It’s election season up here in Maine, and the hottest issue on the ballot is gay marriage. See, our legislators voted to allow gay marriage earlier this year but the anti-gay marriage folks decided they were not happy with that and long story short it’s now going to be voted on by all the good folks here in Maine next week.
I must say this is perhaps even hotter than the presidential election with passions running high on both sides, hell even my neighbors have signs in their lawn letting the world know they are only down with traditional marriage meaning one man and one woman. I find their signs funny in a sad way because while I like my neighbors well enough, I have heard enough of their fights to know if they were the poster children for straight marriage, I would drop the Spousal Unit real fast and find myself a lovely lady. To say their relationship is dysfunctional is an understatement, so why they care about what two consenting adults do seems silly when they really don’t even do their marriage well. (to the neighbors, please close the windows next time you have one of your arguments)
Anyway close personal friends know that I call myself an Evangelical Christian despite the fact that my present membership is with a very liberal United Church of Christ church…old habits die hard I guess.
I am going to say that once upon a time, I was against gay marriage. Why? Well because in the churches that I used to attend it was said to be a sin and totally against God’s will. Well a few years ago, when I was feeling the pull to apply to seminary (still grappling with this but that’s another post) I started to truly read and study the bible on my own. After all if one is going to seriously consider seminary I figured I need to get real intimate with the Bible.
Well after a couple of years of studying, my own conclusion and I admit for the sake of writing this post in the time I have available I am not going to quote specific scripture but if anyone wants to know where I am getting this from, let me know and I will come back with verses that I am getting this from. It’s only in the Old Testament that speaks explicitly against same-sex relations, there is no denying that the Old Testament came down pretty much in what today would be called the anti-gay camp.
However using the bible as the basis for being anti-gay and if one is a Christian then we cannot ignore Jesus and the New Testament. Jesus was radical, his purpose in coming was so that salvation was obtainable to folks by belief in him. (yes, I know I am simplifying this) At the end of the day Jesus was about love and very much against the hypocrisy that was running rampant in his day and still runs rampant in many Christian communities today.
Yes, there is talk in the New Testament that marriage is an act that is between one man and one woman, but at the same time I think the New Testament is not scripturally clear and at best is ambiguous on the issue of gay marriage. But at the same time the overarching theme to love one another is very clear.
So for me from a scriptural basis, I cannot come down and stay silent and use my faith as a tool to mistreat each others. I told the Spousal Unit the other night that maybe I am misreading scripture but I just cannot get myself worked up about gay marriage. Not when I see so much abuse and mistreatment in the world.
Here in Maine, gay marriage opponents are saying what about the kids, if gay marriage becomes law? Well I say what about the kids now? In my professional work, I see a shitload of kids who are the product of heterosexual unions and frankly their lives are not so great. Funny because I can say personally the kids I know whose parents are gay or lesbian, often times have parents who are a lot more loving and attentive.
The other reason why I as a Christian, have a hard time with this issue is that as part of an interracial couple, it wasn’t that long ago that folks used the Bible to prohibit marriage between people of different races. Often times sounding the alarm with the question “What about the kids?” Well my kids are just fine, thank you very much. A couple years ago my son liked a girl who liked him, but her Dad was against interracial unions and he told my son that he had to be messed up because he was half white and half black. Yes, my first marriage ended in divorce but we were young and not compatible, race was not that much of a factor in the demise of our relationship and it most certainly has not hindered my son’s development in any way.
So when I go to the polls here in Maine, it will be No on 1 all the way because marriage equality is about equal rights and in America no one has the right to shove their religion down anyone else’s throat.