Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there. I had a stroke of scheduling luck when my band Walk of Shame was playing last weekend down at the university of Maryland and I was able to head up to Bel Air and see Mom on Sunday.
I was also pleasantly surprised that my little sister was down there along with my niece and nephew. As someone with a degree in psychology it is always fun for me to observe the changes in the way that I can interact with the kids. We decided a couple of years ago that my niece doesn’t like me very much, and that it probably has to do with me being a lot bigger and louder than most of the people she knows. I’ve been working on “baby steps” with her, and the progress is slow, but noticeable. I have a feeling she’s going to be SUPER smart when she gets a bit older, and as soon as she realizes that her Uncle Sean is brilliant – we are going to get along great. Of course there is always the possibility that like most people, she won’t understand my genius lol.
“You are entitled to your own beliefs. You are entitled to your own opinions. You are NOT entitled to your own facts.” – Ricky Gervais
I like talking to people who have different perspectives than I do because it often helps me understand my fellow man a lot better. I had that experience this past weekend when sitting outside talking with my mom and sister after dinner. Religion has a lot more influence on their lives that it has ever had for me, so it is a generally good rule of thumb to avoid topics of conversation where there are fundamental differences of opinion.
Maryland is actually putting gay rights on the ballot in November. The problem is that gay rights are MINORITY rights, and the MAJORITY generally isn’t that concerned with them. In fact, same-sex rights have been put on the ballot across the United States 34 times and 33 of those times, it has been voted down.
Here’s the thing about rights – They are not actually supposed to be something that should be voted on. that’s why they are called RIGHTS.
The most ironic opponent to gay Civil Rights? Black people. Apparently most blacks in America can’t think back to a time just 50 years ago when they were fighting for the same equal treatment that LGBT Americans currently battle for.
The comically ironic biggest persecutors of gay people? Christians. You know, the people who left Europe to … Oh yeah, escape persecution for having a different set of beliefs. God Bless America indeed.
Here’s the cool thing that I learned from my sister: For many religious people the problem isn’t gay people having rights – it is with the actual word “marriage”. To them, marriage has come to be known as a religious ceremony and despite Jesus never saying a single word about teh gay in the Bible (there are mentions in the Old Testament but shockingly, Jewish people don’t seem to be that quick to cast stones generally speaking) they view it as an abomination. She said a Civil Union that would allow for equal LEGAL rights she has no issue with at all – just “gay marriage”.
Did you know that marriage has traditionally been a secular event? In early times men and women simply pooled their resources based on what couples would most likely have children who would survive. That lasted for several thousand years. These relationships were often not monogamous, and would usually only last about 3-4 years before the man would wonder off to start another family. (Coincidentally I’m sure – the average length of marriage is about 3-4 years today.)
… Keep in mind I’m talking about a timeframe of about 1 million years so if you believe that humans rode dinosaurs or that we’ve only been here for 6,000 years – I’d like to direct you to my quote from Ricky Gervais.
Around 20,000 years ago humans began making advances in agriculture and farming that made people less nomadic and more stable. The invention of the plow around 4,000 years ago changed the nature of marriage: Now it was a matter of what households could be the most productive where people were married. This is the era in which marriage became the union between two people that was recognized by their community. Agriculture tied people to their land, meaning that at the end of the four-year period neither men nor women had any inclination to wander off to find a new family. And so they stayed together and worked as a unit to feed and care for the children they produced. The creation of marriage as a legal contract between men and women came into being over time as communities settled on what was a “normal” way for them to organize a family and then codified that normalcy into law.
For example, if it was the norm within the group that men and women were responsible for feeding and caring for their own children. Then laws were created that gave men some assurance that the children they were raising were their own and women some assurance that their husband would not leave them all destitute. Hilary Clinton wrote a book called “It Takes a Village” that draws on many of the community-based initiatives that used to exist in culture that have disappeared.
Now – If you want to go by what The Bible says about marriage, I am all for it. That is mostly because The Bible has no issue with taking multiple wives, women were regarded as little more than property, and a man could have concubines as well. (Jacob married two sisters, Leah and Rachel, and Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.) Divorce was not encouraged, but permitted if a man found some “uncleanness” in his wife. In such a case, he simply wrote her a bill of divorce and sent her out of his house (Deuteronomy 24:1). However, it was virtually impossible for a wife to divorce her husband. Hell, if my brother dies, The Bible says I’m supposed to marry his widow!
The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century rejected the prevailing concept of marriage along with many other Catholic doctrines. Martin Luther declared marriage to be “a worldly thing . . . that belongs to the realm of government”, and a similar opinion was expressed by Calvin. The English Puritans in the 17th century even passed an Act of Parliament asserting “marriage to be no sacrament” and soon thereafter made marriage purely secular. It was no longer to be performed by a minister, but by a justice of the peace.
I really hope this helps give a bit of an education as to the origins of marriage, and why I believe God really doesn’t care who you are with, as long as you are a good person. Do unto others as you would have done (you know, you probably wouldn’t like it if someone else told you that you weren’t allowed to be with who YOU loved, eh?) and that we should all love our neighbor.
I don’t remember Jesus being so hateful and judgmental in The Bible but then again, I sadly probably know more about The Bible than most people who identify themselves as Christians.
And quite frankly – Over 50% of marriages end in divorce, so if your argument is that allowing same-sex couples to give it the ol’ college try is going to destroy the “sanctity of marriage” – you should probably be pretty pissed about all of the stones that are thrown at your straight glass house. Is there anything more funny than a guy like Rush Limbaugh (on his 4th wife) or Newt Gingrich (On his 3rd) talking about marriage only being between one man or one woman? At least there is no hypocrisy in religion.
… However God can be a sarcastic prick at times.