Gay Marriage in N. Ireland – defying Christ.

The politicians in N. Ireland recently debated gay marriage and the Assembly members rejected the proposal that same sex couples should have the right to marry. I was not surprised that the motion was rejected as having grown up in and currently living in N. Ireland, I am all too aware of the religious induced homophobia that pervades this society and is rife amongst many politicians, particularly Unionist politicians. Only three of the 45 politicians who voted in favour were Unionist. However, on a more positive note, the defeat was narrow with nearly 50% of elected members voting in favour, paving the way for a future time when the motion is passed. 

The article relates that prior to the debate the Presbyterian Church had written to all Assembly members stating its opposition. It stated that this issue was ‘not merely an issue of conscience for Christian people and churches but a very significant one for the whole of society’. Furthermore, it said that gay marriage would ‘effectively demolish generations and centuries of societal norms established on Judeo-Christian values’. 

Indeed it is true that Christian people who oppose gay marriage must closely examine their conscience. How can they possibly purport to be a supporter or representative of the love of Christ and yet persist in this discrimination against gay people? It would appear that they have difficulty applying the second commandment to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mark 12:31) and seem to believe that it is only to be applied to those who believe or think the same way as those of the Presbyterian Church. The commandment does not say ‘only love your neighbour if he/she is heterosexual or straight,’ nor does it say ‘love your neighbour as yourself but not if he/she is gay’. Therefore, rather than upholding the teachings of the Christ, those who oppose gay marriage on religious grounds are in fact defying the teachings of the Christ. Indeed, the ironic thing is that many people who do not self-identify as Christian are better at upholding the teachings of Christ by loving their neighbour irrespective of gender, sexuallty, religion, race etc  than many who do identify as Christian! Many have left the Christian church because they have listened to the truth of their own conscience and been able to see through the falsehoods of many of the religious teachings. Indeed the church could learn a thing or two from people who do listen to their conscience rather than homophobic preachers.

Of course there are Christians who do see the bigger picture and who are not so narrow in their outlook or understanding of the teachings of the bible or Christ and who do support gay marriage, but the purpose of this blog is to highlight the ridiculousness of being against gay marriage based on the teachings of the Christ. 

To say that gay marriage would ‘effectively demolish generations and centuries of societal norms established on Judeo-Christian values’  is perhaps over-stating the mark somewhat. The paradoxical thing is that to support gay marriage would actually be upholding the true teachings of Christ – that sees and knows all are equal. Thus gay people deserve equal rights to marriage if they so choose it.  The love between two gay people is equally as valid, as deep, as strong as between to two heterosexual people – there is no difference and their relationships are subject to the same ups and downs as heterosexual relationships. However, if gay marriage did ‘demolish generations and centuries of societal norms established on Judeo-Christian values’ then perhaps it is time that those norms were demolished if they are based on values that lead to separation, condemnation and judgment of one’s fellow human being. We need to seriously examine those values and consider what they have led to in society and whether they are truly representative of the teachings of the Christ or based on a false man-made interpretation that actually fails to represent the teachings of the Christ. 

Have those values led to societies that are harmonious, that co-operate to help each other, where neighbours love neighbours or have they led to division, fighting, intolerance and war? Throughout history Christian people have fought and killed in the name of God based on their understandings and  ‘Judeo Christian values’. N. Ireland is a clear example of how these so called Judeo Christian values have resulted in separation, fighting, intolerance, hatred amongst communities with walls separating one side from the other – hardly a loving representation and outcome for living these values. So is it the values that are wrong or man’s interpretation of the values or both? The BBC news article does not articulate the specific Judeo Christian values it is referring to, so it is not possible to answer this question but surely one of the Judeo Christian values would be to uphold the commandment to “love your neighbour as yourself” and to endeavour to be a representative of the love of Christ? Those values are true, but are they truly lived? Clearly not – and this is something that we all can struggle with and is often fed by the fact that we do not love ourselves let alone our neighbours. it is our own lovelessness, self hatred and self loathing that gets projected onto others. However, if one is serious in the endeaovour to love oneself and represent the love of God on earth then it is important to examine and question any intolerances or areas where we hold others as somewhat lesser in any way, shape or form and that too begins by addressing those aspects of ourselves that we dislike or hate that are often buried deep within. 

The Christ is pure love, that love is completely unconditional and loves all equally irrespective of sexuality, race, nationality, religion etc. Therefore, there can be no justification for discrimination against gay people if the love of Christ is embodied and lived. It is simply not possible. All discrimination is therefore based on a man-made interpretation or re-interpretation that bears no resemblance to the Christ. 

The Presbyterian Church can write letters, give interviews, preach and expound on its reasons why the Assembly should vote against gay marriage and no doubt will continue to do so for years to come –  but to do so is to defy the very thing they say they are endeavouring to uphold and represent – the Love of Christ. 

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  • Reply
    Beverley Brown
    7th October 2012 at 11:22 am

    Thank you Eunice, for beautifully highlighting the irony of this interpretation of Christian values. So we are to “love our neighbours” (so long as they are not gay and we can also kill them in the name of our faith if they do not think as we do!!!) Its a crazy interpretaiton of a beautiful truth. We would also have to ask, what loving father would exclude any of his children, let alone kill them if they disagreed with him. Irony indeed.

  • Reply
    Jane Keep
    9th October 2012 at 5:47 am

    Hi Eunice, Another great blog, thank you. Your point is well made, “It would appear that they have difficulty applying the second commandment to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mark 12:31)” how different would our world be if we were to apply that simplicity, love your neighbour as yourself…

  • Reply
    15th November 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Well, I disagree. Love your neighbour does not mean agree with all bad practice. God love is universal, so should be our love. Also, loving ourselves it does not mean self indulgence. If my lovely neighbour is a serial criminal, a psychopath, or a pedophile – I should still love him, of course, wishing him good – but I should be very preoccupied by his well being and of course, mine or my family’s. Love the sinner, hate the sin.

    What you are using here is a fallacious argument. I agree not to put gay people in jail, and therefore they should have all social rights. But families are made to procreate and raise children. Nature or God have a unique way to make children -it takes a woman and a man. This is the only natural way.

    Dont forget that homosexuals where considered ill not very long time ago. Now what is their next step? the right to make children, maybe? Even the government will give them this right, the nature will not.

    So, lets love them by telling them the truth and help them recover, and also protect our kids and society from bad influence. Love the sinner, not the sin.

    • Reply
      The Soulful Doctor
      15th November 2012 at 4:13 pm

      Dear Visitor, 

      you are correct – self-love does not mean self-indulgence nor does it mean agree with evil or as you call it ‘bad practice’. However, to suggest that the love that two gay people have for each other is in an any way evil or ‘bad practice’ and in the same vein as pedophilia or serial criminal is, in my opinion to be very mistaken about the true nature of love and is but a mainfestation of the evil of teachings that perpetuate this myth. That homosexuals were considered ill is nothing to be proud of – we should be ashamed that we as a humanity allowed our fellow brothers and sisters to be treated, labelled and judged in this way. Slavery use to be normal, child labour use to be normal and mankind has been capable of some of the most heinous acts against man. Just because people use to consider something normal does not make it so. Jesus lived the example of embracing all – especially those outcast and judged by others to be sinners etc. and I have absolutely no doubt he would openly embrace and love all gay people without requiring them to change in any way.  They have nothing to ‘recover’ from as you put it as they are not ill – apart from being sick of the judgments of others who condemn them for doing what is natural for them – loving another fellow human being. To state that they are not natural or not from God shows a shocking degree of arrogance and ignorance which unfortunately is all to prevalent in the world especially in N. Ireland. God is Love and that Love loves all equally and without judgment – there is no deviation from that truth and if one is serious about living God then it is our job to make manifest that love on earth for all irrespective of religion, nationality, gender, sexuality etc. 

      • Reply
        15th November 2012 at 5:38 pm

        Well, for the truth of the matter – it is irrelevant how the current politically correct society treat those situations. The nature (or God) made 2 sexes – male and female – and there are biological reasons beyond any political agenda. This is the only combination to procreate. Also, there are specific sexual organs, made just for that. A homosexual relationship is not even a real sexual union. The organs in cause are not to be used that way. It is simply a perversion. The anatomy of colon and anus, for example, are made specifically for ejecting matter, not to receive a male sexual organ. It is simply not hygienically and very dangerous for the physical health.

        The fact that our present society is very tolerant about this things does not make them true. Yes, you can love another person from the same sex, no problem with that. But why trying to make sex with them in a unusual and unnatural way? is love equal sex???

        Also, nature (or God) is not very permissive. If God wanted to make human society a permissive one, He woudl give us TEN suggestions, not TEN Commandments – the same thing with nature – if you drink poison, this is not an alternative lifestyle. It is deadly.

        • Reply
          15th November 2012 at 5:58 pm

          Anal cancer 90 times more chance to develop for gay men….so when we should forbid that to happen? – by which law?



        • Reply
          The Soulful Doctor
          15th November 2012 at 6:19 pm

          I agree it is not an alternative lifestyle – it is a natural way of living for those who live it. It may not be natural for you or for your neighbour and that is fine too. Live and let live.  No-one is asking you to partake in it, it is not harming you – so what gives you the right to dictate how others express their love?  I do not speak from what is politically correct, but from love. And no – sex does not equal love. God gave us free will – we all live the consequences of our choices whatever they may be, every single choice,  be that anal sex (which is not exclusive to homosexuality) to judging others for their choices. 

          • Visitor
            15th November 2012 at 6:39 pm

            Well – real love is to respect other people choices, but also inform them about the consequences. Like smoking, or doing drugs, the same thing goes for anal sex – the microbiology and the anatomy of the thing are clearly against it.
            So, what is real love – to say to your son it is ok to do drugs, smoke, drink or make unhealthy sex – or to inform him about consequences and of course, he is free to do whatever he or she wants? This is not judging others – it is loving and caring about them!

  • Reply
    5th April 2013 at 11:29 am

    This post has been deleted as it broke house rules.

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