Bubala, Mumi & Max

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Man + Man = World Destruction

Mmmmmm... Gay MarriageSo, Maryland lawmakers are now going to try to impeach Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Brooke Murdock over her recent ruling stating that it is a violation of the Maryland state constitution to deny same-sex couples the numerous protections provided to married couples.

What a bunch of fucktards...

My immediate reaction to this news was to fire off another letter to the editors of the local newspapers. Since none of my letters to editors ever get published, however, I decided why bother.

Instead, I present to you what is, in my opinion, an excellent op-ed letter on the topic of gay marriage. It was written by Maryland Delegate Doyle Niemann (D-Prince George’s County).

Op-Ed: Marriage And God’S Will — According To Man’s Interpretation

By Del. Doyle Niemann (D-Prince George’s County)

February 10, 2006

I oppose any constitutional amendment on marriage. I do not believe this is an appropriate topic for governmental action.

It has been suggested that we have some kind of moral or religious duty to take this step. I do not agree. I do not believe it is proper to put provisions restricting rights for any one category of people into our constitution. That is what this amendment would do.

The right of individuals in our society to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of freedom are not issues to be decided by a popularity contest, no matter how strongly people may believe they are right and others are wrong an any issue.

Beyond this, I believe it is a question of the limits that lawmakers and other leaders should respect when it comes to legislating what are fundamentally moral or religious issues.

I was raised in the Christian tradition. My study of the Bible, as well as the historical record, has convinced me that when human leaders attempt to write into civil law what they believe to be ‘‘God’s will,” they get it wrong as often as they get it right.

That certainly was the judgment of Moses as he surveyed the laws passed by the political and religious leaders he left in charge while he was up on Mount Sinai. Acting on their opinion as to what was right , these leaders adopted a host of laws governing belief and behavior — and they forced them on everyone. As we know, Moses and God were not happy.

Time after time in the stories of the Bible, the message is repeated. Human leaders who tried to impose their opinion as to proper behavior on others got it wrong. They had to be reminded that it is God who decides what is right and wrong, not man, and that those who set themselves up as ‘‘interpreters” of God’s will are taking power for themselves that is not theirs to take.

The story of Jesus’ life, death and Resurrection, in particular, is a story of the folly and evil of laws that say people have to believe and act in the ways prescribed by religious and civic leaders.

Jesus challenged the laws of His era. He understood that, in the end, they attempted to put man above God. They fostered hatred over love and human over heavenly judgment. They shifted the focus from the critical evaluation of one’s own thoughts and actions to the judgment of those of others.

So, when we contemplate the limits of democracy and the wisdom of putting some questions up to a vote, let us remember that King Herod put the question of Jesus’ crucifixion to a vote of the people — and the people voted to kill Jesus.

The historical record over the intervening 2,000 years continues the story. Over and over again, people of faith — and good intentions — acted to impose their interpretation of what is God’s will on others with disastrous consequences, from the Inquisition, to the multitude of religious wars of European history, to the Holocaust, to slavery and the annihilation of native populations in much of America.

Moses brought down from Mount Sinai Commandments from God. These were not laws in the civil sense we use that term. They were orders from God to each of us individually. God expects us to abide by His Commandments absolutely and, if we don’t, He will judge us. There is no defense, no jury, no prosecution, no defense, no delineation of rights, no law enforcement, no standards of proof.

That’s the key point. It is God and only God who will make the judgment when we go before Him. According to His rules and not ours; according to His interpretation of His will and not ours.

Most important of all, it is not for mankind to decide whether anyone has followed the Commandments or not. No one can give you a dispensation. No one else’s interpretation matters.

If all the ministers of the world tell you that hate is OK if it’s done in a holy cause, it won’t matter. Love thy neighbor, turn the other cheek, judge not lest you be judged — these are not idle words. They apply to each of us, and their violation is a violation no matter in whose name they are done.

The story of Jesus and the fallen woman who had committed adultery, an act that threatens traditional marriage far more directly, immediately and irrevocably than any other action imaginable, is particularly relevant to this discussion.

The civil and religious law at the time held that adultery was a crime, as it is today. It was punishable then by death, at least for the woman. As the story tells us, the crowd was engaged in enforcing the civil and religious law when Jesus came on the scene and ordered them stop. He didn’t argue about due process or fundamental rights. He didn’t talk about fair trial or the equity of the law. No, his message was simple and clear — judgment of the woman’s actions was not for man to make but for God. Then, as now, Jesus’ message to would-be enforcers of God’s law is to go and pay attention to our own sins and our own lives. Leave the moral judgments to God.

This is all relevant to the issue of marriage. You believe in one kind of marriage. I have a different view. Whether you or I are right or wrong is an issue God will decide.

Allowing two people who want to make a commitment to each other to do so does nothing to harm me — or you — or anyone else. Your rights and privileges are not diminished. No one is forced to change his or her moral beliefs. No one is physically harmed or impaired from acting in unreasonable ways — the underlying bases for civil law.

You may disagree, and if you are right, God will judge those involved as you think He will. If I am right, He will see love for what it is. But it is for God to decide, not you or I — and certainly not a majority of people who might vote in any particular election.

The people have gathered and there are those calling for the crowd to pick up the stones to punish those they think are doing wrong. I believe it is time for us to do as Jesus would have done and say that is not the right thing to do.

Doyle L. Niemann, a Democrat from Mount Rainier, represents District 47 in the House of Delegates.

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