I wrote the below to a friend of mine who identifies himself strongly as a leftists. He had originally asked me why I couldn’t be sensible about gay marriage as is the United Church of Christ.
As for your political comments/question, what you mentioned about the United Church of Christ was very interesting. It was an insight to get your perspective on the Christian reaction to the issue of gay marriage. The first thing you should know is that the UCC is heretical to begin with, i.e. they do not believe in doctrines central to the Christian faith. The most important of these doctrines is the nature of Christ. Orthodox Christians, that is those who have believed the same things about God, salvation, Jesus, and man since the church began in the first century AD, have always believed that Jesus was fully God and fully man. This has implications that are incredibly intricate and far-reaching so I won’t go into them now. If you want to know more, I would be happy to answer your questions. Another borderline heretical teaching of the UCC is that all people are saved. Because of this, they tend to have little quality teaching in regards to ethics and morality.
All that to say, what the UCC says about gay marriage doesn’t effect my stance on the position at all. My assumptions are:1) when functioning naturally, i.e. how they were created to be, males are either sexually oriented towards women or remain celebate, 2) women are either sexually oriented towards men or celebate. You might say, “Why is it then that some people are attracted to members of the same sex from a young age?” Such a question does not alter my position. My first response is that in many instances people who live a homosexual lifestyle have come out of horrible and tragic abusive relationships that have damaged their souls and cause them to seek consolation and fulfillment from those of the same gender. Some, however, really do have a tendency towards homosexual behavior regardless of external factors. The Christian response in this case is that in our fallen world – this world which has suffered under the weight of hundreds of billions of wicked choices from mankind – some unnatural desires occur without the ability of that person to change it. Christians believe that people tempted with this desire ought to be helped and nourished and should throw their energies into the service of the church and their communities, battling against sinful impulses in the same way addicts battle against cravings or the way some men battle against adultery or cowards against acting cowardly.
Does this suck? Yes, in a sense. However, the weird thing about Christians is that we don’t try to find utopia here on earth. The bottom line is that human beings cannot possibly be satisfied by anything in this world – sex, money, fame, family or friends. Our deepest longing is for a relationship with God though we may mistake it for so many other things. As St. Augustine writes to God, “Our hearts our restless until they rest in You.” Maybe you kind of know what I’m talking about?
Another VERY important point is that Christians (when truly acting as Christians) do not have any special vendetta against homosexuals. Rather, they struggle with a sin similar to any other. Prima facie it strikes us as more perverse than many sins, but at the heart of the matter homosexuality is not different from substance addiction, promiscuity, lying, cowardice or any other habitual sin. Churches should open their doors to anyone who would respectfully worship with them. Most churches have the policy that homosexuals are more than welcome to attend church. If they are believers in Christ (you can be a Christian and a homosexual, by the way), they can be eligible for church membership although – in theory, according to the words of Christ – no one should be allowed to persist in sin. That is, if they are not making strides to overcoming the sin, whatever that sin may be, they are not able to be part of the church. If they then admit that it was wrong, making appropriate confession and repentance, they are allowed back in. This goes on all the time over a host of issues.
Politically speaking, because homosexuality is a sinful behavior it ought not be encouraged. I can think of about three counter-arguments you could make here and I’m willing to respond to them if you are still interested enough to make them. Also, from a purely pragmatic standpoint, I oppose gay marriage because homosexuals cost us tons of money and resources in social costs such as medicine and counseling. They should still be allowed to continue their behavior because we live in a free country that has chosen not to disallow sinful behaviors. However, economic incentive should not be given to persist in behaviors that are harmful. It’s as simple as that.