22 October 2008

yeah, what he said, vote NO on prop 8!

Recently the LA Times published a full-page ad from S.R. Grubb in support of Proposition 8, the ballot measure that would prohibit marriage between non-heterosexual couples. The ad suggested that somehow such a prohibition would safeguard “straight” marriages and was what Jesus would have us do. As I reject both suggestions, I am compelled to respond.

I am a 54-year old straight male, married to my one and only wife for the last 14 years. In 14 years of marriage my wife and I have dealt with the strains that afflict any marriage -- demands of too much work, too little money, a child to try to raise to be a whole person who values the good in everyone. Along the way we have had our share of disagreements, some quite vocal. Never once did we argue about the behavior of other consenting adults unrelated to our marriage. Put most simply, it is not a threat to our marriage that others with different sexual preferences than our own would seek to express their love using the same terms by which my wife and I have tried to do these past 14 years. Quite frankly, I cannot understand how that is a threat to anyone's marriage -- and indeed, I have never once heard anyone claim that their heterosexual marriage was undone because a homosexual couple was allowed to wed.

I am similarly unimpressed by the ad’s selective citations to the Bible, for as it is well known, "the Devil can quote scripture." Rather, it is worth noting two things: First, the citation to Matthew says nothing about homosexuality -- and indeed, Jesus never said *anything* about homosexuality. He did, however, have a great many things to say about not judging lest you be judged and loving your neighbor.

Second the citation to Leviticus is not persuasive. Jesus frequently ignored or flatly contradicted Leviticus as not binding upon the New Covenant that he brought forth – for example, think of his rejection of the Levitical admonition of "an eye for an eye" and replacing it with tolerance and acceptance of those who do you ill -- "turn the other cheek."

At bottom, Jesus preached love and acceptance of our brothers and sisters. I doubt sincerely that He would approve of the New Law that the ad’s author advocates out of prejudice thinly disguised as Christianity. As for myself, I will vote No on Proposition 8.

(this was a letter to the editor of the LA Times, written by my friend Jim Jenal)

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