Saturday, March 30, 2013

On Marriage Equality

I have started to write a post about my thoughts on marriage equality almost every day for over a week now. Every time I've scrapped the whole thing and started over, because I just get too angry.

I'm angry that there are real people behind the "homosexual" label who are being deeply hurt.
I'm angry that Bible verses are being mistranslated and used out of context to push an agenda.
I'm angry that the Golden Rule has been tossed in favor of self-righteousness.
I'm angry that shouting matches on social media have taken the place of rational dialogue.
I'm angry that my homosexual and bisexual friends, people I love and care about, feel like second-class citizens in the eyes of the people around them.
I'm angry that there are individuals who are withholding from others the freedoms they enjoy for themselves.
I'm angry that there are homosexuals who will never know the love of Jesus because of a few vocal Christians who misrepresent him so severely.
I'm angry that people flippantly toss out labels and assumptions without looking into the faces of the people they wound.
I'm angry that there are individuals who act as if they are somehow personally affected by the sexual behavior of two other consenting adults.
I'm angry that there are Christians who treat homosexuality as if it's a terrible, terrible sin.....and then gossip about their gay neighbor, yell at their kids, and give other drivers the finger in traffic.
I'm angry that I can't say I love Jesus without people assuming that I'm anti-marriage-equality.
I'm angry that my religion has been hijacked and used as an excuse for hate, bigotry, and marginalization.
I'm angry that there are Christians who place priority on pushing morality rather than showing love.

I'm angry. I'm also unbelievably sad and profoundly frustrated. Sometimes I really just want to grab people by the shoulders, shake them, and say, "Don't you see?! Don't you see that there are real people whose lives you're tampering with? Real, flesh-and-blood human beings with hopes and dreams and goals and families and feelings?"  I want to sit them down with a member of the homosexual community over a cup of coffee, and have them talk about everything but marriage equality. Then, after a couple of hours, I want them to try to look that other person in the eye and say, "You can't have same freedoms as me. You don't deserve the same happiness I do."

This isn't an argument. I have a plethora of Bible verses, real-life examples, and well-designed arguments that I could argue passionately...but I'm not going to. I don't think there are enough good arguments in the world to change a mind that's firmly made up. I think that takes real people talking about their lives, feelings, and experiences--about their hopes and dreams and desires.

And my hope--my hope is that the Christian community will begin to show the homosexual community the same radical love, grace, and freedom that we have been shown. My hope is that we will begin to welcome them with open arms rather than keeping them at arms length. My hope is that the community of faith that I love--and am yet so frustrated with--will one day be known for what we're for, rather than what (or whom) we're against. My hope is that we would treat people as Jesus would. My hope is for equality for all people--regardless of their sex, gender, color, beliefs, or sexual orientation--in all things, including the right to marry whom they choose.

**Note: Currently, comments are open, and I welcome a diversity of opinions. However, comments that are hateful, inflammatory, or disrespectful toward any person or group will be deleted; if this occurs, all comments will be moderated before posting. Keep it civil, folks.


  1. Jess, I always enjoy reading your posts. Thank you for sharing. The Marriage Equality debate I believe is a legal question which will, in part, be decided by public discourse in a pluralistic society.
    Mark 12 has been on my mind a lot during this squabble.
    I have been more saddened, as of late, concerning our willingness within the Body of Christ to talk at each other rather than with each other and in so doing missing what the Spirit is saying to His Church now. Please keep talking. We know John 3 is a favorite chapter of many, I would love it if you would spend some time with the eighth verse and share your thoughts.

    1. Thanks so much Terry. I needed to hear that this afternoon; a bit of discourse on Facebook left me a little frustrated and discouraged (as Facebook usually does....ha!).

      Mark 12 is what I keep coming back to, as well. The commandment to love gives me center in even the most complex issues. I'm grateful to have been raised by a mom who emphasized treating others the way I would like to be treated; though I've often failed, I've rarely been unaware of the right thing to do. I also couldn't agree more about "talking at" verses "talking with"--it seems people are often more concerned with being right than being kind, and value is given to shouting the loudest, rather than civil discussion. And yet, when my mind has been changed, it has always been through shared stories, experiences, and dialogue with people whom I respect.

      I'll spend a few days with John 3. Thanks so much for reading and for the encouragement.

    2. You are welcome.

      He is Risen Indeed!

  2. You are welcome.

    He is Risen Indeed!

  3. It is the best of times. It is the worst of times.....

    For two thousand years gay people have suffered abuses in silence and obscurity but now at least there are many people who are raising their voices. Gay people still suffer but its better than before. We still have work to do.

    I can't help but notice that when God called Moses to the top of the mountain and gave him the ten commandments etched in stone there was no mention of homosexuality or gay marriage. Did God forget that he hated fags? Then over a thousand years later God decided that his chosen people were not following the commandments. I like to call it "the memo". So, God decided to come to Earth in the flesh, in the form of a man called Jesus to walk among us and show us the way. But while God was with us in the flesh as Jesus he never once mentioned homosexuality. Did it slip his mind or is it just not that important to God?

    So here is the question. If Homosexuality is not important to God enough to be worth mentioning in the commandments of during his personal visit then why do some Christians seem to think it should be such a big deal to us?

    My only conclusion is that these christian homophobes are not christians at all but merely bigots and charlatans trying to use the name of God for their own selfish purposes.

    In Matthew 7:21 it says:

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!"

    Those who worry so much about Gay people need to worry more about their own souls.

    Just my two cents....


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