• I do (think it should be legal).

    January 16, 2012

    I’ll start first, I suppose, with what hasn’t changed: my view of gay marriage in the US. For several years now–yes, even while I was a pastor–I’ve held the same opinion, that it should be every bit as legal as heterosexual marriage. I hold this view both as an American citizen and as a citizen of heaven.

    As a wise man once said, “Liberty trumps almost everything.” Unless you are hurting someone else by what you’re doing, you are free to do it. Unless you can show me tangible, measurable evidence that someone is harmed by another’s actions, it’s not my place to step in and say, “No.” And it’s not the government’s place to step in, either. If you want to worship the devil, well, I really wish you wouldn’t, but you are free to do so. If you want to burn an American flag, I may think you’re a remarkable ingrate, but you absolutely have the right to burn that flag, and the rest of us should be glad you do because it means we’re also free to express ourselves, to tell you what a dope you are, and then we can all agree to disagree and go have a beer together.

    Speaking of alcohol, you know it used to be illegal. The government actually once told people they couldn’t drink. The Constitution was even amended to make it so! Personally, had I been alive then, I’d have left the country. Uncle Sam isn’t standing between me and my red wine. Sorry. Anyway, how well did Prohibition go over? Yeah, about as well as New Coke. (You 80s kids should get that). And honestly, there were some very good reasons back then for believing alcohol was the cause of many social ills. Yet something in free beings resists being told “no” without really, really good reasons.

    For all the hand-wringing about gay marriage, I can’t see the tangible, measurable evidence that it causes any personal or societal ills. The traditional family is no less in tact than before. The states that have approved same-sex unions have not vanished into some sink hole of moral depravity. Western civilization isn’t coming unhinged in any place in the US where gay marriage is accepted. Folks like Rick Santorum say kids are better off being raised by a mother and a father. I haven’t seen any research to support his claim that children with same-sex parents fare any worse than children of traditional families.

    Lest you think I’ve put my country before my faith, I think this view is perfectly consistent with the Christian faith. The apostle Paul made it pretty clear that it’s not my business as a follower of Christ to judge the actions of people outside the church. That’s God’s role. “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside” (1 Cor. 5:12-13). So I do not think it is the government’s business to tell two people they cannot marry, and I certainly do not believe it is the church’s place to do so.

    To Rick Santorum and those of a similar mind, I would simply say that the surest way to make a nation of atheists out of the United States is to continue insisting that people who do not share your faith be forced to live as if they do.

    Posted in: The Gay Posts

Recent Comments

  • Sarah Thompson said...

    1

    So thought-provoking and well-written. Thanks for posting!

    01/16/12 9:15 AM | Comment Link

  • Michelle said...

    2

    I know same-sex couples who attend church and share Christian beliefs. What about them? It may not be intentional, but it sounds like the assumption is that gays can’t be Christians or “inside the church”? Just curious what your thoughts are there.

    01/16/12 9:56 AM | Comment Link

  • Matt said...

    3

    Good question, Michelle. I’ll be dealing with all of that soon. But just to answer briefly, I am both gay and inside the church, so yes, I think both are possible.

    01/16/12 10:28 AM | Comment Link

  • me said...

    4

    I feel the same way as well. It is easy when you have no personal stake in homosexuality or relationships therein, to declare that two people not be together. I’ll be honest, I was raised to believe that homosexuality was entirely about sex, as in a homosexual relationship was devoid of any love or affection or commitment that is possible within a heterosexual relationship. Years ago I voted accordingly to that idea, after all, it was my Christian duty to save marriage from the homosexuals. Please bear in mind I had not been exposed at all (and I mean AT ALL) to any other beliefs or opinions regarding same-sex marriage at that time.
    Of course there have been many things that have led to a change in my feelings about same sex marriage since that time, but what was really a turning point for me was having a close friend who is a lesbian. My friend has been with her girlfriend for over 10 years, in other words their relationship has outlasted numerous heterosexual marriages. They now have a sweet little boy together. If they were able to be married it would in no way destroy the significance of marriage for me. The legal side of marriage really has nothing to do about being married. In other words they already have a wonderful, commited relationship as it is. The only reason they need the legal marriage is in order to care for each other and their little boy jointly, without having to worry about insurance coverage and other benefits that many married couples probably take for granted.
    If as Christians, we truly believe that marriage is of God, then why would you care about who gets “married” from a legal standpoint? How would that even effect you?

    Thanks for your post Matt

    01/16/12 11:08 AM | Comment Link

  • Sara A said...

    5

    Matt,

    I appreciate your post. I attended NLCF from 2005-2007 while you were a pastor. My own view has changed over time and I relate to poster #4 “me” who said he previously voted against gay marriage and now his view has evolved. I would say the same is true for me…I also had previously voted against same-sex marriage but now my views have evolved. Granting the right for same-sex couples to marry does not take anything away from those heterosexual couples that are married. <– I think this is the hardest thing for people to think through.

    I'm happy your tackling this difficult topic and look forward to more posts!

    01/16/12 12:08 PM | Comment Link

  • Jason P - Burkot!! said...

    6

    Hey Matt! Hope you’re well. I have 2 things – first, I respect you greatly for your thoughtfulness and introspection and also the great leadership you showed me as a frosh at CU. As it is a free country I’m glad you are sharing your perspective, and if I might add, don’t apologize for it! You have nothing to apologize for (as you did in your intro last week), I think we all respect you and your right to hold whatever position you please. second, I am no Bible scholar, and as such, I may very well be missing something, but i would like to hear what your perspectives on the following couple of Scripture passages are, just curious…. And here I was waiting with bated breath all these years for you to come out with the news that you were betrothed to Rebecca St. James!!
    Well, here goes:

    NASB:
    Genesis 19-
    “4 Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people [b]from every quarter; 5 and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may [c]have relations with them.” 6 But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, 7 and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. 8 Now behold, I have two daughters who have not [d]had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them…”

    NASB:
    Romans 1-
    “26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [r]unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing [s]indecent acts and receiving in [t]their own persons the due penalty of their error.”

    Let me just say I think it’s important to make some distinctions before everybody starts throwing the “J” word around (judge/judging/judgmental/etc). I’m in no way advocating the judging a person’s soul or whether a person is saved or not; for a human to attempt to do that is so far from acceptable it is not to be taken lightly. But judging actions is a whole different arena. This is one of many reasons that we have God’s Word in the first place; if we didn’t we would have no measuring stick as to what’s right and what’s wrong. Anyways, I don’t want to take up too much of people’s time so that’s all I’ll say at present. Thanks again!

    01/16/12 12:16 PM | Comment Link

  • Matt said...

    7

    Hey Jason, thanks for the comment and question about the Scriptures. I’ll be getting into all of that in the posts to come. Good to hear from you, too!

    01/16/12 12:21 PM | Comment Link

  • Liz Mc said...

    8

    Thank you so much for these posts, Matt.

    I’ve always thought that if gay marriage is banned–if marriage in the US is to be only a Christian institution and follow only Biblical rules–why shouldn’t any type of legal marriage outside the church be banned? Why would it make sense for atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, or really anyone of any religion (or no religion) outside of Christianity be able to be legally married in the US?

    I’ve just never been able to understand how the clear separation of church and state got so muddled.

    01/18/12 12:15 PM | Comment Link

  • Julie Massie said...

    9

    About two years ago, I had some neighbors of ours (our “Gay-bors”…they love the nickname, btw) mention that they wanted to hire me to photograph their wedding when the time came. Having many gay friends and being very much of the mindset that God commands us to love everyone, and let Him do the judging, I was surprised by my own reaction. I immediately thought “How do I feel about this?” I’m fairly certain that I’ve never been OPPOSED to Gay Marriage, but I didn’t really know whether I was in FAVOR of it or not. I spent a good deal of time praying and meditating on it, and eventually came to a peaceful conclusion:

    Even if one does believe that homosexuality is a sin, why is it any worse to allow them to marry than anyone else living in sin?

    How many people choose to get married every year because they get their girlfriend knocked up? Or how many get married to one person, even though they are in love with or sleeping with another. How many people get married for money? How many satan worshippers, sexual deviants, and criminals get married every year, and never once have the government try to stop them because they are living immorally?

    I’m not saying that I place homosexuals in the same category as these people AT ALL. Only that if someone wants to deny them the ability to enter into a legal union due to their beliefs that they are living in sin, why not disallow all sinners to get married?

    Great post, btw. I love reading your insights on here.

    03/17/12 12:27 AM | Comment Link

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