My nephew is gay. In response to many of the hateful remarks made against the LGBT community he crafted a most elegant response. It contained many of the common statements such as marriage equality does not harm Christians. It does not restrict the ability of Christians to worship their God or exercise their faith. It does not mandate that Christians have to marry the same sex or raise their children to do the same. It does not afford LGBT individuals privileged or special rights not afforded to anyone else. Marriage equality does not prevent Christians from feeding the hungry and helping the poor. Nor does it soil the sanctity of their third or fourth marriage.
I have read the points made in his commentary in the responses of many other people addressing the resistance to gay marriage. However, it was the statement he ended his response with that struck me… “Congratulations, you follow Jesus. I just wished that you obeyed his commandments and exhibited the love, mercy and kindness that he showed others.”
It was his use of the word “congratulations” that made me pause and think about his intent. I know that my nephew is not religious. He doesn’t claim to be atheist, but he is at least agnostic based on his expressions on religious matters. Basically by choosing the word ‘congratulations’ he was addressing what he has perceived from Christians is an experience which is available to them that is unavailable to him because of his sexual orientation. I know from his past comments that he thinks most all Christians, even family members that he cares about, are haters of the LGBT community. I also know that he was terrified to come out as a gay male for fear that he would lose the love and affection of his family, especially his father.( How sad is it that he could even think that.)
In response to my nephew’s commentary on marriage equality, one of my Christian friends stated that too many of his brethren were an embarrassment to the faith because of their lack of grace toward something that they disagreed with and for others who did not believe as they did. He ended his response by saying, “I love and follow Jesus, consider my stone on the ground.”
I thought about that statement and the reference he was making to Jesus and the story of the woman caught in adultery brought before him for judgment. And I thought back to the story of Jesus in the bible. As I recall, Jesus had no issue with any persons other than the Pharisees and Sadducees – you know, the ones who had rigid interpretations of scripture and imposed the judgment of those beliefs against everyone. But with sinners of all kinds, Jesus was gracious and merciful. The moral lesson of the story is clear. Ye without sin cast the first stone. Some of my Christian friends adhere to that teaching. Sadly, so many more do not.