My friend Robert asked the question, “how does the demise of DOMA affect my relationship with God?”
And then he answered it with, “it doesn’t.”
And I think more people need to consider why that is true. Because there is nothing in the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act that could possibly interfere with anyone’s freedom to practice religion. Unless your religion requires you to judge and condemn and limit how others live their lives.
If you are opposed to same gender marriage, you can still hold that belief. If you are in favor of it, you are free to hold that belief as well.
What frustrates me the most, I think, is the way the media has been reporting the “Christian response” to the demise of DOMA. The mainstream (can I call them ‘lame stream’ or should I leave that to Fox?) media has brought in religious leaders like Tony Perkins, people who are upset about the idea of marriage equality.
And I don’t mind that perspective being expressed. What annoys me is that it appears to be the ONLY perspective being sought by the media.
There is not one Christian perspective, no matter how much the media wants to simplify it.
There are as many Christian perspectives as there are Christians. Asking for THE Christian perspective would be like CNN asking me for the “American perspective” on an issue.
And since the media isn’t asking for more than the right wing, evangelical perspective on this issue, it seems that those of us who see things differently need to speak up and speak out.
Because Tony Perkins does not speak for me. And I suspect he might not speak for you either.
And this matters because there are people being harmed by his rhetoric. And when it is allowed to stand as THE Christian perspective, people think the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about fear, judgment, and discrimination.
So the Session of the church I serve decided to post the above message on our church sign. We want people to know you can be a Christian who reads the Bible and prays AND you can support marriage equality at the same time.
Feel free to share the picture of our sign. Better yet, find your own way to speak out and let people know there are many Christians who are celebrating the demise of DOMA.
There are many of us who are celebrating with our GLBTQ friends and family who can now receive federal benefits and have some recognition of their relationship status.
And if you are opposed to same gender marriage on religious grounds, I will continue to support your right to practice your religion that way. I just won’t support any attempts to force the rest of us to practice our religion your way.
I no longer sign civil marriage licenses. I preside at Christian marriages all the time, but can find no justification to serve as an agent of the state. The couples I marry have a Justice of the Peace sign their civil license.
I don’t really know how Christian Marriage and Civil Marriage got conflated, but they are not the same thing. The government can dispense civil benefits. The church can mediate God’s blessing and include a community of faith in the foundation of a marriage.
I like the separation. It reminds us of one of the beautiful traditions and tenets of our country–the freedom to practice religion separate from the dictates of the government.
So people on all sides of the religious spectrum should celebrate the demise of DOMA.
This week, my husband I will celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary. I am thankful we have been able to live out our relationship without any limits being placed on it by either the church or the state. I pray all who seek the same privileges will have that option soon. I will do more than pray, however. I will continue to seek equal rights and marriage equality.