Why do you care who gets married?
For the record, I would never vote against any initiative that called for gay couples to have equal rights under the law (I’m remembering Tommy Lee Jones’ scene in Lincoln right now). And also for the record, I am a Christian who has accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior (maybe that should’ve gone first). I have a somewhat odd opinion about the term “gay marriage,” though. Honestly, my biggest issue with this debate is that I fundamentally do not understand why anyone cares whether or not other people get married. As Frank from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia says, “Who gives a s**t if gays want to be miserable like everyone else and get married. Let em do it. No skin off my ass.” (I know, I’m so eloquent and open-minded).
As far as I’m concerned, “marriage” is a religious concept even though its practice predates monotheism. Interestingly, marriage began as exactly what this debate is about now–property, entitlements, legitimacy of heirs, etc. All the really nice Dark Ages stuff women have been trying to get over for centuries. Consequently, marriage has worked out in women’s favor for the most part since the Middle Ages. But for me, marriage is a commitment made before God to love and care for someone all the days of your life. It’s a tall order, and honestly, I don’t know where I am with it at this point in my life. This is just my personal perspective as to what marriage means to me.
As such, my political opinion on the matter is that people who aren’t religious should be able to get “civil unions” (which is what is being discussed in the Supreme Court); whether or not gay couples are entitled UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES (not under God’s law) to the same benefits that straight couples who make that commitment have. This debate has nothing to do with any religious concept of marriage, it’s about civil unions and legal entitlements. It’s not even a sweeping decision on the legality/morality of homosexuality–it’s just saying whether or not a law (Proposition 8) can prevent another law (Oh, say one supporting gay marriage) from ever becoming reality. I believe it is not within anyone’s power to stop someone else from loving, especially as marriage as an institution–including in the Christian faith–is losing any real sense of meaning. How many happily married couples do you know? The numbers for me are dwindling.
As a Christian, I believe in the sacrament of marriage between two people who promise to love one another in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, as long as they both shall live. And for what it’s worth, I’ve seen what true love, true marriage look like very recently when my cousin was battling cancer. Her husband is an incredible man and human, a beacon of true light and love. That kind of devotion and care is what marriage is about. Anyone who doesn’t think they’re capable of doing that shouldn’t be getting married. So people aren’t getting married, and they’re getting divorced more because they get married for the wrong reasons. If anything, the church should be happy the gay community has embraced marriage; wasn’t the long standing stereotype of homosexuals that they just couldn’t keep it in their pants and had to be swingers? I know too many gay people to even pretend that that stereotype is true (although some of my friends… questionable ;-)). Obviously gays are perfectly capable of committing to one person, at least as much as anyone else.
I’ve met people who don’t like the idea of gays coming to church (although I think we all have to acknowledge we probably have gay people sitting in the pews with us all the time) because their “lifestyle choices” are sinful. Well, I think the science has some evidence that being gay may not be a choice after all, but be that as it may, even if someone CHOOSES to sin, who are we to turn them away from God’s house? Are we not all sinning and sinners? Isn’t one lie equal to murder? We have no authority granted us by God that allows us to judge people and how they live their lives. If you think these people are misguided into sinning, pray for them that the Holy Spirit moves them to change, if you think they can (I happen to think they can’t. I certainly wouldn’t CHOOSE to be gay if I could help it). But remember that the debate is about their legal rights.
Preventing someone else from getting married doesn’t make your marriage any stronger. It’s not for us to tell people what they can and can’t have. Remember a generation or two ago when interracial marriage was illegal? The courts decided that didn’t make any legal sense either and changed the law. This is the same sort of debate. I’m sure there are still bigots out there who don’t believe in interracial marriage, but you won’t hear them hooting and hollering much about it nowadays, will you? (To think, our president is biracial!)
I respect everyone’s thoughts and opinions on this. I just want us to remember that as Christians it is our job, our duty to preach love to one another. THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE, Christ said. There is enough hate in the world; we should be the light and love that Christ died for, not propagating more hate. Whatever side of the debate you take, just ask yourself why you care. My fundamental conclusion is, I really don’t (the presence of this blog post obviously speaks to the contrary). I mean, I don’t care enough to understand why someone would want to prohibit someone else from being happy. Would you want someone to stop you from being happy? Didn’t think so.