Last night in a discussion group I attend, my friend, Jim Lawton, made a salient point. He quoted Tommy Tomlinson, columnist for the Charlotte Observer, who wrote AGAINST the proposed Amendment One, which will be voted on Tuesday, May 8. Tomlinson's take is that legislation should be for the purpose of protecting us all from issues of harm. Amendment One takes a different track; it is designed by and for those who are "bothered" by same-sex relationships and possible marriage. Traffic laws are meant to protect us. Amendment One simply speaks to the idea that some folk are "bothered" when they see two people of the same sex relating to each other in an intimate way.
Many will say that it is unnatural. Of course it is; the folk so complaining are hetersexual, so it would not be natural to them. Most will try to take the high moral ground and base their arguement on biblical grounds (The Bible says....). But if you are going to take Leviticus 18 ever so literally and say that it is absolute, then you have to take the rest of that book, as well as all of the Torah, literally and then you are going to have a heap of problems. We cannot cherry-pick this stuff; take what we see as important and reject the rest. Likewise, the words in the New Testament translated homosexual and the cultural background need a long hard look. It really is not as it seems and so glibly read. There is a lot of hard interpretive work to do, but lots of folk don't want to be "bothered" with that kind of effort. (Maybe another amendment is brewing here...make sacred readings literal and never interpretive). Hmmmm
Then there is the arguement of how same-sex relationships endanger our family life. Yesterday I celebrated 27 of the best years of my life with my wife, Patti. Like other couples, we have had to work through some matters. But not once have we ever been derailed by a same-sex relationship. Not once. And our children have had their own struggles and questions. But they report that not once have they been impacted for the bad by same-sex relationships. We have just not been bothered by it. Is that the reason we are against Amendment One?
If we are going to legislate so as not to be bothered, where do we stop? If it bothers you when someone sitting next to you in a restaurant orders an alcoholic beverage, do we need an amendment here? What about folk who use earthy language in public? Another amendment? And all those pesky liberals. Can we somehow legislate them out of order because they might bother us with their theories? And for sure, what do we do about folk in this region who cheer for the Dallas Cowboys instead of the Carolina Panthers? Another amendment please.
You're probably not going to be able to leave your house in the morning, drive down the street and around the corner, without seeing something that bothers you. Is an amendment necessary?
Laws should be in place to protect us from harm. Never should they be passed simply because we are bothered by something. And if Amendment One passes, it potentially can bring harm to some of our citizens.
THAT should bother us!