March 26, 2013
Thank you, Linda, for your response
to my blog of Friday, March 22, 2013. I resonate with your comment that "Without a compulsory draft, I'm not sure there is vigorous enough outrage over the costs of war - both initially and in the long term." It seems to me the point you are making is that if a situation does not effect us personally, it is very difficult for us to look beyond the confines of our selves.
Columnist for the Miami Herold, Leonard Pitts Jr
. wrote the following about Rob Portmanâ€™s U-turn on gay marriage
: "It was, make no mistake, an act of paternal love and empathy and deserves to be celebrated on that basis. He did the only thing a good father could have done. And yet, if Portmanâ€™s change of mind warms the heart, it also, paradoxically, illustrates the moral cowardice so often found at the heart of social conservatism. Look, the senatorâ€™s son is doubtless a fine and admirable young man. But with all due respect to his son, to heck with his son. This is not about Will Portman. Itâ€™s far bigger than that. So one canâ€™t help but be frustrated and vexed by the senatorâ€™s inability to â€śget itâ€ť until â€śitâ€ť included his son. Will explained to him that his sexuality â€śwas not a choice?â€ť Lovely. But was the senator not listening when all those other gay men and lesbians tried to tell him the exact same thing? Apparently not. Like Dick Cheney, father of a lesbian daughter, Portman changed his view because the issue became personal. Which suggests a glaring lack of the courage and vision needed to put oneself into someone elseâ€™s shoes, imagine oneâ€™s way inside someone elseâ€™s life. These are capabilities that often seem to elude social conservatives. Small wonder: If you allow yourself to see the world from someone elseâ€™s vantage point, there is a chance it will change your own. ... But true compassion and leadership require the ability to look beyond the narrow confines of oneâ€™s own life, to project into someone elseâ€™s situation and to want for them what youâ€™d want for your own. Portmanâ€™s inability to do that created hardship for an untold number of gay men and lesbians. Each of them was also someoneâ€™s child."
Today the Supreme Court is meeting to hear arguments in two landmark cases regarding Marriage Equality. One (Perry) seeks to overturn Proposition 8, which bans same gender marriage in California, and the other (Windsor) seeks to strike down the Defense of Marriage act, which prevents the federal government from recognizing legal same gender marriage in any state.
For us Christians these historical hearings take place in the midst of Holy Week where we as Presbyterians still find ourselves in the grips of social conservatism, not allowing LGBTQ to marry and considering such unions a sin. It seems to me that it is impossible for us as a denomination to "get it" as we suffer from a "glaring lack of the courage and vision needed to put oneself into someone elseâ€™s shoes, imagine oneâ€™s way inside someone elseâ€™s life." But maybe, just maybe, this Easter, the "impossible" may become "possible"! As we are a people who believe that after suffering and death new life emerges on Easter morning. We, too, believe that we can become more aware of how the gospel is transforming us from self-interest and fear and awakening us to the realization of God's limitless love for all, even us, as we deny LGBTQ marriage equality.