Jun 28, 2011

We the people

I was pretty proud of my home state this past Friday when our state lawmakers decided that same-sex couples should have the same legal right to marriage as traditional couples.  And really...what's traditional these days?  Most of the folks I know are happy with the decision.  Even those who are against it, aren't "the world is gonna end" against. it.  They just would have preferred that government stay out of it, and I'll get to that point in a moment.

My mother is one of those that I know who are against the decision. She believes that a marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.  But she also believes it to be a sacrament of the Church.  And that's where it all begins and ends for some people.  How about a man and a woman married by a Justice of the Peace?  Or a ship's captain?  Or anyone legally allowed to do so?  Is that the same kind of marriage as a couple married in a church by a priest?  The lines and the argument that marriage is a religious joining get a bit blurred in those sitiuations.

My deal is that I don't think our government should have a say in who chooses to spend their life with someone they love.  In our out of marriage.  And if a same-sex couple wants to marry under the eyes of the law of our land, then so be it. All rights should be the same for all people.  Period.  The institution of marriage isn't being harmed.  Nor are the opponents of same-sex marriage losing anything.  Except for the right to impose their will on those with different beliefs. 

But I try not to get too heated about it, because generally the other side of the aisle doesn't make a whole heap of sense to me in this particular argument.  And there is no way that little ole' me is gonna change their minds on the subject.  Hey, I'm stubborn in some of my opinions too.

Like the idea of separation of church and state was something that our founding fathers deemed to think pretty important.  Yeah, I know the term wasn't coined until after The Constitution was drafted and made law by our founding fathers.  But it was one of those founding fathers that coined the term, so there's that. And if you read The Constitution, I mean really read it, the only mention of God, gods or religion is in the following two areas:

Article I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Article VI
1: All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

2: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

3: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

That's it.  Just those two mentions of religion.  Oh, they signed it with a "in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven", so I'll give ya that.  A mention of "our Lord". Very nice. 

I included all of Article VI in there, but it's section 3 that states that there shall be no religious test required to serve public office in this country.  But equally important is Section 2 which states that the laws and treaties enacted by Congress shall be the "supreme Law of the Land".  Because there is that tricky Treaty of Tripoli that was ratified in 1797 that stated the following:

Article 11
As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

Seems pretty clear to me. "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion...".  Those were our founding fathers who wrote and ratified that treaty, right?  I mean there can't be any argument about what that sentence means, right?

Anyway, I dig that folks live their lives by the Bible.  Or the Quran.  Or the Torah.  Or The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Makes no difference to me.  In fact, I find it pretty commendable.  Most of the really religious folks I know are excellent people, and they will point to their faith as the reason behind that.  That's awesome.  There are times I wish I shared their faith.

But our Constitution wasn't written by God or his prophets or whomever.  It was written by people for people.

The evidence is in those first three words in the Preamble.


Verdant Earl said...

And now Slyde and I can make our union official.

sybil law said...

But Fox news said...
Well said, Earl. Damned well said.

Also - I better have an invite to that wedding!

Slyde said...

whats the fucking fun of coming here to make a gay joke if you beat me to it?

anyway, as wacky as he was, i loved the answer that THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH dude gave during his debate when he ran for office and was asked about same sex marriage...

"Hell, if you want to marry a shoe... i'll marry you!"

i'd have voted for him just for that line.....

Verdant Earl said...

Slyde - you complete me.

Ren said...

Where's my towel?!

hello haha narf said...

i wish federal, state and local governments would all recognize only UNIONS. a union should be the joining of two people in a consensual and contractual relationship (a legal bond and a social contract). that joining of the two people could be performed by anyone legally authorized to do so, whether it be a judge, priest, rabbi, minister, boat captain, etc. then it would be up to the religious establishments to dictate whether that union met its marriage requirements.
hate that we have it all backwards.
i won't even start on the fact that i really don't care if people choose to have more than one spouse. #pickingmybattles

hello haha narf said...


i got jer towel right here, ren.


Verdant Earl said...

Ren - Um, do you need a towel? (I don't get it)

Becky - I totally agree. All ass-backwards.

marty mankins said...

I was proud of NY, too. Glad to see equality is important to some elected officials.