It didn’t take long for the Religious Right to embarrass themselves regarding same sex marriage. Again.
As soon as the Supreme Court published its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which held that the United States Constitution provided an inherent right to marriage for all citizens, they began frothing at the mouth.
Some called for wholesale acts of civil disobedience against the government to protest this “unjust law.” Other Christian groups immediately began to develop strategies to continue discriminating against same-sex couples.
And verily, history will not be kind to Senator Ted Cruz’s comment that the Supreme Court’s decisions in Obergefell v. Hodges, King v. Burwell (the Obamacare subsidy case), and Texas v. Inclusionary Communities, led to “the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history.”
Dark like slavery. Dark like Pearl Harbor. Dark like Sandy Hook. Dark like the Tuskegee Experiment.
Same-sex marriage proponents have had quite a successful run recently. The Court, through Justice Kennedy’s pen, disposed of every serious legal argument against the government recognizing same-sex marriages and equal protection under the law to marry.
And what’s more, the concept of same-sex marriage has become increasingly popular in this country. As of this month, almost two-thirds of the country supports it.
“It’s okay to oppose same-sex marriages, but opposing them because ‘God says so,’ isn’t so. God’s ultimate call is to love.”
But, while proponents of same-sex marriage have been successful in appellate court and the court of public opinion, they have struggled to persuade the Religious Right, who consider themselves God’s proxy on earth, of the virtues of same-sex marriage.
Opponents of same-sex marriage arguments are rooted wholly in one statement: “Because God said so.”
They prooftext various passages from the scriptures (Romans 1:18-32, or 1 Corinthians 6:9, for example) to illustrate that God considers same-sex marriage to be “unnatural.” Those oft-quoted passages come from the Apostle Paul’s letters to early Christian churches.
The passages themselves sound convincing, but that’s kind of the point of prooftexting–take a passage out of its context to support a proposition. How about “women should remain silent in the churches,” or “slaves obey your earthly masters,” or even, “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman?”
All are direct quotations from the Apostle, none of which are given much regard in our culture.
The Apostle Paul’s letters are good philosophical works in which we can glean how to grow and protect the Church in love. However, Paul’s letters were written to first century churches to address specific issues within a specific context. In other words, if you’re going to condemn same-sex marriage, you’re going to have to do better than shoplifting a few passages from Apostle Paul.
And above this, Christ himself never mentions or addresses same-sex marriages in his public ministry. But, he does mention love a time or two.
It’s okay to oppose same-sex marriages, but opposing them because “God says so,” isn’t so. God’s ultimate call is to love.
And perhaps a loving, committed marriage between two people, regardless of their gender, furthers that call.