You know how they say...
...never talk about politics or religion. -them
Well here I am writing my second blog post about, you guessed it, politics and religion. I've always struggled with mixing up admonishments and challenges. At any rate, forgive me if my wording of this next statement isn't 100% accurate but the US Supreme Court recently found that marriage is a basic civil right that should be granted to homosexual couples.
Cheers and Anger
The court's decision has been met with an amazing amount of support both inside and outside of the LGBT community. However, some people and groups are angry about the decision; predictably the 'religious right', conservatives, fundamentalists, etc. are among them. I have a friend (actually, probably a couple) that fall into this camp and I'd like to respond to some of their comments. In the spirit of Keys Left I'm going to blog my response here and post a link for any/all to read.
First and foremost I want to say that my intention here is in no way meant to condemn or shame my friends (or anyone who holds these opinions/beliefs) but rather to open up a dialog with the hope of opening eyes and softening hearts. That being said, here are some excerpts from some of their comments.
I keep seeing everywhere I look comments about Gay marriage and how wonderful it is, but it’s not! Do not be fooled with this stupidity and Ignorance, I state now and forever I do NOT support homosexuality & homosexual marriage... -my friend
There are also some commonly quoted Bible verses related to the subject. Note: I did not check/verify the wording of these verses myself, they came from comments made by friends.
Leviticus 18:22 (You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.)
First Corinthians 6:9 (Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality)
So the first order of business is addressing whether homosexuality is a sin. This may not be a popular opinion with some of my LGBT friends but I think the Bible indicates that it is. Thus far, I don't see any logical way to argue against that.
Where our beliefs/opinions/actions begin to diverge is the reaction to that knowledge. What's the core message of Jesus, of Christianity? Is it a message of condemnation, focused on our sin, or is it a message about love? What's the over-arching story of the Bible? Is it about the fall of man or God's redemption of us? I think you know the answer.
There are stories throughout the New Testament where Jesus hangs out with prostitutes and tax collectors, with sinners instead of with 'the righteous'.
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” - Mark 2:17
He even defends a sinner who was about to be put to death for her sins (she was caught in the act of adultery btw).
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” - John 8:7
So instead of shaming and condemning; He forgives and loves. His love for His creation is greater than His hatred of sin. So much so that after establishing creation, when it became corrupted, He basically uses a loophole to redeem it. Think about it for a second; Love was so great that the Creator became the created just so that the law could be fulfilled and creation redeemed. That's how we have to be; it isn't our place to condemn or shame but rather to love...furthermore, to love like that; to go to the ends of the earth to show our fellow man (and woman) that they are loved.
Believe me, I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I fall woefully short of that charge to love. Thankfully, God grants me (and you) mercy and forgiveness for our shortcomings (both small and large). That being said, how can we even think about not affording the same mercy to another one of our fellow creatures.
The fact of the matter is that we live in a fallen world; paradise has been lost and parts of creation, parts of all of us, have been corrupted because of that fact. None of us are really any better than anyone else. We're all in the same boat here
...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God... - Romans 3:23
So let's try to cut each other some slack and find a way to just all get along. (Hint: The way is with Humility, Grace, Mercy and Love).