Different stages of an inevitable justice

A first step, a set-back, and a triumph.

The Rev. Nadia Bolz Weber: “My testimony at the Colorado Senate Judiciary hearing on civil unions

Much of the early church were convinced that gentiles could only become Christians if they changed into being Jews first (which, for the record, involved a rather unpleasant process), and much like our first century brothers and sisters there is a segment of the church today who thinks that if we extend the roof of the tent to include “the gays” then the whole thing will come crashing down around us.

And some will say that if we allow gay couples to have equal status under the law, the institution of marriage will come crashing down.

So there are some who see it as their job to stalwartly guard the boundaries of the tent to keep it from crashing, and some who think it our job to be bravely inclusive and stretch the tent.

Either way, it’s misguided because … it’s not our tent. It’s God’s tent. The wideness of the tent be it the church or society, should only concern me insofar as it points to the great mercy and love of a God who welcomes us all as friends. And of Jesus who welcomes all to his table.

You think I like that? You think I want to sit at the heavenly banquet next to Ann Coulter? Not so much.

But that’s what I’m stuck with because I’m in the Jesus business. And in the Jesus business there is not male or female, Jew or Greek, slave or free, gay or straight, there is only one category of people: children of God. Which means nobody gets to be special and everybody gets to be loved.

People born in this country aren’t special. Men aren’t special. Christians aren’t special. Straight people aren’t special.

And if the laws of our great land make it seem so, then Shame. On. Us.

Steven Goldstein, Garden State Equality: “Statement on the governor’s veto of the marriage equality bill(via)

Because I do know [New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie], I also know he is not some anti-LGBT nut. He is no Rick Santorum. Frankly, I don’t think Chris Christie has an anti-gay bone in his body, however much I cannot say the same about his impending veto. His veto will be a brutally anti-gay act, pure and simple.

The Governor keeps calling for a referendum, which everyone knows will never happen in New Jersey. To borrow the Governor’s words, it’s time for him to stop engaging in political theater. Our lives are not La Cage Aux Folles: LGBT people fall in love, raise families, often children whom the rest of society shuns, and pay taxes in what is still one of the most heavily taxed states in the country.

Our Governor knows our contributions to society. He won’t veto the bill because he’s anti-gay. He’ll veto the bill because the 2016 South Carolina Republican Presidential primary electorate is anti-gay. …

Governor, rest assured that even though I came of political age in an era where political adversaries could be friends – and if you’re game, we’ll continue that good relationship – Garden State Equality and I will continue to fight you on marriage equality with every bone in our bodies. You would expect no less.

For us, this is not about politics. This is about our fundamental American right to conduct our lives with a full life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Equality.

And until we achieve it, we will fight with our every last breath. And we will win, so help me God.

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire: Remarks at Marriage Equality Bill Signing, Feb. 13, 2012

I’m about to sign into law a bill making us the seventh state in the nation to give our gay and lesbian citizens marriage equality.

I’ll explain and sign the bill in a few minutes, but first let me say that as governor for more than seven years, this is a very proud moment. …

… Most surely it is a proud day in the history of the Legislature and the state of Washington.

It is a day historians will mark as a milestone for equal rights. …

A day when we did what was right, we did what was just, and we did what was fair.

We stood up for equality and we did it together – Republicans and Democrats, gay and straight, young and old, and a number of religious faiths.

I’m proud of who and what we are in this state.

I’m proud that our same-sex couples will no longer be treated as separate but equal. They will be equal.

I’m proud that children in our schools and neighborhoods will not have to wonder why their loving parents are considered different than other loving parents.

I’m proud of parents who have fought so fiercely for the rights of their much-loved gay and lesbian children. …

I’m proud that children who discover they are gay and lesbian can feel good about themselves.

  • Tricksterson

    What, noone wants to comment on something actualy positive?

    oh, and first.

  • Mau deKatt

    You think I like that?  You think I want to sit at the heavenly banquet next to Ann Coulter?  Not so much.

    But
    that’s what I’m stuck with because I’m in the Jesus business.  And in
    the Jesus business there is not male or female, jew or greek, slave or
    free, gay or straight, there is only one category of people: children of
    God. Which means nobody gets to be special and everybody gets to be loved.

    Amen, amen, and amen.

  • Amaryllis

    Okay, here’s something positive: a marriage-equality bill has passed the Maryland House of Representatives. It still has to pass in the Senate, but the Senate approved it last year and is expected to do so again. The Governor (possibly having his eyes on a different set of primaries, or out of real conviction, or both) has promised to sign it.

    Even Sen. Don Dwyer, known for his implacable opposition to marriage equality, was heard to say that if the bill passes and is ratified by the voters, “who am I to stand in the way?” If Don Dwyer sees the light, then anything is possible.

    On the other hand, he’s probably relying a troubling amendment which prevents the bill from going into effect while attempts to bring it to a referendum are being legislated. I’m not at all enthused, even in relatively liberal Maryland, about the prospects of such a referendum, or about putting a basic right to a popular vote at all.

    Still, it’s a start.


    People born in this country aren’t special. Men aren’t special. Christians aren’t special. Straight people aren’t special.
    And if the laws of our great land make it seem so, then Shame. On. Us.

    Amen to that.

  • Cathy W

    Rev. Weber’s testimony literally moved me to tears. Thank you for sharing it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Speaking of Maryland and people seeing the light:

    Dick Cheney Part Of Marriage Equality Lobbying Effort In Maryland

    When you have Dick Cheney reportedly exerting political pressure on conservative lawmakers to approve same-sex marriage, you know things are turning around.

    Cheney has, for years, been one of the most prominent Republican supporters of same-sex marriage.

    “I think that freedom means freedom for everyone. As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish,” he said in 2009, placing him in the rare position of being more progressive than President Barack Obama on a policy issue.

  • P J Evans

    Cheney is trying to preserve his legacy, and if same-sex marriage is what it takes, then he’s going to support it. (Would have been nice if he’d said this a lot earlier, though. Might have made the GOP a bit less hate-filled.)

  • Anonymous

     LOLno. Cheney is just a symptom of the disease. If he was less hate-filled, the GOP would have found someone else who wasn’t.

  • Anonymous

    Cheney is trying to preserve his legacy, and if same-sex marriage is what it takes, then he’s going to support it. (Would have been nice if he’d said this a lot earlier, though. Might have made the GOP a bit less hate-filled.)

    He’s vile. He got Bush a second term by putting anti-marriage equality amendments on state ballots in 2004.

    Now, much like Laura Bush, he’s trying to salvage the fact that he will be rightly remembered as George Wallace possibly within his own lifetime.

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    Chris Christie brings up that old question– which is more vile, the bigot or the hypocrite who is willing to pander to the bigot?

  • Kish

    Cheney was always either very quiet or actively supportive when same-sex marriage came up. It’s not uncommon for Republicans: He can take horrible positions until the cows come home on everything that doesn’t directly impact his family, but because his daughter’s a lesbian, he’s suddenly moderate-to-liberal whenever she’s concerned.

    He just didn’t care enough to make it come up when it would have actually cost him anything.

  • Lori

     
    As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. 

    Even when Cheney is doing something good he’s an asshat about it. He’s supporting marriage equality and in the process talking about teh ghay like it’s cancer. I have no doubt that he loves Mary (FSM knows she’s kissed his ass enough to earn that love), but his evil is not a surface thing. It goes all the way to the bone and as such it comes out in everything he does. 

    There’s something rather fascinating about it, really. Cheney’s evil is like a force of nature or something. 

     
    LOLno. Cheney is just a symptom of the disease. If he was less hate-filled, the GOP would have found someone else who wasn’t.  

    Don’t underestimate Cheney’s bad influence. The nation as a whole did and it cost us dearly. There are a number of truly evil things that I don’t think would have happened had he not held power in the Bush administration. There are certainly plenty of other people in the GOP who are as bad as he is, but they don’t have his skill at political in-fighting and power plays. It’s the combination of vile and skilled that made Cheney such a nightmare. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Imagining Dick Cheney being on the same side of any pro-QUILTBAG rights platform strongly reminds me of being uncomfortably close to That Dude on the bus who didn’t shower or shave that morning so his B.O. radiates within a five foot radius.

    You and That Dude both have paid the fare, but you have to be close to him for a while and that’s not fun.

  • MaryKaye

    I’m in Washington and I’m totally proud of Governor Gregoire, who not only signed the bill but, earlier, made a really good speech explaining why she supported it.

    Now we have to defeat the roll-back amendment, assuming it makes the ballot.  Any suggestions on the most effective way to accomplish that?  I have very little time or money lately and would like to use what I do have most efficiently.

  • Daughter

    You think I like that? You think I want to sit at the heavenly banquet next to Ann Coulter? Not so much.

    Hee-hee!

    I had an insight once in college. In the morning before breakfast, I read Matthew 9:9-13, and then I went downstairs to the dining hall. A really obnoxious, really sexist guy named who lived in my dorm was already there, being his usual jerk self.

    I suddenly had a vision of Jesus walking into the dining hall, sitting down with Bill and eating breakfast. And my immediate response, “Why would you do that, Jesus? Don’t you know what kind of person Bill is?”

    And it hit me: That’s exactly why Jesus would sit with Bill. Because it’s not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. And the Pharisees were perhaps like me: jealous that Jesus would love someone they considered a sinner just as much as he loved them.

  • Brandi

    [blockquote]Now, much like Laura Bush, he’s trying to salvage the fact that he will be rightly remembered as George Wallace possibly within his own lifetime.[/blockquote]

    I think Strom Thurmond would be a better parallel. Google “Essie Mae Washington-Williams”. (Admittedly, Cheney has acknowledged his daughter’s existence…)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    The nickname “Darth Cheney” wasn’t coined by journalists, or political opponents, or bloggers. It was coined by White House staff.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

     

    Chris Christie brings up that old question– which is more vile, the
    bigot or the hypocrite who is willing to pander to the bigot?

    “Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, at least it’s an ethos.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

     

    Apparently she has made up her own jesus.

    Yeah, one that hangs out with beggars, and lepers, and tax collectors, and prostitutes, and other people considered unacceptable by “proper” society. Wonder where she got the idea for that…

  • Tricksterson

    I always thought of him more as Emperor Palpacheney, with Bush as Jar Jar.

  • http://twitter.com/jclor jclor

    By your reasoning, Christ would allow gays to marry, but simply remind them not to sin.  (Whether or not he considered homosexuality a sin is conjecture, since he never mentions it.)

    The concept of sin has nothing to do with the law.  We have not criminalized false idols and coveting the neighbor’s wife, though the same Old Testament that proscribes against homosexuality forbids them.  Religious law overlaps, but is not congruent to, secular law.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

    “Go and sin no more” or did you miss that part?

    That refers to adultery, which Jesus later unequivocally established as sin. He never mentions homosexuality. Your argument fails.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    *gigglesnorts*

  • P J Evans

     Cheney was in the government during Iran-Contra. He was in the government during Watergate. What he’s learned from those is being faster, more devious, and sneakier in committing his crimes.

  • P J Evans

     He didn’t think that sinners were to be avoided or punished. He forgave them. He associated with them voluntarily.
    Dork.

  • Anonymous

    I am not suggesting ostracizing sinners just not lying to them by
    telling them its not a sin. That’s not love, that’s hate at worst,
    apathy at best.

    The question then becomes, “Who gets to define what is a sin?”  And, once that’s defined, making sure we don’t lie to those sinners and telling them that what they’re doing is a sin.

    With that in mind, do you make a habit of telling people who work for financial institutions that they are sinners because they participate in a company that charges interest?  (Ex. 22:25 — Do not charge interest to the poor)

    Have you contacted the governors of Arizona and Alabama, as well as members of those legislatures and voters who approved their states’ respective immigration bills to tell them that they are sinners?  (Lev. 19:34 — The alien shall be as a citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself)

    Have you told members of your family that they are sinners for wearing clothing contrary to God’s law?  (Lev. 19:19 — You shall not wear clothing made of two different kinds of material)

    Does your church have a program to care for orphans and widows?  If not, have you told parishioners that they are sinners?  (James 1:27 — care for orphans and widows in their distress)

    Have you participated in a plan to send food and water supplies to the Taliban?  If not, have you confessed to being a sinner, repented and begun to do so?  (Rom. 12:20 — If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink)

    You see, we could do this all day.  The issue is whether or not you are willing to confront and label all sinners as such, or just the ones who commit what you personally interpret as sin and find offensive.  And if you don’t confront all sinners with equal … zeal … then your position doesn’t work.

    As to the line, “Go and sin no more” or did you miss that part? … you totally missed the context of the sentence.  This admonition came from Jesus after he gave permission for those without sin to throw the first stone.  Since I’m pretty sure none of us fit the description of “without sin,” then we need to quit throwing stones.

    We would, in fact, all be better off if we paid more attention to Matt. 7:12, Do to others whatever you would have them do to you, than by worrying about whether or not they meet our definition of religious purity before we start treating “others” as full and equal human beings.

  • hapax

    He didn’t think that sinners were to be avoided or punished. He forgave them. He associated with them voluntarily.

    It’s especially important to remember in the understanding of Jesus’s
    contemporaries, “sin” didn’t necessarily mean a “violation of the law.”

    It was also understood more generally as “something which prevents you from being right with God … being in God’s company“.

    So what was the response of Jesus, as God-become-man, to “sinners” who weren’t good enough, pure enough, holy enough to hang out with Him?

    He chose to go and hang out with them.

    Puts a whole new spin on “Go and sin no more”, eh?

    As far as I understand the Good News, the only “lie” is to suggest that ANYTHING — nationality, skin color, sexual orientation, past misdeeds, present pains, future fears, even the mighty condemnations of Internet Pecksniffs — have the power to overcome God’s desperate desire for our joyful company. 

    If “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
    nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able
    to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord,” I don’t put much stock in Frank’s efforts either.

  • FangsFirst

     I feel like there should be some kind of brilliant punctuation to the end of that post, to just sort of seal off the definitive accuracy of it.
    Of course, part of the charm is it isn’t smug, so it’s probably best it doesn’t.

  • P J Evans

    the mighty condemnations of Internet Pecksniffs

    LOL!

  • We Must Dissent

     

    As to the line, “Go and sin no more” or did you miss that part? … you totally missed the context of the sentence.  This admonition came from Jesus after
    he gave permission for those without sin to throw the first stone. 
    Since I’m pretty sure none of us fit the description of “without sin,”
    then we need to quit throwing stones.

    About a decade ago, I had an insight to this part of the Gospels. Maybe it’s hugely flawed, and I just haven’t seen the flaw. Maybe my insight is based on an artifact of translation.

    My insight was this: when Jesus says, “Let the one among you who is without sin cast the first stone,” yes, he’s saying that none of the mob have the right to condemn the woman. He’s also saying that it’s his right, as the one without sin, to do so. And the very next thing he does is declare that he will not.

    If that’s the case, then “Go and sin no more” is advice for the woman and, implicitly, us as readers to work to be better than she was before and we are now. It’s not a threat that though we have escaped punishment so far, eventually it’s coming.

  • Anonymous

    I am not suggesting ostracizing sinners just not lying to them by
    telling them its not a sin. That’s not love, that’s hate at worst,
    apathy at best.

    Comes a bit strangely from someone who’s posting on the Sabbath.

    Sigh the ignorance here is astounding!

    Yes, Frank. Yes, it is.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Sigh the ignorance here is astounding!

    Who is this Sigh the ignorance and from what Dr Seuss book does it come?

  • Anonymous

     hapax, I needed to read exactly that comment exactly right now. Thank you! (Not, by the way, because I needed to feel more loved. Because I needed to feel more loving.)

    Also, Reverend Ref: most excellent!

  • Anonymous

    My insight was this: when Jesus says, “Let the one among you who is
    without sin cast the first stone,” yes, he’s saying that none of the mob
    have the right to condemn the woman. He’s also saying that it’s his right, as the one without sin, to do so. And the very next thing he does is declare that he will not.

    You prefaced this by saying that your insight might be hugely flawed.  I’m thinking not, since I’m fairly sure I’ve heard one or two sermons on this exact point.

  • Anonymous

    “And until we achieve it, we will fight with our every last breath. And we will win, so help me God.”

    So say we all.

  • We Must Dissent

     In one version of my post, I noted that I’d never heard anything like this in any of the Christian groups I’d been in. If it was taught about, it was usually in the vein of “vengeance is mine sayeth the LORD”–we shouldn’t judge, wink wink, but God’s still gonna get ‘em all.

    It’s nice to know that such thoughts occur in other types of Christianity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752002772 Andrew Glasgow

    I like her jesus better than the one you appear to have made up.

  • hapax

    Learn what love really is and then come back and we can all about love.

    Since I am getting a very strong vibe from you that you view “love” as something like “beating into submission”, I’d really rather NOT talk to you about it.

    I’ve already heard all I care to know about THAT kind of “love”, thanks.

  • http://loosviews.livejournal.com BringTheNoise

      Jesus was a Jew and would stand up for Jewish law

    No, he would not. THAT’S WHY HE’S WAS FLIPPING EXECUTED!

  • Kiba

    As a gay non-christian your bible means diddly squat to me. Neither you, nor anyone else, gets to tell me that I must live my life according a religion that I do not believe in or follow. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752002772 Andrew Glasgow

    So tell us, Frank, what was the Jesus of the Bible like? Did he bless the rich men and welcome them into heaven? Did he tell the poor it was their fault they were poor? Did he turn away the lepers because they had a pre-existing condition? Did he throw stones at prostitutes?

    What Jesus have you made up?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752002772 Andrew Glasgow

    Jesus was a Jew and would stand up for Jewish law.

    Right, just like he upheld the law of stoning adulterers, not wearing mixed fabric or eating pork or shellfish….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752002772 Andrew Glasgow

    In fact yes, my favorite passage is one that Fred has quoted here. “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.”


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