The True Story of Today in America (The SCOTUS Ruling and Marriage Equality)

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We all have stories we like to tell ourselves; narratives we create to frame the world around us.

Those stories often help cushion the blows and soften the impact when things around us are too frightening, too disorienting, too difficult for our minds to deal with.

These stories are often largely well-crafted fiction, born out of fear and desperation, and the sense of something slipping quickly through fingers: control.

Many scared Christians were telling stories today.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Marriage Equality, the spin began simultaneously. As explosive, jubilant waves of long-delayed celebration broke out across the country and the world, the storytellers went to work hastily drafting sensational, concise headlines that might reconcile the unthinkable in front of them:

The Devil is celebrating the death of Marriage.
Christianity is fully under attack.
Gay people have tainted our Christian Nation.
God is preparing His wrath for America.

These stories are a frantic, last gasp, Hail-Mary attempt at avoiding the inevitable—but they are not the real story.

Today wasn’t about the LGBT Community defeating Christianity. Many of them have a vibrant, deep spiritual life (or not unlike most straight Christians, at least a nominal one). The LGBT population is a spiritually diverse cross-section of society. There is no party line consensus on faith there. Today in no way prevents Christians or churches from living, preaching, and practicing their religious convictions with regard to Marriage.

It wasn’t about the LGBT Community defeating Marriage either. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender citizens were fighting to be allowed access to that monogamy, commitment, and devotion in equal measure to everyone else. They weren’t seeking to desecrate Marriage but to participate fully in it; to take their rightful place as members of our shared civic community.

In fact, the story of today was not of defeat at all. It was simply that of Equality winning.

This was about America; the very best of her, asserting herself after being sequestered and silenced for far too long in the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Today was about that gorgeous, fundamental, brilliant “Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness” aspiration taking the reins and riding tall and proud again.

Today was about the dignity and humanity of all people, getting a louder voice than a small Christian minority used to getting their own way and having all the power and running the whole show. It was a historically favored religious entity being told clearly that their faith convictions and our American ideals are not interchangeable.

Today our government reminded all of its people that you can’t legislate morality, but you must legislate equality; that no one’s theology (not even a passionate, deeply devout Christian’s) gets to trump the inherent value of all people who call our land home. This should be welcome news for all of us, regardless of our faith tradition.

This was America being the very best of herself.

As a follower of Jesus, I felt a profound sadness today watching so many of my Christian brothers and sisters, who when witnessing the flood of tears and the stunned joy from gays and lesbians and those who love and support them; could only manufacture more vitriol, more loaded rhetoric, more sky-is-falling gnashing of teeth, more spiteful insults, more seething damnation.

It was a terrible testimony.

They were too invested in their self-preserving, fear-filled story to see what was actually happening today. By choosing a death narrative of only their Christianity’s loss, they had rendered themselves unable to see what so many of us could see:

This was a really good day for Humanity.

All of us who live in the United States, regardless of our religious beliefs, race, color, gender, sexual orientation, or any other distinction we can name, need to know that we all matter equally in the eyes of the Law, because we will all find ourselves in a time or place when we will be the minority; when we will be the marginalized or invisible or abused—and we will want America to come through for us.

Today She finally came through for LGBT people, who now can have full access to loving lifetime relationships, called legitimate in the eyes of its government and protected as such. 

That is the story today.

It is not of Christianity’s defeat or of Marriage’s destruction or of America’s moral decay, but of Equality’s glorious revival in a country built upon the intrinsic value of all people.

Whether we claim faith or not, may this be the story we write together from here.

 

 

 

 

88 thoughts on “The True Story of Today in America (The SCOTUS Ruling and Marriage Equality)

    • Since the beginning of times marriage was a civil contract that didn’t have anything to do with religion, and it should continue in that way! Why do some people think that same-sex marriages threat religion rights? Everybody should have the same rights in the eyes of the Law, and it doesn’t matter what religion or beliefs the person has. Government officers that should performance same-sex marriage civil ceremonies should be fired if they do not want to do their job they were hired to do (based on their religion beliefs) or moved to other positions, because religion and state should continue separated.

      • Marriage is a covenant relationship established by God himself. The civil aspects of marriage only go as far as how far society wants to support marriage. See Mark 10:6-9. Marriage is only RECOGNIZED by the state, not SANCTIONED! Therefore, the State cannot regulate what it doesn’t sanction, but it can ENDORSE such activity when it benefits from such an activity.

        As far as having the same rights within the law, everyone does and always has. The law has never refused anyone from partaking in heterosexual marriage. Everyone has always been free to enter into such a covenant freely.

        I agree with you on keeping government out of religious activities. Since marriage was ordained by God, it should stay within the realm of religion and not even be considered a state function. SCOTUS has overstepped their bounds.

        Good day!

      • Marriage is a civil contract regulated by societies long before mankind created the God as presented in the Torah, amended in the Bible and the Quran.

  1. Well said John. As a Christ follower I have always found it unfortunate that so many of faith have not been able to grasp the discrimination and lack of equality our fellow lgbt citizens have lived under. Perhaps today will mark a turning point, when Christ’s followers will more widely embrace and extend his message of inclusion and equality. And celebrate the spiritual response and growth of every individual as they respond to his love. We as Christians are called to share his love, not with conditions, but as he expressed it. By taking up every person’s cross and dying on it in their place. Even mine.

    • I thought that we were called to take up our own cross (sacrifice or own will) and bear it for His sake? How does all this call us to sacrifice for the will of God when he vehemently condemns it in the first place?

      Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

      So when then do we love God and what he wants? What about the greatest commandment given?

      Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

      Most folks will probably then go to the second commandment stated as such: Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

      That’s fine and dandy, but I think you should be asking yourself, just what is my neighbor doing that cancels out the first commandment. I’m not going to follow my neighbor into something that’s going to get me into trouble with the first commandment. My love for God trumps me following my neighbor into whatever. The whole idea of supporting someone who openly defies God’s wishes seems pretty unloving towards God to me.

      • This makes the assumption that gay couples are defying God’s wishes which many Christians do not share. You may choose to interpret the Bible that way but many Christians do not.

      • What you ignore Edward is that not everyone shares your belief in the sky daddy. Or even that not all that do believe in God accept the english translation of the hebrew and Greek text that you do.

  2. As the Catholic mother of a gay son, who was able to marry last year because the Supreme Court overturned Prop. 8 in California, I am so grateful that the Supreme Court made this decision today, and that his marriage will be recognized in every state in this union. Today was indeed a good day.

  3. John, I have been following and posting your blog for a while now. I’m on my mobile so my thoughts my be incoherently catalogued here. After this mornings news they are racing as much as my emotions. I am a gay man, divorced with two biological children, and a partner of 13 years. We live in KY and have a fundraiser that supports the fairness campaign. Kentucky was one of the states involved in today’s decision. It’s been a long road. I was military during DADT and even told by my own parents that they voted in favor for the KY constitution be amended to prohibit same sex marriage. It’s been a long road. My grandfather was a southern baptist preacher. Fire and brimstone. He actually died while in the pulpit. A testimony to faith as seen by my family. I am not without my own convictions and at times suicidal thoughts and bouts months and years where medication was required. It’s been a long road. I love my God. I believe he loves me and believe he doesn’t make mistakes. I’m not a mistake. I don’t want to be. Your writing speak to me in that surely there is Gods love there for me. That everything I have had said to me, written to me, read and the likes can’t be the way it is. I want so badly to go to church but I don’t think on top of everything that I could handle walking into the house of God and feel worse than I have felt. Maybe those are my convictions maybe not. But I wanted to thank you for keep up with your blog. I look forward to it. There is still a long road ahead of me and many. Thank you.

    • Hi Glen –
      You are not a mistake. You are a beautiful unique expression of God, just as you are.

      You express your struggle very powerfully, and I feel compelled to reply with encouragement. Encouragement for you to love yourself for all of the wonderful things that you are. Encouragement to accept the blessing of your children and your 13 year relationship and all of the life experiences that go along with being a partner and being a parent – knowing that blessings come in many forms, and some of them may not appear to be blessings at times.

      May you come to know that you are in the house of God right now . . . wherever you are.
      And yes, it may be a long road – but you do not walk it alone.

      God is love, and love is all that is real.

      And yes, the road is long . . . for all of us, but we walk it the same way . . . one step at a time. The road has smooth patches and some pretty rocky hills. We walk it in the light, and sometimes in the dark. We walk it in sunshine and we walk it in the rain . . . and some days, like yesterday . . . we turn the corner and are presented with a rainbow to remind us that we never walk alone.

      Be blessed this day.

  4. I believe that certain liberal Christians come across as smug and arrogant, as if they are the only ones who truly understand what it means to be a loving Christian. You may believe and behave any way you want, but please don’t paint Christians who simply stand for the truth as being hateful. This narrative is being sold by the media and perpetuated by a few Christians who have bought into it. Christians oppose gay marriage because God instituted marriage and it is meant to be between one man and one woman. The majority of Christians do not condemn the sinner, but merely point out the sin. I’m sorry if I cannot celebrate with you today. Do you really believe that God is celebrating today?

    • Oh, Tracy. It is okay for you to have your beliefs. There are many of us who are conservative (religiously and politically), Bible-believing, Christ-following Christians who do not follow the ‘condemnation’ path, nor are we smug and arrogant. (Certainly no more than any other Christian or non-Christian is smug and arrogant). The voices of those Christians vehemently against gay marriage are drowning out those of us who are celebrating with tears of joy in our eyes. I’m a married woman (to my dear husband, a man), and the two of us researched this difficult topic at length, and came to realize that – just exactly like the issue of slavery – modern-day Christians were interpreting the writings incorrectly. Subjugating another human being is an abomination. Raping little boys and little girls is an abomination. Raping anyone is an abomination. Being disgusting, sleazy, and sexually flagrant is an abomination. This is to what the Bible refers – both for heterosexuals and homosexuals. Paul clearly states in 1 Cor 7:9 that those who cannot abstain should get married. In Hebrews, the Bible is clear that the marriage bed is undefiled. (Heb 13:4). This is for any two consenting adults. The Bible says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). God does not make mistakes – therefore those who are born without a desire for the opposite sex are not mistakes. They are just as fearfully and wonderfully made as you or I. You couldn’t MAKE me be physically attracted to females, as that is not how I’ve been created. And how can I, a heterosexual woman, say that I’m not condemning a “sinner” if I’m just “pointing out the sin?” First off – I do not believe that homosexuality is a sin. I believe that flagrant sex outside of marriage, and flagrancy in general, is sinful, to be sure. So when a couple is allowed to marry – no more sex outside of marriage (or – if they’ve never had sex – congratulations to them…no sin in this area at all)! Bye-bye sin for everyone else. Secondly, we are not to “point out the sin” for random individual strangers. That’s absolutely judging. (It is different when one is talking about murder, for example, for that harms other people absolutely and directly. Or rape. Or any other action that hurts other people.) Better that we work on developing strong, bonded relationships with those whom God has placed directly into our lives. And better that we be loving and kind to all who are doing us no harm, and forgiving of people who actually do directly cause us harm. It’s hard – but that’s what we are called to do. I’m praying that the Holy Spirit will soften the hearts of the members of the Christian church who are not yet understanding this issue.

      • The thing that pisses me off is that Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals want to “point out” sin to homosexuals when every homo on the planet already knows that the fundie culture believes they are sinners. Beyond that, mere “pointing out” becomes harassment. The intentionality of It is just like stalking. Normally, I would be against this sort of thing for First Amendment reasons, but I am beginning to think that such harassment here in the United States needs to be covered by new, European-like hate speech legislation. The U.S. Supreme Court long ago ruled that basic American rights in the U.S. Constitution “are not absolute.” When working in a workplace with someone else, that person does not have a right to say anything they wish without potential consequences. It would be good if American society could find a way to get rid of hate organizations such as the KKK, Family Research Council, etc. I would also be in favor of a law that would prevent Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals from harassing proseletyzation or harassing a person about a perceived sin condition. One or two times is enough with one person on another person—and then a fine and the slammer if they refuse to quit.

      • Mary, someone has pulled the wool over your eyes. Homosexuality IS sexual flagrancy in and of itself, it’s just described and called L.O.V.E. by those who promote it.

  5. I’ve been celebrating this all day, and I’m not in the affected camp myself. What the Supreme Court did today is going to mean the world to a lot of people out there, and in the time since the ruling, it’s already meant that and more to a huge number of them.

  6. The only thing you can legislate is morality. That’s what legislature is: saying something is either right or wrong – a moral choice. However, I agree that today was a victory for humanity. I honestly can’t see how it could be anything else. I know many friends who vehemently disagree with me. Most would look on me with disgust and say I’m denying Scripture for thinking same sex couples have every right to equality in marriage. I’m okay with their looks of disgust if it comes to that, because I’m pretty sure Jesus is okay with the freedoms earned today. Sorry for such a long reply.

    • no you cannot legislate morality, you can only legislate actions. Laws should be made so that we can all have the greatest amount of freedom possible without our actions infringing upon the rights of others.

      • I understand what you are saying. However, if we make a law that says to “do this and don’t do that”, what are we regulating? Actions themselves are only products of choices – which then makes them part of the realm of morality. In this case, the law has now stated that it is a societal moral decree that it is wrong to deny marital status to same sex couples.

  7. Thank you John! Thank you for always speaking the truth. Thank you for calling out the Christians who so often use the name of Christ to propagate fear, hate, and discrimination. I loved the way you pointed out that that is “a terrible testimony” Our God is bigger than that. Our testimony as Christians should always be of the unfathomable love and mercy of Jesus. And the incredible blessing of being Americans is that every person is treated equally under the law.
    I am a Christian woman and mother of a gay son and I have been reading your blog for many months. Many times I have wanted to respond to one of your posts, but never have until now. Just want to say thank you and keep it up.

  8. Beautifully written! An excellent message!

    I remember back when I was a fundamentalist that I was troubled by the homosexuality thing. I was taught to hate the sin and love the sinner, and I knew several LGBT individuals who I considered friends. Still, I could feel the tension between what my faith taught and what morality seemed to clearly be indicating. Though it was never a huge issue for me – definitely not a big part of my deconversion – I’m always glad to see voices of reason and compassion speaking out against bigotry.

    You and I probably disagree on a lot, but I’ll support you here.

  9. “As a follower of Jesus, I felt a profound sadness today watching so many of my Christian brothers and sisters, who when witnessing the flood of tears and the stunned joy from gays and lesbians and those who love and support them; could only manufacture more vitriol, more loaded rhetoric, more sky-is-falling gnashing of teeth, more spiteful insults, more seething damnation.”

    You forgot the most important one of all: SEND US MORE MONEY.

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  11. Masterfully said, thank you–from a gay woman church council chair in a small town on the Oregon Coast.
    I was finally able to marry my partner of 31 years two years ago and now we will be married wherever we go in this country. Hallelujah!

  12. Reblogged this on Exploring Alura and commented:
    If I had to nominate someone to lead the way into the future, this man would have my backing wholeheartedly. His words speak truths I long to voice myself but never manage to out without f-bombs, condescension, anger, and contempt that would turn any potential reader away. And therefore negate my opportunity for opening those fence-straddling people’s minds.

    My words are no different for an epic victory that shouldn’t even be something we have to write about. Because as humans with humanity uniting our existence, we should know better. But that’s the manic side of me not getting all hyped over righting a wrong that should have never been given room to breathe in the first place. Or perhaps the scrutinizing mother not giving out gold medals for accepting fundamental life values as a basic tenet of life and therefore a necessity of and for all people, regardless of the label they’ve been given. My two year old understands this stuff and I’m supposed to be excited we had to have a government pass a law giving/allowing/demanding that freedom to all? What kind of insanity is that?

    I’ll stop here before my unholy rant against the wicked government and the apathetic and slothful mass of “people” begins…

    Thank you John for once again showing what grace truly is and where a gentle word goes a lot further than a sharp tongue.

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  14. “Today our government reminded all of its people that you can’t legislate morality, but you must legislate equality; that no one’s theology (not even a passionate, deeply devout Christian’s) gets to trump the inherent value of all people who call our land home.”

    This is incoherent. “You must legislate equality” is itself a moral command to legislate morality. This ruling makes certain moral judgments about marriage and sexuality normative for public purposes, and the primary purpose of the gay marriage movement is precisely to bring about moral change in the populace. If that’s not “legislating morality”, I don’t know what is.

    There’s nothing morally or theologically neutral about your position or this ruling. The fact that you and nearly everyone you agree with seem to be blind to this as you gin up the intensively coercive apparatus of our civil rights laws is perhaps the major driver of paranoia and over-reaction among those who dissent. When the ruling power sees its moral system as self-evident, inevitable, the “right side of history”, and the only moral system with the right to legislate, error has no rights, and the state’s theology trumps the inherent value of anyone who dissents. (Just ask Brenden Eich.)

  15. Hello John,
    I am very saddened by your post today. I enjoy reading your posts, which frequently make me think outside the box, but today you are merely going with the flow of society in my opinion.
    I am 64 and have been a Christian for 39 years. I was a homosexual as a child aged 11, and my journey of healing has been a long and very painful one. I ended up getting married (30 years now) and raising a family, but finding the path of healing within the church has been almost impossible.
    It is absolutely true that there remains a considerable amount of control and domination in the church, which homosexual people are hyper-sensitive to. The answer is not to be found in the acceptance of homosexuality, but in the exposure of the roots that led to it.
    This issue is deeply intertwined with the general issue of discipleship within the church. In order to grow in Christ, we have to allow him to expose the faulty foundations that frequently lie deeply buried within us. If the church does not understand how to do this within the general congregation, it will never have the ability to truly help homosexual brothers and sisters within the faith.
    A lot of the problems we have with a biblical framing of this issue stem from our problems with replacement theology, in my opinion. This causes us to treat OT passages as having lesser authority than NT passages, and to view the OT through a NT lens, rather than understanding how God constructed his word upon the foundation of Torah. When God says he hates something, whatever that issue may be, his thinking about it doesn’t magically alter within the NT scriptures.
    So dear John, if you are going to take this position that you are expressing today, you have a lot of work to do if you are going to lay out a clear biblical position. This is something that you have always done in the past and I hope you will now take time to do in the future.
    Thank you Chris Moyler, UK

  16. Amen and amen! I wholeheartedly agree with you. How can we (Christ followers) be a light in the world if all others see is hatred and bitter rancor? I was quite disappointed in seeing so much of that yesterday. The SCOTUS made a decision yesterday that was about equality, liberty and respect for all. I was very proud of their courage and loyalty to the real founding principles of our country.

  17. God DOES NOT and NEVER WILL condone the homosexual lifestyle!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read your Bible! What a sorry state this country has become when celebrating SIN is approved and promoted. I had pride in America but it was lost 6-26-15.

    • No matter how many times we say it, some people just don’t seem to grasp it: There is NO SUCH THING as the homosexual lifestyle. Homosexuals, many, many millions of people, are individuals, and our lifestyles are as varied as those of heterosexuals. Saying God doesn’t condone the homosexual lifestyle makes as much sense as saying God does or does not condone the heterosexual lifestyle… WHAT heterosexual lifestyle?

      Sue, I’ve read my Bible, very carefully, for more than 35 years, in the original languages, Hebrew and Greek. I have absolutely no doubt, based on what I read there, that God has no problem at all with two people of the same sex falling in love and getting married. Bible translators in the middle ages called it sin because their churches said so, and modern translators perpetuate the lie because it’s what people expect their Bibles to say. But God never said it was a sin, and His opinion is the only one that matters.

      • You must have a different Bible than I do because in Romans 1:26-27 in my Bible homosexual acts God calls “Degrading their bodies,” Shameful lusts,” ” Unnatural relations,” Indecent acts”, Perversion.”
        You interpret it any way you want but I believe God! He won’t condone this or any other sin and that’s final.

        • I DO indeed have a different Bible, Sue. I don’t rely on the flawed English translations that can’t even agree with each other. I use the Hebrew and Greek texts that all those translations purport to be based on.

          You referenced Romans 1. No mistranslation there, just complete misunderstanding of what Paul was writing. Paul was not writing to 21st century America about a situation in our society. He was writing to first century Rome about a situation that was going on there. And unless you’ve bothered to study the history of Roman society, their day to day lives, you can’t hope to know what Paul was trying to say. You can’t just pull verses out of context and throw them at something that looks the same on the surface.

          Regardless of what it sounds like, Paul was NOT writing about homosexuality… that is, he was not writing about people who are sexually attracted only to the same sex, falling in love, and marrying each other. Rather, he was addressing a custom unique to the Greco-Roman world (although later, feudal Japan had a similar custom, at least in part). But no such custom exists on earth today, and so Paul’s admonition accomplished what it was supposed to: the custom died out.

          The custom to which I refer was rooted in the Greco-Roman religion (which is what much of Romans 1 is about). Their creation story taught that there was originally one human who had all the attributes of male and female. But this human was split into two: one male, one female. The result of this, according to their religion, was that each half was incomplete. Their method to remedy this incompleteness was for everyone to be sexually intimate with BOTH sexes. This wasn’t a sexual free-for-all… there were very specific rules on how this worked, both for men and women. It resulted in everyone living in a manner that we would call bisexual. And that was the problem: by nature, most people are not bisexual, but heterosexual. So in order to meet the expectations of their religion and society, almost everyone had to ignore his/her innate sexuality. And THAT’S what Paul wrote about:

          Paul said that what they were doing was παρα φυσιν. That is usually translated “against nature,” and that’s a fair enough translation. The problem arises in the fact that the English word nature has more than one meaning, and that people tend to assign the wrong meaning when reading these verses. They assume Paul meant nature as in the whole creation. But the Greek word doesn’t carry that meaning. It refers instead only to a person’s OWN nature, their natural disposition. Paul addressed the situation from the perspective of the heterosexual majority, for whom same-sex relations were not in their nature. He called it a πλανης, which is a mistake, or a self-deception. He did not call it a sin or perversion. He said they had been given over to passions that were ατιμιας – dishonorable. He said that what they were doing was ασχημοσυνην. KJV translates that as unseemly… but a more clear translation would be to say “out of character.” In other words, it didn’t seem like the actions of the people who did them.

          Since nowhere on earth are heterosexuals pressured by religion or culture to live as bisexuals today, Paul’s writing here has no direct application to today’s world… except insofar as it tells us that we have a “nature” in regard to our sexuality, and that neither religion nor culture should tell us to live contrary to it. So just as it was wrong for heterosexuals to live as bisexuals in the first century, it is wrong for homosexuals to try to live as heterosexuals today. We are created the way we are meant to be, whether that is gay, straight, bi or whatever.

      • Personally, I prefer the fundie bashing lifestyle. However, in my down moments, I am drawn to the archaeology and stamp collecting lifestyle. When I feel nature calling, I revert to the toilet lifestyle where I pickup new ideas for my fundie bashing lifestyle.

    • Really? If that is the case then why did Jesus, the very Son of God, not mention homosexuality even once? And yet judging is mentioned over 700 times. Judge not Sue.

      • Hello Paul. When a subject is dealt with adequately the OT it doesn’t need to be repeated on the NT.

        This is only an issue if you regard the NT as having greater authority than the OT. It does not. Jesus had a very high view of the OT. That’s why relatively little is said about homosexuality in the NT

        The Bible is constructed from Genesis onwards, not the NT backwards.

        Thank you. C.

    • Dear Sue,
      Can you list the problems arising from the homosexual lifestyle?

      Let me have a go for you:
      – promiscuity/fornication
      – rape
      – divorce
      – abuse of minors
      – disease

      Now let me have a go listing those from the heterosexual lifestyle:
      – promiscuity/fornication
      – rape
      – divorce
      – abuse of minors
      – disease
      – unwanted and unplanned pregnancy.

      Apart from the fact that someone wrote in a book that it was an “abomination”, whatever that meant, at the time it was written, in whatever language it was written in, that book doesn’t seem to go on to explain WHY it is an abomination.

      You do seem to concentrate on the negative in life, and about “lifestyles”. It is just as easy to be negative about the heterosexual lifestyle as the homosexual lifestyle – if you insist in talking in terms of lifestyles, instead of lives.

      The only difference I can see between the two lives is that, if a homosexual couple wish to have a child, they have to plan and negotiate and really want that child.

      On the other hand, many pregnancies in heterosexual couples (if indeed they are couples) arise through ignorance, carelessness and “the condom broke”. Not all children are born planned and into perfect nuclear families.

      I would encourage an attempt to look at all sides of all relationships, not just cherry-pick the upsides of some and the downsides of others. Maybe get to know a few gay couples, and you may find they are really a lot like you.

      • Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, in the Hebrew text, are not a condemnation of homosexuality, but a condemnation of improper use of a woman’s bed.
        18:22
        ואת זכר לא תשכב משכבי אשה תועבה הוא
        V’et zachar lo tishkav mishkvei ishah toevah hi
        And with a male thou shalt not lie down in a woman’s bed; it is an abomination.

        20:13
        ואיש אשר ישכב את זכר משכבי אשה תועבה עשו שניהם מות יומתו דמיהם בם
        v’ish asher yishkav et zachar mishkvei ishah toevah asu shneihem mot yumatu d’meihem bam
        And a man who will lie down with a male in a woman’s bed: both of them have done an abomination. They will surely be put to death; their blood is on them.

  18. It would do no good for me to state my thinking on this. I can tell you though the bible I read says one man and one woman that God made and commanded to go and populate the earth. When folks that live together and want equal benefits and call themselves man and wife can have babies like God intended I will buy their story. Until then I will continue to love you as I do all of God’s creation. We cannot rewrite the bible or our way into heaven. It stands the same today as it did then and will forever more.

    With all my love and respect Tom

    • So a couple who marries and is sterile is not a true man and wife? Or a couple who marries later in life and is unable to have children? Your logic escapes me here…

      • You are right I was wrong for saying that a couple must be abel to have babies to be a married couple . They must be a man and woman in order to be married in God’s eyes.
        Anyone or any two of anything can be a couple. That was a small bit of sarcasm on my part as I see it now. Please forgive me.

        Joy to you

    • Dear Tom,
      With equal respect, do you think it is likely that the concept of marriage, or at least a very close approximation to it, did not exist before Biblical times. And, in Biblical times, it was a very different institution to what it is now. I assume, if you are married, you did not buy your wife from her father, or ensure you would be made to marry her by raping her.

      It is my understanding that, in the West, the Church did not take on the role of solemnising marriages until the Twelfth or Thirteenth Centuries. Before that, it was an entirely civil institution.

      In addition, are all the other marriages of peoples with other religions or none in the world also to be discounted? I understood that there was a separation of Church and State in the US. So should those holding religious persuasions shaping their view of marriage have a veto over everyone else?

      • Peter thank you for responding to my comment. I base what I am sharing on my blog by the Holy Bible. As I stated in the post . It is my belief. I would never try to change your mind about what you believe. That is your choice as this it’s my choice. Since it is my blog I can post what I like. If I believe we are going in the wrong direction when the supreme court makes a desion such as they did. Then that is my right to do so. It is not a post meant to create dialog or debate with folks who do not agree it is how I feel and what I believe to be the undeniabel truth of God. God said it and I am not going to dispute him. I will go a step further in response to your response Peter. I also believe God loves all mankind. That he died for all mankind. That he intended for a man and a woman to populate this earth. That in the 62 years I have lived that had been accepted to be o.o married couples. If you read the bible it is easy to understand how and why God did it this way. Peter it is a very good possibility that marriage was different back in those days. It is also not fair that others should have to suffer our that just Christians have the right to make the laws. I an in no way feeling threanted or dismayed by this desion of the supreme court. It will not change God’s plan for mankind. We have to remember I am a Christian who takes the Holy Bible as the truth as is. God desires to redeem mankind and restore his relationship with them. I believe that gay and lesbian relationships that are of a sexual nature are not something God allows or wants for his children. That being said. I also believe it is entirely possible for a man to love a man and a woman to live a woman. I do not believe that should include being married and raising children. Not receiving benefits as a married couple. There are many hardships in this world that require us to be compassionate to others. I also understand there are reasons other than sex and marriage some gay and lesbians wanted this ruling passed. I an sure they were of a compassionate nature. What saddens me more is that man in all his wisdom and resources could not address this issue differently. No one will come out of this better. It will only divide mankind. Sin always doors that. That is what Satan wants. Division. God wants restoration. In closing Peter I thank you again for being respectful and for responding. I have tried to respond to you and even share some more off my heart with you. I want you to understand I will not open this up to a debate . I have enjoyed your kindness.

        Much love Tom

  19. Thank you for restoring (some of) my faith in Christianity. You – and people like you – give me hope that Christianity is still good.

  20. Hi Sue –

    Wow! You sure are convinced that you know the will of God and can speak in the name of God.
    Those who agree with you might say you speak with conviction. Those who do not agree might be more inclined to say you speak with incredible hubris. I understand that you believe that you have read scripture, and I know that you can refer to chapter and verse to support your position.

    At least according to your understanding of scripture.

    Personally I can’t claim to speak for God, or tell another soul what God will or will not condone.

    To do so seems pretty cheeky to me.

    I’m not sure what “the homosexual lifestyle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” is. I have many gay friends who have many different lifestyles. Some of them feel positive to me, some do not align with my understanding of how I should live in harmony with the gift of life I have been given. I have many straight friends who have many different lifestyles. Some of them feel positive to me, some do not align with my understanding of how I should live in harmony with the gift of life I have been given.

    I happen to be a gay man who has lived in a happy and fulfilling covenant relationship with my partner for over 35 years, and I don’t think a soul who knows us would characterize our relationship as sinful, but I chose my friends carefully, and as they say . . . your mileage may vary.

    I do not expect that I can change your mind, and I am not responding in an attempt to do so. I only hope to provide a counterpoint to those who read your words and find themselves troubled by the fear your words reinforce.

    My God is a God of love and compassion. My God is not concerned with the gender of my life partner. My God is calling me to love my friends and love those who may someday be my friends, even if they do not see themselves as my friends today.

    That is my understanding of the ministry of Jesus.

    I am called to love, and you are called to love.

    And I am convinced that beyond our different perspectives there is a unity that binds us together. It is our oneness with the God who created us.

    Amen.

    I love you.

    May you live in blessing.

  21. Hi John….
    On some level I think I understand what you are saying but look at what has really happening with the passing of this law. The institute God created, family which according to scripture is man and woman who then have kids has been turned away from. Man says no, we should be able to choose what we want.
    God’s idea of family and the world’s idea of family is very different. God was very specific when He created family, no clauses, no nothing. As Christians we are to live the sinner and that’s true but what has happened is that the world has said sin is not sin and anybody talking against sin is wrong.

    Just to be clear, this is not a victory. We have failed as Christians and this is the day we find out how we have failed!
    If we only stuck to the Word.
    If we only did what it said and not water it down.
    I am truly saddened at how much we lost. The battle for family is being lost and yet we celebrate and congratulate the very people destroying it!!!
    That is what I have to say.

    John, I am not angry at you and this not hate mail. As a Christian man who values family I shudder to think that my kids are the ones who will suffer the most. How would I be able to teach them about God and His infallible word when we are letting others come and destroy what has been built……

    Rolain

    • Listen up Rolain:

      1) I was not aware that all-Americans now had same sex families. Wow!!! Is the U.S. Supreme Court that powerful? How many of you who were married to a man or woman woke up with a same-sex partner in your bed the morning after the U,S. Supreme Court ruling? I want to see a show of hands. My spouse was in bed with me, and we still had the two kids in our family.

      2) No one has said sin is not sin. I doubt you will find that anywhere in the written court decision. They just gave a few gay people (a minority) the right to a civil marriage with each other. The idea was to allow them to have the same civil rights as other Americans. That was a legal decision in civil law—not a religious decision in the realm of religion. That choice is up to the churches.

      3) You are pissed off because your little Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical “click” just got another powerful message that you guys do not own, control, or run the United States of America—and everyone in it—as your own personal property. You would like to see an America that believes all the same things you believe and exactly the same way you believe them, and you would like the government of the United States to be changed so it reflects what you believe so you can feel safe and comfortable living in this country. Instead, you are being marginalized more, and more, and more. And do you know why that is? It is because you Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals have tried really hard and very publicly to take over the government of the United States of America so you could use its legislative, court, police power, and military to force all 315,000,000 Americans to believe exactly as you fundies believe in contravention to the consciences of people who believe differently—a grave sin on your part in and of itself in Romans 14. This fight is not about God. This fight is about YOU PEOPLE ALONE and the evil YOU PEOPLE have tried to do on the American stage over the past 5 decades—force yourselves and your beliefs on others. Your loss on gay marriage is what the Bible calls “just recompense” for the evil you and your kind have done on the American stage—both to individual people and our country.

      Rolain. The fact of the matter is that you and your “fundie religious kind” are not going to take over the government of this country or its people—BECAUSE I AND MANY OTHERS PLAN TO STOP YOU DEAD COLD. You and your people are going to be marginalized more, and more, and more, and more. Not because you are righteous. But because you are evil. You dress yourselves up in garments of false righteousness and proclaim to all the world that you—and you alone among men—are righteous in the eyes of God. You cry out that all other Christians on Earth but you are apostates—as if God himself has no vote in the matter. You ascend to and sit down on the throne of God in his Holy Place as if YOU ARE GOD and you try to ram what you believe down the throats of other people and force those other people to believe and behave as you dictate—-thus contravening and nullifying the free choice in matters of faith that God has generously given to all humans—a choice God himself refuses to violate. This is the primary example of how Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism (and their people) ARE THE PRIMARY AGENTS OF ORIGINAL SIN IN OUR AGE.

      This is the point in the lecture when you people get upset, start whining, and say, “The Bible says that God will one day force you to bow down to him. You’ll get yours!!!” I gladly and voluntarily bow down to God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit right now—and for all time because I love them and they deserve the respect. However, neither I nor millions, upon millions, upon millions of other Americans will ever bow down to YOU PEOPLE who claim to be Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals—because you are light years away from being anything like the members of the Holy Trinity, and you demonstrate it to your fellow man and woman every day of your lives in the things you say, do, and fail to do. Your harassment and bullying of gay children to the point of suicide is just one of many examples. Every age has its Scribes and Pharisees. I remain convinced that YOU PEOPLE are the Christian Scribes and Pharisees of this current age, and Jesus himself taught us how to deal with you in Matthew 23—and I remain convinced that if this were 33 A.D., Pat Robertson, James Dobson, The Southern Baptist Convention, and the whole lot of you would be personally rolling dice for the next opportunity to hammer a nail into the hands or feet of Jesus. Have I made myself clear to you?

  22. I am a sinner. I over-eat every day; I let loose with a curse word every now and then; I drink wine; I sleep too much. My list could go on and on. And I thank God every day that He forgives me, loves me, and still calls me His Child. His blessings on my life have been abundant, and I am humbled.

    My point is, everyone is so busy pointing out that homosexuality is a sin (and that God hates sin) that we are not looking inward. What about our own sins? Why are we so concerned with someone else’s when we are so full of them ourselves?

    This is not about sin. This is about hating something that is “different”. No, let me rephrase that: this is about being afraid of something that is “different”.

    If this fight were really about sin, we’d all be swinging at each other. Not one of us, not ONE, is without it.

    So, please, stop using sin as a platform. It is a lie and propaganda. And it is vile.

    Thank you, John, for a beautifully written piece. It is eloquently stated truth.

    • Yes–but of all the sins in the universe—homosexuality on Earth—is the only sin that drives God nuts and almost to the point of insanity. It’s in the Bible. It makes him go berserk, and he levels small towns with nuclear weapons. Do you want our America to end up like that? For all we know after last week, God could have the H-bombs to destroy America already loaded and in flight to where we live. Why oh why oh why can you people not see the danger we are in from our vicious and angry God who who is so pure and clean that He detests all dirt and uncleanness of human hands and hearts. Paint pizza sauce on your lintels America and prey that that the Angel of Death and Destruction will pass over our land and preserve the burger patties in our fast food establishments!!!

      Just thought I would speak out for the other side because they do not seem to have the guts to speak out for themselves.

  23. Well said John. We have always all mattered equally in the eyes of God. Now we matter equally as well as in the eyes of the law.

  24. Pingback: Love Should Always Win |

  25. After reading this, I find myself as pulled as ever about this topic. I can celebrate equality in rights for all people, but I cannot celebrate homosexuality. I find myself wondering if it is possible to separate the two.

    I have gay friends and relatives I love, but I don’t celebrate their choice of lifestyle. I agree there is much unnecessary vitriol coming from those who should know better, but must we go to the other extreme?

    Thank you for an interesting and balanced article. Food for thought.

    • I have not particularly seen anyone going to the other extreme. My only interest was that gay people should have the same civil rights as other Americans and not be treated badly in our society because we are all sinners. If we treat them like crap, then we must treat ourselves like crap too.

      • God is no respect or of persons. He sends the sun and the rain on both the just and the unjust, and our sin, big or “small”, is all the same to Him……that’s what I believe.

      • I agree that all people should have the same civil rights.
        I don’t agree with the celebration of homosexuality as a lifestyle, just as I don’t agree with a celebration of a lifestyle involving drugs, or gambling, for example. These are opinions about life and living that I am entitled to have.
        I do, however, have friends who live all of these different lifestyles. I don’t love them any less as individuals, or treat them badly because of their choices.

    • What does the word “lifestyle” mean. There is no singular gay lifestyle, all gays are unique. If you mean lifestyle in the since that you would like to take the experience of homosexuality and boil it down into meer sexual acts, ignoring the love and commitment gays have for one another, this exposes your bigotry.

      • I don’t think so, since the sexual act with those of the same sex is what makes it such a different lifestyle, not the love for another person or the commitment involved. I think it’s just a fact of the homosexual way of living and not bigotry to express a struggle with it. I’m sorry, but you know nothing of my personal struggles to be able to even suggest that of me.

  26. What decision’s are made by mankind are his, what God has given as Law from the time of creation will come to pass. Nothing decided by man will change that. The body is temporary, the soul is eternal

  27. John, I see that a couple of replies I posted were not displayed. It seems you are removing posts that do not adhere to your point of view, at least some of them. Gosh, I’m so disappointed! You seemed so much more enlightened than that. Oh well, it is your blog and you can edit it how you want to.

    • Anne, I work a full time job and cannot approve comments all day long. If comments do not contain personal attacks or vulgarity they are never “removed”.

      Breathe.

  28. Johndpav wrote: “This was America being the very best of herself.”

    Are you an advocate for the United States of America, or are you an advocate of God’s Kingdom.

    Both are governing entities. One is in Heaven operating alone, the other is one of many earthly, carnal, communities of men.

    Citizens of God’s Kingdom know that no other Gods will be tolerated. Citizens of the United States of America are free to worship satan, himself, if that is their desire.

    Citizens of God’s Kingdom know that sexual uncleanness has been spelled out, and must be avoided, in order to please our King. Citizens of the United States of America are free to engage in adultery, pre-marital sex, promiscuity, and homosexuality, as they see fit, and as they so desire.

    A leader among God’s citizens endorses His Kingdom. A leader among the communities of the United States of America lauds so-called FREEDOM to pursue the heart’s desires…

    “Resumes’ ” aside… Some people lead into light, some people lead into further darkness…

  29. Why are there groups of people who think that rights are a zero-sum game? The reasoning mentioned early on in the article shows what that is.

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