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Posts Tagged ‘post-modernism’

The big headline in 1996 was that Barack Obama wrote that he supported same-sex marriage.  Apparently he’s voiced this support again more recently, which I didn’t know because I’ve been comatose in an isolated concrete bunker at the earth’s core for a month.  One particular reaction to his (re)announcement has caught my eye, and I’m submitting it as my entry for this year’s “Most Post-Modern Thing You’ve Ever Heard” contest (or MPMTYEH, pronounced “em-pum-TEE-ah”). For what it’s worth, my entry last year, “All religions are basically the same” narrowly lost to “That’s true for you, but not for me.”  It was a shame, really; I should have won.  MPMTYEH is so subjective now, almost as if there’s no absolute standard by which to judge the entries…

Anyway, the statement?  One supporter encourages Obama after his announcement with the phrase, “Stand in your truth!”  I can probably explain this statement away as simply meaning, “Stand up for the things you believe in” or something like that, against which I take no issue.  However, the word “truth” really bugs me, not unlike last years MPMTYEH winner, “That’s true for you, but not for me.”  The encouragement implies that Obama’s “truth” is distinct from somebody else’s “truth.”  Thus the concept of truth is made subjective, as if we make our own truth.  This is, of course, false.  If you disagree with me, consider that my truth is that we don’t make our own truth. Q.E.D.

My second contest entry this year also (purely coincidentally) involves the issue of homosexuality.  I’m submitting this into the 2012 “Four Words I Never Thought I’d See Together” contest (FWINTIST – “fuh-WIN-tist”).  My entry is “St. Augustine Gay Pride.”  The context is the gay pride day taking place in the Florida city named after Augustine.  Granted, this doesn’t sound alarming.  On its own, however, it is quite shocking.  I was never terribly close to Augustine of Hippo, as he tended to hang out with an older crowd than me (i.e., people long dead), but I’m pretty sure he never thought he’d see his name followed by “gay pride.”

Regarding actual non-snarky commentary about gay marriage, these days I’m most impressed by the prescience of Francis Schaeffer, who back in the 70’s (or perhaps earlier) noted that in a society without absolutes, society becomes the absolute.  For my money, this is precisely what is happening with same-sex marriage.  American societies are gradually reaching the point of saying that they define what marriage is, and many of those societies are concluding that marriage includes same-sex couples.  An ancillary observation by Schaeffer was that erasing absolutes would still leave two: Personal peace and affluence.  In other words, the two things people will continue to cling to in the absence of other absolutes are their own personal peace and affluence.  I have found the personal peace aspect of this relevant to the debates about same-sex marriage as well, since I’ve often heard the (weak) argument, “It’s not hurting anybody; let them marry.”  What’s ultimately being said here, in my opinion, is that it’s not bothering me (personal peace), so let them marry.  Again, the absolute is still rooted in the individual.

We tend to stray from topics like homosexuality here at BBG, but not for lack of conviction about the issue, or for lack of confidence in our position.  Rather, I’ve yet to see any fruitful exchange about such emotionally charged issues take place on a public blog.  If you want to see flame wars, hate speech, deep irony, and a bunch of people writing things they’d never actually say with no real exchange of ideas, look at the comments after a CNN article on homosexuality.  This is what we do not want BBG to become.

It will come as no surprise to our reader(s?) that this author does not support same-sex marriage (cue sound of can of worms opening).  After all, this is Boston Bible Geeks, not Boston Secular-Humanism Geeks, or something like that.  As such, my feelings on the matter stem from the fact that the Bible is authoritative in my life: It defines marriage for me, and I can find no compelling evidence that marriage was purposed for same-sex couples (or polygamy, by the way).  As for whether or not we should legislate Biblical principles, frankly, the best arguments I’ve read about same-sex marriage have nothing to do with the Bible, religion, “the sanctity of marriage” or anything like that, such as the exchanges regarding natural law here, here and here (lots of reading, but also thorough, intelligent writing on the subject showcasing opposing views).   While I’m linking articles, from a Christian standpoint, Collin Hansen at TGC has written a reaction to Obama’s announcement here, which is also worth reading.

I’d be happy to discuss privately over e-mail anyone who wishes for an actual “conversation.”  It would be an interesting social experiment to see if two adults could disagree about something so controversial and remain friendly.  Perhaps we might even learn something from each other, and even grow to understand differing views without the noise of the media, blog trolls, or quick, superficial, straw-man dismissals.  For the subject matter at hand, this would be a good thing.

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