One could see this was coming. When the SCOTUS ruled that same sex marriage was legal in all 50 states, we knew that someone, somewhere would refuse to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. We know now that it isKim Davis, in Rowan County, Kentucky. There has been a lot of really good stuff written about this development.There has been some not so good stuff written, especially by people who have personally attacked Kim Davis with insults that are inappropriate at best and in many cases downright mean.
So, here’s the one thing that has really been bothering me about Kim Davis. In almost every major news article written, the word Christians has been used way too often to describe her supporters and those who believe that she is doing the right thing. Too many articles and interviews have painted opposition to same sex marriage as a universal belief of all Christians, that somehow same sex marriage is an affront to all Christians. True, some do have this belief, but it is by no means a universal view held by Christians, and many would argue its a small but vocal minority that hold this view.
There are many Christians whose faith guides them to believe that same sex marriage is a revelation of God’s love and enables people to find the wholeness that God intends for their life. When the world sees Christianity painted as being more upset over Kim Davis than they are the hungry, the hurting, and the refugee, well its no wonder so many want nothing to do with it. When a movement founded upon the unconditional love of God becomes obsessed with limiting that love, there’s a problem. How many Christians are more heartbroken over Kim Davis being jailed than they are over the plight of 4 million Syrian refugees? Questions like these give us cause to take a good look at our ourselves in the mirror.
To be clear, while I don’t agree with Kim Davis’ beliefs, I respect her right to have them. I don’t know how she arrived at them, but that is not for me to judge. I suspect now she is being guided less by her convictions, and more by those with an agenda who see her as an important pawn in their twisted game.
.The religious freedom movement is less about religious freedom and more about suppressing those who for too long had no rights and now enjoy freedoms many of us have long had. It’s more about a particular view of religion than all religious practice.Religious freedom is not about protecting religious freedom, rather its about putting forth a very narrow view of Christianity and limiting other religious expressions. It’s about protecting a particular agenda instead of guaranteeing religious freedom.
I am a pastor and on some of my best days, a theologian. Before either of these, I am a Christian. My own careful study of the scriptures has informed my faith and led me to believe that God affirms same sex marriage. I’ll share the words I shared with our congregation the Sunday following the SCOTUS decision:
Many, upon many rejoiced that love wins, that ultimately all people who desire to experience the gift of marriage can do so. There are others who have a harder time with it. As with anything, there are differences of opinion, differences that must be respected.
I understand that in our congregation, as in most congregations, there might be differences on this matter. For me personally, I am glad at the decision and rejoice in the decision, for I believe it is testimony to the grace of God and at the core of my personal faith that all are created, beloved, and included by God. I believe that the purpose of relationships are to be life giving so that we may all experience the gift of wholeness that God intends for us. And I am glad that all who wish to experience the gift of marriage can now do so.