What is Equality?

Yesterday, my news feed exploded with the response to the Supreme Court ruling same sex marriage as a constitutional right. This, of course led to much discussion among my fellow Christian brethren, much of which was met by the question, “Don’t you believe in equality?” Despite the fact that that question is a major ad hom and only causes division and spite, there is something more deeply wrong with that question. This question that plagues the Christian worldview is a question that is not proper, logically or morally, to ask of someone.

So, what is equality? Let’s start with the idea that equality is an objective concept. It’s not. Everyone has a vastly different idea of what equality looks like. The Christian can argue that equality means loving everyone equally enough to warn them against spiritual danger in which they are participating. Therefore, the Christian campaign against same-sex marriage on the basis that it is spiritually dangerous is actually a Christian putting their view of equality into action and then they wonder if the non-Christian believes in equality, because they allow the world to be affirmed in sin. On the other side, a non-Christian may define equality as “equal rights.” Therefore, when a Christian is not “for” what someone views as a right, the non-Christian may wonder if the Christian believes in equality. Equality is not an objective concept. It is totally determined by a person’s worldview. Which means that asking the question “Don’t you believe in equality?” is going to lead absolutely nowhere, because the real question is “Don’t you believe in my view of what equality looks like?”

Now, let’s look at the idea of equality as “equal rights.” Here, we run into the problem of what a “right” is. Rights are totally arbitrary. As a Christian, I do not view marriage as a right, but as a gift. Therefore, when a Christian is not “for” same sex marriage, they are not “against” equal rights, because they may not view marriage as a right. Truly, from a Christian mindset, the only “right” we objectively have is to death and condemnation. So, in a way, we do believe in an “equal rights” concept of equality. We all have equal rights to eternal damnation. Anything outside of that is a gift. So, then, does equality mean “equal gifts”? If so, from where does that idea come? Where anywhere are we promised equal access to gifts? Nowhere. We are granted equal access to gifts, but never promised it.

So, then, what is the most logically cohesive position on equality (let me point out that I am not saying the most objectively logical position)? I obviously have my answer that you can more than likely surmise from my writing, but I will not explicitly express it because this isn’t about my opinion, but rather a break down of how we view equality and what makes sense. But, my final word is this…

Regardless of any law or mandate, I firmly believe that the church should be allowed to ordain any marriage they choose to ordain. To me, this is not an issue of religion or politics, but rather an issue of involving religion in the definitions of the government. Really, what is marriage if it’s not ordained by a church? It is a lifelong relationship where two people are living together and maybe die together. That is a reality that will happen regardless of a piece of paper from the government. This applies to two heterosexuals that are married by law, outside of the church, this applies to two homosexuals that are married by law, outside of the church. The reality is that, by legalizing same sex unions, nothing is changing except for a piece of paper that allows them more legal rights. As long as the church is not being forced to ordain ANY marriage they do not deem appropriate for or approved by their religion (this applies to even marrying two heterosexual atheists), then this actually changes nothing. Life long same sex relationships were happening. They will continue to happen. The legality of same sex union will not change that.

So, instead of being concerned that marriage is being defiled, or something like that, be concerned that this was a sin problem prevalent enough for long enough that it became a socio-political norm. Are they wrong? That’s up to you, but I believe the Bible is clear that homosexual relations is wrong. Are we still supposed to love them? Absolutely. Let’s not get caught up on the effect when the cause is the problem. Work on your heart so you can work on the hearts of others in a proper, loving way. Repentance doesn’t result from legislature. Repentance results from love.

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