I just can’t leave it alone. Gay marriage. Gay marriage and Christianity. Gay marriage and the overwhelming, persistent question that keeps me up at night – why do people care?
Fundamentalist Christians should really chill the eff out so I don’t pop this vein in my forehead. Seriously. It’s bulging. Out of my skull.
About a month ago, Newsweek published an astute article on the topic. Man alive, did the spiritual shit hit the fan. People were outraged. The subsequent “Letters” were scathing and condemning, of both the article and the author, Lisa Miller. Jon Mecham, the magazine’s editor, obviously saw it coming, writing, “The reaction to the cover is not difficult to predict. Religious conservatives will say that the liberal media are once again seeking to impose their values…on a God-fearing nation. Let the letters and e-mails come.”
And come they did. Mostly from Christians that agree: Homosexuality is the “most hurtful society-destroying agenda.” Over 15,000 emails poured in, urged by the American Family Association’s Web site to petition the magazine.
Lisa Miller (journalist, thinker …. Anti-Christ?) writes at some length about the utter ridiculousness of taking the Bible, line for line, literally. She’s even more critical about those faithful that pick and choose their scripture – you know how it goes: Homosexuals are going to hell but you’re darn skippy I’m not sacrificing a goat today. Or throwing stones at menstruating women who attend church, abstaining from ever trimming my hair (Lev. 19), advocating death to all who work on Sundays (Exodus 35), encouraging parents to sell their daughters into slavery (Exodus 21), refraining from eating shellfish which are also an abomination (Lev. 11) and refraining from wearing cotton blend fabrics. Yada. Yada. Blah. Blah. Old Testament Blah.
Miller’s called the bluff. It’s not a new tactic, but dang, it really makes people mad. She simply stated it like it is: Christians love that Biblical cherry picking.
The Bible is full of contradictions. To use it as a justification for intolerance and exclusion is not only irrational, but cruel. It reeks of holier-than-thou hypocrisy, hiding bigotry behind smug religion-based false righteousness. The religious “right” uses the Bible to support what they support and condemn what they condemn. If scripture doesn’t fit into that narrow framework, it’s largely ignored.
This emphasis on “traditional marriage” blows my mind. The divorce rate in the country is 50% — perhaps it would be a good idea for y’all to focus some energy on saving this sacrament from yourselves. You’ve made a bollocks of it thus far.
I just don’t get it. Why the “moral majority” (wait, I just threw up in my mouth a little) has any credibility. At all. Is it just me? I’m not sure what their fear and anger is about. I don’t think that any gay American trying to get married is going to barge into church, stop the Mass and demand to be married by the priest. And how does this effect heterosexual couples? It doesn’t. Homosexuality has existed as long as human beings have and I don’t think that allowing legal unions is going to spiral us into Armageddon. If it does, Christians rejoice! Stop. Rapture time.
How does this actually impact conservative Christians? Really. Ok, your church doesn’t allow gay marriage. Cool. But that’s not really what these fundamentalists want to assert, now, is it? Rather, they seek state-wide and national legal bans on civil unions. It’s not enough for them to declare their opinion and worship and live accordingly; instead, they seek to impose their Biblical interpretation on the rest of us, stinking up the whole legislative process. Not enough to preach hatefully against homosexuality; the evangelicals push their political agendas from the pulpit, urging parishioners to vote this way or that. I vote you get a hobby and stay the hell out of the political process.
United Methodist minister, Willie-Kellerman makes a good point:
I want to mention how institutional marriage figured into the maintenance of chattel slavery. African-American slaves were forbidden by state law to marry. It would have implied their full humanity, even social inclusion, and complicated the market. After being denied access to the institution, they developed alternative union rituals like “jumping over the broom,” a practice still included in many African-American weddings to this day. And marriage laws figured into the maintenance of Jim Crow and American racial apartheid: can you believe it was not until 1967 that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned state laws banning mixed-race marriages? But things change. Thank God the Word Lives.
When we make such blatant assertions about God’s intentions and human nature, we ultimately look rather foolish. Does the Bible condemn homosexuality? Sorta, yeah. Does the Bible also teach inclusion, mercy, love and justice? Yup. Is the Bible the word of God? Err….I plead the fifth. Should Christians feel the necessity or have the right to impose their beliefs on the rest of us?