Thursday, October 30, 2008

Framing the Conversation: Gallery

Well, the election is just a few days away, so I figured I might make it easier for those of you who have to vote here in California (and some of you who don't live here in the state) to read a series of posts I wrote about same-sex marriage. I entitled the posts "Framing the Conversation" as it was/is my intention to help drive up the quality of discourse, rather than lower it to name-calling & finger-pointing.

The first post was entitled Sushi & Molotov Cocktails - and it's a heartfelt plea for a reasoned view of tolerance.
That means that I can express an opinion about behaviors or beliefs that conflict with someone else's opinion... that's a disagreement, not intolerance. Intolerance would be me finding ways to silence another person before they could speak about those beliefs... or punishing them for doing so.
The second post had the unwieldy title of How to Get Yourself Fired From an Ultra-Traditional SBC Church - it deals with the nature of sexual sin, working to broaden the discussion beyond the barricades war of "gays vs. straights."
This means that we have to approach the conversation in a different way - this is NOT about "homosexuality vs heterosexuality." It is about marriage between a man & a woman vs a plethora of lesser & more destructive options - one of those being same-sex marriage.
Post #3 was entitled NPR Says It Better Than Me and was actually a short post with a link to a very well-written story on NPR's website about the fallout from the redefinition of marriage.
I know that many of you who read this blog - esp. those of you who are bothered by my stance on same-sex marriage - are sure that I've been watching too much Fox News & on re-broadcasts of Focus on the Family.

Please read the following story,
Gay Rights, Religious Liberties: A Three-Act Story, at
The fourth post in the series referenced Seinfeld with it's title, Elaine & Puddy - and was an attempt to talk about why I'm talking about this stuff.
Here's the deal... the reason I'm still writing about same-sex marriage is the same reason Dan was writing about hell. If I truly believe that any kind of sexual behavior outside of one man/one woman marriage is sinful & destructive, then if I love people, I'm going to speak up about it.

You may not like what I have to say - you may disagree violently. Heck, you may agree with me but wish I hadn't brought it up because you don't want to think about it or deal with it. But you need to understand that the motivation behind this is NOT hating homosexuals but loving people (hopefully with Christ's love) and wanting them to have the best possible shot at holiness, happiness & wholeness.
The fifth post, Kodak Moment, took us in another direction, as I tried to explain the spiritual significance to evangelicals for a traditional definition of marriage.
So, if that's the picture in the Bible, citing marriage between a man & a woman as a "great mystery" that gives us a picture of the relationship of Christ & His church... should it really be a surprise that redefining marriage is problematic to some of us?
Post #6 had a shout-out title for Dick Clark, It's Got A Good Beat & I Can Dance To It - I'll Give It An 85 - but probably doesn't make me real popular with the more conservative members of my reading audience. Here, I argued that one of the ways we are advocating for Prop 8 is, at best, problematic.
Those of us who support a Biblical view of marriage have to deal with this stuff - we must make our cases without accusing judges of usurping power... when historically, that's the role we have asked the judiciary to play in this country. We've put the courts in the position of the kids on American Bandstand - listen to a snippet & rate the record. It's not fair to accuse them of hijacking the legal system when we're the ones who gave them the headphones.

There's a profound difference between saying that the court acted unwisely or that the principles they used (sexuality as a protected class, for example) are bad law... and saying that the court acted illegally.
The seventh post was entitled My Atheist Friend Has It Right - and he does. This time around, i looked at the ridiculously skewed media coverage of the debate.
Yes, you read that right. In the Los Angeles Times newsroom, 19 percentage points constitute slim, narrow, bare majorities. Gosh, I wonder how the story would be played if the opposite results were found. I know, as Barbie says, that math is hard. But this is truly inexcusable and the Times’ cheerleading in support of same-sex marriage is anything but journalism.
The eighth post, Worms & Jail, was an answer to the question of how the church responds to laws it finds in opposition to the Bible.
When or if we are forced to disobey, we need to do so with great care & godliness. Our disobedience should focus solely on the law in question & not be rebellion against the government or an attempt to use the power of numbers to "bring the government to its knees." Civil disobedience is powerful because we stand for what is right, not because we get our way or force others to agree with us.
Post #9 was nothing more than a couple of links - but Field Trip is a perfect illustration of the fears that fuel some evangelical voters.
Californians will vote next month on whether only marriages involving one man and one woman should be recognized. Proponents of the measure have argued in television advertisements that children will be taught about same-sex marriage in public schools and that they will be taught that same-sex marriage is equivalent to traditional marriage.

And whatever you think about whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, it didn’t take long for them to be proven right.
In the last few hours before Election Day, I'm adding post #10 & post #11... the tenth post, Reset Button, answers a question from one of my readers about whether it matters what government does or doesn't do regarding same-sex marriage.
But what government chooses to legalize & support does make a difference. (Ding - point to me.)

If it doesn't, then why are so many people getting ready to pop a vein over whether we elect Senator Obama or Senator McCain as president tomorrow? Each one of them will make decisions & sign legislation that will make legal or illegal a variety of activities. They will implement policies that support various causes & industries... and will set the agenda not only for what we discuss about those issues but also how we discuss them.
I entitled the eleventh post Dr. Baird & Big Love, managing to invoke memories of a freshman Logic class & a HBO dramatic series at the same time.
I'll go so far as to tell you that voting for Prop. 8 simply because you're scared of the cast of HBO's Big Love moving in next door to you is a bad idea. That's on par with voting for McCain because you've heard Obama is a Muslim. (He isn't, btw.) We should never be defined by what we're against - instead, we should be defined by what we're for.

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