Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DOMA, the church, & the constitution

Today the United States Supreme Court ruled (5-4) that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional.

The issue of same-sex marriage has continually been elevated in media and culture.  My feeling was this ruling was inevitable.  I realize we do not live in the United States of Christianity.  That who you love or what you choose to believe is a choice protected by the Constitution of the United States of America.  But as I browsed through the internet looking for responses and reactions from the rest of the world, I was...

...relieved to find this excerpt from Andrew Marin (from an article in Christianity Today). 

But Andrew Marin, founder and president of The Marin Foundation, an organization that seeks "to build bridges between the LGBT community and the church," says difficult conversations about sexual ethics and theology will remain complicated whether or not same-sex marriage is legalized.

"As a body, whether people agree or disagree with the rulings, the church must start functioning in the reality of this new world instead of continuing to function in one's ideal, best case scenario, which does not exist," he said.

Now, the battleground ought to shift toward religious freedom, in order to protect churches' right to preach according to Scripture, which in a number of situations will go against today's ruling, Marin says. But he adds that there is reason to be encouraged on this front: In a statement this morning, President Barack Obama emphasized that the need to "maintain our nation's commitment to religious freedom [is] vital … and how religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions."

I agree with Andrew about building bridges.  He is doing an exceptional job.  Me on the other hand, I am not...doing much of anything. 

I am also thankful for the President's words.  That as the decision on DOMA was based on the Constitution and the protection of the civil rights of citizens of the United States, our First Amendment rights will also be protected as well.

With this ruling, the issue of same-sex marriage/relationships will continue to elevate.  What does Jesus ask us to do?  How does he call Christians to respond? 
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV)

So dear Christian, however you choose to respond remember that yes, love God, honor Him, exalt Him in your response...

...but love your neighbor, as well. 

(Agree? Disagree? I'm just thinking out loud here. I'd love to talk. It'd help me get clarity on what I believe and why. Thanks...& peace.)

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