Ok, so on Friday, SCOTUS voted to make it illegal to ban gay marriage US-wide. This is a huge milestone for LGBTQA+ people. It also has created a huge issue in many Christian denominations (I’m looking at Baptists and Mormons, because those are the only two I have experience in). I’ve had a lot of thoughts on it today as I sat in church and listened to members awkwardly traipse around the ruling during their Sacrament and Relief Society meeting talks.
I’m not exactly sure why we, as Chrisitans, feel so threatened or frightened by this ruling. Yes, Biblical marriage is between a man and woman, but not everyone follows the Bible. Romans 14 is a blunt and nondenominational call to peace, commanding that we not show contempt or seek quarrel with people who believe differently. The same book also commands that we not use our faith to create a “Stumbling block” (v. 13) for other people. Paul uses an analogy of consuming meat to drive his point across, but honestly, we could replace it with “same-sex attraction” without altering the meaning and intensity. Heavenly Father wants spiritual devotion, joy, and faithful integrity. Period.
One of the Scriptures churches love to quote as a charge against anything “not straight” is Leviticus 18:22, which states you shall not lie with man as you do with a woman. What we fail to gather in context is that these laws were specifically designed for the early Jews who had literally JUST escaped Egyptian rule and slavery. These laws could very likely have been put in place to keep God’s children safe as they traveled in the wilderness. It is very likely, too, these rulings were established to make sure people, Gentiles rather, knew 160% these people were special. Not only were they NOT designed for any of us European-descendant people, but even this scripture mentions nothing of LOVE. It is rather a cry against sexual immorality. The thing is, though, that sexual immorality is an abomination outside of the constraints of marriage with EVERY gender (and animal for that matter). The scripture in Leviticus is also one of the few times, if not the ONLY time this command was given to the Israelites. By quantity of mentions alone, topics like love and support for your fellow man bear FAR more importance than who one is attracted to.
Instead of feeling offense and attack from a ruling that hardly has anything to do with our personal attractions and daily walk with Christ, I believe Christians all over should redirect their upset into unbridled support. This in no way implies you must agree with the ruling or what it entails. You, like everyone else, has an undeniable right to have your own beliefs. Support in this sense means that we should not say or do things to oppress our gay, bi, pan, poly, demi, a-/gray-, trans, inter (or any other prefix) neighbors. We are called to raise up those who are oppressed. In America, Christians are not oppressed. We have, unfortunately, become the oppressor, denying certain Constitutional rights designed to transcend faith systems with claim that it will be “detrimental to our religion.” We have seen ourselves transition from the refugees fleeing Europe’s spiritual reign to the very lawmakers that impose our theology on many people of ALL faiths and non-faiths who simply DO NOT agree with our convictions. For a country founded on this principle of religious sanctuary, THAT. IS. THEIR. RIGHT.
Therefore, let us no longer create piles of stumbling blocks for our neighbors, for like the Bible says, the oppressed shall be lifted up, and justice shall be delivered.
Romans 14 (all of it)
1 Peter 4:8-9