August 29, 2012

And Then There Were Three…


In the debate over same-sex marriage one of the common arguments made by conservatives is that once marriage is reduced to a contractual arrangement between consenting individuals all limitations on size and nature of the arrangement are removed. Marriage as a sacred institution where a man and women join together to produce, raise, and nurture the next generation is replaced with a fluid institution where whatever decadent arrangement one wants will be affirmed by the State. Same-sex marriage will be followed by the legalization of polygamy, polyandry, incest, or anything else. As you can expect, this response is, “Oh, that will never happen.” Well, it has happened.

According to a reports coming out of Sao Paulo, Brazil, a notary approved the civil union of three people. BBC noted, “Public Notary Claudia do Nascimento Domingues has said the man and two women should be entitled to family rights.”

One could potentially argue that this polygamist civil union is not equal to full marriage, but the incremental approach on these matters has been successful in the past. All it takes to turn a civil union into marriage in an activist judge or in the case of Connecticut, a group of judges. Brazil has recognized civil unions since 2004, but in 2011 a judge, also in the state of Sao Paulo, converted a civil union into full marriage. Since then hundreds of same-sex couples have had their civil unions converted to marriage as well.

The assault on human flourishing continues…

13 Responses to And Then There Were Three…

  1. “That assault on human flourishing continues…”

    Ummm…so the human race will die out if a few people opt for non-traditional families? Hardly.

    If “flourishing” is *the* problem here (instead of a red herring), then let’s mandate a birth rate that ensures that there are enough children to cover the deaths of their parents.

    What would Jesus do? Well, from the scriptures, we can see that he had a pretty big problem with divorce. Not surprising that he had to mention this because it’s our main familial problem these days too. (Interestingly he had nothing to say about families that were configured in other ways, as he would have surely known about.)

    We really have no business telling people how they should configure their families, much less putting or keeping legal barriers in place.

    If you want to know one reason gays and lesbians believe Christians/traditionalists hate them, then put yourself in their place for a moment: making it impossible for them to have the legitimate families that are natural *for them*, and denouncing them for even desiring this are certainly the sorts of things one who hates could be expected to do….

    Now here’s a real-life example for you:

    I have been married to my wife for nearly twenty-three years. My body has some male parts, some female parts and the rest is in the overlap between the sexes. My gender identity is female. My wife has some female parts and some male parts to her, and her gender identity is male. When we married (at God’s arrangement), we looked like an ordinary “traditional” couple…Yet, we were never really “straight” from the very beginning.

    Now, in recent years “she” lives as an androgynous person, and I live as a woman. We have raised a son and helped raise many other children not our own. SO, you who are so quick to block non-traditional families, what are you going to do about us? Annul our marriage? Whine to Jesus about us and how “bad” we are? Tell us we’re dragging society down? Ostracize us? Good for you! You can’t hurt us, we belong to Jesus, but we pity those who do not yet know him, who are also the targets of your “love,” because your attitudes stand between them and reconciliation with God.

    • Richard Leakey says:

      thank you for your reply. I think your situation captures the pain of the fallen world we live in so wonderfully. While being a strong advocate of one woman one man monogamous life long marriages the debate needs to be seasoned with compassion, understanding and grace for real life which isn’t cookie cutter cute. Appreciate what your post adds to the blog

    • judi blatchley says:

      In more of an explanation, I have all female parts but in brain mapping done during times of seizure activity, they discovered that my brain responses followed the male patterns. All my life I struggled with not having all the female attributes to my personality and brain, so tried to determine how I could function best in the totalness of His creation, respecting all that He has blessed me with, as I see my creation as being perfect and for a special reason. Recently God has directed me to celebrate the form He chose for me so my dress has become more feminine without being frilly or girly. So while I had dressed androgynous I am dressing more feminine. I do consider myself to be two-spirited and do not consider myself to not be straight, but to be perfectly created with some of the best of everything!

      Brett’s wife

  2. Tom Arr says:

    Folks need to stop justifying the rightness of marriage as traditionally defined. It has already been divinely justified, there is no more logical application that any man can do to make it more so. Attempting to justify it with worldly reasons allows the world to argue against it in worldly fashion, just like Brett did.

    Then they will do what Paul told us there is no wisdom in doing..comparing ourselves to each other. They do this to justify their actions based on your failings, once again ignoring the divine example and replacing it with human failings.

    The trap of equating all love as the same, while ignoring that the scriptures used three different words in the Greek for love:

    1.agape – the parental, forgiving, protective, disciplinarian love
    2.philia – brotherly or friendly love
    3.eros – sexual love

    We are only guaranteed the first, only from God Himself, and love does not equal approval.

    Finally they ignore two truths, one, that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made, and two, that we are all of a fallen nature from birth.

    • Brett Blatchley says:

      “Finally they ignore two truths, one, that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made, and two, that we are all of a fallen nature from birth.”


      From the context of your post, it seems safe to conclude that I am among the “they” to whom you refer above. If that is true, then know this:

      I have not ignored either truth. Nor have many other of the people you have *assumed* you understand.

      Those who know me, know that I understand all three of the loves you listed very, very well indeed.

      I daresay that I know many people in non-traditional families (including “queer folk”) who understand love better than a great many Christians I’ve met over my three decades with Jesus.

      • Pudentiana says:

        Your reply Brett suggests to me that you are under conviction and resist the Spirit of God

      • Brett Blatchley says:

        Pudentiana? Really???

        Well then!

        Disagree with someone who assumes they understand you (and God, and your relationship with God) and you can be sure that that’s a tell-tale sign that you’re resisting God’s Spirit. Goodness, who knew that dealing with such difficult issues was so easy?

        “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow.” (John 10:27) Either his children believe this or they don’t. God has taken me through the kinds of impossibilities that would rock the world of your average Western believer to their core: as a result, I know his voice and I am secure that he will direct me in his ways, even if others (such as Pudentiana) insist they know better.

        God is my judge, and it is him that I love and him that I serve. We shall see what happens at the Bema!

  3. Dan Trabue says:

    God bless you, Brett. You can’t go wrong relying upon our gracious God for judgment and for acceptance.

  4. John McAdams says:

    >> We really have no business telling people how they should configure their families, much less putting or keeping legal barriers in place. <<

    But the issue with gay marriage is not "how people should configure their families," but what government will force on people. Employers are *forced* to recognize gay marriages as the equal of other marriages. Which is to say, you want to force your moral beliefs on others.

    One could simply privatize marriage, but the state does have a legitimate interest in the welfare of children. In the best of all possible worlds, all children would be conceived in, born in, and reared in a two parent, mother/father family. This isn't a moral judgment. This is social science.

    • Have you considered that our society is already forcing their moral beliefs on taxpaying gay and lesbian couples?

      This is a pluralist society, not a sectarian one. As such, it must be a government that addresses the needs and desires of all of its people, fitting this into the context of the common good. The common good is furthered by people entering stable familial relationships. Gays and lesbians are asking that they not be penalized when they want to form such relationships; they are not asking for “special rights” that are not already granted to heterosexual families.

      Some have and will continue to argue that gay marriage is bad for society, yet the most unbiased and scientifically sound research shows that gay and lesbian famlies make just as stable partners and parents as traditional one-man-one-woman-lifetime-commitment unions. Some insist that gay marriages cannot produce children, but that’s not true either: children may be created through alternative means, or simply adopted. Some insist that gay marriages will create more gay children, yet the reality is the most gay children come from straight parents.

      In our society, our citizens are given a voice in they way they are governed. (And it should be noted that ALL laws, rules and regulations are a form of “legislated morality.” The question is: whose morality?) So while it is valid for people who view “traditional marriage” to oppose non-traditional ones, it is just as valid for others to promote alternatives to the traditional. So far as I know, no one is seriously trying to rid our nation of “traditional marriage,” instead, people wish to establish that there are other forms of marriage and family that should be recognized.

      So, to get back to the point: yes: one group is “imposing” their morality on another. (In this case, it is a group that has been horribly imposed upon throughout history suffering at least as much as the Church herself has suffered.) Argue your point all you wish, but use the truth and avoid the “imposition” argument because it hurts your cause. Also realize that not everyone sees the Scriptures as you might. There *are* different interpretations, and many don’t recognize the Bible as an authority or source of truth at all. In our society, there are all kinds of people. Our society must address everyone, not simply fundamentalist Christians.

      I would think that as Jesus’ representatives on Earth, we would want to follow His example, focusing on love and reconciliation with God rather than acting as gate-keepers on the “narrow way.” The world has enough problems seeing God without focusing ourselves on the non-essentials of the faith. It’s of prime importance that reconciliation with God take place, then there is a lifetime of working with God’s indwelling Spirit who will make whatever changes God believes need be done in a person, in the ways and timing that God deems best for each individual person. We are not the “sin police” and our business is to concentrate on our own sin, love God, others and let God do whatever convicting that needs doing.

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