Gay Marriage: For the people, by the people

Right now, if you are a Republican, then one of the biggest social issues that we continue to face is the legality of gay marriage. I have made no secret that I am pro-legalization, and I see a lot of great Republican and conservative writers and leaders coming out as not being in opposition to it. In fact, Noah Rothman over at HotAir admits “That fight is over.”

Not opposing gay marriage is not the same thing as supporting it, but this latest CNN survey indicates that positive support for the right of gay marriage is also on the rise. At least, it is nationally. When even those political figures who support conservatives, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), are proposing (too late) to get the federal government out of the marriage business rather than to oppose gay marriage via the constitutional amendment process, it is safe to assume that support for same-sex marriage is no longer controversial.

Now, one of the interesting points is that whites mostly support gay marriage, while the Latino and Black communities still largely oppose it. Culturally, it makes sense – those are the two communities with deep roots in Christian beliefs. Socially speaking, it would be a bigger coup for the gay marriage lobby if they could at least make it a dead heat in those communities.

But, I do have a problem with the country’s trend toward the legalization of gay marriage, and this is where a lot of the folks on the Right draw the line: judicial legalization.

You see, the gay lobby has aggressively been going after Christian businesses in order to force them to provide services that directly contradict the business owner’s religious beliefs and business practices. Erick Erickson over at RedState has documented those cases repeatedly. Meanwhile, more and more state courts are being filled with lawsuits on the subject, and judges are declaring gay marriage the law of the land, despite what the people in the state actually want. The famous Proposition 8 case in California saw judges directly overturn a ballot-initiative – they overruled the public’s vote.

That is the problem. Non-legislative entities, these courts, are being used to write and pass laws as an end-run around the actual legislative bodies that were created to do so. It is not the job of the courts to create law, but to see that they are constitutional and that they are followed. In taking up their own briefs and making them legislation, the courts are getting rid of one of the three branches of government that the United States as a whole and the states individually set up.

There is a separation of power for a reason, and if it can be done in this case, what would happen if it were done in a way that the folks who are pushing for gay marriage now don’t like? Will they realize they’ve opened up a terribly dangerous door?

Society is changing in its opinions toward gay marriage, but not quickly enough for some. They are expediting the process in a dangerous way, and the results could be far more dangerous than they expect. It’s worth keeping in mind.

An Institution Attacked

There is only one institution firmly established in the beginning of the Bible and repeated throughout, even during the events occurring in Revelation. It is the centerpiece of modern social agendas because its definition is so vastly different between the groups who discuss it. It’s marriage and, already, the more libertarian-minded shiver.

In the very beginning, God told the first man and first woman to “be fruitful and multiply.” It was God’s first command to the first couple, and through it, modern Christianity uses it to define what “marriage” is. And, from that point in the Bible that Lucifer begins his assault on God’s Creation. By driving a wedge between Man and Woman, he forever taints humanity and causes the first marital strife, an attack on God’s intended union between the two.

At this point, I should make clear that in matters of gay marriage and other religious/social issues, I am of a libertarian lean. However, there is a certain line that must be drawn by those who claim a religion and claim social libertarianism. Over the past five years, I have attempted to find that line for myself. You see, I’m just over one quarter of a century old. It is during my generation – and very much in my lifetime – that homosexuality has become so mainstream that we can talk openly about it as though it is just another normal part of life.

I may have mentioned it before, but as far as political ideology goes, there is no real way I should exist. I am the son of two moderates, Democrats of a conservative lean, who attended a liberal arts college and double majored in journalism and sociology, with a minor in social sciences. I was the editor-in-chief of the university paper and I was taught journalism by very liberal teachers. My conservatism was born purely of watching the 2008 campaign and realizing that the Democrats elected little more than a vapid rock star and the Republicans nominated an impossibly incompetent fool. Neither of them represented what I wanted to see in a candidate.

As a result, I began to lean the libertarian/conservative way and struggled to make my beliefs fit. It wasn’t until recently, however, that I dared to reassess my views on issues like abortion and gay marriage.

You see, I have long been a member of the “keep the government out of our private lives” school of thought. What two men or two women decide to do in the privacy of their own home is their sin. But, to them, their liberty should come at the expense of my own. While they shout down the anti-gay marriage crowd with shouts of “stay out of our private lives,” they violate our own, calling those of us who call ourselves religious all manner of names and judging our private religious views. And it is this double standard that I can’t stand. If I am not allowed to judge you for your practices behind closed doors (hell, I don’t even care if two dudes are up at Lover’s Lane together, really), then you should not be allowed to judge me for my practices in terms of faith.

Am I okay with a gay civil union? Absolutely. Am I okay with gay marriage? Not quite, and I base that entirely on the Left’s interpretation of the First Amendment. They love to shout “separation of Church and State” until they need the state to force a church to do their bidding. The libertarians have the right, but currently impossible, idea of getting the State out of the marriage business. The problem is that the State, when given power over something, will never yield that power especially where revenue is concerned.

The attack on the religious institution of marriage (ignore for a moment your thoughts on how marriage was conceived as an idea) is simply another attack on the private beliefs of individuals in the same way those doing for gay marriage claim that they are being attacked. And, by calling gay marriage a “civil right,” you are instantly no better than a Klan member or a slave owner if you oppose the issue, despite the fact that other civil rights groups fought real oppression for their rights. But that, of course, is another rant for someone else.

Respecting an Office

As a Catholic and a news junkie, I’d been keeping up with the goings on of the Church for a while. And the last several days have been exciting. Now that the Church has a new leader in Pope Francis (not Francis I, since there is no Francis II), we can sit back, relax and let things return to a sense of normalcy, right?

Ha ha ha.

Minutes after the election of the pope, media outlets went berserk that the cardinals DARED to name a Catholic to the papacy. I might be a little hyperbolic there, but it’s incredible to me that people would expect the Catholic Church to pick someone who was Pro-Choice and all for gay marriage. No matter what your own personal belief is, it is almost insane to think that the Church would take a sudden reversal on these issues.

But, more than that, some of those who don’t see eye to eye with the Catholic Church are already hard at work trying to make this pope out to be a villain, too. Check out the New York Times.

He has been less energetic, however, in urging the Argentine church to examine its own behavior during the 1970s, when the country was consumed by a conflict between right and left. In what became known as the Dirty War, as many as 30,000 people were disappeared, tortured or killed by a military dictatorship that seized power in March 1976.

What the NYT (or almost any other outlet I’ve come across yet) doesn’t tell you is that the accusations are almost certainly false. CNN goes head-to-head with the allegations.

Francis, in particular, was accused in a complaint of complicity in the 1976 kidnapping of two liberal Jesuit priests, [CNN Vatican analyst John] Allen wrote. Francis denied the charge.

“The best evidence that I know of that this was all a lie and a series of salacious attacks was that Amnesty International who investigated that said that was all untrue,” said Jim Nicholson, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. “These were unfair accusations of this fine priest.”

Of course, the more extreme on the Left, whose voices are typically heard in tweets and Facebook posts, are a little less accepting of that. Shouts of murderer and (my personal favorite) fascist groupie can be found on Twitter. Listening to Erick Erickson’s radio show yesterday provided me with a potential new job title when someone called in and called the new pope a “purveyor of fairy tales.”

However, I am willing to bet, these very naysayers are the same ones who tell us that we cannot judge the president of the United States because of his past actions and acquaintances. “You have to respect him because he’s the president!” doesn’t translate over to religion, I guess.

But that’s just the thing, isn’t it? We can’t talk bad about Obama, but we can jump on Pope Francis’ case the second he’s named to lead the Church?

I don’t like Obama, but I respect the fact that he is the president. I respect the office just fine. I respect what it represents – it is the head of our country. The leadership of the nation I was born in and raised to like. So, even if there have been guys I don’t like in that seat, what it still means to me is vastly important.

The same goes for the papacy. Yes, he is the most powerful man in the Catholic world, perhaps in the Christian world. There may have been unsavory men in the seat in the past (the Renaissance is a fascinating period of time in terms of the absolute worst the papacy had in its leadership) and maybe Benedict wasn’t the best one in the modern era, but there is still the fact that you don’t trash the religion or the seat of the pope because of one man.

Honestly, it’s a point that shouldn’t have to be made, but apparently, it needs to.