I know it's been a year and a half, and I should probably start back with something funny or some cute pictures. I even thought about writing one of those blogs first and saving what I really want to say for tomorrow. But that seems disingenuous. So here we go...
Jesus was deeply misunderstood by his family, followers, and even his disciples. You see, they thought that he was there to be their literal king. The Jewish people had been waiting and waiting for their deliverer. They weren't thinking about a spiritual deliverer, someone to take away their sin and give them eternal life. They wanted an actual, sword-wielding, government-overthrowing king. Because, as I understand it, they were suffering. There were all kinds of wrongs being committed--not the least of which included slavery and persecution. You can understand why they would yearn for their Messiah to swoop in and bring justice for them. But that is not what Jesus was there to do. He was not a political figure. He is the King and lover of our souls. He said not one word about changing their government or bringing down slavery or making laws to support His teachings.
Am I implying that those of us who love Jesus should divest ourselves of the right to participate in government? Absolutely not. I believe that we should, in fact, must, bring our politics to the throne of God. Before we go to a voting booth we should steep our decisions in prayer. But please remember that the button you choose to push in that booth has not been emailed to you by the Lord. Do not be so foolish to think that you (and those who agree with you) are the only ones who have sought out Jesus' wisdom and received an answer. We are all wrong sometimes, and it would be arrogant to presume that we are always in perfect alignment with the mind of Christ. Yet, in regards to a current hot-button issue, some Christians have decided that their opinion is the right opinion. They have gone so far as to declare that those who don't agree with them are on the side of Satan. Which is what brings me here today. I want people to know that politics and religion are not synonyms. That it is okay to pray and feel led to vote in a way that does not agree with your parents or pastor or best friend.
I intend to vote against NC Constitutional Amendment One. For those of you who do not live in North Carolina, here is the wording for our May 8th ballot: Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. I believe that God created marriage. I believe that He intended for a man and a woman to become one, to live all of their days together, to refine each other, and to serve as an earthly picture of Jesus' love for us, His bride. However, not everyone believes that. If you do not see the Bible as God's truth, if you have not accepted Jesus' sacrifice, you have absolutely no reason to agree with my interpretation of marriage. And I do not want to force my interpretation upon you. I do not want all of my personal religious beliefs made into laws. The argument that marriage is God's, that we Christians somehow have a copyright on that word is based entirely on religion. Yet I have not heard of large numbers of Christians declaring that atheists should not be allowed to marry or that Hindus need to come up with a new word for marriage.
I believe that everyone, no matter their religious beliefs, should be given equality. And when marriage opens a gateway to special protections, both socially and economically, limiting access to that is effectively saying that not everyone is equal after all. It seems designed to declare that homosexuals are "other" and their beliefs are worthless. As a Christian, I do not understand how marginalizing a group of people shows them that we love them. I yearn to show compassion to them. My heart breaks for those who feel so completely alienated and unloved. I feel as if we as a state are holding our stones, ready to throw them. Ready to say that the majority of us do not care about you. We care so little about you and your personal desires that we want to change our entire constitution, making it impossible for you to ever enter into a civil union or marriage or anything that will afford you the same rights that we, the heterosexuals, afford. We will close our eyes to the sins that we commit. We do not wish anyone to make a law that will punish us if we gossip to our friends, or that will limit our economic freedoms if we fail to tithe. Every time that we put our selfish desires first, we will pretend that this is not a sin that we fall to every single day. Because it is so much easier to focus on the sins of someone else.
In my mind, it does not matter whether you personally believe homosexuality is right or wrong. This is an issue of love. This is me, loving my neighbor as myself.