It’s been a big week.
Not necessarily for my internship, since I got sick and missed a day and a half. But for the country, it’s been huge. On Thursday, a Supreme Court ruling upheld Obamacare subsidies. I’ve read several articles about the matter, and unfortunately a lot of it, like most economic language, went right over my head.
What didn’t confuse, or shock, me was the Friday ruling that gay marriage is legal, and that in fact there is no such thing as gay marriage, there is just marriage.
I said it didn’t shock me. Of course it didn’t shock me. I’ve lived in America for the past four years. I’ve spent hours on Tumblr and I read the news voraciously. I knew it was coming. I knew people would be overjoyed and, just like when interracial marriage became legal, would throw around phrases like being “on the right side of history.”
I’m a Christian, and I believe what the Bible says. I believe it when it says, “love your neighbor,” and that God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell.
Unfortunately, from what I’ve seen so far, a lot of Christians don’t seem to believe that.
At The Messenger, we decided to cover the event and get local opinions, so we posted a question on our Facebook page: “What are your thoughts on today’s Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage?”
Within less than an hour we had over 40 responses. I read through a bunch of them, and caught on to a trend: most of the ones from supporters of the ruling were well-thought out and articulated, speaking highly of love and equality and really making you feel like this ruling makes you proud to be an American:
And then there were the negative ones. Oh my gosh, guys, when did Christians on the Internet become ignorant, demeaning and completely unloving? Think I’m exaggerating? Check this out.
If that doesn’t make you wince and go give a hug to the nearest person you see, well…wow.
You guys, it’s okay not to be pleased with the Supreme Court ruling. Jesus wasn’t always pleased with the way his government did things; heck, Jesus walked into the synagogue and started bashing religious rulers for their misdeeds.
But Jesus never treated other humans like dirt. You know who knows that? Everyone. Christians, non-Christians…and when Christians act the complete opposite of how Jesus acted, we become a mockery. We can’t be taken seriously, because we’re claiming to follow in the footsteps of one man when really we’re chasing the heels of his enemy.
Yes, Jesus told the prostitute not to sin. But do you know what else he offered her? Forgiveness. Love.
Yes, Jesus cured Mary Magdalene of her demons. But do you know what else he did? He loved her and welcomed her into his family.
I could go on and on and on. Other Biblical heroes sinned egregiously (David. Moses. Peter. Paul. You. Me. We all sin). And God always offered love with his disapproval. Why can’t American Christians do the same?
I don’t know where I stand with gay marriage. As a Christian, I think it should be up to God who does and doesn’t get married. As a citizen of a country that promises the separation of church and state, I don’t know if I’m right in forcing my ideals on someone else. As a journalist, I try to separate my personal feelings from the events and issues I cover.
What I do know is that the way Christians reacted is not the way we should react. We should react in love. Reach out to the people around you and tell them you love them.
Because guess what? You are just as rotten a sinner as anybody you’ll meet on the street. I’m speaking from experience. I am full of sin. Chock full. But I’ve been forgiven and washed clean. And if that can happen for me, it can happen for anyone.
I wonder if this will offend anyone, or if anyone will even read it. Nonetheless, I had to post it. So there you have it: marriage is for everyone. I don’t know whether that’s right or wrong. But I know reacting to it the way I’ve seen people act on Facebook is wrong and it needs to stop.