Friday, June 26, 2015

Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

Today we had the opportunity to discuss a very heavily debated topic in our culture:  same-sex marriage.  The talk was with our eight year old daughter.  Jeremy and I were discussing our beliefs about it and what we thought of the decision.  Riley walked in and wanted to know all of what we were saying, why we were talking about it and what it meant.  I took Julia up for her bath while Jeremy talked with her so that they could really talk without interruption.

Here are a few articles about the ruling from wide-ranging views and sides:

NY Times

BBC News

Wall Street Journal

Fox News

The Onion

Christianity Today

Breitbart


I read about the ruling online and Jeremy saw it on the tv at work as it was the major topic of the day. Normally I am completely out of the loop on nationwide topics and purposely choose to not pay attention.  Not because I don't care; often because I don't want our girls hearing arguments about which I feel we can't truly know who is telling the truth (Right-wing or Left-wing and everything in-between).  Also due to the fact that we don't turn the news on in our house.  Ever.  If I want to know news, I see the topics on Facebook - at least the basics.  From there I can google different papers from around the world to gather insight into a variety of views and beliefs about what is actually going on.

Today I had a lot of thoughts and feelings on the issue.  It's a personal issue for all of us - gay and straight.  I have many friends who are gay and lesbian.  I love them every bit as much as my straight friends.  They are loving, kind, considerate, talented, amazing, hard working and above all that, they are people.  They are not someone to be afraid of, someone to hate, someone to change or someone to avoid.  I'm happy to spend time with them and hear about their lives.

As a Christian who believes in Jesus and someone who believes what the Bible says (every word of it to the best of my ability to live it out as well as I can), the homosexuality/marriage issue is a challenging one.  Many Christian friends are asking us to pray for our nation stating that we are doomed, that this is the end, that today's ruling is awful.  Other Christian friends are jumping for joy and declaring that this is only the beginning of freedom for equal love.

I feel that our daughter put it into words best:  "People should be free to be free.  They should be able to make the choice to love who they want whether we agree or not."

Jeremy talked with her tonight about the ruling in regards to how we treat others and love others in a simplistic and beautiful way.  He began with different scenarios which helped Riley think about the rights that people have in the choices of their lives.  He asked if she believed that those who love the same-sex should get married.  She agreed that they should.

The point being that what a person chooses to do in their choice of partnership doesn't decide the rights they have as humans.  Just because we may not agree with others choices of partnership doesn't mean we should withhold their rights.  As Christians, we may not believe that people should marry someone of the same-sex, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't be given the right to have that choice.

Our talks with Riley have been to share what the Bible says about same-sex relationships and then share about the rights of free choice as humans.  There's a human factor and the Bible factor.  The Bible is very clear in what it says about homosexuality... in as much as it is clear about what it says about greed, lust, adultery and other equally challenging sins.  The human factor is that we have been given free will.  If a partner is in the hospital and having surgery or dying, their same-sex partner should have every right to see them, be with them and have the same rights as a heterosexual couple. They are people.  If two same-sex partners have a child, that child should be treated the same as any child from a heterosexual child and not denied care due to hatred.  Their freedoms for protection should be the same - see this list of denied protections that I hope will be ended: Protections

Hatred and intolerance are quick to be shown from the conservative side.  I believe we must be respectful, loving and non-judging.  This issue is such a delicate and difficult one.  My friend Robyn posted a beautifully stated thought about it:

This is an issue that I have thought about a lot the past year or so, and have not spoken about because there are people I love who feel strongly in both directions. So if you read on, I'm trying to present what I think is a logical assessment of the situation based on what I understand American freedoms to be and what my religion dictates.
The separation of church and state involves two things: Freedom from religion (a.k.a. one religion cannot dominate or impose its beliefs and traditions on the remainder of the country) and freedom of religion (Americans have the right to practice their own religion freely).
Due to the first aspect of this, this decision was bound to come eventually. Equality for all has been one of the main goals of this country since its start, and the argument against it is based in religious ideals, which would not hold up as basis for law in an unbiased court.
As for the second aspect, we can't ignore that either. The Bible clearly states that homosexuality is a sin - it is written in black and white on the page whether you interpret as valid in this time or not - therefore, you cannot logically argue that that statement is not a part of the Christian religion. If Christians are to have the right to practice their religion in the same way that everyone now has the right to marry, then churches and pastors should be allowed the choice of whether or not to perform or accommodate ceremonies that are against their beliefs.
There is a difference between practicing beliefs and acting out of hatred - for instance, the baker who chose not to bake the cake for the wedding should have been protected because that service supported the marriage which goes against their religious beliefs - which they are allowed to practice. However, had these bakers chosen not to bake a birthday cake for the child of a homosexual couple, that would be illogical - a child's birthday is not against our religion. I have also heard of a doctor refusing care to a child of a homosexual couple and I would go as far to say that that is against Christian beliefs to share Christ's love and care for those who need it.
I think at this time, everyone needs to see both sides and recognize that this country has afforded everyone certain rights. As Christians we need to have honest discussions of how to approach the issue in the way that best represents what Christ would do, and not based on our initial, possibly rash, emotional responses and learn how to move forward and protect our own rights. If we respond with name calling and disgust, I think it would be unlikely for any rights to be protected or voted for.
Lastly, Christians reading this - remember - Christ's last command was to go and make disciples. Before you post think - "Will this post help or hurt that goal?"






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