Tuesday, November 4, 2008

To My Consevative Christian Friends

Yesterday, I saw someone holding a sign that read, "Keep marriage sacred! Vote Yes on Prop 8". At first, I couldn't identify why this sign bugged me so much. But then today I saw on the Travel Channel, a show called, "10 Most Extreme Halloween Destinations". It was destination number 9 that triggered my anger on the whole "yes on 8" thing. Apparently in Vegas, you can get married by a guy dressed like the grim reaper. So on this show, we had the honor of witnessing a couple taking part in this "one man, one woman" ceremony - only the woman had fangs and blood painted on the side of her mouth and the man was wearing this ridiculous demon, pagan goat mask. We had the privilege of hearing them both say, "I do." Her, through her fangs and him, through his muffled foam rubber mask. That's when it really hit me: why are conservative Christians saying, "Marriage is sacred, and only for a man and a woman" when we have the aforementioned absurdities taking place. If conservatives want to preserve marriage, why not focus attention on the idiots that are literally mocking the word “marriage”? If everything I saw on the Travel Channel is true, don't you think the sanctity of the word marriage was lost a long time ago?

Here's another angle. Conservative Christians don't own the word, "marriage". Before you get too mad at me, just think about it for a second. It's a word - you have your definition and other people have theirs. If you're still angry, then think about these words. Prayer. Meditation. Fasting. These words have a very particular meaning in Christian circles but can take on substantially different definitions in non-Christian circles. Most people who use these words accept the fact that their shared meaning of the word is just that-their shared meaning. We can all acknowledge that other circles use these same words but don’t share the specifics of the meaning. Most conservative Christians would agree that “prayer” is communicating with the One God that created the universe. If someone from another religion uses the word, “prayer”, no one would say, “Hey! Don’t use that word! It’s ours!” It’s just accepted that lots of people use the word differently. Also, with the word “meditation” in common use in Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, New Age, Sikhism, Taoism, and the Baha i Faith we find a wide scope of meaning. When Christians use this word, it describes a state of intense focus things spiritual. But for many other religions, it’s a state of almost removing one’s mind from the body to an elevated consciousness. Again, with this word, we accept that it has multiple definitions from circle to circle. “Fasting” is a word used in religious and secular circles alike. In fact, it’s a word that has become so watered-down that it’s almost synonymous with dieting. When the word, fasting is used in the Bible, it’s an action for the specific reason of drawing nearer to God – either with a request or repentance. Is anyone angry that the word fasting has lost this definition?

This post is much longer than I originally intended and for that I am sorry. I’m also sorry that today is Election Day so most Californians reading this have already voted (or not voted). My intent in writing this is not to sway voters but to express some of my thoughts on the issue. Hopefully as a conservative Christian, you consider the Christian part of that title more important than the conservative part (if you don’t, than I’m not talking to you). What made Jesus happy? What made Jesus angry? What did Jesus say was most important?

I would love to hear what you think about all this.