Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Success

Well, after much effort and agony (in preparation), Valentine's Day was pretty successful.  Here are some highlights:
  • Amanda still had flowers that were in tact from the last time that I gave them to her, so I was able to forego getting new ones.  
  • I gave her a gift in the morning (it was somewhat practical, but only at her request).  
  • Wrote a small love note to her in the early afternoon.
  • I arranged for two stages of babysitting for the evening...
  • we could go on a surprise date to Sherman Clay, where they were holding a concert called "Sweethearts and Steinway" in their recital room.  They had wine and dessert for us to consume, and a jazz trio consisting of pianist Jim Martinez, a drummer, a standing bass, and a vocalist for some of the songs (which I guess made it a quartet for those tunes).
  • Before our date I gave her a (long and thoughtful) card.
  • I made reservations at Mas (a kinda-upscale Mexican restaurant), for us to have dinner after the concert.
  • Then I had one more small gift for her at the end of the evening.
We probably spent a bit more money than we should have, but this occasion comes only once a year, and I think the celebration/promotion of romance is worth it.  While the day had its ups and downs (as is always the case when taking care of the kids), we thoroughly enjoyed our evening together.  Of course, any date spent with Amanda is a good one though.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

A Christian Perspective on Prop 8

Today a federal appeals court decided that the Prop8 vote to ban gay marriage is unconstitutional (see the USA Today article here).

First, let me say that I can understand both sides of the argument regarding the constitutionality of gay marriage.  And because I can see both opinions on the matter, I don't really know the clear answer regarding whether it should or shouldn't be allowed, from a purely legal perspective.

I'm not surprised to see many people happy about this decision either (on Facebook, etc).  Gay marriage is essentially allowing two adults make the ultimate expression of their dedication and love for one another.  It's an expansion of individual liberty and freedoms as well.  So why shouldn't the secular world cheer for that - yay for love and happily ever after.

What does surprise me though, is to see people who are Christians happy about it.  I'm not saying that all Christians should be angry about it, or should even feel the need to rally against homosexual marriage.  But why would you be happy about further legitimizing and promoting in our society something that is not only a sin, but an "abomination", according to the Bible?  I'm not talking about whether we should appreciate gays as individual people, or whether to be friends with them, etc.  I totally think that we should, and when the opportunity has arisen, I personally have.  I have had gay friends, I have happily worked aside gay co-workers, and I have no issues with even fellow church goers whom are gay.  In fact, one of my roommates in college was gay.  I have no problem with them as people, and I love and enjoy each of them for who they are and what their personalities have to offer.  And if they themselves are not Christians, than why would they not pursue the desires of their heart and/or their sexuality?

However, that still doesn't change my belief that their actions and lifestyle are sinful and wrong.  This is because I believe in the Bible.  And I tend to think that any other person who believes and adheres to the Bible should agree with me on this.  Because from a Biblical perspective, there is no uncertainty about it being wrong.

Whether or not it is ingrained, accepted, or even promoted in our culture should not affect our opinion of what we personally think about the action.  Pornography, objectification, and pre-marital sex are all just as readily, if not even more so promoted and accepted as "normal" in our society.  But as Christians, we are supposed to morally rise about our surroundings and our culture.  I'm not saying this because I think Christians are better or holier than others, but because our moral compass should not be defined by, nor should it even be heavily influenced by our society.  Ideally, it should only be guided by and defined by what the Bible says.

But how much should Christians be influencing our laws, based on our Bible-based moral beliefs?  We certainly don't want to pursue our own version of Sharia law.  The answer to this may certainly vary on an individual basis, and I don't think we should be pursuing further modification of the laws to enact new legal restrictions on people (against porn, for example).  But I don't think it's overstepping our bounds to resist further immoral freedoms either, such as prostitution and homosexual marriage.  And if we are to set an example to others regarding what we stand for, then it definitely seems like a bad idea to actively and/or publicly promote, encourage, or advocate advancement of what we should believe (again, based on the Bible) are immoral agendas.

As an American, and a Libertarian, I can appreciate and even applaud people gaining freedom to make their own individual decisions.  But above both of those belief systems, above everything else that could possibly shape and influence my opinions, I am a follower of Christ, and a believer in the Bible as the set of standards to live by.  So for this reason, I am disappointed in today's outcome.
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