Wednesday, August 28, 2013

separation

Ok- so this post is gonna tick folks off.  I expect quite a bit of backlash on this from Christians and non-Christians, so.....buckle up.

I have two very close relatives - whom I love very, very much - who are gay.  And, when I say I love them very, very much, I very, very much mean it, and without reservation.  And, yes, I support them.  And, to an extent, I support their lifestyle- by saying nothing about it to them, or to anyone else, and just loving them unconditionally.  My wife is also close to these two relatives, and she knows that they are gay- and, no, it doesn't bother her, and, yes, my wife and I have talked about it.  Both of these relatives are in monogamous, long term relationships.  I have met one of my relatives partners on numerous occasions, and she is absolutely, without question, my family- in every single sense of the term.  I love her madly.  The other relative of mine who's partner I have not met (yet) I am also fond of, but as of now from afar.  (I hope to recitfy that soon.)  The relative of mine who has the partner I have not met yet- they have a son- who I also have not met( (yet) and I am not "weirded out" by that, nor am I concerned for this child.  All of the people that I'm talking about here are some of the smartest, kindest, hardest working people I know, and anyone reading this would do well to emulate 1/47,912th of these people.

I'll throw a third wrinkle in here- there is another person in my life, who is, in every way except biologically, one of my children.  And, they are gay, too.  And, that person is in a monogamous relationship.  I love this kid, totally.  

Why am I telling you this?

As a Christian, this puts me in a bit of a dilemma.  See, like it or not, the Bible is pretty darned clear about homosexuality.  I don't want to ruin it for you, but suffice it to say that Scripture is clear here- this is something that is to be avoided, and it's mentioned as a sin.  (I told you I was gonna piss ya off- keep reading......)

I might also add that cheating on your spouse, your taxes, coveting your neighbors things, lying, gossip and murder are also to be avoided and are mentioned as "sin".  (Ouch.  Didn't see that coming, did ya?)

But now, the topic of gay marriage is at hand, and apparently, no matter my best intentions to avoid this topic, it appears that I must choose a side.  So, I will.  But, I have to make a couple of contextual statements first:

The idea of marriage - from a Western Societal Viewpoint (which is where I'm coming from.  Duh.) is not exactly what Scripture says- or, to put it another way- nowhere in the Bible when talking about marriage does it say "thou shalt have community property" or "thou shalt go through a painful court proceeding to get out of thy marriage" (in fact, the Bible calls divorce a sin.....whoops!) or "thou shalt have access to thy spouse's healthcare" - those things are items that our government has put upon the mantle of "marriage".  And, while I can't really presume to know what is going on in anyone else's mind but my own (and that is sometimes a chore) I think what most gay couples want is equality in equity - equal under the law - as far as those governmental items are concerned.  Access to a loved one's health care, insurance benefits, bank accounts, etc.  I think what they want is to be treated like heterosexual couples are under the law.

BUT: We have inescapable Scripture.  (And, sorry to you non-believers here- you just can't get around it.  It's there.  I promise.)

I do not believe that God recognizes a man's marriage to another man, or a woman to another woman.  I just don't.  But, I also believe that God doesn't recognize marriage as it exists today, either- 70% of marriages end in divorce.  People can and do get married all the time in civil ceremonies that have nothing to do with God- the officiates of weddings can get their licenses on the internet for a fee of $35 US, and no one does any pre-marital counseling or anything like it.  It's commonplace for people to live together without matrimony - clearly outside the bonds of Scripture - and be married by pastors in the church.  It happens every, single day.

THEREFORE: Since the idea of "marriage" in Western Society today is really more about the entitlement of a partner to the other partners assets, that makes it more of a civil thing.  If that's what homosexual couples want to have legalized, then I'm all for it.  If, however, a homosexual couple wants to think that their "marriage" is recognized by God as valid, that is a completely different thing.

So, here's where everyone - Christian and Non-Christian gets pissed off.  I'm taking the side that I am pro gay marriage for the civil side of it.  If a gay couple have been living monogamously and faithful to each other just as any other civilly minded married couples have, they should have all the rights and benefits afforded all parties.  As for the "God Part" of this- guess what?  I'm not God.  I don't get to make that call - and, neither do you.  That's above all of our pay grades.

Here's what does bother me about the gay marriage thing- the control of speech.  For instance, there will be those who take umbridge over the fact that I said (and, if I wasn't clear before, let me be now) that God does not recognize gay marriage according to how I read Scripture.  Some of those people will take that to mean that I don't support gay marriage, or worse- that I am some kind of "ist".  (As in "racist", but being gay is not a race, so......segregationalist?)  If you are one of these people, and you're intent is to keep people like me quiet, then we have a problem, Houston.  I'm not gonna be quiet about it.  I have a right to my opinion, and you do, too, and if you're stance is that I'm not "tolerant" on the matter, you better check yourself on that one, bub.  The same thing applies to Christians who want to silence what I have to say on the matter- I'll stand before God just like you, and I'll answer just like you for things I've said and done in my life- and it's He that I owe an answer to.  

In the meantime, I plan to love my fellow man, just as I am commanded to do.

So, there you have it.  Clear as mud, right?  Got a gripe with what I said?   Love to hear it.