Now that perhaps some of the hubbub has passed after President Obama’s pronouncement that he is now in favor of Gay Marriage, I just want to note a couple things:
The President has often said in the past that his thinking on gay marriage has been “evolving”…. So… Is there any credibility to the notion that thinking on issues such as gay marriage can (or should) “evolve”? People will point to things like slavery and the civil rights movement as examples where there certainly was an “evolution” in our nation’s thinking. Gay marriage is just the same thing, supporters will say. Someday we will all look back and say “How could we have ever thought that way before?”
I believe it is a challenging point and we have to think carefully about it. We have to live with the fact that there were Christians in the past who defended slavery and racism with the Bible. We DO have to ask ourselves if anything is different today. Are we making the same mistakes as those supposedly well meaning and faithful Christians of the past? Are WE reading into the Bible things that we shouldn’t be when we continue to defend a strict definition of marriage to be between a man and a woman? Are we letting our own (often invisible) prejudices invade and twist our faith and thinking? Can we give a convincing argument that things are different this time?
I do believe that we CAN give a convincing argument… but the problem is that no one really cares about the argument! All people really care about is RELATIONSHIPS. President Obama’s reasons for changing his tune about Gay Marriage is testimony to this. What are the reasons he gives for changing his mind? The reasons he give are many: All the MANY people that he knows who are gay and want to get married. He can’t look them in the eye any longer and say that they shouldn’t be able to get married. This seems to me the real crux of the matter with most folks. They know people who are gay and they like them a lot and they want them to be happy. Why not? Everyone wants to be happy, right? Everyone has a right to be happy. It is in the constitution, for heaven’s sakes!
But this is an argument from emotion. Notice the President didn’t give any other reasons based on scripture (he does say he is a Christian), logic or reason.
Just asking the question: Is this a good way of determining public policy?