Sunday, June 3, 2012

UCC Piece: "Why Gay Marriage is Good for the USA" VS. The Christians Who Disagreed

One month ago, United Church of Christ pastor, Rev. Robert Apgar-Taylor, wrote an opinion piece titled "Why Same-Gender Marriage is Good for America." He is a Maryland-based pastor who decided to write a response to an assertion that equal marriage rights threatens the very institution of Marriage itself. He, like I and many other marriage equality advocates, questioned the truthiness of this belief. In fact, Rev. Apgar-Taylor ended up writing that marriage equality is actually a wonderful thing for all Americans:
This discussion has forced us to confront the true meaning of marriage. I heard a politician on the news a few years ago state, "Everyone knows marriage is about having children. It has nothing to do with love!" Really? I hope he has informed his wife of this. Marriage in fact is not about having children nor is it really about love as an emotion. It is about covenant, mutual respect and commitment. It is not an institution that depends on emotional state or on procreative abilities. (If it were, we would have required fertility testing prior to marriage long ago.) And to be honest, can anyone really say that his or her marriage is personally fulfilling and loving every moment of every day? Are you always happy to be married? Of course not. Marriage is about coming together as two people and committing hearts and lives through both good times and bad. It is not about feeling love but about deciding to love. I am committed to be with my husband through whatever life brings us, not just when it feels good to do so. As a person of faith, I promise to love him, even in those moments when I don't feel loving or when either of us are not being very "lovable," and in so doing, I strive to mirror for him just a glimpse of what God's love is like. Let me be clear: being gay or lesbian is not a choice. The choice is in living an authentic life that gives witness to the love of God in and through all our relationships. Marriage is the highest of those relationships...

Having full marriage equality is not a threat to marriage. Not having it is. This decision (hopefully) forces us to celebrate and come to terms with the reality that marriage is not about romantic love, happiness and years full of wine and roses. That is Hallmark, not reality. Don't misunderstand me: Feeling romantic love is wonderful. Children are indeed a blessing. But marriage is really about two persons committing themselves to each other in ways that mirror true unconditional love, mutual respect and support through whatever storms life brings their way. Then, and only then, is the institution of marriage strengthened "as God intended it to be."
It shouldn't really surprise any readers of my blog, but I agree with Rev. Apgar-Taylor. Check out the link for the rest of his piece.

Sadly (yet predictably), Rev. Apgar-Taylor's piece drew plenty of comments from opponents of marriage equality. Few were gracious:

PAA -- Marriage is a commitment between opposite sex human that can truly make a comple (sic) and complimentary union. Male & female humans are meant for each other. Homosexuality is a choice of sex with same sex humans. 2 same sex humans make an off balanced couple. 2 opposite humans make a balanced couple. THAT is what marriage IS and should aleays (sic) be. Commitment makes a relationship it IS NOT a marriage!!!

Jack Wilson -- Rob would be on the mark if we lived in a Godless world with no Bible for instruction. Far better than Rob claiming to be a Pastor, he should admit that he made up his own religion and rules. Don't forget Rob, you can not say you believe some of the Bible. You either believe it or not. The religion you belong to is human secularism and it is absent of a true God and replaced with your own god that you have constructed in your image.

Freely2929 -- Paul clearly states that if someone claims to be a believer and is caught in sin then it is our job as believers to help restore them to the light. Homosexuality, in GOD's words, is an abomination. You might be born gay but you still have a choice to engage in it.

Jeremyleewalton -- So if I'm born a child molestor (sic) thats (sic) cool too? As long as I am honest with myself and don't "live a lie". Really?

Jerald J -- That has nothing to do with a man living as a sexual deviant and calling himself a minister in the process! You can love people without being a party to their ugly perversion, and show me where you can't be!

Gay marriage is wrong -- Gov. O'malley was against gay marriage before he was for it. Folks its wrong, and in the governors case, it is all about getting the gay vote in Maryoand (sic). When the gay people adopt and put the children on welfare immeaditely (sic), it cost this nation. Remember we have to borrow 42 cents on the dollar from China to keep this nation afloat. Not to mention when they get divorced. Gay marriage is as wroing (sic) a child porn or child rape. It is wrong!!!!!!!!!! This is my opinion only....

Gloria G -- This is a cult. The Bible says only opposite sex is godly.

Jerald J -- Better yet, what is right about one man ripping another man's anus the name of "Equality?"
I don't even know how to respond to these statements. I had to stop after the last one. Trust me, it continued for quite some time.

I have been an ongoing discussion/debate over marriage protections for gay and lesbian couples for a few weeks now over at a discussion board that I used to visit quite a bit more in past years. I have no idea why I enter these debates. They just frustrate me and piss me off.

I have been told -- and I believe it -- that we will not make changes until people learn our stories and learn about us. Granted, I write a lot more here about things other than my family. But that was the general gist when I started this blog. But how do you respond when someone calls a minister a cultist who rips other anuses apart and is pretty much a child molester?

I guess you don't. Reach out to those people, that is. There will always be people who will never find anything of value or worth or blessedness in GLBT people or our families. We will never reach them. We need to reach out to cooler minds and hope that they eventually stick up for our families at the ballot box even when they disagree with our families in principle.


Katy Anders said...

As the gay marriage issue has reached the boiling point in recent weeks, the arguments against it have shocked me more and more.

A lot of people don't understand the difference between religious marriage and civil marriage. Even more don't understand that the Equal Protection Clause doesn't require people to be in a protected class to be covered.

But there is an increasing number of brave believers- pastors, minsters, and even a Catholic Cardinal - who are saying some pretty amazing things these days that give me hope.

Glad to see Apgar-Taylor no that list!

Alison said...

Just as there are those who still support the Klan, there will always be those whose true argument is "homosexuality is icky," and who cannot be reached. And their fear-based objections seem to be the loudest. But that doesn't mean that a larger, less obvious community of reasoned, rational and thoughtful citizens can't overturn the current status quo.

Keep up the good fight; if nothing else, your sharing of words like those of Rev. Apgar-Taylor lifts my spirits and keeps my hope alive.