Gay Church Weddings?

It is likely that “everyone” has heard by now that the Supreme Court has issued the opinion that gay couples have the same right to marriage to each other that heterosexual couples do.  It would be possible, but hardly useful, to discuss the validity of this opinion.

Let us instead, consider one result of this ruling.  It is highly likely that there will be at least one gay couple who will stroll into a church and request to be married there.  And if the church in question holds to the belief that homosexual marriage is prohibited by God, then there is an opportunity for problems.

Now why did the couple want to get married in the church?  I can think of only three reasons:

– They want their union to be blessed by God

– They want to thumb their noses at the church and hope to cause it damage or even close it down

– They don’t really want to but there is some external pressure (like from parents) to do so

If the church selected does not hold the belief that God frowns on homosexual marriages, then problems (in this world) are unlikely, and the first or third reasons should seem to be able to satisfied, and the second reason would not apply (unless the couple were really obtuse). Of course, there will be some who are anti-God or at least anti-church, and deliberately choose a church they feel sure will refuse them so a fuss can be made.

In that case, the church has four possible responses:

– Deny their beliefs and agree to the ceremony, which according to their beliefs will result in them being whacked by God

– Hold to their beliefs and refuse to perform the ceremony, which according to the current social climate, will get them whacked by the media and the government.

– Have a rigorous pre-marital program designed to get the couple “right with God” before scheduling the ceremony, which could only be achieved by the couple coming to the belief that God would be against their marriage, with the alternative solution that the couple would eventually give up on the ceremony in that church

– Perform a non-religious (civil) ceremony

Something like:

Friends, we have been invited here today to share with ______ and ______ a very important moment in their lives. In the years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now they have decided to live their lives together as married spouses.

For the opening prayer or reading, Bible verses, of course, would not be appropriate, unless the church felt the need to gently point out their view on God’s opinion of the ceremony.  This would be difficult to do without incurring the same wrath that refusing to perform the ceremony would result in, and is really kind of twinky.  If the church agrees (or is forced) to do the ceremony, they should at least live up to the standards of a justice of the peace.

Then there is usually a “definition” of marriage, pointing out the benefits and responsibilities. This can be as usual, showing how marriage is a social, and legal contract between two individuals that unites their lives legally, economically, and emotionally. The contractual marriage agreement usually implies that the couple has legal obligations to each other throughout their lives or until they decide to divorce.  Leave out any reference to sexual relations or indicate that despite the marriage ceremony, homosexual sex is believed to be rejected by God, that is, even being legally married does not guarantee that God accepts gay sex).

For instance:

Now it is generally held that by being married, sexual relations between spouses is approved of by man and God.  However, there are indications that God does not accept sexual relations between people of the same sex under any circumstances.  Therefore, be aware that sexual activity after this ceremony is likely to be exactly as legal and moral as it was before this ceremony.

The rest of the ceremony can be pretty much standard, avoiding any reference to God or holiness.  In particular, “What God has put together, let no man put asunder” and “By the authority granted to me by God…” should be definitely left out.

Some gay people believe in God and some do not.  It seems like it would be difficult to believe in the God of the Bible and to also believe that a traditional church wedding would be appropriate, but there are all types.  I suspect that the desire in some cases is not for the wedding, but to attack the church, as the worst elements of the gay community have already done to bakers and photographers.


Say what, Elton?

Elton John, the famous musical performer and flamboyant homosexual, plans to marry his life partner, David, with which he has 2 kids (presumably via adoption).  If that is what he thinks is right and he is willing to pay the costs, that is his choice.  However, I suspect that deep inside, he realizes it is a bad decision, based on the strange comment he made in an attempt to convince himself and “everyone else” that it is ok.

Per Sir John:  “We live in a different time. If Jesus Christ was alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was, saying this could not happen.  He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together, and that is what the church should be about.”

Hmmm.  Elton, you write a good song and put on a great show.  However, it appears your religious skills are not in the same league with your musical ones.  Let us break down that statement to see what value it might have.

“If Jesus Christ was alive today” implies that Jesus is dead today.  Yet the common belief is that Jesus conquered death and was resurrected in a new body which is designed for eternity.  If Jesus is, in fact, dead, then everything he promised is “dust in the wind”, his suffering was for nothing and we don’t have hope of salvation.  Not to mention that Jesus is thought to be (part of) God (oops, I just mentioned it).  If Jesus is dead, then does that not imply that God is dead, or at least part of Him is dead?  And if God can die or be diminished, especially by his own creation, how can He claim to be God?  Perhaps what Elton MEANT to say was “If Jesus Christ were walking the earth among men today”.

“The Christian person he was” is incorrect.  Jesus was not a Christian; he was, in fact, a Jew.  And there were not, nor could there be, ANY Christians until after Jesus died and was resurrected, since that is the basis of Christianity.  A case could be made that He is a Christian now, although it would be pretty nebulous,  since being a Christian is based on the BELIEF in Jesus and his gift to us of salvation.  As God and without sin, Jesus does not NEED salvation, and His knowledge of Himself does not require any belief.

“The great person he was” is not too bad, although the past tense is a bit of a concern.  See the earlier discussion on whether He is dead.  The other implication is that Jesus is no longer a great person, and that is really troubling.

“Saying this could not happen”.  If Jesus is in fact God, then He DID say it could not happen, or more accurately, SHOULD not happen.  In the Bible, several times, where God says that marriage is between a man and a woman, and where it is pointed out that homosexual activity is sin, and there is a strong implication that even fantasizing about homosexual activity is a sin.

“He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together” is also largely incorrect.  Jesus HAD love and compassion in infinite measure, and He was WILLING to forgive anyone who repented their sins (and made a serious effort not to repeat them).  But that was not what He was about, and he did not have much interest at all in “bringing people together”.  What He was “all about” was bringing people to the Kingdom of God; that is, saving them from their sins, which if not atoned for, would bar them from eternal fellowship with Him.  And by some interpretations, result in eternal torment.

“That is what the church should be about” is potential disaster.  Bringing people together has little to do with God or Jesus, and mostly is about the people.  In order to do this, the church would have to discard much of their teaching, and turn church into a place of entertainment and kowtowing to every vagrant thought, not a place of teaching about God and Jesus and helping people to follow the path Jesus drew for us.  That path is for the salvation of our soul; the road map of a life pleasing to God.  It is a narrow, difficult path, but what is at the end is worth all the effort.

So Elton, if you can convince yourself that marrying David is the thing to do, then do it.  Do it because you want to, do it because you don’t think there will be any repercussions and you are willing to pay the price if it turns out you are wrong.  But do NOT delude yourself or anyone else that God will look upon it with any kind of favor.  Oh, and don’t attempt to redefine God or Jesus.

Are homosexual people evil?

This is a stupid question.  Homosexuals are people and like all people, some have the capacity for evil.  The homosexuality has no relationship to the evil.  If you are against people who happen to be homosexual, then there might be something wrong with you.  If you are against homosexual activities, then that is more supportable.

A better question is “Are homosexual people sinners?” and the answer to that is yes, at least for those who engage in or fantasize about homosexual activities.  This in itself does not make them bad people, it just makes them at odds with God.  He tells us not to engage in certain behaviors, not because He is a killjoy, but because those behaviors are harmful to us and/or to His plan.

Some people think that homosexuality is a worse sin than most others.  I beg to differ.  As far as I can tell, there is exactly NO difference between two people of the same gender fornicating and two people of opposite genders who are not married fornicating.  Sin is sin.  Keep in mind that a “sin” is an offense against God, and often against oneself.  Therefore, it is up to God and the people involved to deal with it.  Not me and not you and not the government.  What people do in private is their business as long as nobody gets hurt.

By the way, this brings up an interesting question.  Are a couple who got married in front of a Justice of the Peace (or an Elvis impersonator) really married?  In the eyes of man and most legal systems, absolutely.  In the eyes of God?  I do not know; if He was not invited to the ceremony, He might not recognize the marriage.  There is the possibility that they, too, are sinning when they indulge in lovemaking.

As mentioned, many homosexuals are not “bad people”, but sadly, a few are.  These are the people  who think than anyone who is not wholeheartedly in favor of homosexuality is “the enemy”.  That there are no negative aspects of homosexuality.  That “all” heterosexuals and/or religious people and/or Republicans are out to get the homosexuals (sadly, some of the listed people ARE out to unreasonably damage homosexuals).  A reliable sign of this sort of people is someone who applies the term “hater” to anyone who disagrees with any homosexual agenda, even those who actually love the people who are homosexual but just disagree with some of their behaviors.  These are the most radical of the homosexual activists; people who seek to force homosexuality as the new “norm”.  Many of these people can be considered to be evil, not because they are homosexual, but because their tactics and sometimes even their goals are evil.

Let us consider three recent cases which made the news.  In case one, a gay couple went to a baker to get a wedding cake, and the baker refused to make such a cake because he did not believe that gay people can be legitimately (as opposed to legally) married.  In case two, another gay couple went to a photographer to cover their ceremony, and again, the photographer would not comply due to his religious beliefs.  Now in either case, if the couple had been normal, reasonable, intelligent people, their response would have been something like “Ok, we won’t buy your bread/get our portraits taken here either, and we’ll tell all our gay friends about  you so they won’t bother you.”  And everybody would have gotten what they wanted, or at least deserved.  But no; in both these cases the couple whined about “discrimination”, and there was a big outcry and government involvement and court cases, and as a result, the photographer and baker have been damaged if not actually ruined.  For doing the gay couples a massive favor.  And as an even worse result, other bakers and photographers and even other wedding related artists may not dare to express their beliefs, which makes makes the odds of future gay couples being at risk for having their ceremonies damaged has been significantly increased.

What?  Consider.  Making a superior wedding cake is an art form, and so is meaningful wedding photography.  A ceremony is hoped to be a once in a lifetime experience; do you really think it is low risk to have the cake and photography (or anything else) to be done by people who are not in full agreement with the joining?  Really?  If a person is “forced” to do art, do you really expect truly good work if the artist is not “feeling” the moment?  Or even is repulsed by the moment?  Or is it more likely to result in a standard cake which could be bought at Safeway for a tenth of the price, and photographs which do not capture all (or even any) of the joy of the ceremony?

But what about “equal rights”?  Aren’t homosexuals “discriminated against”?  Certainly there are occasions where a person’s actual rights are violated because of their homosexuality.  This needs to be addressed on a case by case basis, since homosexuals already have “equal rights” wherever they happen to reside, because they are people and thus must be allowed the same human rights granted to everyone else in that area.  But many occasions in which homosexual people are denied something just because they are homosexual are not really discrimination.

In many cases, what they are desiring are not “rights”.  Consider the push for “gay marriage”.  Marriage is not a “right”; it is a privilege granted upon the acceptance of, and the ability to, satisfy the accompanying responsibilities.  Or at least it should be.  Are there gay couples who want to get “married”?  Of course there are, but how many of them want to do so because they want to contribute to the institution of marriage as the building block of society and child rearing?  Certainly not all of them; some want to get married to get “for free” the benefits automatically granted to the people in a marriage, which an unmarried gay couple must set up for themselves or in some cases influence modifications to the laws.  Some want to make a statement about their relationship with another person.  I suppose it is possible that some think they may be able to “fool” God into accepting their homosexual lovemaking.  It is likely that at least a few view it as a means of thumbing their nose at society or even to “destroy” or at least further devalue the institution of marriage.

In the cases above, if the couples had been black, which not only is something over which they have no control, but does not have any provable or viable theoretical link to their suitability to be married, then a really good case for discrimination could have been made.  Then the baker’s/photographer’s beliefs could have been considered unreasonable and they might well deserve to be put out of business.  Homosexuals have a choice about engaging in homosexual activities.  And many people who believe in God and follow His word do not think that homosexuals can be validly “married”.  Ditto for some people who study society and history.  Are they right?  Maybe; at least it is a valid theory.  Thus calling this sort of thing “discrimination” cheapens the word.  True discrimination is an evil act; to apply the word to lesser offenses weakens the disapproval the word causes, and thus the censure for engaging in true discrimination.

The couples in these two cases either were activists who were eager for an opportunity to push their beliefs on others and punish people who disagreed with those beliefs, or were normal people who were “conditioned” to be horrified by the rejection rather than glad not to get the wrong baker/photographer for their event.  Or perhaps neither, and unrelated activists seized the opportunity to further their goals.

I promised three cases, didn’t I?  The third is Brendan Eich, who started Mozilla and became its CEO.  Six years ago he donated $1000 to the campaign (California Proposition 8) which attempted to define marriage as only between a man and a woman.  The proposition was approved in the election, but after several years of legal wrangling  was declared to be invalid.  Even though they “won”, gay activists went through donation records from six years ago and found Brendan’s name and raised a fuss, even though the matter had already been finally settled and Brendan could no longer have any impact on the issue (and there does not seem to be any evidence he is anti-gay, just the contribution as indication he is, or was, anti-gay-marriage).  Just as a punishment, and a warning to others not to disagree with them, they managed to cause him to lose his job (he was forced to resign).  Evil.  Just pure evil.