A consistent question I got after my post last Tuesday asked if I was truly, explicitly, saying that I supported gay civil marriage equality. The short answer is yes.
Now for the long answer 🙂
I thought that my previous post should focus on my experience, my change in opinion concerning past public policy work, and apology. I also thought that my support of gay civil marriage equality was implied and obvious. Regardless, I planned to write this post after that one anyway. For those that want to read the first post for some background and more on my personal views of marriage, please click here.
Now for today’s topic …
In the past, I used to quote Francis Schaeffer to justify my public policy activism by saying (emphasis mine);
“True spirituality covers all of reality.” – A Christian Manifesto, Francis Schaeffer
Today, I still believe that is true. However, I have learned that cultural religious activism shouldn’t define my spirituality in public policy reality. In the past, I willingly adopted a set of talking points, and modified my testimony, to fit the conservative culture war’s methodology and end game … not the Great Commission. To be clear, I did this because I genuinely believed it was the right thing for our country. I was wrong, and that is why I apologized in last Tuesday’s post. I also apologized for my work in public policy (among other things) last year.
Believe me, I love the United States and our system of government. The way it is designed and the Constitution … brilliant. That said, the government is not dedicated to the Gospel. Our government’s vision is for the people as citizens of the United States; it’s mandate is the Constitution. The US Government is not about building the kingdom of God and relying on the scriptures for vision and direction. There is a clear distinction between advocating for religious values and how our earthly (not heavenly) government works best for everyone in the United States, and it has been this way since 1776.
Public policy is called “public” because it affects all of us. When it comes to marriage, public policy should be equally applied to all of us. Our current public policy on the marriage issue is purely a matter of stewarding benefits and providing legal protections; not a tool to enforce morality.
Recently I have had conversations with a couple who are considering marriage. I have appreciated Ben & TJ’s openness about their relationship, and especially Ben’s candor and transparency. When I asked for insight into what they were considering before popping the question, Ben very thoughtfully and eloquently included a list of important topics/concerns that they were working through. They do not take marriage lightly. They understand that legally and relationally this is a huge decision. For them it is also a decision that includes a spiritual element.
Ben and TJ suffer no delusion about what conservative Christians think. At the end of their process, they will make and take personal responsibility for their own decision. They are going to make this decision whether public policy, you or I, agree with them or not. I believe that on a purely practical level, if they do decide to marry, having access to these protections and benefits is in their best interest as individuals and as a couple.
Again, I know this is simply an opinion and I only offer it as such. Public policy isn’t my favorite topic but like I said last week, I felt that if I was open about all of this in the past, as a matter of conscience, I should be open about how my views have changed. Thank you for reading and of course your opinion is always welcome.