I recently had a woman (who was supposedly strong in her Christian faith) grab a dollar from my hand as I was attempting to offer it to a homeless young man. "You know these people make almost $30,000 a year this way, right?" I told her that I was impressed in their economic prowess as I grabbed the dollar back and handed it to the man with the hungry eyes. I then found myself having to explain that "many of them are mentally ill and have no where to go" and that " I know many of them are drug addicts, but that's a disease and I'm not going to judge them for that." I found myself in those two minutes twice the Christian she bragged about being and I don't even go to church.
The memories I have from bible school (which are admittedly scattered) all point to what I was always told was the most important teaching of Jesus, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another."
Last week, the Supreme Court finally decided that within the United States, you can legally love and marry someone of the same sex because we are all endowed the right to pursue happiness. It was all right there in the original founding documents, but it just took about 239 years to really digest the words I guess.
While a huge majority of the country celebrated this tremendous civil rights victory a minority of Americans found this to be one of the darkest days on record. Preachers threatened to set themselves on fire and congregations prepared for the end of times, yet no men of the cloth set themselves ablaze and unless I missed the emergency warning on my IPhone, I think we can rule out the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
Fair warning, if you use the terms, "Fire and Brimstone," "God's Wrath," "Sodom and Gommorah" or "Damnation"... this is not the questionnaire for you.
If your house is Locust proof or if you've mapped out your evacuation strategy in preparation for the next Great Flood... this questionnaire is not for you.
If you are a person of faith who is having a hard time finding how you can support gay marriage... this is most definitely for you.
Feel free to take your time, research some of the answers, work on it with a friend or use any tools that help. With that, I give you:
15 Questions for Someone Religious Struggling with Gay Marriage
15. Sally and Jen move in next door to you with their two kids. How does this end up affecting your marriage? How does this affect your relationship with your own children?
14. Greg's husband of 30 years, Jack, sadly passes away unexpectedly and there is no will written. Should Greg be able to inherit what his husband Jack leaves behind?
13. John had a terrible marriage with Cindy and after about a year they divorced. In a few years both John and Cindy found love again, married these new partners and just couldn't be happier. Are they adulterers as the bible states they are?
12. Being no one can live according to the rules of the Old Testament in 2015, most (read: All) Christians live their lives in accordance with the teachings of Jesus. Does Jesus ever mention homosexuals or homosexual activity?
11. During the abomination of slavery in this country, many slave owners turned to a famous book to uphold their practice. What was this book? What were those passages? How do you feel about their picking of passages to uphold the practice of slavery?
10. Do you feel that religion is dying with younger generations? If so, why do you think that is? And furthermore, could churches stand to be more inclusive in spreading the word of God and teachings of Christ?
9. When someone tries to take something away from you that you love, how do you feel?
8. What is the "Golden Rule?"
7. Now that you've researched the "Golden Rule," does question 9 feel different?
6. Are you happily married? If so, how good does it feel to bask in the joy of your marriage?
5. What is the Golden Rule?
4. How do you feel about those who believed in segregation/not allowing mixed races to marry?
3. Do you believe strongly in legacy? How do you want your children/grandchildren to think of you?
2. How did marriage start?
A. A religious institution.
B. A man and a woman in love.
C. An arranged alliance between families to increase land and/or power.
1. After finding the answer to Question 7, do you think marriage has evolved since its "creation?"
How does a marriage between two people of the same sex physically (not personally) affect you and the happiness of your own life?