Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Faith in Lodi and the region Gays are devoted citizens as much as straight people

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

AmyJo Mattheis, master of divinity and former Lutheran pastor

Loading…

Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013 12:00 am

The question of whether gay and lesbian people ought to be able to marry in the same manner and institution as heterosexuals is about one thing and one thing only: civil rights. No other argument is before us other than whether U.S. citizens will be granted equal protection under the law, as guaranteed in the 14th Amendment.

Consider the facts. Men and women who are gay or lesbian have jobs, pay taxes, vote and are consumers. They are full-fledged members of society in every way except for one thing: They cannot legally marry the person they love and are, therefore, denied the protection and benefits that come with it.

Marriage, as governed and directed by the state and federal government, provides more protection for married couples than other forms of partnerships. Married couples receive tax benefits, medical and death benefits, they are allowed to file a myriad of law suits as spouses and can adopt children together, receive veteran benefits and move freely from state to state without jeopardizing their marital status.

What are we even arguing about?

The real issue holding us back is religion. The idea that God brought marriage into existence and defined it as between one man and one woman is the stumbling block as well as the key to allowing us to let it go.

First, we can't ask God directly what was intended or meant by the idea of marriage. For those who do believe in God (which is another problem; not everyone does, also a right protected under our Constitution) is to look to the Bible.

Genesis 2:24 is the scriptural reference from which all other biblical marriage references come from and point back to. Here's what it states: Men and women will leave their homes and join together to make another one.

Think about what it doesn't say: it makes no mention of a ceremony or vows; it does not include special exemptions, benefits and credits to married couples. Oops, guess God left all that out, which for us living in 2013, is the great omission.

God left out the governmental protections of marriage, so we as a society can leave out God when we define what marriage means today. Individuals can marry and receive all the benefits of marriage, whether they subscribe to a religious belief or not. Churches, temples, mosques and other religious entities can choose not to perform religious marriages for LGBT couples. What they do not get to do is deny the protections granted by the government in marriage.

God doesn't get to decide for us, which is good news. We all want that to be true. The other scenario would catapult our society into the realm of arbitrarily deciding what God commands and which God from which religion commanded it. There is no agreed upon criteria for assessing God's commands, making such assertions dependent on the one interpreting it and their particular agenda.

God commanding legal definitions for a diverse society that has progressed in self-understanding and maturity (remember when we thought God deemed slavery as the right definition of humanity?), leaves us without just protection under the law, and that is the most sacred right we, as Americans, all ought to hold as hallowed.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.

5 comments:

  • Robert Jacobs posted at 12:16 pm on Fri, Apr 19, 2013.

    Robert Jacobs Posts: 298

    I'll just ask Ms. AmyJo Mattheis, master of divinity and former Lutheran pastor one question.

    Here is a quote from AmyJo Matteis:

    "The question of whether gay and lesbian people ought to be able to marry in the same manner and institution as heterosexuals is about one thing and one thing only: civil rights. No other argument is before us other than whether U.S. citizens will be granted equal protection under the law, as guaranteed in the 14th Amendment.

    You say, the only thing this is about is civil rights? "What about the God you serve in the bible Ms. Lutheran pastor?"

    What does the bible say in Romans 1:26-32 about homosexuals and lesbians and the act of homosexuality? Do you believe that God would approve of this, and the marrying of these people? Or did he really mean what he said about those who practice these things?

    The bible says those who practice these things (homosexuality) are already condemned!

    And the fact that you are former Lutheran pastor, makes me breathe a sigh of relief!

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:47 pm on Mon, Apr 15, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2255

    I have never argued that people shouldn't be permitted to love whoever they choose. In America so long as what someone does is not in violation of the law or hurts anyone else, we should be left to find our own brand of happiness. As such, I fully agree that certain laws should be changed. But securing what you've outlined above can be done without changing the definition of marriage. Or is that simply not enough; is the issue somehow deeper?

     
  • David Diskin posted at 10:09 pm on Sat, Apr 13, 2013.

    David Diskin Posts: 175

    Jerome, I know you're familiar with Prop 8 which was overwhelmingly supported by religious organizations.

    Denying same-sex marriages strips a number of protections that would otherwise have been provided.

    For example, if Person A has a child, and Person A later marries Person B who is of the same sex, and ten years later Person A passes away, Person B has absolutely no right to the custody of the child.

    Further, Person B has no rights to the benefits we would typically provide to widows.

    Granted, some of that doesn't apply in California, but it is very much an issue for any federal employee and for any employee in many other states.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 2:26 pm on Sat, Apr 13, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2255

    Ms. Mattheis writes: "Churches, temples, mosques and other religious entities can choose not to perform religious marriages for LGBT couples. What they do not get to do is deny the protections granted by the government in marriage."

    I wonder how any church, temple, mosque or other religious entity can "deny the protections granted by the government in marriage." When have they ever been able to do such a thing; or is this something that might be of concern in the near future? This is an interesting notion that I suspected would come about, although not until the issue of same-sex marriage was settled in the courts.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 2:24 pm on Sat, Apr 13, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2255

    The title poses an interesting idea: "Gays are devoted citizens as much as straight people." Who says they haven’t been all along?

     

Recent Comments

Posted 17 hours ago by Joe Baxter.

article: Letter: Pastor Frank Nolton forgets abo…

Fighting for "civil rights". Who defines civil rights? It is clear the LGBT isn't stopping at "civil rights", they are …

More...

Posted 19 hours ago by Brian Dockter.

article: Letter: Obamacare is not the program pr…

And of course it's not a matter of plagiarizing. It's what's plagiarized. Right, Ms. Bobbin?

More...

Posted 19 hours ago by Brian Dockter.

article: Letter: Obamacare is not the program pr…

Chuckle, Had the letter been plagiarism and thus citing the positive attributes of Obamacare, we wouldn't have heard a peep of criticism f…

More...

Posted Yesterday by Christina Welch.

article: Letter: Pastor Frank Nolton forgets abo…

Well said, Mr Heuer. Your line about is it a woman or a man made me think of the song "Turn the Page." That'd be the perfect t…

More...

Posted Yesterday by Christina Welch.

article: San Joaquin County supervisors approve …

You are a good man, Walter.... Quack on, baby!! [beam]

More...

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 100

Loading…

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists