Friday, March 29, 2013

Walk in love

There has been a lot of talk and profile picture changing on Facebook the last few days. And while I didn't change my profile picture and I'm not gay myself, I 100% support gay marriage.

To me, love is love. I don't think you choose your sexuality or who you fall in love with whether you're gay, straight or anything in between. Love chooses you. I have friends who are gay. I have friends who are gay who have better marriages and are better parents than a lot of straight people I know. And so even though I don't usually comment on such highly debated issues, I feel compelled to express my feelings on the subject and the negativity of it all.

Let's start with the arguments that the bible says that gay marriage is wrong. First, let me state that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. Having said that, my view of the bible is probably not a popular one in the Christian community. Do I quote scripture? Yes. Does it help me learn and grow and be a better Christian? I think so. I hope so. But am I perfect? Ha! Far from it. Do I believe that the bible is God's word? Yes. But I also believe that the bible was written by men. These flesh and blood men were sinners just like me. The writings of these men, like any human, were influenced by their point of view and the time they lived in. And so for me, the bible is more about the messages than the specific words. I might be wrong. Believing that might be a sin. But I am a sinner anyway. And Jesus walked this Earth, flesh and blood, and died for me and my sins. And so when I pray, I ask for forgiveness of my sins, both the ones I am aware of and can acknowledge, and the ones that still escape me. And my Lord and Savior forgives me of my sins because He knows I have a sincere heart. He knows my intentions.

And if that continues to be your argument, and you insist that gay marriage is a sin, I'll say this: we're all sinners. Again, me included. Leviticus 11:8 while talking about pigs says, "You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you." Do you eat pork? Timothy 2:9 says, "I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes..." Do you wear gold rings or earrings or necklaces? Leviticus 19:19 says, "You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together." Take a look in your closet. Do you have anything in there that is not a blend of two or more different fabrics? And these are just a few examples. Ben Franklin reminds us, "E'er you remark another's sin, bid your own conscience look within."

Still holding firm that your religion tells you that gay marriage is a sin or "unnatural?" The Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution say that, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." While the "separation of church and state" refers more to keeping government out of the church than church out of the government, the people of this country are free to exercise any religion they choose - including those religions, or lack thereof, that do not believe that gay marriage is a sin.

And some people will still push that "What? Are we supposed to leave all morals of out our laws? Should we let people go around killing other people if their religion isn't against it?" Well of course we shouldn't let people go around killing each other. How could that be a good thing? But letting people love each other? Letting a spouse have legal rights? Letting them raise children, and teaching them about universal love and acceptance of others? How could that be bad? A 2012 report estimates that 40-50% of marriages will end in divorce. And gay marriage is going to ruin the institution of marriage?

There is a lot of hate and intolerance being spewed in the name the bible. Not by every Christian, mind you, but by some. But here's the bottom line: If Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, you believe that He walked this Earth, flesh and blood. When He walked this Earth, He walked in love. He didn't walk in fear or hate even if He didn't agree with the way someone lived their life. And that is what He wants us to do, to walk in love. It is not our place to judge. Why does two men or two women loving each other and wanting the same legal rights as a man and a woman affect your life? It doesn't. And you still have a right to practice your religion and maintain your beliefs as you so choose. The legal definition of marriage does not have to change your personal definition of marriage or your beliefs. No one is forcing you to have a gay marriage yourself.

Are there gay marriages that will end in divorce? Sure. But many straight marriages do. The problem isn't gay marriage. The problem is, most often, that people give up too soon. The problem is that we teach intolerance of many things far too often with our actions. The problem is that we walk in fear and hate more often than we walk in love.

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