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Tag Archives: sexuality

I Don’t Get My Church on Gay Marriage

I get that my church is against gay marriage (and any other kind of marriage that isn’t heterosexual monogamy). They’re against gay marriage because they’re against sex outside of Holy Matrimony and I get the religious reasons why. The Holy Tradition (which includes, and validates, Holy Scripture) mandates that marriage is between one man and one woman and that it is sinful to have sex outside of marriage.

That’s great…for Christians (or Orthodox Christians if you want to get persnickety). I mean, look, I get that subjectivity is a poor basis for morality and that moral relativism is laughable. I get that the Church should stand for what it believes and not shirk it’s responsibility as a moral compass. I get that the Church shouldn’t change what it means by Holy Matrimony to make a few people happy.

But, in the context of a secular or plural society, where there are lots of people of differing opinions that are trying to pass laws to govern themselves, I don’t know why we really get involved. There are a billion sinful things people can do that are legal — and we keep inventing them. I don’t understand thinking that policies on political issues that require everyone to be Orthodox are good in those kinds of societies.

Personally, I’m a fan of “as long as you’re consenting adults, I don’t care what you do.” I don’t have a problem with polygamy or homosexuality as a legal thing carrying the same legal benefits as a church marriage and I don’t see why the church really does either.

Does it condone the behavior? No. It’s the state admitting that it doesn’t have any real hold on consensual, adult sexuality and that it can’t fairly discriminate against those people. It doesn’t condemn the behavior, but it really doesn’t do much of that now anyway. *That’s* the role the Church plays.

Does it normalize the behavior? Not really, no. Media outlets normalize (and sell) behavior and that’s already happened here.

Does it make the behavior right? Not unless you believe in moral relativism and the Church clearly doesn’t.

So….why care?

 

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Born This Way

Herman Cain opined on The View Oct. 4th, 2011 that homosexuality isn’t a choice and, for some reason or another, wanted to reenact “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2011/10/04/335586/herman-cain-show-me-the-science-that-being-gay-is-not-a-choice/). I’ll leave it to other people to debate the merits of the scientific evidence in addition to whether or not “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was a good policy — the Pentagon and Department of Defense seemed to want it gone (http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2010/0610_dadt/), if that tells you anything. The problem here is that debate about the scientific merits of choice towards sexual preference aren’t fruitful for a number of reasons.

Before I get into that though, I feel the need to give the obligatory “most of my friends are gay” caveat. Personally, whether or not someone is gay is about as relevant to me as whether or not they like cheese. What I mean is, I like knowing facts about the people I interact with and care about, but I don’t base the whole of my interaction with those people around those facts (unless they make me).

It Doesn’t Solve the Moral Issue

The moral issue isn’t about aspects of your personality. It’s about what you do. Since I don’t know any science, I’m going to make up a dangerous and mostly unrelated analogy. If you were born a sociopath, it still wouldn’t be ok to murder people. Being gay isn’t like being a sociopath, but the analogy loosely applies and, since this is my blog, I’ll allow it.

Since it doesn’t solve the moral issue, it remains sexually deviant to those opposed to it. Even if you proved (WITH SCIENCE!) that the behavior had a natural cause, it would be seen as a disease. Maybe some gene therapy could cure it? Maybe someday we can go around giving everyone their “gay” vaccine? Maybe we abort gay babies? Science is a double-edged sword in this debate that doesn’t really create the outcome most people intend when they use it.

Determinism Isn’t That Great

In philosophy, determinism is the idea that you couldn’t do otherwise. Science (SCIENCE!) has this nasty habit of boiling everything down into a deterministic ideology based on chemical/physical reactions. Really, that’s the aim of science. Poke, observe, repeat, enjoy. As a tool, it does amazing things. But what it does for philosophy is remove our ability to be seen as, or maybe even just be, people. We become reactions to the things going on in the natural world.

This has all manner of terrible implications. It removes guilt (why is what you do your fault?). It removes morality (why does nature care about right and wrong?). It removes knowledge (why do chemical reactions care about truth?). And with epistemological nihilism goes everything else, including the science (SCIENCE!) that got us here in the first place. Some would argue that this creates philosophical room for theism (http://energeticprocession.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/the-other-side/). Obviously, that kind-of undermines the initial argument in the first place.

Did You Have a Point in All of This Rambling?

I think we have a choice in a number of things we do. I think some people are gay, some poeple are straight, some people are bi, and some people are just horny and/or confused. I would venture that the “cause” is probably rooted in a series of constant biological, psychological, and choices we make on a regular basis that all feed back into each other. But, your sexuality probably isn’t whimsical. It’s not like picking your major in college. I’d buy that I couldn’t change my sexuality (and I don’t really want to). Even so, it isn’t sufficient to think that science solves the problem.

 
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Posted by on 2011-10-05 in Politics

 

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