This morning in North Carolina Jesus is hanging his head in disbelief. Yesterday, the citizens of my state voted 61% to 39% in favor of amending the State Constitution to prohibit any union outside of a marriage between a man and a woman from being recognized (1). As I learned in Reynolds Price’s seminar, The Three Gospels, dismay over the actions of his disciples — bumbling lot that they are — will not be a new feeling for Jesus (2).
In a victory speech, Tami Fitzgerald, spokeswoman for Vote for Marriage NC, said this: “One thing has been true through all, our faith in God. And our firm belief that the people of North Carolina would rise up and vote to keep the opposition from redefining traditional marriage in our state. This campaign has been about one thing and one thing only: protecting marriage as the union between one man and one woman. We are not anti-gay, we are pro-marriage. And the point, the whole point is that you don’t rewrite the nature of God’s design for marriage based on the demands of a group of adults” (3).
Where do I begin? Is it with the fact that “the opposition” didn’t initiate this fight? Or perhaps I should take issue with the doublespeak that calls anti-gay hate “pro-marriage?” Then again maybe I should go into a lengthy discussion of the supposed separation of Church and State and the hubris of a religious force that rewrites the nature of Man’s design based on the demands only of their group of adults. But none of that gets to the heart of it for me. So deep are the Tami Fitzgeralds of North Carolina in their own hegemony that they can’t even see the contradictory and absurd nature of their stance.
It seems to me that if anything can get through, it has to be, it must be, God’s love.
As Paul explains in Romans 13:8-10, our highest obligation toward others is to love them. Specifically in Verse 10, he says: “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the law” (4).
Thus the logic follows: Amendment One does wrong to some of my neighbors. Therefore the passage of Amendment One is NOT the fulfillment of the law and is an aberration of God’s love.
Or take the Gospel of John, marvelous light of the world and all about love. Over and over (see John 1:5, 3:11, 3:23, 13:34, and 15:17), John is quite clear on God’s word: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (5).
This is elementary Christianity, right? Yet here is where we find the most misunderstanding, the attempt to fit one’s shoes to everyone. So let me be quite clear on what that Golden Rule really means. I call this “The Great Ice Cream Dilemma.” It goes like this:
I like chocolate ice cream. I think it’s the bees knees; so much so that I believe the world should eat only chocolate ice cream. My neighbor, however, likes vanilla ice cream, adores it, wants to roll in it, paint the town with it. So I ask you, “If I follow the Golden Rule and love my neighbor as God has loved me, if I love my neighbor as I love myself, what flavor ice cream do I serve him when he comes to dinner?”
I am certain there is only one answer Jesus, God’s son, would give: “Vanilla.”
Sometimes loving others means giving them something different than you would choose for yourself. God’s love isn’t flavor dependent.
© Jennifer S. and harvestliberty.net, 2012.
(2) see Price’s work: The Three Gospels.