Full disclosure: I consider myself a Christian in that I follow Jesus of Nazareth. I understand that this definition doesn’t work for a lot of people, but that’s where I stand.
My view on LGBT issues like same-sex marriage is that, if something doesn’t harm others or society at large, it shouldn’t be illegal. I have yet to figure out how someone’s “gay marriage” influences my relationship with my wife. Now, does allowing same-sex marriages change the nature of society? I suppose it does.
A Changing Society
Society is always changing. The Civil Rights Act certainly brought about change, as did Women’s Suffrage, and the changes in immigration rules in 1965. In general, American society has moved in the direction of broadening access to basic rights, like voting, housing, and getting a job. Some are threatened by those changes, and others welcome them. No doubt, when these changes to law in the US were accomplished, no one could have predicted the exact nature of how society would develop as a result.
Personally, I like seeing society improve, and I would hate to see us move backward. We need to ask where a particular change moves us. I can imagine some people being upset by same-sex couples, as some are upset by “mixed-race” couples. That doesn’t demonstrate any harm to society, only that some people have issues with these things.
All change involves some risk. The thing is, there will be change — things cannot remain the same. All we can do is try to direct that change in a good direction, and avoid stupid mistakes. Pay attention to the motivation. Are we motivated by fear and hate, or by respect for others? “Christian” organizations like Westboro Baptist and the AFA illustrate an unchristian response. I think Jesus, by contrast, would respond with love and respect for the individual.
There are, by the way, Christian organizations that demonstrate a more loving attitude, like the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists. And have a look at John Shore‘s blog. My hope is that those of us who can see the humanity in all people will win out over the forces of hate. There really are a lot of good people in this country, Christians and others, who haven’t bought into the negativity, who show the love that Jesus was talking about.