No Conflict for Me in Embracing Both Christianity and Gay Marriage

When asked about my religion, I openly identify as a Christian.  With this admission come the stigmas and accusatory questions often associated with being one:  Why don’t you believe in same sex marriages? Who are you to decide whom we can and can’t love?  I always give the same answer.  I believe in same sex marriages, love whoever you want; I have no say in what goes on in your life.

I thought you said you were a Christian? I am.

Growing up in a fairly liberal, Christian household in San Francisco, it’s never been an issue to have seemingly conflicting values. I attended Christian private schools from preschool through 8th grade, learning and memorizing Bible verses and parables until I was able to recite on demand.  Though thoroughly educated in the principles of Christianity, I was raised under the belief that I had the right to make my own decisions, uninhibited by the confines of the religion I was educated in.  As a result, I only grasped onto what I felt were the most important components of Christianity.  I believe in God. I believe Jesus died for our sins. I believe God is not a hateful God, and I believe that we are all equal under Him.

It was not until after my first few years of college that I came into contact with someone who could not fathom nor accept a Christian who believed in same sex marriages.  In response, I divulged that I could not fathom a person condemning another for simply loving the person of their choice.  It is true that the Bible states that God meant for a man to wed a woman, and I respect that and I will not personally go against this, but I do not criticize others for choosing otherwise.  I see nothing immoral with someone loving another, and do not understand why more radical, conservative Christians feel the need to target this “sin” in particular. The belief that violating God’s wish that man love a woman is more immoral than that of stealing, lying, or adultery, especially when homosexuality is completely without malicious intent, is incomprehensible to me. I will not deny a person their right to love freely.  I’ve seen, and still see, some of my closest friends struggle with homosexuality and the repercussions of coming out, and hold the deepest respect for them and those alike who have endured regardless.  So, if some question my Christianity simply because I choose not to hate another for loving unreservedly, then so be it.  I am a Christian regardless of what others will think me to be, and I do not fault them for being as narrow minded as they believe I should be.

 

2 thoughts on “No Conflict for Me in Embracing Both Christianity and Gay Marriage”

  1. Michelle, Thank you for the article. Just a few things I wanted to say, as both of us being Christians.

    You said “I divulged that I could not fathom a person condemning another for simply loving the person of their choice. It is true that the Bible states that God meant for a man to wed a woman, and I respect that and I will not personally go against this, but I do not criticize others for choosing otherwise. I see nothing immoral with someone loving another, and do not understand why more radical, conservative Christians feel the need to target this “sin” in particular. The belief that violating God’s wish that man love a woman is more immoral than that of stealing, lying, or adultery…”

    First, I agree that we should be careful about “condemning” (rather harsh word) someone for “loving another person of their choice.” The problem is that there must be a limit – we can’t just say, as Christians, that anybody is allowed to love anyone else and that consent justifies all behavior. We simply do not believe this as Christians. Clearly, we do not believe in polygamy, marriage between siblings, or marriage between an adult mother and son. It could be that a brother and sister or cousins love each other and cannot help but admit their affection for each other, but that does not make their relationship or marriage acceptable. So, as we can see, some lines are drawn , whether love is present or not. And in general it is not always an easy thing to accept the limitations posed by nature, as it affects our personal lives.

    When you say that you will “not personally go against this”, does that mean you believe God does intend Marriage for only a man and a woman?

    As for loving someone, we are not criticizing or condemning anyone, gay or straight, who naturally has affection and love for another person. This is normal, it is to whom it is directed that happens to be not according to nature. Two cousins may have all the love in the world for each other, but they just are not allowed to marry in the church.

    “Conservative” Christians place considerable focus on gay marriage, because it is now a very powerful movement as well as political change that affects what we value highly and that is the concept of a family — the simple definition of a family does not make a good or loving family but it without the fundamentals, it is not a family. You cannot make cookies without flour but if you have flour (which is a necessary ingredient), it does not mean you will necessarily have tasty cookies.

    I do agree though that gay marriage often gets the spotlight by “conservative” Christians a bit too much compared to other similar moral issues that are perhaps more detrimental on the good of the family — such as multiple divorces and remarriages , adultery, and fatherless families.

    But this should not confuse anyone, hopefully, that gay marriage is any worse or condemned than any of the other things you listed. In fact, many more practices are far worse for the family as a whole. But it is nonetheless very important because it challenges the fundamental idea and thus building block of the Family and of Holy Matrimony.

  2. I am so glad to see something like this. I too grew up in a liberal-yet-Christian household (Catholic, in fact) but I would never dream of taking away marital rights from the gay community.

    And since coming to school in san Francisco, one of the most liberal places in the US (and with one of the strongest gay communities in the world), I understand your experience with condemned by exceptionally liberal individuals for being Christian. It is unfortunate that radical and fanatic Christian groups in the country have given the young, liberal, even atheist demographics a distasteful view of Christianity as a whole. It seems to me that those young Christians that I do know are trying to perpetuate a trend of “my God loves everyone,” which is wonderful. I just hope it will be enough.

    The person who commented before is very articulate and intelligent, and sounds like a nice person, but I cannot help but wonder, if you don’t believe in marriage equality, why the heck did you come to school in San Francisco? Because you will be in the sore minority in that issue.

    Also, while I do not think god hates gays, nor that homosexuality is comparable to incest, I cannot help but say, who are you (we) to judge? one day, judgment will come from Him, so stop playing God by pretending you know and believe everything He thinks. The Old Testament also says that after Eve’s sin, all women would be the servant of their husbands, sure you can’t believe that.

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