Let's talk about the fags first. There is scripture which pretty clearly equates homosexuality with sin. Let's assume that this is fact for the purpose of this particular argument. Now when I ask people who are anti-gay marriage and / or of the opinion that homosexuals should be excluded from their congregations, what discerns homosexuality from the hodgepodge of other sins available, of which we all partake and fall short of the glory of God? The answer is always the same. It is a sin in which they are living, and therefore unrepentant (or insufficiently repentant.) Fine. Why is one of my elders, at 300-plus pounds and growing, after a heart attack, charged with providing for his family, tolerated - no - adored, despite his obvious ongoing glutony? I say it's because despite a particular weakness, he is a wonderful man and inspirational leader. For that matter, a certain madsaxer plays a prominent role in the music service of almost every Sunday morning service despite being a gluton to both food and tobacco! The central issue shouldn't really be homosexuality being sinful or not, but whether this (or any) sin deserves to separate a sinner from his church or his state.
Jimmy Carter, in his wonderful "Our Endangered Values," points out that Christianity, to be valid and true, must be taken on by an individual by his own free will. Behaving like a Christian at gunpoint or under threat of imprisonment does NOT constitute Christianity. I am about as heterosexual as a man can be, but it is a gift from God, certainly not virtue. I am as tempted to engage in homosexuality as I am to drive a meat thermometer into my ear with a fungo bat. And I admit, whether it is enlightened or not, faced with the most basic and antiseptic acts of homosexual affection, I am squeamish. This does not give me the right to exclude gays from the comforts I enjoy as a congregation member, a Christian, or an American. Churches can sanction any marriage or not and can be bound by no law to observe that which they do not believe, as it should be. (See, separation of church and state ain't so bad, is it?) But to not allow a church which might see fit to sanction a marriage to perform one seems cruel and unconstitutional and well outside the authority of any New Testament scripture I have read. If Clyde and Bruno want to get married, it has no effect on the sanctity of the vow I made to love my wife for the rest of my life. If any married person thinks otherwise, he needs to examine his view of his promise to God and whatever other conditions he has placed on it.
Abortion is an issue on which I find myself fairly aligned with my GOP brethren, in that I believe it is wrong that federal law has focussed solely on the right of the woman. I abhor the thought of a fetus being destroyed (murdered, if you must.) Tell me cheerfully that you're pro-choice, and I am whistling cheerfully in agreement. Tell me you're pro-choice disdainfully, and I have serious issues. I'll tell you why. Law can no more put an end to abortions than it can reefer, robbery or murder. Abortions will be performed by trained doctors in clinical surrounds, or by pimps in the bathrooms of crack houses. Fact. Because women get raped. Because little girls, well parented and not, get knocked up. Because there are innocent potential little babies in pregnant crack whores who will give up niether crack nor whoring. The decision to have an abortion is an attempt to resolve a series of bad decisions which has already taken place. Is it overused? YES!!! The democratic position on abortion is to keep it legal, safe, and increasingly rare. (Thus the exagerated stories of liberals passing out condoms in public schools like it's Trick-or-Treat.) Should there be laws to protect fetuses as they approach viable, separate human-hood? YES!!! Governor Clinton, when he vetoed a bill banning partial birth abortion because it had no exclusion to protect the woman's health, offered to sign a bill banning all second trimester abortions in exchange for that exclusion. This would have made about twice as many eventual abortions illegal. This was, pardon the conjecture, piously rejected by the Senate Republicans and dropped. Pity. Compromise is not a sin. Partial victories are victories. Saving all babies, and making sure all babies born are wanted are both noble goals, which could lead to the same happy ending. Hey, maybe you're right and I'm wrong, but can one ARGUABLY be pro-life and pro-choice?