According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Civil "Rightness" of Gay Marriage in the Eyes of the U.S. Constitution

Gay Marriage: The Law of the Land

by J.R. Daniel Kirk
June 26, 2015

I confess, I’m a little surprised.

The Supreme Court actually issued a ruling dealing with the substance of the question.

It didn’t appeal to technicalities or procedural issues.

It has been awhile since I’ve dealt with the civil side of this issue on my blog. But I have been in favor of gay marriage as a civil right since starting to wrestle with the issue during the Prop 8 campaign in California some seven years ago.

The position I came to in terms of our secular society is this:

  • Christians are called to love our neighbor as ourselves.
  • We are called to do unto others as we would have done to us.
  • This means advocating for our neighbors to have the same rights and freedoms that we would not want taken away from us.

In other words, it is sometimes my Christian duty to ensure that my neighbor has the right to act in ways that are contrary to my Christian belief.

In this case, the reasons people have for maintaining a traditional view of marriage are religious. We are a nation of religious freedom. We cannot take away from others what gives life to ourselves.

Here’s one of the most important things I’ve been learning:

To say what we believe about something is only the first step. It does not necessarily tell us what to do with that belief in the face of those who think differently.

The idea that we should enforce our belief as the law of the land is one that has to be carefully assessed in any given situation. We need to ask what it actually means to do unto our neighbor as we would want done to ourselves.

I know that many of you will disagree with all this. But here’s something I’m sure of: What happened today is not going to ruin your marriage. What happened today is not going to weaken the institution of marriage as such.

All it means is that same-sex couples now have the right to participate in a civil institution [of marriage] that has been weak for a generation.

Strength of marriage does not come from who else is able to join themselves together. Strength of marriage comes from the two people committing themselves to the hard work of cultivating a relationship of self-giving love. It comes from that couple embedding themselves in communities that will help nurture that relationship and help them through the trials that it entails.

I, for one, am glad about what happened today.

I’m glad because I think it’s the right thing for our country. And I’m glad for my friends whose weddings I’ll be attending over the next year—friends whose lives will be made richer and more secure by the institution of marriage they are legally able to join themselves in.

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