Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I'm Anti-Anti-Pro-Anti-Gay Marriage -- and I Think You Should Be Too

Krista and I like to talk politics sometimes. Luckily, we're not the arguing type, so it's always civil -- though I suppose it's always civil regardless based on the lieu of our tete-a-tetes. Krista is against the legalization of gay marriage, because she believes it's wrong. She doesn't have any fancy political references or memorized statistics or even memorized scriptures on the subject, she just believes it's wrong and so, by her own logic she is opposed to it. It is from conversations with her and others, and especially observing her while I am involved in conversations with others about gay marriage, that I have decided my position on gay marriage: I am anti-anti-pro-anti-gay marriage -- and I think you should be too.

Just gonna break this down real quick here, with my definitions of things:

Anti-gay marriage: 
     Someone who is opposed to the legalization of gay marriage.
Pro-anti gay marriage: 
     Someone who is sufficiently opposed to support the efforts of the opposition.
Anti-pro-anti gay marriage: 
     Someone who gets angry with or is upset with those who support the opposition.
Anti-anti-pro-anti gay marriage: 
     Not a big fan of those guys.

I remember sitting on my front lawn as my landlords went about the process of selling off any excess mortal trappings in order to prepare to move out west and begin their adventures in dentistry. Soon, there would be a vote to decide whether or not gay marriage would be legal in our empire state, and so naturally we discussed it. As we discussed our logic and reason and engaged in the oh so subtle mamba of political opinionating, Krista sat by my side, meek as usual.

Most people notice that Krista doesn't say much. It's a big concern for me, a big talker, who has a history of talking over others. I've tried to get her to speak up in group conversations, but she isn't a big fan. (She will kick me in the leg if I'm talking too much, which helps.) I've tried to coerce her into conversation, but she speaks if and only if she feels like she has something to say. I love that about her. When in a conversation with people, if Krista says something, listen closely. It has been filtered carefully.

So as we sat there discussing over lemonade on the warm lawn, Krista was suddenly, unexpectedly, and I'm guessing involuntarily, thrust into the conversation when Dave leans in and says "So, Krista, what do you think?" Dave's a nice guy, he likes hearing others opinions. Possibly caught off-guard, Krista shared her sincere and ungarnished opinion, because that's how she rolls: "Well, I'm against gay marriage, because I think it's wrong."

A momentary silence. Like responding with "Hai, shnorhakalutyun" to "Would you like cheese with that?" Krista had broken into this sophisticated intellectual debate speaking a whole different language: religious belief. Of course, Krista had just answered the question with her beautiful honesty, she did not know that her language would not be embraced here.

Krista made a bold choice, one which is surprisingly unpopular in a land of religious freedom. She decided to vote based on her religion. And that doesn't mean she voted according to the Mormon church, or that all Mormons will vote the same way - it means that from her personal relationship with God she had found a belief, and she was going to vote in a way that expressed that belief. Sadly, nowadays, I have seen that if you vote by your religion, and the only true reason you have for voting is the beliefs of your heart, you are considered ignorant or bigoted.

Ironically, that is ignorant and bigoted.

I believe voting according to your religious beliefs should be applauded.

Our upstairs friends went out searching for understanding of legal reasoning or implications, but Krista had taken her reasoning from a different place, a deeper place for her. Sadly, she was engaged in an uphill battle, because somebody had ruined the option of religious reasons for legal opinions long before she arrived on the scene: King Richard the Lionheart.

Alright, he probably wasn't the first, but he is an example: After instances like the Crusades, the suppression of scientific progress, and Bible hoarding, the renaissance happened, and nowadays artsy hipsters are convinced that religious involvement holds people back.

I can't really blame them. In the past 2 thousand years, man has caused a lot of hiccups in the name of religion. Of course, what man was doing in the name of religion, and what religion is to each individual, can often reveal themselves to be two very different things.

I'm a Christian man. I'm Mormon. I read the Bible. I read the Book of Mormon. Christ taught some interesting doctrine, and some tough pills to swallow. One of the toughest seems to be the commandment to do two things in conjunction: Loving God with all your heart by keeping his rules and trying to invite others to do the same, and loving other people no matter what their individual beliefs or decisions may be. Doing either one -- at least superficially -- becomes much easier if you can throw out the other. We all know people who 'love God' so much they get a little too aggressive in spreading what they consider 'his word.' Of course, there's also not much value in the ability to love everyone if you do so while ignoring every other rule God set out for you. So, how to do both? I'm no paragon of virtue, but there's something we're trying.

Yes, I'm religiously opposed to any sex outside of the marriage of a man and a woman, (note that that doesn't just include homosexuality) but there's a long list of people I love and care about deeply who had sex before marriage, are doing so now, and do so with people of either gender. On that same note, I'm religiously opposed to drinking, gambling, smoking, and so forth. If you cut out all my friends who do any of those things, I'd have no friends (well, not no friends, but far fewer), and I don't want to do that, because my friends rock and I love them. I believe they are all trying to be better people, and so am I, and together we get there faster than alone.

If it comes to a vote, I'd vote against gay marriage, along with other things I've mentioned and many more that I do think civilization is better without, because of my religion. Many of my friends would probably vote the other way, and I would respect the results of that vote, and my feelings for my friends wouldn't change much and, knowing them, I don't think theirs would for me either. Because we're all just trying, and voting according to your personal beliefs is OK, even if the only reason is after your heart-felt search for truth, these are the beliefs you found. At least I think so.