Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Why Does a Particular Word Matter?

The Philadelphia Inquirer had an article about the new civil union legislation and the language used which gay partners refer to each other.

From the article:
"We hear some people using the term spouse. We hear some saying partner," she said. "A few use husband and wife, but most want to save those for when marriage is legalized."

New Jersey's law came in response to an October state Supreme Court order that gay couples be granted the same rights as married couples. The court gave lawmakers six months to act but left it to them to decide whether to call the unions "marriage" or something else.

Gay couples welcomed the law, but some argued that not calling the relationship "marriage" creates a different, inferior institution.

Now, if you get all the rights of marriage but not the word "marriage", what's the problem? Well, that's an easy one. You want approval. And, it seems to me, that seeking approval shows that many aren't convinced in their conscience that what they are doing is right.

This practice is endemic to the human race. Paul wrote:
Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:32)

Giving others approval of what your conscience struggles with helps ease feelings of guilt. That's what I take out of this verse.

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