by Gee Joyner
Rhetoric Race and Religion Contributor
From: Rainbows and Lilacs
It has been a couple of weeks since President Barack Obama openly admitted that he supports Gay Marriage and all the rights and privileges thereof. All forms of media have been inundated with opinions and viewpoints either in support of the President’s proclamation or demonizing his attempt at creating a discourse in this nation, which was allegedly founded on the ideological concept of “liberty and justice for all.” Yet, somehow, the United States’ separation of Church and State has been reconfigured by the religious, particularly Christian, zealots in an attempt to discriminate and further disenfranchise those citizens who identify themselves as gay or homosexual. It has always been my belief that every person, regardless of ethnicity or religious beliefs or socioeconomic status should be treated fairly and I believe this civil right should be extended to our homosexual brethren as well. It would be unjust for the laws of the self-proclaimed “greatest country in the world” to disallow same sex marriages on the pretense of the Judeo-Christian biblical texts’ stance on homosexuality. Do we not exist in a realm of national governing that separates the Church and the State? I, for one, am no expert on the origins or the causes or even the totality of comprehension of homosexuality, but with the aforementioned stated, how can any of us vilify one’s sexual preference if we do not know if it is due to nurture or nature?
There has been a major outcry from Christian pastors, preachers, ministers, and parishioners concerning the President’s decision to publicly support same-sex marriages and, particularly, in the black Church and its respective ‘community’, a divisive demon of epic proportions has ensconced itself around the psyche of the African American Christian. This demon has warped the psyche of the black Christian and reconstructed their understanding of the major tenant of Christianity and the teachings of Jesus Christ, which transmitted by John, states, “As I have loved you, so must you love one another” (John 13:34 NIV). Or one can also reference another book of the Gospel which states, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39 NIV). How are discriminatory practices against our fellow man an exhibition of Love? In my most humble opinion, I believe that it is the exact opposite—Hate.
Now, I am almost positive that many readers will think my use of the word ‘hate’ is going too far, but if you are intolerant of a particular thing or individual or behavior, the detesting of these things or individuals or behaviors manifest themselves in the form of intolerance which is the next-door neighbor to Hate. Many Christians, theologians, and pious hypocrites, particularly those of Facebook residency, have been selectively cherry-picking the biblical scriptures to support their anti-Gay marriage and homophobic diatribes. Ironically, most of the cherry-picking comes from the Old Testament’s book of Leviticus. I have seen Leviticus 18:22, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind” and Leviticus 20:13 (KJV), “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them,” and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor landerers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” All of this seems contradictory.
Most Christians adhere to the New Testament and utilize the Gospels as the definitive words, teachings, and accounts of the life and travels of Jesus the Christ and this becomes rhetorically problematic because if readers use juxtapositioning in the analysis of these texts they will find that contradictions abound and what we deem as immoral can be applicable to any and almost every facet of human existence and interaction with one another. Are there not believers of the Christ that are drunkards, sexually promiscuous, and adulterers? Are there not Christians who worship God and Jesus yet have created a false God/idol out of money and material possessions? I won’t answer. I will let you, the reader, pray for discernment and derive at a conclusion. What is it that Christians and the religious zealots of this nation want? Do they want to ‘play God’ or do they want to ‘be’ God? If an individual is a homosexual, wouldn’t the omnipresent and omnipotent Creator know this? How, if the aforementioned is true, would the homosexual hide his or her sexual orientation or preference? Should they not tell God and should he or she not ask their sexual orientation or preference?
Some opponents of same-sex marriage believe gay marriage is an attempt by homosexuals to taint the ‘sacred’ institution of marriage with perverse intentions. This is a laughable idea, I understand, but so is the idea that homosexuals should not be allowed to marry one another under the auspices of Love. Better yet, how is demonizing a culture of individuals illustrating the unconditional Love that God has for his creations. Did God not love us so much that, “He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life”? (John 3:16 KJV) Are we to think that LGBT believers won’t be accepted by the Lord? Should John have inserted an asterisk behind this piece of scripture? If we as a people allow the castigation of the homosexual in America, what will be the next discriminatory technique used to further cement xenophobic behavior? Will the Church disallow homosexuals to worship in the houses of the Lord that are almost on every corner of every street in the United States of America? Will we revisit the miscegenation laws of the past that banned interracial intimacy and marriage? (Loving v. Virginia was the last anti-Miscegenation law to be defunct in 1967) Surely not—I hope.
The issue at hand is not whether you agree with the homosexual lifestyle or endorse same-sex relationships and marriage but that equality for all is under attack—by the Church of all institutions. We must stand up for the equality for all and resist the subjugation of our fellow man by the efforts of some to reconfigure a social hierarchical structure by creating yet another subclass of people. The problem with inequality and discrimination is that it reinforces the social hierarchical structure that posits some people, in this case heterosexuals, as ‘better’ than others and that is not only problematic but also troubling and destructive in a ‘civilized’ society. It is unjust to ban same-sex marriage on the pretense that some people do not have the same type of sexual intercourse as others do, and as the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. said in his ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’, “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”