We Christians can be a noisy bunch.
Particularly when it comes to exhausting and divisive topics like: the proper existence of pickles on a fried chicken sandwich (no pickle), which dipping sauce is superior (Polynesian), and nuggets vs. strips (that’s easy; STRIPS).
Oh, and that pesky little topic of marriage equality.
Here’s the thing: several religions frown upon homosexuality, (mis?)quoting their particular Holy Book’s stance on the ghastly deed of falling in love with someone sporting the same junk as you. (For the record, and against my better judgment, I fell in love with a fellow Alabamian.)
Unfortunately, Christians are the ones making the most noise. And instead of clarity or unification or – God forbid – love, all the world is hearing from us who claim His authority is just a bunch of racket. Kind of like when my childless sister gave my son a drum kit for Christmas. (Yes, this was two Christmases ago, and no, I haven’t forgotten my threat of retribution.)
One can be fundamentally against homosexuality. You can consider it an abomination, or weird, or that it just gives you the willies.
Where this argument all breaks down is that, though the majority of Americans claim Christianity as their religion (said this one poll somewhere once that news syndicates like to employ when shit like this hits the national fan), we are not a Christian nation.
Once more with feeling.
We are not a Christian government. And my little “Jesus is the Rock”-singin’ heart is glad for that.
It saddens me when my Christian brothers and sisters continue to insist that our government should operate under the particularly narrow and rigid standards of Jesus. Truthfully? I can’t even operate my own life under that standard.
In fact, I find it rather arrogant that Christians are hell-bent on purchasing our secular government to fit the ideals of a portion of American citizens.
Maybe for now that portion is the majority, but here’s the kicker: America was founded on the significance of equal rights for all American citizens.
Not just the straight ones, or the Baptists, or the ones who drive a hybrid, or those who think Ryan Gosling > Brad Pitt (but feel free to make your best arguments for Mr. Gosling in the comments; pictures can only help your cause). But for all American citizens.
You can have your ideals and your principles, your beliefs and pickles on your chicken sandwich. You’ve got our secular government to thank for that. And chances are, we would probably find we have a lot more in common than not if we let the noise die down.
However, it is unfair and rather un-American to encroach on someone else’s civil rights, clutching those ideals in one hand and a picket sign in the other. It boils down to forcing your worldview on a world that is not all that interested.
That we even have lobbyists and action groups focused on denying Americans basic civil liberties to which we can donate our chicken allowance is a tragedy all its own.
The outrage should not be that an outspoken Christian businessman is against homosexuals tying the knot. The outrage should be that our secular equal-rights government agrees with him.
I mean, God never promised us a Christian government, at least not until Jesus returns to reclaim his kingdom. But hey, that’s another story.
Marriage equality is going to happen. I have faith that this great country will see to that. And when that happens, Christians will have nowhere to lay their picket signs and cross-shaped tracts because our neighbors will have turned their backs against our shouting.
All the ruckus we’ve been making under the banner of being Christ-followers is drowning out the MUCH more important message of Jesus’ redemption, God’s acceptance, and the gift (it’s a GIFT, you guys) of unhindered reconciliation with Him.
This message is far more necessary than which side of the gay/straight or nugget/strip fence you stand on. (Strips, you guys. It’s an unbroken stretch of chicken goodness, where exactly is the argument?)
The thing is, Jesus – the Jesus I follow haphazardly and mostly on Sundays (just not to Chick-Fil-A) – is the God of reconciliation, carrying to the cross the very message that God’s endless love is with eyes and arms wide open. Not despite our sin, but in light of.
It is the very message of love, and it is one everyone needs to hear more of, one that Jesus so willingly died to proclaim, the timeless message that no, not one, yet God is still interested.
And for those who are against marriage equality simply on the belief that homosexuality is a sin? Well, I implore you to extend that courtesy to all sinners looking to get hitched.