Op Ed

What Would Jesus Ban

I am pissed.

I am pissed because I have heard for my entire life that Christianity is all about love and forgiveness, that Jesus was full of compassion, that when we ask ourselves What Jesus Would Do, we are trying to find the best parts of ourselves and put them forward.

And now, an amendment added to the North Carolina constitution that defines marriage as one man and one woman. But you know what? Jesus wouldn’t rewrite a fucking constitution to make sure that some people got to live with certain benefits and others did not. Not the Jesus from my learnings.

Most arguments used by opponents of same-sex marriage are based on religious grounds.

U.S. Roman Catholic bishops contend that “a same-sex union contradicts the nature of marriage: It is not based on the natural complementarity of male and female; it cannot cooperate with God to create new life; and the natural purpose of sexual union cannot be achieved by a same-sex union. Persons in same-sex unions cannot enter into a true conjugal union. Therefore, it is wrong to equate their relationship to a marriage.” The Southern Baptist Convention claims that extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would undercut the conventional purpose of marriage. Other religious opponents of same-sex marriage hold that same-sex relationships should not be recognized as marriages on the grounds that same-gender sexual activity is contrary to God’s will, is unnatural, and subverts God’s creative intent for human sexuality.

I don’t give a rat’s ass about whether people think same-sex marriage would ruin marriage for everybody else. I don’t care, not even one bit, if two people of the same sex getting married is offensive to a bishop or a priest. I do care that my dear friend in North Carolina, pregnant with her first child, chose to work in a company that would give her partner benefits, and now North Carolina is striking down those rights.

And I’m pissed.

If God doesn’t want people of the same sex to be married, churches should refuse to perform ceremonies. And that is the extent of it. The legal partnership that is entered into by two people – the marriage certificate and the tax benefits and the health insurance coverage and all of that jazz – that has nothing to do with God. Nothing.

If “God hates fags,” God can go ahead and let them know that. God doesn’t need an amendment to strengthen His position. The Christian God is all-powerful and all-knowing, and if His schtick is that he wants gay people to burn in Hell forever, what does He care about health insurance benefits?

The religious grounds that are being used make no sense at all. Nobody is making an amendment enforcing the honoring of my mother and father, and nobody is going to jail for taking the lord’s name in vain. Adulterers and people who covet their neighbor’s wives get to have the same tax benefits as everybody else. There are no amendments enforcing discrimination against those who have not accepted Jesus into their hearts. To suggest such things would be absurd.

The U.S. Constitution protects our right to be heretics, when it gives us freedom of speech and freedom of religion. And yet people think that this one aspect of Christianity should be written into the fabric of the law?

Give me a fucking break.

Anybody who says that same-sex marriage should be banned on religious grounds is a liar. Unless they are willing to live in a Taliban-like state, wherein the law of the land is based on the main religious book (which would include, among other things, quite a bit of stoning), they are lying. They are choosing to hide behind religion as a way to enforce their own hatred and fear, because otherwise they would be up in arms about all sorts of things, including the fact that people are allowed to be up in arms (turn the other cheek, anyone?).

The constitution protects us from religious doctrine. Each individual person gets to decide for themselves whether the religious doctrine is something that they want to accept; the strength of religion lies in this very fact.

What would Jesus do? He’d probably tell you to stop judging, lest you be judged. He’d probably tell you to love thy neighbor as you love thyself. He’d probably tell you to do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.

I can’t say for sure, though, because I don’t feel comfortable acting as Jesus’ mouthpiece. Unlike the voters in North Carolina.

By Susan

I am old and wise. Perhaps more old than wise, but once you're old, you don't give a shit about details anymore.

29 replies on “What Would Jesus Ban”

I want to put this on a sign on my forehead at the nearest major intersection:

Nobody is making an amendment enforcing the honoring of my mother and father, and nobody is going to jail for taking the lord’s name in vain. Adulterers and people who covet their neighbor’s wives get to have the same tax benefits as everybody else. There are no amendments enforcing discrimination against those who have not accepted Jesus into their hearts.

You are so smart, she-who-changes-usernames! ;)

I’m a NC native and voted last week (early voting) against the amendment. I visited my mother this week, and as the election results came in, of course we discussed it. She had voted for it, based upon her “religious beliefs” (under which I was raised, but since then I’ve…questioned). So, a resounding YES to everything you said in this post. I want to send her this post, but my explanation of why the amendment is bad fell on deaf ears, so anything else would too.

I’m a Christian, and I don’t think that government should be pushing religious views because it is so antithetical (I think that’s the word I’m looking for) to the US Constitution. We claim religious freedom and separation of church and state. That means government stays out of religions and religious organizations and that church doesn’t have a say in the government. We aren’t living in a medieval papal state or a theocracy. Two men getting married or two women getting married doesn’t undermine my marriage. My marriage is a covenant between myself, my husband, and God–and no one else. I believe that God have his creation free will, so whether or not he finds homosexuality acceptable isn’t even worth arguing. It’s missing the point.

Hand to God, Amen!

I just can’t not be confounded by this matter. Why are some Christians so up in arms about this matter? Other Christians believe it’s okay. I can tell you after the NC polls closed and it was official, my facebook page Exploded with the someecard saying “If you have to make a law that hurts a number of people, just to prove your morals or faith, then you have no true morals or faith to prove.” This was not posted by just any group of friends. This card hit my newsfeed countless times (like, over ten?) by people who identify with and practice Christianity. One posting alone had 15 likes and three comments agreeing with the message (I’d find more examples but gah, that’s work).  They understand what Jesus was teaching. They are the Christians we should not forget about. I really like having them as my friends. :)

The other Christians who are getting their panties in a wad? To them I have only this:

Those who speak the loudest have the least to say.


When I read things like this, the Gandhi quote always floats into my mind: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” I’m extremely fortunate that the Christians in my life (the ones who I interact with on a more in-depth level than passing Facebook  posts) are far more of the “love thy neighbor” type than the “preserve the sanctity of marriage!!!1!” type.

Yes. A million kabillion times plus baby elephants playing and running around YES.

I am pissed off at my state right now. I know NC’s not the first to pass a Stupid Amendment, and won’t be the last, but for fuck’s sake. If the idea that two men or women are married to one another (or a couple is committed but not married) is a threat to you, look at your own gotdam marriage/relationship and find its flaws. Don’t be an asshole.

Honestly, I don’t see the Catholic church’s stance on gay marriage lasting once the current generation of Bishops bites the dust. I know of exactly zero Catholics in my age range or younger that feel that marriage varies significantly between heterosexual and homosexual couples. It seems to me this batch is trying their darnest to repeal Vatican II, when my generation tends to feel that Vatican II was a good start, but it didn’t go far enough. The church will hit the point where it will have to adapt or die, and with 1500 odd years of momentum, I highly doubt it will choose to go under.

When they started to roll back Vatican II, I lost my shit. I already had little respect for the Catholic Church and to roll back the one positive thing that has happened over the last 50 years, well that was the end of it for me.

/I am rather biased about Vatican II, my school was named after Pope John XXIII

I love my individual parish, but I’m not so hot on the rest of the Church. I like our lady relgious for the most part, but Bishops can go away and not come back until they’ve proven that they actually understand the people they are supposed to be teaching.

And Pope John XXIII was a friggen awesome Pope. I keep hoping for another one like him.

As a 17 year old, I entered into a catholic schools public speaking competition. My topic was “Theology of the Body”- basically the Pope’s view about marriage and sex.

Even at 17, it was the biggest pile of horse shit I had ever read. I’m pretty sure the justifications for it all were pulled out of his arse. It made me so angry that the Pope, a man with sway over millions was discriminating against millions more for no good reason.

I was thankful the next year my topic was the history of the local cathedral. Much better for my blood pressure.

To paraphrase someone I saw on Twitter: Being against equal marriage rights is like getting mad at someone else for eating a doughnut because you’re on a diet.

It does irk me when people use Christianity to condemn– or even outright hate something/one — when “love thy neighbor” is pretty clear. What it comes down to is some people fearing change, fearing a difference of opinion, and then lashing out because they do not like having to more thoughtfully consider their own moral code. And on a related note, I also don’t understand people who say they want smaller government, yet continually try to legislate what we do in our bedrooms.

For me, it is similar to judging someone because they have red hair (which, crazily, still happens). As in, “Oh, so you’re saying my genetics aren’t good enough for you? Really? Do you know what kind of company you keep by saying that?”

Short version: That amendment is totes ridic.

I consider myself a Christian, although I admit I’m a pretty shitty excuse for one.

I have never in my life believed being gay was a sin.

I happen to be ridiculously Bible-literate, because as a kid I would read a book of the Bible every week after church. Emo kids had fewer options in the old days, OK? I think the Bible has a lot of bullshit in it. By the way, this is NOT the reason I don’t consider myself a good Christian.

But even if one takes the Bible more literally, which I do not, it does not make a coherent case against homosexuality. Jesus has nothing to say on the topic, even in the gnostic Gospels that got thrown out at the Council of Nicea (and may I say, the Gospels of Thomas and Mary Magdalene are pretty interesting reading.)

There are more injunctions against alcohol than against homosexuality in the Bible.

One Greek word that has been translated to mean homosexuality actually refers to men having sex with boys. Guess what–I’m against that, too!

In the Bible, the love story of Jonathan and David inspired me more than anything else. Love is love. It’s holy. It’s God. What else is there?

Mr. Donovan and I have been married for 20 years. Marriage isn’t for everybody, of course, but for us, it’s sacred. Not recognising the inherent sanctity of same-sex marriage is a stain upon the institution as a whole.

Love the bits of the Gospel of Thomas that I’ve read.

And at least one young Christian woman backs you up on that:

As I watched my Facebook and Twitter feeds last night, the reaction among my friends fell into an imperfect but highly predictable pattern. Christians over 40 were celebrating. Christians under 40 were mourning.  Reading through the comments, the same thought kept returning to my mind as occurred to me when I first saw that Billy Graham ad: You’re losing us.

I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it again…(though I’m starting to think that no one is listening): 

My generation is tired of the culture wars. 

We are tired of fighting, tired of vain efforts to advance the Kingdom through politics and power, tired of drawing lines in the sand, tired of being known for what we are against, not what we are for.

And when it comes to homosexuality, we no longer think in the black-at-white categories of the generations before ours. We know too many wonderful people from the LGBT community to consider homosexuality a mere “issue.” These are people, and they are our friends. When they tell us that something hurts them, we listen. And Amendment One hurts like hell.

You and I are in the exact same place Bryn. I still call myself a Christian, but I’m a shitty example of one and not because I think the Bible isn’t perfect.

The younger generation of Christians are much more tolerant and tired of the culture wars. We’re just tired of hearing the same dogma preached from the pulpit by the over 40 crowd. I can tell that even the younger pastors and leaders don’t really believe any of this, they just feel pressure to keep toting the party line. I live for the day a leader from an evangelical church stands up and basically says, “This is bullshit.”

I haven’t seen one argument yet for this horse-shit that didn’t come from the Bible (in whatever distorted form, but you know what, that’s not my fucking problem). In point of fact, “marriage” can kiss my ass, too. Throw that patriarchal terminology right the fuck out, the gov’t only gets to acknowledge whatever term we choose for the legal form thereof, and anything else stays with church-inclined folks. I want zero part of any of that, and I would like my gov’t to have zero part of any of that.

Please remove your religion from policy. You’ll be a lot happier, too – or you would be if your faith mattered to you as something more than a handy excuse to treat other people like shit.


I explained to my mother how the amendment was loosely worded so that it could be used to further strip away NC’s already paltry women’s rights in domestic-abuse situations when they are in unmarried living situations with a male partner, and she actually said to me, her never-married 37-year-old daughter who has cohabited with a male before and also been in a (separate) abusive relationship where I couldn’t get a restraining order because I wasn’t married to the abuser, “Well, then people should marry and not just live together.”

That’s right, Mom–as a woman, I only count to the world if I’m married. Didn’t you raise me as a single mother to not believe that at all?? How far you have fallen when you got cozy with your cult religious beliefs.

Oh, the forehead smacking.

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