Friday, December 30, 2011

pondering a time to embrace

I've read many books on the topic of homosexuality and Christianity over the past few years.  While a couple of the real-life accounts have been helpful in that they provide context and story, the rest have been - for the most part - lacking, in my opinion.  I've been neither impressed nor convinced by them.  Not that I need a book to convince me, but I admit I'm the type of person who needs alignment in my life.  My conscience/the Spirit may lead me toward a certain persuasion but I also need to understand, at least on some level, how that fits into the big picture of my own personal religion/faith/philosophy.  And so I've been reading... a lot.

This is the first book that satisfied.  It's heady, it's a bit long, and it's excellent.  It's thorough.  It's incredibly well researched - the last 25% of the book is notes and I read all those, too!

In my state of North Carolina, we will be asked to vote on an amendment in May.  I'm convinced this amendment is a huge mistake.  In addition to prohibiting same-sex marriage, as state statute already does, the Amendment would:

  • prohibit North Carolina from passing civil unions;
  • bar the state from instituting domestic partnership rights;
  • strip the domestic partner insurance benefits currently offered to employees by a number of local governments, including Chapel Hill, Durham, Greensboro, and Mecklenburg and Orange Counties.
In addition, courts could interpret the language of the Amendment to ban any rights to state's hundreds of thousands of unmarried couples—both same and opposite-gender. This would:
  • invalidate domestic violence protections for all unmarried partners;
  • undercut existing child custody and visitation rights that are designed to protect the best interests of children;
  • prevent the state from giving committed couples rights to allow them to order their relationships, including threatening their ability to determine the disposition of their deceased partner's remains; to make medical decisions if their partner is incapacitated; and to allow second-parent adoptions in order to ensure that both partners have a legal tie to, and financial responsibilities for, the children they are raising.
  • invalidate trusts, wills, and end-of-life directives by one partner in favor of the other.
As we welcome a new year, I encourage my fellow North Carolinians to take on a personal challenge.  Between now and May, resolute to do two things:
  1. Read this book - educate yourself on both the history and theology surrounding this issue.  
  2. More importantly - befriend a family where two moms or two dads are raising children (or have raised now adult children). Spend time with them.   Worship with them.  Serve alongside them. 
After you've done those two things, be sure to vote your conscience in May.

1 comment:

tracy said...

i love you and i'm buying the book on amazon as i type.

thanks for encouraging me and others to be informed and to follow the Spirit.