What an amazing weekend. Millions of people around the country celebrated the 46th anniversary of the riots at New York City’s Stonewall Inn. We call it “Pride” because, when this all started, the idea of being proud to be lesbian or gay was almost inconceivable.
When I was growing up, loving someone of the same gender was cause for great shame. My generation bought into that, and we did many self-destructive things. We smoked more than the general population. Our rate of alcoholism was higher. Too many turned to drugs because so many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people self-medicated their stress and depression.
On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that same-gender-loving taxpayers have the right to marry just as heterosexual taxpayers do. It is a logical ruling that Millennials think is a no-brainer. While you might think that the entire world is celebrating a ruling that to us only makes sense, the truth is that the sizable portion of Americans who get most of their news from Fox find the changes in the world inconceivable. My fellow Southerners may be having a very hard time making sense of the rapid way the world has changed, but there is nothing new about that.
Ironically, the ASSIGNED lesson for yesterday was the story of how King David reacted when he learned that Saul and Jonathan had died in battle. David said that his love for Jonathan exceeded his love for women. I can’t help but wonder if America’s reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling might have been received differently by Christians if we actually had explored what it means that David love Jonathan MORE than he loved his wives.
I don’t mean that David was gay, but what if we had talked about the fact that the ancestor of Jesus, the greatest King of Israel, and one of the great heroes of the faith loved another man more than he loved women? The Bible tells us so, and, if we only had dealt with what that meant, we may well have been able to help our entire country understand this transition without so much division.
In the United Church of Christ, we like to say, “God is still speaking.” I can’t help but wonder if the world wouldn’t be a better place if we had been listening all along.
Rev. Michael Piazza