Why This Christian Supports Gay Marriage

May 15th, 2012

I am Bronco fan. I have a good friend who is a Raider fan. If I take him to a Bronco game and put a Bronco jersey on him, have I made him a Bronco fan? Not likely.

I am also a Christian. As a believer, my definition of marriage is based on Christ’s words. That marriage is a union between a man and a woman. So some of my Christian friends wonder how I can support same-sex marriage. Here’s why.

I don’t kid myself; I know that the majority of people do not believe what I believe about Christ. The non-believer is not living their life by the same set of morals that I am. We understand this, but when it comes to marriage we want them to adopt our definition of marriage. As if this will somehow make them more Christ-like. It will not, it does not. My favorite theologian, C.S. Lewis understood this; he states that:

“A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult for everyone. I do not think that. At least I know I should be very angry if the Mahommedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine. My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognize that the majority of people are not Christians and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives. There ought to be two distinct kinds of marriage: one governed by the State with rules enforced on all citizens, the other governed by the Church with rules enforced by her on her own members. The distinction ought to be quite sharp, so that a man knows which couples are married in a Christian sense and which are not.”

I don’t want to put words in Lewis’s mouth. I realize he’s talking about divorce and not same sex marriage, but the point is clear. He understands that forcing the Christian definition of marriage on the non-believer is about as useful as making a Raider fan wear a Bronco jersey in hopes of making them a Bronco fan.

C.S. Lewis also warns, “— how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws.”

Again, while Lewis is talking about divorce his point is clear, we should not “force our views of marriage on the rest of the community.” It really serves no one. You aren’t making them Christian. You are simply stopping them from what I personally feel is one of the greatest things this side of Heaven.

I know some will argue that the laws have been this way for so long so why should we change them now. This “tradition” point of view really holds no value. We have changed many laws over the years to be fairer to all people. Remember slavery and not allowing women to vote? Still think that was a good thing?

In closing, I will admit that I am no theologian. I am simply a guy trying to live my life as best as I can to please Jesus. I know that Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” In fact he said there was only one commandment greater than this.

Karma – I Got A Problem With It

October 8th, 2007

As most of you probably already know, karma is the notion that you get what you give; that what goes around, comes around. Karma can be either good or bad. What you do in life will determine what happens to you. Karma originated in the Hindu and Buddhist religions but it has become a very popular belief in the Western world as well these days.

The concept of karma is nice – that if I do good, I will receive good and if I do evil then I will pay for it. Justice. Who doesn’t like that idea?

But karma is just a fanciful idea; life really doesn’t work that way. And I believe we should ALL be thankful that it really IS just a fanciful idea and not a reality?

To believe in karma is to believe that the victims of 911 deserved what they got – that they all did something to make those men fly planes into a building. Or that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold only shot students that in some way deserved it. That any victim gets what they had coming to them because of their past actions.

The reality is that bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. There is NO correlation. Think Princes Diana got what she deserved? Or Steve Irwin? Mahatma Gandhi – Martin Luther King Jr. – Abraham Lincoln – Cassie Bernall and countless others? I don’t.

So you’re saying there is no correlation — that I can be evil and still have a good life? Yes, it’s possible, but not probable. I believe that we are not punished for our sins, but by our sins. That if you do wrong and still have a soul that it will eat away at you. But, technically speaking, you can do wrong and still not receive what you deserve. I believe this is called Grace.

Grace is an amazing concept — some might even say divine. It is the gift to receive that which we DO NOT deserve. I must admit, that doesn’t sound like anything a human could come up with…

But doesn’t Grace, unlike karma, let people off the hook? Yes it does. And how beautiful is that – there’s an element of Grace that karma lacks; that of love. The pop singer Bono tells it like this, “Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.”

But then why should we do good if there isn’t any incentive? By incentive you mean like going to heaven or to stop the cyclical reincarnation cycle? I don’t believe that doing good works adds points to an invisible scoreboard where if we obtain enough points it will at some point swing the pendulum in our favor and we will then get into heaven or achieve nirvana. No, I don’t think there’s a scoreboard; and thank goodness for that because if there was, I’m afraid we would ALL fail. But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still do good…

I think that ‘most people’ – religious or not – would agree that humans are amazing creatures with exceptionally developed minds giving us an impressive range of intelligence. Because of this we have the ability to distinguish right from wrong. So because we have this ability we should use it.

So you’re saying that I should do what’s right just because I know what’s right? Yes, I am.

Now I would like to address a few more issues that I had after reading a recent blog post by Jonathan Fields. But first let me say that I am not trying to bash Jonathan here – I simply take issue with some of what he said in his post and feel compelled to address some of his comments.

Jonathan tells us that karma is, “Simply put — the energy you put out into the world eventually reflected back onto you.” So really it’s about saving your own ass, is it? It’s not about treating people kindly because it’s the right thing to do? But, because you don’t want bad things to happen to you – or because it really would be nice to stop that never ending reincarnation ferris-wheel and get off, wouldn’t it?

Jonathan also says that one of the benefits of receiving good karma is that it “positions you as a leader, a philanthropist, a visionary, a mentor and massive-success story” Yeah, that’s exactly why you should treat people kindly — so YOU can become a hero…

Jonathan would like us to believe that Buddhist teacher Michael Roach’s philosophy’s about karma are sound because, after all, his New York diamond business makes an impressive 9-figure income. To that I say the thickness of a man’s wallet is no indication of how sound his theology is.

Jonathan then ends his blog post with giving us three case studies. Each of which ends happily ever after with the person becoming a financial success. There’s nothing like treating people kindly and just waiting for financial success to come… But how do you explain all those poor devote Hindus and Buddhists? Are they not being “good enough”?

Look I’m sure that Jonathan Fields is a very nice guy and is compassionate towards others. That’s a wonderful thing and I want to encourage everyone to be compassionate towards others. Ultimately we have to look at the underlying motives behind the idea of karma. Are they only self-serving?

Let me conclude – I believe we should treat people with kindness because it’s the right thing to do. Period. Rich or poor – Hindu, Buddhist, Christian or otherwise – you know how to treat people, so do it.

Community – It’s Everything

October 1st, 2007

Over at Search-This (my other blog for web developers) I just posted about the significance of belonging to a community. Please stop there first and read that post – then return!

Here I want to talk a bit more personal about a point in my life when I felt most part of a community.

The happiest I’ve ever been in my life is when I was the poorest — when I was a college student.

I can list everything I owned in college right here:

  • 386 Computer – that 386 was smoken :)
  • Sega Genesis – Mortal Combat ruled
  • Mini Fridge – salsa is all I ever had in it
  • CD player and CDs
  • Washburn acoustic guitar – all I could ever play was Redemption Song and some Metallica
  • And some cloths

That’s all I had to my name…

But being poor never mattered, everybody there had nothing. And being poor wasn’t the part that made it the happiest of times.

What made it the best of times was that you were surrounded all day every day with people that you cared about and cared about you — friends. It was a very tribal way of living.

Everything I had my friends treated like it was theirs and likewise whatever they had they lent to the community. We all benefited from one another. When you needed a cup of milk for a recipe you never felt like you couldn’t ask your neighbor.

It’s not just about sharing — sharing is simply a result of caring about one another. But it seems like the more material possessions you have the less you are dependent on others and without dependency comes the ability to remove yourself from the community.

And I believe that is what we have today. No communities and as a result of every man being an island you have to bust your ass!

I submit that Egyptian workers, relatively speaking, got as much out of building Khufu’s pyramid as Microsoft workers will get out of building Bill Gates’s pyramid (which will surely dwarf Khufu’s a hundred times over, though it will not, of course, be built of stone).

It took Khufu twenty-three years to build his Great Pyramid at Giza, where some eleven hundred stone blocks, each weighing about two and a half tons, had to be quarried, moved, and set in place every day during the annual building season, roughly four months long. Few commentators on these facts can resist noting that this achievement is an amazing testimonial to the pharaoh’s iron control over the workers of Egypt. I submit, on the contrary, that pharaoh Khufu needed to exercise no more control over his workers at Giza than pharaoh Bill Gates exercises over his workers at Microsoft.

If I had the choice I would give up a lot of my possessions to have more free time to spend with friends, family and time relaxing. Shit – how much time do you have to just relax in a week?

I suppose I’m just ranting here?
But what’s your thoughts?

Greatest Punk Song?

October 1st, 2007

Punk music has always been an anti-establishment, anti-rules, anti-authoritarian rock genre and movement. Made popular in the 70s by bands like The Clash, Ramones, and Sex Pistols.

But, today while listening to my iPod and writing some crappy code no doubt the song Working Class Hero by John Lennon came on. I’ve always liked that song, next to Watching the Wheels it’s probably my favorite Lennon song. But it accord to me that Working Class Hero is such a punk song at its core!

So what do you say is the greatest punk song?

Perspective is everything…

September 14th, 2007

When a chemist puts water in a test tube and adds salt, an angel comes along and dissolves the salt into charged particles called ions. Because we perceive the universe to be self-governing according to internally consistent and comprehensible principles, the angel in this story seems completely superfluous to us. We therefore cut it away with Occam’s razor.

How To Cope With Death

September 12th, 2007