Obama and Gay Marriage

Normally I use this blog to write about various goings on in my career but last night's announcement from President Obama endorsing gay marriage - and the reaction to it - really got me thinking about various aspects of our society, especially what it means to be Christian.  

First point to make is that the very concept of gay marriage seems wrong to me, there's just marriage and it should be available to anyone so long as both parties are agreed to it, but I am interested in looking at how some Christians seem to hold a similar view in a way that, to me, seems incompatible with their core beliefs.

On the comments under the article on the BBC website there have been various points of view from 'Christians' saying, basically, that they are Christians and they think that Gay marriage is a good thing.  I can't get my head around this! The Bible clearly states:

"'You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination." (Leviticus 18:22)

Ok, it then goes on to talk about Wizards and how they should also be stoned (watch out Harry) but this, to a Christian, is THE WORD OF GOD.  No doubts, no questions, to a believing Christian this is fact is it not?

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived.  Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor  homosexuals,  nor  sodomites"(Corinthians 6:9)

Again, pretty goddam clear if you ask me.  It's not on, it's against God's law.  Jesus stood by everything in the Old Testament and didn't give his opinion about this particular subject, but nonetheless the Christian faith, generally speaking, believes the Bible to be the WORD OF GOD.

A typical comment from BBC website

So this leads me to ask, what is an 'average' Christian nowadays?  I certainly don't know anyone who would be prepared to follow the word of God to the letter, they would be a nutcase.  I certainly don't know anyone who would think that it was a cool, honourable thing to sacrifice your son to God like Abraham was prepared to do.  I also don't know anyone who thinks that slavery is pretty groovy and who can't wait until it becomes legal again (book of Exodus talks about the joys of selling your daughter).  But these are just a few small points that are made in the Bible - the word of God remember. A God who doesn't like competition either, let's not forget that small point. Out of the 10 most important ways to live your life, worshipping someone else other than him was right up there. 'Don't get so drunk that you throw up on yourself' is a more helpful 'commandment' to live your life by methinks, but I digress.

The point is that we all know they are there. The ridiculous laws. The bigotry. The sexism. The sheer barbarity is plain for anyone with eyes and an understanding of language to see.  Some, like me, have looked at it and decided that it's a book written by primitives to help them understand their world and to have others subjected to their laws.  Whereas modern-day Christians choose to ignore the bits they don't like. They cherry pick the good bits - be nice to other people, help the poor etc, and that's great.  But are you really then a Christian or just a nice person? 

I'm watching you - BE GOOD

I don't feel I need the threat of a supernatural judge, watching my every move, so that I don't go around raping people and stealing cars.  Maybe some people do... I don't need the threat that I'm going to burn in Hell unless I accept the Judeo-Christian God.  And let's make that clear, you can be as good a person as you like, you can give millions to charity and spend your life looking after the sick, but if you don't believe in the right God... then it's Hell for you.  I don't need that.  And I firmly believe that most Christians don't need that too.  The Christians I know are, with the odd exception (as in all walks of life), good people looking to make the world a better place. But I know that some of them will come out, as they should if they are truly Christian, against marriage for all. I refer you to this famous Weinberg quote: 

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

(Steven Weinberg)

I think it's very true. Seems you're either damned if you do (I believe in same sex marriage even though my Bible says homosexuals are an abomination) or damned if you don't (I don't believe in equal rights for all human beings). Better to just get rid of all these ridiculous pre-medieval laws now, instead of holding on to the one or two that still hold some kind of sway in our society.

I'd be really, genuinely, interested to hear a Christian perspective on how you can accept Gay marriage but still believe that you are a true Christian following the word of God.


Katy said…
Coincidentally (ironically?) I just finished reading this: http://rachelheldevans.com/ask-a-gay-christian-response
I think you'll find it interesting. I also perused his blog afterwards (there's a link at the beginning of the interview) and there's more info there.
I am a Christian who believes in the right of marriage for all, but that interview explains it much more detail than I can or care to write in this little comment box!
In short, as for the political side of your questions, I believe church and state should be separated - civil marriage vs. religious marriage vs. spiritual marriage are different things and can coexist/coincide.
As for the religious side of your question, after several biblical heritage and theology courses in college (i.e. uni), I have a more historically focused and progressive approach to interpreting the bible than you were describing above...
Soooo... Let's get a pint and discuss!! :)

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