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July 14, 2015 at 11:14 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

A Historical Week: This Christian's Response to the Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage

By Jeffrey VanWingen M.D. More Blogs by This Author

History has been made this summer. My eyes and ears have been open to our nation’s culture over the past weeks as I have seen political, media and personal lines drawn.  As an observer and a human I have wrestled with the issues from every angle my mind could take me in the contexts of history, politics, faith and the heart.  My blog is mostly about educating the masses about wellness and medical issues, but this is about me, putting my stethoscope down and taking my doctor coat off to get out the reckoning and weigh in. 

Part II:  The Supreme Court of America Legalizes Gay Marriage

If you haven’t heard, the Supreme Court of the United States ended the vacillation and state lines differentiating the status and definition of marriage. In my own state of Michigan, we had seen a complete flip-flop allowing for same sex marriage and then again disallowing. 

News stations, politicians, organizations, churches and individuals took to various media outlets to proclaim whatever they were feeling. I was sucked in and read briefs and memes from both sides. Virtually everything put the issue as black and white—right or wrong.

My heart took in the opinions, the commentaries and the law and then went to a different place. I was taken back to the times in my upbringing in which I behaved in a derogatory fashion toward homosexuality. I called people “fag,” mostly my friends and mostly in a good-natured, yet demeaning chide. Some of these friends, unknown to me at the time, were in the closet, put there by a society lacking in empathy and perpetuating people like me. 

I am guided in my life by my heart, the Bible, and the law of the land. Beyond all this, I have been haunted by these moments in my past that I unknowingly hurt some people that I cared for and still care for an awful lot. 

Tell me I’m misguided. Tell me I haven’t gone far enough.

Perhaps you're right, but are you really the one to say?

I know what religious doctrine says. I am a person divorced and remarried and I know what the Old Testament would say about this as well. If Jesus were to come to the earth today, I can’t help but feel that he would be upset about a lot of things. However, I feel it would mostly be regarding the lack of his most important charge - to love our neighbor as ourselves. In regards to our country and its laws, The Supreme Court has spoken.

It really boils down to love, doesn’t it? I’ve always been guided by a philosophy of “Live and let live” in the greater context of “The Golden Rule.” Plenty of people do things that are contrary to others’ doctrine and yet do not harm others. I feel this is one of those things. I am disappointed in outliers who are working to bring this issue into a dim light casting a shadow on the marriage of a same sex couple as harmful to others in some construed fashion. Furthermore, love transcends political parties. This legislation is one of unity and equality in our country with very little difference from Women’s Suffrage and Civil Rights. We are redefining a societal norm and it is the right thing to do. I was wrong in my younger years, but my children are more enlightened than I was - I am a part of this.

Hanging the entire issue on some extrapolation or smaller issue is part of the problem itself. 

It does not open a door for the destruction of our society or the marriage of inanimate objects.  Again, it is about unity.

I have written this not because I think more opinions are needed in the sea of commentary. It is dedicated to those whom my ignorance and poor insight has had a negative impact over the years. I am sorry and I am a human, growing.

It may confuse some that I have considered issues of the confederate flag and same sex marriage. I believe it is more than just legislation put forth in the same season. They are both moves toward unity in our country. Sure, they are neither end all or be all, but they are a fine place to start.

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