(My apologies for not posting recently. I had an urgent personal matter. I wrote the following article six weeks ago, and sat on it. Now with the Duck Dynasty thing blowing up, now seems a good time to publish it.)
At some point, a constitutional conservative must address the issue of gay marriage. It’s an important topic that affects millions of God’s children.
I’m an ideologue, make no mistake. A proud ideologue. And like our Founding Fathers, I believe ideology absent faith, hope, and love(charity) isn’t worth a spit. (This is in part why I’ve never warmed up to Ann Coulter, a conservative ideologue. She strikes me as rather hardhearted.)
So, let’s get on to the topic of gay marriage so you can watch me dance and dangle at the edge of hypocrisy and conviction. Threading the needle as it were. Thankfully, informed by faith, hope and love, the eye of the needle broadens comfortably.
The issue of gay marriage has entered the public square. Is it a religious matter? An Individual rights matter for government to address? A matter of willful sin or sexual predisposition?
I’m not qualified to speak or defend matters of doctrine of my Christian faith. I let those better qualified articulate God’s revelation in scripture and traditions of my church. However, my understanding and opinion of those teachings will inform my post. God did, after all, gift us with rational thinking.
You may be wondering if I’m about to compartmentalize, sequester, and separate faith from secular matters. “Separation of church and state.” I won’t. I can’t. Our nation was founded on Judeo/Christian traditions and values. Despite Jefferson’s oft mis-interpreted statement “separation of church and state,” a topic for a later article, we are founded on Judeo/Christian values. That’s just a fact of history. A fact the Progressive movement has been systematically scrubbing from our school text books for a century.
So, let’s get on with it. My faith informs me gay marriage and homosexual relations are heresy. And I agree. Gay marriage is an affront to God’s revelation in the Holy Scriptures and the church to which those teachings are entrusted.
I’m faithful to the teachings of my faith. I do not apologize for my faith. Although I invite others to willingly convert to my faith, I never force it on anyone.
In my faith, a Christian faith, we condemn the sin not the sinner. Which begs the question, is a gay lifestyle sinful? Yes, homosexual behavior is sin. What is sin? Again, God has gifted us with rational thought. The definition I like most for “sin” comes from its Greek origin; sin is a Greek word from the sport of archery. To sin is be “off the mark” or “off the bull’s eye.” To sin is to be away from the ideal. Far away in some cases.
My faith tradition draws distinctions in severity of sins. I am faithful to these teachings. Speaking for myself only, I draw distinction between the sin of same-sex sexual intercourse for hedonistic pleasure and the sin of same-sex intercourse with a partner whom one may love and care for deeply. Both are sins. I’d say the former is quite a bit further “off the mark” than the later. Love is never a sin, but how we express that love in our behavior may not be ideal.
Is being gay a willful sin or a genetic predisposition? Only God knows. I suspect there are many cases someone is convinced they are gay, when in fact they are heterosexual having been deeply hurt by a tragedy or abuse they suffered early in life. I suspect there are also many people who are heterosexual by nature, but willfully crave sexual adventurism for emotional escape. And then there are, I suspect, people who were born gay. I’m not in the business of naming who is gay and who is not. You are gay when you say you are gay. All three types of behavior are “off the mark.”
In my faith, we comfort sinners, encourage repentance, and strive for God’s ideal.
I allow people to sin their life away. It’s sad, but that’s their individual right. Just don’t let your sinning interfere with MY rights. Your sins are between you and God. But, if you come to me asking for help, I’m there for you.
The state has absolutely NO authority on the institution of marriage. None. Zip. Zippo. Nada. Zero. The institution of marriage belongs to religion and religion alone.
I’m totally OK with the state creating laws to give the same legal equality to same-sex couples as are afforded married straight couples with respect to equal access to medical visitation privileges, tax breaks, estate planning options, etc. But the state cannot say who can and cannot get married. Marriage is a matter of religion. Marriage is completely out of the jurisdiction of the government. This practice of government judges and magistrates marrying people is hogwash.
Keep the state out of marriage. The government may choose to recognize civil unions for straight couples, and civil unions for homosexual couples. That’s all. Keep the government OUT of the business of religion. This is, by the way, what Jefferson meant by “separation of church and state”—to protect religion from the state, not the state from religion. The whole purpose of the Constitution was to protect US from the GOVERNMENT. See the mess we’re in? The rancorous debate about gay marriage? This is what happens when the state meddles with religious affairs.
What do I say, if anything, to my gay friends? I don’t say anything. And they never ask me. I treat them as I do any child of God. God loves them as much as He loves me. I mind my own business. When I see my gay friends, I’m as happy to see them as I am my straight friends.
It’s heartbreaking because I know so many homosexuals struggle terribly with their desires and identity. But, I don’t feel too bad for them. They don’t have a monopoly on suffering! We all have struggles. Suck it up! OK, you’re gay, deal with it!
Most gays I’ve known are tender, kind, gentle souls. Bless their hearts. But we all have crosses to bear. So, yours is gay desires. You think you’re the only one suffering in this world? You feel like an outcast from society? Join the crowd! Most of us feel like we came from a different planet, buddy! Geez! Get onboard. Pick up your cross, I’ll pick up mine, and let’s walk together. Sinners all.
I repent my sins and march on day after day. Join the parade!
Personally, I don’t want special accommodations from the Big Brother, the government. I’m perfectly fine giving up my special tax status enjoyed by “married couples filing jointly.” My sins and suffering are between me and God. I just assume keep government as FAR from my “solutions” as possible. If I were gay, I’d do the same.
Sooner or later big government will turn against gays, via criminalizing homosexual behavior, marginalizing, eugenics, and tragically genocide—every oppressive government does this eventually. If I were gay, it’s not the homophobes I’d fear the most, it’s the government! The gay movement today is walking into a trap by asking a Leftist government to solve their personal suffering. Ask the black community if government accommodations for abortion has solved their personal suffering. It’s a trap. I fear for my gay friends.