Jeannette and I headed up to Maple Grove to see a debate between Ronn Johnson from Northwestern College, and August Berkshire of Minnesota Atheists. I thought both participants are getting better at articulating their positions, but because this debate has been done so many times, it feels rehearsed. While August was on the offensive, asking for proof and evidence, and saying everyone in the room is an atheist with regards to other gods, like Thor and Apollo, the Christians at Northwestern Bookstore gasped in shock, almost hearing the word atheist and shutting off what followed.
After the debate, and talking afterwards, which lasted 3 hours, we headed to Perkins. Here the debate continued with Christians and atheists talking about the nature of evil, the afterlife, morality, etc. As it got later in the night, August mentioned that in our country, if you want a law passed, you need to have secular reasons for getting it passed. For example, you couldn't pass a law banning the eating of meat on Friday, unless there were a secular reason for doing so. He cited gay marriage as an example of a law to prohibit an action which has no secular basis. One of the women there, how very honestly said, "What about harm to the body? Shouldn't we prevent that? Gays have to get surgery for ruptured anuses all the time and I need to pay for it. If they get married, then I need to pay for their spouses insurance, so I'd need to pay for their surgery as well." August countered with, "What about lesbians? They have the lowest numbers of venereal disease, so what's the reason there?" She replied, "well, I'm sure there's something they do, I have no idea what they do."
So, THAT's why people don't want gay marriage. They don't want more ruptured anuses. I wanted to find more information about the gay marriage debate, and where the concern for ruptured anuses came from, but I ran into too many sites with people wanting to hang gays, thought gay parades were icky, that it was unnatural, people don't fit that way, that gay people should procreate so the disease of homosexuality will die off, and that being homosexual is wrong because the Bible tells us so.
Of course, I know there are many Christians who are gay, and many Christians who don't see any problem with homosexuality. They see the main message of the New Testament as love and inclusion. The difficulty when a tolerant Christian tries to convince a literalist, is that they are using the same source material, just reading it differently. There's no good ground to start from, and all are just a point of view, with some being more convincing to others then another. For example, a liberal Christian could write off all of the crazy Jewish laws in the Old Testament, and Leviticus 18:22, because we've entered into a new covenant with God, therefor we don't need to follow all of the old laws. But, a literalist, will pull out Romans 1:26-27, right in the New Testament. So how do you judge who is right? Do all arguments carry equal weight?