A Conservative Case for Same-Sex Marraige

I've always felt a little more socially conservative than my friends and neighbors, both growing up in Decatur and going to college in Massachusetts. It's not about judging the things that others do, but about choosing what is most fitting for myself, for reasons of taste and otherwise, but there is sometimes some awkwardness. However, that general sentiment never applied - even slightly - to the issue of gay marriage, or anything involving human sexuality, and I've never bought the arguments otherwise. Here's a great encapsulation of some of that reasoning, from RedState:
Luke 10 tells the story of a legal expert who queried Jesus about what was required to inherit eternal life. Christ turned the question back on its questioner, and this man whose entire life revolved around studying the law of God summed it up in two points: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
And Christ informed him that he had it exactly right.
That’s what is required to be a follower of Christ. I’m not called to hunt down sinful people, or question the faith of my friends and neighbors, or try to wield the power of the government to enforce my convictions on others.
I’m called to love God, and love them. period. The End. Christ himself spent time with the lowest and most despised sinners of His day, and Scripture holds no account of His ever confronting them about it, except when they explicitly asked Him about it or, like Zaccheus the cheating, thieving tax collector, brought it up themselves.
Even for those who believe homosexuality is a sin, does it necessarily follow that they should wield the levers of Leviathan’s power against those whom they believe are in the wrong? After all, Scripture speaks about homosexuality a bare handful of times. Conversely, caring for the poor is a key theme all throughout the Major and Minor Prophets, the Gospels and the Epistles. Israel is repeatedly condemned for abandoning the poor, sick and needy among them. The disciples and the early church are urged to care for those same  poor and needy.
If, as the anti-SSM crowd would have it, the levers of State are to be wielded to enforce the commands of Scripture, then pardon me, but what the H-E-double-hockey-sticks are we doing spending so much time, energy and effort fighting to overturn Obamacare? If the role of government is to enforce Biblical morality, isn’t Obamacare – providing the security of medical insurance coverage to a multitude of poor, sick people who couldn’t get it before, the most Christ-like thing the government has ever done??

And then there are the children. Even if you believe with all your heart that the best environment in which to raise a child is one shared with both a loving (male) father and a loving (female) mother . . . are you really ready to argue that a child is better off in an abusive home, or shuttling around between foster homes, or in a home with an absentee mom or dad, or in a broken home, than that child would be in a loving home shared with two parents of the same gender?

We live in a fallen, broken world, and unfortunately that means that not all of us have the good fortune to grow up in stable homes with both a father and mother who love us and are present in our lives. But for those who don’t have that opportunity, I’d argue that a stable home with two fathers or two mothers is the next best thing.
I would even say that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality - it just condemns going against one's own nature. And for the many gay men and women who hid themselves, and married straight, that pain of going against nature must have been a constant pain for years.

Marriage's enemy - society's enemy - is visible during any of the daytime TV talk shows that mock the responsibilities of fathers or the pain of infidelity. It's the rising divorce rate (concentrated in particular economic classes), and the numbers of marriages that should have failed due to abuse in a past era, when divorce was a true scandal.

Unfortunately, it's easy to hate the other, different, or strange, especially when we fear it.

States in the Union

A recent post made me think about which states I have and haven't been to in the US. I think you have to stay a night somewhere for it to really count but will count traveling-through states with asterisks.

I don't really think this will be useful for anyone else, but it's a cool reference point for the future.

Final score: Been to 30, transited in 7, got 13 left.

Pope Francis, Catholicism, and Rhode Island

I spent much of the weekend in Rhode Island, the last state I hadn't been to in New England. (Delaware/West Virginia, I'm coming for you and the end of the mid-Atlantic next). I have a dear friend here, a lifer, who welcomed me with the same grace I knew when we last saw each other at graduation. She's gone a different road than mine since then, and it's always nice to check in every once in a while to remember who we were - and who we can be when with the best.

She's also Catholic, so I went back to Mass today for the first time (I think) since we spent our freshman Winter in Rome, thanks to Williams. I was happy they gave out palm fronds, and joyed when the final song was "Jesus, Remember Me," a song I know well from Taize.

Lastly, a note on the new Pope. I don't believe in papal infallibility, and I'm incredibly "low church," but I think human psychology makes the Pope - a singular figure, a human in a Godly role - a special touchstone that I appreciate whenever it captivates the world. I hope he succeeds in putting meat behind the wonderful symbolism thus far - and I predict that he will do well. Besides, Francis is my favorite saint, mostly because I played him in a children's church choir production.