Sunday, 13 May 2012

Opening Pandora's Box

Shalom:
I had just read Beth's comments and felt I needed to address this.
First, I am thankful that my friend felt comfortable enough to leave her thoughts, even though we disagree. It is one of the hallmarks of our friendship; to disagree without being disagreeable.
Beth touched on very interesting points, things I myself have wrestled with.
As Beth pointed out, whether one is married in a church, temple, beach, parents backyard, city hall, or as my niece recently did, in her mother's living room, you need that little piece of paper known as a marriage license from the state to wed.
We have two types of marriages in this country; religious and civil. One can have a religious wedding, at their place of worship, with all the trappings and as long as the license has been signed, it is legal. Same is true if you were married by the Justice of the Peace. As Hebrews, we are not even consider married unless the Ketubah (marriage covenant) witnessed by two Hebrews. In many faiths, your not married unless you are married in the church or temple proper, by clergy. But you still need that piece of paper.
For many of us, the wedding as well as the marriage is made up of three; husband, wife and the Creator of marriage.
Others do not include G_D.
But they are still married.
Like our fellow Observant Jews, Mark and I are to have an attitude of empathy and understanding for those who say, “I have these urges, I can’t help them.” But we do not accept those who would say, “I have these urges, they are God-given and therefore it is a mitzvah to follow them.” For their claims counter Torah.
Beth is also correct when she says the places of worship are not being forced to conduct same-sex marriages. One of my concerns is if same-sex marriage becomes law, then there will be some couple out there that will push for their marriage to be held that holds a different standard. There is a very good chance my fears would never come to pass.
Frankly, it is hard for me to be black and white on this matter. For since I began my career in the health-care profession until I retired, many of my patients were of the Gay and Lesbian  community who had contacted AIDS. Many of these men and women became friends of mine. Many have since died. I have seen the pain on a man's face when the family of his lover refuse to allow him to sit at his friend's bedside. Or not allowed in the church for the funeral. I have wiped away tears, listened to confessions and cried at funerals. I have seen many of these relationships close up; loving, caring relationships that have lasted longer than many straight marriages I know.
I also know friends who left the GAL community. Many became Christians or some other faith and denounced the life. And are very happily married with kids. I know one friend who grew up with two mummies and hated every moment of it. To this day she doesn't speak to either woman.
For many, this is a black or white issue. I see too much gray.
Beth and I do not agree on this matter; at least we haven't drawn blood. But I also believe she gives us much to think about; about what is fair and just. How we treat our fellow amercians who are different than we are in belief, worldview, in moral stance.
How do we not allow this issues to rip us as a nation apart?
And how do I share my opinion that differs and not lose a friend in the progress?
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