Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Run for the Hills! Mandatory Gay Marriage!

I’ll admit it—the title is a sensationalist bit I stole from Justin and used to get you to read my post on gay marriage. But read on, there’s good stuff here! With Ted Olsen and David Boies’ Prop. 8 Case (Perry v. Schwarzenegger) making headlines, surely you’re wondering, “Sure, but what does Jesse think?” Well I’ll tell you. I’m for it, and I’m agin’ it. I’m for the idea that two people who care deeply for each other can enter into a social contract to dispose of assets, arrange visitation and adoption rights, and the like. I’m against the idea that marriage, theologically speaking, can exist between two people of the same sex. How do I reconcile the two? By telling the government “Don’t Tread on My Marriage!” The two functions of marriage—contractual and spiritual—were melded together long ago in the dark ages. It’s long past time we “put them asunder.” 

Seriously, why is the government still in the marriage business? In the Catholic church, my own Anglican faith, and most other Christian denominations, the sacrament of marriage is complete the moment the man and the women commit to each other before God. You don’t even need a pastor or priest—the ceremony’s just for witnessing, moral support, and the Target gift registry. The State (big S) got into the marriage business at a time when 1) the church and the state were a lot more cozy than they are today, and vacillated between supporting and denigrating each other’s institutions, and 2) property passed around in the largest amounts by through family arrangements—marriage, inheritance, etc—and the state had an interest in regulating such a central establishment. But today, why do I need the government gatekeeping the institution of marriage? In the eyes of the state it’s a contractual relationship, and nothing more. Let dudes have contracts with dudes, I don’t care.

Now, I think things change once you’re inside the church doors. The state’s not in charge anymore, and marriage isn’t a contract anymore—it ’s a covenant and a sacrament.  So really, just like the church can’t dictate who I can contract with, the state can’t dictate who I can marry in a spiritual sense (which is lucky for Diana and I, as our joint awesomeness is an admitted violation of the Sherman Act). Plenty of denominations (too many in my mind) now offer “commitment ceremonies” or full-on “marriages” for same-sex couples. OK, fine. I think it’s gross and not legit, but it’s their deal. But things like the Defense of Marriage Act scare me because we’re suddenly letting the state further inside the church doors than ever before. And I’m much more concerned about the danger the state poses to the church than the church to the state.
For more on the subject, read Ted Olsen’s piece on his Perry v. Schwarzenegger and what he deems a “conservative” constitutional argument for gay marriage.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

SFW: The Beefy Slayer

Here's a special treat, blog-o-friends, while we procrastinate posting Christmas vacation pictures. Scenes From Waco, with a bonus Scenes From Idaho!

Waco's a bit overcast today, but if you can make out the Taco Bell sign at left it suggests that passersby try the new "BEEFY SLAYER BURRITO." At least that's what it looked like to me, as the "5" in "BEEFY 5 LAYER BURRITO" has migrated eastward with hilarious results. Needless to say, I did not order one of these new murder burritos.

We had some shopping to do at Wal-Mart the other day, and decided to pick up groceries while we were there. Great prices, but questionable quality. Case in point, the "Corn King" brand deli ham at right. Why should a cob of corn on the label make me want to buy ham? Why should ham be labeled like produce? Such is the mystery of Wal-Mart, and its never ending quest for the lowest cost suppliers. Perhaps Justin will have something to say about the inefficiencies of raising meat livestock primarily on grains...

And now the bonus! Three awesome phone-pic shots  from Idaho, dipicting 1) a drunken Kool-Aid Man, 2) a dog driving a car, and 3) more over-priced Christmas kitsch.