Thursday, May 10, 2012

What Would Jesus Do?

This past Tuesday North Carolina passed the First Amendment to their state constitution.  This amendment classifies marriage as a union between a man and a woman.  While I am a Bible believing Christian who disagrees with homosexual marriage, there has always been something about such legislation that doesn't sit well with me.

The main reason behind the push for such legislation has always been to protect the sanctity of marriage and to protect family values.  Protection is very important, but how can you rationalize the legality of certain actions that are deemed hazardous, while banning others that you think are harmful.  For example, do you really think that gay marriage is more harmful than tobacco?  I can applaud the effort towards protecting the sanctity of marriage and family values, but stopping gay marriage is not how to do it; a whole shift in the mindset of what constitutes marriage is needed.

I don’t want “marriage” associated with a 72 hour marriage between a drunk pop star and her boyfriend in Vegas. To me, marriage is a sacred bond between husband and wife before God Almighty. Anything less than that is mere compromise. If a group wants to push for a legal definition of marriage that fits the Bible, then go all the way. Make it so that it can only be done in a church setting. Make divorce illegal unless there is marital infidelity; enough of this “We’ve just drifted too far apart” junk. Or, and this is my preferred solution, make marriage in a religious sense and the legal civil union two separate and distinct things. Civil union can be what is done at the courthouse, and marriage can be what you choose to do in a religious setting.

If the proponents of North Carolina's First Amendment are serious about protecting marriage and family values, then they should do something about it. If the BILLIONS of dollars that were poured into getting it and similar laws passed were instead poured into family counseling, promoting family unity, stopping the porn epidemic (yeah, we are talking about you Disney), you know, things that actually protect marriage and family values, think of the difference that could have been made.

But instead, what will more than likely happen is the divide between Christians and non-Christians will grow larger and larger.  Hate will fester like an untreated open wound.  And the love of Jesus will fade away like a mediocre sitcom.  The constitutionality of the law will be taken to court and an expensive legal battle will ensue while marriages and families are violently torn apart by affairs, selfishness, and a whole host of other problems that are entirely fixable if the Christian community (or any other community for that matter) would truly take it upon themselves to fix what's broken instead of merely finding someone to blame.

In California, we faced a similar situation a few years ago with Prop 8--a political issue that was back in the news two months ago.  Some of the hateful things that were done during the time leading up to voting in California were truly mind boggling. What was just as bad, though, was the overabundance of petty actions. For example, there are the feelings of the “pastor” I was serving under at the time of voting (I use the term “pastor” loosely because of his abuse, manipulative, duplicitous nature). He told me that after dropping his daughter off at school one morning, he walked past a “No on Prop 8” sign. It took all he had in him not to kick the sign over. And after he left, he had regrets over not kicking it over. That was someone’s personal property, something someone paid about $20 for, and this person wanted to kick down and destroy it out of anger. That is the sort of attitude that causes Christians to be labeled as hateful and bigoted. I don’t think that’s what Jesus would be doing.

I don’t think he would have voted against Prop 8, but I’m sure He would have much rather seen all of the effort and mind-boggling sums of money that went into passing the proposition go instead to fund activities and programs that truly bring families closer, something that actually protects family unity and the sanctity of marriage.