The following blog post discusses the author’s feeling about the ongoing debate on same-sex marriages. Continue reading at your own risk.
Supreme Court Weighs In
The U.S. Supreme Court is currently hearing two cases concerning same-sex couple marriage rights. The first is United States v. Windsor where the court is going to determine if the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the constitutional rights of same-sex couples. The second is Hollingsworth v. Perry which stems for a challenge to California’s Proposition 8 which places a ban on gay marriage. Proposition 8 passed by a narrow margin in 2008.
What’s the big deal with gay marriage?
The root problem was the government assigning financial and civil benefits to married couples.
Why is the government involved in marriage anyway?
I think it would clear up the matter considerably for the government to drop all recognition of marriage. Leave that to the church and the clergy. The financial and social benefits of marriage (making your spouses funeral arrangements, giving custody of your minor children, visiting your sick spouse in the hospital, filling a joint tax return, etc.) should be put into a class of civil unions that the government provides. The government can put whatever criteria they want on it. Two people? Three? Of course they would be open to anyone regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.
Once we clear away the financial and civil benefits, the only issue left is one of control.
Much of the passion is fueled because the opponents of same sex marriage have chosen control instead of compassion, and legalism instead of love. The people who opposed them now delight in that control being taken from them. Maybe they should.
Donald Miller says it this way.
“I do not believe a person can take two issues from Scripture, those being abortion and gay marriage, and adhere to them as sins, then neglect much of the rest and call himself a fundamentalist or even a conservative. The person who believes the sum of his morality involves gay marriage and abortion alone, and neglects health care and world trade and the environment and loving his neighbor and feeding the poor is, by definition, a theological liberal, because he takes what he wants from Scripture and ignores the rest.” ― Donald Miller, Searching for God Knows What
Much like in the abortion issue, the government is trying to weigh in on a moral issue that should remain the decision of individuals. This shouldn’t be decided in the legislature, but in a one to one, friend to friend, heart to heart, person to person relationships.
My question with both issues is why are those trying to pass legislation trying to get people to live by the morals and ethics of a religion they don’t accept or practice.
Jesus always wanted us to have a choice. A choice to follow him or a choice to not follow him. If people choose not to follow Jesus, then they shouldn’t be forced into Judeo-Christian ethics through abortion laws or same-sex marriage laws.
We should afford them the same free will choice that Jesus/God gives us. Jesus never tried to force someone into a relationship with Him. He’s not insecure, He’s confident. He knows a relationship with Him is only thing that truly fulfills that deep spiritual longing we all feel.
It’s like Jason Gray says in his song, “More like falling in love”
It’s gotta be…..
More like falling in love
Than something to believe in
More like losing my heart
Than giving my allegiance
Unfortunately, it seems Evangelicals have managed to communicate well on only those two subjects. What the culture has heard from us is not the message they should be hearing. They have heard condemnation. That wasn’t Jesus’ message.
When Jesus walked this planet, the Jewish religious leaders brought him a woman ‘caught in the very act of adultery’ (John 7:53-8:11). They reminded Jesus of the Law of Moses (part of the Old Testament) that said they should stone her. Stoning meant throwing large rocks (stones) at her until she died. They asked Jesus what He thought they should do. They were hoping his response would give them grounds to arrest him or discredit him.
The Bible tells us Jesus started writing or drawing on the ground with his finger. Some people have put some real religious overtones into what he was doing like writing the sins of the woman’s accusers or writing the Ten Commandments. My friend Paul put forth the suggestion that Jesus was so disinterested in their question that he started doodling in the dirt. Only when they continued to pester him to answer did he rise up and say “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he went back to his doodling. The Bible says the men went away, starting with the oldest first.
Then Jesus asked the woman, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
And then Jesus says one of the most beautiful things this woman could hear.
“I do not condemn you, either.”
Do you think for one second that if instead of a woman caught ‘in the very act of adultery’ the religious leaders had brought Jesus a man caught ‘in the very act’ with another man, He would have responded any differently? Do you really think he would have said, “Oh that’s completely different! Quick, get me a stone!”
I don’t think so.
Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net