On Christianity and marriage equality (part 2)

More smart and wise recent posts from those of us kicking against the pricks.

Sarah Bessey:I’m an evangelical Christian. And I think same-sex marriage should be legal

As someone raised in a post-Christian culture, now living in a post-same-sex-marriage culture, AND as someone that is a heterosexual evangelical Christian herself, I think that same-sex marriage should be legal –and I think that Christians, even those that believe homosexuality to be a sin, need to back off the issue.

From a purely pragmatic standpoint, it doesn’t affect my own life negatively. For my friends and acquaintances that are GLBT,the ability to have a legal standing on par with heterosexual couples carries weight in every area of their lives. And the fact that two consenting adult people love each other and are committed to one another does not devalue me, my marriage, my religion, or the society I live in. If anything, it has created a more stable, tolerant, and accepting society.

Most of us evangelicals in Canada, regardless of personal beliefs about homosexuality, can admit that since same-sex marriage has been legalised in Canada, our society has not gone to hell in a hand basket, nor has traditional marriage, or our families been under attack. Scare tactics and wild-eyed fear-based rhetoric rarely turns out to be true.  In actual practice, our society has become “live and let live” which is actually a rather tolerant and comfortable place to be.

Karoli:About Gay Marriage and President Obama …

Here’s one final biblical admonition that I try but don’t always succeed at heeding:

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” – Romans 12:18

In the context of marriage equality, it is simple enough for me to heed it and live by it. Same sex marriage does not threaten me or undermine my marriage. It does not elevate anyone above anyone else. Condemning same sex marriage and becoming an advocate for stripping people of happiness and stigmatizing them does not comport with “living at peace with everyone else.”

Kimberly Knight:Coming Out Christian — A New Blog at Patheos

Since I am a Christian I must ground Christian dialogue in a great Book that has formed me. But just as I regard scripture as holy, I do not read it literally nor is it the only source that informs me. Experience, reason and a plethora of great minds are my companions on this journey. Note: all strictly literalist arguments will fall short here, especially if they are not grounded in love. I am not motivated to change your faith. Pray, worship and study as your heart dictates but the time has come to fully live into our national separation of church and state — your faith has no place legislating my civil rights.

David J. Dunn:Why Christian Activism Against Gay Marriage Is Not Very Christian

The politics of the “sheep” are not about working to restrict the civil rights of the “goats.” The “sheep” are able to enter the kingdom of God because, in a way, they have been living in it already. The prophets of Israel hoped for God to establish peace and justice on earth. For Jesus to fulfill the prophets is for that peace and justice to be present in him. The kingdom goes where Jesus goes. If we believe the above verses, that means the kingdom goes where people are hungry, thirsty, sick and imprisoned. When Christians go to those who have no power or voice in society, they are standing in the presence of the kingdom, because they are standing in the presence of their King.

It is not as if people weren’t “gay” back then. The idea of the “homosexual” as a kind of identity is a pretty recent invention, but there is ample evidence from Greek and Roman art and literature that men and women engaged in same-sex acts. Such acts were common enough among Jews that the rabbis who contributed to the Talmud had to address it, sorting out which acts were sinful, why and how much. I am not saying that Jesus did not care about what people did in their bedrooms. My point is that he did not seem to care very much! He certainly cared less about gay sex than the majority of North Carolina’s voters.

  • Eminnith

    “from those of us kicking against the pricks.”

    Best use of a Biblical quotation I expect to see all day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jess-Goodwin/28602067 Jess Goodwin

    Beautiful posts. Just…please don’t read the comments afterwards. I made the mistake of doing so, and I was gulping back sobs of grief and rage on the bus.
     
    It’s bad to hate people. I have to keep telling myself that. And pray that I will never meet some of those commenters in person.

  • Jeff Weskamp

    ” Your faith has no place legislating my civil rights.”

    And that right there is the most important statement of the entire struggle for same-sex marriage.  What certain religious groups believe is their own business…. and it should stay their business!

  • VMink

    *looks at the “Coming Out Christian” blog*

    Despite being from an Evangelical Christian, it’s shuffled into the Patheos ghetto of ‘Progressive Christianity.’

  • Tricksterson

    To paraphrase efferson, “Who someone loves and whether or not they wish to marry them neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg”

    Whether he would feel the same on same sex marriage as he did about religion I don’t know but it’s how i feel and I like to think that he would too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/swbaxter13 Scott Baxter

    I think only a Christian could refer to Canada as a “post-Christian society.” We’re not a theocracy, but we still have a line in the anthem that says “God keep our land…,” the Charter of Rights and Freedoms starts off saying “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God,” surveys show a strong majority of Canadians are Christian, etc. To those of us who aren’t Christians, it’s pretty clear we have a long way to go before we’re a post-Christian society.

  • reynard61

    “(…)from those of us kicking against the pricks.”

    Considering how stupidly those pricks have been responding of late, I’d say that it’s time that we moved on to the (metaphorical) Clue-by-four…

  • hidden_urchin

    Waitwaitwait.  So Canada, the godless, socialist country (according to the Right), starts its Charter of Rights and Freedoms with “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles tht recognize the supremacy of God…” whereas the USA, God’s Own Country and the Greatest Nation in the World (again, according to the Right), has no equivalent statement in its Constitution?

    I can only assume that the Religious Right has, in fact, confused your document with our own.  I suspect trying to correct this misinterpretation will cause heads to explode.

    Who wants to be the first to alert Fox News?  I’ll bring the popcorn.

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

    And not all Canadians are happy with that part of the Charter.

  • Matri

    *looks at the “Coming Out Christian” blog*

    Despite being from an Evangelical Christian, it’s shuffled into the Patheos ghetto of ‘Progressive Christianity.’

    That’s because it doesn’t “toe the line”. Fred’s an Evangelical Christian as well, and look where this blog is slotted.

  • Elizabeth

    You know, I’m changing my mind about this issue. I used to be pro-gay marriage, but as of Wednesday, I’m not. If anyone asks my opinion in a vote (unlikely in this country) I’ll vote for it – but I’m no longer outraged or actively campaigning for it.

    This is because my experience as a breastfeeding mother is that gay people *are* anti-family, at least where breastfeeding is concerned (which I consider a major part of my role as a mother of a 2 month old baby). So the three people who ridiculed and harassed me on Wednesday, I hope you enjoyed it, because you just lost your cause an ally. I’ll stick to my own issues from now on and leave you with yours.

  • http://www.facebook.com/swbaxter13 Scott Baxter

    Heck, we can do better at making heads asplode: Canada has no equivalent to the establishment clause. So we have, for example, government-funded religious schools in several provinces. Roman Catholic in all the examples I’m familiar with, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are others.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    So I can’t figure out copying and pasting on my phone, but Google “Penny Wong Joe Hockey qanda” (or Q&A instead of qanda) and check out the resulting clip on YouTube.

    It’s the graceful yet firm response of Australia’s finance minister to objections about marriage equality on a political tv show during the week. Penny Wong is famously protective of her private life (as she has every right to be), but being one od the most high profile lesbians in the country, raising a child with her female partner, her relationship has been subject to more scrutiny than almost anyone else’s.

  • Nathaniel

     I really hope you’re kidding.

    In other news, I’m convinced now that black people shouldn’t have voting rights because one was mean to me the other day.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You know, I’m changing my mind about this issue. I used to be pro-gay marriage, but as of Wednesday, I’m not. If anyone asks my opinion in a vote (unlikely in this country) I’ll vote for it – but I’m no longer outraged or actively campaigning for it.

    This is because my experience as a breastfeeding mother is that gay people *are* anti-family, at least where breastfeeding is concerned (which I consider a major part of my role as a mother of a 2 month old baby). So the three people who ridiculed and harassed me on Wednesday, I hope you enjoyed it, because you just lost your cause an ally. I’ll stick to my own issues from now on and leave you with yours.

    What the hell.

    I have an equally loud ‘What the hell’ for the people who upset you. They should not have done that, and if it means anything, I’d like to apologize on their behalf. But seriously, Elizabeth, what the hell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

    I apologize – public breastfeeding, like gay marriage, is something that should be a nonissue. Sometimes kids get hungry! I feel like this position change is a bit radical, though. Would you stop supporting women’s rights because a woman cut you off on the highway?

  • GDwarf

    I’ll echo the what-the-hell, I mean, seriously? Some people are jerks so they shouldn’t have basic rights?

    Anyways, it does remind me of a story about some actress-or-other who noticed that her nipples had been airbrushed out of a publicity poster for a movie. When she asked why, she was told that there were concerns that they might not be appropriate for children to see.

    I can only imagine the facepalming that ensued.

  • Tricksterson

    Just because some gay people are jerks is no reason to turn your back on what is a basically good principle.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I’m appreciating this recent exchange re: breastfeeding and marriage equality, because it really brings into contrast for me the difference between “I endorse legal and social changes that reflect our equality because I believe we’re equals” and “I endorse legal and social changes that improve your position because I believe you will reciprocate.”

    I often infer the former in ambiguous situations.

    I should probably quit doing that.

  • JonathanPelikan

    Look, upfront: I’m really sorry you got shit for breastfeeding. Our culture has issues with that sort of thing that we’ve got to sort out, and it was wrong of them to ridicule and harass you.

    Having said that, you can’t, capital C A N ‘ T, judge all gay people, who are, what, like ten percent or so of the average population? By those three assholes. I understand how you’re feeling rightfully angry right now, but I hope you can see that.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CE6FTHLHRMXUGOOGCMG3ROXBH4 David

    Boy, it’s a good thing the civil rights of Christians don’t depend on all other Christians not treating anyone else like jerks.

  • Amaryllis

    Briefly dropping in to note that although you can’t (yet, maybe never?) get a same-sex marriage in Maryland, you can now get a same-sex divorce. Let’s hear it for “the common-law doctrine of comity.”

  • TheRidger

    Wow. No straight people ever give a breast-feeding mother grief for doing it in public. Ever.

  • http://www.emergingmummy.com/ Sarah Bessey

    Thanks for including me! Very honoured. 

  • Elizabeth

    you can’t, capital C A N ‘ T, judge all gay people, who are, what, like ten percent or so of the average population? By those three assholes. I understand how you’re feeling rightfully angry right now, but I hope you can see that.

    Yeah, OK, coming back a day later and having calmed down a bit – this is right. I know it is. It’s just that sitting breastfeeding is a very vulnerable posture – you can’t move, you can’t defend yourself, you can’t run away. And having large men standing over you can feel pretty threatening. 

    In the cold hard light of day (this was at night BTW) I don’t think they *meant* it to be as threatening as I found it – I think they thought they were just having a bit of fun with a woman with some breast showing. That makes them jerks, but I suppose I have to agree that it doesn’t make the whole universe full of jerks who hate breastfeeding mothers – even when it feels like it.

  • Tricksterson

    I thought it was something like that.

  • Elizabeth

    And yes, go Penny Wong! An Aussie being a class act for once – nice! 

    So, it is possible to be in favour of civil liberties for lesbians but not for gay men? (Just kidding!)

  • Elizabeth

    Anyways, it does remind me of a story about some actress-or-other who noticed that her nipples had been airbrushed out of a publicity poster for a movie. When she asked why, she was told that there were concerns that they might not be appropriate for children to see.

    This is another weird thing, to my mind. I find it very odd the people who say “because of the children” as a reason not to allow breastfeeding in some places/situations. Breastfeeding *benefits* children! But Facebook says it, which is even stranger as young children aren’t even allowed to be on it!

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Hey!

  • EllieMurasaki

    In the cold hard light of day (this was at night BTW) I don’t think they *meant* it to be as threatening as I found it – I think they thought they were just having a bit of fun with a woman with some breast showing. That makes them jerks

    I don’t think ‘jerk’ is a strong enough word for someone who behaves in a threatening manner. Intentionally or knowingly or otherwise. I’m sorry you went through that.

  • Tricksterson

    Weirdly enough you do get something like that impression with some conservatives, that if it was just lesbian marriage we were talking about it wouldn’t be so bad, supposedly because females form more stable relationships than men.  There might be something to that but i think it’s more that they find women less threatening than men.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    The thought occurs that it’s likely that a lot of the people who worry about keeping “children” from seeing breasts are primarily talking about *teenagers*, not prepubescent children — young people who may have a sexual interest in breasts, but whom a large sector of society doesn’t trust to deal with their sexual impulses properly.

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

    As has been observed with drinking and drugs a huge component of the unhealthy fascination teenagers have with such is precisely the serious prudery that surrounds the verboten-ness of frank, straightforward discussion of such things.

    When you get kerfluffles and wankery over sex-ed classes to the point where  a Surgeon General gets turfed over suggesting that it be considered normal to discuss the subject of masturbation –

    Well, no surprise to me that all kinds of inappropriate behaviors come out regarding everything from breastfeeding to risky sexual activities.


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