Believers in Exile – What Did You Expect?

Court decision affecting same-sex marriage really surprise you?
It is true that it is now legal for same-sex marriages to occur in all 50 states, but how much has changed for you?
Last month, I wrote that Paul and I said our vows on July 13, 2001. We were married by a county judge in Iowa on July 12, 2013. When anyone asks how long we have been married, our response has always been based on the 2001 date. In our mind and heart, that’s when the decision was made. We belonged to each other. The opinion of those nine robed individuals in Washington, D.C., didn’t change that.
The clamor and name-calling is quieted, but not silenced. The minuscule number of church members who have changed their position on homosexual relationships were not influenced by the SCOTUS opinion. They found other reasons. However, it is unlikely that the change would have happened without the lawsuit. That’s the tragedy. It took a civil rights issue in the courts to cause some of us to reconsider biblical passages. For others, even that has not been enough.
I was reared in an evangelical church that might even be identified as fundamentalist. But then, I have never discovered a church that did not have its own list of “fundamentals.”
That thought reminds me of my first day on a new job. I asked a colleague about the “rules.” She said, “Don’t worry about those printed and handed to you. It’s the unwritten rules that get you fired.” Most battles are fought over the unwritten ones.
I’m sorry, but my struggle with authorities was influenced by my attention to well-intentioned teachers of literature. Too often I was told what Shakespeare or another writer intended by the words chosen. I had lived long enough to discover I wasn’t always certain about what I had just said. How could any teacher tell me what a dead man intended?
And here’s another struggle: When two so-called authorities disagree on what the dead man intended, you can count on division, discord and eventually separation. Can you think of any other reason for the thousands of denominations in the world?

Back to the title question. What did you expect the SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage to accomplish beyond granting the right to wed? Will we ever get beyond winners and losers?
Those campaigning for the one-man, one-woman marriage lost nothing. That is still legal. I’m not too sure how excited they should be, considering their track record on the “till death do us part” clause. The future will reveal how well homosexuals can handle the concept of marriage.
Perhaps it is time to reconsider the whole issue of sexual relationships. Most of my life I’ve been asking for a definition of sex. As a child, I was confused when a church in our area taught that holding hands or kissing was having sex.
Do you have to marry the person you had sex with? If not, why not? What is marriage all about? Did you really expect the SCOTUS decision to answer that question?
Would you like to talk? Contact marvinbaker1925@gmail.com.
Marvin G. Baker is the moderator for Gay Christian Fellowship’s Let’s Talk @ LIKEME Lighthouse.

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