As an ardent Atheist, my opinion does not coincide with the majority of Americans, who are Christian. However; I find that this same demographic also contains the highest level of hypocrisy to be found in our country. They often cite passages from the Bible which support how they feel on one subject yet ignore passages that do not. Additionally in my personal experience the concept of “practice what you preach” is widely ignored. Regardless, the seeds of change have been planted, and as years have gone by the majority opinion of all people in America has changed regarding gay marriage.
With regard to the federal supreme court ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and violates the 5th Amendment, some of the largest and wealthiest Christian conservative groups oppose this ruling. They want a more sweeping Constitutional amendment that would block not just gay marriage, but also all forms of legally recognized sexual partnership other than heterosexual marriage. The Constitutional language they propose is: “Neither the federal government nor any state shall predicate benefits, privileges, and rights on the existence, recognition or presumption of non-marital sexual relationships.” I personally find this duplicitous. If the federal government should neither dictate benefits nor privileges, than it is my affirmation that such tax credits afforded only to those heterosexual marriages should be removed as well. How about the tax burdens; specifically revenues collected from all tax payers to help fund public schooling and education, applied to all citizens without regard for whether or not a tax payer even has children? As with all conservatives, I feel that hypocrisy runs deep to the core of their fundamental beliefs.
Before citing passages from the Bible, I should note that responses to my discussion will most certainly contain other passages in which God defines marriage and condemns relationships between man and man. Ironically he doesn’t seem to hold the same opinion when it comes to the Christian perversion of a sexual relationship between a woman and a woman. Yet, I digress.
Although Jesus certainly did not openly support gay marriage, as he simply referred those who asked to the Old Testament; Jesus had been fierce in his condemnation of divorce. “What God has joined together,” he said, “let no one split apart what God has joined together.” (Mark 10:9). Of course, (Leviticus 18:18) is clear in stating “While your wife is living, do not marry her sister and have sexual relations with her, for they would be rivals.” A man could divorce his wife if she committed adultery, but he could not remarry without committing adultery himself, nor could his ex-wife remarry without repeating her sin. His disciples objected, “If that’s the way it is, then it’s better not to marry at all” (Matt. 19:10). How can one passage obviously endorse multiple marriages while another allows for it? I have to laugh when I read these passages and then hear such strong opposition to gay marriage by those same Christians who do not have the same contentment for multiple heterosexual marriages after their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. end in divorce. Again…hypocrisy.
The most important messages Jesus provided, which in my opinion supersede any Christian debate over gay marriage, speak of love before hate, and not to be the judge of another’s actions.
- “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”(John 3:16-17)
- “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, instructions on marriage are discussed. Paul describes marriage as that between a man and a woman; however, he also says that “Now, to the unmarried and to the widows I say that it would be better for you to continue to live alone as I do. But if you cannot restrain your desires, go ahead and marry–it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (Corinthians 7:9) which is a complete contradiction to God’s command that marriage be between a man and a woman. Of course, the Bible is full of contradictions. This passage is abundantly clear that those who can not marry should go ahead and do so. Although the passages both before and after that which is quoted above, this specific passage does not restrict the definition of marriage to be a union between only a man and a woman.
Ultimately I feel that those who are so prominently against gay marriage, do so out of hate and their own insecurities, instead of the book from which they find so dear to themselves which contains so many contradictions.
One last item for which I would like to discuss are some factual statistics regarding marriage in this country, which can be found at http://www.divorcestatistics.org
|Marriage||Divorce statistics (in percent)|
|First Marriage||45% to 50% marriages end in divorce|
|Second Marriage||60% to 67% marriages end in divorce|
|Third Marriage||70% to 73% marriages end in divorce|
These statistics speak strongly to the “sanctity of marriage”, which is obviously a real joke.
In my own experience, I have known gay couples who love each other with the same passion as truly loving heterosexual marriages. It’s high time those who hate and find disgust in these relationships take a long hard look at themselves. For only through deep, self-reflection can you hope to understand that marriage does not define who you are as a person nor as a sinner.
This isn’t the middle ages. Wake up America and actually love your neighbor. Just because you don’t understand something, this doesn’t always make it wrong.