Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Christianity, Politics and Gay Marriage

Now that the seemingly never-ending US presidential campaign has ended, I can pick up on a series which I started last February on the relationship between Christianity and politics. And having still not learned to avoid the deep end of the pool, I'll plunge head first into a discussion on the recent vote on California's Proposition 8 - a state constitutional ban on same sex marriage.

As I stated in my post addressing the abortion issue, I believe that Churches have every right to teach the tenants of their faith and parents should continue to instill their values in their children. However, people of faith should stop letting people with political agendas manipulate them. Gay marriage is without a doubt an issue that Karl Rove and the political right used to manipulate the conservative, evangelical, Christians and win two elections for the GOP and now pass Proposition 8.

If I understand correctly, on the one side of this issue you have the gay community which is simply asking that the government (not the Church) to legally recognize their committed relationships in the same manner that it recognizes heterosexual committed relationships, (36% of which end in divorce). While on the other side you have conservative, evangelical Christians who believe that if the government allows gay people to marry it will destroy the institution of marriage which has somehow survived Henry VIII, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Britney Spears.

Isn't it ironic that the Christian bible clearly indicates that God is not thrilled about divorce but you don't see ballot propositions advocating banning divorce.

Yes, I too was taught that God destroyed Sodom because of homosexuality. However as a woman I've always had a bit of a problem with the details of those events:

"Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my lords,please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night,and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.”

And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”

But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house.Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom,both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”

So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him,and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please,let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish;only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”

-- Genesis 19: 1-8(NIV)

I don't know about you but if I had been one of Lot's daughters I would not have been too thrilled with my father after that comment. Offering up your virgin daughters to a mob of horny men is not exactly my idea of God pleasing behavior.  And that's the point of this post. Sometimes the people who are so sure that they are pleasing God may be missing the point.

I'm not a theologian, politician or gay. I'm not trying to change your religious beliefs. I only ask you to consider this.  If you are a Christian you were taught that God gave Moses ten commandments. Obviously, these were the ten laws that God thought were important enough to put in writing. Yet our society breaks these rules willy nilly without the fear that society is going to come to an end.

On the other hand, the religious and political right has convinced large segments of the public that our nation will suffer the same fate as Sodom if we allow gay marriage. Even though the bible clearly states that God would have spared Sodom if there had only been ten righteous men to be found.

So ask yourself was it really homosexuality that destroyed Sodom or was it the fact that there weren't ten good people left in the city.

The bottom line to the vote on Proposition 8 is that those who voted Yes did so out of a belief that gay marriage would "destroy" marriage. And based on that belief they threw their gay daughters and sons out into the streets.

Related Posts:

Christianity, Politics and the Issues

Christianity, Politics & Abortion

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