Sunday, June 08, 2008

Two Tightly Controlled Elections

The newspaper on Saturday carried another sad and shocking story from Zimbabwe. "President Robert Mugabe banned party rallies and detained his rival" the teaser read in the Seattle Times.

Okay, so why did my mind flash immediately to the coming Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly's election of a Stated Clerk?

The newspaper teaser sounded just all too familiar:
  1. Someone in office and expecting to win gets challenged.
  2. All challenger campaign rallies are banned. (In our case, the total campaigning ban for stated clerk is due to new standing rules first proposed by the office from which the candidate in power is running. The rules were then approved without consideration by General Assembly in a consent agenda. Strangely, these new rules happen to have sprung from a process first kicked off by allegations that supporters of the present Stated Clerk had attempted to manipulate the previous election.)
  3. Although of course no rival is being physically detained, the challengers might as well be, for election regulations have lowered a cone of silence over them.
  4. Somehow challengers must try to become known and elected anyway, even given the many imposed disadvantages.

Think maybe President Mugabe got hold of our new rules and picked up some tips on how to run an election from a position of incumbent power? We Presbyterians apparently have written the book!

Were it so, it wouldn't be the first gift the church has given Mugabe. He rose to power as a violent rebel commander, funded in part by World Council of Churches dollars earmarked for liberation causes. The PCUSA still funds the WCC to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars a year.

Remember when Mugabe's men shot down an airplane carrying missionary families and then murdered those who survived the crash? That didn't keep him from being the darling of WCC liberationists, however, and the honored host of a WCC assembly, once he had seized power.

Ah, your per capita dollars at work!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Why Not a Marriage of Four in California?

In San Jose, the very city where General Assembly will be held in a couple of weeks, Tony, Kevin, Sandi, and Kaye have set themselves up as a group marriage. They believe in polyamory, and they practice it. Boy, do they ever practice it--Sandi with Kaye, Tony with Sandi, Tony with Kaye, Sandi with Kevin, Kaye with Kevin! So what's holding back Kevin and Tony as a duo--the prudes!

Given the miserable ruling of the California Supreme Court about same-sex marriage, one wonders why not groups of whatever size being recognized as marriages. Logically, what's to hinder it? The majority of the Supreme Court ruled that due to "the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians...." [emphasis added].

Tony, Sandi, Kaye, and Kevin are Californians. Presumably they, too, have a fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, which presumably is guaranteed as their basic civil right as Californians by the California Constitution.

But why just gay couples?

If straight people and presumably now gay people have such a right to marry whomever they choose, wouldn't bisexual and polyamorous people also have such a right? What's so sacrosanct about the number two, that marriage should be limited to such a small number, anyway, if we're making this up as we go along?

There is really no excuse for limiting marriage only to straight and gay people in pairs--if people have some constitutional right to form the family relationship of their choosing. These four chose four for their marriage. Who's to quibble? What's to hinder them from adding in Nathan, their foster son, if at least one of the four should happen to "fall in love" with him, too?

California appears to be the perfect place for the foursome to declare their "marriage," because civil order, morality, and common sense about marriage have already been sacrificed to the gods of gay activism.

Choices at General Assembly

In the very same San Jose of Kaye, Kevin, Tony, and Sandi, Presbyterians also will be asked to sacrifice to these same gods of gay activism. We're being asked to change the Christian definition of marriage from "between a woman and a man" to "between two people."

How passé! Logically, shouldn't the constitutional amendment ask for the definition of marriage to be "between any number of parties"?

As long as folks are seeking to change the definition of marriage--God's sacred provision--as a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman, why not make it such that anything goes? If one intends to ignore Scripture, several millennia of Judeo-Christian practice, and our Confessions, why not at least be logically consistent and go whole hog?

Why is approval sought only for gay marriage? The answer is clear: Because right now polyamory, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and who knows what else don't have big, noisy, insistent, and politically powerful lobbies pushing for similar recognition. None of these other arrangements is any more or less sinful than homosexual practice. Homosexual practice and these other practices all equally transgress Christian morality and any biblical warrant.

Marrage is not four--ever! Or two whatever.

In San Jose, Presbyterians can do something truly countercultural and uncharacteristically brave. Presbyterians can make a clear decision to choose this day whom they will serve--not the gods of a licentious society falling further into immorality, but rather our Holy God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Commissioners can affirm that as for us and our denomination, we will serve the Lord!

Presbyterians can choose not to conform to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds to believe and act according to the mind and will of God. Quite simply, by disapproving the proposed Directory for Worship amendments, Presbyterian commissioners can steadfastly refuse to defile marriage by redefinition.

"Marriage should be honored by all," God commands us through the writer of Hebrews, "and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral" (Hebrews 13:4). In San Jose, General Assembly commissioners can keep that command, even when Sandi, Tony, Kaye, and Kevin have chosen to trash it.