Unholy Marriage of Religion and Politics

·         So Sunday, I’m at church like I am every Sunday morning that I am in town.  I love my time to worship OK and I believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ.  I’m comfortable with God, but religion sometimes makes me shudder.  Sunday, in the middle of my time to worship God, the pastor stands up and announces that there are petitions we need to sign;  must sign, is our holy duty to sign, if the tone were to be described accurately here.  He explains that marriage is under attack by Gays and Lesbians and that we as Christians must do our duty to change the state constitution to outlaw marriage between men or between women.  Hmmmm…..I don’t understand. 

·         I have problems with this at so many levels I don’t know where to start so I’ll start with the first thing that comes to mind which is that I don’t want to be coerced to act politically by my pastor. 

·         Second, I don’t want politics interrupting my time of worship. 

·         Third, if Christians don’t think that Gays and Lesbians should marry, then don’t marry them.  If you don’t approve of a homosexual marriage don’t attend one.  If you don’t approve of a homosexual marriage don’t allow the use of your church for one.  The constitution does not legislate that a pastor has to marry any couple that comes along with a pair of rings and stars in their eyes.

·         Fourth, if a marriage is as the vows imply, something that, “God has put together” or something to that effect, and if God actually won’t sanction marriages between men or between women, then why do Christians feel the need to legislate on God’s behalf?  If God won’t do it, God won’t do it, end of story.  It’s sort of like a monkey dressing up as a giraffe, I’m pretty sure that God knows the difference, if it matters to Him.

·         Fifth, a point made to me about this by a dear friend is, will this political action draw one single soul to Christ?  Jesus spent most of His time with the very people who the Bible identified as sinners and who the priests, the culture and the society of the time identified as outcasts.  Jesus did not set up tables in the temple courtyard with petitions to legislate against their sins, in fact he overturned the tables of people promoting agendas that were defiling His Father’s House:  that’s what I felt like doing Sunday!

·         Sixth, do we Christians truly believe, as the facist President of Iran, that there are no homosexuals in our midst?  Do Christians not want to reach out to those people?  What about their own family members who may be experiencing and confused about such feelings?  Do they think that by setting up tables in the courtyard to collect signatures; that by having barkers with clipboards flagging down those trying to skirt the process; that by using the bully pulpit; they are going to encourage a boy or a girl to come forward to talk about feelings that are so obviously held in such enormous contempt?  Will they be encouraged to share such struggles with their pastor and parents who are willing to change the constitution to outlaw them?  Are they going to be comfortable talking about homosexual feelings that may lead them to exposure to HIV/AIDS?  No, they are going into the closet and they will close that door to everyone they saw taking political action that condemns who they feel they are.

·         Seventh – Is there no shame about the hypocrisy that the pastors of my church engage in?  I have heard platitudes made by a pastor once or twice when they will say to a men’s group that men who are tempted by homosexuality are “welcome” in the church, that this temptation is no different than any other, that all sins are equal.  Yet hypocritically, they make jokes about homosexuals on the pulpit, they invite “Christian” comedians to perform who use homosexuality as part of their routine, they stand before the congregation and promote changes to the state’s constitution that on the surface speak about the sanctity of marriage.  But they aren’t kidding anyone.  While they will say with their lips that all sin is equal, their contempt for homosexuals is obvious, their actions ridicule and create separation.  In reality, their actions speak much louder and say that homosexuals aren’t welcome, homosexuals are to be legislated against.  There is no practice of grace or love in this, only fear.

·         And Last – “Trust in God” isn’t at play in this political action.  So we symbolically outlaw marriage for homosexuals, yet male and female couples continue to live together.  What’s the difference?  If God doesn’t approve it doesn’t matter who creates the union on earth or even what we call it.  The question of who sanctifies a marriage is God’s, not Cesar’s.  The real issue here is why are we acting like the Pharisees who used the law to separate themselves from those who they legislated as unclean?

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