Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Marriage Equality: the Church vs. the Constitution

Ugh, I want so badly to get this right because I don't want to hurt anyone, and even more, I want to honor the God who has been so faithful and gracious to me, and I fear I might fail, but I need to get this out now even though I really should be weeding my flower beds.

 Over a year ago, I posted in response to the suicide of a young homosexual student because the idea that the young man might have taken his life because God's church, of which I am proudly a card-carrying member, might have played some role in causing this young man to feel worthless and unloved to the point of taking his life saddened me, and recently, I have relapsed into my mournful state over some political discussions and comments I have overheard.  The most disturbing factor about these  is, once again, the church's role.  Hear this  my brothers and sisters in Christ: Being a homo-sexual who chooses to abstain from homosexual encounters is not a sin in the same way that being a liar who chooses not to lie is not a sin.  Sin does not appear on the scene until we allow our fleshly desires to manifest themselves in our lives, so once again, I concur that the Bible does clearly teach that an individual seeking to honor God should not engage in sex with a member of the same gender, but the kicker here, is we live in a country where individuals have religious freedom, which means everyone may not subcribe to the Bible as a guidebook for life, and that's okay! Furthermore, we serve a God who does not force us to obey him or even believe in his existence preferring faith and love as the motivation for our obedience, so with those two truths as the groundwork for my sure to be controversial stand-point, I see no reason other than meaness manifest of fear to resist the legalization of gay marriage.  Our constitution ensures us freedom of religion, a freedom we want to protect, so we CANNOT  insist on laws on the sole basis that our religion says its wrong, because in doing so,  we could infringe on an American citizen's freedom of religion!  Personally, I don't want to set a legal precident by which the faith embraced by the majority can be forced upon American citizens one religious standard at a time!  We CANNOT effectively argue that legalizing gay marriage is unconstitutional, but it can be argued, as I have here, that refusing to legalize gay marriage is unconstitutional, so since we live in America and value our rights and freedoms, I believe it is in the best interest of the church as a whole, from the stand-point of protecting our religious freedom, to support the legalization of gay marriage.  I must diverge here to a side of the debate that will inflame the typical gay-rights activist, so I need to assure you that I do not intend to be inflammatory.  I simply want to cover all my bases and acknowledge every aspect of the debate ensuring I am not compromising God's truth, which I value greatly, in any way.  Since, the Bible being the guidebook of the Christian faith as a whole as well as each individual Christian's life choices does most assuredly teach that sex between two individuals of the same gender is sinful and should be avoided if one wants to honor God, I feel the church should be exempt from acknowledging or creating such unions on the basis that essentially marriage results in sex between the married couple, and if the church were forced to participate in these ways, its religious freedoms would be  trampled upon by forcing it to encourage a forbidden behavior, but these unions could take place and be acknowledged through the government without infringing on anyone's religious freedoms assuming the government officials involved in the marriage had no such religious convictions, so I guess, there would still be potential for a conflict, but ultimately, I just want to encourage the church   to stop saying and supporting the falsehood that it is sinful to "be" homosexual, and I guess I must also say to the rest of my audience that in the Christian faith, in which, because you live in this great nation, you do not have to participate, there are right and wrong acts, or as I prefer to think of them, god-honoring and god-dishonoring acts, and we are instructed as members of our faith to teach and admonish( Col 1:28 WE proclaim him admonishing and teaching with all wisdom, so that we might present everyone perfect on Christ. and 3:16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom.) each other accordingly, and I fear, as a group, we often fail to understand that everyone in our nation is not a member of our faith; and therefore, under our God's, as well as, our nation's law should not be forcibly held to the standard to which we should hold ourselves!  1 Corinthians 5(...What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?  God will judge those outside.  Expel the wicked man from among you.) begins by instructing Christians not to associate with other Christians who are blatantly sinning while going on to clarify that this judgement is only for those who claim to be Christ-followers leaving those outside the church's behavior to God to judge, so why are we as the church so caught up on controlling who is allowed to get married or not based on the Bible's teachings?

Finally, I must add that I believe with my whole heart that the guidelines God provides his church through the instruction of the Bible are given out of deep love not bossy authority because he wants to protect us and guide us toward our most peaceful, joyful, and contented existence on this earth, so anytime an individual chooses to forego compliance to said guidelines, that individual will most assuredly be met, if not immediately, eventually with the negative consequence from which our loving God was trying to provide protection, so it is my belief, that an individual who chooses to engage in same-sex, sex is not only setting him or herself up to experience some unpleasantness, but foregoing the wonderful blessings of peace, joy, and contentment that God hoped to provide.  Having said all that, I hope all can understand why I could not recommend it to any person to enter into a homosexual marriage out of genuine love whether such unions ever become a legal reality or not.

Hoping you won't hold me to the "finally" that began the last paragraph, I want to further clarify that my mind has been on this topic in reference to my future presidential vote.  Our president recently verbalized his support for gay marriage, which has, undoubtedly, turned off most Christ-following voters, which concerns me because I greatly value my religious freedom, and I believe Obama's recent action communicates his commitment to protecting ALL our freedoms, and I would like to keep a man like that in office over another candidate who might share my faith but disregards the constitution to force others to live as if they were members of our faith as well.  Please, deeply and prayerfully consider these thoughts as election day approaches because there is no need to vote Obama out to protect your faith because your faith is a personal thing comprised of your beliefs and related actions that you choose(what the guy next to you is choosing to do doesn't compromise your faith in any way.) as long as we have our religious freedom!