On Tuesday, the Justices of the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments to discuss the following question: Does our Constitution require individual states to give licenses to same-sex couples? And furthermore, do states have to recognize the legal rights of same-sex marriages that originate in states where it is already legal?
And Christians everywhere should be praying that they vote yes.
Over the weekend, leaders from the United Methodists, Presbyterians, the Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalists, and Lutheran denominations joined together with sects of conservative and reform Judaism to pray over the Court’s upcoming decision, and some even filed briefs urging the Court to legalize same-sex marriage.
Last week the Public Religion Research Institute found that religious support for same-sex marriage is rising among all religious groups, with white American evangelicals most likely to be opposed. This is in direct contrast to Bobby Jindal’s claim in his op-ed in The New York Times thaun, and that laws to the contrary are somehow biased against Christians.
Christianity is on the decline in the United States, in part thanks to the religious right’s vocalization on culture wars, especially in singular issues such as abortion and homosexuality.
If same-sex marriage is formally legalized, then Christians can slowly accept defeat and move past the issue that has been the crutch of their existence for nearly two decades, when acceptance of same-sex marriage began to rise dramatically. And while inherent biases and general attitudes against LGBTQA individuals may remain, we have seen in the past that when the government decides to make historical decisions - such as those against slavery and segregation - the church, even if reluctantly, follows suit.
Without homosexuality as an issue that the church can use as its catch-all for all the supposed “sin” in the world, they can focus on what really matters again, such as injustice and poverty, as Jesus commanded.
Some Christians fear the declining influence of their religion in the government, but nothing good ever came from any religion being so intricately involved in the political sphere. As the religious right begins to crumble, the church can rebuild itself as a helpful institution looking to make a difference where it matters instead of trying to perpetually influence systems of government.
A return to Jesus’ gospel and commandments is the only way that Christianity will survive to the end of the century. With the legal push toward acceptance of same-sex marriage, we can be closer than ever to returning there.