On Christianity and marriage equality (part 4)

Christians who oppose equality are losing the argument. That’s why they’re so loud.

Kathy Escobar:Unless we’re all free, none of us is free

Christians should be leading the way on equality in absolutely every area, yet we all know that on the whole, we are lagging behind, stuck in white privilege & imbalanced power & segregation and all kinds of things that are not reflective of the kingdom of God Jesus called us to create.

… It’s not a side issue or a pet project  equality is a core issue of an active faith and one that as Christ-followers we are called to participate in creating. Here, now.

Jay Michaelson:Traditional Marriage: One Man, Many Women, Some Girls, Some Slaves

Traditional marriage is one man with multiple wives, multiple concubines, wives conquered in war and wives acquired in levirate marriage, possibly including girls under the age of ten, but definitely not including anyone of a different ethnic group, in an arranged marriage with disposition of property as its purpose. That seems very different from “one man, one woman,” does it not?

Of course, it’s easy to say that marriage as an institution evolves — but then, if we admit that, we have to admit that sanctioning loving, same-sex unions is just another step in that evolution. Perhaps this is why the Tony Perkinses of the world simply ignore the Bible when it doesn’t suit their purposes, instead preferring to make pseudo-scientific (and wholly unsupported) claims about what’s best for children and society. The Bible’s truths are just too inconvenient.

Jo Hilder: Why Christians Are Not the Boss of Marriage

Christians talk about marriage as if we invented it in the first place and only ever meant to loan it to the world, with the condition we always reserve the right to decide who gets to do it. However, practically every religion, people and culture in the world has its own marriage rites. Regardless, Christianity continue to claim their self-professed right to dictate the conditions of everyone’s marriage in the whole world, even though marriage existed way before Christianity, before Judaism. …

… The fact is you don’t have to be a Christian to love someone, to be able to make a vow and keep it, to sign a contract or to even have a child. Marriage and family are not Christian institutions; they are human ones. It ought to be okay for all human beings to be able to get married if they want to, anyway they want to, for whatever reason they choose. Christians just don’t get to make up the rules for all the human beings, any more than Buddhists or Muslims do.

Jared Byas:I Still Stand as an Evangelical for Gay Marriage

If this were about gay folks in church leadership or even church membership, we would have to address whether or not gay sex is a sin (which is another issue entirely on its own). But Paul seems to make it very clear that Christians have absolutely no place to judge the behavior of non-Christians. …

… Instead of focusing on “judging those inside” and creating a “city on a hill,” evangelicals are very good at making sure people who are not Christians know that they are “breaking the rules” of Christianity. And as such, we have gained the reputation for being judgmental, a moniker well-deserved for the most part. It is God’s place to judge the world, it is our place to love it. And just like the story we find in Adam & Eve, when we put ourselves in God’s place, we make a mess of things.

Mark D. Jordan:Obama Backs Marriage Equality: A Christian Ethicist Responds

Since the first Kinsey report — that is, in the last sixty years — Christian talk about same-sex desire has shifted fundamentally in America. Our terms and models for sexual desire are different. So are the interpretations of scriptural passages or the moral judgments on specific sexual activities — and not just those between members of the same sex. But the most fundamental shift in our talk is the hardest to notice. It’s the very prominence of the topic. Whether liberal or conservative, American churches now speak about homosexuality frequently, publicly, loudly — in just the ways that were taboo sixty years ago.

… The issue of homosexuality is a leading indicator for the state of Christian churches. It’s like a gauge for larger controversies—about human relations and social power — that will determine the Christian future. I should say futures, in the plural, because these controversies are likely to result in new divisions among churches or new churches simply speaking. I agree with my opponents at least about this: We’re not fighting just about sex. We’re fighting over the Christianity of the future.

  • everstar

    Musical accompaniment for Kathy Escobar’s post: “None of Us Are Free” performed by Solomon Burke.

  • Tonio

    From the quotes that Fred chooses for these posts on marriage equality, I get the impression that the writers are used to addressing people who don’t really believe in individual privacy, or who believe that being “normal” is a moral imperative. Something is wrong when someone like Hilder has to state the blindingly obvious point that it “ought to be okay for all human beings to be able to get married if they
    want to, anyway they want to, for whatever reason they choose.” The writers seem to assume that the burden is on them to prove that gays should be included in that principle. I suppose I want them to acknowledge that private lives in general, not just orientation, should be exempt from the disapproval of others in the first place. I’m defining “private lives” here as any aspect of those lives that don’t directly harm others.

  • Chloe Lewis

    Feminism and gay rights are marching hand in hand here — either cause usually convinces its followers that married love is something between two equals; and once you believe that, extending it to other groups will happen. Slowly.


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