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June 28, 2015

“I have many mixed emotions right now. Probably more than I can articulate well.”

This was my response to a dear friend who texted me earlier today asking my perspective on the SCOTUS decision about marriage. I do have many mixed emotions and scattered thoughts. I am still in process of all those things and realize that some of the things I am feeling and thinking about will be not strong enough for some, and too strong for others… and i think the most true answer to what I think about it all is “its complicated”. I believe there are many layers and overwhelmingly large, intertwining (and intersecting) issues that make any overly simplistic answer simply that… oversimplified.

Here are some of the immediate things that comes to mind that i think makes things… complicated…

Race Relations:
It feels like those who are celebrating most were also those who were most silent or most adverse to the civil rights violations many people of color have experienced constantly and consistently all their lives and have made a larger media splash this past year.  (Charleston, Baltimore, Ferguson, Trayvon, Jennicet Gutiérrez, etc). People of color who are also pro same sex marriages do not seem to be celebrating. The amount of celebration for this decision (and who it is celebrating) seems to display a further divide making more prominent what seems to be a display of (gay) white privilege.

Marriage = Privilege & Power:
As much as the church wants marriage to be a holy covenant, we cannot escape that it is both a holy covenant and a government contract. That means that married people have more access to certain government (not God) rights and power like healthcare, hospital visits, taxes, adoption, etc. I think the Supreme Court ruling addresses the latter (government contract) side of marriage and that is what most people are celebrating.

The Church’s Idolatry of Marriage:
I think the church itself has made “marriage” an idol. Holding the “sanctity of marriage” as the pinnacle of intimacy that an individual could experience and in that actually forsaking the reality that our relationship with Jesus is the pinnacle of intimacy and marriage is simply one (among many) expressions of that. For us to protect our “idol” without addressing our idolatry makes it very challenging for the world to know how to listen to our “protection” and seeming “possessiveness” of the institution of “marriage”

Vision For Marriage:
I think the church holds the wrong vision for marriage. We celebrate at weddings when two Christian people “make each other happy” or “seem so good for each other”. We talk more about compatibility than missionality in pre-marital counseling. And let people get divorced when they “no longer or never really made each other happy”.  But how do these reasons differ from those of the LGBT community? I think that makes it hard for the world to take the church seriously.
(*disclaimer, there are many people i know with whom divorce was the only option… abuse, etc. and I am certainly not making light of the important and right decision to leave a marriage)


So what do I think….

I think the Supreme Court is right in addressing the “government contract” side of marriage.

I think the church has not yet addressed the “holy covenant” side of marriage (probably because we have been so distracted and wrapped up in fighting the “government contract” side of things.)

I think The Lord might want us to deal with the “log in our own eye” before we can have much to say about the “spec in another’s eye”.

I think…its very complicated.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. C. L. permalink
    June 28, 2015 6:43 pm

    I don’t know you, but this is one of the few refreshing things I’ve read about ANYTHING these past two weeks. Thanks for not letting emotions, fears, etc. cloud your writing.

  2. I.B. permalink
    June 29, 2015 3:42 pm

    Very well said! Most of the points you brought up I have pondered on before, save the race relations piece. I think that is fascinating. I am not at all looking to start an argument or even a conversation here, but I was wondering where you aquired that information? Were they just observations, biased on research you saw or a combination of the two? If it is true, I think that is a very important point to address when discussing this ruling and when I talk about it I would like to be prepared to cite my source.

    • dorayiu permalink*
      June 29, 2015 10:08 pm

      Hi I.B. Thank you for your comments and engaging with this. Glad to dialogue. Were you wondering about information about my thoughts on the intersectionality of race and how that plays into the response to the SCOTUS ruling?

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