My thanks to Philip for his comments in this dialogue about same-sex marriage. This issue sharply divides generations; hopefully our discussion will generate more light than heat. His response actually raised questions beyond that of same-sex marriage (see his response to my previous posting). Because of the number of issues, I will break up my response with daily postings to help us track one topic–but no more than two–at a time.
Philip said he would “take issue with any groups … who try to restrict the rights of another group.” To that I would say that in order to have a functioning society we have to restrict certain groups. There are literally thousands of groups that needs be restricted to promote the well-being and safety of all citizens; that give people the expectation of crime prevention and medical care; that protect the weak and unwary from violence and exploitation; that maintain both a system of justice and our education system, etc. Thus, restriction of another group, per se, is not a reasonable criterion to disallow my position.
Since many people don’t accept the Bible as authoritative, Philip was quite right to assert that Christians shouldn’t expect people outside the faith to accept the rationale of “because the Bible says.” Nor should he expect Christians to necessarily find validity in his personal opinion, either. Philip is certainly welcome to “take issue,” but opinion in itself isn’t sufficient to make a point. It is simply creating one’s own truth.
However, I have two questions for Philip–and our readers, too: What do you accept as authoritative to guide your life? What would you suggest as a trustworthy standard for both sides to use for a productive discussion on this issue of same-sex marriage?
Come back tomorrow; we’ll have more on the discussion between Philip and me plus your comments, too.