Saturday, April 20, 2013

ZenTiger Congratulations to the NZ Gay Community

Well, the debate on the redefinition of marriage is over, and gay people, under the eyes of the state are able to use the word marriage alongside hetero-sexual couples. At an individual level, I can understand the joy and comfort this brings to many sincere people on the other side of the debate, and especially to gay people who have entered into a lifelong commitment with one person in the full sense of "for better or worse, until death do us part". I am happy for you.

I am also grateful, that in spite of many bad things about the quality of the debate, we at least had one. There is much to criticize (and that might be explored in future posts), but for this post, I think it is also worth acknowledging that there was at least a little bit of effort to discuss this issue.

To me, the debate, in the simplest form, was a debate where one point of view focused on defining marriage as something based on mutual love and commitment between any two people OR that the definition of marriage was defined and necessarily restricted to something very profound about the complementarity of sexes.

Those two positions have very little overlap, and that was why the debate was so polarizing.

Very old fashioned thinking perhaps, but as old fashioned as not wanting to redefine the word "boy" to also mean "girl". It just seems a pointless thing to do, no matter how much comfort it might bring to all that believe to label boys or girls by their sex is to create boundaries for discrimination. Furthermore, holding to that point of view was never meant to attack either boys or girls simply for holding that those particular words mean something specific, and should not (could not?) be changed simply by passing a law. New words will probably arise if such a thing ever comes to pass, and I suspect this may now happen with the word 'marriage'. Time will tell.

Anyway, that whole debate can wait for another day. Today, I am simply saying that I understand your point of view, and what you argued for and why, and I am happy for you.

13 comment(s):

Lucia Maria said...

At an individual level, I can understand the joy and comfort this brings to many sincere people on the other side of the debate, and especially to gay people who have entered into a lifelong commitment with one person in the full sense of "for better or worse, until death do us part". I am happy for you.

I'm not, from the perspective that this legislation enshrines in law a lie and lie helps no one in the long-term, no matter how good it may make them feel in the moment. I understand the sentiment, Zen, however.

scrubone said...

I'd agree fully with Lucia's comment.

I'd also add that I'm predicting this'll be gone in 20 years, and the country left wondering why they ever fell for that one. It really is one of the daftest things our parliament has ever done.

ZenTiger said...

Points taken.

Although, I'm predicting it will be normal in 20 years, in the same way steady growth in single parent families are things we now live with, and don't want to acknowledge their roots in easy divorce, contraception and other major social changes.

Such things might bring some benefits, but the downsides are not properly acknowledged. (If they were, the government would change the focus of many of its programmes)

Chris Sullivan said...

Thank you Zen for a very magnanimous and charitable post, with which I agree.

If one does not see the potential to have children as essential to marriage, and most today do not, then one logically supports gay marriage (unless one is a bigot).

About : not wanting to redefine the word "boy" to also mean "girl".

The reality is that sexuality is a spectrum and the ancient world well understood (as is documented in the discussions in the Jewish Talmud) that some people are not born totally male or totally female.

Which needs to be factored into the debate.

The Catholic Church is moving further and further in support of same sex civil unions. And, yes, that includes Cdl Bergoglio.

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/another-vatican-voice-backs-civil-unions-same-sex-couples


God Bless

Chris Sullivan said...

FWIW, th ancient tradition of "Josephite Marriage" ie a marriage intended to be sexless and produce no children, named after the marriage of Joseph and Mary, does seem to establish the principle of a genuine marriage which does not involve the kind of sex that makes babies.

That "Josephite Marriage" tradition would seem to open the door to recognise same sex marriage, at least on the basis of a sound theological principle

God Bless

ZenTiger said...

Thanks Chris for your comments.

I agree with your point that there is indeed a spectrum on sexuality, and there are also variations when just looking at pure biology, and that simple fact seems undeniable to me.

However, I don't think that would justify removing the words "boy" and "girl" from our language (to take an extreme example). So what I mean here is noting that there is a spectrum doesn't necessarily follow that we should ditch these words.

I also think the procreation argument isn't meant as an argument per se, but more as an example that pertains to proving the complementarity of the sexes.

You continue to push the idea that the way is open to accept gay marriage in the church. That may be so, because I have learned over time that people can rationalize absolutely anything they wish. This is one reason why moral relativism is dangerous.

Whatever happens though, the argument I think we are making here is that it fundamentally redefines the word marriage to mean something other than it used to mean. So we can redefine it all we want, and the government just has. However, in redefining it, they have changed it. If the goal was to gain marriage equality, they may miss the bar if the word loses some of its meaning. Although perhaps the change will be so subtle to liberal sensibilities, they wont notice. Time will tell.

scrubone said...

"That "Josephite Marriage" tradition would seem to open the door to recognise same sex marriage, at least on the basis of a sound theological principle"

That a deliberately childless marriage needs a different name sort of highlights that child-rearing is fairly fundamental to marriage.

Lucia Maria said...

"The reality is that sexuality is a spectrum and the ancient world well understood (as is documented in the discussions in the Jewish Talmud) that some people are not born totally male or totally female."

It would be very, very, very few, and that would be an aberration most likely related to original sin, where the human body does not quite express the invisible reality.

I have an autistic brother who will never marry because he's not a capable of it. A sexual anomaly could be seen as something very similar to a mental problem, it makes the person, in this world not able to reach full potential.

"The Catholic Church is moving further and further in support of same sex civil unions. And, yes, that includes Cdl Bergoglio."

Sorry, Chris, not going to happen, no matter the current speculation.

ZenTiger,

"You continue to push the idea that the way is open to accept gay marriage in the church. That may be so, because I have learned over time that people can rationalize absolutely anything they wish."

The Catholic Church will never bend on this. Sure, some Catholics will and have done so already, but the Magisterium and the Pope will not. Ever.

Chris Sullivan said...

scrubone,

You make a good point.

I'm reminded about St Pauls admonishment to stop arguing about the meaning of words.

Which is what this argument is all about - is a Josephite Marriage really a marriage? The meaning of words.

Tradition holds that it is.

If there can be a type of marriage which is merely love and mutual support (as in Josephite marriage) then it would seem to follow from that same principle that there can be a type of marriage, different in kind to heterosexual marriage open to children, which can, by venerable Christian tradition, truly be refereed to as a marriage.

Which is where the state now is, having finally cottoned on to the implications of the kind of marriage formed between Mary and Joseph.

God Bless

Chris Sullivan said...

Lucia,

Almost every day now some Catholic Cardinal or senior Bishop comes out endorsing same sex civil unions. The Church has already changed on this. In fact, the Church never opposed state recognition of people's relationships, which is a human right, not a gay right, and flows from the dignity of the human person.

The Church constantly develops its understanding and has radically changed position before eg slavery, usury, and the death penalty.

The Church that refused to ever change anything would be a Church that is dead.

God Bless

bamac said...

Lucia and Chris,

The link below says much the same as I have read elsewhere ...

http://protectthepope.com/?p=7137

Shalom

Mrs Mac

ZenTiger said...

Thanks Mrs Mac.

@Chris: I think you've argued eloquently for two sisters to be able to marry, or perhaps three or four people. If you are going to extend the concept of a Josephite marriage out to same sex, then there can be no real argument not to also extend it to any loving arrangement.

This could be handy for two brothers who want to avail themselves to first home owners grant for married people.

bamac said...

Chris,

When you said earlier ....


That "Josephite Marriage" tradition would seem to open the door to recognise same sex marriage, at least on the basis of a sound theological principle

Are you implying that all same sex couples live their lives together without sexual connection? If only some were lived thus then wouldn't that defeat your supposed arguement? where would be your " basis of sound theological principle" ?

Mrs Mac

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