Saturday, June 29, 2013

Distracted by DOMA

Not surprisingly, Americans reacted passionately to the Supreme Court’s decisions surrounding the “Defence of Marriage Act” (henceforth DOMA).  Advocates of same-sex marriage saw their ruling as a victory.  Many more people, on the other hand, see this as the beginning of the end.  Will America collapse, just like historically every other great civilization has, shorlty after accepting homosexualty? Several books chronicle the great cultures from Ancient Egypt on, who after equalizing or elevating homosexualtiy, those cultures quickly fell.

Christians really shouldn’t be surprised at the Supreme Court’s ruling.  We live in a world that is hostile to the faith, “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19 ESV)  As a nation built on Judeo-Christian beliefs, the USA is still just a Republic, one governed not as a theocracy, but democratically by elected/fallible people.  

Much of the New Testament was written during the reign of Nero, an openly bi-sexual Emperor.  History records Nero as marrying a young man named Sporus. (If this is \new to you, do a google search of "Suetonius Nero Sporus" for more info. Suetonius was a historian, born 69/70 AD, died around 129/30 AD and he wrote the history of 12 Caesars). After quickly depriving Sporus of his male parts, they publically consummated their marriage in a parade.  The contemporary authors of the New Testament were silent on this vulgar offence their world leader committed.  

Instead of asking Christians to rise up in protest to Rome, they penned these instructions: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13:1 ESV)  And, “Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” (1 Peter 2:13-17 ESV) So far, I have yet to hear any Christians promoting these passages in regards to DOMA...

Where am I going with this? I love our country, and as Merle Haggard sang a generation ago, “If you don’t love it, leave it.” As patriotic as I am -- I cry when the National Anthem is sung, I get goosebumps when we raise the Flag, and I’m very proud of our young men & women who serve in our Armed Forces -- still, I know America is temporary by nature.  

300 hundred years ago we didn’t have “The United States of America.”  We nearly disintegrated once too, 150 years ago when we were in the middle of the deadliest war our country has yet to see -- battling with ourselves!  Who knows what the next 50 to 100 years will have in store?  This much I do know, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ...”(Philippians 3:20 ESV)

This fall, Disney’s “Good Luck Charlie” will have a child character who has two moms.  TV has aired gay couples in Sitcoms for at least a decade now.  I don’t hear about Americans unplugging their TVs en masse.  We have two sons, working at separate Starbucks stores.  Starbucks is very open in their acceptance of the non-traditional-family views shared by the gay community.  So far, both of our sons remain heterosexuals.  And, coincidentally, I drink Starbucks coffee and I’m NOT attracted to men.  The laws as laid down by the Supreme Court aren’t going to change our perspectives on marriage either.  

We should ask ourselves if the Supreme Court DOMA Ruling is even relevant?  Will DOMA change your mind or actions?  Will you suddenly cast off your moral values?  No.  With less than 5% of our nation actually claiming a same-sex attraction, and with the host of other problems we are facing, I can’t believe the uproar over the DOMA ruling.  If anything, the attention DOMA is receiving, is a distraction.  Why are we overly concerned about the actions of people who aren’t responsible to adhere to our standards?  Paul wrote, “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.”(Romans 6:20 ESV)  

Read that last verse again, about non-believers existing outside a position to obey God.  We need to quit acting like the world is supposed to behave as we think they should.  And more to the point, “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?” (1 Corinthians 5:12 ESV)  If DOMA does anything, it reminds us to take a good look in the mirror, be more consistent in living faithful lives that honor God, and DOMA encourages us to clean up our own backyard before we worry about our neighbor’s.  

I’m not happy about the direction we are apparently going, but let’s not be hypocritical regarding DOMA.  We who are heterosexuals carry our share of problems.  Some might even call our “socially acceptable” behaviors sinful.  We have affairs, we have unmarried couples cohabitating, we conceive children out of wedlock -- we haven't exactly defended the sanctity of marriage ourselves.  We are far from perfect.  Someone once said something about those who are without sin, they should throw the first stone... Yeah, I like that better than throwing rocks in glass houses.

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