You can hear echoes of these posts in my Lava thing–several of us working similar veins. EDITED! MORE LINKS BELOW!
Melinda Selmys, “Five Ways We Can Save Marriage Now”:
Yesterday I said that we need to move forward with building up the infrastructure to make traditional marriage into a realistic and attractive possibility. Today, I’m going to talk about some very practical things that we can start doing to help make this a reality.
In First Things’ Symposium on the SCOTUS decision, Matthew Schmitz makes the excellent point that marriage, as an institution, is in decline – and that this decline is linked to economics. “Marriage has declined the most among those who are the worst off. Men with only a high school degree or less are more likely than those with a further degree to have never married (25 percent v. 14 percent). A similar disparity exists between blacks (36 percent) and whites (16 percent). Those who do marry now marry later than ever.”
What’s missing in many cases is not a will to marry – 50% of those who have never married want to do so – but lack the means.
Wesley Hill, “Where Do We Look for the End of Loneliness?”:
…Yet I’m also a Christian, and according to historic Christian orthodoxy, marriage isn’t the only, or even the primary, place to find love. In the New Testament, as J. Louis Martyn once wrote, “the answer to loneliness is not marriage, but rather the new-creational community that God is calling into being in Christ, the church marked by mutual love, as it is led by the Spirit of Christ.” Marriage in Christian theology is, you might say, demythologized. With the coming of Christ, its necessity is taken away: gone is the notion that without it we are doomed to lovelessness.
and his contribution to the First Things symposium:
In his memoir Denial: My Twenty-Five Years Without a Soul, the gay journalist Jonathan Rauch says that there once existed a frightened young man tortured with the certainty that there was no place in the world for the love he experienced. That man was Rauch, and there was no home for him—none, that is, until he and his fellow Americans decided he had the right to marry. “They and he have found, at last, a name for his soul. It is not monster or eunuch. Nor indeed homosexual. It is: husband.”
When I read Rauch’s book, that last sentence left a lump in my throat.
more; Melinda’s piece is the most practical but this Hill one was the one that spoke to me the most. You’ll have to SCROLL though, whoo boy.
Ross Douthat, “Gay Conservatism and Straight Liberation”:
…But in one of the ironies in which the arc of history specializes, while the conservative case for same-sex marriage triumphed in politics, the liberationist case against marriage’s centrality to human flourishing was winning in the wider culture.
You would not know this from Kennedy’s opinion, which is relentlessly upbeat about how “new insights have strengthened, not weakened” marriage, bringing “new dimensions of freedom” to society.
But the central “new dimension of freedom” being claimed by straight America is a freedom from marriage — from the institution as traditionally understood, and from wedlock and family, period.
And it might be worth revisiting a couple things I wrote: this super emo post about the most beautiful argument for gay marriage; and this article about pro-life, pro-gay-marriage millenials and “the Great Unweaving.”
EDITED: Catherine Addington wisely re-posted this terrific post:
So I took Mother Maria’s advice, and I’m looking around. And here’s what I’ve seen in London night buses, in New York alleys, in DC parks, in Buenos Aires’ emerging spring, in my friends’ midnight confessions, in café conversations, in Rolling Stone: homelessness among young people of gender and sexual minorities, often if not usually at the hands of Christians.
So I’m trying to take Mother Maria’s advice again and comprehend that religiously. And when I do, here’s what I understand: this is a need in our communities that we have not just ignored but facilitated; this is a sin to be repented from; this is a void to be filled; these are neighbors to be served in love, and as I recall that is what Christians sign up for.
I think a lot of Christians find themselves where I have, feeling uncomfortable with any response to LGBTQ+ issues and so not responding at all. By that I mean I didn’t want to fall in with overt homophobia and active hatred as detailed in this article, of course, but I also didn’t know how to support causes like marriage equality in a faith that does not consider marriage the business of the state but a sacrament. I didn’t know how to be personally affirming in a meaningful way without also signing on to political activism because that is the only language I knew how to use.
That is pernicious. …
I know we have the means to rectify it because I have seen Christian social services at work. It is historically one of the things we are generally good at. (Must be something that Jesus guy said.) But we are not always specifically good at it.
Here’s what I mean: in the United States at least, Christians are really bad at youth poverty. I’m thinking of all the “young professional” ministries I’ve seen, of all the “young adult” groups that are functionally bourgeois singles’ get-togethers, of all the honest-to-God Christian “networking.” And so naturally we’re also bad at LGBTQ+ youth poverty, because we don’t comprehend that phrase religiously. LGBTQ+ gets put in the sexual-ethics box, youth gets put in the bourgeois-recruitment box, poverty gets put in the weekly-outreach box. When in fact we are actually dealing with an intersectional phenomenon, and one with an often Christian genesis.
more!–I wrote a dumber, blander and preachier piece on the same subject here which I guess may be relevant. (And which does have the benefit of being pitched specifically to LGBT Christians ourselves.)
While I’m self-linking (forgive me, Father…), I’ll point you all to the third point here, about seeking ways to be servants to gay couples.