A Corner on the Market of Faith

Here in Hawaii, the governor recently vetoed a bill that would have legalized civil unions for both heterosexual and homosexual couples. This would have allowed people who cannot marry the same legal protections that many married couples take for granted, among them: status of “Next of Kin” for hospital visits and medical decisions, Medicare benefits and mandated child support.

Governor Linda Lingle’s decision came under intense pressure from religious conservatives who claimed that a civil union is simply marriage by another name. They wore white clothing, symbolizing purity, and stormed the State Capitol praying and singing hymns.

When she eventually vetoed the bill, again they gathered, arms aloft and singing praises that “God’s will” had been done.

As a woman who is married to a man, and who believes in God, I say to them,

How dare you?

How dare you claim to have a corner on the market of faith? You profess that one cannot know the mind of God but through Christ, and yet Jesus makes no mention of civil unions in the Bible.

Just some stuff about love and compassion and giving up one’s life for a friend.

I am not a parent. But if I were, and my child were gay, I would want someone who cherished him or her to love and protect my precious child in my absence. I would want his/her beloved to be allowed into a hospital where my baby lie. To have and to hold, till death.

Wouldn’t any parent?  Wouldn’t God?

How low have we sunk when, as a community of believers, we show more enthusiasm for crushing our perceived opponent than for the business of simply seeking divine grace?

We have chosen the form of religion over the substance of it, and that’s a crying shame.

And yet.

It’s understandable. It’s so much easier to be a social Christian (or Hindu, Jew, et al) than to do the often uncomfortable inner work required of the real thing.

Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in Truth.  Bhagavad gita 7.3

Hardly one.

I may have met one or two such persons in my life so far.  And here’s what they had in common: Humility. So much real humility they claimed not to be servants of God, but servants of his servant’s servant.

This human form of life brings with it the unique opportunity to inquire about higher topics. Atato brahma jijnasa. It also presents us with an obligation to assist where we find suffering.

Funny. Was this not the message of a certain Nazarene?

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