Saturday, September 19, 2009

It’s only love

Sheeba Kitty Before I get to today's topic, a few programming notes.

1. Sheeba asked me to tell you all that he appreciates the worship and well-deserved appreciation, but would like me to remind everyone that "I am not a GIRL!" Long story short, the person Ken got him from thought Sheeba was a girl (no comment), and Ken named her Sheeba, after his very first cat, Shee. (I think that's right--he'll correct me if I'm wrong.) We saw pretty quickly that Sheeba the girl kitty had a couple of extra body parts that she shouldn't have had, and we realized that Sheeba was a Heeba. And yes, he's very lucky (and very spoiled) to have a personal masseur.

2. Notre Dame-Michigan State coming up in about an hour. I'm already feeling agitated and nervous, so I'm working some of that out by writing. [Update as I get ready to post this: ND 7-MSU it's 7-3. Now 13-3. 13-10! Guess I'd better post this soon! Stop with the penalties already, Irish—they’re killing you!]

3. Scott the Botanist has posted his entry about Swamp Angel Nature Preserve. It's an excellent write-up, and I especially enjoyed the part about the parasitic plants, including the pitcher plant I mentioned here. I hope you'll stop by and see the viewpoint of a professional, rather than that of just a casual observer like me.

Now, to the topic at hand!

Marriage quote A Facebook friend posted this picture today, and I loved it. I've been pondering an entry about this for a while, and decided it was high time I did so.

I grow increasingly impatient with those who would legislate their own version of morality based on their religious views. Morality is a vague and subjective term based upon many criteria, including societal and philosophical. There can also be a religious element in there, but when it comes to legislation, it must also be vague and not predicated on any one religion or faith. People can quote the Bible or any other sacred text they want to, but in looking at this collection of Deuteronomy verses, I think most of us would agree that we cannot take much of this literally. If we stoned every woman who isn't a virgin when she gets married, we could very well be looking at the end of our species!

Marriage equality One of the great things about where we live is that we have the freedom to believe whatever we want to believe. Even if we don't want to believe anything at all. Whatever we believe, it doesn't mean that religion can be forced onto anyone else, or that it should shape our laws. Societal morality is one thing; religious morality is quite another. In other words, it is against the law to steal from someone because you are taking what is rightfully theirs—not because the Bible says it's wrong.

So when it comes to gay marriage, I look at it as a civil rights issue, not a religious one. Our country prides itself on equality for all, although we often fall miserably short of that worthy goal. Let me put it to you straight (so to speak): I don't care if you quote scripture at me until you're blue in the face. Your religion has no place in this debate. You are trying to force your religious beliefs on what is an equality and civil rights issue, and that is wrong. God doesn't approve of gay marriage, you say? So what? Apparently he doesn't approve of women who aren't virgins entering into marriage, either, and I don't see us trying to legislate that. I'm exaggerating to make a point, but I believe it's a valid one. It's time to get beyond this argument, because we don't legislate based on any religion or any religious tenets.

In the past, I was one of those who felt, okay, let marriage be between a man and a woman, but let civil unions—with all the benefits conferred to hetero couples—be okay for whoever wants them. I explored my thinking on this a little further, and realized that I had no good reason why that should be the rule. I believe completely that people are born the way they are, and love who they are wired to love. It's based on genetics, nothing more. (I still laugh at the Homosexual Agenda that so many people talk about. I'd be interested in getting a copy of that, if anyone has one.) If that's the case, that it's genetic, why should marriage be denied to anyone? Simple answer: it shouldn't. Don't even get me started on that "pray away the gay" bullshit.

Marriage equality2 I worked with a guy in Indianapolis who spent many years with his "husband" (not legally married here in Indiana, obviously, but that's the way they thought of each other). He stuck with his husband through years of severe illness; stuck with him as he suffered amputations, became confined to a wheelchair, and went blind due to diabetes. His husband was an artist, and his blindness made him angry and hard to deal with, but my friend stuck by him all the way to the very end. His sense of loss was as profound as anyone I've encountered who has lost a spouse, and their commitment to each other was every bit as real. They should have been allowed to marry...for real.

It's time to set aside objections based on religious grounds—they have no place in this debate. As far as I'm concerned, there is no debate. Gay marriage will soon be the law of the land. It will happen. It is inevitable, because it is the right—and only—thing to do.


  1. Well said Beth!!

    I had a boy cat named
    (yes he also was named by a

  2. The frantic posturing by many who condemn this is laughable. People who love each other, and commit to each other, is what matters. Today, almost 50% of marriages end in divorce, which in some religions is not recognized, so how could gay marriage be any worse? I say, if you love someone, you should be able to marry them, period!

  3. You know I strongly agree with your position on the issue of gay marriage. I've simply had it with people who feel that being gay is anything other than genetic, just like having blue eyes or baldness. It's beyond ridiculous to condemn people for what they have no control over. My wonderful, gay friends almost all have permanent, loving, long-term relationships which I very much admire. Let's end the hate.

  4. It's interesting. When you speak of allowing gay marriage, and have supposidly dug into this issue, that you have neglected to learn that when our fat government legislates what has traditionally been a religious issue, the government inserts it self into religion...hmm. Oh, and when they start doing that, they will then have the right to tell churches and clergy who they can and can't marry based on the law and not on the religious beliefs of the particular church or clergy; once again inserting itself into traditionally religious issues. hmm. me thinks you have a little more lernin to do, ya think?

  5. Hi Beth,
    This is a complicated issue with strong feelings on both sides. I suspect that Anonymous is letting his/her own personal religious conviction cloud his/her judgment. Marriage isn't always a religious issue. What about Civil Ceremonies? Isn't it time we take a step back, recognize that not everyone thinks, acts or believes as we do ... and that our country was founded on the premise that Americans should be free to believe what they want, especially when it comes to religion? To each their own, I say, and what business is it of mine, "Anon's" or anyone else's if a same sex couple wants to get hitched?

  6. Beth tell Sheeba I am sorry for I was the one that call him her. But you know that I am queer, and I am not gender specific, but I respects Sheeba's right to his gender identity. And trust me cats do have that. On the other hand thanks for your post. This is the kind of conversation that people need to have.

    And it is good for you to ignore anonymous, If I understood his incoherent position it/he/she is against gay marriage because then the government will imposed in his church /religion to start marring gays? The paranoia, borders lunacy with it, as if any gay will like to associate him/herself with an idiot like him/her. I love the part "me thinks you have a little more lernin to do, ya think?" how ironic.

  7. Go get 'em girl. I have a quote somewhere that says religion should be based on morality and not the other way around.

    Anon is a little confused. Government making something legal that people are going to do anyway is not imposing itself on anybody. In fact it's doing the opposite. Legalizing means erasing the laws against it. Legalizing abortion is not going to force women to have one. Legalizing drugs is not going to make drug addicts out of people. The addicts are already there.

    I, as a hetero, worked for an organization of gay artists. I had no problem relating to gay people when I went in to that experience and none coming out. What is the homosexual version of "color blind"? People said I was in the closet trying to get out. Ironically, I suffered some reverse discrimination. One gay writer told me to my face that it was the homosexual community that was solely responsible for any valuable art in the city, even though and as I was producing his play. He was prejudiced in the opposite direction.

    There have always been gay people and there always will be. Why can't the society get used to that fact? It's not religion, it's justified fear that fuels that prejudice just as it does racism.

    If anyone wants to bother they would find out that statement from Deuteronomy is Mosaic law not God's law.

    God's law says "He who is without sin among you let him cast the first stone at her."


  8. Beth -

    There is INDEED a "Homosexual Agenda". It is extremely complicated and involves Liza Minnelli, tank tops and fancy hors d'oeuvres. But we're not allowed to tell straight people about it or we get in a lot of trouble.

    Wait ... what's that noise?!? I think I hear footsteps outside my door ... OMG - It's the Homosexual Police!!!! Wow ... they're REALLY hot and have the cutest outfits... GOTTA GO!!!


  9. Most excellent! I knew I liked you for (yet another) a reason. Well said...

  10. Ooops... I called Sheeba a she too. My cats are all girls. Sorry Sheeba! LOL

    What an awesome well thought out entry! I actually read it last nite on my iphone.

    Anonymous is the one who needs more lernin'.

    be well...

  11. Seconding Dawn ... this was a very good entry.

    My darling brother was always oriented the way he was. I saw it from the beginning. For people with such a limited understanding of life, shaped by their religon in lieu of scinence to make the claims they do, is ludicrious.

  12. So I totally agree with you on this.... but isn't Obama anti-gay marriage?

  13. I suggest we jettison the use of the word "marriage" in all secular applications. Let the religious call standing up in a church and exchanging vows "marriage" if they like, but let's issue them a license for a "civil union" from City Hall. All "marriages," be they hetero or homo-sexual in nature, are really just civil unions in the eyes of the court system. Let's keep the religions in the churches, where they belong, and stop using religiously charged language in our civil and legal discourse.


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