To all Christians defending “traditional marriage” and “the faith” and the “old, godly America”

The reasons that Christians are giving against gay marriage on Facebook are bullshit.

I am also too much of a coward to trigger a debate ON Facebook about this. I am “coming out” in terms of my support for gay marriage and increasingly liberal views slowly, one in-person conversation at a time. Days like today, however, break my heart, so I’m going to take my sarcastic bent and hope that someday in the future, I can say these things to the people who post messages on Facebook about how they will follow God, even if no one else will; and how they will fight to the death for “Biblical, heterosexual, one-man, one-woman for life” marriage, which is bullshit.

These posts are straight-up, infuriatingly illogical, and this is where I take my stand against hate. I sure as hell want to lean towards “acceptance,” of all people in any place and time, and for this reason: I DON’T WANT TO LIVE IN A THEOCRACY. People like those with whom I grew up claim to want an America that “repents” and “turns back to God.” Which America? The one that embraced slavery since its founding? The one that treated women like chattel, didn’t allow them to own property and allowed spousal abuse and rape until the mid-1900’s? That encouraged men to have sex with as many WOMEN as possible, but didn’t provide them with protection against STD’s or pregnancy until the 1970’s?

Or maybe it’s the America that segregated schools and taught a nation that people of a certain race were less than human? The one the century before that or in the 1700’s that systematically executed extreme prejudice against every race except a very narrow definition of “white”? Is THAT the precious, godly America of your ideal? Because that scares the hell out of me, and I don’t want to touch it with a ten-foot pole. So when I see post after post of 2 Chronicles 7:14 taken grossly out of context because a judge had the gall to add same-sex marriage to the list of things the government DOESN’T try to control, it pisses me off.

And here’s what I would really say, if I had the courage, or the heart: “So you want to denounce people who support same-sex marriage. How convenient for you to pick the ONE sin you don’t struggle with. Actually, that is exactly what the Pharisees did, but you’re not like them, right? You wouldn’t single out certain sins and lay heavy weights on people’s shoulders, because you’re flawless, right?

“I mean, if you want to look at Scripture…there are verses against homosexuality, for sure. In both the Old and New Testament, unfortunately for those who want to dismiss it based on not caring about the OT. But that’s okay, right? Because you don’t struggle with it, or even worse, have the gall to accept yourself as you are.

“I mean, it’s not like you can call yourself a ‘Christian’ and still engage in sin, right? For example, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

(Here we leave off the quotation marks, and I admit that I’m writing this, not saying it.)

First of all: that’s weird. It says that people who engage in certain behaviors won’t inherit “the kingdom of God,” whatever that is. If you believe it’s “heaven,” that a bunch of Protestants are confused now, because if you are “saved by grace” then it shouldn’t matter what you believe. But I digress.

This passage clearly states that gay men will NOT go to heaven. Phew! Prejudice=justified. Except, of course, that it also mentions some other things … awkward things. Stuff like being “sexually immoral,” being an “idolater” or being an “adulterer.” A lot of people can say that they have never committed adultery, although research shows that about a third of married people do. So, relax! Two-thirds of you “conservative Christians” are still in the clear. But that “sexually immoral” thing—oops! I don’t know what the criteria is, but studies have made it very clear that most people, Christian or not, have sex before they get married. Shit! I mean, they must not be Christians, right? Especially not if it happened more than once, because hey, it sounds justified if you say you “fell” into sin, or you “lapsed” like an addict, or any number of ways that people phrase “sexual immorality” to make it sound like a one-time thing.

But if it becomes “habitual,” and you still go to church and smile at the pastor and then go home and have sex, well, you’ve just become a hypocrite, buddy. So tell me again why you’re denouncing gay people, when you’re breaking the rules just like you think they are?

Now, I’m not clear on the original language behind the words “sexual immorality” here, but what about porn? There’s a big war against porn going on in the Christian community, but I’d still wager that a bunch of the guys who have posted anti-gay messages today regularly visit those sites. Oh, what’s that, you say? You’re not proud of it? It’s not a habit you want to continue? Or even, on a practical note, it’s just normal? Well then, if all those things are true, but the Bible continues to say to “embrace the wife of your youth” and to “let her breasts satisfy you always,” and ol’ Jesus said not to ever even LOOK at a woman with lust in your heart, then however “normal” it may be, it’s still hella wrong and sinful. So why aren’t you decrying that “habitual sin” on Facebook? I mean, I’m pretty sure IT would fall under “sexual immorality,” and according to these verses, that is just as likely to bar you from heaven as male gay sex (funny that he doesn’t mention lesbians here, but don’t worry—Romans 1 makes it clear they don’t get a pass, even if men like to watch).

It’s okay, though. Even if all men are scoundrels, or most people have sex before marriage, there are bound to be a few who stayed out of bed, or at least avoided sexual intercourse, before marriage (I know some of them. I actually was one.). Then, though, we still have this annoying list of other sins that can keep you from “the kingdom of heaven.” There is still thievery, greed, drunkenness, slander and swindling to keep you from the pearly gates (or, for more sincere Christians, “to keep you from walking close with God”). Let me ask you, though: why don’t we have clarion calls to fight “big business” and the “greed” that has swept America? Why are we fighting NOT to help “the little man” so that companies can turn as much profit as possible?

Or, on a more personal note, why are you holding an iPhone? Typing on a Mac? Watching cable with two hundred channels on a flat-screen? Driving two cars? Wearing nice clothes? Going to Disney? The problem with “greed” is that it covers nearly every American, but we are raised NOT to notice. ‘Cause it’s every bit as habitual, yet a far more widespread and inconvenient sin to fight against.

Ooo, drunkenness. About a third of good Baptists, along with a few of my family members, have never been drunk. But most people in this country have been, and while there IS a vocal minority who DON’T drink, many of the people decrying gay marriage have had too much far more than once. Another “habitual” crime that they don’t feel the need to protest or ask for legislation against, even though I’d argue that far more “traditional” marriages have been destroyed by alcohol than people of the same sex getting married.

It’s okay, though! I know that there are STILL a number of people who have made it this far: without ever having sex (more than once, ‘cause that’s allowed, since if you just sin once but truly repent, it’s not “living in sin”) before marriage, getting drunk, acting greedy (again, on a continual basis). But there’s a tricky one coming up … slander.

I’ll never forget being shocked in high school when a mentor berated me for trying pass on gossip about another girl in our choir class. “That’s a sin,” she said. WHAAAAA? I mean, it might have been true. And Obama might actually be Muslim and an imposter and the anti-Christ and … ohhh, wait a second. If “slander,” according to the dictionary, means “the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation,” then all of the self-righteous Baptists are screwed, because they make their living on gossip. It used to sicken me, the way grown women would descend on each other Sundays, to share what is naught more than slander. Not to mention how Facebook has allowed a whole generation of aging Baby Boomers to make cruel, unloving and slanderous statements about politicians they despise that are so despicable that they go beyond any critical thought or honest discussion and are simply, holistically libel.
There’s still “idolatry,” which is awkward because we don’t have a lot of pagan temples in the towns where the people posting anti-gay sentiments live, but that’s alright. Always eager to proof-text, most evangelical ministers explain that “idolatry” is anything that dominates your time and attention and takes more time than God.

If that revisionist definition is true, then let me say: we’re all, again, grandly screwed, sinful, and destined NOT to inherit God’s kingdom. Because I am nothing if not idolatrous, and greedy, and occasionally drunk and even sexually immoral. And chances are, you are too.

That doesn’t MATTER, though! The problem with homosexuals is that they want us to ACCEPT their “lifestyle” as natural! They want to REWRITE God’s definition of marriage! Except….

a) Which one? The pretty, heterosexual, one-man, one-woman version in Genesis 2, or the one a few chapters later where God’s guys have multiple wives and concubines? Oh, I’m sorry, that’s NOT Biblical marriage? Well, how can you tell? And while we’re at it, isn’t it kind of weird that we’re taught about Jacob and Rebecca’s “love at first sight” when her dad super-awkwardly married off her sister Leah to him first? I mean, shouldn’t God have been like, “You know, this sucks, but you can only have ONE wife—MY Biblical definition—so just say goodbye to your “true love”?” In fact, isn’t it weird how we are taught to praise Abigail when David already HAD other wives when she came along? And how Esther is praised, even though she totally had to have sex with her King before he chose her to marry? So, I’m sorry, WHICH version of “Biblical marriage” do you want?

b) Doesn’t Paul, who wrote much of your beloved New Testament, kind of despise marriage? To the point that he says you should only marriage to avoid “burning” with lust, but that if you REALLY loved God, you would be like HE* is, and stay single? (See here.)

*HE=Paul. I’m not sure about God’s marital status.

c) Don’t Jesus, Moses and God say a hell of a lot more about divorce and how bad it is than they do about homosexuality? In fact, if marriage is so sacred between ONE man and ONE woman for life, then how come SO MANY OF THE PEOPLE ON FACEBOOK DECRYING GAY MARRIAGE ARE DIVORCED?

Hey, I’m not trying to throw stones here. I’m just saying, if you’re going to campaign against gay marriage because it’s so IMMORAL and SINFUL, then I’d prefer a little summary of why YOUR divorce was NOT wrong in God’s eyes. You know. Just so we’re clear. After all, you are making it your business to spew hatred in the name of your beliefs. I would just like it if you happened to try to live up to them yourself, and to explain in a public forum why YOU are justified SINNING and NOT living up to what you SAY you believe when you expect ME to conform to what YOU believe, even though I’ve never claimed to believe the same things. And I’d also like an accounting of how many times you had sex outside of marriage, looked at porn, gave in to greed, spread rumors about people you know or said hateful things about politicians, spent the majority of your time at something OTHER than serving me wholeheartedly, or got drunk.

And the REASON I would ask for any of this, is because your virtual “stones” on Facebook resemble NOTHING so much as when the woman was caught in adultery, brought to Jesus, and He said, “May he without sin cast the first stone” to the Pharisees who had brought stones to, you know, kill her.

Do you remember that? We love that story in church. We like to imagine Jesus protecting us from judgmental people like that, even though adultery isn’t what most of us battle.

We don’t, however, like to picture the stones in our own hands.

Do you remember what happened in the story?

The men walked away.

Will you? Or will you put yourself in Christ’s shoes?

If you do—decide to walk in His shoes, I mean—just remember: his path ended at the cross. And while He did tell the woman to “go and sin no more,” he was also willing to die an excruciating death for her. In her place. Because in his mind, or at least, as He is traditionally presented, He was paying for the sin of all mankind. Is that what you are willing to do?

Or might it work better for you to admit that you are only human, and that those rocks in your hand might be better dropped on the sand? That you might be better off walking away, taking down the hate, and tending to your own hypocrisy before you attack those who are living according to their own standards honestly?

I highly doubt you, who thoughtlessly—or even worse, proudly—post a Facebook message against homosexual people, are willing to die for them, or hell, even be transparent with them about your life’s own attacks on “Biblical living” or “traditional marriage.” So take off your damn mask and go try to live honestly for once, instead of attacking the one sin you don’t battle.

If you don’t, according to this Scripture, you might as well … go to hell.

Don’t get mad at me, though. After all, the Bible said it. That settles it…right?

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