Today President Obama has decided to come out in favor of gay marriage. I find this quite an extraordinary move on his part. He didn’t waiver. I like that fact that he picked a side and took a stand.
The United Methodist Church at their general conference voted down an amendment to the Book of Discipline that would provide for members to agree to disagree on the subject of homosexuality in the congregation and clergy of the church. I think this was a meager attempt to avoid honest discussion that would bring about real change. Homosexuality must be discussed in current Christian communities! Apprehension and fear should not prevent any of us from openly discussing the subject.
Homosexuality is as taboo today as condoms in the 1920’s, divorce in the 1940’s, interracial marriage in the 1960’s, and aids in the 1980’s. Somewhere in between is the argument for and against women and divorced individuals to be ordained into ministry. This is a social, political and spiritual debate that will continue until full acceptance has been obtained.
When I was younger, I thought how wonderful it was for everyone to find love, no matter where they found it. Well, as long as you were an adult and it wasn’t with an orangutan. Then I became indoctrinated into a certain religious philosophy and I read scripture that went against homosexuality. I have friends and family members who are gay and I began to question their motivation in those relationships. Certainly, it must have to do with some childhood trauma or choice they were making.
This part is hard for me but I feel I must be honest. In the deepest moments of despair in my marriage I prayed to God for a miracle. I was given a vision and in that vision a gift. Now, when we are given a gift we accept it with grace. Or at least we should. We may not want the gift. It may not be something we asked for or would have picked out for ourselves. The best gifts are usually surprises, something we didn’t expect but we are grateful for.
I have heard gay and lesbian people say that they did not choose this. For a long time I would have argued that we do choose who we love. I would say you can make a choice. But when it is a gift, we rarely choose it. When it is something that God gives us, it is hard to do anything else but accept it. This is how I understand homosexuality today.
I understand that many people might stop reading my blog simply because I support gay and lesbian marriages. I welcome EVERYONE to church. I encourage religious institutions to willingly allow clergy to marry whomever God has brought together. In this way we truly welcome God’s family into our midst and love our neighbor more than we love ourselves.