I am currently reading the Fifty Shades of Gray Trilogy by E. L. James. There has certainly been buzz pro and con on Twitter, so I had to see for myself. I like romance books, but some of the references to some sexual practices made me uncomfortable. For myself, sex without love is wrong and would be uncomfortable for me. What others choose to do as consenting adults is none of my business, but there were a couple of instances in the first book in which physical violence as punishment was forced on an individual. I unfortunately was eating supper in a restaurant when reading this, and I’m afraid my tears were visually evident. Punishment is one of my hot buttons. I don’t even like punitive verbiage. I almost gave up after those scenes, but people who have read the latter books wrote me on Twitter that this stuff was dealt with and toned down. I’m on the third one and enjoying them, but I’m not exactly sure yet why they have such a large following. They certainly aren’t anything profound!
I have to comment on this Chick Filet phenomenon which happened yesterday. I love their food, and I’d eat there if it was convenient. I may not have yesterday, because that would have made a statement contrary to my beliefs. I try not to let a company’s politics rule what I do. I’d rather not sacrifice good services or products for corporate contributions/beliefs which match mine. I don’t agree with the CEO’s stance on gay marriage, but he does have the right to say what he believes. Someone expressed to me that companies should be neutral on topics like this, and perhaps in an ideal world, they would be. But the reality is that companies contribute to things for self interest and because of the beliefs of the people at the top. I watch attempts to put limits on contributions to politicians with the statement that companies aren’t people, but sadly I don’t think it will get very far. A tricky part of this issue is trying to regulate which organizations can and can’t lobby. Is it only nonprofit organizations? But makers of medical stuff and hospitals are doing good by working on research. Companies who provide telecommunications are also doing good things. Others argue that perhaps companies should only lobby on things related to what they do. Good luck enforcing that! Making those determinations would not be easy.
The part of this which does press my buttons is when people say that if I’m not against gay marriage, I *am against traditional marriage. Well, I am a woman, and Phil is a man. We will have been married for 16 years later this month, and the only thing which isn’t traditional about our marriage is the fact that we have chosen not to have children. A gay friend of mine pointed out that he and others have nothing against traditional marriage. People who are gay being able to marry does not threaten our marriage or any traditional marriage. Divorce and things leading to divorce threaten marriages.
I don’t believe churches should or will be forced to marry people who are gay, and I’m astounded that my diocese has spent an inordinate amount of money against gay marriage, when there are plenty of things *many *more Catholics support as worthy causes. I don’t plan on walking away from my church, and if they want me gone, they’ll have to excommunicate me. But despite official church teachings, I refuse to stand in the way of people in a particular population to marry in my state. It goes back to that two consenting adults thing.
On the other hand, many people who share my general opinion are using words like “hate” and “bigot”. Certainly there are people who hold the opposing view who have those qualities. but just as gay people or people with disabilities hate to be stereotyped, we shouldn’t do it to others. Many are comparing this to civil rights for Blacks in the 60’s, but I think there’s one important distinction. Many of the people who are opposed to gay marriage start out with the false assumption that gay people *choose to be gay. Although I’m not gay, I don’t believe that people would put themselves through this stuff if they actually felt there was another way. Others against people who are gay marrying say that being gay isn’t a choice but engaging in homosexual behavior is a choice like any other sin. I think these people are thinking far too much about sex and not considering the much larger percentage of other interactions which go on in a loving marriage. It’s my opinion that the many gay people who want to marry — just like many of their heterosexual counterparts — love each other in a deep and profound way. No matter what your orientation, a marriage based on sexual compatibility only is probably headed for trouble.
As I’ve said, , being a Catholic Christian and having these views presents a certain tension within those of us who travel this road. Brothers and sisters in Christ attribute my views to everything from lack of faith to the devil. People who aren’t Christians wonder why I want to be part of the hypocrisy of Christianity and possibly organized religion in general. All I can say is that I wouldn’t feel right either shaking off my faith or doing things to put obstacles in the way of two people who want to commit to each other in marriage. Going one way or the other would be easier, but neither would be right for me.
Rebecca Kragnes with Seeing Eye Dog Zane (Black Lab )