In Response

My blog pal Kate posted a long comment to one of my previous posts.  Not that leaving a long comment is a bad thing, but I thought it would be better to respond in an actual post than in a comment thread.  So I'm not singling you out, Kate, this was just the easier way to do it.  If you'd like to take the discussion off line, please email me.  I'm always happy to reasonably discuss differences in opinion and viewpoint.  You can always learn something and even if you don't agree at the end or minds are not changed, at least you understand where someone is coming from.  So here goes.

"1. Remember separate, but equal? Didn't really end up so equal, did it? Would you object if you and Ellen were only seen as a Civil Union? I wouldn't like it. Also, if names don't matter, why don't we have a different name for bi-racial marriages, a rich person marrying a poor person, a fat person marrying a thin person? People would balk at this because no one likes to be classified separately from others."

I'm all about fair and equal.  When I said that the "state" shouldn't get involved in marriage, I meant everyone's marriage.  All the government can do is recognize that two people have a legal relationship.  This confers on them certain rights (such as the ability to file joint tax returns).  Even in this case, having this legal relationship does not confer unlimited rights.  My spouse cannot sign legal documents for me without my permission.  Marriage, on the other hand, is a union of the Spirit.  The sacrement of marriage is conferred by the two people upon each other in union with God.  The relationship is now no longer two individuals, but three now bound together as one (God, husband, and wife).  Now, you can make the arguement that not all faiths believe as I do.  Which I completely agree.  Again, that is why we need to take it out of the legal arena.  Two men or two women can certainly enter into a legal relationship if they like.  I, however, am not married because of a piece of paper that I sent to the state of New York.  I'm married because of the vows I took before God and my wife in a solemn sacrament that means a great deal to me.

"2. Everyone has the right to be in the marriage they choose. Although I would like to see marriage strengthened, I'm not sure it's my right. One of the things that I love about our country is the idea of celebrating our differences. You and Ellen get to decide what marriage you are in - one that lasts a lifetime. Josh and I get to decide what marriage we want to be in - again, for a lifetime. However, those that want to get married for 72 months, weeks, years, or even hours have that right too. Some people have an open marriage. Not for me, but I'm sure they wouldn't want to be in my marriage either."

I somewhat agree.  Everyone has the right to be in the RELATIONSHIP they choose.  Not all relationships that are currently called "marriages" are marriages.  You can't tell me that a couple (and you can point to several over the last few years) that gets a legal document signed that says "marriage license" on it and then files for divorce a couple of months later were really married.  They were playing out a fantasy and then real life happened.  A true marriage is a long term relationship.  It requires commitment and work. In the name of equality and fairness we are diluting what should be an institution people look up to into something meaningless and fodder for tabloids.  And a critical component to marriage is exclusivity.  In other words, you are committing yourself to ONE person.  Open marriages are not marriages.  They're legal contracts where people have permission to date others.  Call me old fashioned, but I don't buy it. 

Additionally, let's not confuse rights with priviledges.  As a separate issue, too many people in this country do so.  For example, driving a car is a priviledge, not a right.  You're not entitled to being behind the wheel just because you think you should.  Perhaps being married should become a privilege and not a right.  How much stronger would marriages be if we put some constraints on them, like a minimum waiting period from applying for a "marriage license" and actually getting married?  Or requiring couples to attend something like the pre cana classes Catholics must attend before being married in the Church?  Marriage isn't a fairy tale and we do our children a disservice by telling them it is.  Sure, little girls get to be a princess for a day at their wedding.  But just for ONE DAY.  Happy ever after isn't like in the books.  Happy ever after takes decades of hard damn work.

"Also really agree that there is no "one." I believe there are HUGE repercussions for our kids and our nation because when they grow up and they find a nifty person, they think that person completes them and then when it comes to the hard work it takes to sustain it, they're out because it shouldn't be so tough with their soul mate. Then they do the same thing with another person. I also believe this goes hand-in-hand with wanting a wedding over a marriage, which concerns me.

I would be very interested in your views/perspective on the upcoming election and the 2 front runners or whoever you're supporting. Of course, I'd understand if you don't want to share, but if you don't mind, I would love it!!"

I guess I answered some of this above.  See, we do agree on some things!  As for the election, the whole thing saddens me and I want it to be over already.  I've become very cynical in my older age.  Basically, while Republicans SAY they support family values, their actions don't ring true.  They really support the rich getting richer and every one else is on their own.  I think the Republican track record for the last 30 years speaks for itself.  So I couldn't trust a Republican as far as I could throw them.

However, Democrats disappoint the snot out of me as well.  I'm a big believer in social justice.  While the Catholic bishops say "life issues" (meaning abortion primarily) should be the number one issue we're concerned about, I'm of the opinion social justice is just as important and largely neglected by Catholics specifically and Christians in general.  The Democratic party USED to be the party of social justice.  But now they've become the "not-the-Republican-Party" party.  They seem to have no identity.  Cap that all off with the point of running for office these days seems to be winning the next election, not actually DOINT anything.  As soon as Obama was elected, the entire right wing platform was to beat Obama in 2012.  And they're willing to say or do anything the right wing approves to do so.

So I will vote Democratic in this election because I see the choice as bad or worse.  Guess which is worse?

Again, don't be afraid to email me!  My addy is linked on the page.  Thanks again for the comments.  You made me have to use my brain, which I probably don't do enough of.


Kate said…
Oh goodness. I would have thought out my comments more and checked for correct grammar and all that good stuff if I knew you were going to post it on your front page!

I appreciate your willingness to engage in a conversation. I think our foundation of values is very similar and I also know that there are certain subjects you and I will never agree on.

And that's great, because if everyone agreed, what a boring world it would be!

I am not married because of a piece of paper or God. In the moments when Josh drives me crazy, I stay and I work on it because of the promise I made to Josh, Finn, and myself.

We will have to disagree about marriage. Well we agree insomuch as I think we want the same things and expect the same things. I disagree that it doesn't constitute as marriage if they don't agree to be married forever.

I also agree with your point on rights and privileges. However, everyone should have equal rights to privileges. Per your example, driving...I don't think driving is a right. If you don't abide by laws and care for your own and others safety, the privilege of driving should be taken away. However, if the law is everyone has the right to be issued a driver's license at 16 after taking a written and practical exam, then everyone should have that right. That right shouldn't be taken away from one individual because someone THINKS they wouldn't be a safe driver.

I can agree on 75% of what you said about politics.

Thanks for the conversation, I appreciate it! I really enjoy hearing your perspective, especially when it's different than I expected. You have a lot of wisdom and experience to share, so I appreciate you sharing some with me!
sydwynd said…
Kate: Don't worry about grammar and spelling. They're not my forte so I'm sure your worst is better than my best.

I agree, we MOSTLY agree on these issues. I have no problem agreeing to disagree. The only way to change minds and/or hearts is to have polite, honest discourse. Back and forth. No pointing fingers and saying "I'm right and you're wrong".

Glad I'm able to impart, if not some small wisdom, then at least to make someone think more deeply about their beliefs and convictions. It's too easy to just let someone else do the thinking for you instead of thinking through your convictions on your own. Thanks for your willingness to listen!

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