Progress is a good thing. As a black man, would you rather be enslaved in 1860’s antebellum South, or live free in the modern day Union? Would a woman rather subsist without the right to vote in 1910, or flourish in today’s America? These are easy questions for a reason. That reason, put simply, is that humans can improve themselves. We can become nobler.
The controversy of gay marriage never bothered me as an atheist. From that perspective, as long as there wasn’t a victim, it was okay. However, since becoming a struggling Christian, morality has become stickier. The issue of holiness and purity has thrown a wrench into my thinking. For a while, I was actually against it, maintaining that gays could only be Christians if they didn’t act on their feelings. Then I started actually thinking.
Similar to interracial marriage in the 1960’s, gay marriage has been called “unnatural” and “ungodly” by conservatives. I have seen compilations of racist and anti-gay quotes on websites with their sources and dates taken out… and you literally can’t tell them apart. They’re the same argument, just from a different era.
Are there verses in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, that speak against same-sex attraction? Yes, I admit this. Perhaps the most quoted is Leviticus 18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” Yet Leviticus also instructs us to stone our children for disobedience. We don’t follow this stipulation anymore.
Beyond that, what is the core of the Gospel? It is Jesus and His love for us all. Constantly throughout the New Testament, Jesus contradicts the rule obsessed, outwardly focused Pharisees. When a woman is brought to Jesus for adultery to be stoned, Jesus forgives her sins instead, a revolutionary act. Is it possible that the Church’s teachings on gay marriage are a little too similar with the Southern Baptist Convention’s support for slavery and racial segregation?
But what really changed my mind and cemented my beliefs about gay rights was this: I knew gay people. Once you know someone personally, it’s harder to hate them, or deny them rights. I’ve always been a liberal in the truest sense of the word; I believe in liberty for everyone. To me, Matthew 7:16 is proof alone that gay marriage is moral and even biblical. “You will know them by their fruits.”
Think about it. By 2015 haven’t we seen tender and loving same-sex couples? Haven’t we seen children being adopted by gays and being cherished? Haven’t we seen gays bravely serve in the military? I’ve seen it. The truth is that if gay marriage was evil, you would know it. I think love is love, and I believe God agrees.