July 24, 2005
It seems I’ve really stirred it up this time. Owlish and Robert have both chimed in, after TF Stern offered this post explaining why he believes that society can only function if Christian values are upheld, and thus why it is deplorable that people are breaking God’s laws.
To respond, using the biblical theme of parables, I found a parable that I believe applies closely. Not normally looking to the bible for my parables, I found a source much more consistent with that of my generation, The Simpsons. Conveniently, tonight’s episode was very topical. Titled Home Away From Homer, it chronicles Springfield’s version of TF Stern, Ned Flanders, as he leaves Springfield for the greener pastures of yesteryear.
The summary: Ned is looking to make extra money, and Marge suggests he rent one of the rooms in his house. He chooses two young co-eds who act upset about having to live in dormitories with boys, and proceed to set up the soft-core lesbian porn web site sexyslumberparty.com operating from Ned’s house (real site, owned by Fox, worth checking out). Enraged, he throws them out of his house, and upon finding that the whole town knew about it and was laughing at him behind his back, chooses to move away from Springfield. He leaves for the town of Humbleton, PA, a near-utopia where everyone is happy, moral, and gets along. When there, however, the town requires him to shave his mustache (as with most of these rules, i.e. ‘don’t eat meat on Friday’, no actual justification or reasoning is given). Faced with this mandate, Ned chooses civil disobediance, and is ostracized by the town. He ends up moving back to Springfield, where he is free to be a Christian, and free from intrusion into his personal facial hair choices.
I think this makes an important point. TF, in our society you are free to practice your religion as you see fit, as long as you do not violate the rights of others. And yes, you are free to speak your mind and advise others based upon what you think is right. Although, common decency would require some judicious use of tact whenever criticizing those “deviant carnal members of our society”.
When I stated that I may not be ready for the Brave New World, one in which the vows of marriage no longer contain the affirmation that such was ordained of God, that such is intended to last until the end of days or that such is intended to be a binding of a man and a woman as husband and wife; then the foundation upon which that society is based has been usurped.
But bear in mind, when talking about things like marriage, marriage is a religious arrangement. It just so happens that we also have a civil arrangement, given force by our government, also called marriage. I fully support you and your Church not advocating, supporting, or recognizing same-sex marriages. But I humbly request that you look deep into your soul, and ask yourself whether restricting this legal agreement to heterosexual, monogamous couples is your moral duty or an infringement of personal liberty? You speak of what the “vows” of marriage are? Do you stand before the State and profess those vows, or in front of an altar? We speak in this nation of the separation of church and state, yet any possible thing that changes in governmental laws regarding civil marriage could do to endanger marriage in general is only due to the state being too entwined with religion in the whole matter to begin with.
TF, I understand and accept that you consider all of the behaviors I brought up during that post to be “deviant”. But I caution you that when you grant the power to outlaw that behavior to government, the day may come that someone may compel you to shave your mustache. That will seem just as silly, irrational, and immoral to you as your opposition to same-sex marriage or easy divorces seem to those people who take part in them. Freedom and liberty do not mean that we will not be held to the final judgement of which you speak, but it does mean that it is not our place to make that judgement here on earth.
T. F. Stern's Rantings linked with Made me look like I was 17
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