Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Till death do us part...

This is from the BCC weekly update...

John Marcotte is a very sarcastic man.

Marcotte was an opponent of Proposition 8, the 2008 California ballot proposition that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. It passed and Marcotte was none too happy about it. Now he is working on getting an initiative of his own on the ballot in California next year.

His initiative is entitled the 2010 California Marriage Protection Act and it would effectively ban divorce in the state. One of the slogans of the campaign: “You said, ‘Til death do us part.’ You’re not dead yet.”

Here's a picture of a shirt for sale on his website

Remember, Marcotte is being sarcastic—and cynical. He has no desire to really ban divorce. What he is trying to do is highlight what he perceives as the hypocrisy of those who supported the traditional definition of marriage. As he told the Associate Press, “Since California has decided to protect traditional marriage, I think it would be hypocritical of us not to sacrifice some of our own rights to protect traditional marriage even more.”

Two things struck me when I read about Marcotte’s efforts. First, I think he truly believes that those who supported Proposition 8 are mostly hypocrites. They say they one thing about having a high view of marriage but practice another. He is attempting to caricature the religious right as people who attempt to regulate the morality of others but fail to follow their own moral message. I pray that he is wrong.

Second, I was struck by what this proposition says about our culture. The fact that his proposition is considered so ludicrous is an ominous sign of our times. After all, no one could be serious about wanting to make divorce more difficult to achieve. In our culture, a marriage license carries no more weight than the paper on which it is written.

What should our response be as Christians? First, we must have compassion for those who have experienced the pain of divorce. Many in our church family and community have felt the pain of a marriage ripped apart. We must communicate to all our brothers and sisters in Christ that there is healing and restoration in Him.

Second, we must boldly proclaim the importance of covenant faithfulness in marriage. Let us be careful to affirm the truth of God’s Word in Genesis 2:18-15:

18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 So out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.


Matthew said...

I really like the shirt, but I'd hate to actually seem in support of his painfully stupid message.

John Marcotte said...

Aw, c'mon. Buy a shirt. They're funny. You can tell people you bought it ironically.

We had a 50% divorce rate in this country far before gays started getting married. I do think it's hypocritical to ask gay people to bear the burden of protecting the sanctity of marriage when we have literally made a game show out of it.

We're not talking about religious marriage here -- only civil marriage. The fact that my measure is seen by some as ridiculous validates the idea that Prop 8 voters are only willing to sacrifice other people's rights to protect marriage -- not their own.

Does the government make a marriage sacred? And should the government enforce one religious view of marriage over others?

It's an interesting debate. I enjoy reading others opinions.

Daniel said...


I have another idea.

Why don't you give me a shirt for free (hear me out). You could write it off as an tax-deduction if you gave it to our church instead of me. You could put it under "ironic charitable gifts."

I, in turn, will wear the shirt with just a hint of a smirk.

I will be upholding what I believe is the importance of the marriage vow but doing so wearing a shirt poking fun at me. Both of our messages will converge in one very confusing and ironic blend of sarcasm and sanctimony.


Erin said...

I love the shirt and I think your idea for wearing it is brilliant, Daniel!

John, if you want to send me a shirt too, I'll also wear it with the hint of a smirk and the sarcasm & sanctimony will become a nationwide thing!

Daniel said...


I am shocked at your greed and your failure to appreciate capitalism properly.

John kindly informed me that he did not think it was a good business decision to give me a shirt at the expense of waiting customers who have actually paid for a shirt.

I am ashamed that I asked for a shirt and wholeheartedly agree with John. People should not expect to receive goods or services for which they have not paid.

Now, I suppose the argument could be made that some of the people who are currently purchasing shirts make more than I do. Some might suggest that they subsidize the cost of the shirt for me. Others might suggest we take a vote and determine how much we think each person should pay for a shirt depending upon their income bracket.

But I make no such suggestion. I agree with John that people should, in general, only receive goods or services for which they have paid.

So, all that to say, I'm thinking of buying a shirt.

Daniel said...

On a more serious note, I responded to John's comments in another post.

Erin said...

Touché Daniel. Touché.

I’ll admit. I did get a little greedy for a moment there. But, I’ve squelched that monster and I too am thinking of buying a shirt. I am not in support of this motion to ban divorce altogether, but I believe that marriage needs to be taken A LOT more seriously. Far too many people enter into the covenant of marriage without ever considering that marriage is intended to be FOR LIFE. My desire for owning and wearing a shirt is simply to convey the message that marriage is for life and should be treated as such.

Daniel said...

Maybe the answer is to make our own shirts (sorry, John...I think we could make our shirts's capitalism).

John Marcotte said...

To be clear, the only reason I dismissed the idea out of hand is that I am currently completely out of shirts and I have orders stacked up waiting for more. I can't see taking one away from the nice people who paid money and have been patiently waiting to give one to you.

And although I'm not completely mercenary, I have to figure out the criteria by which I might give out free shirts. It can't just be "because you asked." Everyone would ask, and everyone would promise to wear them.

You can make your own shirts to wear. But don't use my logo and don't sell them with my slogans. Not being jerky, but if I don't defend my copyright, I lose it.

Daniel said...

John...of course! absolutely!

Just to be clear everyone....I was kidding about making our own shirts, and even if we did, we clearly would not use John's logo and slogan.

(If we did make our own shirts, I was thinking of using a man and a woman super-glued together. The line would be, "You said till death do us're still alive." Totally different. But again...not going to happen.)