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Thursday, July 28, 2005

So you really want to know whether Christ likes gay marriage?

Wow. I just got my first chance to write civilly and angrily to a self-pronounced progressive Christian who didn't understand why the church should put its efforts into supporting gay marriage.

Check out the action at the Social Redemption discussion board @

[Thorn writes]

Tue, July 26, 2005 - 11:36 AM new

ok so what is your position?

i dont see gay marraige as an issue Until it tries to happen in a church- that i am against, there is no way to justify that.

at the same time there is even less justification for RE marriage outside of a spouse dying, so i feel the church has already made a mockery of marraige in the Biblical sense.

marraige without sex? as far as i can tell form the Bible, sex is marraige, or it is adultery, but married without sex? what is that? isnt that good friends?!.
this doesnt make a whole lot of sense

[Jo's reply]

Thu, July 28, 2005 - 12:50 PM new
Re: Gay marriage without sex? Blame Africa, again

Ok, so fundamentalists would answer this question by looking at Leviticus and the grand collection of Jewish laws relating to how couples ought to live, and how the community ought to punish them if they fail.

Progressive Christians (like me) tend to answer this question by looking at Christ's teaching about how people are supposed to relate to each other.

Christ had little to say by way of punishment of those who differ from the norm. He had a great deal to say about what supportive relationships look like, and why the community ought to support them.

For Christians, marriage doesn't primarily serve to conserve the status-quo, to make the president happy, or even to create children: it's a sacrament because it essentializes the "two people coming together in my name" that Christ said he would always support (he said that without implying sex); it's a sacrament because it's ratified in front of the entire community; it's a sacrament because the community promises to support the individuals, and the individuals realize that their warm and holy intentions towards each other can only be carried out with the support of the community.

Here's a very intense, personal, and earnest reflection by a gay Christian on his attempt to conduct such a relationship without full disclosure before the community (because his partner is closeted):

I firmly believe that the Christian Church has a duty, not only a possibility, of supporting gay marriage. Gay couples who worship together have sex together as the natural fulfillment of holy, committed love between two people. The church has always recognized that such relationships strengthen the faith and good works of the individuals in them, and the church has always recognized that community support of such relationships helps the relationships to last through periods of financial, personal, or community crises, which all relationships are open to.

Look, anything else is worse than heresy. The church falling short of total support for gay marriage is tantamount to saying, We don't care about the message of Jesus Christ that individuals ought to come to God and love and support each other as they come to God, because we're trying to pretend that we live in a 1950s suburban sitcom where everyone is straight and has no problems.

That just doesn't seem constructive to me. For the people living the lie, for the people they refuse to talk to, for the children bought up taught to ignore anyone who's not like them -- and certainly not for the Church as it seeks to teach love of God and service to one's neighbor.


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