To celebrate or not to celebrate
Facebook is a website of wonder. It’s a wonder why people spend so much time on it. I had a Facebook account at one point, but ultimately found it vapid and vacuous, not to mention an invasion of privacy. Though I don’t have my own Facebook account any longer, there are occasions when I can peruse the entries just to see how people think. After reading this, I wonder if they do.
I hope that when I get married someday, that those close with me and everyone else who is on my Facebook will celebrate with me no matter what our differences of opinions because I assure you…EVERYONE has differing opinions but that didn’t stop you from celebrating your straight friends when they got married. Love is love and when you celebrate a couple in love no matter if they’re LGBTQ or not, you’re doing yourself and them no harm even if you do not approve of their relationship.
The individual writing this considers herself as being in that “L” category. She’s stuck in the morass that could be politely considered alternative sexuality, and the statement she makes, which is an appeal to feeling rather than reasoning, is nonsensical. Not so astonishingly, there were several minions who gave mindless assent to this post. Some of those who expressed approval with “likes” I admit I found bemusing.
There’s plenty of, excuse the metaphor, tongue lashing happening between Christians and homosexuals. Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame experienced a backlash of criticism for his comments of a Christian perspective on homosexuality published in GQ magazine in December of 2013. After being initially suspended by A&E network executives for those comments he was quickly reinstated, most likely because the rest of the Robertson family took the position that if their patriarch was gone, so were they. Although his comments regarding homosexuality might be considered raw by some, he nevertheless expressed the biblical position. It seems it’s that biblical position to which homosexuals take offense because they desire the validation of their behaviour through acceptance and approval (read: celebration) which the Bible doesn’t allow.
After [Deirdre] Gurney [executive producer of Duck Dynasty] explained that Robertson treats all the people connected with the show, even the several gay people on the production crew, like a family, co-panelist Tim Gunn, who is gay and co-hosts Project Runway, said, “Are you saying he didn’t make the comments?” Gurney answered, “He made the comments, but he doesn’t deny who he is. He has beliefs and he stands by his beliefs and what he said. But that isn’t how he treats people and what he thinks. I think there’s a separation between what he thinks and how he thinks people should be treated,” said Gurney. “And I don’t think he was saying anything about how people should be treated.
The ‘separation’ of which she speaks is the dichotomy the Christian deals with in the world between sin and the people who practice it. The nature of evil is such that people become confused by the descent into the sin they practice. The apostle Paul addresses this in Romans as he states, “they exchange the truth of God for a lie”. In People of the Lie, M. Scott Peck puts it this way, “Mental health requires that the human will submit itself to something higher than itself. To function decently in this world we must submit ourselves to some principle that takes precedence over what we might want at any given moment.” (Pg. 162) People involved in sin, and to speak to this point homosexual sin, become blinded to the truth by the lie that is the nature of evil. In this way, their corrupted state keeps them from an understanding as to how a Christian can oppose sinful behaviour while having a loving attitude toward the sinner.
I understand that the writer of this Facebook post intends the meaning of marriage to be as between some female and herself, but no matter how she uses the word or how the civil authorities choose to define it, marriage it isn’t. To hope for such a thing is a futile hope indeed, opinions notwithstanding. Marriage is a bond between a man and a woman. It has always been that and will always be so. It is a state or condition recognized and defined by God, and when the state chooses to enact what can only be considered a counterfeit it becomes another example of government assumption of the role of God. Most importantly, whatever government claims it to be doesn’t make it so. A similar thread of logic comes to mind from scripture (see Romans 3).
Opinions mean nothing. Remember Elmo’s Rule #16: “People have enough opinions of their own. No one is interested in yours.” My opinion may be that she and her significant other still won’t be married even if they have a blowout of a ceremony. Her opinion may be quite the contrary. Differences of opinions have no bearing, except in her own mind. Ideas which have a basis in reality and are anchored in truth do. This post presumes a conflict of opinion in the writing as it begs for assent, and disregards the foundation of opposition. The question simply becomes whose opinion is based in fact and truth.
When people say something like, “Love is love, and …”, they’re attempting to give love the broadest definition possible that suits their use. Again, as in opinions and marriage, this comes down to semantics. What is love? It’s a simple question, and outside of Christianity, it’s possibly the most difficult to answer. The Christian has a very simple yet profound response, God is love. Her “love is love” statement is simply more tautological rhetoric reminiscent of the writings of one Gertrude Stein whom she may now consider to be one of her sexually challenged champions. Sin is sin, but that doesn’t mean anyone has to approve of it.
Finally, and perhaps most significantly, she makes the claim that “…you’re doing yourself and them no harm even if you do not approve of their relationship” as to celebrate a couple in love. It’s ridiculous. To celebrate implies approval. Approvals have their basis in reality. Contrary to her notion, one does oneself the harm of damaging their own rationality, if not their outright sanity, as was touched on in the paragraph above. I don’t have to draw upon being a Christian and all the biblical mandates against homosexuality to not celebrate gay marriage. I don’t celebrate it because there isn’t such an animal. It doesn’t exist. It would be as if I invited people to a celebration of a rainbow coloured elephant in the street. Gay marriage isn’t real, no matter how many government officials, judges or even formerly mainline Christian denominations declare it to be.
The top legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has voted by large margins to recognize same-sex marriage as Christian in the church constitution, adding language that marriage can be the union of “two people,” not just “a man and a woman.”
Essentially, this entire statement of hers is the ranting of a confused and afraid young woman seeking validation and the security of her decisions. If she were secure in herself it wouldn’t matter if her hopes came to pass. Just making the statement, and particularly making it on Facebook, suggests that’s not the case. But then this is a person who has become as so many have, moved by feelings wholly unconnected to reason. To love is not simply to feel, but to know with the mind and to do by the actions. To love is to be filled with meaning. Celebrations, for all their frivolity, have meaning, apparently escaping someone such as her. Therefore, left with the choices faced by her proposition, if not to attend the celebration could mean that one doesn’t approve or simply that there’s nothing to celebrate. I leave such an ambivalence for her to choose.