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Mar 13 2013

In which we agree with Rand Paul about marriage

randpaulfilibuster-700x450I may make a lot of people angry with this post. But I’ve been a long time in coming to this conclusion. Senator Paul just did a better job of articulating it.

Robert Cost of National Review interviewed the Senator following the nearly 13 hour Senate filibuster. In that interview, among other things, the Senator said:

“I’m an old-fashioned traditionalist. I believe in the historic and religious definition of marriage. That being said, I’m not for eliminating contracts between adults. I think there are ways to make the tax code more neutral, so it doesn’t mention marriage. Then we don’t have to redefine what marriage is; we just don’t have marriage in the tax code.”  [H/T Washington Post]

Exactly. Let’s end this debate by getting the government out of marriage altogether. The reality is that government is only involved in the first place because of money.

Allow adults to enter into whatever contracts and agreements they so desire. This takes care of the sharing of property, issues like insurance and medical decisions and more.

Then, allow your place of worship, or non-worship to bless, or not bless your union. Let your community of faith, your belief system, define marriage.

There are those who would shout this down saying that the Bible describes marriage as being between one man and one woman. They’re exactly right.

But in a free society we have to accept the fact that 1) some people interpret Scripture differently or, more commonly, 2) some people don’t choose to live according to Scripture. That’s where that whole “freedom of religion” thing comes in.

Getting the government out of declaring who is or is not married does not invalidate my belief, or your belief of what marriage is or isn’t.

I’m a Protestant. Just because I don’t believe that the communion elements actually become the body of Christ does not invalidate the Catholic belief that they do.

Just because I can enjoy a pork chop or some shrimp does not invalidate the the traditional Jewish food restrictions.

Just because I don’t believe Allah is telling me to fly planes into buil…wait, maybe that’s going too far.

Then again, maybe it’s not.

My position on this has evolved. Partly because I grew up in a Christian tradition and spent a lot of time in Christian circles where we didn’t talk very much about grace. It was a tradition where every time someone lit a cigarette they were fanning the flames of Hell. I’m not exaggerating.

It’s just that I’ve come to understand that we’re all flawed individuals. We all need grace.

Yes, I believe the Bible is clear about marriage and homosexuality. But I also believe it talks a lot more about problems with money, pride, gossip…gluttony (ouch).

When asked which was the greatest commandment, Jesus said:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
Matthew 22:37-40

That doesn’t leave a lot of room for finger pointing.

The older I get, the more friends I have who are in same sex relationships. Some even say they’re married. Is that the life I would have chosen for them? No, but it was never my choice.

What I know is that they’re my friends, and I love them. Some I wish I could spend more time with or talk with more often, but because of something stupid that was said or done in the past, there’s a barrier there.

I miss my friends.

No, none of this changes what I believe the Scriptures tell us. But I know if I go around screaming that “Jesus wants to change you!” that’s only going to make people angry. I anticipate the logical response would be “It took me too long to accept this is who I am. I don’t want to change.”

My job is to love them. Not beat them over the head with a 20 pound Bible.

Preach the Gospel always. When necessary use words.

(commonly atributed to St. Francis of Assisi)

Back to the original point. Let’s get government out of the way. In reality, I don’t see that ever happening. The government stands to lose too much revenue.

But with leaders like Rand Paul speaking out, we just might get a little closer.

 

2 pings

  1. Why the Supreme Court Decision does not invalidate my traditional marriage » The Write Side of My Brain

    […] already written about my opinion on the issue way back in March when I […]

  2. Why conservatives should support marriage equality | Bearing Drift

    […] all marriages “unions” for legal purposes. (My colleague, Michael Fletcher, argues at Write Side of My Brain that government should get out of the marriage business altogether. I take no position on this […]

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