Or in the case of same-sex marriage, all you need is love, a national promotion campaign, and a few rulings from the Supreme Court. Last week will go down in the history books as a big moment for marriage equality. The Supreme Court heard arguments on California’s controversial Proposition 8 bill, as well as the Defense of Marriage Act that Bill Clinton pioneered during his presidency. As much as I hate to be predictable, I’d be remiss not to give my two cents on the issue. Before I get into the “legalize/don’t legalize same-sex marriage” argument, I do want to address an important point about the Supreme Court itself.
Over the past week, I’ve seen people on various social networks argue that the Supreme Court should not even make a decision in these two cases. The argument here is that it would set a legal precedent on same-sex marriage, and that’s not what the Supreme Court does. I struggled to contain my laughter, because these were the same people that were urging the Court to impeach Obama because they believed he was born in Kenya. There shouldn’t be an argument about why they’re discussing these laws. Hell, I’ll even pull it straight from the Constitution:
“The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution.” -Article III, Section 2
It is their responsibility to confirm or reject the constitutionality of laws and legislation. They’re examining Prop 8 and DOMA to determine if they discriminate against a group of people in this country, so don’t tell me that this isn’t the Supreme Court’s job. This is what they do, period.
Now, on to the issue at hand. It’s no secret that I’m not particularly fond of things like Prop 8, as I support marriage equality. Still, I’ve come to see marriage equality from a slightly different perspective as of late. A recent conversation with a friend of mine turned to the topic of same-sex marriage and the events of the past week. I actually got some great insight, and it gave me a reaffirming feeling about my opinion on the issue. I’ve mentioned several times here on the blog that I claim to be a Christian (albeit a poor one at that), but I still support marriage equality. In the past, my best explanation was that it was just “how I feel we should look at the issue.” But now, I can actually give some logical reasoning.
In a nutshell, it all rests on sin, and how we see another person’s sins as worse than our own. Yes, homosexuality is considered a sin by most Christians. But we make this argument against same-sex marriage because it “promotes a sinful lifestyle,” when we all lead sinful lifestyles of our own. I know I’m not exactly a model Christian (nor is anyone else, for that matter), and I know that I sin. We’re human, it happens. But the problem here is that a group of people are trying to stop others from sinning, when their own sins still take place all the time. It all breaks down to one question: who am I to judge someone else because they sin differently than me? So from this one conversation, I came to realize that Christians don’t have to (and likely won’t) support gay marriage, but we certainly have no room to say that it’s too sinful to legalize. To sum this up, I think Bob Marley said it best:
“Who are you to judge the life I live? I am not perfect and I don’t have to be! Before you start pointing fingers, make sure your hands are clean.”
I have to admit, the reactions to the Supreme Court’s big week have been unsurprising at best. A massive Facebook campaign in support of marriage equality has taken root in the past week, with millions of Facebook users changing their profile pictures to a red equal sign (above). As expected, I saw more and more posts and photos related to the issue, across multiple social networks. One of the biggest points that I saw being made against same-sex marriage was that it “destroys the definition of traditional marriage.”
Yes, because Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage doesn’t do that at all. Because Larry King’s eight divorces strengthen traditional marriage so much. I always laugh at that argument, because it asserts that the “traditional” one man-one woman marriage is a shining beacon of perfection. We all know it isn’t. Same-sex marriages will redefine traditional marriage in the same way that adding more seats to an airplane will make it a boat.
Moving right along, I came across an image on Thursday that more or less made my day. It detailed “10 Reasons to Oppose Marriage Equality.” Granted, those reasons were all comical and mocked actual arguments against gay marriage, but one stood out to me above the rest:
Now obviously this is a sarcastic take on the religious argument against gay marriage. I found this fairly hilarious, although it does bring up a good point. The general idea is that because gay marriage violates Christian beliefs, the government should outlaw it for the entire country, even though the entire country is not religious. This is where I probably diverge from some of my fellow Christians. The idea of banning gay marriage because I want everyone to be Christian is just a logical failure to me, but not for the reasons one might expect. Allow me to elaborate.
Do I wish that more people shared my beliefs? Of course. But I want people to find Christi because He changes their lives, not because we gave them no other choice. If we continue to follow this mindset of legislating people into a religion (which will never work anyway), the best possible outcome would be a country full of Christians that hate being Christians. When someone asks them about their religious beliefs, they’ll just say, “it became illegal to not believe in God, so now I believe.” That’s not what we should be pursuing. Forced religion is not a path that will bring more truly faithful people under the Christian umbrella. We as Christians need to do more to show people God’s love, not promote hateful legislation in His name.
I leave you today with the above quote from Liz Feldman. Perhaps it’ll give you a different perception of marriage equality. It certainly made me think about how we discuss things in our society. If you got nothing else from what I’ve said, I hope that it at least made you think about why you support or oppose marriage equality. I hope that you got some new insight, as I did from my friend. I hope that my rambling will help you to see this issue from the perspective of someone on the other side, or perhaps even from my perspective.
And if not, you just wasted five minutes reading something that does not affect you at all. Welcome to the Internet.