If you’ve been wondering how one would go about filing a federal lawsuit against hundreds of millions of gay and lesbian people in every nation on earth at once for “breaking religious and moral laws,” look no further that Sylvia Ann Driskell (different than Mark Driscoll, mind you) in Omaha, Nebraska. She’s got it figured out.
Though she is technically the one filing suit, she claims to be merely an ambassador for the real defendants, who she says are God and Jesus. According to a piece on the Huffington Post website, the suit filed as a handwritten seven-page letter and submitted to the Omaha U.S. District Court states that “homosexuality is a sin and that the homosexuals know it is a sin to live a life of homosexuality.” After all “why else would they have been hiding in the closet(?)”
Could it be because they’ve been persecuted in every from public shaming (or maybe specious lawsuits) to being burned alive publicly?
You can read her full petition here, but though Ms. Driskell is the official planetary ambassador for both the Father and Son of all creation, she’s not much of a speller.
Her effort, it seems, is to throw a wrench in the machinations moving us inevitably toward equal individual and family rights for same-sex couples. That or she’s a decade behind and isn’t aware that the Supreme Court struck down sodomy laws more than ten years ago. Either way, she has gay rights activists on the run.
Steven Payne, a writer on the Daily Kos, notes in his response, “My Husband and I are Being Sued,” that due to the suit being filed, he and his husband are in the process of liquidating their joint asses in preparation. “We anticipate the restitution ordered to this woman will take us down to our very last penny,” he writes. “In the meantime, our fear is so great we have ceased and desisted being homosexual.”
Well it’s about time, Steven.
Though the motivation, style and medium of the legal filing have offered fertile ground for no small amount of amusement for many, it points to a continued shift in our culture that has been accelerating in recent months in particular. It seems that the closer we come to equality for same-sex couples, the more threatened certain Christian activists and defenders of “traditional marriage” become.
But my argument is that the two aren’t really as related as they think.
For one, the whole “traditional marriage” argument is a little bit myopic. After all, if we’re talking about Biblical examples of marriage, we have to consider how scripture advises us to maintain our concubines, or why it’s best to marry women off (without their consent) as soon as they hit puberty.
And don’t forget the story of Onan, in which we learn two important traditional marriage norms:
- First, if your brother dies, you not only have to marry his wife, but you have to give her a child as well. Not just hand her one off the street, either. You have to make it the good old fashioned way.
- Also, if you ever perform any sexual act (including good old missionary-style, boy-on-girl sex) without the sole mission (no pun intended) of making a baby, you’re complicit in an abomination to God.
And on and on it goes in scripture, giving us examples of what “traditional marriage” should look like. And yet we seem to pick and choose which rules apply today and which were either archaic or based in ignorance. And we also ignore such realities like what people thought about how procreation worked (it’s all in the sperm, baby; the woman was just the oven), and what the Bible describes as what’s now called “sodomy” (pagan religious ritual or military rape as an act of dominance).
You get the idea. Even the defenders of traditional marriage contextualize and adapt Biblical teaching for current day and culture, just as they accuse others of doing the same. The real difference, then, is more about how we modernize morality, and not so much that one is Biblical, while the other isn’t.
For me, this is why I lean more on Jesus’ guidance to follow what our hearts tell us is the best thing to do; in all instances, incline yourself principally toward love first. And if we consider how Jesus lived that out, his ministry was focused on reaching out to “gentiles” (those not usually included in his cultural traditions), the outcasts, unclean and those who others in his tribe named as unfit. So even if you do believe as Ms. Driskell does that hundreds of millions of people in every culture, nation and tribe on the planet are part of a society-disrupting conspiracy to rob us of the value of traditional marriage, our job is to love, welcome, include and serve.
Let’s leave the whole “abomination” thing to God. I’m pretty sure it’s a job beyond our collective pay grades.
Next week, Christian will be in Seattle (5/16) and Portland (5/17) part of the “Where’s God When” tour with Paul Young, author of The Shack, and Patheos blogger Reba Riley, where he will be talking about spiritual healing. Details and tickets HERE