Tag Archives: homosexuality

Rant Alert: Marriage Equality & Christianity

marriage equality

I’ve sat and watched with increasing frustration the last few weeks as people on social media have debated the topic of marriage equality back and forth. It’s frustrating for a number of reasons. The level of vehemence on both sides. The ignorance. The intolerance. Often, the sheer stupidity of the statements, again, often from both sides. More than anything, what has both frustrated and angered me is the responses I’ve seen from self-proclaimed Christians, especially from people that I know and love. I’ve debated back and forth whether I really wanted to get into the fray by writing something about it. I didn’t want to get into heated debates with people. I’ve made some comments on social media in various places, but mostly I’ve restrained myself from really diving in. Tonight, after another one of these topics came up in a Facebook post, I decided I couldn’t hold back any longer. I’m not going to debate whether homosexuality is a sin or not. I’m not going to open that can of worms. I am going to debate why marriage equality should happen (or continue to happen), and why Christians should stop getting so up in arms about it. The main point is this:

It May Share the Same Name, But It Isn’t The Same Thing

The biggest argument I’ve seen against marriage equality is that it smacks in the face of God’s definition of marriage. It’s sinful, an abomination, and will be the downfall of society, America, and apple pie. Here’s why you’re wrong.

1.It’s not the same thing as the marriage you’re talking about.
It just isn’t. The Judeo-Christian definition of marriage is the joining of man and woman in a holy covenant between themselves and God. They are spiritually and physically joined together in a union that is meant to last until death. It has a HUGE spiritual significance. It is a huge deal, just like all covenants with God.

Other cultures and religions have varying interpretations and emphasis. For some you’re joined to Gaia, for others it’s a union blessed by Thor and Odin, or the moon and the stars, or whatever. Marriage has a different meaning for every different culture and religion. They all share a common ground, the joining of two people’s lives, but the significance and what that union means can vary and is entirely dependent on the couple and their beliefs. This is not the kind of marriage that you need a government to condone. This is the type of marriage that has gone on for centuries across most cultures in the world since societies began.

The kind of marriage that people are losing their freaking minds about is the other kind of marriage- a legal contract between two consenting adults that joins their lives in a legally recognized way and bestows upon them special privileges and selectively-apportioned state benefits according to that government’s laws.

It’s a legal.

Contract.

As far as the government is concerned it has nothing to do with love, God, Allah, Gaia, Thor, the entire Greek pantheon, or my chicken sandwich. Any other significance, beyond the legal, placed upon it from there is ENTIRELY dependent upon the beliefs of the couple. Arguing over this topic to the point of violence is as dumb as arguing over whether “sinners” should be allowed to sign the Apple Terms of Service Agreement.

Christianity doesn’t own the concept of marriage. We don’t have a trademark on the term. Marriage of one kind or another has been happening in societies long before God made His covenant with Abraham or before Moses wrote the Ten Commandments. It is an ideal that has been practiced by cultures that had never even heard of Yahweh,  Jesus, God, or the Holy Spirit. Hell, Native Americans were practicing a form of it before the rest of the known world invaded and gave them the gift of smallpox and introduced them to the concept of eviction.

Now, if said homosexual couple wants to have a religious wedding, then that is another topic for debate; but it has nothing to do with the marriage license or the legal side of things, which is all the Supreme Court decided. Either way, there are two different versions of marriage at play here. One is legal, the other holy. Stop confusing the two and getting up in arms about it.

2. It is Incredibly Hypocritical 

The “baker” question has been floating around quite a bit on Facebook lately. Should Christian bakers bake cakes for gay weddings? Would Jesus? (I’m not touching on whether they should legally be forced to, just the idea of willingly doing it or not.) I said this in a Facebook topic earlier today and I’ll share it here, and note that this is me with my “Minister” hat on now:
I’m wondering, for all of you hypothetical bakers, if you’d refuse to bake a cake for a couple who had a sexual relationship before the wedding, or if they’d committed adultery, or been previously married but divorced for a reason other than adultery? If the answer is yes, how, exactly, would you plan on staying in business?

When did homosexuality suddenly become this line in the sand and thus worse than all other “sinful lifestyles”? Why is a homosexual wedding any different than a couple who had lived and had sex together out of wedlock before the wedding, or what if they’re wiccan, or agnostic, or atheists? They’re all considered “sinful lifestyles”, yet you don’t see these bastions of Christianity denying cakes to everyone else. Is it only okay as long as the baker is ignorant of the lifestyle in question? Should we start having sin questionnaires just to be sure? Should we have to call their pastors and confirm that they’re card carrying Christians? Do we not see how hypocritical this line of thinking becomes?

Further food for thought, for the ones so aghast at the thought of “Jesus the baker” baking a cake for these sinful people- he WAS a carpenter. Do you think he refused to make furniture for “sinners”, knowing that they may use said furniture to celebrate acts of gluttony or even for use during a wedding of other hedonistic sinners? Did he tell the Samaritan at the well that they must not drink from the same water as the Jews because they were a “sinner,” as the Pharisees and Sadducees did? (Note: Yes, I’ve heard the wooden idol argument. No, it isn’t the same. That is a symbol of idolatry used in a religious ceremony. A cake is not.)

It’s out of love and compassion that He wanted His followers to be known by, not the same self-righteous judgmentalness that the Pharisees and teachers of the Law displayed. I’m seeing so many people hurl insults towards homosexual individuals as though these people are somehow worse than the rest of us. You don’t have to agree with the lifestyle, but you should keep in mind that we are ALL sinners and we’re all equally filthy in the eyes of God without His forgiveness. So I say this in love:

Grow up, get over it, and stop being such a hypocrite.

We don’t live in a Christian theocracy. You can’t expect a secular society that is a melting pot of all different kinds of religions and ideologies to conform to your way of thinking or sense of morality. Nor should you to expect to be treated better, or given legal benefits and privileges  solely based on what’s going on between the legs or by skin color.  You think homosexuality is a sin? Don’t do it. You don’t agree with homosexual marriage? Don’t do it. You do you, and stop worrying about everyone else- particularly in areas that don’t affect you personally one single bit.

Added from a comment I made below, which I think sums things up well: What it really boils down to is those against gay marriage are really saying that homosexual couples don’t deserve to have the same legal government/insurance/financial benefits and protections as other couples, and I have yet to see one solid reason as to why without people injecting their personal religion or beliefs into it.

 

Note: I decided to open the comments section because this is a topic that’s important to discuss. That said, I have to approve every comment before it’ll show up, so keep it civil. If you disagree that’s fine, but I refuse to let this degenerate into anything ugly.

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Rant Alert

Rant Alert: DC Comics, Superman, & Orson Scott Card

dc-comics-logo

Okay, so there’s a big hubbub-baloo going on right now because Orson Scott Card was hired by DC to write a Superman comic. He’s not being put on as a regular writer on a main title. It’s a side series with rotating guest writers. Why is everyone so up in arms? Well, Mr. Card has been very vocal about his stance on homosexuality.  He sits on the board for the National Organization for Marriage which actively tries to prevent gay marriage from being legalized. He is also a practicing Mormon, which I have no doubt has helped to inform his views on the subject quite substantially. So now there are many fans, gay or otherwise, and even entire comic shops that are boycotting the book and advocating for DC to fire him.

Okay, here’s the problem with that “firing” part: personal beliefs should be left out of workplace decisions as long as those beliefs do not affect the work. Card has just as much right to work as any of us, whether you find his personal beliefs distasteful or not; and to fire him for personal beliefs when they haven’t made their way onto the pages of the comics would be wrong on DC’s part. Not to mention it’d be an invite for a law suit were they to do so because he could make a very strong argument that he’d been fired for his religious beliefs. It could be argued that they have fired people for similar reasons in the past, however those instances weren’t as in the public eye as this one is, and they were under a different context anyway. More often than not those creators where publicly commenting on the company or their books, not personal beliefs. Regardless, it’s wrong. Now, if Card suddenly has Superman advocating against homosexuality because it’s not the “American way” then that’d be different.

To demand that Card be taken off the book because of his beliefs as opposed to his writing ability is the same kind of prejudiced behavior as it would be if they were demanding it because of his religion (which it kinda is), skin tone, or his own sexual orientation. In other words it’s advocating for the very thing that many of these fans are fighting against. It’s a double standard. Tolerance doesn’t just go one way, or work because it’s easy, politically correct, or publicly popular. Card has a right to believe whatever the hell he wants. He can sit on a board and advocate for gay marriage to not be legalized because he personally believes very strongly against it; just as much as homosexuals and those that support them have the right to fight for it. As long as he is not advocating for homosexuals to be rounded up and killed, enslaved, or thrown into jail (and he doesn’t) he is not comparable to a Nazi, which is a comparison I’ve seen many make. You may not agree with his beliefs, like it, or think he’s a very good person, but that should, in no way, change his right to work as a writer. That said, that doesn’t mean that fans have to buy his work. You don’t like it? Say it with your pocketbook. That’ll hurt DC more than anything, and I guarantee he won’t be put on another book if this one bombs. Especially since i’m sure the only reason they got him to write this one is because of the buzz about the Ender’s Game movie. Besides, his past work in comics hasn’t been anything to write home about anyway.

Yes, I understand that what he advocates for is hurtful to many, but fighting intolerance with more intolerance isn’t the answer and only makes things worse. Like it or not we live in a democracy. We live in a huge melting pot of cultures, religions, and beliefs and we advocate that everyone has a right to these things without being held apart or treated differently because of them. In order for a society like that to work, everyone is just going to have to deal with the fact that it’s not, as of right now, illegal to be an a-hole. If it were our overcrowding problem with jails would become an epidemic. So don’t add to the problem. Don’t make yourself into a hypocrite because this one man is intolerant to your lifestyle or that of a loved one’s. It’s not going to make anything better.

To address the religious side of this debate: Do I publicly or personally support Card’s beliefs? No. For those that may not know I am a licensed Christian minister and have spent the last 15 years working in ministry in some capacity. That said, I believe homosexuals should have the same legal rights as everyone else. To be frank: whether or not homosexuality is a “sin” isn’t my problem. God didn’t ordain me to be the sin police. That’s between them and God, just as the things I do in my life are between me and God. Regardless of the “sinfullness” of homosexuality, I think it’s pretty clear from the Bible that Jesus wouldn’t love them any less or treat them any differently than he did anyone else that was a “sinner”- meaning all of us.

I think Card is a talented writer. I loved Ender’s Game, for example. However if he wrote something that was hate-filled or advocated against a certain type of person I wouldn’t buy it or read it. I think Card has a right to believe what he does. I think he has the right to fight for what he feels is right for the society he lives in just as much as friends and acquaintances I have who happen to be homosexual have the right to fight for what they feel is right and equal. You have every right to not support his work just as he has the right to make it. if you don’t agree with Card or where his money will end up going then boycott the book. Say how you feel where they’ll feel it most- say it with your money and spend it on something else.

J.R. Broadwater is the author of the non-fiction book Down with the Thickness: Viewing the World From a Fat Guy’s Perspective,  the sci-fi detective novel You Only Die Twice, and the fantasy novel The Chosen: Rebirthing Part 1- all available now in digital and paperback formats. Sample chapters and more information about these books can be found here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Rant Alert