Thursday, June 19, 2008

Reminder to those who allege reductionism

Since the California ruling on Same Sex Marriage, my inbox has been full of requests for money and activism to support traditional marriage. Some of the Christian organizations even ask me to pray. (Shame on the others!) There have been insightful commentaries and legal musings (can you say balkanization), along with the standard tripe. There's just a tremendous amount of energy going toward dealing with the issue.

Plenty of people on the other side say that the right is obsessed with homosex. Now that's like saying that during a flood, Iowans are obsessed with sandbags. But even if we do come off as a bit fixated, there's a reason beyond morbid obsession that the battles rage these days over sexuality:
If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.
(Luther's Works. Weimar Edition. Briefwechsel [Correspondence], vol. 3, pp. 81ƒ.)

In each age, we are asked to give allegiance to the powers of this world or to the Kingdom of God and His Christ. Everyday, we choose sides. The place where Christians must rush in to fill the gap is where the nay-sayers allege that Christ's Kingdom does not extend. If it is sexuality, we will speak of His Lordship there. If it is economics, we must contend for him there. If it is freedom of conscience, we will challenge those against it.

Right now, a tiny contingent of the population* is waging an enormous rhetorical (and now political) campaign against Christ's Lordship over human relationality & sexuality. It's a big deal, because Paul describes that sacred bond as a mystery illustrative of Christ and His Church. As stewards of the mysteries, our service to Christ cannot constitute an erosion of that union.

If nothing else, think of the children and the minorities.

*Less than 3% of men and 1.5% of women, according to Sex in America: A Definitive Survey, Robert T. Michael, John H. Gagnon, Edward O. Laumann, and Gina Kolata, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1994, p. 176.


Dave Moody said...

Bracing words. Thank you friend for writing them.


Viola said...

From the land of compromise and worldliness thanks Chris.

Stan said...

Kind of like, if in World War II, someone asked, "Why are the British so fixated on Germany??"

Chris said...

Now don't go warning people, Stan. That's just inflammatory rhetoric.

Doug Hagler said...

Actually, that is kind of horrifying, to imply that homosexuals who want marriage rights are the same as Nazis. Not surprising, but horrifying.

Chris said...


You're right. We should kick it up a notch and compare them to Bush & Cheney. Hitler just aint evil enough.

So... Any guess as to what sorts of legal & rhetorical contortions the next GAPJC is going to go through to acquit America's favorite Lesbyterian for her newest non-marriages?

Doug Hagler said...

Another quality dodge, Chris. Stick and move, man, stick and move. That would really have scored if I had, at any point, said that Bush and Cheney are as bad as Hitler. That's one rhetorical cliche, at least, that I've been able to avoid.

The A-plus thing to do there would have been to mention to Stan that it is kind of out of line to compare peaceful political activists to the architect of the Holocaust. But no. Oh well.

I really respect our "resident Lesbyterian". She's forcing the GAPJC to deal with the issue rather than contort itself in order to dodge it. She could, instead, just rest on the legal decision and continue to do what she was doing, acting in a legal loophole for as long as it lasted while not putting herself at more risk. I think she has a lot of courage, and I'm curious, but not very hopeful, about what will come of it.

Chris said...

Or, Doug, she could do something just plain unprecedented:


I know...radical.

I, for one, am glad that she's forcing the issue. However, the cowardly lyin's at the last GAPJC dodged the issue when there was a clear constitutional case of willful, repeated, conscious disobedience.

She's retired. She has her pension...why not go where she can freely perform what she feels called to do? (Without larger consensus body telling her that she shouldn't.) That's what I did - because I knew that staying with integrity would mean bringing charges against certain individuals and I just couldn't bring myself to do it.