Monday, April 30, 2012

To the Polls!

Christians in NC should vote for Amendment One on Tuesday.  Or so I'm told.

NC Amendment 1, Section 6 reads in part:

"Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."

Okay.  Why?

Well, Genesis 1:27, Leviticus 18:22, and Romans 1:26-28 for starters.

Ah then.  Because the Bible says so, right?


Indeed it does.  What else does the Bible say?  Like... "the works of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality..." Galatians 5:19 or "Flee sexual immorality." 1 Corinthians 6:18 or "abstain from sexual immorality..." 1 Thessalonians 4:3. 

Seems clear enough.  If "sexual immorality" includes anything apart from sex between a husband and wife then that pretty much covers it all.  Sooooo....

where is it?  The other amendment?  The other amendments?  You know, the ones that say:

"It is prohibited for any man or woman to participate in consensual sexual activity while cohabitating apart from marriage, as defined by Amendment One, section 6."

What about the one that says:

"Any teenagers found to be sexually active prior to marriage, as defined by Amendment One, section 6, shall no longer be eligible for public education and must immediately be withdrawn from any public institutes of learning."

What?  You haven't seen these? Haven't signed the petitions?  Haven't bought the t-shirt?  Hmmmm.  Neither have I.  But I'm awfully curious as to why not. 

If conservative Christians are, as they proport to be doing, protecting God's biblical definition of marriage and thereby speaking on His behalf at the polls, then why aren't we formulating, marketing, and pushing through legislation to protect God's biblical sensitivities regarding ALL sexual acts?  Why, in heaven's name, stop with a marriage amendment?

Come on Amie, grace has to supercede law at SOME point.

Ah yes, His grace is sufficient.  Our constitution?  Not so much, I guess.

Well, you can't expect the democratic government of a free and richly diverse people such as America to legislate every point of Christian morality.  That would be legalism at its worst and set us back 200 years to a pre-revolutionary state church existence and would make it nearly impossible to follow Christ's command to show love given the extremity of the law, constant mutual suspicion and condemnation, as well as the likelihood that none could escape its judgments thanks to that darned "all have sinned" thing. 

Oh, how I love when these conversations go right where I want them to. ;-)  You are right.  And what's more it would be impossible because the line of morality among Christians is as variant as the day is long and is most often drawn just inside of one's own level of comfort.


Perhaps we should remember that the Constitution of the United States is not Scripture.  And that there may be evidences of MANY sacred writings from MANY cultures and belief systems reflected in its content.  But rights should never have been, and should never again be afforded us by our common religion, or common race, or common gender, or common sexuality--but by our common humanity.

Instead, ask yourself "why do we draw the line here and not there?"  "Here" being Amendment One and "there" being the Nth degree of the biblical standard.  And if, in fact, you're not willing to push the line "there" then you have no choice but to unwrap the cause from its spiritual packaging with Bible-verse-quoting ribbons and bows and see that what you are left with is hypocrisy and discrimination.  Stop dressing it up and putting God's name on the gift tag.


HeatherV said...

"...rights should never have been, and should never again be afforded us by our common religion, or common race, or common gender, or common sexuality--but by our common humanity."

Right?! I see it as a human rights issue too and think that we all deserve equal rights. Love to you all.

Anonymous said...

Hey there-

I see where you are coming from. Christians expend so much energy in anti-homosexual rhetoric, but do not come down just as hard on the other sins you mentioned.

Question: is this ammendment legislating morality or a definition of marriage? From what I understand, it allows civil unions and sharing of workplace benefits. It is not outlawing homosexuality, is it?

-Kip said...

The Seaver Crew loves the Sexton Crew and are so thankful for your amazing example of Christ's love for family and community!

The Sexton Crew said...

You're right, Kip. It does not outlaw homosexuality. At least no more than the Jim Crow era outlawed blackness. I know that this argument presents a rub for most because homosexuals are not considered a race of people and there is great debate on the question of genetics v. choice. But in its simplest form, and much like the Jim Crow laws of our more-recent-than-we-like-to-admit past, you have people who are "different" being denied a privelage of the majority.

If 60 years ago, a movement had arisen to amend the constitution with an acceptable definition of "family" to mean a husband, wife, and children of ALL THE SAME COLOR (a belief considered to be substantiated by scripture!) ---we both know our families would be in big trouble if they existed at all. This should at the very least, give us pause.

Robby Christmas said...

I don't have a strong opinion on this because I have not prayed and wrestled enough to speak with confidence on the matter. But I do have some thoughts ... I understand the concept of not "legislating morality" ... but why do we have laws against stealing, murder (which both go against the Bible and Christians feel strongly about), and interestingly, if a man commits adultery, that puts him in a bad situation in a divorce (if I understand that correctly) ... b/c by law there are some consequences for his immoral behavior. I feel like these questions are relevant to the discussion. It seems the answer might be that we have laws against murder because not only is against God's law, it hurts people. I get that, and I feel like that's probably the distinction people would make. But does homosexuality not hurt people? "yea but that's their decision" ... drug use is illegal, it hurts people, it's their decision. Again, I don't have a strong stance; I'm just wrestling through it. I certainly see how counter productive all the anti-gay rhetoric from Christians has been and I'm not real happy with that. But I don't know that I'm ready to support a law that supports people in their sin (unlike a law that supports people in their race, something they have no control over, I don't think the comparison is a fair one). I know - supporting them isn't saying their sin is ok, but it seems like the line might be getting blurred. I really don't know. What I do know is - there should be more compassion from Christians for those on the fringes, but that can be done other places than the polls. Again, I don't have a definitive stance, and may not any time soon for that matter. Healthy discussion. Great post. Thanks Amie.

Anonymous said...

Amie, you sound like a Libertarian! We totally agree here that morality is not to be legislated. Regardless of our biblical views on the subject. Also, the Bible defines marriage as when copulation occurs (between a man and woman), not when the gov't issues a paper certificate, so there are Christians I know who even refuse to get a gov't "marriage license", b/c the gov't is not in an authoritative position to define marriage anyway, and "confirm" their commitment. Even if rights were granted for same sex to marry, it is still not marriage, in my mind, however, I feel they should have the freedom to behave how they want. It does not threaten me as a Christian at all. I have freedoms I am thankful for as well.