing for for many who would see such a court decision overstepping the bounds of a government that tries to enforce such a law created by a court of nine – and even here in Washington, the majority may not accept the vote of the Legislature in a referendum.

    Remember, generally those civil rights laws the gays like to compare their agenda to were specifically directed against Jim Crow laws of the South, which was not a majority view of the entire nation.

    Homosexual behavior is certainly not approved by majority of all Americans (whether their argument is based upon religious texts, laws of nature, commonsense, or simply distaste).

    Maybe as the Supreme court dies out its appointments by Reagan and Bush, it might become as liberal as the 9th Circuit, so your prediction may come true that a favorable opinion on same-sex marriage could come from the Supreme Court.

    My prediction is it may be somewhat of a challenge to enforce such a court ruling on any number of states who might be a bit more willing to defend their what they see as their majority view in their state – and who have a history of championing states rights.

  15. I think Loving v Virginia is a more apt analogy to what will happen. Only 8 states did not ban interracial marriage, and almost all Christians felt that mixing of the races in amrriage was against God’s will. But then a “godless” movement took over, you know, that secular humanism thing, that anti-Christian and wrong theology of equal protection under the law thing that Santorum hates Obama so much for believing in more than the God-given Bible that says that mixing of the races is an abomination before God.

    The Supreme Court said that no religious reasons could be used to ban any marriage. The states that still banned interracial marriages were forced against their will and against popular majority opinion to remove those bans and allow people to choose their partner in marriage.

    The South still hates those “shrill supporters of unnatural and unholy matrimoney between two different races”, but most of the rest of us realize their religious views are of no consequence when faced with the supremecy of our Constitution in these matters.

  16. SandHills, you haven’t looked lately. Support for gay marriage is the majority view of the USA and gaining rapidly. 55% in the latest Pew poll.

  17. SandHills, “Not just me muckraker, but I suspect it will be worth killing for…”

    SandHills, are you saying you would kill someone over the same-sex marriage law?

  18. SandHills says:

    Tuddo, oh I suspect most polls where some may give an answer to appease the political correct mafia.

    Muckraker, my comments were in the context that gay rights, like other issues, have created a wide divide in America – and as such may require violence to enforce a law of the few as a law for all. And in the context of the wide schism in 1860, some states may resort to active resistance – and unless you were raised in SC, GA, AL, or MS, you can be excused for being that naive.

    My comments were a question for gay rights activists regarding how far they are willing to go to push their agenda (to take a quote from the movie “Untouchables””). My own personal view is there are many on the other side of this issue that would see any sort of federal action ( particularly if driven as a judicial opinion) as usurping states rights in so far as marriage definition is concerned. And as we all know states rights in 1860 did lead to a whole lot of killing.

    There has already been killing in regards to abortion – are you so naive to believe that any sort of national gay rights marriage law will go down without even more objection in the deep South – or even Utah?

    Me personally? Well, as long as I live in Washington I will live by any law approved by a majority of my fellow citizens. This will be e referendum to vote on and we’ll see. Plus there is also still the freedom to simply move before I consider supporting violence. – that very well be my option after this November if the majority views on this fforum are truly the majority view of Washington as a whole – where casting a ballot won’t allow political correct bully’s to push their views on the majority.

  19. SandHills, don’t side-step the question. Just tell us if you are saying you would kill someone over the same-sex marriage law?

    It’s a very basic question. A simple Yes or No will do.

  20. SandHills will you abide by the Constitutional requirement that everyone must have equal protection under the law if the Supreme Court says that states may not ban gay marriage, even if a majority are opposed to it?

    BTW, you really don’t have to abide by anything, since you are not the one granting marriage licenses in the state.

  21. SandHills says:

    No .. And my original question is how far the gay rights agenda is willing to push this. Me saying that Israel will attack Iran before they get an atomic weapon is a far cry from saying I would myself. I have stated all along that the gay rights agenda has pushed this issue to a line drawn in the sand. Pushing it as a civil rights issue through the courts might very well push some to take a more active defense of their values within their individual states. But if you read that as me advocating killing anyone then you must have dyslexia.

    One can easily see how te next step of the homosexual agenda would be to have a same-sex marriage in a state that allows it, then move to one that doesn’t and make it a Supreme Court case. I believe this will be a case of “one bridge too far” for the gay mafia. i don’t see the current makeup of the Supreme Court wanting to open that can of worms – and I can predict that many states would not comply (just as Israel sees a nuclear armed Iran). If you are so naive as to believe there such a national law could be enforced without violence, well, we simply leave it at that.

    Again, for emphasis – me personally, I don’t see myself ever killing anyone over this issue…..just as I am sure many non-slave owners of the South would ever considering taking up arms to protect the human property of wealthy slave owners in 1860. A history lesson to consider if states rights are directly attacked over the issue of gay marriage.

  22. SandHills says:

    Tudoo,

    It is my opinion that we would surely begin to see the downfall of our society if this comes to pass. We have enough cracks in the wall now, this would simply make it akin to the sacking of Rome by the Visagoths.

    I am of the age that it may not matter – but I would suspect that just as there was a very moving ceremony at West Point, where Southern cadets stepped out of the ranks at the onset on the Civil War, that there will be many who take just as much an active opposition to such a constitutional amendment to include abherant behavior as a civil right to be recognized as a lawful marriage as the law of the land above and beyond the wishes of the majority.

  23. SandHills, I think that gay activisgts will take it all then way to the Supreme Court, and well they should. That is how we decide Constitutional questions.

    Even the conservatives on the court have upheld the principle of equal protection under the law and the Constitution trumping “states rights” when it comes to inalienable and basic human rights like marriage.

    If the California Prop 8 question is resolved by them, then it will apply nationwide. Can a majority of people take away a basic human right like marriage from a group of people if there is no legally defensible reason to ban it? That will be the question that the Supreme Court will answer, probably sooner than later.

    If there is a legally defensible reason to ban gay marriage, then it must be that such marriages harm the people in them, harm others or harm our democracy. Those are the reasons outlined by Supreme Court decisions over a century and a half of defining what states can and cannot do in their marriage laws.

    There is no state right to defy the Constitutional potections of equality under the law.

  24. SandHills says:

    Tudoo, you are naive to believe this will go as smoothly as other civil rights issues in the past. That the Supreme Court will decide that homosexual behavior is to be seen as a civil right – especially this current Supreme Court – in a vacume, (ignoring those states at vehemently see it otherwise) as you seem to see it, well I’m willing to bet not anytime soon.

    That homosexual behavior can accepted as normal by the majority by virtue of a judicial opinion, rather than by a majority consensus at the ballot box (i.e. constitutional ammendment) is an even longer shot I would also gladly bet against.

  25. SandHills, as I said before, no one has to change their opinion about gay marriage since personal opinions can not trump Constitutional rights. If gays can marry legally not one person will have to do anything differently than they do now. That is a lot different than in the 1950’s and 1960’s when whites were threatened by blacks being able to go to school with them or live next door or sit next to them in a restaurant.

    Gay marriage really does not affect anyone except the people getting married. The only reasons to be against it are fear or hatred. I don’t care what it is based on – even Biblical reasons are someone’s fear – the fear of losing God’s blessing, and that would only affect the people getting married.

    Having a severe disability is not “normal” in our society, by your definition of normal, but we still let two people with severe disabilities get married, even though for centuries it was prohibited. Your argument is really weak there.

    That is why I just don’t think it will be a big deal, religious people will accept it as a secular activity, like divorce,(even though Jesus upheld stoning women to death who got divorced), and we will move on.

  26. tuddo, “even though Jesus upheld stoning women to death who got divorced”

    Where in The Bible (New Testament) did you find this confirmed?

  27. I should have been clearer in stating that it is the remarriage that causes the stoning to death, not the divorce, because, to Jesus, a marriage was forever and could not be dissolved.

    In Jesus’ time, the penalty for adultery is stoning to death. Knowing this, Jesus still said the following.

    In Luke 16:18 Jesus says:
    Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

    Mark also records Jesus thoughts on the issue, Mark 10:10-12:

    When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

    The Pharisees were trying to get Jesus to take a side in the controversy at the time over divorce and thus make at least one side quit listening to him. In the Old Testament, it appeared to some that Moses changed God’s prohibition of divorce. One such group followed Shammai and said Moses allowed men to divorce women for sexual infidelity and then remarry without penalty, but women could not divorce men for any reason and then remarry.

    The followers of Hillel said that Moses allowed men to divorce their wives for any action that showed disrespect and then remarry without consequence. Women could divorce their husbands and remarry without penalty only for infidelity.

    At the time, followers of Hillel were doing such things as divorcing their wives for a weekend or for an extended trip, marrying another woman, divorcing her and remarrying their original wife when they returned. Divorce at the time was a simple verbal statement of “I divorce you” (three times so some texts state).

    Jesus did not take either side and went back what he called “the beginning” before Mosaic law and said that if either a man or a woman remarries after a divorce, then it was adultery.

    Paul quoted Jesus and clarified that it was not a sin to remarry if your spouse died.

  28. the gay mafia

    Seriously? I’ve heard of the “Mormon mafia” (google it and you will find that it has been cited in an FBI discrimination case) But when I google “gay mafia” I find that it is most commonly associated with the fashion and entertainment industries.

    SandHills…..it ain’t “the gays” with their “homosexual agenda” who have changed society – it is the straight folks. Just as was true with the Civil Rights Movement which required White folks to stand up for equal and equitable treatment for people of color, equal treatment for people of same sex sexual preferences is being accomplished because heteros are seeing that it is the right thing to do.

  29. tuddo, Thanks for the info. Just wanted to confirm that Jesus did NOT actually advocate stoning or women for divorce. That would have seemed incongruous to his nature and teachings in consideration of the story that he prevented the mob from stoning a woman for prostitution.

  30. vingrotto says:

    “It is my opinion that we would surely begin to see the downfall of our society if this comes to pass. We have enough cracks in the wall now, this would simply make it akin to the sacking of Rome by the Visagoths.”

    Married heterosexual people are doing a much BETTER job in society’s downfall. Newt Gingrich and his three marriages, Kim Kardashian, Pastor Ted Haggard, need I go on?

  31. menopaws says:

    Very good letter. Thanks for sharing with us!

  32. What a great exhange. I have seen so many dragged down to the depths of name-calling and personal insults. I must commend all of your efforts. Thanks to all.

  33. underc, Unfortunately in these blogs you can be as courteous as possible showing common respect for the others here, and still have a name or immature epithet hurled at you no matter whether you deserve it or not. Just look at the exchange between SandHills and tuddo, and SandHills and me.

    I do not believe either one of us (tuddo or muckibr) did any name-calling or disrespecting of SandHills in any of the comments that either tuddo or I addressed specifically to “SandHills”. Yet SandHills responds to me as “Muckraker” and to tuddo as “tudoo”. I don’t understand where that kind of silliness comes from, or how it is justified.

    My only conclusion is that when the name-callers and insulters can no longer argue the facts, when their arguments are too weak or based on false information, they simply have to stoop to name-calling and insults as their last gasp of defeat. Whenever someone calls me a name on these blogs, they are admitting defeat, and thats a signal that it is time for me to move on.

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