I have been distracted by certain life events, but I have been thinking quite a bit about this debate over whether gay marriage should be "legalized" or not. I know there are strong feelings on both sides of the issues. My feelings are certainly strong.
Here is how it boils down for me.
We all bristle at the way certain people who call themselves Muslims oppress women and do horrible things in the name of religion. We find it repulsive. I certainly do find it repulsive, too, but the difference for me is I do not recognize those dogmas as being legitimate expressions of their true religion. Rather, I view those behaviors are part of the natural process of disorganization. Just like iron naturally disorganizes into rust and people intercede with coatings and treatments to try to keep it in its original state, so too people and groups have tendencies to become "disorganized" over time and religions seek to preserve a certain kind of organization that promotes peace and overall welfare. Islam is going through a period of disintegration. It has happened to all organizations that preceded it. We may not witness any kind of rejuvenation or re-organization of Islam in our lifetimes as these processes are very slow. Christianity
took centuries to pull itself out of its period of corruption and decay and has never recovered its high point.
Anyway, I find it interesting that we bristle at the uses of violence, force and intimidation, among people who call themselves Muslims, toward women and towards people who do not believe the things they do, but many Americans do not recognize those same tendencies toward the use of violence, force and intimidation in their attempts to force their own views on others.
When distilled down to their essences, all true religions reject force, violence, intimidation and manipulation in enforcing the teachings of religion and its moral order. It place of those negative behaviors true religions value peace, love and non-violence. I grew up being taught that the purpose of life was to know God and to love God and that God gave us free will so we could choose. After all, what good would it have been for God to create creatures to know and love Him if He used force to make them love Him?
So, anyway, I know I am rambling but my point is that I am and always will be utterly opposed to forcing morality on anyone as long as the choices they are making do no harm to me or to others. I am, therefore, in favor of withdrawing the use of force (i.e., laws and police) to regulate what anyone can eat, drink, smoke, buy or sell, where they can live, what they can do with their property, and who they can marry. Indeed, I don't think government should be in the business of issuing marriage "licenses" at all. We bristle at the notion that back in the 16th century the permission of the king was required before a couple could marry. How different is it now, really?
And, if that doesn't convince you, then allow me to take a different tack altogether. Think about this: If we actively encouraged gays and lesbians to marry and encouraged abortions for those who wanted them, in about three generations there would be no more Democrats!
"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."
--Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791