The legislature of my state is on the cusp of legalizing same-sex marriage. The bill that they are seeking to pass on the one month anniversary of my marriage would require my church to allow the performance of same-sex marriage ceremonies on its property. I have two dominant reactions to this course of events: from a faith perspective I find this absolutely revolting and from the point of reason I do not see how this is consistent with the mantra of “separation of church and state.”
If we view this through a religious lense, not only is the degradation of marriage being legalized, it is also being forced upon those who morally disagree with it. The Bible clearly states that marriage is between one man and one woman. No matter how many attempts are made to reason differently, our conscience knows this to be true. I am acutely aware of the sacredness of marriage and I am so grateful for its institution. Anything but what God intended when He designed marriage is a mockery of the genuine article. Unfortunately, those of us who stand by the traditional conviction about marriage are viewed as bigots and outdated. I wonder, though, if anyone is attempting to force Islamists to accept gay marriage in their mosques? Probably not, as that would not be tolerant of their religious views.
And what of the separation of church and state? We can’t have prayer in public schools, “Under God” in our pledges, a cross or Nativity scene on public grounds, or the Ten Commandments in a courtroom because the church and state must be kept separate. BUT the government can mandate that churches allow a ceremony on their property which violates their moral convictions, require Christian employers to include abortions and birth control in their employees’ health insurance despite its violating their moral convictions, or refuse the right of Christian businesses to retain the right of refusing service to someone who demands that they compromise their religious values? It’s confusing, isn’t it? It would appear that the separation of church and state is conveniently unidirectional. As long as it keeps the church out of the government’s business it works; but it impotent when it comes to keeping the government out of the church’s business.
I know that peacemakers are blessed, and I firmly believe that we should do all we can to share the love of Christ with the lost and hurting world. I also know that we are called to stand firm in God’s Truth. True peace only comes with the acceptance of the truth in God’s Word. We are not loving our neighbors if we close our eyes to wrongdoing and bite our tongues when lies are being propagated. If we really believe that what we believe is really real, then for the sake of eternal peace we must hold our ground and refuse to compromise. The truth is costly, but I believe it is worth everything I have.