….is to LOVE, and Be Loved in Return. I am absolutely dumbfounded at the biased, nastily rhetorical , narrow-minded, and completely UN-christian things I have been seeing and hearing as regards same sex marriage lately. I know, it shouldn’t surprise me – there’s a lot of hatred and suspicion out there, unfortunately. However there was a bright spot to my day while I was pondering all this kerfluffle. I am not a Barack Obama fan by any means – ask anyone who knows me – but today I heard that he did get something right. He “came out” (pun intended) in favor of same sex marriage! Way to go, Mr President! The only “criticism” I have is that he didn’t do it sooner. That said, I’m happy his opinion is “finally out of the closet” and strangely, coinciding with my own.
Photo Credit: p.twimg.com/AsgAPE6CEAEyrPo.jpg (found on Twitter today)
For the record, I’m straight. I consider myself a Christian (self-titled “New Age Catholic”). My family tree has many religious branches including Judaism, LDS’, Lutherans, Evangelical Baptists and RC’s, so I’ve been exposed to many different points of view over the years. I’ve long had issues with what I consider very outdated Catholic Church doctrine and its practices as they concern women’s roles in the Faith. But there is also much that I agree with with in its teachings. Teachings that boil down to this one simple, profound idea – “LOVE ONE ANOTHER“. This is Christ’s greatest commandment to his followers.
In any religion marriage is a sacrament and any religion has every right to decide who can and cannot marry. In the Roman Catholic faith couples are required to take “Pre-Cana” classes; and the priest can decide not to perform the marriage if he feels the parties are not ready – for whatever reason. Granted, it doesn’t happen often – but it does happen. A Church has every right to expect its members to behave according to its doctrine, and I support that wholeheartedly. After all, if I don’t like it, I have the option to leave. Where I have the issue is when members of any church or religion decide to apply or force their code of behavior on the world at large. I have trouble reconciling the loving God I am most familiar with – with the terrifying spectacle of a vengeful petulant God that religious extremists envision. Extremists scare the daylights out of me with their black and white “if you disagree with me you’re going to hell” or “if you disagree with me I’ll blow you up” view of the world. It’s not that simple.
Lets look at marriage from a social standpoint and put the religion aside for a moment. Marriage -from a societal view – is really just a legally binding social contract between two people who LOVE ONE ANOTHER and want to build a life together. So what’s the problem? When two people marry they are not taking anything away from anyone, they are creating new connections. There are no boundaries where there is love. Gender doesn’t matter, what matters is that there is LOVE, and that two people are willing to make a long term COMMITMENT to each other. In these days of hook-ups, one-nighters, friends-with-benefits, “open” relationships, and short term, disposable ones – COMMITMENT is a rare and beautiful thing. We should be doing everything in our power to encourage stable, loving, long-term connections between people. It is not loving to keep others from living full and complete lives in a committed caring relationship simply because we don’t care for their sexual orientation! And further, also for the record, I don’t believe that’s a choice either. If you are lucky enough to love and be loved in return – then you have EVERYTHING. All same sex couples are asking is for the right to go down to city hall and commit to each other. They are not insisting that any church perform the ceremony, or that any church accept them as members. This should be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, a fuss is being made.
Allowing people of the same gender to marry one another HURTS NO ONE. I would submit to you all that actually it only enhances us as human beings – because it promotes a culture of acceptance and caring. I would also further submit that a truly religious person would refrain from hurtful, malicious criticism and instead lead by quiet example. I don’t believe it is my place to pass judgement on other people’s behavior (unless I’m on the jury when you stand trial for a crime) because I am fallible and a work-in-progress myself. I may have an opinion, but I can’t stand in judgement. I live in a glass house, just like the rest of the planet. And, it really doesn’t matter to me what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their home. I don’t particularly care for excessive PDA regardless of the gender(s) involved. (Save it for the bedroom, kids!) What does matter to me is how people treat one another. Are they kind, helpful, and loving? When it is time to close my eyes for the final time on this plane of existence I will be asking myself these questions: Did I love? Did I show it by my actions and words? Was I loved in return? Did I make a difference in other peoples lives?, Was I kind? Did I take responsibility for my mistakes and hurtful actions towards others, and am I sorry for them? If I can answer yes to these questions, then I have lived as a Christian Human Being. I’ll know where I’ll be headed next, and I’ll also know there’ll be QUITE the conversation when I get there. Peace, out.