Thursday, 23 April 2009

BEDA 23 - The things people say

I took a few pictures when I got home this evening. Spring is such a beautiful time for photography :)

Unfortunately, these pictures have little to do with what I'd like to talk to you about today. And that is a topic of heated debate. And has been for quite some time. It's especially current due to what a certain beauty pageant contestant said on the show.

I guess you already know what this is about. It's about gay "marriage". It's about equality. But most of all and most importantly, it is about... religion and the separation of church and state.

I haven't said a lot about these topics in the last months and I'll try to be brief today. What Ms California said is that she loves to live in a country where you can choose. You can choose same-sex marriage and you can choose "opposite" marriage and she believes that marriage should always be between a man and a woman.

I won't even go into the fact that she's believing in a God that promotes inequality. It surely is not the same God that I believe in. The thing is that she's not even answering the question that was given to her. When asked if she thinks gay marriage should be legal, she says that she believes it shouldn't. And there we have the problem. She is asked if it should be "legal" and she says that she "believes" otherwise.

The separation of church and state was a very necessary move, because it allows for people of different beliefs to live together on common ground with the same law, the same legal basis. It doesn't matter that in hinduism it's not allowed to kill a cow, it is still done to get food in most western countries. It is not allowed in Judaism to work on the sabbath, it's still legal in most western countries. That is because we have decided that it shouldn't matter what people believe, all should be able to live in a state that governs based on laws passed by people.

I know that there are still some states that have connections between church and state. Turkey and Israel come to mind, but in our civilised and "enlightened" age, we should progress past all of this.

Now there are people who say that the laws in western civilisations are based on the bible and that it tells us morally what is right and wrong. That is bulls---. The thing is that common sense and decency tells us what's right. Treat others with respect. Love each other. Don't kill, steal, etc are a given. Because the bible tells us many strange things like sell your daughters to slavery. Bible believers say that you have to read carefully and judge what is meant like it's written and what's not. Well, there you have it. We have our own built-in compass and we use this compass, these innate ethics to judge what's right or wrong. Not the bible, or Coran, or Tora.

I don't diss the bible, mind you. There are passages that are pure poetry. Many can help you govern your life. Some might inspire you to believe, it's all up to you. But a state should not adhere to laws written down in an age that's as far from us as the pyramids.

These things go through my head when I hear someone say "I believe it's wrong, so it should be illegal". I just want to slap them and say "well, just believe that I didn't just slap you, maybe it helps".

I have been thinking about these issues for over 10 years now and I still don't understand many of the factors, though I do understand some of them. It is a very very complicated issue and has to be handled delicately and with caution.

One last point. When the people against same-sex marriage argue, they say that if same-sex marriage is legal, what's next? Polygamy? And that's where I stopped to think... if you follow through, polygamy would be a possibility, but in my opinion only between same-sex couples/triples... because marriage is about balance and about power. If one guy marries 2 women, there is obviously a dysbalance of power. The 2 women have to share the one guy, which dimeans them as second class. Now if 3 guys married, that would be different. But you see... if you can comprehend that theoretically one person could love 2 people equally... you would be in an ethical dilemma.

I could write on and on about this topic, but it would be more for me than for my readers. I hope you take care and don't let the worries of the world hunt you down.


If you find yourself caught in love
Say a prayer to the man above
Thank him for everything you know
You should thank him for every breath you blow
If you find yourself caught in love
Say a prayer to the man above
Thank him for every day you pass
You should Thank him for saving your sorry ass
If you’re single, but looking out
You must raise your prayer to a shout
Another partner must be found
Someone to take your life beyond
Another TV “I Love 1999”
Just one more box of cheapo wine
If you find yourself caught in love
say a prayer to the man above
But If you don’t listen to the voices then my friend
You’ll soon run out of choices
What a pity it would be
You talk of freedom don’t you see
The only freedom that you’ll ever really know
Is written in books from long ago
Give up your will to Him that loves you
Things will change, I’m not saying overnight
You’ve gotta start somewhere
Start by kidding on you care
If you find yourself out of love
Shed a tear for the one you love
Tell your boss that you’ve gone away
Down your tools for a holiday
But If you’re going off to war then I wish you well
But don’t be sore
If I cheer the other team
Killing people’s not my scene
I prefer to give the inhabitants a say
Before you blow their town away
I like to watch them play
I like to marvel at the random beauty of a simple village girl
Why should she be the one who’s killed?

If you find yourself caught in love...


Ingrid said...

Very well said. I tried to formulate an eloquent reply, but couldn't manage, so I'll just say that I agree. And love that song!

The Book Monkey said...

I support separation of Church and State, and I support this post!