Sunday, June 28, 2015

Falling Through an American Looking Glass

I have a feeling this isn't going to make anybody happy. But these are my thoughts on current issues:
1. We live in a republic where majority rules. I've followed the trends in current thinking and while I don't agree with them all, I fully expected gay marriage to be legalized in all states eventually by popular vote. And because I value the type of government that we have (as opposed to dictatorships, monarchies, theocracies, military juntas, etc), I am pretty much okay with that.
2. And yet... at one time our populist votes in the South upheld slavery and in the Dred Scott Decision so did the Supreme Court. And I've never been okay with that...
3. It's not a cliche to say that "tolerance" means to respectfully agree to disagree. Now it seems to have morphed into this: tolerance means that you give up your beliefs in order to whole-heartedly embrace an opposing belief and/or to embrace the logically impossible belief that all positions are equally valid. IF you have two contradictory ideas, they can both be wrong. However, they cannot both be right. Tolerance means we are allowed to hold onto and respectfully express our opinions while others are allowed to do the same thing.
4. Frankly, I wonder when we will get our heads out of the bedroom. Sex sells everything. Tires. Food. Household cleaners. Toilet paper. Cars. Reality shows (Now THERE is an oxymoron..) And now it determines our identity. (REally? What if you are celibate? Is that your identity?? Hi, my name is _______, I've never had sex with anyone so I sort of, don't have an identity... I mean, I'm not heterosexual, homosexual, transgender sexual, bi-sexual, polygamous, monogamous. I just... sort of... don't do it....)
5. While I get it that Americans deserve equal legal rights, I don't get this sappy, sentimental view of marriage and love. Has anyone looked at the divorce rate lately??? I have a good marriage and I'm thankful. But there have still been times when I could have put Phil out on the curb with the morning trash and many more times when he could have (justifiably!) done the same thing to me. The reason we have a good marriage is because we've worked hard and fought to have a good marriage.
The stuff about the honeymoon ending and about squeezing the toothpaste tube from the wrong end - that stuff IS NOT A JOKE. Marriage and parenthood are the HARDEST things I have ever done!!! Phil and I have changed each other but I can't say it's always been for the best. Hopefully more good than bad here but those bad habits have a way of rubbing off on our loved ones just as the good habits do. (I have certainly, undeniably lowered Phil's standards of perfection... )
Basically the Bible has it right - any improvement that comes from marriage is like iron sharpening iron. (Think white hot metal sparks flying from time to time as in when someone is welding steel bars together). It's not this dewy eyed picture that we get married, we blissfully enlarge each other's world view, change habits, and "improve" one another while sipping from wine glasses on the beach of life.
But even more important: when did marriage become a requirement for becoming better than we already are? Excuse me??? What about the single adults in this world?? Is there no hope for them?? Gosh, I guess Corrie ten Boom and Mother Theresa totally missed the boat - poor things never experienced fulfillment or that chance to become the "more" that they were meant to be. Which, now that I think about it, means that Elizabeth Taylor, Stephen Fry, Rosie O'Donnell, Mickey Rooney, Larry King, Kenny Rogers, and Martin Scorsese are the most fulfilled, completed, blissful people on the planet. Because if an active sexual life within the confines of marriage is a requirement for happiness... then they must, by default, lead the way...
When I was a single adult, I heard a pastor say: do NOT choose your future partner on the basis of passion. Why? Because there are 23 other hours in the day... I was a bit shocked at the time but, you know what? He had a valid point... smile emoticon
You don't have to be a heterosexual to be a Christian. But you do have to respect God's word which teaches that we are not defined by our passions but by our identity in Christ. Which teaches that He is the potter and we are the clay. Which means He has the right to set moral boundaries which we are to observe, regardless of how our hormones are bouncing around inside of us. Which means that sex is meant to be between one man and one woman within the bonds of a covenant relationship.
Those restrictions are not comfortable. You mean I can't stand my husband and yet I can't get him to agree to a divorce so... it's not okay for me to have an affair? Or you mean my wife has a chronic illness so it's wrong for me to have sexual relations with other women once in a while even though I love my wife and I don't love the other person? Or what if I have strong feelings for two guys at the same time? (Ado Annie in "Oklahoma" would get some interesting advice today, based on how we define "fulfillment" emoticon Or you mean I'm single and I can't just go sleep with whomever I want? (I remember a dear friend of mine who had just become a Christian. She'd led a bit of a wild child lifestyle prior to this. Totally new to Christianity and very honest, she once asked her mentor, "What does a Christian do when they feel horny?" (I apologize if that offends any of those old enough to recognize the slang. But I have to say, it led to one of the most interesting discussions we ever had in our single adult Bible study... Ha!)
For those who don't accept the Bible as an authority when it comes to moral issues, I don't expect you to agree with me. I do respect your right to express your own opinions and also expect you to return the same courtesy to me.
But above all, I wish that our society could get over the idea that our sex life defines us and that marriage magically conveys personal growth and fulfillment which (by implication) singleness can never do.
What a crock...
When innocent people (Muslims, Christians, and Yazidis) are being beheaded by terrorists, we can't seem to get our heads out of the bedroom. Or wrap our minds around the concept that fulfillment in life does not come from sex and/or marriage.
Personally, I wish the Supreme Court had debated and decided that every American should contribute 50.00 a year to providing clean water to people in Third World countries.
But then, that's just me... Never was good at keeping my priorities straight...