"Last week, Jars of Clay performed at a music festival in Australia. As part of the programming of the event, the festival offered various breakout sessions and panel discussions on a host of topics that might be interesting to the festival attendees. I was invited to sit on a panel discussion about moral behavior and the church. The question we were presented was, “Does the western church’s focus on moral behavior undermine the church’s ability to love?” On one side of me sat the head of a lobbying group that fought against the legalization of gay marriage in Australia. On the other side of me was a Christian street evangelist. I was immediately aware that I had not given much attention to the dialogue about gay rights. I knew it was a focal topic for many people in the church, and that it was a major issue in the growing partisanship of American politics, I just had not had the opportunity to think about it much. During the panel discussion, the question was asked of the lobbyist, “Why not legalize gay marriage?” His response sparked my curiosity. He said that gay marriage was a slippery slope into other forms of marriage ie: polygamy, marriage to animals, etc. He also said that it was harmful to children to be forced into a situation without a father, or without a mother. He also spoke of the sanctity of the traditional marriage model and how it could be diminished. It was a lively conversation, and in the end, I don’t think we reached much of an answer to the question of moral behavior and the church. I did walk away with quite a lot to think about. I had so many questions about gay marriage. With so many angles to consider and so many layers to unfold, it was overwhelming, and so I did what most people do, I got distracted and forgot about it. Two days later, I was on an international flight traveling back to the U.S. I should have been sleeping, but the time reversal’s effect on my body kept me awake, and so I caught up on a few movies. The one that stirred my soul, more than Anchorman 2 or American Hustle was 12 Years a Slave. The film had such incredible storytelling and superb acting that gave faces and souls to the men, women and children trapped in slavery. The thing that continued to swirl around my mind was a scene when one of the slave owners was quoting scripture to slaves. He was using the words to drive home a point about his supremacy over the slaves, and the wrath they would face if they were disobedient. He was mis-using scripture to back up his acts of oppression toward another human. He was using scripture to back up his idea that slaves were less than human, and so should not be given the rights of humans. I would not say that the issues of slavery, which are tied to color and race, clearly mirror the issues of gay rights. But for some reason, all the questions I had surrounding gay marriage came rushing back."Be sure and check out Dan's website and read the rest of his post. Keep the conversation going PopWrappers!
Keep Up With PopWrapped On The Web!