Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Gay Marriage

The New York Times Magazine on Sunday ran an article on the anti- gay marriage movement in America. Although poorly titled, once you got into the article, it did give an interesting picture of the movement's frontline activists. Much of it was quite fair and it is a good primer for someone unfamiliar with the issues being fought over.
However, one main line I disagreed with the author on was this:
But, of course, the Christian activists aren't vague in their opposition. For them, the issue isn't one of civil rights, because the term implies something inherent in the individual -- being black, say, or a woman -- and they deny that homosexuality is inherent. It can't be, because that would mean God had created some people who are damned from birth, morally blackened.
This last line is a typical misunderstanding of evangelical Christianity. In fact, not only has God created "some people" who are by rights "damned", but we all are. For it says in the Bible (Christianity's handbook) that "all" have sinned and thus fall short of God's standard. Someone practicing homosexuality is no different than you or I in the fact that we sin. Thus, the central premise of Christianity is that we are redeemed not of ourselves but because of Jesus.

This has ramifications on this issue because if this is what the author, after all his interviews and interactions with activists, thinks, imagine what the gay couple in one brief, contentious conversation would. The lesson that the Christian community must communicate is that we all are wicked but we all are offered grace.

In the author's conclusion he says, in describing an encounter between a lesbian couple and an anti- gay marriage activist, that:
What was expressed as love was received as something close to hate. That's a hard gap to bridge.
And he's right, that is a tough gap to bridge, however, for Christians, that is the task.

2 comments:

Oneway said...

The NYTimes mischaracterized Christians? What next, a piece on the softer side of Saddam?

doug said...

If you're not gay, why do you care? It really doesn't affect you.