I am a Christian and I support gay marriage. I believe in a firm separation of the church and state. So to me, if the church and state are truly separated, then why shouldn’t gay marriage be allowed? There is no reason it shouldn’t be. Religious organizations don’t delegate or get to have input on any other laws in our country (thank God! I happen to love the meat and dairy combination), so why should religious beliefs have a say in constitutional rights and laws? I know some people are not religious and are still against gay marriage, but for the purpose of this post, I’m focusing more on the religious fanatics who are outspoken about their hatred or disapproval of gay people.
While my marriage a few weeks ago was a public commitment to my husband and to God, I know that millions of marriages have nothing to do with God. And that is okay. Just because I have personal religious views doesn’t mean other people have to agree with me or live by what I think is “right.”
The same thing goes for my views on gay marriage. I know A LOT of Christians are against it (I know for a fact several people reading this right now are), but guess what? That’s okay, too. We don’t all have to agree on everything. See how easy that can be? We don’t have to fight or scream or excommunicate each other. We are human! We are built to analyze, think critically, disagree with each other, and learn from one another. Do I still get confused sometimes and wonder how homosexuality fits in with God’s word? Absolutely! A lot of the Bible confuses me, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. All I know is that I support everyone’s rights to freedom and equal treatment, and take to heart Jesus’ words about loving everyone, not just those you deem worthy.
I was amazed to find a church here in my town that also believes and practices that exact concept. In fact, this past Sunday the pastor said “welcome to our church where we appreciate diversity AND diverse opinions.” It is the most open-minded, loving, and honest church I’ve ever been to. Frankly, I didn’t know churches like this actually existed. Is it too good to be true? When do the brainwashing and animal sacrifices start? 😉
A few weeks ago the pastor at this church stunned the community when he announced that he will not perform any more straight marriages until gay marriage is legalized.
Is this your face right now? It was definitely mine after hearing this announcement. The church is making a statement that it supports the gay community and while so many churches are shunning them and turning them away, we love and accept them. Not because they need pity or extra love, but because they are humans. I hesitate to even use terms like “gay community” because they are just people in relationships like anybody else. You don’t ever hear people say things like “the straight community”, do you?
Anyway, I have never been more proud to be an attendee of a church. I’m not a member yet, but I definitely plan on joining.
This past Sunday, I went to church with my mother-in-law, we were looking forward to an Easter service full of good music and thought provoking lessons. What we were not expecting were the protestors who were camped outside of the church screaming that we were all going to burn in hell with the homosexuals. They were holding huge, neon signs that said things like “Jesus must be your Lord or he will not be your Savior.” There was a 10-year old boy screaming that “it’s not too late to turn away from the gays, it’s not too late to escape hell and become real Christians.”
I was hit with a tidal wave of feelings. It felt like every possible human emotion was surging through my veins. Anger, humor, sadness, despair, confusion, more anger, pity, and finally joy.
I have never felt more proud to march up the steps of a church, laughing at the man who had just yelled in my face “you should be ashamed of yourself!” Suddenly, all of the anger left my heart because I realized that if such hateful, discriminating people by nature hate your church, your church must be doing something right.
I sat in the service and cried that day. I cried because the pastor, who has caused an UPROAR in the community and country, got up and gave an Easter sermon that was full of love with no sign of anger or bitterness towards the protesters outside his doors. I cried when a member of the church and a leader of an equality group in town got up and read a letter that the board had written to the church. A thank you letter for the church’s support and bravery. I cried when I looked around and saw so many new gay couples in the audience, several who have probably not been to church in years, or ever. The church was packed out with not different communities of people (gay, straight, etc.), but ONE community. ONE group of people who believed in love and acceptance with no exceptions.
All because a pastor made a simple statement. All because he said “we will love you and accept you no matter who you are, where you’re from, or who you love.”
When the service ended, we could hear the protestors outside the main church doors still screaming about our impending doom if we continued to love homosexuals. The pastor looked at his congregation and sternly said “if you feel anything but love and kindness right now, leave from another door. DO NOT go out those front doors” (or something along those lines).
My mother-in-law and I walked right out the front doors and I smiled at the protestors, not feeling the need to say one word. If you know me, you know what a feat that is 🙂 I grinned at the cops perched nearby, and prayed that the young boy who was so full of ignorance and confusion would someday be okay. That he would not be permanently damaged from his brainwashing and hateful parents. It truly reminded me of the Westboro Baptist Church.
I smiled the rest of the day, in spite of the dramatic, unexpected morning at church. If hateful, cruel, and discriminatory people hate you, you’re doing something right.