Friday, September 19, 2008

When you're a celebrity

it's adios reality (with apologies to Brad Paisley)

First off, Lindsay Lohan weighed in earlier this week on John McCain's vice presidential choice saying, "Is it a sin to be gay? Should it be a sin to be straight? Or to use birth control? Or to have sex before marriage? Or even to have a child out of wedlock?..Is our country so divided that the Republicans' best hope is a narrow-minded, media-obsessed homophobe?"

I appreciate her theological musings on morality and the nature of sin. One of my biggest beefs with the "gay agenda" is labeling anyone who believes homosexuality is a sin as a "homophobe." Now I define homophobia as bigotry related to one's sexual orientation like anti-semitism is bigotry based on religion and racism is bigotry related to race. But what does one's personal, spiritual, religious beliefs have to do with bigotry? Can one lead to the other? Absolutely. Can religious beliefs be used to justify bigotry? Sure, look no further than the KKK, or the white-supremacist notion than blacks are descended from Cain. But the Bible doesn't say that. The Bible does say that homosexuality is a sin. Does that mean that I should treat someone differently based on their sin? Of course not (with the exception of "With such a man do not even eat" (1 Cor 5:11) or "Do not be yoked with unbelievers" (1 Cor 6:14) which are different in context).

On the other side of the debate is the elevation of homosexuality above any other sin, despite "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23) and "you used to walk in these ways" (Col 3:7). The Christian response to homosexuality should be to treat it as any and all other sin, just like I would expect to be treated with my own sin. And that is hoping that someone would be so filled with the love of Jesus to reach out to me to free me from my sin. Unfortunately, most American churches don't deal with sin, but that's a different debate.

As for the rest of her theology, yes bearing a child out of wedlock is a sin as is pre-marital sex, while birth control is (and has been for generations) debated. Again, the "gay agenda" tries to shift the debate to invalidate moral codes that have existed for millennia by trying to tell me that what I believe is wrong. Both sides need to respect Socrates' conclusion in Plato's Protagoras that "all things are true to he who believes them." The argument goes that you can't believe in something you know is false. If I believe homosexuality is a sin, that doesn't automatically make me a homophobe. At the same time, I need to respect the belief that homosexuality is a trait one is born with, even if I don't agree.

Which brings us to the gay-marriage debate. The other celebrity news I want to link is Brad Pitt donating $100,000 to defeat a measure in California aimed at defining marriage as between a man and a woman. "Because no one has the right to deny another their life, even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn't harm another and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8." His rationale defines "slippery slope". Everyone has a right to live the life they desire as long as it doesn't harm another? Well first, the Supreme Court disagrees as evidenced by the fiasco in Texas earlier this year despite the state courts finally deciding that no harm was being done others (fitting Pitt's criteria). At the same time, if I wanted to marry my dog, I'm not harming another so should that be allowed?

Now that last one would be considered silly. But in my opinion, so is the marriage debate. I'm all for civil unions. And if a minister or public official wants to perform a "wedding" for a civil union, I think that's ok too. But to me, calling the name "marriage" a right, and not the rights the name carries (which are provided by civil unions, although only where available), is an argument over semantics. I think the proposition, and other attempts to pass a Constitutional Amendment, should be reworded to define marriage as not between a "man and a woman" (which by nature is discriminatory) but as between a "husband and wife". This stays consistent with traditional nomenclature and shoots down the semantic debate. If a gay couple wants to be "married" then one of them needs to be the wife, and the other the husband. Why is it I don't hear gay men fighting for the right to be called "wife" or "mom" if they have children? What is the difference between that and calling their civil union a "marriage"?

Thanks to Brad Pitt and Lindsay Lohan I can now better define sin and morality and choose which laws I want to follow. Who needs to debate McCain/Palin vs Obama/Biden? I say, Pitt/Lohan '08!

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