Friday, February 17, 2012

Honesty, Faith & Confusion

Hey Humble Readers...

I have struggled with this post for a long time.  I've started writing it many times over the past couple of years, and I know that in writing it now, I may lose followers and will most likely get flamed. 

The crazy thing is, the whole impetus behind this post was a stupid Jac.k in the B.ox commercial.  That 'Marry Bacon' commercial.  Have you seen it?  Basically it's a guy who is planning a wedding with, and eventually marrying a piece of bacon. 

And it pisses me off.  And when I thought about why it pissed me off, I confess I was surprised. 

I haven't written about where I stand on gay marraige, for many reasons, but primarily because I still struggle with where I actually stand on it.  In the simplest terms, my heart says one thing and my faith says another.  And from my experience, and in reading other bloggers who have discussed this subject, there doesn't seem to be room for those of us who are caught in the grey area. 

Earlier this week, I caught a news story on a Seattle tv news program that was talking about how Washington state is one step closer to allowing same sex marraiges, and I was very happy for several college friends who I know will be celebrating this step for very personal reasons. 

Should anyone be told who they should and shouldn't love?  Absolutely not.  Should someone's sexual orientation determine whether or not they are allowed to build their family?  No. 

Everyone has the right to determine who their family is... not the government, not the church, not the loudest voice screaming on the streetcorner. 

What I struggle with is how I rectify my faith with what I feel is right.  If you've been around here for even a little while, I think you know that my faith in God is a large part of who I am.  To my understanding, the Bible is pretty clear on the issue.  Marraige is between a man and a woman.  At the same time, the Bible also tells us that sin is anything that separates us from the love of God, and hate & judgement are sinful.  And no sin is greater than another.  Sin is sin is sin.

Which is right?  Which is wrong?  Does it have to be an either/or situation? 

This is where I sit...

So why did that burger joint commercial piss me off so much?  Simple... it makes light of a subject that is in no way trivial, it doesn't matter where you are in your understanding of it.  I can see both sides, and that commercial just pokes fun at the whole situation.  And that's just not right.


  1. I haven't seen this commercial but it just sounds dumb. Marrying *bacon*??

    One thing I don't discuss on my blog is religion/faith because I have no idea where I stand on it. Do I believe in God because I actually believe in God or because I was told that I should as a child? Is there only 1 God? Maybe its the same God but different faiths call him/her different thing? These are just some questions I have. Believe me, I do not look forward to the day when I have to try and explain some of these things to Ruby.....ugh.

    Thank you for being honest about your opinion. Hopefully other readers will respect you enough to continue following you on your journey.

    1. Thanks for your response. I was really very nervous about posting this.

      The subject is such a hot button issue, that it seems if you don't have a clear opinion one way or the other then you are considered naive or an idiot. I have struggled with this for a long time, and I'm still no closer to being certain of where I stand.

      The thing that sustains me... faith doesn't mean having all the answers. It means believing that God does, and in his time I might understand.

  2. It was the final line, "You may eat the bride" that pissed me off. I do think that commercial makes light of marriage, which is bad, in a time where marriages are so disposable.

    Actually, I think most celebrities and their disposable marriages do more to undermine the institution than any commercial or the fact that two people who happen to have the same set of genitalia and want to tie the knot ever did.

    Just my $0.02 and I accept other people's feelings and belief on the subject.

    1. I agree... both that the last line in that commercial is awful and that celebrities like Kim Kardashian have cheapened the institution of marraige more than same sex marraige ever will.

      Thank you for sharing your opinion.

  3. OMG, I hate that commercial too...mostly because it's just so lame. But, I see your point.

    I rarely talk about religion on my blog, or politics. And I admire you for writing this post.

    I have many LGBT friends, most of whom have been in more stable relationships than many of my straight friends...even if they haven't been able to be married.

    One of my lesbian friends has been with her partner since high school! Seriously. They have been together for close to 17 years. They have one of the most loving, happy, stable relationships I have ever seen. Why shouldn't they be allowed to marry?

    I agree with Jem...celebrities/sports stars do so much in the way of cheapening marriage and the institution. Why are we, as a society, are so concerned with WHO gets married? Shouldn't we more concerned with what kind of marriage it is (i.e.,loving, stable)?

    1. I agree... a friend of mine has been in a very long term same sex relationship, and from what I have seen, it is a very loving and stable relationship. I have seen extremes on both sides (long term relationships vs. disposable relationships) and I think it's more about how we love, rather than who we love.

      My continued struggle with this issue is where the Church fits into the picture and how I, as a woman of faith, can uphold the fundamentals of what I believe and what I believe to be right (does that make any sense at all?).

  4. I really liked what Jem said about making light of marriages in general. It is so true. I am 30 years old and can think of at least five of my friends who are divorced now, most for very good reason. As for gay marriage, you already know about my SIL and her wife and their baby, and I'm fine with it. But I get what you mean about the religious aspect. I attend United Church so they tend to Be more open and not so judging. I figure if people are in love and happy and have a healthy relationship then who am I to say anything different? It is not my job or place to judge them. I also have lesbian friends who are having a baby at the same time I'm due and couldn't be happier for them. The times they are a changing and we need to change with them too. :) Great post Mrs. G! No lost readership here. :)

    1. Thanks for your response and support. I really was scared that I would offend people with my wishy-washy-I-don't-know mindset.

  5. I remember hating a Jack in the Box ad on the radio a few years back because it was incredibly mysoginistic, but I no longer recall exactly how.

    My thoughts on this matter are that I believe people should be able to get a civil marriage, a religious marriage, or both, depending on what they want. Marriage as recognized by the state should be a civil, nonreligious affair, and it should be accorded to any two people who want to get married. In all honesty, I'm not sure I believe in civil marriage at all, because I think it's a bit unfair to single people, but that's probably another topic. Religious marriages should only matter within your church, and churches should get to decide who they provide a marriage for. A church is a belief system, and people can choose the church they want based on their own beliefs. Civil marriages, on the other hand, should be allowed for everyone, and should only be relevant for legal purposes. Separation of church and state and all that. I actually have no problem with polygamy either, as long as it is truly consensual by all parties involved. My requirements for marriage would simply be that the parties are all human, of age, and freely consenting to the marriage.

    My husband didn't believe in marriage, and quite honestly, I've gotten to the point where I agree that it's just a piece of paper, but we have an international marriage and I worried about our families and our children and the consequences, so it was important to me to get married. We are not religious, so I didn't feel a church should be involved.

    1. Thank you so much for responding...

      In many ways I agree with you, and really, the Bible does too. Jesus said, "Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's" (he said it regarding taxes, but the basic gist is that we are to follow the laws of the land). And I agree whole-heartedly that the Church should not be forced to bless unions that are outside it's belief system. (In Canada, if a pastor refuses to perform a same-sex marraige, and doesn't have the backing of his/her larger church body in the way of formal constitutional statements, they can be sued or theoretically even arrested for perpetrating a hate crime.)

      Maybe something I should look into is how other religions handle this issue. How have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc responded to this cultural phenomenon? I know that fundamentalist Christians have been the most outspoken against it, but I am curious if it's even an issue for other religions.

  6. This is a tough topic to talk about openly. My take on reconciling my faith with my perspective on same sex marriage is that ultimately I have to form my own conscience. Yes, that conscience should be informed by my church, but not dictated to it. What this means is that I should think deeply about these issues and try to understand the church's position. But if, in the end, I think the church is missing something or is incomplete, then I have to follow my conscience. While there are many lines in the Bible about homesexuality, it is also clear to me now that sexual orientation is not a choice. And my faith also tells me that we need to value people for who they are and let them fulfill who they are.

  7. I think you can reconcile your faith with your feelings in that your church doesn't have to recognize the marriages, but the law does. Civil rights shouldn't be determined by any specific religion, but if a church doesn't want to marry a couple, they don't have to.

    Congrats on baby number 2! I've been gone from the blogging world for a while, but followed you before and through the first pregnancy. I hope I will get pregnancy again too!

  8. Our faith is rather wishy-washy on gay marriage, in an attempt to please everyone. It bothers me that as clergy, DH could bless a civil marriage but couldn't perform the sacrament of marriage for our gay friends. I've struggled with being part of a faith that doesn't take a firmer stand on this issue. That being said, I wouldn't want to leave our faith and the centuries of tradition to the few that are uncomfortable with gay marriage. I think the move towards equality is happening and the only way it will happen in a positive way is if we are part of the change. Great post!

  9. Honestly, your stance is perfectly fine with me. You are being thoughtful and mindful and struggling with religion which is something many of us do. {{{Hugs}}} to you and kudos on your bravery in sharing this.

  10. Way to go on being so open and honest about this. Again, as most of the rest of your commenters, I have refrained from posting items about gay marriage on my blog. Not because I don't have a stance about it, but because my stance is not a popular one...and the fact that my sister is a lesbian (and is currently in a very stable,l loving relationship with a wonderful woman) and often reads my blog.
    Now, that being said, do I believe that the government should be able to say whom can and cannot be in a committed relationship? No. Do I believe that same-sex couples in long-term, committed relationships should have all protection under the law that heterosexual married couples do? Absolutely. I believe they should have all the rights and responsibilities of a hetero married couple (health benefits, life insurance beneficiary benefits, social security and retirement benefits, visiting benefits in hospitals, etc.).
    What I do NOT believe is that same-sex partnerships should be called "marriage".
    My faith, personal beliefs, and the Bible clearly state that marriage is a gift from God created for the union of ONE man and ONE woman. It is a sacrament. It is Holy. It is consecrated and blessed by God and intended to stand apart from any other type of relationship.
    Now, I do believe if they so choose, same-sex couples should be allowed to legally join themselves to another person through a civil union. (Honestly, most of the gay couples I know aren't religious anyway, so why would they want a religious ceremony?) I believe those civil unions should be protected and that if the couple splits, they should have to go through divorce proceedings just like a hetero couple. If they want the benefits, they would have to go through the same steps as a hetero marriage to dissolve the union.
    It also irks me to hear gay couples refer to their partners as "wives" or "husbands" or "spouses". Why? I'm not sure. I believe they (gay couples) should be allowed to cleave their lives together in whatever way shape or form works for them, but in my mind and my heart...the word and ideal of MARRIAGE is between one man and one woman, created and sanctified by God.

  11. It should go without saying that no offense was intended with the stating of my beliefs and opinions. I make no apologies for my beliefs, but I certainly don't mean to offend anyone by putting them here.


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