I wrote this in early 2004 about a year before I started posting on Huffington and came across it today.
As a soon-to-be 72 year old, I look at what's going on about marriages of gay and lesbian couples with amazement and strangely, at the same time, with a degree of understanding. But now, our President has raised the issue to a new level, by suggesting an amendment to the Constitution to prevent these unions from taking place. Is the President acting on behalf of the Judeo/Christian forces at work in our country? I think so. Or is he perhaps concerned that these marriages will somehow "minimize" the traditional importance of men and women marrying, and raising a family? In either case, "why is he doing this"?
I am the second son, of second-generation American Orthodox Jewish parents. We did all the correct "Jewish" things; however, we broke almost all of the dietary rules. I wondered about that, but it did give me the chance to eat pork, shrimp, Chinese food, but in particular, my favorite to this day, bacon.
I know that it's a stretch, but what would have happened if liberal Jews, along with their more Orthodox friends, went to the government, and asked for the passage of a law banning the sale and consumption of bacon, and supported this with "Biblical" references? It would have been appropriate from their perspective. I wondered why it was important to most religions, that everyone practices their religion in a particular way, and variances, like bacon, were somehow not okay?
Growing up, I rebelled about Orthodox Jewish customs. I did something that made my father totally nuts, when I took my dog, Daisy for a walk on Yom Kippur afternoon wearing chinos and a windbreaker, my dad wanted me to put on a suit and tie, so as not to flaunt my non observance of the holiday. I of course refused, and we had a huge fight about the incident. My position about this was, (and would be today) why do people insist that I conform to other peoples belief systems? Why would their beliefs be somehow diminished if I didn't subscribe to them? Were they to have their faith diminished if I did not observe? How about a Constitutional amendment requiring the wearing of a suit and tie during religious celebrations?
Assuming that we are a secular nation, and have evolved in so many ways, I find it difficult to understand why we as a society require restrictions on our population by our unwillingness to accept gay and lesbian unions that are characterized as "marriage". Why does this effect the belief system of those people who would not accept this in their own lives? Should any church be in a position to attempt to have the government enforce their beliefs on all of society? I think not.
I have difficulty in my failure to understand why people object to a word or words and allow our society to be distracted from all of the real issues it faces. That is society in general, and our country in particular. Go to church if you wish, go to a synagogue or a mosque if you wish, call your worship or convictions yours, and have them govern you and yours if you wish, but not me or mine. If a gay and lesbian couple wishes to marry, congratulate them; do not try to pass laws preventing them from doing so. Go to the movies on Sunday if you wish, don't go to church, ride on the Sabbath, marry a person of another race, and of course, most important of all, eat bacon if you like, as I do.
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