Eugene Cho

prop 8 musical video

What do you think of this Prop 8 Musical Video? 

It’s a satire and I get it but it wasn’t that funny since well, they’re making fun of people like me.  I’m frustrated for many reasons including the lowblows at Christians.  I get the lowblows and potshots at Christians because we deserve it yada yada yada.  I understand.  But I get frustrated because you almost NEVER hear about the positive and good things that christians and churches do for their neighbors, cities, and such.  You only read and see the bad stuff that happens with churches, pastors, and christians. And stuff like Prop 8 just widens the chasm between people.  We stand behind issues without really knowing the people on the “other side.”

Well, I don’t really have the energy to share anything more.  In the next week or two, I’ll attempt to articulate why I hold to a traditional view of marriage but don’t support Prop 8.  That position sucks because it gets rocks thrown from both sides.  But let me stop here…I’ve received enough angry emails for the week that I’m considering removing the ‘contact’ section on my blog.

Here’s the video.  What do you think?

I couldn’t figure out how to embed the original video so had to get this from youtube.  And FWIW, it’s funny to see Margaret Cho in this video.  She’s always been a very vocal supporter of gay rights.  Funny because we went to the same church as teenagers growing up in San Francisco.

This week was so intense and busy that I needed to watch this video below again to get me on track.  Many of you expressed your appreciation for the video last week.

Filed under: christianity, church, politics, ,

83 Responses

  1. I guess sometimes the truth hurts. i get where you are coming from not showing the good Christians do and the bad being focused on way more. i guess when there is hypocrisy and meaness from Christians it just blares loudly. Not sure why.

    i look forward to your post on why you support traditional marriage but disagree with prop 8. Traditional marriage as we know it has not always been the norm. Marriage in the Bible was where the woman became the property of the man. It was a contract, an exchange for money to the father. Often there was no love when they married. So, this myth of traditional marriage everyone on the right hollers about is a misnomer.

    So sorry you received so many angry emails. We humans often live by feelings too often.

    i do enjoy your blog as your heart is kind. Even though i disagree with you on the gay issue.

    Warm Regards,
    Adele

  2. elderj says:

    yeah…. i’m think it will be interesting to see you make your case

  3. elderj says:

    by the way, I hate the video. And like you, I don’t like that Christians are only ever critiqued. I don’t agree with you that we stand on issues without knowing people on the “other side.” You have no way of knowing if that is true or not.

    I expect Christians to be criticized though; we were criticized and blamed for all kinds of things in the days of the early church and consequently severely persecuted. That such mockery is happening now is not surprising. Christians will not be less hated, nor will people become more open to the gospel just because we don’t take unpopular positions or because we stay out of politics. You haven’t said nor implied that, but some people believe it to be true.

    We live in a pluralistic society and for many believers the only and certainly strongest prophetic action available to them is the voting booth where they can say, “No, this does not honor God and I won’t support it.” To fail to do this because it is unpopular or may cause people to close their ears to the message of the gospel is to flatly abandon our calling as God’s people. It is a very short ride from compromise on these issues to outright heresy. And yes, there has been plenty of failure in the history of the church, but we have never really forgotten the poor, although people accuse us of doing so. While voting against abortion and gay rights, Christians have steadfastly in small and big ways feed the hungry, clothed the naked, taken in the orphan and given millions of dollars away individually and corporately.

    The church is hated because it is the church. It is a constant reminder to the powers and principalities of their impending demise and to the world of its unrighteousness before God. The world would like nothing better than to silence forever that voice of conscience. In our country so far, the concentration camp option is not open to them. So they mock, ridicule, deride, accuse, malign, and intimidate in hopes that the church will simply shut up.

    Currently I believe that many in the evangelical world are eating sour grapes by sliding ever so subtly away from Biblical authority and the prophetic nature of that calling and our children’s teeth will be set on edge and they will grow up having all their lives been indoctrinated in school and through media that all they’ve learned in church is flatly wrong. Where our generation seeks compromise on issues of abortion and same-sex marriage, they will not compromise but be co-opted by a world system that has no desire to make seek peace with the church and its prophetic nature and calling, but rather to destroy it. We will be loved by the world when we cease to be the church.

  4. Phyllis says:

    i’m sorry that people send such angry and threatening emails to you – it has always peeved me that some opinions and speech are valued more than others… if we all truly believed in freedom of speech, we would give the same respect that those who raise voices for LGBT demand for themselves to those who may disagree or have differing opinions.

    the thing that makes me sad is that for so long the negative and condemning nature of the christian right’s message has spoken much louder and longer than anything else. i think the united states is still trying to embrace a different kind of christian that brings ALL elements of christ – not just the fire & brimstone condemnation that is equivalent to a modern day pharisee throwing stones.

    is there a different way that we could approach the issue than screaming insults and condemning sin in a negative way? would jesus have been a protester like that? i really think not. i was encouraged by my pastor and what he did in front of an abortion clinic – http://joshuathroneburg.blogspot.com/2008/12/choose-adoption-day-1.html
    if we had people holding more of the kinds of signs he had, then maybe the women walking in to abortion clinics would truly reconsider.

    i love jesus. i’m a believer. but i don’t always side with “the church” because sometimes i think they really have it all wrong and aren’t really preaching the Gospel, but rather some other man-made judgmental creed.

  5. Jenny says:

    Hey, I’m right there with you-I believe one man and one woman in one marriage is the only way to go, BUT, I don’t think that should impact the tax status, visitation rights, property law issues etc. of people who choose to live differently. I agree with something Joe Biden said in the debates-bascally, that marriages/civil unions are a legal/slash financial framework as far as the government is concerned, and therefore should be availiable to everyone as such, and what we call and how we define those unions is the business of the church. Legalizing gay marriage or civil unions doesn’t mean we have to approve of it–it means we’re going to let them add their partner to their health insurance.

    The continual slamming of Christians IS discouraging, but the loudest Christian voices in the mainstream media are still pretty old school. I mean, most people aren’t going to know who Brian McClaren is, but you can bet they recognize Pat Robertson when they see him. The “New Kind of Christian” is still emerging. :-D

    Sorry you’ve gotten a lot of angry emails-I’m new to the blogosphere, and think your writing is great!!! And you’re a fellow Covenanter! What were the odds–ouside of the Congo, that is?:-)

  6. Mike says:

    I also favor traditional marriage but (for the most part) opposed prop 8. I think there are many young christians out there who feel similarly for various reasons. I look forward to hearing yours!

    Interestingly enough, I haven’t received too much flack for it. Maybe it’s my age. The only folks who have given me a hard time one way or the other have been older (40’s and up). My more conservative friends understand my point, even if they disagree. My non-christian friends (and even my gay friends) understand and respect what I believe enough. I think a lot of time all this vitriolic hate (which we are seeing flagrantly from both sides) comes because there is no friendship. I have many conservative christian friends who don’t even have liberal friends, much less gay friends. And I wonder how many of the folks protesting prop 8 loudly have friends who feel differently,

    Lastly, (and I’m sure this has been pointed out before) it wasn’t middle class white evangelicals who voted down prop 8. We’re only the ones caricatured to have done so. We make an easy target.

    -a 20-something, white, evangelical, thoughtful californian :-)

  7. elderj says:

    Pat Robertson is annoying, I’ll grant you that. But I don’t know the last time I heard anything from him, and even what I did hear wasn’t unbiblical or particularly “hate filled.” Evangelicals are always deemed “angry” when they voice their opinions publicly. I honestly haven’t seen any vitriolic hate from evangelicals at all, certainly nothing on the order of what is being seen in the protests against the passage of Prop 8. When I read the comments of young Christians (like Mike) I am saddened, because I am a student of history. But I understand the thinking and the approach. I work with students in Mike’s demographic.

  8. Jenny says:

    So true, Mike, about the vitrolic hate (and fear!) coming from lack of relationship. It’s one thing to say we don’t want gay marriage. It’s another to say we don’t want our friend so-and-so to be able to bring her partner’s daughter, who she’s basically raised, to the hospital if there’s an emergency. My mother recently changed her tune on civil unions when she realized that her childhood friend and his partner of twenty-some years wouldn’t, by default, be able to make decisions on each other’s behalf if something were to happen to either of them. She had to admit that was just preposterous.

  9. Dadofiandi says:

    @Mike I agree a lot of this has to do with fear and perception, or a lack of friendship.

    Moderate viewpoints don’t make headlines (you don’t win friends with salad) or excite people as much as controversy. It takes too much time to thoughtfully consider people as individuals its easier to lump people together and stereotype. Vis a vi the ugly american persona or whatever caricature you choose.

    Its frustrating, but thats what elections do create polarity when at times it doesn’t exist.

  10. Sam says:

    Eugene – Don’t let the angry people discourage you. Religion has a way of attracting angry people. Our little group was looking at Luke 14 & 15 last night. Chapter 14 ends with Jesus saying “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Chapter 15 begins with “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear him.” Then the Pharisees and teachers of the law got mad. How dare Jesus hang out with the worst of the worst!

    But who was hearing Jesus? – The worst of the worst. The religious people were just mad. And that has changed? – How? Religion is an occupation for some people. Then there are those who encounter the living God. Agreed – Sometimes it is difficult to tell which group is which – So we just have to let them tell us – And they do. Some love, care for, spend time with, and develop relationships with the tax collectors and sinners. Others just get mad.

    Jesus was in the first group. If He decided to surprise us, return to earth in human form and live here for a few years, where do we think we’d find him? Pastoring a mega church? Campaigning for a certain candidate or proposition? Or spending His time among today’s tax collectors and sinners – addicts, prostitutes, homeless and even gays. And where would the angry religious folks be – With Him, or at home pecking out angry e-mails and busy campaigning for their candidates and propositions to stamp out immorality?

    Jesus said we will always have the poor with us. The Gospels seem to say that we will also always have the angry religious folks with us. Personally, I choose to spend my time with Jesus and the poor and try to let the angry religious folks entertain themselves, which they seem to be quite good at doing.

  11. Jon in Iowa City says:

    I belong to the United Church of Christ. One of my friends is a leader within one of the more conservative reform groups in the denomination. During a recent exchange following the November 2008 elections, he seemed genuinely surprised when I explained why few gay people are Christians or why most gay people distrust the Christian church.

    Many in the gay community see the Christian church as the enemy. In practical terms, the Christian church is a chief enemy and a professed enemy of the gay community. Maybe you don’t see it or hear it because it’s not directed at you, but it’s true. Almost every effort to prevent gay people from doing anything of value is cloaked in and justified by Christian values. “I personally have nothing against you, but my faith implores me…”. So you will not find a strong Christian presence in the gay community and the Christian message isn’t trusted by those of us who are.

    I mean, the church demonizes and stereotypes our behavior to us from cradle to grave to asserts certain behaviors and values on us. We’re ostracized from church communities. We’re told that we (those of us who are still Christian gays) “pick and choose” or that we’re following a false path by the majority of Christiandom. Attempts to legally recognize non-“decadent” behaviors are actively fought by the Christian church to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

    What do people expect?

  12. Tiger Doll says:

    The marriage issue is not a religious issue. Rather, it’s a social and legal protections issue–namely, spouses and children are extremely vulnerable to destitution and need legal and economic protections to ensure that adults carry out the responsibilities they took on during sex.

    If there were no laws at all, humans would still instinctively require that heterosexuals who have babies be the ones responsible for raising those babies for a long time. Should those people abandon those babies or try to pawn them off on others, the society would gang up on the couple and enforce that they stop doing this. Marriage simply makes this instinctive and implicit reality explicit and enforceable in society. That’s what marriage is and does. Plain and simple. It’s God’s way of taking care of billions of people worldwide who are born through heterosexual sex.

    As Christians, we have to understand marriage from all perspectives: legal, natural, societal. As citizens in society, we must be able to explain marriage from the natural and social perspectives. Reasonable people understand that families have different contractual needs and require unique contracts suitable to their protections. So this should always be the way we educate.

  13. Brian says:

    Eugene,

    your weariness for “standing in” these tough spots is expected, given the prophetic (in my opinion) nature of many of your words. I truly believe that if we want the Kingdom of God to come, we have to look at the Gospel narrative and see that to win is to lose.

    Is the Church willing to fail? Everytime the Church defensively screams, we seem to lose our voice.

    Can we just fail, and fail well? Can we wholeheartedly own the criticism that is being aimed at us *without* the immediate need to “but…” right back to our critics. Can we sit in our failure for once, smell the stench of it? Can we know death, in order that we can taste the sweetness of resurrection?

    So much of regressive Christianity and politics is fear based…I think our need to say, “I’m sorry….but” is drenched with fear. It’s like two steps toward the cross and then two steps backward (can we imagine if Jesus operated that way?)

    I say this as a man that knows (but also really doesn’t know) your (Eugene) pain in receiving backlash and even slander for being a Christian. I want so badly to be seen differently (for selfish reasons as well as for the cause of Jesus). I just wonder if turning the other cheek (which to me means saying, “I’m sorry. period.” and then feeling hope and/or loss of the possibility of reconciliation – one of the biggest intended products of the Gospel, in my opinion.

    We Christians will get our turn to ask for an apology from the slanderous haters out there, but we have to be willing to die first. Which, I will admit, is not on my list of desirable things to do each day.

    Thanks for your honesty.

  14. Tiger Doll says:

    I forgot to add that this video is extremely offensive, no matter how many talented performers participated. Can you imagine if christians made videos to mock gays by dressing up like gay caricatures? Wow. Wow.

    Do any of you know why the video didn’t attack the 70% of black people who voted for Prop 8?

    Make some guesses.

  15. Chuck says:

    I too am looking forward to your thoughts on Prop 8- as a Californian, it’s been an interesting couple of months.

    Quick thought on the initial question “Here’s the video. What do you think?”

    Unfortunately, I see some truth in how it ends- too often Christ Followers (myself included) make decisions for financial reasons rather than for kingdom reasons.

    We tend to be for justice until it impacts our pockets. We’re willing to preach about Sabbath until it means that our favorite after church restaurant won’t be open. We pray for “those impacted by the economic crisis”, but continue to fail to trust God with our own finances- even when that trust would go to lift our brothers and sisters. (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/december/10.24.html)

    Anyway, thanks again for all the thoughts on this important and challenging issue.

  16. Jon in Iowa City says:

    Tiger Doll: So children not raised by their biological parents or who have two legal parents of the same gender, like my own, shouldn’t be offered the benefits of two legally married parents?

  17. Eugene- I’m going to take another month away from blogging starting sometime in January. I plan to make it a periodic thing- a month off every 4-6 months or so, stats be damned. Want to do it with me in January? It seems like a good way to recharge, to discover and have some time for mental peace (and hey I only write once a week anyway, and arguments rarely break out on my site, so you must have quite a threshold). I feel your pain- with the best of intentions and kindness you’ve taken on a lot of hot button issues lately and despite all that, things can seem to reach an impasse between those who disagree. Seems like some days- people just refuse to leave their camps of thought and things stay divided. That can be a really emotionally taxing thing to moderate on a continual basis. If “yes” to a blog sabbatical, let’s plan on some putt putt at Interbay so I can school your ass. Or a quest guy’s basketball game, or football. Maybe those things already happen but it sounds like a ton of fun and relief after the hectic holidays.

  18. Kacie says:

    I feel your pain. I felt that way during the election when people found out I was voting for Obama. I was attacked by liberal friends for my conservative views on abortion and then my salvation and wisdom was questioned by most conservative friends because I was voting for Obama.

    I felt positively run through a wringer and it made me want to never discuss politics again!

  19. eugenecho says:

    @ian: writing is a discipline i’ve been enjoying. but i feel like i broke my personal rule by going beyond ONE HEAVY post/week.

    i have a blogging rhythm based on content and time. so, i may need to return to that. i also need to decide in the upcoming year whether i’ll continue blogging regularly or finally take the plunge on writing a book with publishers. i so much enjoy the instant publishing of blogging.

  20. Dadofiandi says:

    @Jon
    you are correct when one of biggest things the gay community hears from the “loving” christians is love the sinner hate the sin. that would make me feel loved, not a second class citizen, etc.

    We may have civilized bodies and yet barbarous souls. We are blind to the real sights of this world; deaf to its voice; and dead to its death. And not till we know, that one grief outweighs ten thousand joys will we become what Christianity is striving to make us. – Herman Melville

    Hang in there Eugene you know your heart and thats what matters. Its all about relationships.

  21. Donte says:

    @Elderj—
    You speak a good word and I love the prophetic voice that you add to this discussion. However, I come up against a great tension with this ‘culture war’ argument. After we say no to gay marriage and abortion, what are we to do? How do we continue to speak to a culture where, although they may not be able to marry, those who are gay can still cohabitate, adopt children, etc.—and whether we like it or not, Roe v. Wade will not be overturned for at least another four years. Do we continue to simply shout, “No, this does not honor God and I won’t support it.” Or do we say, “We’ve taken our stance, now let’s move to a position of reconciliation with our gay/pro-choice neighbors.”

    Please help me with this and trust that I am not attempting to be facetious here. I just know that there are many of us that believe in the authority of scripture, but we also know that everyone does not have ‘ears to hear’ the word of God. I’d appreciate your thoughts.

  22. Jon in Iowa City says:

    One concern to consider: Aborting an unborn child is not equivalent to the development of a gay family.

  23. BrianW says:

    I don’t get it.

    I have been confronted by so many examples of the damage that we Christians can cause, not only to others but to ourselves. I just want to see the Church doing what the Church is called to do. Why is condemnation so prevalent in our shadows? There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus, and yet we are constantly getting our tails caught between our legs for spewing just the opposite. My heart is broken. I don’t understand. Have we become so caught up in our doctrines and religious practice that we have forgotten what it was that Christ told us to do?

    I think we have.

    Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love your neighbor as your self.

    The greatest of all the commandments.

    I don’t know how many times I have repeated myself these past few weeks.

    Paul explains in Ephesians 2 the significance of the cross in plain detail. Jesus tore down the wall. All are to be reconciled to God. All are welcome in Jesus. Where there were differences there are none. The walls are torn down. We the church are the body. No part is more or less.

    I’ll say it again. Love your neighbor as your self.

    We are the body. We are the self. Together. As we love our self, the church, the body we are to love our neighbor.

    That’s the Church.

    That’s the wall torn down.

    That’s Jesus.

    I don’t think the issue is gay rights. I think the issue is a lack of community. I think we are guilty of putting up more and more walls. The bible mentions homosexuality a mere fraction of the time it mentions love and community. Adultery and other sexual sin is addressed more times than homosexuality. God is not a condemning god. He is a lover. He wants us all back.

    CHURCH WAKE UP! I LOVE YOU! We have fallen to our humanity and God wants to pick us back up.

  24. Dadofiandi says:

    So rationale has to be wrong. :o)

    I am kidding.

    Good post.

  25. Eugene- that makes sense. You seem to have a thicker skin for this medium than I do. Then again, I almost always write about heavier things so I inevitably need to get away from it for a time.

    See you soon,

    ian

  26. Bret says:

    @ Brian

    God is not a condemning God??? Seriously????

    IF you are guilty of the one unforvigable sin, which is not beleiving that Christ is the one true messiah and saviour, Who condemns you to hell, then? Its God. Did Christ accept sin? Absolutley not….did HE condemn the sinner…absolutely. He rebuked AND did NOT accept the sinner as they were, one rebuked HE told them to sin no more. Please dont shout for the church to wake up with your heretical teachings.

  27. Tiger Doll says:

    Jon: “so children not raised by their biological parents or who have two legal parents of the same gender, like my own, shouldn’t be offered the benefits of two legally married parents?”

    Here’s the way it works. Society always places parenting duties upon the biological parents, not the neighbors down the street.

    Now, in extreme circumstances, where the biological parents can’t raise the child, the biological parents contract with another set of people to raise the child, but only with their consent. At that point, the duty is taken off of the biological parents.

    Finally, adoption agencies who work with the government to make that transaction do not allow children to be placed with everyone. That is, they discriminate, so as to find a permanent and stable new parents. Again, they have strict rules for this and they do discriminate to protect the children from any more instability.

  28. Kyle Nolan says:

    It’s funny to read this after the last few weeks. About 3 weeks ago I wrote a response to an article in my school newspaper about prop 8 that really did offend me, but this video didn’t at all. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to hearing about celebrities that think that somehow their opinions should trump other people’s that I don’t take them seriously any more. Maybe it’s because there actually is a grain (or two or three or four) of truth in the video. Maybe it’s because this is supposed to be comedic, while editorials are generally supposed to be serious.

    I know what you mean about the low blows. It gets old. But sometimes I wonder if it’s part of our calling to take it on the chin for the whole Church, because it’s not like any of us are completely innocent of ever giving it a bad name.

  29. Jon in Iowa City says:

    Maybe I should be clearer. My partner and I have both legally adopted our sons. Why shouldn’t they be protected by legally married parents?

  30. Helen says:

    Eugene, the original on funny or die has embed code on the page – there’s an embed box with the code in a little bit under the video.

  31. John Smulo says:

    I just posted on this today as well. Popular culture has rightly understood that the majority of Christians are passionate about things like pushing Prop 8 through. This video is a clever spoof of this.

    My biggest problem with the majority Christian position on things like this is it distracts people from understanding what Christianity is about first and foremost, and leads them down a path that there is disunity on within the church.

  32. elderj says:

    Donte – thanks for your response to my comments. I don’t want my thoughts to take up too much discussion space on Eugene’s blog, but I will say that I believe the church is to be both prophetic and priestly in its societal function. So when we lay aside the “this has gone far enough!!” mantle, we are to be ever and always compassionate loving and grace filled especially towards those with whom we disagree. Reconciliation is a two way street, so we cannot make that happen, but we can retain a posture of always being ready and willing to grieve with those who grieve and rejoice with those who rejoice and to love as well as we can.

  33. eugenecho says:

    @elderj: hey, my space is your space. we’ve shared dreams, we can certainly share space on the comments.

    @john smulo: agree.

    @tiger doll: i think you’ve gone over the 20 daily comments maximum.

  34. As a queer woman, i wantt o be married not only for the tax and legal implications, but also because i love God and want to show my love and commitment to my woman. What freaks all of you out about 2 consenting adults who love each other wanting to commit to one another and are NOT hurting anyone. Christians scream morality and monogamy and no sex outside of marriage. With your view of ‘Traditional’ marriage, i am damned if i do and damned if i don’t. WHAT GIVES?

    Like i said in the 1st comment above, traditional marriage called for by most of you here is a misnomer.

    It’s people like those against marriage equality for gays but for civil unions and all tax/legal benefits is NOT EQUALITY. All it is is SEPARATE BUT EQUAl!

    No wonder i burned out on church and God’s people. Not burned out on God, but those who think they have the Bible all nailed down and figured out. OUCH!

  35. Donte says:

    @ Jon in Iowa City—
    It was nothing more than for the sake of brevity that I mentioned gay marriage and abortion in the same breath. To be clear; I do not equate them.

  36. Jon in Iowa City says:

    Donte: Understood. But too often the two are linked together and they are so totally not the same. Heck, voters in CA, CO, and SD voted against abortion- and stem cell-related voter initiatives. Where were the anti-gay marriage voters there?

    It seems like the Christian church is all about preventing gay couples from legally marrying or from adopting/foster parenting children (as in Arkansas), but not really into protecting preborn lives. I mean, the LDS church alone organized tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of man-hours to eliminate the rights of gay couples to marry in CA and to ban the potential ability for gay couples to marry in Arizona.

    Imagine if they’d put even half of those resources into the various pro-life voter initiatives out there.

  37. Donte says:

    @Elderj—
    Thanks for those additional words. As the father of a two year old I know that it is impossible to be ‘all loving’ without rebuke, and of course the opposite is also true. I just pray that God will give me (us) the compassion to love and the courage to rebuke.

  38. elderj says:

    let me add as a brief aside that there is sometimes a bit of assumption that those who hold to traditional views (for lack of a better term) are unaware of consequences or that we’re out of touch with real people. In my case that is flatly. My life doesn’t intersect a lot with gays and lesbians, but it does intersect, in the context of my ministry, my friendships, and my family. It isn’t a conversation in a vacuum about issues. When I think about these things, I think of faces of people I know and love and alongside whom I’ve walked, even in disagreement, but always in love

  39. elderj says:

    *flatly untrue* (correction from previous comment)

  40. chad m says:

    very interested to hear your thoughts on marriage eugene…
    the video…take it or leave it…Jack Black is hilarious, but Jack Black as Jesus? uhhhhh…
    so is the end point of the video that if gays are allowed to marry we can make more money? interesting argument…

  41. 3mily says:

    i don’t have time to read this thread, so i’ll just quote you on this PE:

    ‘We stand behind issues without really knowing the people on the “other side.”’

    i really think that’s the deal with all this. it’s easy to dismiss homosexuality until it hits home (or office). then things get far more complicated. a lot of the people standing on the conservative side of this issue simply haven’t had that experience. the debate remains in oversimplified “2D” instead of the much more complicated “3D” reality.

  42. cry me a river says:

    “But I get frustrated because you almost NEVER hear about the positive and good things that christians and churches do for their neighbors, cities, and such. ”

    Boo hoo.

    When Christians stop hurting people, then we can stop talking about how Christians hurt people.

    You want positive coverage but you don’t want to stop hurting people. Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.

  43. Tom says:

    You get people to speak up and be honest. I think what you’re doing here is great. Don’t be discouraged.

    Encourage the ‘contact’ folks to come out of the shadows and speak up publicly so we can all hear them and respond.

  44. Carolyn says:

    Well, I’ll offer you my rationale for believing that God sanctions marriage between man and woman, but that gay people should have the right to marry.

    I will admit that I am unmarried, so take this with that knowledge.

    When I get married, I believe it will be in a church. I believe I will take communion with my husband and probably pray at the altar. I believe God will bless my marriage while I’m up there at the altar. My husband and I will share our kiss; our union will have been witnessed by our friends and family.

    We’ll go to the reception and smash cake into each others’ faces. We’ll have our first dance, sit through awkward toasts, and probably toss a bouquet.

    At some point, we’ll duck into a back room and sign a marriage license, which will grant us rights from the government– the right to share taxes, property, and children.

    I suppose I view marriage as a twofold institution. First, and most importantly, there’s the marriage before God, which has been around as long as Christianity (and Judaism before that). Then there’s the institution of marriage the the American government provides. That piece of paper that says that I am legally married to my husband is Caesar’s and I will render to Caesar what is Caesar’s: that is, a marriage license will not imbue my marriage with nearly as much significance as a wedding before God.

    Here’s another way to think about it: suppose that the government took away some of the privileges of marriage if you chose to get married in a church, by a pastor, and take Communion. Let’s say that the cost of that was the inability to have both names on a lease or to both adopt a child.

    Would you get married in the church and sacrifice those rights? And if you would, would you not agree that it is more important to have your God bless your marriage than your government?

    And I agree with an above poster that the term “civil unions” is a separate but equal term.

    I firmly believe that, just as I would have no right getting married in a mosque, non-Christians have no place getting married in a church. A private location– like a church– can define the marriages it wishes to perform within that location; similarly, an officiant can choose who he or she wishes to perform weddings for (I’m assuming you, and many pastors, would not feel comfortable performing weddings for gay or lesbian couples; other pastors might not feel comfortable marrying divorcees).

    Argue this with me, please. I’ve been rolling this idea over in my head for the past couple weeks and I just started lurking on your blog yesterday. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, just that it’s my feeling right now. I’ve applied to transfer to SPU from a school in the Midwest and I’ve been looking for a church. Your intellectual and thoughtful approach to Christianity means I’ll at least be checking Quest out.

  45. Jim Chen says:

    Sorry you got slammed this week, Pastor Eugene. What I did like about the video was that everyone loved LORD Jesus! That was cool.

  46. Sam says:

    Carolyn, Check out Mars Hill Church and Mark Driscoll. He doesn’t take the Bible lightly and isn’t afraid to tell it as it is even if offends people. I used to go there for a few years until I moved away recently.

  47. eugenecho says:

    hey folks: thanks for the comments. please take a few minutes to check out our vision to help fight global poverty and consider making a donation.

    http://eugenecho.wordpress.com/2008/12/06/an-update-on-our-global-poverty-organization/

  48. Dan Hauge says:

    I found the video mildly amusing–actually Neil Patrick Harris’ performace at the end was the highlight, IMO. While I personally would oppose Prop 8, and while I’m currently kind of ‘stuck in between positions’ in terms of what I think about homosexuality from a theological perspective, there is one aspect of the video that I feel pretty strongly about.

    I’m getting a bit tired of the rather easy argument that ‘you can’t use biblical texts to support your position unless you follow every law in the OT’. Otherwise known as the “Shrimp Cocktail Defense”. It is very true that we Christians rarely have a consistent method for how we apply Biblical ethics to our current cultural situation (Scot McKnight’s new book, The Blue Parakeet, is all about this). But the vast majority of Christians throughout the centuries have recognized a distinction between the holiness code and laws in Torah, and ethical teaching in the New Testament. Not all Bible verses have equal weight in teaching on ethics today, and this has been understood at least since the earliest followers of Jesus.

    There are good reasons for some picking and choosing. If we want to conclude that the NT teachings on same sex relationships only apply to their historical context, we at least need to do a good job of paying attention to what the texts say, and understand the distinction, Biblically speaking, between the role the Law played in ancient Israel, and the value of ethical teaching on sex in the New Testament. Now there are many scholars who do this, and while I’m not always convinced by their explanations, at least they are taking the text seriously.

    But the knee-jerk argument ‘if you oppose homosexuality, you can’t eat shrimp, or shave’ is intellectually lazy and doesn’t pay any attention to the overall narrative of Scripture.

  49. Tiger Doll says:

    The suggestion that gay marriage doesn’t hurt anything is indefensible. Marriage is a social contract that forms the primary way we order society to manage the billions of people being born and raised. The traditional family is the cell of society, and its degradation has massive consequences tending towards anarchy.

    To rewrite the terms, definitions, and stipulations for what marriage is has the effect of reorganizing the core provisional system of humanity. This is not harmless at all. It’s a collective abandonment of the human race and a further weakening of Western society. Stronger more orderly nations (think Chinese or Muslims) will move in on distressed or injured prey, as is already the case. The West is dying rapidly.

  50. Jon in Iowa City says:

    http://godhatesshrimp.com/

    “Pinch the Tail,
    Suck the Head,
    Burn in Hell”

  51. Jon in Iowa City, that site is GOLD! i cracked up. Thanx for posting it here!

    Carolyn, i would HIGHLY recommend, if you believe women can be in ministry besides secretary and Sunday school teacher, and question Scripture interpretations, you STAY FAR AWAY FROM Mars Hill Church and Mark Driscoll.

    i highly recommend Karen Ward’s church in the Fremont area, Church of the Apostles aka COTA.
    i know Karen and have cisited the church. it’s a wonderful community.

    Dan Hauge, i think your response is a knee-jerk reaction. All those things are within the same passage. If we are gonna follow one it makes sense to follow all of them. Us in the LGBTQ community get accused of cherry picking scripture but you on the right do so as well. It’s not knee-jerk but taking scripture seriously and looking at those passages in their cultural and historical contexts.

    In the NT, Paul was referring to temple prostitution, which was rampant the, when speaking about sex and not about loving homosexual relationships.

    Tiger Doll, get over your bigoted and homophobic and rascist self. Sex is not just for pro-creating. It was created for pleasure and intimacy as well. Not all people choose to have children or cannot have children. Your remarks about Chinese and Muslims is offensive to me and i am n either Chinese nor Muslim. Your fear mongering that the west is in decline and under threat of extinction is preposterous! Go crawl back into your hole and be protected from the coming apocalypse. LOL!!!!

  52. Tiger Doll says:

    ExistentialPunk,

    The Old Testament ceremonial law was removed when the New Covenant arrived. The natural moral law was retained, as it pertained to all nations. The “god hates shrimp” argument is silly, for all Christians realize we jumped ahead to the New Covenant era. Christianity has never maintained that the dietary and ceremonial laws have remained beyond the coming of Christ.

    Next, Paul was talking about everyday homosexuals, not “prostitution.” He argued that homosexuals, by virtue of denying their own biology, were set against nature. That is, they refuse to follow what their bodily design naturally suggests, and instead burned with passion for their own gender. This was a corruption of mind and spirit, according to the apostle.

    In every species, sex is *primarily* for procreating (see: Biology 101), and the fact that it’s pleasurable doesn’t change this. Active homosexuals can’t help but produce children, and we must honor God’s design of our bodies. To deny our bodily design is to deny God’s intent for us. Our bodies reveal to us our purpose.

    As for marriage, it is the legal means by which we order our society to take care of the billion people being born. To erase the traditional definition and purpose of marriage is to breakdown the legal protections and bonds that give mass populations of kids a stable and educated upbringing.

    Let gays forge civil unions if they desire. But marriage is a legal provision for raising and nurturing the worldwide population from infancy to adulthood. This is obviously built in to the design of heterosexuals.

  53. Tiger Doll says:

    The Old Testament ceremonial law was removed when the New Covenant arrived. The natural moral law was retained, as it pertained to all nations. The “god hates shrimp” argument is silly, for all Christians realize we jumped ahead to the New Covenant era. Christianity has never maintained that the dietary and ceremonial laws have remained beyond the coming of Christ.

    Next, Paul was talking about everyday homosexuals, not “prostitution.” He argued that homosexuals, by virtue of denying their own biology, were set against nature. That is, they refuse to follow what their bodily design naturally suggests, and instead burned with passion for their own gender. This was a corruption of mind and spirit, according to the apostle.

    In every species, sex is *primarily* for procreating (see: Biology 101), and the fact that it’s pleasurable doesn’t change this. Active homosexuals can’t help but produce children, and we must honor God’s design of our bodies. To deny our bodily design is to deny God’s intent for us. Our bodies reveal to us our purpose.

    As for marriage, it is the legal means by which we order our society to take care of the billion people being born. To erase the traditional definition and purpose of marriage is to breakdown the legal protections and bonds that give mass populations of kids a stable and educated upbringing.

    Marriage is a legal provision for raising and nurturing the worldwide population from infancy to adulthood. This is obviously built in to the design of heterosexuals.

  54. Tiger Doll says:

    Sorry for double post!

  55. Jjoe Decker says:

    “The “god hates shrimp” argument is silly, for all Christians realize we jumped ahead to the New Covenant era…”

    Then why do people keep quoting Leviticus at us?

  56. Jon says:

    Eugene,

    I find it hilarious that people post comments on your blog and tell others to go to other churches. It’s funny.

  57. Bret says:

    @Jjoe:

    The OT laws can be broken down into three categories: priestly, moral and civi.

    The priestly law was mantained to usher in the High Priest, Jesus Christ, and dealt with the Levitical and Aaronic priesthoods. Becasue Chrsit fulfilled the law in His prefection, those laws are no longer applicable, i.e.: the silly shrimp deal.

    The civil law pertained to setting up theocracies for the Jewish kings and while they can be used as guidelines for ruling, should be taken in context of theocracy.

    The Moral law, Gods eternal law, is based from His character, which never changes. Part of His character is detailed to us via creation of the first man and woman, who were charged by God to fill the earth. via procreation, something homosexuals can not do.

  58. I have to say I liked the video. sure it was a stereotype, but all based in some sort of actuality. I think we should be less concerned about whether the portrayal is accurate in reality, but with the fact that this is how christians are perceived (and perception in reality). Getting pissed off or offended wont do much to help change that perception. but that’s just my 2 cents…

  59. Target Rich says:

    So… we’re still waiting for Tiger to tell us why Jon’s kids don’t deserve the protection of married parents. After all, protection of children is one of the alleged concerns of those who oppose same-sex marriage.

    It’s a legitimate question that deserves more than an ideological diatribe.

    Reducing heterosexual sex to a merely reproductive function may make a nice rhetorical weapon to use against gays, but overlooks the reality of human sexuality. Gays and straights have more commonalities than differences in the loving bonds that sexual attraction motivates them to form. It does not follow that because children are the product of some heterosexual relationships that reproduction is the sole purpose for sexuality. Most of us know better than that. Many straight couples spend a great deal of effort to ensure that pregnancy does NOT result from their intimacy!

    It’s also illogical and reductionist to conclude that because two people can reproduce, they are the best possible parents for a child. There are many factors that must be weighed beyond merely the sex of the parents. If quality childrearing is the goal then sometimes stable gay couples will be the best choice and the children in those homes deserve first-class protection.

    Moral convictions are different from public policy goals. Government should deal with the world as it is.

  60. Bret says:

    What rights are being denied to Jon’s adoptive son in Iowa? Im just curious. Jon is an adoptive parent, his partner is an adoptive parent….what “protection of married parents” are you talking about? IS there some additional protection for a child is offered to two parents thats not offered to the single mother or father?

  61. Dan Hauge says:

    Existential Punk,

    I’m sorry if the nature of my response was ‘knee-jerk’ (as I accused the other side of being so fair enough). Just to clarify, your account of how the Romans passage applies to temple prostitution is the sort of struggling with the cultural context of each passage that I DO approve of. While I may not yet be persuaded of that particular position (and there are different cultural/historical views of the same passage), I agree that that’s the sort of work that needs to be done, since all of us, ‘right’ or ‘left’, do pick and choose to a certain extent.

    My point in the comment above was simply that it’s legitimate to make a distinction between how we apply the holiness code in the OT, and ethical teaching in the NT. I still think that’s a legitimate distinction to make. There are, of course, different ways of dealing with the NT in light of cultural realities, of which your interpretation is one legitimate one.

  62. Jon In Iowa City says:

    I’m confused here. Are kids protected by having married parents or not? Maybe another question might be, are adopted children better off without legally married parents compared to kids living iwth their birth parents?

    Anyway, here’s a situation where gay families aren’t protected compared to married heterosexual families. I know gay couples with kids where one parent has assumed a stay-at-home responsibility for their adoptive kids. If they were married, they’d have some support through Social Security if their working spouse died or once they retired. That stay-at-home parent is at financial risk because they cannot receive their spouse’s social security earnings. If the kids are minors at this point (especially in the case of unexpected death), they will be more at risk than if their parents could have obtained a marriage license.

  63. Tiger Doll says:

    Jon,

    First, adoption of children should be with a man and a woman so that the child has developmental formation from both halves of the human race—men and women have very different things to offer their kids. So, I can’t see any basis for placing infants with two men, three women, or any other alternative same-sex group imaginable.

    Having said what the ideal environment for child development is, in the case you mention, why wouldn’t a will handle that? Or, why wouldn’t a civil union be just as capable of handling this?

    The larger problem is that no-fault divorce needs to be eliminated. This reckless law has led to wholesale abandonment of children and families, causing economic disaster for them. Such contract-breaking cannot be permitted when people’s lives and safety are at stake.

    Whether people want to admit it or not, marriage is about families and the effective social contract for handling the birth and care of billions of babies. Breach of marriage contract must be penalized to the fullest extent of the law.

  64. Jon In Iowa City says:

    So my friend Jennifer can will her Social Security benefits to her partner Theresa when she dies since Theresa gave up her career to be a stay-at-home mom for their three kids?

  65. Tiger Doll says:

    I would imagine that a will takes care of it. A person can bequeath anything he or she owns.

    But to rearrange our entire social structure to meet this very rarest of situations seems like the absolute wrong way to fix the issue. With a billion kids being born, it’s essential that traditional marriage social structure remain intact and be even more highly regulated to prevent breach of contract.

  66. Bret says:

    In the case you bring up Jon , the childs inheritance is not impacted at all by spousal or marriage conditions….since your previous comments reflected an urgency for protection for the child, Id think you would be happy knowing that if you died tomorrow, your children would have the same “protection” as the single man with a child.

  67. Target Rich says:

    Again… No effort to address the reality of gay parents. Just an assertion that they shouldn’t exist. Not very helpful in the real world, where they DO exist–and, as many social workers attest, are often the best available homes for foster care and adoption.

    If a partner dies or abandones the family, it has consequences whether the couple is gay or straight. Either way, the children pay a price. Anyone promoting the financial and emotional stability of marriage for heterosexuals with children while denying the same protections for children raised by gays is more interested in penalizing consentual homosexual conduct among adults than raising healthy children.

    Civil unions may one day supply some of the protections of marriage. But, only if they’re recognized by the IRS, Social Security, VA, INS and every state in the U.S. Until then, they’ll be inherently ineffectual and those families will be at a significant disadvantage. Further, the meaning of civil unions is so unclear that gay couples who enter them will continue to have the validity of their relationships challenged by ignorant bureaucrats and disapproving family members.

    If a simple will is all it takes, then heterosexuals should do it that way, too. Never mind the estate taxes you’ll pay on many of your inherited assets or that you won’t qualify for any of the federal benefits your partner has earned.

    If you want know what gay people are worried about, read the story of Patrick Atkins, whose family disregarded his 25 year relationship when he became ill. http://www.ai.org/judiciary/opinions/pdf/06270701jgb.pdf Sure, they could have taken piecemeal legal steps to prevent some of the abuse. But, realistically, marriage contracts recognize that relationships require protections that can’t always be anticipated in advance. No committed couple should ever be treated with such disrespect.

  68. Jon In Iowa City says:

    *sigh*

    This is what I’ve learned over the course of this discussion: Marriage is a necessity for people to raise the kids that they gave birth to. Heterosexuals need a marriage license to protect their biological families, but other families do just fine without the benefit of a marriage license and the rights & responsiblities that accompany them. And if they don’t, who the f**k cares? Their numbers are so few that their fates are beneath the hetero majority.

    Remember when the religious right used to talk about how gays want “special rights”? Look inward.

  69. Bret says:

    Why would a heterosexual family “need a marriage license to protect their biological family?”

  70. Jon In Iowa City says:

    Read above.

  71. Tiger Doll says:

    Jon says: This is what I’ve learned over the course of this discussion: Marriage is a necessity for people to raise the kids that they gave birth to.

    Tiger Doll: Yes, without stiff and enforceable marriage laws, people will regularly enter the marriage, create a mini society, and then abandon the others, causing severe economic and developmental harm to the others. This breach of contract is devastating to children and the larger society and so should not be permitted by law.

    Now, Jon, traditional marriage contract law is built around the needs involved in raising families. So, it’s not written for just any two people who want to cohabitate or share a romance. We are dealing with very different enterprises here, and as such we need very different contracts. Moreover, the traditional marriage contract is written for the 98% of human beings whose sexuality will produce families requiring the marriage contract laws.

    So, when you suggest that we rewrite our social structures just to make room for this or that rare exception, it just doesn’t work. What does work is this: civil unions can be made to fit the rare exceptions you bring up *without destroying the marriage law which addresses the procreative situation facing 98% of humanity.*

  72. kdk says:

    Tiger doll and Bret, and others who question the needs for marriage protection for families,

    Let me lay out a scenario for you.

    Say Jon in Iowa City and his partner have two children. But due to whatever law existing they cannot legally adopt both children. So Jon adopts the children and his partner is a stay at home dad while Jon works.

    If something should happen to Jon, and he passes away, the children would receive social security benefits, but Jon’s partner would not receive any survivorship benefits. Because we pay into the system our entire working lives, the social security we receive when we retire is in direct proportion to what we’ve put into the pot. If Jon’s partner hasn’t contributed anything because he stayed home raising the children, he will retire in poverty or less. When the kids reach adult age, they will no longer have support either.

    Marriage in America is not just about holiness before the Lord. It is for we believers, but we are not the only ones here in this country. Marriage is also about the merging and protection of assets.

    Civil unions accomplish all of this. But we can’t allow the civil benefits of marriage to be maintained as separate but equal. It doesn’t work. It didn’t work during WWII when our own citizens were interred in camps, it didn’t work during the civil rights movement in the 60s and it doesn’t work now. We as citizens, cannot remove rights from other citizens. It’s unAmerican.

    We as Christians can discuss, and love on people who don’t agree with us, but we can’t make laws that restrict basic rights.

    Also, as a child of divorced straight parents, it was excruciatingly painful to have to explain why my mom and I had different last names, and to explain my blended family. What a difference a name makes.

    As a believer, if you don’t have a gay friend, or two, or five, get some. You will come to understand it’s not just about “them”, it’s about Mike and Kevin and their wedding. And it’s about Mark and Ed and their daughter, and it’s about…. etc etc.

  73. Tiger Doll says:

    KDK,

    When you speak of marriage’s role in protecting the rights and assets of all members of a family, you’re talking the heterosexual marriage lingo. Marriage equals “family/children” for probably 98% of active heterosexuals (literally billions of people worldwide). As such, the contract stipulations of traditional marriage must be preserved, for the sake of the dependents. Gays do not produce children, and so gays need civil unions that address their unique coupling scenario and its differing legal situation.

    I’m aware of the economic risk you mention in your scenario, for it’s the risk involved in nearly 100% of heterosexual marriages (thus the need for the contractual protections we call “marriage”).

    In fact, that economic risk you mention is the very *basis* for why marriage exists at all. Contracts are necessary only when multiple people engage in a common enterprise involving serious economic consequences. Traditional marriage is precisely such an enterprise. Gays don’t reproduce, and so their contracts (if some should need such) can be arranged via civil unions.

    Marriage is different because it’s based on the reality that heterosexuals can’t help but produce a billion new infants that we then have to raise for decades. That’s a real difference, and families require a different social contract than cohabitating couples do.

    Finally, divorce should be illegal again in the U.S., as it was prior to 1970. Making divorce easy removed nearly all protections from dependents in a marriage and resulted in economic and social chaos for women and children.

    Protecting traditional marriage is a matter of social and economic justice for women and children. That unique contract must not be eradicated through redefinition of its terms, duties, and stipulations.

  74. Target Rich says:

    Day 4. Still waiting for Tiger to address the needs of kids raised by same-sex couples instead of rhetorically erasing them and diminishing their parents as “any two couples who want to cohabitate and share a romance.”

    They’re not just cohabitating adults…they’re parents raising children.

    Wonder why gays seem to be the only target for Christian concern about marriage? When there’s a divorce crisis among 98% of the population, how could discouraging committed relationships among 2% possibly be a priority?

    Still waiting for the initiative campaign to restrict divorce. So far haven’t seen that one on the ballot for some reason.

  75. Tiger Doll says:

    Target Rich,

    First, I said that society should never intentionally deprive children of a mommy and daddy. Both halves of the species are important to raising children, and only in cases where this is not possible should some alternative arrangement be sought out.

    Having said this, I am fully committed to protecting families, and I think civil unions should be able to provide adoptive families with strong legal and economic protections. I don’t see why they can’t.

    Next, discussing gay adoption is fine, but it is a rare, rare circumstance. (The percentage of cases must be less than .0000001% of families worldwide.) And in fact, the standard of gay marriage is non-reproductive, so we must be reasonable and recognize that contracts for the typical gay coupling scenario are quite different from those heterosexuals require. For billions of heteros worldwide, marriage is a family contract that protects the dependents from economic ruin arising from desertion. For homosexuals, marriage is something quite different. As such, the contract laws must not be co-mingled.

    Finally, “no-fault divorce” is the deadliest virus unleashed upon marriage in history. Marriage, which has always been defined as “permanent” so as to provide economic and social stability for infants and dependents, became “temporal” when “no-fault divorce” was introduced in 1970. That legislative redefining of marriage has devastated women and children, as easy divorce allowed people to abandon their long-term commitments to spouses and children without penalty. And that breakdown of the family unit opened a Pandora’s Box of social and economic ills. Divorce must again be made illegal.

  76. DK says:

    This is the post that never ends.

  77. kdk says:

    Tiger Doll,

    I have pondered how to contribute to this discussion and I’m not sure there is a point in continuing. The disconnect is not whether or not marriage is about children only and why civil unions can’t be just as good. I don’t believe the dead horse can be beaten any further in this format.

    I will leave with these final two thoughts.

    First – Tiger Doll, I must disagree with the assertion as fact that the only purpose of marriage is for children and therefore any union that cannot bear children isn’t worth adding to the group to whom marriage applies. Will we come to a point of agreement on a blog in the anonymous internet? Likely not. There are two forums for marriage, one of faith and one of civil rights. I cannot speak for the faith, but for the civil rights of the parents and the children (natural or adopted) of gay parents, we cannot legislate a system where they may not even exist. For adults who don’t conform to our ideals of faith, who harm nothing, we cannot legislate them away either. I urge strongly for you to seek out gay people, and engage in a listening campaign. If you are a person of faith you will not be capable of ignoring the realities of their lives, hearts, and minds. And then it will no longer be something that can safely be contained in a contractual discussion.

    Second – the idea that divorce should be illegal as it was prior to the 1970s. I am part of the statistic of women who have been on the receiving end of domestic violence. My exhusband was cruel. The divorce laws in the 70s and prior would have made my departure from that marriage next to impossible. Rather than the end being more difficult, I submit that entering into marriage should be a more arduous process. You have to wait 3 days for a gun license, not so much for marriage.

    And finally,

    I have the pleasure of waking up each morning knowing that I have been given grace and forgiveness without a hope of ever deserving or earning that gift. God has given us very specific tasks to accomplish. Love the Lord with all my mind, voice and strength. Be patient and kind. Be a voice for those without a voice. Be humble. Love Mercy. When I get the whole world to be that way, I’ll work on telling everyone who can and cannot get married.

  78. Tiger Doll says:

    KDK,

    The problem is that gays and heteros have radically different marriage enterprises and thus we can’t use the same contract for both. (Would you enter a car lease agreement to buy and live in a new home? Would you use marriage law to operate a business partnership? Of course not.)

    For billions of heterosexuals worldwide the marriage scenario is a family scenario. (It is extremely rare to find it otherwise.) As such, the marriage contract heterosexuals have is unique. For heterosexuals, marriage must be both legally permanent and able to protect the economic and provisional needs of women and children. Moreover, if one partner breaches the contract, the victims must have powerful legal recourse so as to protect themselves from destitution. (Our friend Jon did a nice job outlining the grave economic vulnerabilities of stay-at-home parents.)

    Redefining that definition of marriage is devastating to women and kids. For example, the introduction of easy divorce law in the 1970s (in the U.S.) radically stripped woman and children of their recourse against a deserting spouse. This redefining of marriage as temporal and easily dissolvable left dependents economically exposed and vulnerable. Millions of people have suffered from this. Millions of lives have been ruined.

    And so, we can’t continue to obliterate the traditional stipulations of marriage by redefining them around new scenarios that have little to nothing in common with the heterosexual family enterprise. Real people are at risk here. Billions of kids are at risk here.

    I urge you to seek out people whose lives have been devastated by easy divorce stipulations of marriage. I assure you that you will not be capable of ignoring the realities of their broken lives, hearts, and minds. This is not academic. We’re looking at serious, grave consequences for dependents and the larger society if marriage law is experimented upon any further.

    Gays can have civil unions that address their real economic circumstances. But marriage was defined for a very different set of social and economic circumstances. As such, we must not co-mingle the contracts.

  79. Target Rich says:

    Yet again, Tiger asserts vast differences between the protections needed by straight families and those needed by gay families…without providing any basis whatsoever for the conclusion.

    No explanation why same-sex parents aren’t vulnerable to the same economic realities as straight parents. Especially those with stay-at-home caregivers.

    No explanation how allowing marriage equality for 2% of the population would prove “devastating to women and kids.” (Or why nothing negative has befallen heterosexual marriage in any of the places where same-sex couples are recognized so far.)

    No explanation why gay couples are less in need of relationship permanence than heterosexuals, particularly those gays with kids.

    Repeated assertions that marriage is “different” for same-sex couples without any logical explanation of how they differ.

    Refusal to acknowledge large numbers of heterosexuals who marry without the ability or intention to producing children. Just how is an adoptive straight family different from an adoptive same-sex couple?

    Each of us can reach individual conclusions about the moral nature of homosexual relationships. But, the decision to afford gays inferior legal status is another matter. Those advocating inequality for any segment of the population should be able to back up the assertions they make.

    Heterosexuals long ago changed the civil definition of marriage from a permanent relationship designed to nurture children to a semi-perment arrangement meeting the temporal needs of adults. Blaming gays for it now, and making exceptions for straight couples that we’re unwilling to make for gay couples, just doesn’t make sense.

  80. Tom says:

    @ Tiger Doll–I appreciate your passion. But this is a discussion. Some of us consider it bad manners to try to dominate a conversation with sheer volume. Lots of others here share your passion if not your take but understand the context. I hope you’ll appreciate my encouragement because I enjoy having you in the mix.

  81. Tiger Doll says:

    Target Rich: Yet again, Tiger asserts vast differences between the protections needed by straight families and those needed by gay families

    Tiger Doll: Gays don’t produce families, and the percentage of all “gay adoption families” must be .00000000000001% of the families of the world. So, why would we rewrite marriage law to address the legal needs of the average gay coupling scenario instead of maintaining the traditional marriage law that addresses the normative critical legal needs of 98% of heterosexuals and their children worldwide?

    Target Rich: No explanation how allowing marriage equality for 2% of the population would prove “devastating to women and kids.”

    Tiger Doll: It will devastate people by redefining the entire marriage concept from a permanent family-raising enterprise to a short-term romance enterprise. Such a contractual and definitional shift–which works fine for gays–will in practice strip heterosexual women and their children of the material protections against desertion. Remember, heterosexual marriage law exists for the purpose of protecting the material needs of dependents created via heterosexual sex acts. Whenever heterosexuals don’t think of marriage as a shared commitment to parenthood, they end up with kids but no commitment to raise them for the long term. And the women and kids suffer in every way.

    For heterosexuals, the breakdown of marriage law results in widespread divorce, child abandonment, and economic destitution. Likewise, a weak marriage culture for heterosexuals forces sky-high out-of-wedlock birth rates and single parenting. This is ruinous to children and mothers, and devastating to society.

    Target Rich: Refusal to acknowledge large numbers of heterosexuals who marry without the ability or intention to producing children.

    Tiger Doll: Marriage law was never written to address all the .00001% exceptions to the rule; rather, it was written around the 99.99% rule of heterosexual sex experience–which is a family reproductive enterprise.

    Target Rich: Just how is an adoptive straight family different from an adoptive same-sex couple?

    Tiger Doll: The same sex couple systematically deprives children of developmental access to one-half of the human species. Moreover, the common SSM argument prides itself on saying that traditional family-oriented view of marriage is outmoded and unnecessary as a concept. If so, then gays can’t argue that they need marriage law to protect their traditional families! Remember, those who most vigorously champion same-sex marriage say that they do so precisely in the hope of dethroning once and for all the traditional conjugal institution.

    Target Rich: Heterosexuals long ago changed the civil definition of marriage from a permanent relationship designed to nurture children to a semi-perment arrangement meeting the temporal needs of adults.

    Tiger Doll: Actually, do some homework to find out who pushed for and succeeded in instituting the “no-fault divorce” redefinition. And that redefinition, once the new law for heterosexuals everywhere, produced the temporary view of marriage that has crushed women and children since that time. Redefining the marriage stipulations has grave material consequences for kids.

    Target Rich: Blaming gays for it now, and making exceptions for straight couples that we’re unwilling to make for gay couples, just doesn’t make sense.

    Tiger Doll: Heterosexuals have two battles: (1) they must repeal “no-fault divorce,” which redefined marriage as temporal, and (2) the must reject gay marriage, which permanently rewrites the definition of marriage as a temporal cohabitation contract for two (or more?) individuals.

  82. Lunatik says:

    Hello, as you may already discovered I’m newbie here.
    In first steps it is very good if someone supports you, so hope to meet friendly and helpful people here. Let me know if I can help you.
    Thanks in advance and good luck! :)

  83. […] Thanks to Eugene Cho for continuing to engage this conversation on his blog. […]

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One Day’s Wages

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Unscientific research says that if you show a picture of a puppy next to your book, 78% more people want the book. :) Thanks to @alisonjmclennan for posting this photo. 
If you've got the book, would love for you to share a photo of it and tag me or use #OverratedBook. Wow. Good morning from Seattle. The view of Mt Rainier from our home. Prayer matters. It's a reminder of God's presence. Prayer sustained Kenneth Bae in a labor camp in North Korea for 765 days. After he came home, we prayed. (photo  credit: @no1camerauser) I love family reunions. Mother and son. Welcome home,  Kenneth Bae. It's all grace. Grateful for the opportunity to share at  #TEDxHanriver in Seoul, Korea and talk about our family, faith, and @OneDaysWages. Praying that many were fascinated by my Master. The epic view from up high at Nakuru National Park,  Kenya. #latergram

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