A spontaneous prayer about the DOMA ruling

Thanksgiving-Prayer-Norman-Rockwell-Saturday-Evening-PostAs you’re probably by now aware, today the Supreme Court declared a 1996 law denying federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples (the shamefully named Defense of Marriage Act) unconstitutional.

When huge things happen in my life—things I know I can no sooner consciously process than I can fly a space shuttle—I turn to God. In this case, I want to thank God. I just learned of this ruling. So I thought that I would type my thanks/prayer as they’re actually happening in my heart and mind, and so in that very direct and personal fashion commune with you around this mind-bogglingly joyful occasion.

Dear God:

Thank you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

We’re slow. We’re afraid; we take our time; we’re always happy to let the next guy solve the problem we started.

We know justice needs doing; we balk at doing it ourselves.

But gottdangit if all along you’re not watching: if you’re not caring, if you’re not tracking our relationship with the justice that we so readily claim that we want.

And slowly but surely, inch by inch—and despite our constant and petulance resistance—you move us toward that justice. You walk us to the truth. You bring us to do the thing that must be done: the right thing, the truthful thing, the thing that it was always your will that we do.

Finally and gloriously, you make your will ours.

You make us win. You do that to us first as individuals, and then as a nation. And I know that you are doing the same thing to all of us, to the whole human race.

Thank you for this victory today. We need to know that justice can be done. And once again you have shown us what we so often fail to remember and believe, which is that we—us, ourselves, right here, right now—are the means by which your justice—being the truth of the love you instilled within us—is realized, presented, practiced, done out here in this cruel world we know.

Today the weak have been defended, the vulnerable protected, the persecuted relieved.

Today is your day, Lord. Today is our day. Today is a day for everyone who loves love. And that, whether any given person realizes it or not, does, and must, include us all.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • Kristie

    Thank you, John. You expressed the feeling welling up from my joyous heart perfectly.

  • Penny

    This straight, married, hard-core follower of Jesus of Nazareth is screaming, “HALLELUJAH,” along with you.

  • http://fordswords.net David S

    Thank you so much for this *and all you personally do* John!

    I know that, in certain circles, the rending of garments has begun. Some of those who are discouraged are good people I know and care about – so I won’t gloat.

    But I will say that it’s been amazing to watch the Holy Spirit work inside and outside the church to change hearts and minds. Whether it’s as a faith community or as a nation, when we move in the direction of inclusion and affirmation of humanity, we are building the kingdom.

    I am so grateful today – grateful to God, to you, and to all who work in big ways and small for my equality.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you, John. For all my friends and for myself, Thank you.

  • DR

    So amazing!!

  • Jennifer Hiett Allen

    John, thank you!

  • Judy Volkar

    With tears of joy stremaning down my face….Thanks be to God

  • http://www.susanirenefox.com Susan Irene Fox

    I applaud the Supreme Court today in its decision, and further pray that it will remain consistent in understanding that a secular government cannot legislate our religious beliefs. Nor should they attempt to regulate what occurs in our bedrooms or our bodies.

    This is a country founded on freedoms. And even though your freedom might not be the definition of my freedom, it is also a country founded on the principle that all are created equal. All. No exceptions. And if you are a Christian, Jesus said that others would know you followed him by your love for others. Now is the time to prove it.

    Thank you, John, for your heartfelt and honest prayer. I’m with you.

  • Lymis

    Amen, John, and may this be only another step toward full equality, with many more soon to come!

  • Mindy

    Joy! Happiness! Gratitude! And awe, at how fast, despite the bigots and the naysayers and the curmudgeons, this is playing out for justice on the national stage. Even the part of me that feels “it’s about time” is amazed at how this is REALLY happening for those I love!!

  • http://sweethopecookies.com anita

    In our home we managed to stop weeping from joy by around 11:00 a.m. but it’s now 11:20 and I feel another wave coming on! I feel like I waded my toes into the waters of justice and it feels good.

    Amos 5:24

    But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream…

  • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

    God is good. All the time. All the time, God is good. :)

  • Gordon

    I hope you know how much LGBT people love and appreciate you, and straight allies like you, John. “Thank you” is so inadequate on days like this. But, it’s all I’ve got. Thank you.

  • http://kingmaalbert@hotmail.com Al

    That’s wonderful news, John! Thank you and all our LGBT allies and friends for the love and support they’ve shown to make this great change happen. We couldn’t do this work without you. And finally but certainly not least, thank you God for giving those of us who love a little bit differently the hope that we too can share our love in this beautiful, but hard world.

  • Susan in NY

    What a great, amazing day this is for everyone who loves another.

    Celebrate!!!

    Susan in NY

    Who wishes she could get over to The Stonewall Inn and join the celebration!

    • http://Fordswords.net David S.

      You’re with me here, Susan. Toasting you now. I mean, I’m not putting you on a stick and holding you over a fire. I mean, raising a glass to you!

  • Shaun

    Beautiful prayer, John. Thank you.

  • charles

    great stuff John-

    I wish more of everybody would see the fundamental injustice that this decision hopes to bring relief to- sadly, I dont have that much hope that bigots wont still be bigots in the morning.

  • Jason

    Thanks be to God!

  • Matt

    Heard the news as it broke at work today. I could hardly contain myself! How do you explain to your co-workers (all straight) that a huge burden has just been lifted off your shoulders?

    Thank you, John. I can truly say that I could never imagine a stronger ally than you.

    And thank God. I never thought a time would come when I would sincerely thank God again, from the bottom of my heart.

    • http://www.enesvy.com Nicole

      That is beautiful, Matt. :)

  • DR

    I think this blog and all of the incredible commenters were a part of this change. John, or at least I like to think so. You gave so many of us a platform to find our courage, sharpen our influencing skills and most importantly, learn from one another. I think of how much I’ve learned from people like Lymis, Matt, so many people here, not to mention you. It’s such a day to celebrate. :D

    • Jill

      Amen.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      No, I mean … there’s certainly no denying that when I began writing on this issue in Spring of 2007, it was like screaming into a vacuum: no one was hearing me. I was just … some lone Christian out on an island, floating out to sea one message after another. Then HuffPo published my What Would Jesus Do if Invited to a Gay Wedding? Then Dan Savage picked up my piece on Jamey Rodemeyer. Then Dan’s championing of my piece about Jim Wallis went viral, which radically changed the whole conversation about what did and didn’t constitute “progressive” Christianity. Then Matthew Vines championed the idea I presented here (originally published here), which is that what Christians are actually telling people is that they must live without love. And it’s just been a real steady march forward. So yesterday, sure, to say the least, felt good. And I do think this little blog, and its amazing community, had … its share of impact upon that outcome.

      • DR

        It must have felt amazing, I felt it for you! For me personally, I’ve learned so much about myself as I’ve participated here, good bad and ugly, that’s been instrumental in my own spiritual growth and emotional growth. The courage of my convictions got an opportunity to be tested and much of that transferred into my 3D life. So I’m grateful to you and to everyone here, we don’t agree and things get rough and at times, personal and really painful but it’s all part of growth and sanctification. New birth is not for slackers.

  • http://IsItJesusYet? Jennifer Sandberg

    And now all we have to do is get over our fear of EVERYONE voting. Yeah. May be even harder than letting same-sex couples marry.

  • Prakasha Capen

    Beautiful, John!

  • Melissa Norris

    And all God’s people say AMEN!

  • Brenda Forbes

    Amen.

  • Martha Jean-Prunier

    “You walk us to the truth.” That reflects my own life and belief, John. It feels good and right to be on this path with you and other unfundamentalists.

  • Kara Tolbert

    So happy to see civil rights being more protected . Thank you for being a supporter of human dignity!

  • Gayla Thompson

    Thank you for leading so others may follow…

  • Jana Harrison Currier

    Beautiful!

  • Danielle Short

    Beautiful prayer.

  • Sarah Cox

    I like that a lot. :-)

  • http://ipreferpeace.wordpress.com Jaclyn

    Thank you, John. Thank you so much. It’s so good to know that there is hope for straight, Christian folks to be nice people too :). This decision isn’t just for the gay community, either; it affects everyone. Thank you again.


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