In fact, Paul even writes:
"To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled." (Titus 1:15)
And – not a surprise – that includes those who trumpet most loudly that Gays are impure-icky and God isn't ok with them getting married in ways that actually protect their families.
Here are some of their remakes -- not only of God's rules, but also the reality He created -- along with why they aren't true:
Idea # 1: God doesn't like Gay people.
Wrong. God loves everyone, and chooses to save Gay people all the time (as evidenced by the fact that Gay people receive His Holy Spirit all the time, and yet remain happily, healthily, Gay). God just isn't as selfish and self-obsessed as most people want Him to be, so people who don't like Gay people just need to get over the idea that the world is only ok, safe, and normal when it looks, talks, acts, and dresses just like their version of what straight people look like, talk like, act like, and dress like (for certainly there are a lot of straight people who don't want to be associated with the lifestyle choices that Gay-haters think makes them "godly").
More, the only way Gay-haters are able to say that the Bible condemns Gay people is by changing the Bible words from what God put there to what they want it to say instead, and by ignoring the real context of what was being written about. They will answer to God for that -- not only for changing His Word, but also for using their false Bible to make Him look bad, and for driving people away from the real Jesus.
Idea #2: There's one idea of what "traditional marriage" is, and it's always been the same.
Wrong. Here's just three examples:
- Unlike today, only a short time ago traditional marriage didn't involve the government at all. Before that, no government gave a hoot who you married, when, how, or why. Instead, marriage was just like it is in most traditional cultures today: an agreement between people who may or may not have even been allowed to choose each other. Straight couples (even conservative Christians ones) don't live by that today. Instead, they want the government to regulate their marriages so there are tax breaks, legal protections when a spouse is injured or killed, rules about when and how spouses can split, and so on (and these are the things Gay families need, as well, in today's world).
- Modern marriage rules are completely different from traditional versions. In Bible times, for example, people made their marriage agreement, but then lived apart and stayed celibate for some months (that's why pregnant Mary was still living at her parent's home even though she was already married to Joseph, and that's why technically Joseph could have had her stoned to death for adultery, even though they weren't living as husband and wife yet according to our modern rules). Our modern marriage rules say that the marriage is real and can only be broken with divorce once the couple have been sexually intimate with each other. But in the Bible, the marriage was real and could only be broken by divorce way before that, in what we'd almost call the "engagement" period today. Think the divorce rate (especially among conservative Christians) is high now? Imagine if our culture required divorce to break an engagement! There are also a million different ways that people in traditional and modern cultures show they are married, in the expectations they have for each other and that society has for them, and so on. To believe that only one way of being or doing something is the "traditional" way of anything only means one is so self-focused s/he doesn't see they aren't the center of the human cultural universe -- and the only "tradition" that shows is plain old human sin.
- In Bible times, and in many traditional cultures even today, marriage could be between one man and one woman, but it could also be between one man and two or more women, or even sometimes between one woman and two or more men. It could even be about one man and two sisters (check out Jacob, for example, in the Old Testament). Remember that in traditional cultures, marriage is more about economics than anything (that's why it wasn't until about 100 years ago that the law stopped counting women and children as only economic units, without any more rights than a toaster or an automobile, within a family). So having more spouses meant you had more money, but it also meant you had more workers (spouses, children) to work your farm or business. Today, modern people – including conservative Christians – have rejected this super-focus on economics for happy, healthy family life (and that's not a bad thing). Sure, we want our families to be financially sound, but very, very few of us in western Christian cultures today marry someone we have absolutely no love or sexual attraction feelings for, just because we (or our family) thinks that person will be a good worker in the restaurant we own, or will make lots of babies that (once old enough) we can use to chop vegetables and wait tables so we don't have to hire staff.
Idea # 3: Gay marriages will harm straight marriages, or lead to people marrying animals and such.
Did allowing interracial marrages harm same-race marriages? No. Yet that's exactly the kind of false conclusion this kind of argument demands. No where in any part of the world where Gay marriages have been allowed has it made any difference to straight marriages at all.
And the animal thing? Nowhere in any part of the world where interracial marriages or Gay marriages have been allowed has society or the law degenerated into bestiality, or incest, or anything else normal people find repugnant. The whole idea is insulting and sinful, in the same way that saying "Allowing Black and white people to marry will lead to birth defects and the degeneration of the white race" is.
Idea # 4: Marriage is for making babies (or, for protecting babies already born).
Does any church (even the most conservative ones) or any law test straight people for fertility before allowing them to marry? What about the obvious cases where straight people won't be having children when they marry – like older couples, or people who have had disease or injury or surgery that prevents them from making babies? Does the Vatican't or the Family Faked-Research Council or even the Supreme Court of the USA stand up to angrily denounce non-fertile straight people marrying? Of course not. But that's, they say, because all straight marriages are "still open to the possibility" of making a baby. And that, my friends, is just a made-up argument a child would make. Like, (add appropriate pout) "Mommy! Robby shouldn't get to have any cookies because I might get hungry someday!" Please.
As for protecting children already born, we have to say again that the law doesn't say straight people who don't have school-age or even adult kids aren't allowed to marry. But also needing to be considered is that many Gay and Lesbian people also have children (either from before they realized they were Gay, or because they've adopted children), and those who demonize Gay marriage are actively blocking children of Gay parents from the same protections that children of straight parents get. How typically false-Christian!
Idea # 5: Gay families can be just as protected with civil unions and such – they don't need actual marriage
This would be true, except for the thousands upon thousands of local, state, and federal laws and protections that automatically go with marriage, that do not and never will go with civil unions and the like. Compare that to my wife and I, for example, who had to pay several hundred dollars to a lawyer to draw up legal documents that will hopefully protect us in only six ways (and sometimes people with such documents still have to go to court to enforce them – which doesn't help if your partner is dying in the hospital and needs you NOW). Since no one is going to go to every local, state, and federal legal jurisdiction in the nation and around the world and make them update all their laws, statutes, and ordinances to say "civil union" in addition to "marriage", nothing but an actual legal marriage is ever going to give the protections all families need today.
There's also just the whole bigoted idea -- struck down regarding race and sex -- that "separate but equal" is a good thing. If we don't buy that having "black-only" drinking fountains just as good as "white-only" drinking fountains takes care of any problems racism causes, then we can't buy having "Gay-type" civil unions and "straight-type" marriages take care of any homophobia problems.
Idea # 6: Churches should say what marriage is, not the government
We've already covered how government is so much a part of marriage now -- and how even conservative Christians like and insist on it being that way. But here's the other part of all that: which churches should get to say? Christian churches? Well, sorry Bud but not everyone is Christian. So, should straight-only marriage laws only apply to Christians, allowing Gay people who aren't Christian to get married? How about other kinds of churches? Should the Moonies get to decide who you marry and how? How about letting the Mormons decide how the Southern Baptists run things from now on?
Which leads to...
Idea # 7: Allowing Gay marriage will force Gay-hating churches to perform Gay marriages (or will prevent Gay-haters from being able to say they hate Gay people)
What a crock. Churches have always been allowed to be as bigoted, sinful, and cultish as they wanted to be.
Ever tried to get married in a traditional Roman Catholic church? Is your intended not already Roman Catholic? Then the Roman Catholic Church can legally refuse to marry you. Want to marry someone of a different race? Maybe you're Jewish and you want to marry a fundamentalist Christian? Or you're part of a rich church and you want to marry a homeless person you met doing shelter work? In most conservative churches, it just ain't going to happen. And no law that says you can't discriminate against people because of their race, religion, economics, and so on has or will ever stop churches from marrying or not marrying people as they chose.
As for the speech issue – anyone checked out the horrid hate speech allowed in racist, homophobic, and sexist websites and books and such these days? Absolutely no one is blocking people from being just as demonic as they'd like their mouths and hearts to be. Same will continue to go for homophobes, as well.
Idea # 8: Allowing Gay marriages will hurt children.
This is a variation of the old "Gay people are pedophiles" bigotry. It's been debunked a million times. Yet there are still people who claim that Black people aren't as moral as white people despite a mountain of evidence showing otherwise, and there are still people who claim that Jews are demonic financial swindlers despite another mountain of evidence showing otherwise. In the same way, there will always be people (including Black people and Jews) who claim that Gay people are more dangerous to kids than straight people are, and so on. That's just part of the way the devil rules things (until Jesus comes again), and the way that religious and non-religious human beings alike buy into his devil-crapola.
Bigotry is a mutant brain leech that just doesn't fall off without a fight.
What this all comes down to is this:
Straight people who believe they are more special than Gay people don't want to admit that everyone is special, and everyone deserves the same rights, responsibilities, and protections as everyone else. As members of civilized society they should know that. As Christians, they should embrace it.
More, while many people value what they can see and what their bodies can do (e.g., going to a religious building each Sunday morning, avoid saying curse words, having sexual relations that result in offspring, etc.), God actually values what's not so easy to see, and where our hearts are.
God IS interested in marriage, because He's interested in the promises we make, and how well we keep them and care for those in our charge. Being married – making a covenant with another person whether Gay or straight – means things like: being monogamous, because it's the loving, godly thing to do; sticking it out in our marriage even when our spouse is sick, a pain in the rear end, or even old and/or no longer physically attractive, because that's the promise we made to him/her and to God; and caring as dearly as Jesus would for our spouse and any children that are part of that relationship.
God IS interested in marriage, but not because one person has one kind of genitalia and the other has another kind. God is interested in marriage because God created human beings to bond together, and because our modern culture says we can and should be doing that with one other person in a most special covenanted way – and He means for us to take covenants as seriously as He does.
God is for Gay – and straight – marriage. As we should be too.
This article written by Lynne at No Junk. Just Jesus. You can contact Lynne at NoJunkJustJesus@gmail.com.