In what is now typical fashion, a news story broke regarding gay marriage, and my Facebook feed blew up with polarized opinions. Kim Davis, an elected county clerk in Kentucky, refused to issue a marriage license to a gay couple. The immediate consequence was that she was arrested. The larger consequence was that it poured gas on the already burning fire that is the debate over gay marriage.
Opinions were all across the board:
- “She’s standing up for her religious beliefs and being persecuted for it.”
- “She’s a hate-filled bigot.”
- “She should be fired, not arrested.”
For two weeks straight, my feed has been filled with memes and articles commenting on the situation (I guess I’m now adding to it).
Upon her release, Mike Huckabee attended a rally with her. During the rally, they decided to play Survivor’s, “Eye of the Tiger.” Apparently, the band Survivor does not support their cause, and are suing Kim Davis for $1,200,000.
Many Christians are wondering what to make of this situation. They don’t hate people, but they don’t know the right way to stand up for truth. Is her religious freedom under attack? What should Christians make of gay marriage? What should we do?
Selective Morality Enforcement
My biggest problem with much of this situation, is that Kim Davis isn’t exactly the best person to make a stand for the sanctity of marriage. She’s been married four times to three men. Jesus had some very strong words to say about divorce and remarriage:
3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
Perhaps there are details about her three divorces or faith history which could explain the blatant inconsistency in her views on marriage. But, at face value, based on the teachings of Jesus, she’s committing adultery by being married. This isn’t an abstract discussion about the definition of marriage. Based on the very words of Jesus, I would not perform her wedding because I would be aiding her in her sin.
Which has to make you wonder, why is she taking such a strong stand against gay marriage for religious reasons, while seemingly not caring about any other sin?
- Does she turn away divorcees without a biblical divorce?
- Does she turn away people living together?
- Does she turn away people who are sleeping together?
- Does she turn away people who are unequally yoked?
She may be a martyr, but she’s certainly not a role model.
We all tend to be harsher on sins we don’t struggle with. Therefore, homosexuality is an easy target for far too many people.
It isn’t surprising that people believe Christians hate homosexuals when:
- Divorced politicians who have had multiple affairs start talking about gay marriage violating the sanctity of marriage.
- We push for laws banning gay marriage, but NO ONE is pushing for laws to ban “No fault divorce,” or pornography.
Selective morality sends a confusing message. Either you want the government regulating morality, or you don’t. Arbitrarily deciding to push for laws which regulate the behavior of other people seems dubious at best, and hypocritical as a close second best.
Selective morality NEVER sends a message of love. We need to drastically rethink the way we approach enforcing morality on others, and why we’re trying to do that in the first place. The Gospel starts with the heart, not behavior. It doesn’t work the other way around.
…a few more random thoughts.
I often struggle to understand the purpose in making gay marriage another dragged out culture war. The sanctity of marriage has nothing to do with government-issued papers which link two adults together and provide tax benefits. The deeply spiritual joining of two people has nothing to do with the government.