Monday, March 15, 2004

Eloquent Bigotry

Unlike Andrew Sullivan, I'm not so sure Donald Sensing's foray into unquestionably eloquent bigotry speaks "the honest truth" at all--he's being honest, sure, but he's approaching nothing remotely close to the truth.

As the excerpt Sullivan posted makes clear, Sensing clings to same Neanderthal ideas about homosexuality his peers do: he just puts gay marriage at the bottom of the superslide into hell instead of the top. He apparently considers gay marriage the secular nadir of a once-precious and historically religious institution.* Some of us believe that society's arriving at a more sophisticated definition of marriage is a worthy goal, the zenith of society's understanding that love between two people need not be limited by gender.

Although Sensing agrees that society's ideas about marriage are changing, he's still clinging to his visceral but superstitious and increasingly anachronistic religious view: that God intended marriage to be between one man and one woman. Is it much of stretch to presume that he also believes homosexuality is an abomination?

Sure, he's admitting that heterosexuals have done plenty to undermine the sanctity of marriage, but beyond that he's hardly heralding new and more accepting ideas about family. If anything, he's simply come up a more sophisticated explanation for his intolerance.

He's not arguing for progress; he's suggesting that we turn back the clock.

*Actually, Sensing says "Marriage is primarily a social institution, not a religious one," but then goes on to say
"In Christian theological terms, the definition of marriage is part of the natural law of the creation; therefore, the definition may not be changed by human will except in peril to the health of human community."
So it's not religious if you mean "organized religion" but Sensing only points that out to make the point that marriage between one man and one woman is what God ordained. From the outside looking in, and all semantics aside, that sure sounds like a religious belief to me. In fact, it's only *not* a religious idea if you accept Sensing's premise that God described the institution as such before the existence of the world's religions. And that's superstitious hokum, pure and simple.

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