Christianity and Same Sex Marriage in the Public Sphere – Two Views

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The Backstory

In a week or so, Hawaii legislators will vote on whether to recognize same sex marriages. Despite the fact that the law specifically states that churches won’t be forced to perform same sex wedding ceremonies if that would violate their religious beliefs, Pastor Wayne Cordeiro of New Hope Oahu came out on record saying

“We want a bill that protects anyone of the Christian faith to say, ‘We understand that those of this lifestyle are part of our society. We embrace them. They’re valuable, they’re wonderful people. However, we have a faith that disallows us to endorse and advocate them,'” explained Pastor Cordeiro.

“It doesn’t protect anybody of faith, for example, if you’re a photographer and you’re a Christian and you feel that you cannot photograph a wedding — you’re in violation, that’s a discriminatory act and you are now in violation. It doesn’t allow you as a person of faith that is Christian to say, ‘I can’t do that.’ You’re not able to, so it takes away your will and it takes away your discretion.

The First View

Basically, what Pastor Cordeiro is saying is that a Christian wedding photographer or baker should be allowed to refuse to photograph or bake a cake for a same sex wedding.

Now I could go into the legal aspects of why a church can refuse to perform a same sex wedding (or even an interracial wedding) if it violates their beliefs but a private business can’t do the same even if the owner is a Christian.

But instead of going the legal route, I want to try a different tack.
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The Second View

Earlier this year, a Christian business owner refused to sell a lesbian couple a wedding cake stating that it violated their beliefs. In response, Micah Murray wrote a post titled, “Perhaps Love Bakes a Cake” where he proposes the following:

Christianity is a religion of love and of grace. Whenever morality becomes elevated above love we have veered away from the meaning of the faith.
Perhaps the most Christian thing of all is to love God and love our neighbors.
Perhaps Love is patient and kind and keeps no record of wrongs.
Perhaps Love covers a multitude of sins.
Perhaps Love doesn’t demand that everyone live up to our standards.
Perhaps Love gives with no strings attached
Perhaps Love meets people where they are and cares about them as people instead of issues.
Perhaps Love bakes a cake.

What do you all think? Which is the more Christ-like response – refusing to bake a same sex wedding cake to a same sex couple or baking them the moistest, most delicious, most beautifully decorated cake they’ve ever seen as a way to demonstrate Christ’s love to them?

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Perhaps Love Bakes a Cake

http://redemptionpictures.com/2013/09/04/cake/

The bakers’ argument is simple yet problematic – “I don’t want to help somebody celebrate a commitment to a lifetime of sin… The Bible tells us to flee from sin. I don’t think making a cake for it helps.”

But there’s simply no Biblical command for Christians to deny services to those whose actions you believe to be sinful. If there was, who could Christians serve?

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Image source and article: http://redemptionpictures.com/2013/09/04/cake/

Hawaiian Bishop: Discriminating Against Same-Sex Couples Is Just

http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/08/26/2526081/hawaiian-bishop-discrimination-just/
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Worse, he warns, “Once we give in to the false notion that same-sex couples have a right to marry, how can we reasonably deny the same ‘right’ to anyone who chooses to enter a ‘marriage’ with a close relative, a minor (with consent)?”

Image source and article: http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/08/26/2526081/hawaiian-bishop-discrimination-just/

An Open Letter to the Church from My Generation

Love this!

“Lots of things in culture are absolutely contradictory to love and equality, and we should be battling those things. The way culture treats women, or pornography? Get AT that, church. I’ll be right there with you. But my generation, the generation that can smell bullshit, especially holy bullshit, from a mile away, will not stick around to see the church fight gay marriage against our better judgment. It’s my generation who is overwhelmingly supporting marriage equality, and Church, as a young person and as a theologian, it is not in your best interest to give them that ultimatum.”

http://dannikanash.com/2013/04/07/an-open-letter-to-the-church-from-my-generation/