Today will be a day writen of in history books as the Supreme Court affirmed the right for same-sex marriage.
Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy wrote….
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were….. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
How will this decision be received? By some it will be regarded as yet another sign of a land increasingly untethered from any moral bearings. For others it will be a cause to celebrate.
Many religious, driven by fear over others reactions, will understandably not speak to it one way or another.
But yet I think it prudent to speak.
Marriage is sacred. And marriage between one man and one woman has long been held, very understandbly, as a core compact upon which healthy society rests. New Church theology clearly and beautifully holds to that.
And we live in changing times. The reasoning behind this decision deserves our open attention because it is a reasoning based on thoughtfulness and compassion.
So maybe what we are called to is balance, a balance that see both, sees the clear Biblical teachings that hold that marriage is between one man and one woman. And clear canonical teachings as well that thought and truth, centered on love, evolve. They unfold.
… whenever a doctrinal teaching rises out of a life of thoughtfulness it is the kind of teaching that belongs to faith. …. Anyone who lives a life of love for others knows everything there is to know about faith. Secrets of Heaven 1798
My hope is that denominations then that seek to hold to what they see as sacred truth and in so doing do not perform single-sex weddings can hold to that truth as they see it. And my hope is that denominations that seek to live into a more expansive view of marriage and family can do that as well.
There actually is room for both perspectives. Room for considered, kind dialog between the camps. This IS the law of the land now. The legality is settled. And to allow it to become one more issue over which divisiveness reigns would be unfortunate in a time that so badly calls for a considered sense of God’s life and love, a life and love that we all share.