This morning, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional and upheld a ruling that overthrew California’s Proposition 8. These rulings are clear victories for the LGBT community and brings America one step closer towards equality. Yet, there are some who are denouncing the decisions as a tragic step towards Godlessness and clear approval of immoral behavior.
I believe that the conservative stance towards gay marriage is simply wrong.
The conservative view point of gay marriage paints the issue as a moral one. Gay marriage is not a moral issue; it is an issue of social justice. Denying a group of people the rights enjoyed by another group is inherently unjust. We learned this almost sixty years ago, “separate but equal is inherently unequal.” It does not matter if you believe their lifestyle is sinful or if you believe their race is lower than yours, injustice knows no such bounds.
At the heart of the argument is the question, “Should religious morality be legislated?” By striking down DOMA, the Supreme Court answered that question with an emphatic “no.” In the Supreme Court’s eyes, DOMA was clearly abridging the first amendment to the Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” If religious morality were to be legislated, it would be a slippery slope towards abolishing religious freedom entirely. After all, do we really believe human hearts can be legislated into righteousness?
The church should not be a political entity and the government is not an agent of the church. They are separated for very specific and logical reasons. We should not make the mistake of putting all of our hope into a broken system run by broken people. Instead, we should be asking ourselves why we are so fearful of cultural change. We believe in a sovereign God who loves us all and wants us to know Him deeply. Trust Him, represent Him, and act like Him in word and deed. Leave the judgment to Him alone.
I want to make sure that I’m being fair here. These are difficult things to talk about and people are very passionate on both sides of the issue. The church is certainly not unified in their belief on this issue and I think that scares a lot of Christians. Often, disunity is associated with doubt and doubt is an uncomfortable place to be. But being uncomfortable allows you to truly learn and grow. Asking hard questions is not heretical.
I want to challenge all who read this to argue, critique, and question in a loving and civil manner. That being said, many will disagree with the opinion I am sharing here. That’s okay. Let’s talk about it. If you agree, why do you agree? Let’s talk about that too. I think far too often, we are eager to share our opinion on a matter and then exit the conversation. The local church needs to do a better job of truly talking about this issue in a way that honors each other and God. That conversation starts here.
Edit: There is a lively discussion of this issue on Facebook. Excellent points have been made on both sides. Thank you to all of you who have entered into the conversation in a loving and civil manner.