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article imageOp-Ed: Same-sex marriage is not about sex

By John David Powell     Jun 28, 2015 in Lifestyle
A scrawled sign hanging over the counter down at Sparky’s Diner is meant to be a jab at those folks who have a selected interpretation of the First Amendment right to free speech. It reads: “You can say what you like as long as I like what you say."
Someone tacked it there as an ironic reminder to Sparky’s liberal clientele that no group or cause owns freedom of expression. But that irony took a wide swing to the right with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling that same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right throughout the land, not just in the several states that legalized it.
I try not to engage in discussions regarding religion because it is a personal subject in which many well-meaning folks take great offense whenever others have a different belief. Many times friendly discussion turns into “It’s my way or the highway, and your way is the highway to Hell.”
Such has been the reaction to the decision of the Supremes, or at least the five-member majority.
Throughout all of the back-and-forth regarding the decision’s religious aspect, one biblical scene kept popping into my mind. It is the one where Jesus responds to a question from a lawyer (naturally) about the law’s greatest commandment. Jesus answered that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind, and soul. And the second greatest is to love your neighbor as yourself.
That got me to looking through my library for the second part of the second commandment, the one that includes exemptions. You know, the ones that say to love your neighbor as yourself, except if your neighbor is a (1) homosexual; (2) Jew; (3) African American; (4) Chinese; (5) Catholic; (6) Yankee; (7) Southerner; (8) Immigrant; (9) Democrat (or Republican); (10) Old Calendarist.
I am sure there must be more, but ten would seem to be in keeping with the number of Commandments. And, gee, I couldn’t find them. Imagine that.
I have been told my great uncle was a Bible-thumping preacher in the Church of Christ who said people, including members of his family, who sat in the back pews were going to Hell. I now wonder if they will go before or after same-sex couples.
A preacher man on TV said God does not abide same-sex unions because they do not result in children and, therefore, do not advance civilization. I have straight, single friends who have never been married and who will never procreate. I also know wives and husbands who chose not to be parents. I must find this preacher man and ask his advice on the best way to defriend these living examples of deadwood.
And since God seems to speak directly to him and others, maybe he can ask God to explain to me why the local skirt-chasing businessman is more loved in God’s eyes than the monogamous same-sex husband who works for said businessman.
I would ask God myself, but I find that I spend most of my time in church asking forgiveness for my shortcomings and for the sins I committed since my last time in church.
Maybe that is something else to ask the sincere preacher man: What is the correct balance between praying for my sins and condemning my neighbor’s sins so that I may love him as myself?
Another pastor pointed out that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. There is great comfort and joy in consistency, but I am confused. Does that mean because the early Church condemned Jews for killing Jesus that I must start hating them?
Plenty of folks continue to believe God does not include black people among the human race. Should I now add my African-American colleagues to my list of daily vilifications?
My wife has epilepsy. How much longer should I stay with a woman possessed by an evil spirit?
My brother’s Anglo father married an Asian woman. Does that mean my brother is condemned because he is a product of breeding by two different animals? If so, does that mean I am not obligated to acknowledge my niece and nephew, or even my own children?
It may not appear so, but I take this discrimination thing seriously. I grew up bi-racial in rural Illinois. My wife’s Southern aunt was never told about me because I was (wait for it) a Yankee.
Before the middle of the last century, the federal Chinese Exclusion Act severely limited the number of Chinese immigrants to America. The laws of several states prohibited Chinese from marrying whites as late as 1967, three years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that was supposed to outlaw discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Now, some of the very individuals and pastors who benefit directly from this law find it acceptable, even righteous, to exact their own brand of discrimination.
My Eastern Orthodox Church will not marry homosexuals, but I am sure homosexuals are among the faithful, just as I am sure one will find homosexuals among Evangelicals, Mormons, Jews, and Muslims. That is not my concern. I am far too busy figuring out how to get to Heaven without worrying about telling others they are going to Hell.
You do not have to like gays, lesbians, or transgendered individuals. You do not have to worship with them. You do not have to worry that the state will force you to join with one in holy matrimony. The Supreme Court’s ruling said only that individuals in same-sex unions have the same rights and privileges as those in interracial and interfaith marriages.
To put this another way, the Supreme Court said same-sex couples must have the same considerations given to adulterers, child abusers, pedophile teachers, sexual predators, white slavers, drug dealers, horse thieves, cattle rustlers, promoters of racial hatred, Satan worshippers, members of Congress, journalists, used-car sales people, and professional athletes who bet on their own teams.
I know some guys on the other side of the globe who will gladly slit your throat because of your religion, national origin, and sexual preferences. And they could care less about the opinions of the United States Supreme Court, or those of any God-fearing American.
A man once told me to be careful whose ox you gore, because yours could be next.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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