I initially had a different post for today, but decided to scrap it. It was, in fact, the fist post I have ever trashed. Some don’t make it past the draft, but if they do they generally go live. Still, I decided that the post written, well, it would be lesser to publish it given previous events involving who it was partially about.
Truth be told, I haven’t been that interested in the Kim Davis story, at least not so much to write about it except for that brief comment awhile back. Frankly, this whole gay marriage issue has gotten worse, not better, with its legalization. Something I suspected would happen, along with many others. Before, we were debating it, and while there was animosity on both side (and perhaps, rightly so) that’s all it was, an angry debate that occasionally went no where.
Now though, that victory were declared, it be that war were also declared. We can’t talk about it, we have to fight about it. Now there’s open hatred in a way that I don’t think there was before. Because rather than being right or wrong, one side has essentially been labeled as criminals if they object.
And sure, Kim Davis is hardly the paragon of virtue that one would think would be the rallying figure for the anti-gay marriage side, but I have to admit that some of the objections raised are both triffling and flat out wrong. A lot of people have made fun of the fact that she’s defending marriage when she’s been divorced and remarried four times. The problem is though, the bible freely legalizes divorce and remarriage in both moral and legal senses. So she hasn’t violated the sanctity of marriage. I’ve had a few people try to claim that the “new covenant” forbids divorce but that’s only in a few sects of Christianity, and not one that Davis belongs to.
A better argument I’ve heard (not directed at her character as an ad hominem attack to invalidate her position) is that those Christians opposing gay marriage aren’t opposing the other things forbidden.
And to this, I will say, there is merit in the argument. But it too, I think, is flawed. Religions change over time, certain beliefs become more prominent and some less so. Even Islam does this, all though it does seem to fold in on itself more than evolve like the others do. And by mocking Christians who say homosexuality is bad but eat pork, I wonder if in truth it is hypocrisy that is being pointed out, or something more.
So what would really be the solution here? The way I see it, there are three options.
- Religions never change. What was shall be what is and shall ever be. Now there are those who believe this, especially in Islam, Orthodox Judaism, and some branches of Christianity. It is arguably the most correct, certainly from a polytheistic point of view, because the teachings of the religion is set by the God(s) who give it, not men, so it should not be changed but by the God(s).
- Religions evolve naturally by the wills of its Gods and Followers. Times change, events happen in history, and that which does not evolve with these events dies out. Sometimes, the Gods change their minds (this is very true in polytheism, with its emphasis on individual gods who live as we do, just on a much larger scale).
- Religions are forced to change based on the will of outsiders. This seems to be where we’re at with this, and this idea is as horrible to me as it is attractive to others. Especially in regards to homosexuality. A bunch of people, who are not Christians, insist they have the right to dictate what is and is not acceptable belief in a religion they do not practice, and enforce that on the believers and their actions.
Truthfully, I believe homosexuals should have equal rights under the law. But I do mean equal rights, that doesn’t mean they have the right to force others to obey their morals any more than a anti-gay christian has the right to force their morals on a homosexual.
One of the stories I’ve heard about Davis is that one gay couple insisted on going to her office because “they didn’t want the inconvenience of having to go to the next county.” (Which if counties in KY are anything like they are in my state, means maybe a 20 min drive or so). And it struck me as incredibly selfish. You don’t want the inconvenience of driving for half an hour, so you’re going to insist someone violate their deeply held beliefs? Somehow, I suspect the men in that couple would not be willing to make such a deep moral sacrifice for the conveniences of others.
The end thing is this. There are no easy answers. If religions are forbidden from evolving, then we and the rest of society would be thousands of years behind where we are now. If religions are able to evolve, then they should not be labeled as hypocritical because they still do somethings rather than all things. And if religions can be dictated by those who don’t even believe in them, it will only breed greater violence and resentment.