Gay and Beautiful and a Little Thing Called Love
by Jonas Weaver
I really do love the Supreme Court sometimes. Sometimes they make decisions which make sense; also, they’re really good at instigating conversation. And with the overturning of parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) it’s started a revitalization of the marriage debate. It has also managed to bring out the Christians in full force. “Oh no! America is going to hell! Go back to God!” are the cries of our wonderful Christians. But guess what? It’s doing nothing. Nothing whatsoever.
I understand. But seriously? Running to Leviticus 19? If you’re a Christian and you use Leviticus as your go to reason for why gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry your hermeneutic is rather pathetic. Picking a verse, at random, from the Old Testament Law will not do. Be consistent. If you take this verse, which is not only moral but explicitly civil in nature (who else is going to enforce the death penalty for gays?), you need to take more. Oh, but you say: “There are different types of Laws in the Old Testament.” Of course there are. But not in the sense you mean (moral, civil, and those relating to the sacrificial system). There is no clear indication that the Bible, in the OT or NT, ever delineates such a distinction. So unless you’re a theonomist, which most Christians are not, don’t run to the OT Law. But what about Romans 1? and 1 Corinthians 6? Both of these have a context and neither of these tell us what the government can or cannot do.
But the fundamental problem is how we as Christians respond. As Rachel Held Evans so aptly states, “But it reminded me of one important, reality-based fact: Most people begin to recognize their sexual orientation when they are just kids, when they are young and vulnerable like this little girl. So when we, in the Church, discuss homosexuality as though it were an issue faced by “other people” who are “out there,” when we resort to stereotypes and language about hell and judgment and damnation, we may be doing serious damage to the most precious and vulnerable among us. Even our casual conversations with one another can be picked up by little ears and internalized in destructive ways.” And her point stands validly. Go to almost any gay person and ask them when they realized they were gay you will get an answer that varies from young child to teen years. Either way one takes it words have consequences. Am I saying that if you have a conviction that being gay or gay action is wrong that’s fine and wonderful. Consider, though, how you go about sharing this belief. Will you damn gays and call them abominations simply to be faithful to the Biblical witness? Or will you love them and say it a manner that admits you’re just as much a worthless sinner as they? Because, frankly, all it sounds like from my side of the pew is a bunch of pissed off white Christians who think America is going to hell. They seem to be more concerned with America than with people and loving them. That pesky ol’ second greatest commandment, right?
So, seriously. Get off your high horse. Get into the streets. Pray. Love. Interact. The Incarnation of Jesus demands that we as Christians live as part of this world, that the bodies we have are clean, that the Creation is healing and groaning to be fully restored, and that we must live separately. And stop focusing on that last point without the others. Because when you do, when you “hope all things” in people they have opportunity and you can grow and learn.