In the New York Times today there is an article how gay marriages are causing some clergy to opt-out of official state licensing of marriages. Good riddance.
Gay marriage as a singular issue isn’t a big deal to me. It’s been settled in my mind a long, long time ago: of course gays should get married if they want to. It was never even a moral dilemma that I had to struggle with, there was no moment in time when I had to come to that conclusion, it’s been a no-brainer for me from day one. But then, I’m not religious and I don’t revere a holy book that says the following (taken from King James because that’s what I have handy, and for extra dramatic effect of Elizabethan/Jacobean delivery):
First a lovely scene depicting the sexual wickedness of Sodom
Genesis 19:5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
I didn’t continue with the verses directly following this where Lot offered up his virgin daughters to be raped by the men in streets. That’s a story for another day — make sure you bring the children for that story time! But back to the wickedness of gay sex, let’s bookend this lovely Genesis story with something from the New Testament, the much more reasonable Testament:
Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
And if destroying a couple cities in no small part due to gay sex wasn’t a big enough hint that God doesn’t like homosexuality, it is spelled out clearly here:
Leviticus 18:22 Thou Shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
And repeated here in case you missed it, but now of course in case you didn’t get the hint about destroying the cities and clearly stating that homosexuality is an abomination, the penalty is clearly stated in this lovely verse (hint: death):
Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Anyway, there are more: there are a few awful passages about it in Romans and elsewhere. But even though it’s fun to quote nasty Bible passages, I bring them up to show that Christians have to come to terms with this sort of thing if they also want to be socially relevant in an age that has long passed up the morality and values contained within scripture.
I say: Christians stick to your guns. Hold onto the Bible as the inerrant word of God and you can continue to marginalize yourselves out of existence in a generation or two. I actually agree with the ministers in this article, they shouldn’t be officiating in any sort of state capacity. Allowing religion to be mixed up with the social contract of marriage all these years is past due for correction. Religious people can continue to have their religious ceremonies and more proper secular values will continue to march forward to include rights for everyone. Let’s correct the mistake of letting religion get involved with the state in the first place. Shame on us for waiting for the issue of gay marriage to right the wrong of churches getting up in our marriage business.
Now, let’s talk about that tax exemption thing while we’re at it…