June 20, 2004

Striving for Perfection

I recently became involved in a big debate on Alas a Blog. The more I try and explain my position the more I wonder if I'm messing up. Maybe it really is about wanting people to agree with me, which intellectually I know many won't, but emotionally...well don't we all want people to think we are right?

The issue has to do with (gay) marriages and whether someone is right or not to boycott the wedding based on their moral beliefs. Me: if you have been following the debate you know I am going to say, they have a right..as long as it is done with what I would call gentility; no name calling, no standing outside the ceremony with placards; simply return the little card one gets in the mail with "regrets". It is hard to imagine someone whom one is close to not realizing why you aren't coming. No made up excuses; if asked, I would say "because I don't not believe it is right to marry someone of the same sex, and I would feel like I was sanctioning the relationship."

That is the essence of the debate over there. Over here; well here's the deal.

I have a relationship with G-d that supersedes my relationship with people. I act, not out of fear that I will die and G-d will then slap me down with horrific and unimaginable punishments---but because I feel G-d's love for me, and I love G-d. That is a primary relationship.

The fact that the Torah, as Hillel put it, is about "What is hateful to you do not to your neighbor that is the whole Torah
while the rest is the commentary on it."
does not mean that I toss G-d aside when someone else may be hurt by my keeping to the Torah.

For me, this is a way of life; not a ritual or something to do on Shabbat (the Sabbath) or holidays; this is about my whole life. How I eat, what I do when I get up in the morning; everything is about keeping to a path that I feel if adhered to correctly will lead to a better world.

I can not support certain marriages; so there are weddings I will not attend. I can, at least I believe I can, support, despite my belief that a particular relationship is in and of itself immoral, that the people within it are protected from harassment, that they have access to health care, and access to those they love when their health is impaired, that their lifestyle choices, even when I disagree with them, don't leave them homeless or unable to protect the children they consider, by years of love, their own, that they are able to live their lives without fear of harm.


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