In this election year it is no secret that I do not have a candidate—a depressing prospect for someone like me. However, there is one issue that I can feel good about voting for. As many of you know, we have Proposition 8 up for vote here in California, which in essence will amend the California Constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.
The first and obvious reason for supporting this initiative is a matter of religion. Many of you know that I am a Latter Day Saint, and the President of our Church (the Prophet) has been very explicit in directing that the saints out here are to be promoting the proposition and campaigning on its behalf.
However, while my religious beliefs may inform me that gay marriage is immoral, there are several additional reasons why I believe that Proposition 8 is not only right morally, but why I believe that it is vital to the preservation of our republic.
Like I’m sure each of you have done, I too have contemplated long and hard about the argument that denying gay couples the right to marry is an unfair violation of equal rights. This argument is compelling, but I argue that there are far too many other serious considerations that outweigh this seeming injustice. Over the next couple of weeks I will post a few different reasons for this assertion, of which this post is the first.
Reason #1: "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
Like President Lincoln said at another seminal moment in American history, when he quoted Christ, a house divided against itself cannot stand. The preservation of any civilization depends on a common culture. An essential element in culture is what is defined by its people to be moral and immoral. Civilizations that disagree on these matters often suffer disarray or end in war.
These divisions creeping among us do not unify us, nor will they. As President Lincoln predicted of slavery, the country would remain divided until one side or the other won. Such a dichotomy of values cannot live in harmony. This is not to say that we are “intolerant” of one another. Most of us that disagree with gay marriage know gay people and get along with them just fine. We disagree, and do so respectfully, yet at the end of the day we disagree. Disagreements might be manageable on an individual level, but when it comes time to write out national and state budgets, to draw up national and state laws, and to decide matters of peace and war, the value of a unified body politic cannot be overstated.
This country is facing a dilemma. The question has become which we value more, “diversity” or “unity.” I am not proposing a Harry Potter like prophesy where “either can live while the other survives.” The fact is, our nation has always enjoyed a healthy amount of diversity. We are, after all, a nation of immigrants—immigrants that have at times brought competing values. But it has always been our highest aspiration to maintain a sense of national unity. It was for this reason that the congress placed the phrase E pluribus unum, Latin for "Out of Many, One," on our national seal in 1782. Diversity has always had its place as long as our diversity did not disrupt our national unity. However, there is a difference between “diversity” and just plain deviation or defiance. What I am proposing is that if we choose to value diversity over the values that have so long unified us as a nation, the classic American values of Christianity, free enterprise, small government, and checks and balances, we will cease to be a unified country and will be forced to face the consequences that follow.
A few weeks ago I got a hold of a “Yes on 8” poster and put it up in our apartment window. By the very next day our neighbors had put up several homemade signs in protest to ours, urging to “vote NO on 8.” Since then, they have replaced their homemade signs with proper manufactured ones. They read: “Equality for All: Vote No on 8.” It is really quite intersting--Next door neighbors at such odds. It has left me to ponder. We have to ask ourselves, is the right for gay couples to marry really more important than the unity of our nation? Are we truly prepared to declare “Equality for All” , “Unity for None?”