Gay Marriage and Me: The Post I Couldn’t Write

Last Friday. What a day. I got a flat tire that morning. I had an hour-long phone interview. I helped a friend move. I stuffed in some writing. It was hustle and bustle from sunup to sundown, and somewhere midway the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all fifty states.

Oh.

That was my first reaction. Just “oh.”

I mean, gay marriage was already legal in 36 states. It was gonna happen eventually. What was 14 more in one fell swoop?

But then I came home and saw all the tweets and pictures and videos, and the “oh” turned into an “OH.” This ruling was a big deal. Huge. Akin to women’s suffrage and prohibition. June 26 will be recorded in our history books soon.

We will read about last Friday in the decades yet to be.

Gay Marriage

Image courtesy qthomasbower, Creative Commons.

There was celebration, and there was devastation. It felt like the aftermath of a championship. One side hoists the trophy; another retreats to the locker room. And yet the locker room rumbled with wailing.

I wrote a 1,500-word blog post over the weekend, ready to post my thoughts first thing Monday morning like a faithful little Christian blogger. But I kept looking at that monstrosity of a post and saying no way.

It was an essay about marriage and religion and government and same-sex desires and same-sex needs and how my own story weaves like sloppy spaghetti into all of that. I’ve felt guilty all week staying silent and not posting it.

Maybe someday I will. But not now.

In my opinion, these three said it best:

And then there’s me. I’m the guy walking somewhere down the middle of the road between Westboro Baptist Church and The Equality House. Words should be flowing like painted dashes on asphalt, but it’s just . . . exhausting.

Scripture lobbed like grenades. Rainbows raised like battle flags.

I’m waving my hands in the middle of the road, and I’m so tired.

Can the war be over now? Can nobody have “won” and nobody “lost”?

Can we all just be humans again?

I’m not saying gay people’s rights don’t matter. Nor am I claiming Christians crush their convictions. Legalized gay marriage alters nothing of my own beliefs. It’s why I’m still trekking this path. It’s why I keep walking; it’s why I keep writing.

The gay marriage issue seems 1,500 words of complicated, and yet I believe it’s so much simpler than that.

Jesus was victorious on June 25.

He was still King on June 26.

And He continues reigning a week later, beckoning gay, straight, and everyone complicatedly in between into His love.

Death is dead.

The war is over.

Love has won.

What are we all yelling about? It’s noisy out there without Jesus.

Christians: let’s proclaim Jesus less like a trumpet from afar and more like a heartbeat within.

  • Marielena

    So, so well-written, Tom, and beautifully expressed! I love your writing. Thanks for this important post.

  • naturgesetz

    Well said.

    Those of us who wrote to try to explain why same-sex marriage was not quite the same thing as heterosexual marriage, and therefore the state didn’t have to treat them the seem need to decompress a bit — meaning I need to decompress a bit.

    Sometime I’ll read the court opinions themselves and wee what the actual flaws are that got them to the result they reached. But I also need to realize that we’ve had same-sex marriage here in Massachusetts for over ten years, and the churches are still functioning and following our consciences. No doubt there will be friction and trouble along the way. We may become pariahs, but I don’t think they’ll be marching us down to the beach and cutting our heads off.

    • Thanks for the Massachusetts perspective! May we all thrive in the friction.

  • Great post, Tom. Even without those other 1,500 words.

    • Thanks Laura! Hopefully there’ll be a time and place for those 1,500 someday.

  • “Can we all just be humans again?”

    From where I’m sitting we’ve been humans all along. That’s one of the marvelous things about this “battle.” It brings to the forefront who we are. Society wants everything to be perfectly happy all the time, drugging its citizens after convincing them something is wrong. We’ve built this sacred alter to shallow happiness, to the point where deeper thought is discouraged. When something like this comes along, it’s almost impossible to remain in shallow happiness. You have to go deep. You have to see YOU.

    It’s like Adam mentioned in his recent post on offending people. http://typewritermonkeytaskforce.com/2015/07/03/370-jesus-is-offensive/ At some point you have to see what truths you feel are worth giving your all, and when you do you get to see a little bit deeper into yourself, and find out what lurks there, good and bad.

    The ruling of the Supreme Court did not cause those people posting things like “Finally! Suck on that, bigots!” to suddenly feel prideful and teeming with hate of their fellow man. The same ruling did not cause those lobbing the scriptural hand-grenades to put on their battle vestments and fight their brothers and sisters. These horrible, terrible things were always inside us. They are the “human” that we are. Thankfully the ruling brought them OUT. Into the light, where we could see them. To look at the tangled, ugly mess that we are deep inside. And maybe – hopefully – start walking towards a light instead of burying the darkness.

    We’re all broken, and the lovely thing about things like this is it shows us all in our broken glory. It shows us we need to be fixed, and that we’re not righteous. It’s why we’re here.

    The unfortunate thing, of course, is that the side that “won” now holds the power, and instead of caring about the side who “lost” they are wielding that power with the same venom towards the other side as the people who were previously in power on this subject. We shunned homosexuals when it was the common wrong way to be, and now we’re shunning the people who are still against homosexuality when that opinion is the common wrong way to be. What’s changed is not the way we treat others, but who is holding the big mean stick. It’s like we’ve learned nothing.

    And so history goes, ever onward, each generation delusional that they are somehow “better.” New and improved. Making less mistakes, instead of the same damnable mistakes as always.

    Ah well, I seem to have found myself on that old soapbox that I keep shoving back into the closet. I really ought to just throw the darn thing away, so I stop getting up on it. It’s an addiction, in a way.

    Stupid soap box…

  • Love it! Yes. Listening first. Listening sets us apart from those who don’t care to understand (yet). Listening meets needs that people waited with great vulnerability for us to provide, but often didn’t… until now. And listening will eventually provide a platform in our respective communities by which we can, with fear and trembling, speak both *truth* and *love* — these virtues themselves hopelessly joined in holy matrimony.

    You are a great listener, but you have something to say to your local and national community — adults and youth alike. I would love to hear your 1,500 other words sometime, but perhaps in a different context than a blog. 🙂

    • Appreciate that feedback, Megan. You’re awesome. I think those 1,500 words will emerge someday. Nothing is wasted, as I like to think.