The Church is not a political party, and problems often arise when we politicize biblical viewpoints. Nonetheless, this is not a conversation Christians can check out of altogether.
Before leaving the question of divorce, I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The Christian conception of marriage is one: the other is quite the different question—how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult for every one. I do not think that. At least I know I should be very angry if the Mohammedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine.
My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognize that the majority of the British people are not Christian and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not.
—C.S. Lewis, on whether the government should allow divorce.
For the past few days I have watched brave and empowered Americans position themselves outside the Supreme Court. They are trying, with full hearts, to sway the decisions of the Justices their way. I have watched news outlets and celebrities make statements. Barack Obama’s twitter feed has been full of inspiring info-graphics in support of marriage equality. It’s contagious. It’s wonderful to see the excitement in a group who is closer than ever to achieving their dreams, to see them come together and ask for something deserved: equality under the law.
The scene of current events this week is tough to navigate as a Christian. There is only one opinion it is acceptable to have as a modern day evangelical church going individual. It is to oppose, at any cost, the progression of marriage equality in the United States. Maybe I’m wrong, and maybe there are many other Christians who are quietly lurking in the darker corners of Facebook unsubscribing to people’s status updates because they’re too heavy on their heart.
I’ve seen several concise quotes that I would have loved to make my Facebook status. I’ve seen images I wanted to tweet from the rooftops. However, I belong to the group who is not allowed to be happy this week. I belong to a group that is organizing boycotts of Starbucks for an understandable comment made in light of attacks. I belong to a group that is currently embodying everything but the love, excitement, and joy being expressed outside of the Supreme Court.
Which is heart breaking because, if we follow our own ‘greatest commandment,’ we should be loving the Lord, and loving our neighbor.
I’m a Christian, and I believe in marriage equality. Now let me address the different arguments I’ve heard. I do not believe in marriage equality because: I enjoy having the unpopular opinion, I just want to be the black sheep, I like hearing myself argue, I disagree with my pastor on everything, or I just don’t understand Jesus’ ministry. I believe in marriage equality because I’ve prayed about it and I think it’s the Christian thing to do.
My point is that Christians should be able to say that. I should be able to stand outside the Supreme Court and make that statement without the evangelical community giving me the side eye and shushing me. I should be able to speak and debate about why I think that, without my friends and family questioning my faith and my spiritual standing.
I have just as many biblical and faith based reasons to support marriage equality as you do to oppose it, and I could even argue that I have more. We can’t keep going on the way that we are. We can’t keep making an issue Jesus didn’t discuss one time in four gospels into the defining mark of what makes a Christian a Christian. Jesus discusses money more than anyone else, but I don’t seem to get the same side eye at church on Sunday’s when I don’t drop money in the offering basket.
I believe in the 14th amendment, and I believe that everyone has a right to equal justice and protection under the law. I believe the government grants the right to marry, and we are intertwining our religion in a place it doesn’t belong if we try to dictate that. I believe in love, and recognizing love, and rewarding love in whatever form it may exist. I believe that Jesus told us to love one another, and we are only creating hate.
Shame on us.
You are so much more than your sexuality. And the God of the Universe, the one who turns whores into heroes, and drunks into prophets, and liars and murderers into leaders and kings - that God? He made peace with you and me and our promiscuous, pathetic attempts at love a long, long time ago.
Modern day communication.
Hoowee, did I get some smack down laid on me this past weekend. I find that you can really know when some embarrassment is straight from God when it comes totally out of left field. When its about something you never would have expected to be an issue and then it just rocks your inner brain chambers.
Let me tell you a bit about myself. I am 24, and I think I know approximately 85% of everything worth knowing on this planet. I didn’t develop this complex alone. It came from being able to beat my parents in arguments since the age of 13. It came from 18 years of honors classes and special academic tracks. It came from acing my SAT’s without taking a class or opening a book. It came from getting A’s on papers I wrote in a fraction of the time my classmates did. It has come from years of being an asset on bar night trivia teams, and never losing a game of boggle. Never! Not one time.
Choice overload … makes people worry about later regretting the choice they make (If there are twelve things I could do tonight, any one of them might end up being more fun than the one I choose); sets them up for higher expectations (If I choose this party out of those twelve things, it had damn well better be fun); makes them think about the road not taken (Every party not attended could contain someone I wish I’d met); and leads to self-blame if the outcome is bad.” Transpose this lattice of anxiety onto a generation more competitively educated than its forebears, and you see how “F*ck! I’m in My Twenties” comes about.
Nathan Heller - The Twentysomethings Are Alright