Friday, March 29, 2013

The legalization of sin, right here in River City!

With all the talk of marriage equality, I have noticed some themes.  They happen with every hot topic.  This particular one has a few catch phrases.  I wanted to take some time to speak to one in particular that I continue to hear from many people:

"As Christians, we are called to love sinners but not encourage them in their sin.  That's exactly what we're doing if we legalize their behavior!"

Hmmmm.  If you believe that participating in homosexual acts is a sin, then this makes a lot of sense.  I get it.  That's cool. With so many people who hold this conservative view, I assumed I could find this line of thinking on many other issues of sin.  So, I started looking.

I'm still looking.

I am searching for the petition to stop non-believers from marrying those who believe in and follow the teachings of the Bible.  I've been around the Southern Baptist block long enough to know it's a sin to be unequally yoked.  So, of course, there must be people actively fighting against, and wanting to make these sorts of marriages illegal.  There must be a Facebook group or something.  I've just yet to find it.  Surely, people are not choosing to keep one sort of sinful marriage illegal, but be completely numb to another.  Allowing those in unequally yoked relationships to marry would be completely redefining biblical marriage.  Again, I'm sure it's out there.  Probably right under my nose.

I'm also digging around to find the groups working adamantly to stop atheists from adopting or serving as foster parents.  By allowing these people to parent, America is (in many circumstances) using government funds  to allow these children to be raised under their own view of and/or disbelief of God.  Wowza.  Someone is out there trying to stop this, right?  They must be.  It would only make sense.

In thinking through this same school of thought (not giving legal standing to sin), I realized years ago that there was another area in which I wasn't able to find a lot of uproar.  Again, I'm sure I'm simply not looking hard enough, or need to improve my Googling skills.

Gluttony.

If you believe in and follow the teachings of the Holy Bible then you believe gluttony is a sin.  And if you also believe that we should not be legalizing sinful behavior then ...

I'm guessing you're totally down with the government cutting you off the next time you go through Starbucks, because you have more than met your daily allowance of calories and fat.  We shouldn't just let you, as an adult human being (of sound mind), be able to make your own decisions on what you purchase and what you consume - in public, or behind closed doors.  By doing so, we are saying this sin is perfectly acceptable.  Again, we have already legalized sin!

There is an outcry, right?  Right?  Please tell me there are Christians marching in the streets with signs declaring a war on the glamorization of gluttony.

Please, tell me that gluttony is not perfectly acceptable within the walls of most churches.  That it is not celebrated and perpetuated around every Wednesday night meal before prayer meetings.  Please tell me that there will not be people standing around in their Sunday School classrooms on Easter, declaring the travesty of how many people support equality in marriage, while shoving donuts in their face holes.

Please tell me that when someone starts talking about eating healthier, they will not receive the most negative comments from their church family.  It's not those people who will mock their decision to try a vegetarian or vegan diet for the sake of their cholesterol.

But in fact, the healthier I have become over the years, I have received the most negative comments, insults and mockery from those who claim to follow Jesus Christ.  I have been ridiculed and even told I'm wrong to eat a plant-based diet.

This line of thinking is disgustingly hypocritical.  I can say that because I was that.  I've said these things while feeding donuts and soda to children at 9:30 am before teaching them the story of Moses.  I have said that Christian homosexuals can only please God by remaining celibate on the same weekend of attending the wedding of a Christian friend's second marriage to a non-Believer.  I supported an increase in Christian adoption agencies who would not allow homosexuals or atheists to adopt ... all while filling my body with more food than it needed and using unhealthy things to numb feelings I did not want to face.

I judged. Oh my lands, how I judged.

I faced myself and my beliefs, long and hard.  I said to myself, "I can no longer be a hypocrite, but how will that look?"  And I didn't stop until I found an answer and peace.  It was a terrifying journey, because it forced me to question many things.  But I did it.  I did it because this is for and about other humans.  I didn't just do it for me.  I did it for them.  I wasn't making any sense, and it was directly affecting their lives.

Over the years, my husband and I have had our theology questioned harshly.  His response to someone on Facebook this week was:  "For me, this has nothing to do with religion or any kind of theology. For me, this issue is all about equal rights for every person."  I completely agree.  If it were about legalizing sin, well ... really?  Show me where you are trying to make every non-biblical marriage illegal.  I have been there, but when I faced it, I changed.  I didn't feel like I could be so hypocritical and claim to love all people.  It could no longer be reconciled within me.
As does happen, I'm receiving comments across several areas of online communication that suggest I'm saying "two wrongs make a right."  I think many people continue to miss my point and my own personal growth.  This isn't "two wrongs make a right" kind of thinking.  


This was a "Wow!  I was WRONG!"

I do not, for one second, think it is wrong or sinful to grant a legal marriage to any two consenting adults of legal age and sound mind.  I think that is fair.  I think it is right.  I think it is good.

How these people view, practice and live out their marriage is completely up to them.  I will add this to my post.  I do not want anyone else to think that I think this is wrong.  I don't.  I think marriage equality is AWESOME and beautiful.

I'm going to let U.S. Senator, Diane Savino, finish this one out for me.

"If there's anything wrong, if there's any threat to the sanctity of marriage in America, it comes from those of us who have the privilege and the right.  And we have abused it for decades.  We have nothing to fear from [same sex couples].  We have nothing to fear from people who are committed to each other, who want to share their lives and protect one another in the event of sickness, illness or death.  We have nothing to fear from love and commitment."

26 comments:

Jamie said...

You are AWESOME!

Joël Logan said...

Just a little over the top.

Heather Franklin said...

This is the best response to all the Christian hate rhetoric I have ever read. You rock!

lana said...

You put words to what I have failed to be able to speak in a way that makes any sense. This totally does it.

Christina said...

100% complete and total truth right there! You are a rockstar my friend!!

Barb Aloot said...

You are truly doing good work here. And just imagining what the world would be like if the energy put into opposing marriage for same-sex couples were put into opposing gluttony.... wow.

Leah said...

I've been struggling with this myself. One of the arguments is that marriage is for the procreation of children. For a woman in a marriage that is unable to make babies, I'm sure my marriage falls well within the illegitimate realm as well as more popular illegitimate lovers. Just saying love is love whether there are babies or not.

Jen said...

AMEN.

Ericka said...

Thank for articulating this so clearly! Amen to everything you said. It's a moral issue, if you don't believe in gay marriage, don't marry a gay person! And as a Christian if I'm going to start calling out other's sins....well I better be Jesus. Love people, love and let others love.

Dennis Nesser said...

I've had to change my ""As Christians, we are called to love sinners but not encourage them in their sin" to "As Christians, we are called to love, not judge"..and if I want I'll add, "that's between the individual and God, not me". It's a huge difference when you no longer are judge and jury for every person you meet. Didn't Christ say "he without sin cast the first stone"? Yeah, I get no stones to throw at anyone.

I keep on my computer desktop a picture that has the phrase, "Don't Judge me because I sin differently from you." It helps remind me daily that I am a sinner and who am I to judge ANYONE?

Somewhere "the church" decided their rules would overwrite what Christ told them in word and deed. *sigh*

I so can't wait to see the face of so many when God comes out as a lesbian black woman on judgement day.

Gary Hargreaves said...

Sorry I cannot agree with you at all.

Two wrongs dont make a right. You cannot justify something that is wrong by pointing out other wrong things that are done as a justification.

You would be better trying to deal with the hypocricy that you see by challenging those things that you see as wrong rather than using them as an excuse for trying to justify another wrong.

By calling these other christians who are "failing" in some way in your eyes hypocrites you are yourself falling into the sin of judgement as you do not know their own circumstances.

Try loving people and standing up for gospel truths rather than justifying that which is wrong.

Christine Moers said...

Gary,

I actually came to the conclusion that I believe everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that I was wrong to use my scriptural beliefs only when it worked for me. I came to the conclusion that my husband has - this is not about theology. If it were, all other marriages would be about theology. And they aren't. Not in my head and not in this country. And I honestly don't have a problem with allowing everyone to choose who they marry. It has never hurt my faith. Never.

This is my story. I'm not simply talking about others. I'm addressing a thought process that I once had, and explaining how I got to where I am now. I believe this line of thinking is wrong.

I called myself a hypocrite when I was functioning in this way. I absolutely believe I was. That's why I came to a crossroads. And it's my hope that others will at least examine their own motives and dig deep into this particular facet of the conversation, if they are saying the same thing. It was extremely hypocritical of me.

Someone's journey, years ago, questioned me on this very issue. Not directly. I read their thoughts on it. And my first response was extreme defensiveness. It took me a very, very long time of this swirling in my head and my heart before I chose to examine it fully. That's all I'm asking of others. Examine it. All the way through. Especially when it brings up very large feelings.

I have never said I am better than anyone else. Far from it. I am not. And I do not believe the people who feel this way are bad or selfish. I was not bad or selfish. I was just a normal human being like everyone else.

But I had many, many months where I was confronted with contradiction to my firmly held beliefs, and I did everything I could to avoid the subject or change the subject. I didn't want to face it. It was difficult (who wants to face difficult things, ya' know?). And I can definitely say that the CHOICE I made to put off that thought process was not good. And it was selfish.

If someone rolls around and grapples with this and lands in a different space from me, and they are completely at peace with their decision, I have no qualms with them. I would welcome their thoughts. I would welcome a private conversation. Or I would be absolutely fine if they never felt the need or desire to ever discuss it with me. It's their life. Their story.

This is my life. My story. And, unfortunately, I have been hypocritical in the past in several areas.

Becky said...

Beautifully said!! God gave us choices. He did not force himself on us. Following that example, what gives us the right to force a belief system onto someone else?

The US was founded on religious freedom. Freedom to worship and practice a belief system without government dictation. And yet we keep coming back to that in prohibition, abortion, marriage... I like being able to believe and practice my beliefs as I see fit, nor would I want government dictation on that - which is what we invite when we begin to mix religious preferences in the governing of a society.

Aaron Kren said...

It is impossible for everyone to be treated equally under the law.

People who aren't born in this country can never be president.

I won't get the same college discount that native Americans get.

As much as I might like the same tax benefits that a small business owner gets, it's not going to happen.

Even though I am a Christian, I don't believe the Bible should be the basis of any legislation. The government is not responsible for upholding Christian theology. On the other hand, I don't believe the government should be making laws based on how much two people might love each other.

The government can either prohibit behavior or promote behavior. The government has no right to prohibit homosexuality - and it is not. Homosexuals have the right to live in a committed relationship with each other. But, must the government promote homosexual relationships by providing them with the exact same legal and financial benefits that heterosexuals are granted? The two different types of relationships have biological differences that differentiate their roles in society - therefore they should receive different legal benefits.

Christine Moers said...

Aaron, while I disagree with you, I want to thank you (sincerely) for a very direct and concise argument. It is extremely difficult to have these conversations in print. I also appreciate you being clear in the basis of your argument.

We most certainly disagree, but based on what you have said, I cannot disagree in any way with why you have a full and complete peace with your decision. Thank you.

Aaron said...

I agree, this is a touchy subject to talk about in print or in person.

In keeping with the subject of catch phrases - the catch phrase slogan of the pro-gay marriage side is "freedom."

When you label your cause as a fight for freedom, it is hard to oppose it, because nobody wants to be thought of as someone who wants to take away someone's freedom.

I can't think of any freedom that a homosexual couple is being denied. They can have a relationship with rings and vows that looks exactly like marriage. They can even call it marriage - and who is the government to say they can't use that word.

Passing laws that give these relationships the same tax/legal benefits as heterosexual marriages isn't a matter of freedom.

People are free to choose their lifestyle, but why should the government offer money to support every lifestyle equally?

Piggybacking on your gluttony example. I would be opposed to the government watching my calorie count and denying me access to another chocolate donut - but I would not be opposed to medical companies offering certain fiscal benefits for people who exercise regularly and eat healthy. Again, it is a matter of what the government should promote and what it should prohibit.

The other catch phrase that bugs me is calling those who oppose gay-marriage as haters. It's too easy (and unproductive) to vilify the opposing side in this debate.

cindy brundidge said...

As some said in an earlier post, two wrongs do not make a right.

Christ called His disciples and showed them thru example how to change from withing thru prayer and study of God"s Word.

When Christ spoke to those caught in sin, He told them they were forgiven and to go and sin no more.

God is the same yestrday, today and forever. His Word does not change regardless of how people change.

It is good to analyze our lives and change when/where/how is needed, as long as we are changing in accordance with God's word. If, after all our introspection we come out with a belief that is clearly contrary to what God"s Word says, then we are in the wrong and need to repent.

Love is not a warm fuzzy feeling. Love is a choice, and action or deliberate way of behaving. Love is not selfish. Love speaks The Truth, not a truth of the moment.

It is possible to love those we don't agree with. Disagreeing does not mean you hate the other or fear the other; it just means you disagree.

Freedom and diversity INCLUDES Christians as well as non-Christians.

Christine Moers said...

I think many people continue to miss my point and my own personal growth. This isn't a "two wrongs make a right" kind of thinking.

This was a "Wow! I was WRONG!"

I do not, for one second, think it is wrong or sinful to grant a legal marriage to any two consenting adults of legal age and sound mind. I think that is fair. I think it is right. I think it is good.

How these people view, practice and live out their marriage is completely up to them. I will add this to my post. I do not want anyone else to think that I think this is wrong. I don't. I think marriage equality is AWESOME and beautiful.

Dawn said...

I think your mistake in the way you worded things is that by lumping gay marriage in with other "sins", by default you are calling it sin. An argument can then be made that a wrong is a wrong no matter how you word it. And yes, I have heard pastors regularly preach on the sins of gluttony and such. That makes the argument you presented moot to me. I understand the thought behind what you were trying to get across, I just think the wording tripped you up. :)

As for myself, I am unwilling to weigh in on this subject. After reading the book "Torn", I am unsure on how God intended us to view gay relationships. Therefore I've chosen to bow out, accepting that God's wisdom is certainly greater than mine. I cannot pretend to know.

I appreciate you broaching a difficult topic.

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Trauma daddies add to the conversation...

Rébecca said...

What makes a marriage valid? Can any two people marry as long as they really love each other and are both consenting? An uncle and his niece? Cousins? Siblings?
How does one define what part of the marriage definition we can modify ? If we can modify the gender of the parties involved, why not the number of people involved?

Kate said...

I think Aaron has some well thought out arguments, but where I disagree is where you think relationships don't need to be treated equally. Marriage has religious significance for some people but it doesn't for everyone. At its core, marriage is a contract. The government doesn't get to decide who enters into contracts with each other as long as both parties are legal, consenting adults. It is a civil rights issue, not a moral or religious one.

happymama said...

I think Rebecca makes a good point. If any two consenting adults should be allowed to legally marry, then why not about 3 consenting adults? Or what about cousins or siblings marrying. Wouldn't that be their own private business too? Where do we start to draw the lines for our society?

I am not trying to be argumentative, Christine. I'm trying to follow this to its end and wrap my head around it. If I have also been wrong then I want to know it and change. But this argument is so much more complicated than it seems on the surface. And I hate to even bring it up, but then how do you handle the legality or illegality of abortion? Is it just a woman's choice with no thought of the baby? Is it a different kind of argument in your mind? Thanks for your thoughts.

Christine Moers said...

HappyMama,

That's what is called a "slipper slope" argument.

https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/slippery-slope

It's a logical fallacy. A "flaw in reasoning." And this one, like many, are fear-based.

My kids and I use the site above regularly to try to keep ourselves in check when we discuss/argue/negotiate about things in life. It's amazing to me how engrained many of these fallacies are within myself. I don't even realize I'm doing it.

happymama said...

Hi Christine, thank you for the slippery-slope logic link. I will check it out. I would still like to hear your thoughts about the abortion debate as far as it being legal or being made illegal. That is not a slippery-slope topic. It is here and now and real. In your thoughts should it be legal just so it can be preserved as a "right?" Is it okay to say it is a morally wrong thing to do, so it can be made illegal? Even though many feel it is not morally wrong? If so, how does that compare to the same-sex marriage argument from a moral standpoint? I am honest in stating that I would like to know how you view these two things. Related or not? Thanks.

Christine Moers said...

You can search my blog for any topic, and see anything I've written on it. There's a little search box on the top left over there.

But I think this post by Libby is probably the closest description of how my views have changed over the years, the more I have learned: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/10/how-i-lost-faith-in-the-pro-life-movement.html