I live in The Land of the Left and sometimes it can be scarier than being chased by dinosaurs and stalked by sleestacks. More often though, it is a place where I live by principal and risk being despised by some and misunderstood by many. I live where gay marriage is legal. This raises a fairly obvious question because I sure do a whole lot of talking about walking alongside my gay friends and family, don’t I? (See here, here, and here.) So the obvious question is, “Would you attend a gay wedding?”
But it was not an easy nope. As you well know there are people in my life whom I love deeply that are gay and if they choose to marry, it would be difficult not to share in their wedding day. Wading through questions like these is as sticky as being a loud-mouth Bronco fan in the Emerald City a week before Super Bowl 48. Which I am. Excuse me a moment:
HEY BIG 5. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE “ACCIDENTALLY” DELIVERING MY SON’S BRONCO JERSEY TO CALIFORNIA AND IT IS NOT FUNNY. It BEST be here Monday, AS YOU PROMISED, or I will bring charges of a hate crime and write about your BIGOTRY towards Bronco fans in my widely read blog and smear you with my large fan base.
Ok. Where was I?
Here it is. I would, can and have supported/participated in nearly every other conceivable activity with my gay friends and family. From holiday celebrations, to hosting them when they come to town, to bringing them meals and gifts and sending them stupid-inside-joke texts about scrambled eggs with broccoli and a slew of other things that my right hand should have made my left hand forget. Heck. I even traveled internationally with my lesbian friends when they adopted because that beautiful orphan needed help and no heterosexual married couple had the cojones to give their lives to that child with such severe medical needs.
Still. I will check the “unable to attend” box.
If I checked the “Yes I will attend + 1 guest” box I would be lying. God is not neutral on the subject of marriage, or the idea of gay marriage. (See here and here.) So neither am I. If it’s a “Christian” wedding, then my attendane would be blatantly lying about God’s opinion and by extension lying about God Himself. If it is a secular ceremony, then I would be lying about me. Even if my friends knew where I stood on the issue, to attend would certainly give the appearance of endorsement. As it should. Which is something we should consider when attending any wedding ceremony really. Even more so if we choose to stand for someone at their wedding. It is more than cake and bubbles you know.
But how, you may ask, can I be so seemingly open-hearted in other areas of my life and then slam the door on the wedding day? And, you may continue, isn’t it hypocritical to refuse to attend your friend’s gay ceremony and yet support a gay marriage crusading corporation by drinking copious amounts of their delicious, glorious addictive coffee? The answer to both of those questions, dear reader, has to do with roles.
In every role, God requires excellence. When I am called friend, I am biblically charged to love and sacrifice. It is a roll that involves empathy. When I am called daughter, my biblical role is to honor and respect my parents. When blogging about gay marriage I mount my gigantic soapbox and don my voter cap, which in this rare republic-style government is the role of policy-maker. In our political structure, we are not subjects. We are free to advocate for or against law. It is a role where excellence and effectiveness means looking at the constitution and our world with unveiled eyes, and in this role we do not sacrifice principle on the altar of feelings.
Man. That last sentence should have the Halleluiah chorus as a soundtrack. I am giving myself an AMEN.
When I go to Target or Starbucks or consider buying an iPhone, my role is consumer. I have the right to speak with my dollars and choose to get my coffee at Tully’s (lunacy!) if I disagree with Starbucks’ corporate policy which supports gay marriage. But I wouldn’t stand in front of the store and turn away patrons, or burst into a board meeting with my complaints. Starbucks has the best Frappuccinos on the planet because it’s their job to make great coffee. It’s not their job to live the gospel and represent the truth of God. That’s my story to tell. It’s the church’s story. And it must be told by God’s children who are living faithfully to Him and going into this messy world with His truth.
In all these roles, my identity as a child of God will be foremost. In fact, that identity will so inform each of these roles that I will be a better friend, more respectful daughter, more appreciative consumer, and a more responsible citizen.
I wrestled with this issue. A lot. I even wrote a horrible wimpy post full of garbage and inconsistencies that I wished I could un-send to Frau M because I knew I was wrong in my initial go at this. It was not easy but I have landed where I needed to land. That said, I won’t fault another Christian for choosing to attend a gay wedding if they can do so honestly.
A parting thought. For those of us who refuse to participate in celebrating gay nuptials we must be consistent in our reasoning. God opposes sexual sin and has a design for marriage. Homosexual behavior is not “above” any other sexual sin, it just the one that happens to be in the cultural spotlight right now. If you find yourself choosing not to attend a gay wedding, but can’t wait to go to the Four Seasons for what is sure to be The Wedding Party of the year for the man who left his wife and children to marry a trophy bride, then you need to check yourself. That is not to say that we should investigate the sexual history of the participants of every wedding we attend, but, if you have information about the couple that brazenly flies in the face of God’s ideal for marriage, it should give you pause no matter the gender of the bride or groom.
Cause you know what?
God knows that you know.
I know, right?