Hello to you, and welcome.

This is not one of my usual posts. There is no intent here to be funny, I won’t be taking my usual sideways look at the world around me, be it a game or the ‘real’ world.

No, this is a serious post. This comes from my heart, and I wish I weren’t writing it. But I am, and I fully intend to publish it, in the hopes that once it’s out and gone from my head, so will be all of the bad things that have been building up in my brain all day.

I’ve had the desire to write about this for months, and I haven’t done so, because it just wasn’t appropriate for a ‘gaming blog’.

Yes, I know, I’ve always said this blog is for me to write about whatever I want to write about, and you’re all welcome to come along for the ride, hating it or liking it as you wish.

Along the way, one thing that I’ve tried to do is  avoid anything that was confrontational.

The heart of the reason why is, I know full well that anything I say, any argument I may make or reasoning I may frame will do nothing to change someones mind. All I would be doing would be making noise, and hurting people.

Hurting people? Yes, indeed. Nobody wants to hear someone else criticize their opinions or beliefs. If I weigh in on a serious topic, someone else will feel strongly about it and feel hurt that I said things they did not agree with. Plus, hey, I am not that smart, and my position may very well be wrong. Why hurt someone else AND be wrong? Better if I stay silent and have the chance to continue to learn and grow.

So, faced with no positive result from a post, and the surety of hurting someone, why do it now?

I’m doing it now because I can’t take it anymore. I have to say something, I have to get it out of my head. I have never felt quite so helpless before, so powerless, as I have done earlier today, and as pointless and ineffectual as this forum is to actually accomplish anything, one thing it will do; it’ll get this crap out of my head and out there where I can feel that I did something.

At least I won’t have done nothing about it, nothing at all.

Gay marriage. Specifically, the fight against legalizing gay marriage.

I’m a married white straight man that attends Catholic church every Sunday morning. I declare that up front because people who believe in labeling people care about that shit. There are a lot of people who, after reading that, will undoubtedly feel confident that they know everything there is to know about my opinion on any subject worthy of discussion.

Fine, think what you want, while I get on with this.

I and my family went to church this morning.

I grabbed the bulletin of announcements on the way in, and read it a bit while sitting in the pew, waiting for the service to begin.

The section of the bulletin that the pastor uses to write his weekly message was titled “Supporting Marriage: The Responsibility of All The Faithful.”

Within this section, I read the following, which I have re-typed exactly as it was published, except where I noted to preserve anonymity;

This past Thursday Archbishop Nienstedt gathered the priests and deacons of the archdiocese for a teaching day. One thing  that the Archbishop wanted to stress  is the importance of supporting the Marriage Amendment that will be on the ballot in Minnesota in November 2012. The archbishop is asking all priests, deacons, and indeed all the faithful to work for this cause. The amendment will ensure that marriage remains defined as between one man and one woman. As your pastor I fully support the archbishop and this effort and I greatly appreciate his courage, vision and leadership on this issue of our time.

Eric (last name withheld) has volunteered to head up a committee in our parish to work on this effort. The committee will serve to first reflect on marriage and its purpose and then to inform, and coordinate our parish efforts to support marriage. I thank Eric for stepping forward to serve in this important role. (Information on volunteering for the committee withheld)

At the teaching day last Thursday, it was noted that the ultimate goal is not simply a victory at the ballot box next November, but rather a deeper understanding and appreciation for ourselves and society of the true nature and purpose of marriage. I look forward to the next twelve months as we as a parish take time to reflect on marriage and its role in society and the importance it has on all of us.

That is what I read in the bulletin this morning, written by the pastor that was about to speak to us.

When I read those words, my brain kind of froze for a bit. I was trying to get my brain moving, but it felt like I was a light truck with bald tires on an icy surface, lots of spinning and movement going on, none of it going anywhere.

I lasted like that until the pastor got to his sermon. I pretty much went on automatic pilot until he started to speak.

The sermon he gave today was about the two most important commandments that all the faithful should obey; To love god with all of our soul, heart and mind, and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

That was the sermon. That was the message.

And that sermon went into my brain, a brain that was still trying to digest the words this pastor had written.

We are to go out and vote to define marriage as between one man and one woman, AND we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

They just kept hitting, colliding in my brain. They still are.

I wanted to shout at the pastor right there in the church, “You mean love all our neighbors, as long as they are straight? But to hell with the gays, is that it?”

But of course I didn’t. What would it accomplish? Will I change his mind? No, of course not. Either he truly believes that this is what God wants, or he will do exactly as he is ordered by his superior the archbishop regardless of what he actually believes is right or wrong.

Either way, I’m not going to change his mind, I’m just going to cause a scene and hurt a lot of people who feel that this is somehow right, or just, or Gods will.

I know, I’m not saying this well. 

Let me try and take this through how I see this.

An Amendment on Marriage that seeks to define Marriage as between a man and a woman does not actually support marriage.

Right now, are marriages between one man and one woman forbidden, denied or blocked? No.

If one man and one woman, of any faith, requests their union to be recognised as a legal marriage, it is a simple series of legal steps to make it happen.

So, is an Amendment necessary to ensure that keeps happening in the future?

No.

Such an Amendment would not give any additional benefits to one man and one woman seeking a legal marriage bond.

Is same-sex marriage legal right now, then? No. Right now, in the state of Minnesota, same-sex marriage is ALREADY denied.

So what would this new Amendment do?

It’s purpose would be to add an extra layer of legal bullshit preventing same-sex marriages from being accepted. See, right now the existing laws are being challenged, so if there is a second law on the books, then if the first law gets overturned, there will still be a second one that has to be fought.

It is an Amendment not to provide but to deny, and really, to stick the boot in, too.

It is an Amendment aimed directly towards one goal; to provide an additional layer of legal defense to continue to discriminate against same-sex marriage, both sexes still being composed of PEOPLE. American citizens. You know, people.  

If you are singled out or excluded, you feel hurt, don’t you? You feel rejected, unwanted, even hated depending on the lengths someone is willing to go to just to exclude you.

That is what this is. In my mind and heart that is how I see this. I can’t find any OTHER way to see it. And for that, I am truly grateful.

This proposed Amendment is a tool of hate, because it has no purpose other than to single out and exclude an entire group of people from enjoying the same legal benefits under our government that others take for granted.

Or, as Governor Mark Dayton is quoted as saying, “I’m here to support those Minnesotans and Americans who want the same rights, freedoms, opportunity, respect, dignity and legal protections and legal opportunities as every other one of their fellow citizens… which is the founding principle of this country!”

Notice please that I vote Republican and Mark Dayton is a Democrat. I mention this to point out that this isn’t a political discussion, it’s discrimination against people. Discrimination is discrimination. Period.

And yet, the message of the pastor in our church this morning is that we are to love our neighbors as we do ourselves.

Is it that gay people are evil? Is that the message I’m supposed to be getting here? Would the very existence of same-sex marriage sunder the bonds that hold families together? 

But are we not supposed to turn our cheek, to give no offense, to embrace others and show them love and compassion?

Are we not all people, regardless of our race, our religion, our philosophy or our chosen nation? Are we not all people regardless of whether we are atrtracted to the same sex, the opposite sex, both or none of the above? 

How can someone that truly believes that ‘God is love’ be capable of showing so much determined hate towards other people?

How does denying same sex partners the right to legally marry in any way affect the quality of the marriage between one man and one woman?

That is a rhetorical question. I can tell you right now, the entire rest of the world can be engaged in same-sex marriages, and it will not affect my personal marriage with my wife one bit. However, if I don’t stop spending so much time playing WoW and more time fixing the house, I am going to be in trouble. 

If one man and one woman engage in a marriage and it falls apart, the blame cannot be laid to rest at the feet of same-sex marriages. It can be blamed on the couple.  

This is how I feel. I look at this… this bullshit going on, and what I see is our generations’ future shame.

Right now, we, our generation, can look back on the civil rights wars of the 1960s, and we can wonder, “How the hell could anyone be so racist and so hateful that they would try to make it a law that black people and white people could not drink from the same water fountain, or go to the same school, or eat in the same diners. How fucked up did those people have to be to have that much hate, to want to exclude an entire people, and who the hell would stand up in any meeting hall and have the guts to try and pass laws like that.”

We can say that now, but guess what? Those people, many of them, are still alive. They are still around. And when we wonder this aloud, they keep their mouths shut, but inside, they are still the people who were there back then. Those folks didn’t just vanish into the mists of time. They hear their grandchildren wonder about racism, and who could be so stupid and wrong, and they keep their mouths shut.

I feel that is where we are right now.

Right now, all across America, all this hate, this same stupid hate and fear is all out in the open, and people are actually standing up and proud of their efforts to exclude the gays, and to block them from the legal rights straight people enjoy.

But someday soon, gay people will see the justice they deserve. They have to. It is inevitable. There are too many of us in this country that are continuing to grow with an open mind and an open heart, and are raising our children the same way. We grew up with a lifetime of accepting and understanding that discriminating against a people based on the color of their skin is wrong, and discriminating against a people based on the religion they practise is wrong

Is it any wonder that with the lessons of the past to show us the evil of such discrimination, the civil rights movement and the Holocaust just to name TWO in the last century, that we find it ever harder to understand how those types of discrimination were evil, but discriminating against someone on the basis of gender or sexual orientation is just fine and dandy? 

The hate is still alive now, but within 40 years there will be teens wondering aloud how fucking stupid and evil and hateful people had to be to try and prevent people from being legally acknowledged as married just because they were bith the same sex, instead of understanding that it’s what a person has in their heart that counts.

And these people now, these people we see right in front of us, they will be the ones that hold their past in their hearts and keep their mouths shut, because they don’t want to look like a hate filled bigot in front of the grandkids.

But why do we have to wait 40 years? Why? Why do we have to be able to see this so damn clearly right now, how FUCKED UP this is, without being able to speed it up?

I said to Cassie, I don’t know how I can even argue this with someone. I start with, “I hold this truth to be self-evident. That people are people, and intentionally hurting people is wrong.”

I don’t know where to go from there. If you don’t get that intentionally hurting other people is wrong when they are doing nothing to hurt you, when their actions have no affect on your life, if you just can’t get that key point, then where do I go in convincing you? 

I don’t know. I’ve never felt so powerless. I know, nothing I say can change even one mind. Sure, I can live my own life, and I can raise my children to keep an open mind and see people as people, but that does nothing to change how other people are raising their kids… and how long this whole struggle to stop the hatred will continue.

I’m sorry, as I said. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, and I don’t want to be controversial. I don’t even see this as controversial, that it is is just… stupid. I’m not very articulate about speaking my heart, it’s not like writing some cool story. But this shit… this stuff going on in my mind, it’s really bothering me. I just don’t get how people can’t see what it is they’re doing. I can’t get it through my head how anyone can be that full of hate, or worse yet, so uncaring of the affects of what they do if they just blindly go along with it.

Cassie tells me it’s not just the Catholic Church, it’s a lot of Churches, and I understand that. I also understand a lot of the arguments are made that it’s in the Bible and is the will of God.

Well, there is a lot that is in the Bible that isn’t acted on because we understand the Bible was written by men, not God directly. Or has anyone noticed all the banks being forbidden to charge interest on loans all of a sudden? Anyone? I know my mortgage has interest payments, I don’t know about anyone else.

Just saying.

If the basis for an argument is that God said so in the Bible, then every single thing God decreed in the Bible better be in place, or fought for equally hard. You don’t get to pick just the bits to enforce as Gods will that let you be a hate-filled bigot. If you do that, then you are acknowledging that you don’t agree with God on everything, just the bits you think he was right on. Now you’re picking and choosing… and we’re back to this bullshit being about what people do to other people, looking for a justification, and has nothing to do with Gods will.

I don’t know. Hopefully when I push publish, I’ll get that cathartic cleansing that means all this is now dumped on someone elses id.

Tomorrow will be a new day. Every day is a gift, and I don’t want to be walking around tomorrow still pissed off at the hate of a bunch of stupid people. 

I do know one thing. Singling people out and hurting them because they are different than you is wrong. It doesn’t matter what the ‘different’ is. Gay, black, jewish, space alien, I don’t care, it’s wrong.

I don’t know much else in this life, but that I know, and I WILL stand by it.

I say, it’s not enough to block this stupid Marriage Amendment. No, we need to go further, and pull back the Minnesota Defense of Marriage Act AND the federal level Defense of Marriage Act.

Huh. How about that. I really do feel better now. And yet, I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing. Go figure.

102 Responses to “I’m Not Right in my Head”
  1. Furrama says:

    Be careful Christians.

    Looking at the Bible it is clear, very clear, that people who have sexual relations with their own sex cannot present themselves to God. God doesn’t identify people as gay (or strait for that matter), but as people who do things he does not ordain. These people cannot knowingly be a Christian at the same time. It is irrefutable.

    HOWEVER. Plenty of people are not Christian/Jewish/whathaveyou. We are to be kind and gracious to everyone, and they must live in the world according to what they think is right. Christians are not to be of the world, so let the world govern itself. Keep to your own but love everyone. Most Republican leaders don’t seem to understand that, and they themselves are not following the will of God but using him to get votes. Many many church leaders aren’t much better. Wolves in sheep’s clothing indeed.

    • Furrama says:

      “Well, there is a lot that is in the Bible that isn’t acted on because we understand the Bible was written by men, not God directly. Or has anyone noticed all the banks being forbidden to charge interest on loans all of a sudden? Anyone? I know my mortgage has interest payments, I don’t know about anyone else.”

      Most of what ended up in the present Bible is supposed to be “inspired word”, meaning God’s will comes to us through those men, meaning it’s all true or none of it is. Though you did bring up a good point that we don’t follow the laws set forth for banks anymore. We don’t follow a lot of OT laws about diet anymore, though there is usually NT precedent for why we don’t. (The “Get up Peter, kill and eat” thing comes to mind, though it was partly symbolic.)

      This government, (the USA) is not a God run Theocracy such as the Israelites had in the time of the Judges; it never was and cannot be run as such. God allows people to choose what they want, as he did from the beginning. He hopes that people will chose to follow him, but they must have choice in the first place.

  2. Chris Sherbak says:

    Thanks for speaking your mind and sharing your thoughts. I can’t marry my partner of 10+ years here in Illinois, but as you say, it’s going to happen. With people like you taking the time to think it through and coming in on the side of support of me and man I love, I know hope.

  3. Cozy says:

    Me again, sorry. Was thinking about this as I got up this morning, and had a rather amusing but mean thought (to me, at least), which I may share at the end of this comment. Then I realised that it was only “funny”, as far as it was in any way amusing, if one of my basic assumptions was correct.

    Re-reading your article this morning, it reads as if it is, sadly. But it might not be.

    What if your fellow church-goer, who volunteered to head up this committee (sorry, my spelling is all to pot this morning) had asked to do so, and was the driving force behind it? Your pastor had tried to talk him out of it, and failed? Then your pastor preaches his sermon about a topic that just might either make your head-of-committee-fellow-churchgoer rethink, or might have a slightly different effect on the rest of the audience by making them not want to get involved?

    Re-reading this morning, the note in your magazine does suggest, whilst not hugely strongly, that your pastor does support this idea. I’d wondered if he was stuck following what the Bishop had said, some sort of a, “We will do this, and you will give people from your church your support in doing this, if they ask for it, even if you personally disagree,” thing.

    I was hoping different.

    My rather mean thought? Your head-of-committe-fellow-churchgoer presumably either approached your pastor, or was approached by him to start this committee. If your pastor is a bigot, I couldn’t help amusing myself by thinking about the expression on his face if you asked for his and the church’s support for the committee you were forming, doing the opposite.

    I’m sorry, not much help. But that’s going on what you’ve said. You know your pastor better than me, obviously. But is there a chance that he feels that he’s just stuck doing as he’s told? Or does his bulletin message tend to give how he really feels? Is this one worded a little differently? Maybe, just maybe, he might be glad of some support – something that he can take to his Bishop and say, “Sorry, but my church does not fully support this, so I’m bowing out of being further involved.”
    What’s the phrase? Evil just needs good men to do nothing. From the Bishop’s side, doing nothing will eventually allow gay marriage, which they count as evil/wrong. From your side? You’ve written this article. You aren’t doing nothing. How much further you want to take this depends on you and your community. But you are standing up for what you believe in where it’s not just an internet dragon. Your words can encourage others to do the same.

    Sort of lost train of thought, sorry, and best wishes.

  4. Tesh says:

    It seems to me that there’s a theological side to this and a governmental side to it… and the two are unnecessarily entwined. If *every* marriage were just a “civil union” in the eyes of the law and churches could ratify those as they saw fit for their own congregation, I think we’d see some differences.

    Government-wise, I don’t particularly care if people can “marry” (or unionize with, whatever) whomever and whatever they want. I always get a good chuckle out of the stories about women marrying dolphins or robots or whatever. Still, if the whole “civil rights” side of the argument is really all that’s at stake, Civil Unions should be just fine. “Marriage” under the law is a package of legal rights and obligations, and I see little reason to prevent people from entering into those contracts as they see fit. They are simply legal contracts. That said, it seems to me that the full court press for “marriage rights” isn’t so much about visitation, medical, inheritance or custody rights, and more about legislating a change in social terminology; it’s a hallmark process of the “gay” movement. Change the terminology (“gay” used to be something wholly different), change the debate. And what about that rainbow? The meaning on *that* changed a bit.

    The theological side is touchier. Perhaps a discussion I had with a fellow some 15 years ago might illustrate it best. He was homosexual, and *though he agreed* that such is not acceptable under God’s law, he kept noting that because God loved him, he had nothing to worry about. His argument was effectively that the mercy of the Atonement covered whatever sins he willingly embraced. It was and is pretty standard thought, actually. I heard similar arguments from those who largely thought of themselves as “saved”, and that it was a “once and you’re done” thing, no matter any other actions. It doesn’t surprise me at all to see that position. It really does touch the heart of a lot of core Christian doctrine, and the balance between mercy and justice.

    Suffice it to say that I disagreed with that position then, as I do now. And yet, I saw no reason to try to hurt him or belittle him. That never accomplishes anything. Charity is the heart of Christianity, and in many ways, the ultimate test of charity is exercising it towards those with whom you disagree. It is core doctrine that sins (of whatever sort) are unacceptable to God, but it’s also a commandment to us silly mortals to forgive everyone and not stand in unrighteous judgement. Seems pretty simple to me.

    I think some of the social stress in this case comes from the social crusaders, though. It seems to me that tolerance and charity have always been available from those who truly try to follow the Savior. Tolerance isn’t the goal for some, though; they want acceptance and agreement from those who disagree with them, and they wield the club of legislation. Agreement is harder to come by when there’s not a baseline of shared values, and it truly cannot be forced. It’s a curious sort of intolerance from the “tolerance” crusaders, that they cannot abide those who disagree with them.

    This, of course, does NOT justify uncharitable behavior from those who disagree, but it does offer an explanation for why some feel badgered and disinclined to be all that charitable in the first place. There quite simply is no compromise sometimes, but we can disagree without being disagreeable. Too many forget that.

  5. Eryius says:

    Without reading any of the comments made, I can only say: well said BBB.

  6. red cow says:

    Yowza, 60 comments. I’ll skip them just to say thank you for this post.

  7. Saz says:

    I have to say that I like your mind sir. People are people regardless of skin, religion, or sexual preference and should be treated as people, not as some disgusting aberration. In a world where it seems that true commitment between two people is such a rare find, what does it matter which form it manifests in? Life is short, allow people their happiness in marriage regardless if it’s straight, gay/lesbian, polyamorous, or what have you.

    Honestly, I think our government(s) should really be focusing on bigger issues at hand such as budgets, creating new jobs, and tackling crime. Tax money shouldn’t be forked out over to the efforts of banning two people happiness, it should be instead put back into our schools and communities. The minds of the religious (referring to those who are so bent against the gay and lesbian community) and the government should be focused on bettering our world, not worried about what happens in the privacy of a bedroom.

    In a world riddled with high divorce rates and stories of “that cheating bastard” and “my slutty ex-wife”, many claim that marriage is sacred. Well, many a straight folk have botched that one pretty good, perhaps the gay and lesbian community would do better with it.

  8. Solitha says:

    Anti-civil-union legislation is religious interference in government.

    Anti-marriage legislation is governmental interference in religion.

    Neither should exist, and we can only hope to live long enough to see the day they no longer do.

  9. Clover says:

    Well… this is my first and possibly only response to any blog I have ever read. It is also something that has bugged me for a long time. although I take a different view… sry BBB.

    The whole problem is the term “Marriage”, a union of two persons recognized by the church and god, is still not recognized by the state without the legal union. As a christian and especially as a fellow catholic I truly believe that “Marriage” is the holy and sanctified union of a man and woman. As far as the legal benifits go that is a matter of the state and man, not god and the church.

    Gays and legal union that they can enjoy the same legal rights as their married counterparts, definitly. I just have a Problem with labeling it “Marriage” as it goes against not only the definition but a fundamental christian/catholic belief.

    Let’s be honest we would not have gotten this far to discuss such a hot topic if the Garden of Eden had started off with Adam and John.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      I have very little time this morning, and there have been so many comments I’d love to reply to all of them, but I did want to address this one quick…

      You and many other people make great arguments about splitting up the legal aspects of a civil union from the term ‘marriage’ that the various churches claim as their own.

      The problem I have, the HUGE problem I have here, is that the bulletin and the call to action that Archbishop Nienstadt calls for is NOT to change the legal term to civil union, but is instead to take action to prevent same-sex civil unions AND marriages from being allowed to take place.

      If you dislike the concept that a same-sex ‘partnership’ or union or bonding or whatever can be called by the term marriage because you feel that term is holy and should be restricted to only members of your faith that are composed of one man and one woman, then so be it. But when you take legal action and exhort others to take legal action to block other citizens from enjoying the same benefits of a civil union that you take for granted and call marriage, then no.

      I suppose to be fair, one way we can resolve this is to forbid ANY marriages or civil unions from being recognised in any way. If you want to live together, so be it, but you’re on your own.

      • bigbearbutt says:

        Just to be clear, that last suggestion was sarcasm.

      • Clover says:

        Seperation of church and state. The church wants the state to leave them alone, then the church should leave the affairs of state alone. Totally agree!

        The church has claimed the term Marriage (and it really just drawing a line between the sanctified act recognized by the church and anything else that bears a similarity), I do agree with you that the church should keep their noses out of politics and state. If gays want to live together as life-partners then they should enjoy the same legal rights and respect.

        I draw my line at allowing gays to marry within the church, that is by all known definition the holy union of man and woman and a cornerstone of the catholic faith. It is considered by the Vatican as a sanctified promise to god, right up there with baptism, communion, confession and caticism and it is a sin to break or defile such vows. That is also why we catholics have such a fuss with divorces and face the problem of being excommunicated. If a catholic, even a gay catholic, cannot respect and accept that then catholicism is the wrong religion for that individual.

        It is not our place as catholics to judge gays, asians or aliens for that matter. “He who casts the first stone… yadda, yadda”. Judgement is up to the big guy and we all in this little catholic family believe he is a merciful and forgiving god. If being gayis a sin I can’t say, I would like to think not. The Bible passage on the matter of inter-sexual relationships comes from Leviticus (King Leviticus not God). In that same littel book you’ll also find some very interesting anecdotes about not eating meat of swine (cloven hoofed animals), a little something that we share with the muslims but that many christians tend to ignore.

        So, yeah I understand your frustration and can identify. I just wanted to give my two cents worth, and glad I got a response from BBB himself!

        on another note: been reading the blog for years, thanks for the tanking tips!

        • bigbearbutt says:

          And I agree with the point you just made, and it was very well made, too. I wish I had more time to follow up on so many comments, hopefully later today. Time for more of them dang old meetingsd.

        • solitha says:

          Two problems. First, Christianity didn’t create marriage. It’s existed in concept and execution for far longer than the religion has.

          Second, it’s not up to the government to outlaw something a religion doesn’t want on religious grounds. That’s unconstitutional. If a religion wants to bar something internally, it’s all on them. If some churches/sects disagree (and there are those that do) then that’s up to the religion to handle, not litigation.

          TL;DR – A religion can be prejudiced all it likes. When it pushes for laws to force its prejudice on everyone, that’s wrong.

    • Elvgren says:

      So … Adam & Eve were married?

      I respect your faith but it’s this kind of statement that just makes me a little crazy, and feels patronizing to the extreme. If you actually take the bible literally they could not have been married because … there wasn’t marriage yet. Who performed the ceremony, who witnessed it before “God.” It’s been a while but I don’t ever remember the bible stating they were married, using the term. Now it’s the term that is sticking in folks craw?

      Makes no sense.

      • Herr Drache says:

        I do get your point. But it also says that God walked among them. So you could argue that He was right there, and may have witnessed/done the ceremony himself. Plus, he created Adam and Eve for each other.
        I guess that’s kind of the ultimate wedding – even though it was a very small one ;)

  10. Kymura says:

    Well said. And awesome that you have to balls to say it :)

  11. Mannyac says:

    Ok. So the title of your last post was ass-backwards. You are totally in your RIGHT mind.
    I ditched organized religion years ago. The reasons were pretty simply.
    First, is the rampant hypocrisy.
    Second, is the insistence that any one faith is the can dictate the right and wrongs of worship and morality.
    Thirdly, as far as I can remember of all of God’s commandments, only 10 were directly written by His hand. Everything else passed though Man and hence was subject to Man’s foibles. Or to put it simply, 10 rules were enough for God, took Man to screw that up.
    To return to the point of your last post. In those ten, I don’t see anything that is in anyway related to homosexuality.

    Further, I point at two in particular:
    #6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Apparently many people like to skip this one)
    #14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. (wouldn’t allowing gay marriage prevent this one?)

    Anyway, jmho

  12. [...] blogging post I read this week goes to the BBB, and it's not even game related. JP sure has a way of tackling a polarizing topic in such a way to [...]

  13. Iru says:

    BRAVO!!!

    Well said, eloquently put, and goes right to the heart of the issue.

  14. Malcolm Singer says:

    Very well said,sir. As a self identifying catholic ,raised in the church and educated by Jesuits, I find this type of statement, small minded and petty. As one of your commenter’s previously stated the catholic church has some claim to the term marriage, and if they wish to defend the word “marriage” bully for them. I take exception to any form or movement designed to prevent anyone from being themselves. If a homosexual couple wishes to commit to each other and receive the same benefits as hetero couples from a civil and or legal aspect why is this wrong?

    Its been a few days(years) since I went to mass, but the New Testament speaks of love and forgiveness, or at least did when I sat through sermons or church classes. So I’m confused by my churches stance, and glad that some one much more eloquent than I took the time to address this topic.

  15. Caliea says:

    Good for you BBB! You’re absolutely correct in that you might not change anyone’s mind, no matter what you say. But then again, you may. And you may sow some seed that grows into a fully fledged idea later, and that idea may make a difference – you just never know.

    Thank you also for standing up as a Christian. Especially one that believes in the ‘love one another’ part. Not all Christians are intolerant and hatefilled, and in our world today, with the extremists highlighted by the media, it’s good to see an average Joe that stands up for what he believes.

  16. [...] just wanted to point this out. I thought it was very brave of BBB to come out with this post first off. Do I agree with it, not [...]

  17. Gumps says:

    My problem with all of this is that the church has apparently claimed the term “marriage” and thereby have the right to influence laws governing it. Marriage isn’t governed by the church. Marriage licences aren’t issued by the church. All authorised marriage celebrants are appointed by the government and their day job is irrelevant – they are not neccessarily affiliated with the church. A marriage of ideas is not a religious joining – neither is a marriage of people.

    An influential religious figure preaching a politicised interpretation of their religion (or is that a religious interpretation of politics?), endeavoring to motivate their congregation to rise up, take action and fight for the implementation of laws in line with a stricter intrpretation of their religious beliefs. I thought we, as a genrally moderate society, normally frowned at that kind of thing? Hey, the interpretation of sharia in a few countries prescribes the death penalty for homosexuality. Throw the pastor a Qur’an and see what kind of message you get next week…

    The state of marriage, as a non-religious union, can be commented on by the church (people have the right to discuss whatever they like), but BBB is completely right – the church has absolutely NO right to influence the ability of a couple to hold hands in the street or to get married, no matter their sex. If it’s a matter of legality, then the law is stupid and should be changed – hopefully with the assistance of the 99.something% of moderates out there. Leave the fundamentalists/extremists to their rants.

  18. solitha says:

    There is actually one way that came to mind in which you could say this preacher was not a hypocrite.

    “Hate the sin, not the sinner.”

    That concept actually does allow for one to preach “love thy neighbor” while working against the supposed sin in which that neighbor may be indulging.

    Mind you, I doubt the movement comes from that noble of a sentiment. But it’s something that might relieve the head-asplode-iness you’re suffering from.

  19. Xlade says:

    To be honest, I got halfway through the post and my eyes glazed over. Wall of Text Crits for….. anyways.

    As a straight white married Christian woman I say this: Loving your neighbor and banning gay marriage are not mutually exlusive. In theory, with Go d behind it, I can love anyone (i’m not always good at the practice part). God LOVES everyone. He died for us. BUT there is a reason He needed to die for us and that is because sin cannot exist in His presence. You can’t go to heaven and live forever in His glory if you’ve sinned. Doesn’t work. Long ans short, gay relationships are relationships in sin.
    Everyone boils it down to hate. And yes, there are some spectacular bigots out there. But there are people who get it right too. Gay marriage isn’t about hating people different. It’s about giving a moral inch and the mile will come shortly. Heck, we’ve given the inch when people started shacking up together left right and center, but that’s a different topic.

    I’ve had a couple of gay friends (hard to find in the middle of nowhere, but they’re there). They were friends. But I still wouldn’t want them legally married, but that opens up a precedent for the next out there pairing, or whatever.

    A book to read, not about this topic but it’s brushed up against a time or two as examples who people who aren’t hateful is No Perfect People. It’s a good,interesting read.

    And now my wall of text is about to crit.

    • Gonemadd says:

      It’s unfortunate that your eyes glazed over half way through; there was a lot of good material in the rest of the article. I disagree with you about how loving your neighbor and banning gay marriage are not mutually exclusive. People justify taking civil rights away with unfounded religious beliefs and it helps them sleep at night to say “Oh I love ‘those’ people, but God forbid they be treated as an equal to me!” A similar example would be how religious leaders preached the immorality of a white people sharing a restroom with black people. Sure we love them, but God forbid they have the same rights. There are many more examples with civil rights in the 60’s and 70’s. But if your still stuck on taking everything in the Bible literally because your preacher, priest, shaman, etc. told you to, here are some rules you might want to pay attention to:
      DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21
      If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately.
      DEUTERONOMY 22:22
      If a married person has sex with someone else’s husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death.
      LEVITICUS 18:19
      The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman’s period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.

      If those don’t sound appealing then open your eyes and visit this site: http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian

  20. Tsudrats says:

    BBB, I agree whole heartedly with you and your post.

    How can I, merely human, assume that I know and understand what God believes and values when we struggle to determine the theological from cultural truths?

    • Tsudrats says:

      Xlade – thankfully in giving that inch we’ve also come to understand that a lot of marriages were, and continue to be, not worth the paper they were written on and that the state of marriage is about the nature of the relationship between two people rather than an exclusive entitlement of those in the community defined as right.

      Sorry to disagree with you but as you see, I’m fairly strongly in agreement with BBB.

  21. Eb says:

    Hey 3B,

    I admire the post. I’m a centrist Canadian (likely left-of-centre for most of the states), a moderately involved/supportive heterosexual gay-rights activist and an atheist. Still, I imagine you and I could have a beer/coffee to mull over most subjects in good spirits.

    This just reaffirms what I think about people: Good people are good, douchebags are douchebags. Thanks for being a good one.

  22. Kemonojin says:

    No long detailed post from me. Just wanted to say nice one, ThreeB. And thanks to whoever posted the link to the ‘Look at the bible and homosexuality’, whose name I can’t find now. (Long night. :P )

  23. Haley says:

    You did this post so well. Thank you for writing what was on your mind. I just found your blog because I was looking for a nice Druid blog. I came across an unexpected surprise. I’m going to go read some more!

    I completely agree with all you said. God Bless. <3

  24. BR says:

    Gay marriage isn’t about religion or morality, it’s about money.

  25. mickey says:

    great post!

  26. Pradzha says:

    Thank you for this post. From a fellow Minnesotan, a veteran, a patriot, a nerd, and a gay man that would like the chance to someday be married to the man he loves and wants to grow old with. Thank you.

  27. Calaxandra says:

    What does it mean to love your neighbor though? If my neighbor has a gas leak, but he has a cold and cannot smell it and I don’t tell him for fear that he might ridicule me or think I’m an idiot…doesn’t that mean that I hate him if I allow him to die? Not a great analogy, I know. I’m not that good with words personally.

    As a follower of Christ, we’re supposed to love our neighbors yes. And part of loving them is wanting them to know the same love and forgiveness that I know in Christ. It doesn’t matter what they need forgiveness for, that is between them and God. To God, all sins are equal except for grieving the Holy Spirit. We are not to judge…period. But we are also not to call that which is evil, good and we’re supposed to speak the truth in love. The truth is, God loved every person in this world so much that he sent his son to die for us, to save us. It’s up to each individual person in this world to either accept the free gift and live forever or reject it and die forever. God places the choice of life or death before us, he wants us all to choose life. But he also sadly knows that not everyone will.

    Is not labelling a person’s belief in the bible as the inspired word of God, hatred, bigotry and intolerance, in and of itself…hatred, bigotry and intolerance?

  28. Alicia says:

    I think you said that quite well and there’s nothing wrong with your ability to express yourself. I’ve read your blog for a long time and this is the day I decided to say hello to you, the person. If people like you and me start saying what we think instead of thinking, “it won’t make a difference anyway” we will make a difference. I have said the same thing to myself before, and it’s easy to sit back and philosophies when it isn’t your life being affected.

    You’re a good writer and a thoughtful person, that is a powerful combination.

  29. Nurowyn says:

    This fight will be won in time, BBB, in small steps for sure, but maybe even sooner than we’d hoped.

    When this was first on the ballot in California I talked with my parents about it. NoOn8 (the CA bill) is the only political cause to which I have ever given money, so I thought it was important to talk to them about my reasons. I talked with my dad about it especially, a guy who used to joke he was just to the right of Oliver North. Initially he was going to vote to ban gay marriage, but after we talked, he thought about it some more and changed his mind. Getting my dad to change his mind about anything is a pretty big feat, so I have hope!

    It sounds like you might still be a bit steamed about the whole issue. I think you’re absolutely right that it would have been unnecessarily inflammatory to get up in front of your congregation, but if you still feel like you should do something, perhaps you have a church friend or two with whom you’d feel comfortable discussing this?

  30. Whig says:

    Great post. I respect your hesitation to post this in a gaming blog, but sometimes cross-pollination is the best way to reach people who might otherwise not consider a new viewpoint.

    Now what about this move to legalize combat between westfall chickens? Isn’t it just a slippery slope to full on mount combat?

  31. Reel says:

    Amazing post! I love this, thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  32. Kauket says:

    I sympathize with you here, BBB, but several times you say, “I’ve never felt so powerless.” To that I must reply: No, you’re wrong. You are making the choice to allow others to render you powerless.

    It’s never easy to go against the leadership and apparent majority of a community, but there are likely others who feel as you do, who would appreciate someone being brave enough to be the voice that says, “This amendment is evil and the church’s stance on it is wrong.” Doctrine of infallibility aside, the Catholic Church has occasionally admitted it’s wrong. Now it did take nearly 400 years in the case of Galileo, but an apology was finally extended there.

    Minds and institutions can change, but only if change is demanded. You say you don’t want to cause conflict and pain, but you are obviously in conflict and pain yourself. Why are your feeling less valid than those of others? Ultimately, there may be no reconciliation here. But again, you are not powerless. You can leave a community that is wrong and will not change. That way, when your pastor reports to Archbishop Nienstedt, he cannot say, “I have 100 congregants who support this amendment.” Instead he must report, “I have 80 congregants who support the amendment, 17 who are in doubt, and 3 who departed because they felt our position was unchristian.”

    Hopefully, the message will take fewer than four centuries to get across.

  33. Pat Oliver says:

    Well said. I am a married, white, practising catholic and I struggle with this stuff.

  34. [...] that’s happened but that’s not my point. Yes! I really do have a point. A while ago Big Bear Butt had a post about hatred in America. I loved what he had to say and the response it [...]

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