Sure enough, within days of the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage, I saw a headline calling for all churches that refuse to perform gay weddings to lose their tax exempt status.
Well that didn’t take long.
Seems there’s a trademark on love™ and rainbows™ right now and if you’re a pastor who won’t perform same sex marriages, well you must be for hate and hailstorms. Forget about the separation of church and state, the ‘thought police’ want to crank out the long arm of the IRS and dip it right into the haters’ collection basket.
Yeah..that’s Christians all right, nothing but money-hungry haters. You know those haters at my church who feed the poor a hot meal every week and run a free food pantry for those who have no groceries at home. Those bigoted, Christian haters who collect gifts to hand out to the farm workers’ kids at Christmas and who drive to Appalachia to fix leaking roofs and replace broken porches; those same selfish souls who use their vacation days to fly medical supplies to Haiti. The intolerant haters who deliver dinners to new mothers, the sick and the elderly and sit for hours with those who would otherwise die in the hospital all alone..yes, those same foul haters who fight human traffickers and quietly slip gas cards and words of encouragement to those who have nothing left in their ‘tanks’, haters who welcome everyone, every day to our church and consider no one better or more “holy” than anyone else… you know, the haters depicted in this repulsive cartoon that I saw online. Yeah…that is so us.
My husband and I had to search long and hard for a pastor willing to marry us back in the 80’s because of our different denominations and personal beliefs. Yes, we faced rejection before we found our minister, but I never dreamed of going into any church, slamming my fist on the altar and demanding key tenets be changed so that we could be wed.
Choosing a church for a wedding shouldn’t be confused with choosing a venue for a reception. It’s about so much more than seating capacity and how the light streams through the stained glass at 6pm; it’s about establishing deeply personal relationships and receiving spiritual guidance for life.
If you don’t agree with a church, mosque or synagogue’s doctrine- by all means, don’t attend! If same sex marriage is YOUR litmus test for choosing a religious home base, that’s A-OK!! ..after all, where you worship is YOUR choice!
The United Church of Christ, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and The Presbyterian Church (USA) all perform same sex marriages. The Episcopal Church is set to perform them soon with other denominations sure to follow. But will it ever be enough? Is all of this vitriol and ugly finger pointing really about helping gay couples find churches that will marry them… or is it about activists wanting to destroy the churches that won’t?
Respect for deeply held convictions must go both ways.