God’s Downton Abbey: The Cheney Feud

God’s Downton Abbey: The Cheney Feud November 19, 2013

It takes a lot to get me to feel anything remotely empathetic for former Vice President Dick Cheney. But even my wicked heart winces over the public feuding between his daughters, Liz and Mary Cheney. Perhaps you have read the comments Cheney made about his daughters’ very public feud over same-sex marriage:

“This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public,” the couple said in a joint statement after daughter Mary Cheney and her wife slammed GOP Senate candidate Liz Cheney for her opposition to same sex marriage. “Since it has, one thing should be clear. Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage. She has also always treated her sister and her sister’s family with love and respect, exactly as she should have done.”


My adult children get into personal squabbles from time-to-time. It’s painful to witness. I hate it for them, and I try to always encourage them to seek reconciliation. I’ve been known to get into squabbles with my own siblings from time-to-time.

It’s part of the drama of being human.

We are God’s Downton Abbey.

If you were to poll my siblings on the issue of gay marriage, I would be out-voted 2-1, against it.

My siblings believe wholeheartedly that I am dead-wrong and missing God’s mark on this issue. I choose to err on the side of love in this matter. If I’m wrong, as my siblings believe, what is the end result of that? It’s not like God is going to evict me from heaven because I happen to think people of the same sex can love one another just as wholeheartedly as heterosexuals can.

Much of life is a mystery to me. This whole who you love thing has always been far beyond my comprehension anyway.

But the thing is, I don’t think less of my siblings because they happen to disagree with me on this issue. I respect that they have a deep and abiding faith. If God wants to bring them to a different place on this issue, He doesn’t need my help in doing that. It is not my job to play the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Nor theirs in mine.

We simply refuse to bash each other over our differing opinions on gay marriage, and a whole host of other social-political issues about which we disagree.

My siblings may in jest refer to me at the left-wing liberal (insert eye-roll here) but beyond all that I know they respect me, respect my faith journey and trust that if God needs to reprove me of something He’ll do that. They don’t need to.

I suspect Cheney’s family feud over the issue of gay marriage is representative of a lot of American families.

The problem arises when one-side tries to play the Enforcer, demanding that the other side must admit the wrongness of their position.

True, there are social-political consequences, no matter which side of this issue we take. But we all lose out when one side chooses to bully the other into compliance.

Gay marriage advocates would do well to accept that for many their faith practices are never going to make allowances for what they perceive to be a violation of God’s law. Deal with it.

By the same token, those who believe that gay marriage is sin, would do well to remember that the laws of the land are not governed by Levitical law or the Church, and have never been. Quit trying to force everyone to live according to your own faith precepts.

The Cheney sisters and all of us would do well to heed Scriptures in this matter: Therefore, let’s keep on pursuing those things that bring peace and that lead to building up one another.





Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!