Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Minnesota Rejects Marriage Ban

Have you heard what Big Brother does while he’s watching you? Apparently it involves seducing a 14-year-old girl. At least that’s what Brian Doyle, deputy press secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, was charged with doing on his computer. He sent the girl pornographic movie clips and photos. One photo shows himself in what looks like DHS headquarters while wearing a Homeland Security pin and his Transportation Security Administration lanyard. Reading the story my terror alert level went into the red, or "severe." The 14-year-old girl turned out to be an under cover FBI agent and Doyle was arrested.

All of this makes me wonder: Where are the real threats to marriage and family coming from?

According to many currently in power, marriage needs protecting from those gays and lesbians, and is better left in the hands of safer, God-fearing types. But what they think you don’t know can actually hurt other people. Those claiming to defend marriage have reaped a sad track record of broken lives.

What ever happened to Tom Delay? The man who said that "marriage and the nation are under attack by those who seek to impose their political agenda on an immutable moral truth" has been wiped off the political map for campaign finance fraud. And I wonder who has caused more damage: Tom Delay or gays and lesbians? That's a no-brainer. I have nothing against people trying to give advice, but if you lack the moral or ethical judgment in your own life you have no right to try to limit someone else's rights. That's hypocritical. And you know how Jesus hated hypocrites, don't you?

And yeah, I do have a point to all this. I’m happy to report the Minnesota senate judiciary committee rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages. The proposed amendment wasn’t directly overturned, rather an updated version prohibiting the judicial branch from being able to define marriage. So, the debate is not over, but a small victory has been scored for civil rights.

The hearing involved 90 minutes of testimony in front of a packed house. Gay rights supporters pointed out that the constitution is not a place to deny people’s rights. Those in favor of the ban claimed the constitution is the only way to ensure the judiciary won’t overturn the current Minnesota law banning gay marriage.

While backers have been trying diligently to protect marriage by keeping others from getting married, the institution has been eroding while in the hands of those trying to protect it. Marriage is not under attack by the judiciary, if anything it is under attack by those who wish to limit its scope while neglecting it along the way. Anyway, you can’t blame gays and lesbians for the rising divorce rate starting in the 1950s. If anything you can blame economic security and advances in birth control. If anything you can blame a prevalent attitude among those in power, those who claim to defend marriage, that the ends justify the means; that what they do behind closed doors does not matter at all. What kind of an example is that?

Is marriage in trouble? It certainly is. We are surrounded with selfishness and sleaze and corruption and gays and lesbians have nothing to do with it. When's the last time you heard of a divorce filed on the grounds that "Will and Grace" eroded the marriage? Or the same-sex couple you saw in the grocery store led you to neglect your spouse? No, take responsibility. Don't blame anyone else. Marriages rise and fall based on the two people in the marriage. If you've ruined one it's your own fault.

I’m proud that Minnesota has turned down an attempt to ban civil rights. We’re all imperfect people, even those we elect to lead and protect us. How can I, as a Christian, limit someone else’s right to choose when Jesus himself did no such thing? You don’t make a difference by banning behavior; you do it by living a sincere life, free of the shadows. If your ways have merit I trust that people will inherit them. But that’s what it comes down to, isn’t it? Who do you trust? Who do you want running your life and making your decisions: You or Big Brother? Personally, I think we have more to fear from those telling us how to live, than those who want to live and be left alone.

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