Same-sex marriage: Staying out of God's way

In response to my op-ed on marriage below, in which I suggest that one reason conservatives oppose same-sex marriage is because it threatens the to undermine the power of the patriarchy (go read it), commenter Russ writes the following:

Marriage was created by God and He alone has the authority to define it.

Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

The scripture that Russ appropriates comes from Matthew 19:4-6. The backstory is that Jesus is answering the Pharisees’ famous question on tying the knot: “Can two dudes get married?”

Actually, as some of you may know, the topic at hand is about heterosexual divorce, not gay marriage, though it sure would be convenient for Russ and others if Jesus actually did take sides on this issue. But this is what I want to get at here (extracted from my response to Russ’ comment):

As Jesus warns us above, I certainly do not advocate the separation of those whom God has joined together. To the contrary, this is precisely why I advocate marriage for committed gay and lesbian couples. Who are humans, or even government, to stand in the way?

We need to remember that there is more criteria to the Christian marriage ethic than simply whether there is one man and one woman. For example, a marriage predicated on abuse or destructive behavior is not God-ordained. We need to open up to the possibility that God is calling us to unite not only in terms of gender, but perhaps more relevantly, in terms of a relationship that is spiritually fulfilling, mutual, monogamous and wholesome. I know many gay and lesbian Christians whose relationships meet the criteria of the Christian marriage ethic as well or better than many straight couples I know.

Finally, we need to stop assuming that God is somehow in error in creating people to be gay or lesbian. Who are we to question God’s creation, simply because aspects of it transcend our understanding? To be sure: we need to address sin where we encounter it, but the biological fact of sexual orientation is no sin–and it’s not an accident! Humans need to get out of the way and embrace that which the Creator has made good.

For more on this, see Acts 10:9-29.

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Mike Huckabee: Disingenuous

Republican Mike Huckabee has apparently convinced himself that either (a) everybody else is stupid or (b) nobody cares if he lies.

At issue is his crazy denial that his feel-good Christmas television ad, in which he shamelessly exploits his Christianity, intended to show a giant, glowing, white cross in the background–that even moves through the screen during the commercial. (You be the judge. It ain’t rocket science.)

You decide.Now if, as he claims, this was completely unforeseen, Huckabee should fire his ad people immediately. Visual arts pros that can’t even recognize major Christian iconography? For shame!

On the other hand, some of us moonbats can actually imagine that a freakin’ former Southern Baptist pastor might indulge in a little Christian pandering now and then. You tell me which is the likelier scenario–nobody noticed, or it was intentional?

Here’s the thing: just as with the Spirit Air/MILF stuff down below, I’m not condemning the content of these ads, but the damned lies being told in the cover-up. Especially coming from a (former) man of the cloth, that’s just crappy.

Plus, as a Christian myself, that’s not very courageous. If Huckabee wants to take that route, why not claim the cross proudly, instead of hiding it? It’s not like the absurd denials are helping him save face. Furthermore, I’ll bet some Christian voters think he’s being a little spineless right now–like me, though I’m less concerned about his relationship with God (his business) than his relationship with the truth (America’s business).

Hero Rats! Giant rats! Temple rats!

All God’s critters have a a place in the choir! PBS Frontline has a story in the archives about “Hero Rats,” a program that basically trains and uses Gambian Pouched Rats (or African Giant Pouched Rats) to disarm landmines in Africa.

herorat.jpgBasically, the rat knows how to sniff them out, and is light enough to locate a land mine without setting it off. Then, a human enters the picture and disables the land mine. The accompanying video is really great; go check it out.

giantrat.jpgBut then, just today, there’s an article in the Chicago Tribune about a brand new species of giant rat discovered in an Indonesian jungle(!). Man, I wish I could go there. A tiny type of possum was also discovered, and both animals are thought to be new to science.

Finally, in Deshnoke, India, exists a temple that was constructed as a tribute to the rat goddess, Karni Mata. An estimated 20,000 rats run freely throughout the temple, and their presence is celebrated. People visit the temple in order to pay homage to the rats, who are considered to be human souls reborn. It is considered to be good luck if, while you are visiting, a rat runs across your feet. Check out the video.

It just doesn’t get any better than this. I am a proud advocate of rats. Domestic ones make wonderful pets, particularly females, and especially two together if possible. They are friendly, sociable and intelligent, and contrary to popular belief, are incredibly clean creatures. Clearly, rats have much to offer humanity. Perhaps if Americans understood a little more about our fellow rodents, we could find creative ways to enlist their help as well.

Update: Here is an interview with the founder of the Hero Rats program in Africa.  It’s worth reading.

Congress Assaults Christianity

Apparently having nothing more important to do, Congress decided to pass a dubious resolution that was intended by its main proponent to “honor Christmas and the Christian faith”.

Borrowing on rhetoric from Bill O’Reilly and his allegations of a left-wing “War on Christmas”, due to folks saying “Happy Holidays” in public places instead of “Merry Christmas–seriously–the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Steve King from Iowa, had this to say:

I recognized that we’re a Christian nation founded on Christian principles, and we’re coming up to Christmastime. … It’s time we stood up and said so, and said to the rest of America, Be who you are and be confident. And let’s worship Christ and let’s celebrate Christmas for the right reasons. (source)

picture-3.pngBut if this shameless pandering to the religious right isn’t bad enough, Rep. King has the nerve to go on TV and wag his finger at those who had the courage to stand up to this nonsense.

Well, two can play that game. Now, I’m on TV too (and by “TV,” I mean Youtube). Check it out! (For those of you who can’t get the link to work, or are interested in a synopsis of what I had to say, see below.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Priorities, priorities.

Today President Bush vetoed a spending bill that would provide roughly $150.7 billion to the Departments of Education, Labor, Health, and Human Services. But he signed a spending bill that provides $450.9 billion to the Pentagon.

A little later in the day, without a trace of irony, he gave an economics speech that compared Congress to a “teenager with a new credit card.”

So let me get this straight:

(reckless teenager) = ($$) x (jobs, education, and health care)

(responsible grownup) = ($$$$$$) x (war)

Hmm…most kids I know can figure out what’s wrong with withholding funds for jobs, education and health care while giving half a trillion dollars to the Pentagon. I guess I’d rather have a teenager with a credit card in charge of the national budget than an adult with completely nutty priorities.