I have seen a lot of buzz and opinions posted on the internet this week about the historic changes that have happened, and are still coming about in the U.S. I figured I would add my two cents as well, now that I’ve had some time to process it all.
I know that many of my Southern friends are upset about the Confederate flags coming down, but I really think it is a no-brainer, and it should have happened long ago, like at the end of the 19th Century or something. I don’t know if Southern states have been flying them all along or not, but I really think it is a crime against humanity to try to retain anything reminiscent of the Confederacy, except in a museum. You can go there to celebrate your heritage, not parade it around like it was something positive, because for black people, it is a crying shame. It is a symbol of a time when an African people were robbed of everything by the greed of a country that had no shame, of immense cruelty, of stripping them of every right they had, including family, property, and even their name. It’s way past time for us all to appreciate that.
Now, as far as the marriage equality debate, I have to admit, like most people, it has taken me a long time to come around. I think it is only within the last ten years that our culture has really gotten to the point where we understand that two people can love each other, no matter what their sexual orientation. I think most of us grew up with the idea that alternative sexual orientation was a kind of deviancy that was to be avoided at all costs, joked about, teased mercilessly, etc. But I see now that it is not just about sex, but more about gender identity. Most people probably don’t even think about it. But it is an important and necessary distinction to make. Yes, sex is involved in the relationship, I imagine, although, like in heterosexual marriage, that is none of our business. I am still processing it all, too. It is about a committed, sacred relationship. It is about love. Everyone deserves that.
I wanted to say a few words about the Bible, as well. Although, for Fundamentalists, and many Evangelicals, arguing is like beating your head against a wall, I wanted to try, for those who are on the fence, or, possibly struggling with these issues. The Bible mentions slavery in passing in the New Testament, not sure where else, or of the verse, but I think it is Paul who encourages slaves to obey their masters, and masters to treat their slaves well. Anyone who thinks this is a justification of slavery is fooling themselves. It is a matter of fact statement, relative to only the culture at the time, because slaves were common then. It does not say slavery in itself is right, or that it is good. It was just how things were. The world had not evolved to even consider that question yet, and neither did the Apostle Paul. Just because it is mentioned in the Bible does not mean that culture cannot move on from that point and improve and grow. It’s ridiculous to think that way. If in doubt, see the commands to the people of Israel all over the Old Testament, and specifically in Exodus. Muslims, check the Koran. All the holy scriptures were originally written to apply to a specific time and place, not for everyone, and not for all time.
Lastly, an appeal to more common sense concerning this same issue. The Bible talks a lot about lust. It is all over the place. The main reference in the Book of Romans mentions lust, as well. Is it love that the Bible prohibits, or is it lust? I think that most people, without even checking, can answer that. Lust is dangerous. It gets us into all kinds of trouble. We can all relate to that. We have all been there. But the Bible talks a lot about love, too. Jesus, especially, mentions it over and over. Paul says it a lot, too. You really can’t mount an argument against love. If you can, I would hate to be you. Who would want to argue with love? Marriage Equality is about love, not lust. People don’t want to get married so they can have sex. They want commitment, relationship, support, and equality under the law, with all the rights from the government that come with that. How can you deny them that? Why would you want to? If you have a personal hang up about it, keep it to yourself. That’s your issue. Give people freedom and equality. It is their God-given right. Leave others alone. It’s really none of your business, anyway.