Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

See the link to the video here.

(Thanks to Eileen for the link. Hint: Don't throw up at the beginning, stick with it till the end and you'll "get it." I apologize for not being able to figure out the embedding but I kept getting a "double screen" and I am not an HTML wonk. Deal with it.)

I have, in my usual Midwestern fashion, kept respectfully quiet during the elections. I am not much into election emoticon-ing although I have strong political feelings. Maybe that is because I have seen more friendships dissolve on Election day than any other. I saw some of my students de-friend each other on Facebook this year. I saw two colleagues almost come to blows a couple of decades ago, as well as two of my high school teachers way back in the 1976 elections. I learned from those experiences that no election is worth near violence. Hell, one of the things I am proudest of is that in America, despite our vitriol and rhetoric, you don't see in the news the next day that mass casualties occurred because of an election like in some countries. (Not to mention the same over soccer matches!)

I also work in a field that is 100% referral. My politics are the minority in my field. Another great reason to be a silent supporter.

But what I've also found is a few weeks after the election, when things are quieter, is the best time to provoke thought...and here is my thought about the defeat of Prop 8 in California...

I wonder how many people voted "Yes" who are on their second or third or Godonlyknows what number of serial marriages. I wonder how many people who are not married, and as my late grandmother used to say, "Just shackin' up" voted yes. I wonder how many never married single parents voted yes. Then I just shake my head and say, "What the hell kind of disconnect is that?"

I have a heretical thought problem. Every time I hear someone use the phrase "sanctity of marriage" I start thinking of people being married in Las Vegas by an Elvis impersonator, or one of my own cousin's Las Vegas wedding, where they chose the particular chapel they used "because that's where Jon Bon Jovi got married." If I could be dictator, anyone who ever uttered the words "sanctity of marriage" in the frame of defending traditional marriage would be taken out and microphone-whipped silly by a circle of Elvis impersonators.

I think about how every time we have a baptism in our church, we affirm time and time again, that we will "seek and serve Christ in all persons," and "strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being." Ok, let's think about that one a minute.

Why is it so hard to get over this little issue of two men or two women living together in the same house, declaring each other on their taxes, wanting death and retirement benefits for each other, or rearing children together? Is it simply, as Louie Crew likes to say, "The ick factor?" Ok, fine. I cannot picture myself in a same sex relationship. It just doesn't look like my idea of fun. I don't have a problem with other people but hey, "it ain't me." But it doesn't seem like much fun to me to be in a heterosexual marriage where you play that jackbooted dominatrix stuff, or tie each other to the bed, or play those "mommy/daddy" sex games either. I find those pretty icky too, when I imagine myself in those relationships. More icky, in fact, than the same sex sexual thoughts, actually. But there are plenty of married people who play that one and are not talking.

Ok, I find promiscuity pretty creepy too. Probably because I know too much about sexually transmitted infections. Love is temporary, herpes is forever, ya know? In the AIDS era, we castigated homosexuals for promiscuity. But we wouldn't let them have legal monogamous relationships with inheritance and benefits and legal custody of children and all the things heterosexual things take for granted. Oh, and heterosexuals are never promiscuous, right? (BIG eye roll.) Again, "Ain't that a hell of a disconnect here?"

This is just my opinion, and take it for the .02 it is worth, but I think a lot of it has to do when we lumped the word "marriage" into having both sacramental and secular connotations. Somewhere, particularly in the 19th century, we solidified the whole civil business of "marriage." Although laws on marriage certainly existed before then, pioneer America was full of people shackin' up without benefit of either clergy or courthouse, and in the eyes of most they were still "married." But it became legally expedient for the purposes of inheritance and estate distribution to have clean legal lines and titles for things, and the notion of "marriage licenses" became the norm. Religion should have never allowed the courthouse to co-opt the word "marriage."

I think about how much different this stuff all might have been if courthouses had simply allowed legal partnerships, be they man-woman, man-man, or woman-woman. Hell, colonial Massachussetts had the "Boston marriage" because they recognized that widows, in particular, were pretty devoid of property and inheritance rights. (And truthfully, if Utah had wanted to allow plural combinations of the above, it would have been fine with me. Anyone man or woman enough to withstand MULTIPLE legal spouses has my respect and sympathy!)

As long as there are different religions, there will never be agreement on ANY of the sacraments, whether they be the Eucharist, baptism, or marriage. Hell, we can't even agree on sprinkling or dunking! It would have been soooooo much easier if churches could call the shots on the sacrament of marriage for their church and the government stayed out of it. The libertarian overtones in me just don't see a problem here. Fine if church of the living XYZ wants to make marriage "one man, one woman". I don't give a rat's ass. Also, if churches want to get a case of the schismatics about it, I can't stop them. But all the government should care about is collecting taxes and distributing stuff to heirs, and splitting stuff up in the case of cohabitating adults. Imposing one set of church definitions on the goverment sounds like blackmail to me, and I find blackmail ickier than fantasizing about same sex relationships, personally.

Big sigh.

7 comments:

Clear thinking and plain talking. Good post.

I wonder how many people voted "Yes" who are on their second or third or Godonlyknows what number of serial marriages. I wonder how many people who are not married, and as my late grandmother used to say, "Just shackin' up" voted yes. I wonder how many never married single parents voted yes. Then I just shake my head and say, "What the hell kind of disconnect is that?"

Excellent points my friend about the vow-breakers and the fornicators!

Except, of course, we all know that if only all those men and women weren't marrying the "wrong" sex, they'd be free to marry the "right" one! So surely, by preventing same-sex marriage, we are ensuring that true soul mates can find one another and enter into heterosexual marriages, where they will live happily ever after in a Godly way, and there will be no more divorces or fornicating.

Oh, wait...

Doxy

Amen, sister. When someone told me that gay marriage harmed regular marriage, I used myself, on my third marriage and totally uninfluenced by LGBT folks and their marriages as a reason that could not be. My own marriages are much more harmful, if any are, than my LGBT brothers and sisters.

I agree--some can't get past the ick factor when they conjure up themselves with a person of the same sex. Get over it! This world is so hard--let people who love each other do just that, damn it.

Brava, what an outstanding post.

As for sacraments - there is a teeny bit o' agreement, really. Click here.

But you are so right about not even able to agree on dunking or dripping.

Deep sigh.

I wish the church would stay out of it and the state would just deal with it - justly.

I know, I know...

Applauds you, Kirk.

It's fubar..that's for sure.

Thanks for these eirenic thoughts.
My parallel post is at
http://www.liturgy.co.nz/blog/proposition-8/173

Nice parallel, Bosco. Yours is the "erudite clergy" person version, and mine is the "sittin' with your friends over a beer" version!

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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