Pat Lynch takes a few questions on same-gender marriage #Chick-Fil-A #Evangelical
July 27, 2012 § 2 Comments
Randi M. Romo, a GS reader, responded to the earlier thread on Chick-Fil-A. The question (and my answer) were so “meaty” I decided to move both to the front page. First, Romo’s comment.
Submitted on 2012/07/27 at 11:00 AM
Marriage when tied to benefits designated by our government does in fact make it an issue of equal access. There are close to 1400 rights tied to marriage.
Marriage means far more than tying children to parents. It is a cultural institution that we all grow up with and most have an idea that this is the perfect means to celebrate and honor the love one has for their beloved. Marriage us desired by many who either cannot or choose not to procreate.
And the argument of tying children to parents seems weak in light of the many children whose parents are willfully absent. A phenomenon that has nothing to do with LGBTQ people.
The institution of marriage has evolved over the centuries. It formerly was more about gaining wealth and lands, creating peace, continuing bloodlines, etc. The idea of romantic love, marriages where women were able to decide if they wished to marry and have children is a relatively new concept. There is also credible evidence of same sex unions in Europe via the Catholic church.
Denying marriage to loving same sex couples does not promote nor repair the institution of marriage that some Christians hold so tightly to. If it is indeed about tying children to patents then understand this…many same sex couples are parenting children. Why would we deny these children the same legal ties to their parents?
I personally believe that marriage is of less importance in the scheme of things. Far more LGBTQ people are adversely affected by issues of employment, housing and public accommodations.
LGBTQ Anericans pay taxes the same. There is no discount box to check for not having equal rights. Barring us from legal marriage is denying full access to the same laws and benefits given by our government. NOT our churches
My response follows.
Submitted on 2012/07/27 at 1:45 PM | In reply to Randi M Romo.
You have hit on some important points. Right now, we are talking about the civil aspects of the marriage contract and it does have to do with a favored status for married people. I agree with you that marriage is in a pretty sorry condition and gay folks bear zero responsibility for it. It would be so much better were more “straight” people loyal to the marriage vows. Oh, excuse me. Many of them did not take any vows at all, or wrote whatever may have been recited. Weddings have become a sorry spectacle of deliberate public misrepresentations and society is paying a very heavy price. Properly understood and embraced, marriage as a civil contract binds responsible adults to the children they conceive in a perpetual union. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a divorced man, a broken vessel. I am as deserving of condemnation, perhaps more so, than anybody else.
In the sense of an association created by the government, marriage does convey a favored status to people who are presumed to be raising children. This is not always the case, but it is the social intention. It is my belief that this society would be much better off if there were a much more serious attitude, and stringent enforcement of laws, concerning divorce and providing for children. No-fault divorce is a real problem, but you will not hear most conservative Christians address this problem. In practice, most Americans practice serial-polygamy. This is bad for culture and very destructive of the human soul.
Of course, there is a theological aspect of this conversation that begins in what Augustine called “a community of love,” the Blessed Trinity. Christians have believed that God intends for humans to find completion and fulfillment with partners of the opposite gender. While your description of how marriage has developed has a great deal of legitimacy, and the bible plainly contains a great deal of polygamy in the Old Testament, believers today look to marriage as a type of sacramental representation of Christ’s love for the church. His love is not the sentimental type of romantic fantasy which has been popularized for the past 150 years, but the kind of love that allows itself to be viciously scourged and nailed to a tree for the sake of the beloved. I know that’s a heavy theological argument, and I do not mean to personally judge anybody.
Does gay marriage harm the practice of Christianity? No, not directly. We know, however, how things to on slippery slopes. Do not groan. If it were not an apt analogy, it would not be used so frequently. As the military allows the open practice of homosexuality, the careers of “orthodox” Christian chaplains is endangered. What happens to chaplains who cannot in good conscience give spiritual counsel to people in a gay relationship? Since opponents of Chick-Fil-A have demonstrated a disregard for free speech, Christians must suppose that this lack of toleration will not stop at the church doors.
It is my sincere hope that this discussion will set the tone for a more reasoned approach to public disagreements and, perhaps, even help encourage public peace. Free speech and the open practice of religion are part of our common natural heritage as Americans. We should keep those principles in mind.