Friday, 20 February 2009

The One That Doesn't Understand The Problem . . .

Why are people so obsessed with other peoples' relationships? I remember the very earnest, and in some cases reactionary debate over 'civil partnerships.' I didn't see what all the fuss was about.

I'm straight so would never be interested in marrying a man. If two men or two women decide that they love each other and want to make a commitment to each other, well you're not hurting me, so if it makes you happy, then go ahead. I wish you the best of luck.

I was astounded that there was even a referendum on the subject in California over the subject, one which threw same sex marriages out. Why? What possible harm are they doing? If you don't agree with marrying someone of the same sex, then don't do it.

One of the problems is that marriage is seen as the preserve of the religious establishment, and the problem with the religious establishment is that God has told them what should and should not be done. It's difficult to argue with what people say God wants, that is the only response in what quickly becomes a circular argument:

Me: Why shouldn't gay people get married?
Them: Because God says so.
Me: But they're not doing any harm.
Them: Yes they are, they're upsetting God.
Me: Well how do you know this?
Them: It says so, in this book.
Me: Well how do you know this is the word of God?
Them: Because God says it is.

And you can go on like that, well, until Judgement Day. I hold the opinion that it is my soul, I'll take decisions regarding it and deal with the consequences myself.

During the debate about same sex marriages I remember a lot of politicians hiding behind the religious argument when the real issue might have been that they just didn't like gay people very much and I think this is evident by the fact that in this country, at least, gay people still can't get married, they can only have civil partnerships. Why stop short? Straight couples can get married without any religious involvement at all, so why should it be any different for gay people?

So it was with interest that I read this story on Al-Beeb today. In a nutshell, Baroness Warsi, the shadow minister for Community Cohesion (don't even get me started, what in the wide, wide world of sports is that?) had decreed that cultural sensitivity has meant politicians have neglected to discuss polygamy.

She wants all religious marriages to be registered to prevent men marrying more than one woman.

Well, why? What's the problem? Where has this value judgement come from? Why should people only be allowed to marry one person? That may be the majority Christian view, but is that any reason to impose that value on everyone else?

There will be those who say with a hint of indignation that we are a Christian country and should operate as such. Fine, then have the guts to ask for what you really want, a theocracy. I understand religious observance to be complete, you either believe and follow or you don't, there's no 'I support the teachings of the Church except that bit, and that, and some of that, oh, and I don't agree with that at all'. To be faithful means you submit yourself entirely to the will of God. So let's have a theocracy then, let's ban Islam, throw out the Hindus, lock the Jews in a big old warehouse and burn it to the ground, enforce attendance at church every Sunday. Let's take a leaf out of the Saudis' book and have brigades of religious police touring the streets, sweeping anyone up they decide has broken the religious moral code, Lord knows the political police are nearly there.

Look, arseholes, doesn't matter if it's a man with women or a woman with men, there's nothing wrong with polygamy, as long all those involved are adults, aware of the situation and enter into it of their own free will. Who are they hurting? Nobody. So just keep your bloody nose out of what doesn't concern you.

We either live in a country with personal and religious freedom, or we don't. It can't be done by degrees. You can't say 'you have personal freedom unless you want to marry another man or want to live with more than one woman.' That isn't freedom, and don't pretend it is, because I understand that God really hates liars.

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