Same Sex Marriage Blogalogue: Prolegomena 1 – This Is Not About Me

In advance of my blogalogue with Rod Dreher, I want to get something off my chest.  I will write about this once and only once.  That is, this conversation about same sex marriage is not about me.  I am heterosexual, as is Rod, which, as Bob C. commented on my last post, is a bit strange.

ringjustinsullivangetty.jpgAnd yet, as is so often the case, straight white men end up debating and, unfortunately, deciding the role of minority groups (or, in the case of women’s suffrage, a majority group) in society.  This, of course, is part of the inequity of the system.

But this blogalogue is about me insofar as the opinions that I will make public here for the first time will very likely affect my ability to provide for my family.  It is almost assured that I will be considered for fewer speaking engagements as a result of these posts.  I may be disinvited from events at which I’m already contracted to speak.  I may be asked to stop writing in a publication or two.  Less of my books may sell; some bookstores may stop stocking my titles.

I write all this not to invoke your sympathy.  No one is making me take a public position on this issue.  And, of course, what ever recriminations I encounter as a result of my opinions is minute compared to the discrimination faced by my GLBT brothers and sisters, not just regarding their ability to marry, but in virtually every corner of their cultural experience.

Instead, I write all of this to acknowledge that many of my friends and collegues, though they may agree with my position on same sex marriage, are not yet ready to go public with their opinions.  I am having lots of offline conversations with friends and collegues whom I respect immensely, and they are sharpening my thinking.  This may be the role for them at this time.  I cast no judgment on them for not going public with their opinions (yet), regardless of which side they’re on (and, as I will write soon, I don’t really think this is a black-and-white issue).  And I hope that you, in spite of how strongly you feel on this issue, will also have understanding about why some relatively public figures cannot make their feelings known publicly.

A word of caution: Let your comments be words of civility and respect, lest they be removed.

  • Joshua

    I think it is disturbing that we as an American ‘Christian’ Society lift up Homosexuality as a practically unforgivable sin, so much so that we are willing to legislate against it, and ostracize anyone who considers Homosexuals as anything even remotely human, let alone made in the image of God. Meanwhile 1/3 of Americans are overweight and suffering the health effects that comes with Gluttony, but I have yet to hear a sermon or see any legislation on what is quickly becoming a nationwide epidemic.
    I hope your blogalogue touches hearts and minds and opens them to the realities of Homosexuality, and just what so many homosexuals are going through and feeling in a nation that accepts them on the surface but in reality rejects them in the home, school, workplace, and public.
    Peace,
    Josh

  • http://julieclawson.com Julie Clawson

    Thanks Tony for your willingness to be open and vulnerable. It’s crazy that this topic is hidden so often and people are forced to hide behind facades of the socially acceptable. For all the people who accuse us of not caring about truth, they’d much rather us just lie about what we really are thinking so they can continue to believe that we all think the same. I’m sure that whatever you say will piss someone somewhere off, but thanks for having the guts to say it anyway.

  • http://zoecarnate.com Mike Morrell

    I think if the ‘general Christian public’ knew what their Christian leaders really think about all manner of hot-button issues (in sexuality, theology, politics, even off-the-wall things like drug use) we’d either a.) Find that we already have a very different Christian North America than we thought we did, we were all just putting on a party-line face for each other, or b.) They’d ship us all to an island somewhere, and there’d be revolt in the Xian Public Square. :)
    So kudos in advance – I’m looking forward to your thoughts.

  • http://pastorbobcornwall.blogspot.com Bob Cornwall

    Tony,
    I think for many people it’s not about me — therefore I’m free to judge. In fact, I think that with this issue, many of us heterosexual’s feel free to spout, because it’s not something “we’re tempted by.” But when it comes to things that we experience — divorce, obesity, etc. We leave these alone.
    But, while this issue may not touch me directly, it does indirectly. My brother is gay. I think that for many of us, when we come face to face with the reality that someone close to us is gay our thinking either begins to change or we turn our backs on one we love.
    Thanks for having the conversation.

  • Existential Punk

    Kudos to you Tony, for risking and opening up the conversation. i do feel ostracized, mostly from the evangelical Christians. Thus, why my partner and i are unable, for the most part, to find a church home.

  • frwyer

    Don’t worry Tony, according to Focus On the Family only 4 percent of Americans (and 9 percent of born-agains) have a “biblical” worldview… [www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/christian_worldview/whats_a_christian_worldview.aspx]
    Seriously though, thank you for having the courage to come forward with these views. We need to have this conversation.

  • Mandy

    I think it is interesting and rather encouraging the way that recent political events have acted as a catalyst in the progressive Christian community. For me, it was the proverbial final straw. I was careful with my opinions before, considerate of other people’s convictions, but the day after election day I wasn’t as happy as I thought I would be. I was weighted down with the knowledge that instead of being at the front of this issue and defending the civil rights and honor of the minority in this case, the church seems to be the last holdout in the acts of discrimination. I pray that I will continue to have the courage to speak out, and that others who share my convictions and our faith will as well.____On a lighter note: It’s funny that you are speaking on this topic now. I remember in an NYWC seminar someone asked you if you would marry a homosexual couple and you refused to engage in a conversation about hypothetical people. I was reminded of this the other night on 30 Rock, when Jack asked Kenneth what he would do in the hypothetical situation of a lifeboat where one person had to be thrown overboard. Kenneth replied: “I don’t believe in hypothetical situations. That’s like lying to your brain.”

  • http://dominedeus.blogspot.com/ Jason

    Thank you for standing up for our gltb brothers and sisters. May God bless you richly, as I am sure some in the church may come against you. I agree with you it is time to no longer make our gltb brothers and sisters sit at the back of the bus. I cannot see Jesus responding to them that way.

  • http://eyesofhope.wordpress.com Theresa Seeber

    Tony, you never cease to amaze me. You and I are a lot alike. I have been having this conversation on Facebook for a while now, which I think you know. It is a very difficult matter. My husband and I, for the first time in our 10 year marriage, do not see eye to eye on some things. One is this issue. He understands the Bible to be pointing to us that homosexuality is something God hands a nation over to in their defiance of God. But I cannot overlook the people I know personally who are in committed gay relationships, and the cries of their hearts to me in the privacy of our non-public conversations. God does not overlook the cries of their hearts either. I cannot stand here and say that I have found the Bible to be in agreement with homosexual behavior (don’t lynch me yet, I am not done…), but I cannot stand here and say the church is doing a good job loving their neighbor on this one either. I am in the beginning phases of a campaign to make a difference in the way the church treats this people group, and group Jonathan Brink calls “the new lepers,” referring to the way we treat them. ____Lord, please be with Tony, and us all, as we tread on this slippery slope of revolution. May we not fall short of your awesome desires for us as we seek to make a difference in this world. May we love our gay brothers and sisters and embrace them so completely that they no longer can deny your love for them. Please help us to overcome this prejudice in our society, without compromising your call to Godly living. We do not presume to have all the answers, and really, we only have very few. Lord, please continue to guide us and lead us, and bring healing and peace to land. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. ____I am here for you Tony. I have taken heat over this for a while now. __Always,__Theresa

  • Jason

    And sadly, I’m afraid, what the Bible has clearly said about this issue will go unheeded.

  • rodney neill

    Tony:
    I am from the UK – your post in tone sounds as though you are setting yourself up as a martyr figure ‘Defending the Noble Cause’ against potential loss of income etc – can you not just discuss the issue without this over the top rhetoric!

  • Biblical Christian

    You’re correct, Tony, “it’s NOT about you” – - – Christianity is about JESUS Christ, and His Word, and His word calls homosexuality SIN. GOD is the same – yesterday, today and forever. Learn it, live it, love it, and remember that He will come as the lightning flashes from one end of the Heavens to the other. I pray that you and your misguided followers will truly be ready at that time. There is no “do over”.

  • Your Name

    in response to what has been commented above i would like to ask where in the bible it states homosexuality is an unpardonable sin? I find it difficult to attend a church that closes the door on a group of people based on sexuality before they have had a chance to enter. Is this what Jesus would do? No. Like every other christian, a homosexual will be changed by the Holy Spirit to become more Christlike. If a person remains a homosexual, well who is to judge?
    To deny a place of worship, and the same basic christian love is abhorrent to me. None of us will ever be perfect. I have faith in Jesus to pardon my sin through his grace and i can not in good conscience deny another their faith, love and basic rights.

  • http://Motive Peter

    “It’s not about me…” – Really?
    I think it’s interesting that 2 weeks after you move to beliefnet you come out with this. Great self-promoting move! Good way to make some $$ and increase book sales eh?
    I am pretty mad about all this Tony.
    Peter


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