Monday, February 20, 2012

Opposing All But One Man/One Woman Marriage

Redefining Marriage?

For several thousand years, throughout the Earth, marriage has defined a special relationship between one man and one woman. This month, February 2012, Washington State's House, Senate and Governor enacted legislation to redefine marriage as a special relationship between two people regardless of their gender. These lawmakers took this step, legalizing “same-sex marriage”, without any apparent compulsion to verify whether this action was in line with the views of the majority of their constituents. Although the state office-holders who supported this legislation may attempt to position their stance on this as "acting for the greater good" - i.e. They know what's best for us even if we don't know that ourselves – In fact, it's just one of the most recent examples of a tyrannical ruling class imposing it's will on the masses.

Having Your Say

Thankfully, there is an Initiative and Referendum Amendment in the Washington State Constitution. As it applies to this “same-sex marriage” legislation, that means there is an automatic stay on enacting the legislation, to allow time for a related petition process, potentially leading to a referendum being placed on a statewide ballot, to provide for registered voters having their say on the matter. Although proponents of this legislation are likely to present this as standing up for the rights of the “LGBT community” versus the antiquated attitudes of the “Religious Right”, this matter goes well beyond those boundaries. I believe all who are determined to see the United States continue as a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”, should support the referendum to reject this legislation.

Standing Up For Liberty

Yes, I’m saying that it’s not just people of faith, who hold the Biblical view of marriage, who should support the referendum to reject this legislation. I believe it should also be supported by those who are ambivalent regarding the definition of marriage and even those who are in favor of “same-sex marriage.” To illustrate my belief, I ask you to simply consider the following question:

When the tyrannical ruling class comes after one group today
and you don't stand up against them,
who will stand up against them tomorrow,
when they come after your group?

Standing Up For Your Faith

Of course, the passion that the vast majority of Americans of faith have for this surpasses their fervor for liberty, due to their beliefs regarding marriage. The following statement that was included in a recent message from my Pastor, Daniel Gettemy, of Calvary Chapel Vancouver, provides an excellent summary of my related beliefs:

“… the first institution that God created, defined, and established for mankind was Marriage. Marriage was established by God for the development, well-being, and advancement of healthy (spiritually, emotionally, and physically) human relationships. These relationships – particularly when united in fellowship with God – would then be the foundational building blocks for future generations (children/family) and the backbone of local communities and culture. God was quite intentional and specific when He created that first marriage as being between one man (Adam) and one woman (Eve). Because God is both gracious and wise, then we know He wasn’t experimenting with marriage in the beginning – He was defining it!”

My hope, in offering this statement, is to facilitate broader understanding, if not agreement.

What To Expect In Taking Your Stand

A classic approach that you should expect from proponents of the “same-sex marriage” legislation was demonstrated in a message I got from a friend of my youth, who said,

“Gay marriage cannot hurt anyone represented by your Representatives. Gay marriage WILL HELP many who are ALSO represented by your Representatives.”

The above statement from my Pastor should make it clear how I see redefining marriage as being harmful. Furthermore, I don’t see who it helps. In 2009, without redefining marriage, legislation was enacted in Washington State to extend the rights and responsibilities of domestic partners to include the same rights and responsibilities as those extended to married couples. So, when a “same-sex marriage” proponent asks, “When one person in a domestic partnership is ill, shouldn’t they have the same rights as a married person to be visited by their domestic partner?”, understand that they already have that right. These arguments are empty.

And if you don’t agree with the message of the proponents of the “same-sex marriage” legislation, rather than attacking our message, you can expect them to attack the messenger – i.e. me and you. However, this isn’t about any of the personal accusations they will make. It is only about whether the unilateral redefinition of marriage by the tyrannical ruling class should stand.

Additionally, expect that taking your stand will require you to do so for the long-haul. My Wife and I chose to move from California, to make Washington State our home, nearly seven years ago. In 2000, as Registered Voters in California, we supported Proposition 22, an Initiative legally defining marriage as a relationship only between opposite sex couples. It passed easily. However, here we are nearly 12 years later and nothing along those lines has been implemented, as a result of the unendingly insistent actions of the minority represented by the “LGBT community”.

Taking An Appropriate Stance

First, I want to address what not to do. When considering this, the examples I immediately think of are a couple of local “conservative” bloggers known as The Pissants. Like their namesakes, these are beings that thrive in filth and darkness. Like the proponents of the “same-sex marriage” legislation, their primary tactic is to attack the messenger rather than the message. Innuendo and outright lies are their stock-in-trade. And their response to any disagreement is to engage in lengthy tit-for-tat arguments (until, of course, they believe they’ve had the last word), laced with more personal attacks and no constructive dialog.

What I recommend doing is pretty much the opposite of what I described immediately above. Personal attacks are counterproductive. They just harden the position of the opposition and overhearing it is a turnoff to any undecided person who might, otherwise, listen. Just thoughtfully state your views to anyone truly willing to listen. It’s a waste of time to get into lengthy debate with those who want to use the opportunity to personally attack you or to end up believing they had the last word.

An Admonition In Standing Up For Your Faith

Coincidentally, this year’s National Prayer Breakfast took place in Washington D.C. at the same time as Washington State’s legalization of “same-sex marriage” was proceeding. The Keynote Speaker for this event was Eric Metaxas, the author of the current best-selling books BONHOEFFER and AMAZING GRACE, the story of William Wilberforce. I listened to his entire speech and as I did, I was pleased in knowing that President Obama was sitting on the dais and hearing Metaxas’ message. In fact, during his speech, Metaxas gave the President a copy of BONHOEFFER and he committed to reading it. My prayer is that he will do so and that it will work to change his heart. However, in the later part of his presentation, Metaxas delivered a Spiritual message that was aimed right at folks like me and it convicted me deeply. It was an admonition that certainly fits in this discussion for my fellow-Christians and I want to share it with you. I do recommend listening to Metaxas’ entire presentation but I’ve paraphrased his admonition, as follows:

Essentially, Metaxas pointed out that, unlike most around him, Bonhoeffer was able to see the greatest evil of the 20th Century, Nazi Germany’s attempt to exterminate the Jews from Europe. Likewise, he noted that Wilberforce was able to see the wrong of the British slave trade when nearly all of his contemporaries believed it was OK. The answer that Metaxas provides for the question, “How could these men see the truth when others couldn’t?” is: “Because, through His Holy Spirit, Jesus opened their eyes.” With that, Metaxas went on to point out that today, when we find ourselves able to see things like the Biblical view of sexuality or that the unborn are persons, we need to remember that we are commanded by God to love those who do not yet see these things and that without God we would find ourselves on the other side of these issues.

So, beyond my earlier recommendation to “Just thoughtfully state your views to anyone truly willing to listen”, for my fellow-Christians I would add, do so in love and to know that you’re doing so by praying for those who come against you.

Taking Your First Step

In order for a referendum on this matter to be on the statewide ballot this coming November, there must first be a successful petition effort. Petitions are likely to become available in the first week of March. To stay tuned into this, I recommend the Preserve Marriage Washington Website. And, I encourage you to get involved in this effort as soon and as enthusiastically as you can.

Taking A Step Beyond

Supporting the referendum to reject the legislation legalizing “same-sex marriage” in Washington State is Step #1. Step #2 is eliminating the tyrannical ruling class who passed this legislation. So, check the voting record for the State Legislators who have been elected to represent your Legislative District. If they supported this legislation, find out when they’re up for reelection and then find an opponent to vote for whom you believe you can trust to verify whether their actions are in line with the views of the majority of their constituents.