This week, President Obama came out of the closet to say: "For me personally it is important for me to affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”
And then the world imploded. Or you’d think it did based on the outraged reactions from conservatives and liberal Christians alike. Predictably, Fox Nation immediately condemned President Obama’s statement as a “Declar[ation of] War on Marriage”:
"OBAMA FLIP FLOPS, DECLARES WAR ON MARRIAGE"
And Rush Limbaugh echoed the same sentiment. (Do we have to count Rush Limbaugh as a Christian?) And of course, social media offered up this gem:
"You lost the Christian vote."
When I announced my support of President Obama on Twitter, this random non-follower told me I wasn’t actually a Christian:
"@DCDistrictDiva A Christian would not vote for a person endorsing man marrying man. Jesus certainly would not. Call yourself what you want."
And another person posted this message on Facebook:
"Obama supports gay marriage based on "his faith." This faith is either, juvenile, corrupted, or altogether false. http://t.co/KeHSHfun "
That last reaction is based on the rest of President Obama’s statement that the Golden Rule of Christianity — treat others as you want to be treated — led him to support legalizing same sex marriage:
“In the end the values that I care most deeply about and [Michelle] cares most deeply about is how we treat other people,” he said. “We are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing Himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule—treat others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids and that’s what motivates me as president, and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better I’ll be as a dad and a husband and hopefully the better I’ll be as president.”
How dare he?!
I am not disputing what the Bible says about homosexuality in any way. The text says what it says and says it more than once. I am not enough of a Bible scholar to make any argument for what else God could have possibly meant by including those statements repeatedly in the Bible and so I won’t. What I am saying is that what the Bible says about homosexuality should have no bearing on our reactions as Christians to gays and lesbians having the legal choice to marry in America, and here is my four-point Biblical explanation for that:
The choice for Christ is individual, it is intimate and extremely personal. God designed it that way and He did so for a reason.
1) Matthew 7:12: “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” It may be very hard for some Christians to put themselves in the shoes of gays and lesbians, so I’m not going to ask you to do that. But I will ask that you consider what it would be like if:
- Your husband or wife was forbidden by law from coming to your hospital bedside as you lay dying;
- Distant relatives were left to make decisions about your health care because your husband or wife wasn’t legally recognized;
- You were unable to have children and then because of your caste and not your character you are legally forbidden from adopting children with your husband or wife;
- You were forbidden from marrying the person you’ve chosen to love based upon the religious views of a Muslim / Buddhist / Taoist / Hindu /*insert religion that is not yours*.
2) Revelation 3:20: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me”; 2 Corinthians 9:7: “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”; and Joshua 24:15: “Choose you this day whom you will serve.”
There are some very important action words in these scriptures describing what Christ wants us to do in regards to Him: a) hear and open the door to Christ; b) DECIDE c) CHOOSE. Each of these scriptures underscores the principle theme of Christianity: it is a free-will CHOICE