Thursday, July 20, 2006

US Congressmen Tell Us What God Thinks.

The attempt to amend the US Constitution to ban gay marriage failed again last Tuesday. The issue is not one I find most pressing but what is at stake here is not necessarily gay marriage but a central element of the American constitution - states right.

What is even more fascinating is the arguments used by those supporting the ban - whose logic I fail to see. Here are three examples
  1. Most ban supporters have framed the debate by calling for "marriage protection." Why would same-sex marriage be a threat to traditional marriage? How could the expansion of legal rights or legal recognition be a threat to others?
  2. Another argument often used is that marriage has been about a man and a woman for thousands of years. This argument relies on an appeal to tradition. But by that very same logic, the American and French Revolution would have never taken place. This logic is fallacious and reflects a conservative vision of the world wherein the status quo does not change.
  3. The third I have heard is the one about God. As ThinkProgress reported, several right-wing congressmen use God to throw in their own agenda. That's presumably because they know what God thinks. (see video here)

Rep. John Carter (R-TX): “It’s part of God’s plan for the future of mankind.”

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN): “It wasn’t our idea, it was God’s.”

Rep. Bob Beauprez (R-CO): “We best not be messing with His plan.”

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA): “I think God has spoken very clearly on this issue.”


It is worth noting that Jesus himself never once mentioned either homosexuality or abortion. Maybe that's because he thought there were more important issues at stake - like taking care of the weak and the poor, turning the other cheek, loving your enemies and so on. But he DID mention divorce and adultery which covers most of the current Republican presidential frontrunners.

How is it the business of Congress to tell us what God thinks and use that to pass a law? Isn't the separation of church and state one of the hallmarks of Western Democracy? Or do our right-wing congressmen secretly admire Saudi Arabia?

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