Why A Christian Liberal Might Have A “Problem” With Same Sex Marriage

“Friends, we are gathered together in the sight of God to witness and bless the joining together of Name and Name in Christian marriage.

The covenant of marriage was established by God, who created us male and female for each other.

With his presence and power Jesus graced a wedding at Cana of Galilee, and in his sacrificial love gave us the example for the love of husband and wife.  Name and Name come to give themselves to one another in this holy covenant.”
– From The Methodist Wedding Ceremony

This is generally what the Protestant Wedding Ceremonies declare, with some adding that Marriage was established for the purpose of procreation (which is hinted at above). While never explicitly sermonized (at least not in MY church, in the 1960s), sermons that touched on marriage or the family were quite clear about the Man & Woman thing.

I quit going to Church when I was 14, when I had moved to the South & found the Christians to be anything but Christ-like in their behavior. I was always taught it was the duty of every Christian to behave in as Christ-like a manner as possible. We’ll never be as good as Him, but we can strive. To see people saying “Praise The Lord!” every 5 minutes (even out of Church) and then talk about the GD N-Words in casual conversation didn’t square with how I had been taught.

I never took the Bible literally (Methuselah lived to be 969? Really? In the days when 40 was considered old?), taking much as allegory or mistranslations – still do. But, that declaration of “Marriage” being for a Man & a Woman & for the purpose of procreation stuck. Never mind “marriage” was instituted as a transference of Property (the Bride & Dowry) from one family to another, it stuck.

For years I was uncomfortable with the idea of Gay Marriage, because it wouldn’t be a man & a woman and it obviously wouldn’t be for the purpose of procreation. I asked why not Domestic Partnership or Civil Union? Have the same Rights as Straight Marrieds, but leave the word “Marriage” for the religious sacrament. The State would recognize the CU partners as having the same Rights as Straight Marrieds. Reserve “Marriage” for a Man & a Woman.

Consciously, I knew it was wrong to deny ANY Rights to anyone, but those Religious teachings – part of my entire value system – were hard to beat back with Reason. I finally managed it several years ago. Because of this, I was able to react with joy on Friday night when New York State passed a Same Sex Marriage law. It felt good & it felt right. 

I’m sure other Christian Liberals will eventually let Reason triumph over Belief – evolution & open-mindedness are hallmarks of the Liberal character.

 Don’t get mad if they don’t do it as quickly as you’d like.


About pegsiskatzencats

Middle aged cat lady, flaming liberal, gardener extrordinaire, I live for the Cubs, & HATE hot weather. Chicagoland native, I WILL RETURN!
This entry was posted in 2011. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why A Christian Liberal Might Have A “Problem” With Same Sex Marriage

  1. Interesting piece, Peggy, which raises the dilemma for a lot of Christian people, I daresay. In the end, I suppose it’s all about allowing two people of the same sex to have the same experience of marriage in the traditional sense that others take for granted, as well as the same rights in law.
    Tracey and I were engaged for 8 years before we were married. In every sense except that we didn’t have a marriage ceremony and a marriage certificate, we had the same rights in law for all those years as a married couple do. We were happy with that, but with my impending death, we decided to marry on 4 July last year. Nothing to do with your Independence Day (though it makes it easy to remember!) but that we both felt it was something we wanted to do before I go.
    It DOES make a difference to how we feel. It is a closer bond. ‘Partner,’ ‘de facto’ whatever term you use, it isn’t the same as being married. I didn’t expect that it would make such a difference, but it does.
    So I understand the desire of Same Sex Couples to have a similar feeling of extra bonding. I had no problem with it anyway from the religious point of view, as my beliefs go beyond one religious or philosophical view.
    It’s more than letting Reason triumph over Belief – it’s Emotional Bonding triumphing over traditional notions, some very deeply held.

  2. Thanks for the comments, Denis.

    Your perspective would be different than mine as I’ve never been married, nor wanted to be. My parents’ marriage, their re-marriages, my sisters’ & friends’ marriages never gave me any reason to be so inclined. Only ever wanted to live alone & be myself whatever I choose that to be.

    I wrote this more in response to people complaing about “so-called-liberals” not reacting with the appropriate measure of exultation, saying they weren’t really liberals if they didn’t unhesitatingly support gay marriage. I’m as offended by that accusation as by Palin & Co. deciding who is & isn’t a “Real American”.

    I wanted to explain that if you were brought up in a Christian Church (with the emphasis on Christ), you would naturally gravitate to Liberalism, in the sense of caring for others & doing what’s best for everyone (and more, of course), following the teachings of Christ. However, there was also that pesky Old Testament telling us we were going to burn in Hell for …well, pretty much everything. It’s a hard thing to overcome, even when you know it’s wrong.

    Everybody evolves at their own pace, & all the insults in the world won’t speed up the process. I don’t know if you’re familar with Gov. George Wallace of Alabama? He was mostly famous for being a segregationist. At midlife, he renounced his former words & actions & asked forgiveness from black leaders & constituents. Excellent mini-biography here: http://www.neh.gov/news/humanities/2000-03/wallace.html

    So, I believe the less-enthusiastic will overcome their upbringings at some point, but all at their own speed.

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