Warning: I'm about to embark on a post that reveals personal beliefs and thoughts on religious and political issues. I don't frequently do this, and in fact I'm not sure it was wise, but for some reason I'm doing it tonight. You have been warned, read on at your own risk.
The Obama Administration has instructed the Justice Department to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act. I read that, and it distressed me. And I'm still trying to figure out why, which is why I'm writing it all down.
And before I go on, just know that I don't expect you to agree with me, but I do request that my right to have a differing opinion be upheld. I actually don't know if it's a right, per se, but I feel like it is one. And most people usually get upset if they aren't allowed to voice their own opinion in things, and there is the First Amendment and freedom of speech, so perhaps it is a "right". Anyway.
My thought process is thus: I've read the Bible, many times in different translations, and it says that homosexuality is a sin. I agree with that. I will hasten to add that in no way does believing that give me any right to heap abuse, mental or physical, on anyone, no matter their beliefs. The Bible is pretty clear that I don't have the right to judge anyone (matters within the Church being somewhat different, since there are instructions on how to deal with believers who are erring). I also have noted that Jesus only got angry at those who were robbing his people blind (the money-lenders! in His temple!) and that he truly loved all people. So, everyone clear? I do not agree with the Christians who shower hate instead of love. I sound like a hippie. But it was important to let you know my personal beliefs so that you understand the whole thought process.
The thought process moved on from that basic position to this: I've known several homosexuals. One of them was a good friend who helped me through an incredibly rough time. My uncle has been with the same man for longer than I've been born. This makes it impossible for me to hate, if Jesus' example wasn't enough. Doesn't change my beliefs, but they haven't been formed in ignorance. If that makes sense.
From there to here: why does the legalization of gay marriage bother me? As a Christian, this ain't my home port. Earth is not the final destination. It isn't my home. It's temporary. Why do I care? It isn't necessary for any government to uphold Christianity. It'll do just fine on its own. In fact, we were told to honor our governments and pray for our leaders, without any qualifications. "Give to Caesar's what is Caesar's", etc. What does it matter what my government does?
But before I answer that-What is marriage anyway? Was it invented by the Bible? Well yes, it was, and it said that a man would leave his family and cleave to his wife, who was a woman. And I think that's what bothers me: marriage, as defined by the Bible,which is among the oldest books written still in existence (which is well-documented, in case you're interested), is between a man and a woman.
Well ok, that's fine and dandy you say, but America is no longer a "Christian" nation. I'm not sure about that-many of our mores, from what I can tell, are Christian, and the men who founded our nation were influenced by Christianity, whether or not they themselves were Christian. But fine, let's say America isn't a Christian nation. What's wrong with letting anyone marry whom they please? Again, I'm brought back to what was the original definition of marriage (if you know of an earlier source, feel free to let me know): man and woman. And I think my issue is this: if this definition of marriage is broken, then what is the point? Why not let people marry multiple partners? What is wrong with that, if they're all consenting adults who love each other? It loses its original meaning, and therefore its original potency.
Gah I don't know. Doubtless my reasoning is faulty. What I do know is this: I feel that if our definition of marriage is changed at a national level, the repercussions will be severe. What those repercussions will be I don't know. Doom and gloom and all that. But our nation (and this is why it matters what the government does, because it represents all of us) will have taken a drastic turn.
And if you read through all of that, thanks. Both sides are pretty virulent when someone disagrees with them. I have no wish to be virulent. Neither do I have issues with civil unions. That is outside the purview of any church. And neither do I wish to be hateful. And neither would I be surprised if our readership, which is already tiny, became tinier.