A few weeks ago I wrote two posts, one for men and one for women, giving some advice on marriage. After reading the first one (addressed to men) someone left a comment for me, stating that I was in danger of becoming socially, culturally and politically redundant because I had decided to address my articles only to heterosexual relationships. I told my respondent I had a good reason why I did not address homosexual relationships also in my articles – I haven’t had one. While I’ve been in a long term relationship for over twenty years, and I believe I know some things about marriage, and the way women and men operate, when it comes to homosexual relationships, I’m simply not qualified.
I’ve also made no secret lately of the fact I think Christians ought to let up on their lobby against legalising same-sex marriage. I’ve been asked what my Biblical standpoint is, and I’ll be honest, I don’t think I have a very good one. When it comes to the matter of homosexuality, I’ve had the exact same default position programmed into me almost every other Christian has – homosexuality is wrong, thus homosexuals have no rights. A persons homosexuality categorically cancels their right to live without fear of judgement or of being marginalised, and their right to make families from their unions either philosophically or legally. However, I’ve been questioning that default position lately, because it’s begun to clash with a couple of other default positions I’ve challenged and which have changed.
Like the the one I had for years that said I should just say and do what every other Christian said and did, because this is what we do here.
And the default position that said things are exactly the way I perceive them to be, and how I see people is the way they really are, and that’s their problem and not mine.
Oh, and the other default that says I should cite what the Bible says about something, even if I don’t understand either what the Bible says or what that means for others, especially when someone who seems more knowledgeable than me says it’s what I’m meant to do.
And the one that says that having very high ideals is the same as actually pulling them off when it comes to expecting the same high ideals be held and achieved by others, regardless of whether you’ve actually managed to pull off what it is you advocate for.
And the default that says love is grand and wonderful, can be tough and should probably be, but is absolutely conditional, even though we Christians claim at the same time to have the monopoly on the unconditional kind.
I had an illegitimate relationship once, and it produced an illegitimate child. I will never forget reading the word illegitimate on my child’s birth certificate and realising my relationship with his father was something bad I had done to my child, something that would be on his birth record for his whole life, regardless of if I then married his father or not. I wasn’t worried about how hard being married at 20 would be, or how I’d raise a child when I knew nothing about babies or children myself. The stigma was the biggest burden for me. I wanted to be rid of that as soon as possible. Even though our Christianity wasn’t enough to stop us having sex before we were married, it was enough to make us want to get married, a lot. We endeavoured to get us a church-ordained marriage as soon as we could, and despite some hurdles the church placed before us – I think to make us appreciate that is wasn’t going to be as easy to get married as it was to play at it – we did it. But marriage was possible, as well as desirable for us. I will never forget how it felt prior to our wedding when I realised my relationship was not recognised legally, and my child was considered a half-orphan. I felt like my child and me were less than whole persons in our society, and in our Church. And I was nowhere even close to being good.
I would not wish this on anyone, especially someone who was prepared to do whatever it took to change it.
I’m not going to have a homosexual relationship anytime soon, because I’m not homosexual. All the homosexual people I know have told me that their sexual orientation was something they were born with, and isn’t something they choose. I’m pretty sure someone would know whether they have a choice about something like that or not, and every homosexual person I know has also told me they would have never, ever chosen to be homosexual, because the intense crap a person has to go through to be openly so is enough to make you want to top yourself. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be born a certain way and have the world hate you because of it. I am white, and heterosexual, so how could I know? I could tell my homosexual friends that my religion dictates to me that their sexual orientation is a choice they make, but for some reason I just do not feel comfortable with this.
How could I possibly say their homosexuality hasn’t been with with them their whole lives? I’m not homosexual. I’m not qualified.
If I were to walk in to church tomorrow and point a finger a all the people who have messed up their marriages or hurt their kids, I’d be accused of all kinds of hypocrisy. Yet we Christians presume to stand and accuse same-sex couples of all kinds of crimes against morality and society, when they haven’t even received the right to legally marry yet, and most of the children homosexual couples have been able to have together haven’t even reached high school age yet. We don’t have the stats on same-sex divorce, or on how many kids will get messed in the head up by having same-sex parents. Despite this, we Christians think we’re qualified to make the assumption it’s all going to go to shit real soon, so let’s nip it in the bud and stop them ever doing it in the first place. But you know what? I think we have no right to condemn same-sex couples because they might break up, might divorce and might damage their kids in the process. Why wouldn’t they? We Christians certainly have.
To my fellow Christians, I would like to say that despite any “authority” we believe God has given us to speak out on particular matters, when it comes to writing out the rules for perfect marriages and perfect kids, put simply - we’re not qualified.
*If you’d like to read the original post Why Christians Are Not the Boss Of Marriage, click here.