While most of us were focused on the history-making election of Barack Obama as President on Tuesday, another interesting vote took place that day. Californians narrowly approved Proposition 8 to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry, overturning a California court decision from earlier this year. This, of course, is headed for a long legal battle but I want to share some thoughts I have behind the motivation for gay marriage bans... Read on...
Gay Marriage bans are consistently put forward by Christian-affiliated religious and political groups. The reasoning usually goes something like, "protecting the institution of marriage" or "protecting the family unit" and it is based on a few passages of biblical scripture that condemn homosexual behavior and describe the unity of man and woman. Different people can argue all day on that issue alone but I want to go somewhere different with it.
Why is it that these same groups have not made an effort to ban common law marriage? It seems to me that a man and woman living together, having sexual relations without the public marriage commitment before God and man could be condemned for the same reasons by these groups. It seems to me that if the 'Anti-Gay Marriage' movement was really about protecting the institutions of marriage and family, that we would see just as much effort to ban common law marriage.
So maybe this is not about protecting marriage and family as much as it is about discrimination against homosexuals. If we really believe homosexuality is a sin and that these souls will eventually have to face God with that sin, is it really a good idea to do all that we can to isolate them, condemn them, and make them hate Christianity here in this life. That seems to correlate well with Jesus' statement to the Adulteress in the book of John... (sarcasm intended).
"But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
"No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
I would like any of my fellow Christians to please explain how a legal ban on gay marriage is a Christ-like, loving, non-condemning way of challenging people to examine, recognize, and leave their sin. Again, I am not going to state definitively whether homosexuality is or is not a sin because that is not the point of this blog.
Maybe before we go around banning gay marriage, throwing stones, we should focus on taking care of the sin and struggles in our own hearts and lives. That seems to be what Jesus is saying to me.
Thanks for reading and commenting!