Bob Hyatt doesn’t blog enough. But when he does, it’s good.
Bob is a friend — he stayed at my house last week — but he’s also a thorn in my side. Almost every time I post on issues of human sexuality, he writes a comment here or on Facebook, gently chiding me from the other side of the issue (some of you who disagree with me could learn a lesson from Bob about civil engagement.
Well, Bob has a thoughtful post up today about a middle ground in the same sex marriage debate:
On one side, the Church is going to have to realize that gay men and women, in wanting what everyone else has, are asking for something reasonable. Rights of inheritance and property, custody and visitation- all of the rights granted currently by the state in marriage are good things, things we can affirm, even in relationships that we wouldn’t necessarily endorse. After all, even if we hold a more conservative view on divorce, I don’t see many churches advocating for divorced couples to lose the right to have custody over their step-children should something happen to their spouse. We may not endorse the relationship, but we can certainly try to understand the desire of those in it to have the same legal rights as other couples. And more than understand it- I think we can advocate for it, and practically demonstrate that we do in fact “love everyone.”
At a bare minimum, those who claim the stance “Welcoming but not affirming” must come to grips with the very practical question of what that looks like not just on Sunday morning, but it the public/civic arena too.
On the other side, those pushing for SSM need to understand the depth of feeling involved in and around the word marriage- what is for many Christians a sacrament and for all Christians sacred. To have the State legislate an understanding of what is essentially a religious term, and to legislate it in a way contrary to the faith and practice of so many is profoundly offensive. This goes beyond legalization into the realm of endorsement and definition, and as such, is qualitatively different than many other culture war issues.
As long as we’re talking about “marriage” we’re going to continue to see a stalemate on this issue as those who believe in a traditional, biblical view of sexuality and those who want the basic rights afforded to others all around them each refuse to give an inch.
So what’s the solution?
Read the rest to see Bob’s solution: Bob Hyatt » Last Chance For a Win-Win on Same-Sex Marriage?.