Guest Blogger

Enough Already With the Gay Marriage Thing

Filed By Guest Blogger | August 18, 2010 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: gay marriage, Harry Jackson, Josh Olson, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, stop homophobia

Editors' Note: Guest blogger Josh Olson is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter who lives, works, and loves in Los Angeles. He is profoundly heterosexual, and living in sin with a lovely woman because he can.

Lesbian kissingSeriously, folks, the world's a mess. We have so many real issues facing us right now, so many problems that really do threaten to eradicate not just our way of life, but life itself, that piddling around with crap like this is starting to feel not just self-indulgent, but suicidal.

It is deeply and profoundly important that we recognize how absurd this situation is, and get over it as soon as possible. The world is harsh and mean and ugly enough that anyone who devotes one single solitary erg of energy towards making it harder for two people to love each other needs to be labeled as exactly what they are: A hatemonger.

This piece ran on CNN's blog a few days ago, and it struck me as quintessential in its quiet, casual ugliness. It's a piece by a Bishop Harry Jackson, a Christian pastor from Maryland, who's also African American. He makes just about every argument that the opponents of civil rights always make on the subject, and because it struck me so hard today, I'm going to dissect this bigot's words line by line and explain to anyone out there who's unsure exactly how demented, ugly and vicious this campaign is.

Let's dig in:

A Point-By-Point Rebuttal

"The institution of marriage is unique. It is the one institution that binds women and men together to form a family, and this serves broad societal purposes."

As thesis statements go, this one's pretty weak. Many institutions are unique, and just stating that doesn't axiomatically mean that they are sacrosanct. Slavery, for instance, was a unique institution in its day, and it, too served a broad societal purpose. I'm not equating marriage with slavery, just pointing out that Jackson's thesis statement doesn't mean as much as he wants it to.

"The majority of Californians, including two-thirds of the state's black voters, have just had their core civil right -- the right to vote -- stripped from them by an openly gay federal judge who has misread history and the Constitution to impose his views on the state's people."

I hate to begin by calling Bishop Jackson a liar, but then it occurs to me that I actually began by calling him a bigot, so it's too late for niceties. But this statement is a lie. The voters of Californians have had no rights stripped from them whatsoever. Our right to vote (did I mention that I live in California?) remains inviolate. In fact, not only has my right to vote not been touched, I still have the right to vote on laws that are not constitutional, such as, say, Proposition 8.

Bishop Jackson would have you believe that all that's necessary for something to become law is that the people vote for it. That we have a Constitution that our laws must measure up to is something he'd like you to forget, as is the fact that the Constitution is designed specifically to protect minorities from the unthinking bigotry of the majority.

If the voters of California voted to re-institute slavery, would Bishop Jackson object if a federal judge (especially an African-American one) struck it down? We still have the right to vote. What we have never had is the right to vote in laws that violate the United States Constitution. His rhetoric is deliberately misleading, divisive, and - for some reason - racially inflammatory.

On the subject of the judge's sexuality, the implication is clear - a gay judge cannot be trusted to make a decision on a civil rights matter involving sexuality. By this same logic, a straight judge would be equally suspect, no? It would seem to me, then, that the only solution is to find a bisexual judge to determine this matter, which strikes me as a curious solution.

"The implicit comparison Judge Vaughn Walker made between racism and opposition to same-sex marriage is particularly offensive to me and to all who remember the reality of Jim Crow. It is not bigotry, it is biology that discriminates between same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples."

Forgive me for being confused by this statement, but is it not also biology that determines the color of one's skin? Bishop Jackson claims to remember Jim Crow, but he seems to have forgotten the arguments against miscegenation that stated that it was biology, and not bigotry that demanded segregation between the races.

"A marriage requires a husband and a wife, because these unions are necessary to make new life and connect children to their mother and father."

Of all the inane and ignorant comments the Bishop makes in his article, this one is most dizzying, I think. It feels absurd to have to state this in the presence of adults, but a marriage is, of course, not necessary at all to make new life. Any two drunk strangers in a bar can conceive, and parents do not need a license to connect with their children. In 2010, it's not even necessary to have sex to conceive a child. If his point really is that we must stop gay marriage because only married straight people can have children, we can stop this nonsense right now. On a purely factual level, the Bishop is fundamentally, profoundly, deeply and disturbingly wrong.

"Judge Walker's decision will not stand the test of time and history. "

Now we're down to matters of opinion, but even here, I would argue, the good Bishop is wrong again. Happily, most younger Americans are already past the kind of bigotry that sees gay marriage as a threat to anything. By the time Jackson's generation dies off, this issue will have gone the way of all previous bigotries in our country's history. School children will be taught that once there was a time when ignorant people fought to prevent others from loving freely, and they'll shake their heads in shocked disbelief the way my generation did when we learned about Jim Crow.

"Congress and the Supreme Court must act to protect all Americans' right to vote for marriage."

I'm not even sure what this means. No one's right to vote is being threatened. As I said earlier, we can even vote to reinstate slavery. That doesn't mean it'll stand the test of the courts, but no one's going to take away our right to vote any time soon, even for ridiculous laws that cannot possibly be implemented. (Although, speaking as a resident of California, I do wish these laws were vetted before being offered up for a vote. Might save us some much-needed tax dollars.)

Beyond that, though, the statement is fundamentally dishonest. How does voting to REDUCE the number of marriages constitute being FOR marriage? Judge Walker just made a decision for marriage, and this guy wants to take that away... and he's the pro-marriage guy? This makes no sense at all, on even the most basic level.

"Advocates of making same-sex marriage a legally recognized right claim that this will have no impact on traditional marriage -- that it can peacefully coexist alongside traditional marriage."

That they even have to make this argument is, frankly, embarrassing. I've been married. It didn't work out, but I suspect if you spent a day with my ex-wife and me compiling a list of reasons for that, neither of us could say that anyone else's marriage was the reason. The only marriage that threatened our marriage was OUR marriage. Yours had no bearing on the matter.

My house is between two other homes. In both of those homes, the residents are married. Those relationships have no bearing on mine, and mine has none on theirs. The idea that one person's marriage can affect another's is the fight song of this stupid movement, and it's time to call it out for the idiocy that it is.

"On the contrary, it will have profound impacts. It will create a conflict for people of faith (and nonreligious people as well) who fervently believe in traditional man-woman marriage and the law."

No one is asking those people - or you - to marry a homosexual. What you think marriage ought to be matters strictly and solely to you and the person you marry. If you're offended by someone else's marriage, or relationship, or taste in shoes, then don't hang out with them. Nobody's forcing you to live in their house. You can judge someone else's relationship to your heart's content, but decency demands that you keep it to yourself. You do not get to dictate how others must live, any more than we get to dictate how you live.

The irony, of course, is that the only relationship that threatens anyone's marriage is the one between people like Jackson and his own bigotry.

"The Bible is so clear in its support of heterosexual marriage there is little need for us to go through an exhaustive definition of biblical marriage versus the types of unions allowed by law today. The Scriptures say in Genesis 2:24 that a man is to leave his family and cleave to his wife."

That same Bible also makes it clear that I should be stoned to death for working on a Sunday, so unless Jackson is prepared to go the distance and argue that the United States Constitution should be replaced by his Bible in its totality, he would do well to stick to arguments that relate to this issue. He is entitled to his religious views. Thanks to those canny fellows who created the Constitution and Bill of Rights that govern this country, he does not have the right to impose his religious restrictions on those of us who do not share his beliefs.

"This concept is repeated in Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7. All the scriptures in the Bible concerning marriage presuppose heterosexual marriage."

Yes, but setting aside that he's bringing the Bible into a legal discussion, I would point out that some of those heterosexual marriages involved one man and a whole lotta women. I take it, then, that Jackson favors polygamy, selling one's daughters into slavery, killing people who eat shrimp, and killing pregnant women who don't believe in his specific God.

Where does it end? Where does it begin? How am I supposed to know which parts of his Bible he wants me to live by and which he wants me to ignore? For all I know, Bishop Jackson thinks I should be put to death for arguing with him (Deuteronomy 17:12-13 is pretty clear on that one.)

If you're going to pick and choose which parts of the Bible you're going to abide by, you have to be gracious enough to let the rest of us do the same.

"We can teach our kids that there are important spiritual and societal reasons to believe in traditional marriage and oppose same-sex marriage. "

We can also teach our kids that some races are superior to others, or that the Earth is flat. One of the great joys of the American experiment is that even though we, as a society, know better, we still make allowances for people who wish to raise their children in ignorance, stupidity and bigotry. We do, however, try to keep those people from making our laws. The next time Bishop Jackson drinks from the same water fountain as I do, I hope we can both take a moment and be thankful for that particular quirk of American jurisprudence.

"But if same-sex marriage becomes legally recognized across the country, our kids will be told that gay marriage is a civil rights issue and that those who oppose it are akin to the racists of history who opposed interracial marriage and supported slavery."

Yes. They will. But here's the thing he fails to grasp - our kids already know that. That's why Jackson's movement is doomed to fail.

"We can teach our children at home that marriage is between a man and a woman, but our children's public schools will teach them that marriage includes same-sex couples. Both would be "equal marriages" under the law."

Yup. You can even teach your children Creationism at home, if you want, but they're still going to be taught Evolution at schools. That's how it works with religion in America. Beliefs are lovely things, and ought to be cherished. But you don't get to use yours to dictate how the rest of us should live.

"What might this look like? In Massachusetts, where a ruling legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, kids in public schools are reading books depicting same-sex families."

Yes, they are. And there was a time when people objected to them being shown images of bi-racial couples for fear that it might cause those children to think black/white marriages were acceptable. Happily, progress destroyed those bigots, as it always does; as it always will.

"At a California charter school in 2008, kindergartners' parents objected when a school newsletter alerted them to "National Coming Out Day;" a parent told a local ABC-TV affiliate that a teacher at the school screened a film to kindergartners the previous year showing gay families."

What would he have them do? Pretend such things don't exist, even when some of their fellow students come from such families? Surely he cannot believe that that's going to create a healthy environment for those children he claims to care for so much.

"These kinds of ill-advised social experiments may produce a host of unexpected consequences. If gay marriage is allowed, the nation will soon begin to experience an increased degradation of the nuclear family -- resulting in fewer kids being raised by both a mom and a dad."

The nuclear family collapsed a long time ago. The Bishop needs to look at the numbers. The divorce rate and the number of single parents in America make an absolute mockery of his thesis, and, like every other statement he makes here, this is barely worth responding to.

"Beyond that, those of us who believe in traditional marriage and are in a regulated profession -- such as counselor, physician, attorney or accountant -- and act in concert with our beliefs, may be vulnerable to losing our professional license and our livelihood."

To the best of my knowledge, religious leaders are in no danger of losing their licenses for spewing distortions and bigotry, so I'm not sure what the Bishop is concerned about.

"We can be a religious charity faithfully fulfilling our mission by serving our community, such as by providing adoption and other services, but if we refuse to provide those services to a same-sex couple, we have the choice of abandoning our beliefs or ending our mission."

Setting aside the regulatory issue, if Bishop Jackson is providing adoptions to childless couples, then he is a liar and a hypocrite. You either believe marriage is for the sole purpose of creating children, or you do not. If he is providing adoptions for people who cannot have children, his entire thesis falls down like the duplicitous house of cards it is. Or, perhaps, he only offers children to unmarried couples? Or couples who have already conceived? Neither seems particularly charitable, though...

I wonder if he's prepared to argue that infertile couples shouldn't be allowed to marry? If not, then how can he argue that gay couples - many of whom can give birth - shouldn't be?

"An even more substantive danger lies in the consequences of gay marriage on the next generation. Redefining marriage redefines family. Changing the concept of family will change both the definition and the pattern of parenting."

Every generation redefines these terms. There was a time in our culture in which it was taken for granted that fathers worked and mothers stayed at home. Nothing else was acceptable. That is no longer the case. Marriage - like family, like culture, like religion, like everything - is redefined by each generation depending on its needs and understandings and circumstances.

"What will the landscape of America look like if same-sex marriage is legalized across our nation? Social scientists report what most Americans have always known: Both boys and girls are deeply affected in biological and psychological ways by the presence of their fathers."

Then he should be doubly thrilled at the prospect of a child growing up with two of them.

"If the American family loses the presence of the birth dad in the home, there will be huge consequences to the growth and stability of the next generation of children in that family."

Many American families lost the presence of the birth dad a long time ago. Why single out gay families? More to the point, why single out lesbian families?

What Jackson fails to grasp is that ideals and reality are two different things. We may all agree what the ideal family looks like (we won't, but let's say for purposes of discussion that we can), but that won't affect the fact that most families aren't going to look like that ideal. Some families are better off broken - if the father is a violent alcoholic, say, or the mother is a crack addict, or a BP spokesperson. People muddle through with all manner of impediment, and to suggest that this specific group should be penalized because they - like every other family in the world - doesn't live up to some ideal is, in the end, rampant bigotry. That is all it is, by the way. Isolating one group based solely on your disapproval of them is pretty much a textbook definition of bigotry.

"For example, repeatedly, scholarly studies focused on adolescence show that early onset of puberty in girls is associated with negative psychological, social, and health problems including depression, alcohol consumption, and higher teenage pregnancy. An eight-year study of girls and their families showed that a father's presence in the home, with appropriate involvement in his children's lives, contributed to daughters' reaching puberty at a later age."

Wonderful. Now let's look at the studies that show what happens to girls who are sexually assaulted by their fathers. Or girls who are neglected by their fathers. Or girls who are raised to believe that African-Americans are subhuman by their dads. Of all the people Jackson wants to take action against - of all the people he could take action against - he focuses on the ones whose sin is loving their children?

What is WRONG with this man?

"Despite the incredible adaptability of children, our entire culture should advocate for family structures that promote the most positive environments for coming generations."

On this, we agree. Problem is, we'd start in different places. I, for instance, would want to ban parents from exposing their children to bigoted religious leaders who use the Bible to promote discrimination and hatred. Bishop Jackson, on the other hand, would start by banning parents who love their children. He's entitled to his view, of course, but I'm entitled to point out that his is small, petty, hateful and morally indefensible.

Here's what he fails to grasp or acknowledge - For a gay couple to raise kids involves a level of commitment that no straight couple ever has - or ever will - be forced to live up to. The amount of love and conviction it takes for two men, or two women to start a family is inconceivable to someone like Jackson or me. We'll never have to climb so many mountains to get something that so many people take for granted.

No gay couple ever has (or ever will) woken up hungover and discovered they've accidentally made a baby they don't want. Gay couples don't get abortions.

Direct to Bishop Jackson

Bishop Jackson, I've addressed your arguments point by point, but now I'd like to address you directly, because this is a very personal issue. In fact, that's ALL it is, as it has no other bearing on the world, save how people relate to one another. It doesn't affect taxes, it doesn't affect our roads, it doesn't affect the environment, and it has no bearing at all on any of the wars we're currently involved in.

These people want to love, to live, and to raise good, strong, healthy children, just like every other family. For you to devote this much time and energy to preventing that is unconscionable, sir, and if the God you believe in is real, I assure you, he's hanging His head in shame at your words.

One last thing, in the spirit of full disclosure. I am single, straight, have no children, and don't really want them. I'm just not father material. I am a great uncle, though. My sister is a lesbian, in a committed relationship that's lasted twenty years now (significantly longer than my own), and has three beautiful, brilliant, incredibly well-adjusted and loving children.

As much as my views on these matters are based on principle - and easy principles, at that, as your position is absurd and hateful - I cannot help but take this issue somewhat personally. I do not know three better raised, happier or more well-adjusted children in this world, nor do you. When I hear people like you espousing your ignorance, fear and bigotry, I think of those kids, and I think of a world in which people like you get to deny people like my sister the right to raise her family in a healthy and loving environment, and I think to myself, I would die to keep your world from being their reality.

And then I think about all the real problems we face, the destruction of the environment, the collapsing economy, and endless wars, and I resent you all the more for the way you waste all of our time, all of our lives, all of our love, and I wish like hell people like you would just crawl back under your rocks and die off so that the rest of us can get on with the important business of evolving and growing and making this a better world for those children whose lives you seek to destroy.

Go away, sir. You have wasted more than enough of our time.

(Lesbians kissing: via Flickr)


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Can this 55 y/o MTF adopt Josh Olson as my brother?

Wonderful post, Josh. Tell your sister she has a great brother!

All hail Josh Olson!

I'm forwarding this to my California family members and alleged friends whose Mormon church leaders whipped them into a terrified frenzy about gay couples being allowed to marry.

Thanks for taking the time to say clearly what so many of us feel when the bigots refuse to accept responsibility for the damage that they do to us.

Casey -- Good luck with convincing the family members.
As for the Mormons: I did some more reading. 2 obstacles I see.
A --the cult requires almost complete control of behaviour to function, so when Sam marries John, the little Morms see a sin being allowed, then they wanna be free.
B -- families are supposed to be together in the proper order in the afterlife. Gays go to tell if not celebate, so the familty is incomplete, plus God's plan to have X number of souls there by date Y would be messed up.

In other words, the whole freaking cult is set up in a batshit nutty way, even before you think about their considering themselves latter day saints and wearing those garments. You aint gonna change them and they think they don't hate you.

Fantastic, one of the best pieces I've read in a while.

Wonderful wonderful article!

"...deny people like my sister the right to raise her family in a healthy and loving environment, and I think to myself, I would die to keep your world from being their reality." This made me tear up a little.

Thank you for being a straight ally :)

Very Impressed! Thank you

Brilliant! Simply Brilliant.

I came to this thinking it was going to be something totally different! Great job!

Dalia Stoffer | August 18, 2010 3:15 PM

Fantastic piece.

Nora Little | August 18, 2010 3:59 PM

In my opinion...if they don't agree with certain types of marriage...they shouldn't be allowed to marry at all.

Steve Pollardi | August 18, 2010 4:01 PM

This comment has been deleted for violation of the Terms of Service.

While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising.

Steve Pollardi | August 18, 2010 4:38 PM

There was no personal attack, only the truth about Josh Olson sucking up to the gay community because his career is already declining. Obviously a concise, factual account is not welcome on this site. Hey, "editorial team," are you going to cowboy up and accept disparate views, or are you going to erase Jamie's comment there, too?

Stan Marsden | August 18, 2010 11:37 PM

Steve,

Since you've only seen fit to attack Olson personally (and without basis) can we assume that you agree with what he has to say? Or is this just a chicken-shit way to come out against civil rights?

Great article. We should also throw in the research that shows the greatest influence pushing puberty to younger years is industrialization. All those plastics and chemical cleaners that mimic estrogen are tearing our families apart! (And possibly increasing the number of gay, trans, intersex, and infertile males above naturally-occurring rates.) Is he ready to become a Luddite as well?

Chris M. Barkley | August 18, 2010 5:52 PM

Bishop Harry Jackson, you have just been served! Thank you Josh Olson for clearly voicing what I've been thinking lately about this debacle in California (and across the country as well).

I

Too bad bigots can't be bothered to read or listen to anyone who says something they disagree with.

Julie Janney | August 18, 2010 7:51 PM

Thanks for that very well thought out retort, Gives me hope.

I sincerely hope that you emailed this to the good Bishop, or at least to someone who would bring it to his attention. Wonderfully written, thoughtful response to his blind bigotry and his selective memory of history!

FANTASTIC! We just need to figure out how to get this to go Viral!

Alexis Stodhill | August 19, 2010 1:33 PM

I am in no way siding with this black "bishop," but as a black person, I am pretty annoyed at how I see the black community being scapegoated in the press, from CNN to this blog, about the fact that gay rights did not pass in California and is fought against elsewhere.

The fact of the matter is that black people make up 12% of the American population, and we have much less political, financial and social power than other groups.

If the majority culture -- which is overwhelmingly white people -- would get off their asses and pass gay rights, it would be done. People keep finding these old homophobic religious zealots and doing pieces on them. What an easy target! But guess what. It's not his fault. It's you, and me, and the rest of our lazy, indifferent, or secretly bigoted white friends FOR THE MOST PART who are not allowing this legislation to pass.

These kinds of essays are a waste of time. Talk about deflecting attention from the real issue. Blacks have been scapegoated for everything under the sun in this country, but this is too much.

Plus, where are all our gay white male "brethren" when issues of race deeply affect "us"? Again, I don't at all agree with this guy and as a black person believe his views are wrong. But the whole assumption that blacks should "understand" what gays are going through because of the civil rights movement -- for some reason that argument is never applied, or even considered, when it could be applied in the other direction.

Chitown Kev | August 24, 2010 12:58 PM

Alexis, I see your point (and I am blck myself) however, when a black person uses the Bible on gays in the exact same way that the Bible was used on blacks, even I have a problem with it.

And in this case, Bishop Harry brought race into it (as he usually does).

Alexis,

So you're saying we should stay quiet when members of the black community write ignorant, bigoted, hate-filled articles about us in the mainstream press?

This guy's a bigot. He got what he deserved.

Hi there,

27 year old gay guy here. I realized a long time ago that the people who really change hearts and minds are straight people like you, whose opinions about gays can only be attributed to your natural sense of decency and empathy rather than an obvious bias. This article is spectacular and I can't thank you enough for caring as much as you do about others. If only this "Bishop" could follow the teachings of Christ so well...

- David

To add to your rebuttal of his scriptural references, I would recommend "what the bible really says about homosexuality" by Daniel A. Helminiak, a catholic priest who goes through the bible book by book and comes to the conclusion (among other things) that Jesus had bigger problems to worry about and didn't make any attempt to put an "except if they're gay" caveat onto "love thy neighbor"

Amen. Too many people forget Christ's words in Matt 22: 37 Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (NIV) Instead they put their own hate filled words in His mouth.

Spectacular. Wonderfully done. :-D

Lori Koonce | August 22, 2010 5:46 PM

Josh

Finally, someone has put into words how this bisexual woman has felt. And it's amazing that it is a straight man at that....

Thank you so very much for showing that man just how stupid his statements and feelings really are.

If I ever get around to getting married, will you be my best person? Or at least one of my bride's people?

Hello, Josh!

You took this part of the article:
"This concept is repeated...[from Genesis 2:24]...in Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7. All the scriptures in the Bible concerning marriage presuppose heterosexual marriage."

...and you refuted, in part:

"Yes, but setting aside that he's bringing the Bible into a legal discussion, I would point out that some of those heterosexual marriages involved one man and a whole lotta women. I take it, then, that Jackson favors polygamy..."

First of all, I agree with your article, by and large, but I believe you are missing a larger point.

Women did indeed have a lower status than they do now, which is to say, they were regarded as property much of the time. This was NOT supposed to be the intent of Genesis 2:24, which says, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh"

If that is the case, then I am to treat my wife as I would myself, and it also means that the people of the time got it wrong. I don't have spare stomachs about because I have a flabby one, nor do I have spare wives, because the one I have doesn't do _____ or doesn't have _____.

The polygamy you describe is in the Old Testament, not the new. I cannot find a scripture that says it was OK to do so, but one of the reasons for it (outside of "Hey, HEY!" and status) was to populate the earth and for help on the farm. It's a practical solution, but, as I say, I don't see it being condoned in the Bible.

So, polygamists were sent to Hell? Not quite. David not only had several wives, he sent a man to war in the hopes that he would be killed so he could have Bathsheba as his wife. It was a custom of the times, but not what the Bible says. Why was he spared hellfire? Because, outside of that, they did what was right. David repented (and the Lord took the first child of their union) and the Lord forgave him. Not only did He do that, but the next child that he had with Bathsheba was Solomon, a great man of the Bible.

Now, if the Lord blessed a guy that spied on a naked woman, has her husband killed and sleeps with that woman, because He knew David was a great man and Bathsheba, who ran around with David while her husband (Uriah, who served in David's army and served well) was still alive, became David's favorite wife.

So, it can be safely said that David's polygamy was not necessarily condoned by the Lord, his status shows that he was FORGIVEN.

While I cannot find any gay couples in the Bible, by extension, if there are two gay people and they marry (which would mean that would no longer be fornicating, I guess) and if they live a good holy life, who am I to deny them the Lord's blessings?

As a Christian, I am not only supposed to live the life, but I have this metaphorical sandwich board on me, too. I have to show WHY I live as I do. Someone got into a discussion with one of my cousins and the fellow said, "How many people have you brought to Christ?"

My cousin retorted, "How many have you repelled?"

The Bible has been used as justification for slavery, sexism (by the way, the Bible says wives submit to their husbands, but it also says that the I am to love my wife and Christ loved the church, so she is submitting as Christians are to do for another but she has MY LIFE in her hands. I'd argue that she wins that one!), racism. Now, is the Bible being used as a weapon because homosexuality is a sin, or because some people find it distasteful?

So, in this case, Josh, you made the incorrect argument against Bishop Jackson, in this instance. Jackson cited the proper verses for his case.

As for me, I pray for wisdom. I would rather save children the pain of divorce or the hardship of being raised by a poor single person (or two poor people). I would rather that everyone on the world has food to eat. I would rather that two people that genuinely love each other be able to live peacefully and have health benefits. As my wife says, "When money gets tight, people get funny."

...and people obsess over the WRONG things.

Very well written and, in large part, well reasoned.

However, the "we've got bigger problems" is a straw man. Be careful with that approach as it is always available to everyone making just about any point.

You can't just make a "Top 5" list of issues and then say everything else is just a waste of time. First of all, you can't get agreement on the list or its order. Secondly, various issues sometimes work over much different time frames and require different resources.

Worst of all, the "we've got bigger problems" provides an excuse to ignore injustices and corruptions around us. If somebody wants to hold my local government to account for fixing the potholes, should I tell her she's an idiot or a moron because there are wars and people are unemployed?

Summary: Very well written and reasoned piece.

Mickey Maxwell | August 25, 2010 7:13 PM

Perfect! Those of you who fear gay people, have you ever been directly hurt by a gay person? Has a gay person ruined your life by doing something to you, personally? Is your life so much more important than someone else's life? The answer is NO! Stop playing God and let his creations live the life they were created to live. Clean your own house!

Thank you for writing this, though I'm guessing the points addressed personally to Jackson will have fallen on deaf, hateful, bigoted ears. But we shall overcome, some day.

Signed,

Happily married 27 year old straight dude.