As Illinois’ 97th General Assembly kicks the gay marriage can down to the 98th General Assembly (starting January 9, 2013), I can’t help but wonder why any state legislature should be called upon to consider such issues.
Illinois has a $96 Billion black hole in its pension funding and is ranked 40th (out of 50) in per capita education funding despite being 15th in per capita income. Those, to me are real problems. Who is allowed to enter the “sacred” bonds of matrimony sounds about as contrived an issue as one could…….contrive.
There’s no shortage of statutes proscribing the ins and outs of marriage, divorce, child custody, alimony and child support. Since Gov. Pat Quinn signed civil union into law last year, only about 200 couples have entered into that state of semi-something, which remains unrecognized by federal law.
Chicago’s Cardinal George insists that government can not legislate that which nature mandates to be impossible. In other words, if a couple won’t produce more good Catholics, they should not be able to marry. Future encyclicals may require fertility testing and a vow of procreation as criteria to marry.
If I had to fill out a questionnaire, I’d probably check “Undecided” when asked about gay marriage. It’s not that I have anything against it, I just don’t have any strong feelings about it, one way or the other. Hell, with the divorce rate in this country hovering at around 50%, I’m not even sure how I feel about the regular kind of marriage. What I can’t understand, though is why some people seem to be so dedicated to the concept of telling other people how to live their lives. That concept is neither American nor Judeo-Christian.
In light of the current divorce rate and plight of single parents (mostly moms) in America, it’s disingenuous to say that married, gay couples will somehow destroy the fabric of the American family. That ship might already be far out to sea.
If there is a reasonable explanation as to how married, gay people will impact our society, other than to create a bit more stability, I haven’t heard it. I think that my neighbors on either side of my house are heterosexual, married couples. I have no idea what, if anything they do in their bedrooms. I once lived in a building with a “screamer” next door and that actually had negative impact on my life because she woke me up early and often. I might’ve lived there another year or two if my neighbors were a non-screaming gay couple.
Another nebulous argument is the one against “re-defining” marriage, as if that would shake the foundations of our nation. If we never re-defined anything, women wouldn’t vote (or read or drive), slavery would still be legal and there’d only be 13 states. It seems that more and more people on one side of the aisle would like to go back to those “good old days”, but I think most of us would rather continue on our evolutionary journey.
Of course, God calls homosexuality an abomination. He also calls for the stoning of those who would work on the Sabbath, but you have to pick your battles. With all due respect to God, the laws of this land should be devoid of His word. No one’s religious beliefs should influence public policy. Not Christians, not Jews and not Muslims. The Church is free to reject gay marriage, but it is not free to dictate public policy. If they choose to enter the public forum, they should forfeit their tax exemption, which prohibits them from doing so.
-LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Tax exemptions for religious organizations (mostly the Catholic Church) cost the American tax payer about $75 Billion a year.
We are at war with the Taliban. Christian Conservatives warn us regularly about the conspiracy to interject Sharia law into our civil codes. Ironic, isn’t it?
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