The Sanctity of Marriage

Jonathan Lopez is (or was) a student at Los Angeles City College. He is in the process of suing the school for discrimination. One of his professors refused to allow Lopez to finish a class speech and called him “a fascist bastard” in front of the class. Lopez, an admitted Christian (gasp), inquired about his class grade, and was told by his professor to “ask God what your grade is.” Why such abuse? He was making a speech arguing against homosexual marriage.

The news accounts didn’t make it plain whether this incident took place before or after the passing of Proposition 8 (which amended the California constitution to define marriage as taking place between people of opposite genders). If this incident took place BEFORE Proposition 8 was passed, then Mr. Lopez was shut down and ridiculed for participating in a current sociopolitical debate because his view differed from that of his professor. If the incident took place AFTER the passing of Proposition 8, then he was censured for arguing for the law of the land! At any rate, this seems to be something less than the free exchange of ideas that is supposed to characterize the educational process.

I preached Sunday on homosexuality. You can listen to the sermon if you like (just don’t operate heavy equipment at the same time). Want a hint? I said that homosexuality is a sin... and that the gospel is for sinners. Does the open acceptance of homosexual marriage undercut the sanctity and inviolability of the covenant of marriage?  Sure.  But then, homosexual marriage doesn’t undermine marriage nearly as much as heterosexual divorce!  If Christians are truly interested in preserving the sanctity of marriage, then why not work to pass a constitutional amendment banning divorce? Banning gay marriage keeps the 5% or 10% of the population (depending on which guesstimate you accept) in line. Banning divorce would keep a lot more of us on the straight (excuse the pun) and narrow!

Hey, I’m not defending gay marriage. The Bible says homosexuality is an abomination to God. But the Bible also says that God hates divorce. Does God hate homosexuality all the time but hates divorce only part of the time? What was that word that Moses used for divorcing a spouse and remarrying him or her? That would be “abomination” (OK, it’s “detestable” in the NIV, but it’s the same Hebrew word). Why are we so selective in what we get riled up about?

I read some time ago that the reason it took so long to have real penalties attached to drunk-driving is that so many law-makers, judges and juries recognized that the poor sap caught drinking-and-driving just might be them someday. They might need a little love down the road when it comes to drunk-driving, so a lot of wiggle room was left in the system. Is that why Christians can be so hard against homosexual sin and not so hard against divorce? Do we think might need a little divorce wiggle-room sometime down the road?

Was Lopez discriminated against because of his religious beliefs? It would seem so. Or was maybe he was a bit too strident and harsh and combative in the way he presented his views. That undoubtedly has happened at times in the past.

It is entirely likely that if we were a bit more successful at living God’s moral law ourselves, we would be more effective in calling others to do so as well. The divorce rate of Evangelical Christians is the same (or maybe a bit higher) than the national divorce average. If we are really interested in preserving the sanctity of marriage, then maybe we need to show our respect for marriage by staying married. Once we solve our divorce problem in the church, then maybe we can be in a better place to help the culture respect the sanctity of marriage. Didn’t someone say something once about getting the beam out of our own eye before we help others with theirs?