Sunday, October 4, 2015

Thoughts on the Supreme Court Gay Marriage Ruling

There aren't many issues I'll get up on a soap box for, but here are my two cents on the past week of supreme court rulings:
The United States is not a Christian nation.
The laws and structure of the United States will never perfectly embody God's kingdom. It attempts to accommodate the failings we all share. Capitalism strives to shape our innate greed into a reasonably functional economy. Free speech attempts to wrangle our capacity for saying really stupid things. Freedom of religion acknowledges that we all think we're right about the issues we care about. Our legal system attempts to do damage control for the most visible or impactful sinners.
Here's the problem: The United States governs from the top down. The federal government is a huge top-down structure, from federal, to state, to county, to city, to distinct, we're governed from the top down.
When Jesus arrived, everyone expected him to be a top-down leader. They expected him to conquer the Romans and establish a worldwide top-down Christian nation.
He didn't do that.
He could have, but he didn't.
He started at the absolute bottom: cleaning the feet of prostitutes and eating with the rejects of Jewish society. This wasn't a grass roots movement that ended with him leading a revolution. He started at the bottom and he ended there, dying as a criminal.
The United States is an awesome place. It has done an incredible job of building a top-down system to handle the sins we all share. Jesus didn't call his followers to take control of governments to enforce Christian doctrine by decree. He calls us to love everyone around us unconditionally, to sacrifice ourselves for those around us.
I don't know whether gay marriage is right or wrong.
The bible is a huge, beautiful, and complex document. I do what I can to interpret it and apply it to my life. I believe in a living God and I do my best to communicate with Him as I walk through life. I have a tough enough time making judgements in my own life and I'm thankful that I don't have to make judgements on others'.
The role of the United States isn't to enforce Christianity by decree. Nor is its role to enforce Judaism by decree. Or Islam. Or Atheism.
The role of the United States is to do its best to accommodate three hundred million people who all think they know what's right.
The role of Christians is to build God's kingdom from the bottom up. God's kingdom isn't built up or torn down by supreme court rulings. It's built up by people working from the bottom up. It's not torn down.
For these reasons, my political opinions are necessarily separated from my opinions on issues of faith. My stance on political issues is driven by the question: will this further the United States' top-down goal of accommodating everyone? My stance on personal issues facing me hinges on asking: will this further God's plan for me to build His kingdom from the bottom up?
Understanding the supreme court's ruling on gay marriage to fall into the political category, I believe it furthers the United States' top-down goal of accommodating everyone and therefore support it.

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