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Saturday, June 16, 2012

While We're on the Subject

I seem, in reviewing the labels for my blog, to have a lot of entries on "same-sex marriage" and "homosexuality". It appears that there is a recurring theme here. And I wouldn't deny it. The subject is the current "battleground", so to speak, so I've been standing there. One of the recurring responses in that recurring theme is, well, love. "What's wrong with two people loving each other?" "Why shouldn't two people who love each other be allowed to marry?" That sort of thing. And I've tried to deal with the basic problem of using the term "marry" in that sentence if the "two people" in question are of the same gender. But this recurring theme of "love" has suddenly caused me to ask a question of my own.

Here's the deal. Marriage has always meant the union of a man and a woman and up until extremely recently included the concepts of procreation, child-rearing, that sort of thing. Now, going with the question of love, I have to wonder about love. Is "love" the same as "lust"? I think we would all agree that they are not the same. You can love lots of people (and even things in our vernacular) without sexual desire, and it's good. Okay? We're in agreement thus far? Now the next question. Is "lust" equivalent to sexual intimacy? I would hope that the answer would be the same -- no! So if my sexual desires are neither "love" nor "sexual intimacy", where does that leave us? (Remember the original objections.)

A married Mormon blogger last week "came out" as a self-identified "homosexual". Yes, married. Yes, Mormon. And, oh, by the way, no intention of changing either. You see, this guy understands that "lust" is not the same as sexual intimacy. And love is not the same as lust. Therefore, this guy, with whatever faults and errors you wish to point out, still gets some fundamental truths correct. Love doesn't require lust, sexual intimacy doesn't require lust, and it is possible to be obedient to God's commands. So this guy admits same-sex desires which he has decided to set aside in favor of ... get this ... love and sexual intimacy with his wife.

I ask, then, those who argue that love is good and two people who love each other ought to be allowed to marry, what sex has to do with it? No, not sex, "sexual desire". What does lust have to do with it? Can a man with sexual desires for men love a woman? Isn't that answer obvious? And since sexual intimacy is not determined by my sexual desires, but by intimacy, why can't a person who experiences homosexual desires marry someone of the opposite gender, experience sexual intimacy, and live a happy life? Or is it true, in the end, that the only way we can live a happy life is to indulge our personal urges? If that is true, we've become a pitiful people, and questions about homosexuals or "marriage" are only the light that shines on the gangreneous rot in our society. If true happiness resides in indulging our own basest desires, there are a lot bigger questions we'll need to face than just the concept of marriage. And it won't be pretty ... for anyone.


David said...

I think that can be simply answered by looking at the most recent Pepsi slogan..."Live For Now".

Grundy said...

So...would you be sexually intimate with someone of the same sex?

Stan said...

I'm missing the point of the question, Grundy. Would I be sexually intimate with someone of the same sex? Why? Why would I? But what I really suspect is that you're missing the point, and that wouldn't be unexpected if you haven't been following the discussion here.

Marriage has a meaning. It is a concept with history, tradition, purpose. Even those who are arguing for "marriage equity" and trying to make "gay marriage" legal admit that the first requirement is that the longstanding, traditional definition of marriage must change in order to make "gay marriage" a meaningful phrase. Marriage is -- has always been -- the union of a man and a woman with one key purpose of reproducing and rearing children.

Now, I suggest we don't change that, that losing that concept will be too expensive and, ultimately, remove any genuine meaning to marriage. They say, "But you're preventing us from getting married!" No, I'm not. Thus the point of the post.

Why would I recommend a person sexually attracted to the same gender be sexually intimate with someone of the opposite gender? Because they want to get married and this is their opportunity. Why would you suggest I be sexually intimate with someone of the same sex? No reason. No reason at all. Except to affirm my fears that the only viable point in life is to follow my own personal desires wherever they lead. A dangerous position to take.

Marshall Art said...

Another great post, Stan. I have tried to make the same distinction myself in blogs past. Basing unions, marriages, whatever, on lust is not a good basis at all and too many hetero marriages are so based. Eventually, when those desires wane, so does the desire to remain married.

What passes for "love" where lust is involved is deceitful in that one disregards or is unable to recognize the truth of the other because lust is so powerful. Therefor, it is NOT love at all and certainly not the love required for a healthy and life-long marriage.

It is not possible to maintain that type of lust based love as it is superficial in nature though some claim to still be hot for their spouses many years into their marriages. I don't believe it is quite the same as lust, or, the true knowledge of their spouses has led them something else that now arouses their lust (though it might still be something other than lust).

Why must we promise or vow to love the other if lust is lasting? We promise to love the other for life because lust ISN'T lasting. Love is something we are supposed to do as opposed to something over which we have no control or say.

Therefor, to make such a promise to one who does not fit God's plan for human sexuality is irrational.

Stan said...

Quite true. A heterosexual marriage based on personal urges won't work either.

Grundy said...

Stan, do you think that people shouldn't have sex until they are married?

Stan said...

Grundy, since I obviously draw my morality from the Bible and the Bible is not unclear on the topic, that would be a given. Sex is for marriage only.

Mike said...

Great post, Stan. I've tried to state that exact point several times before, but have not been able to put it so eloquently.

Vaughn Ohlman said...

great post Stan