Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Today, June 17, 2008 represents two reasons for me to celebrate! Same-sex marriage in California has begun, and I'm cautiously optimistic that the mean-spirited amendment to overturn it will be seen for the anachronistic and hateful sham that it is and will be voted down by the voters in November.

Also, today is my wife's and my 46th wedding anniversary! I can honestly say that I love my wife more now than I even loved her the day we were married. We have raised two children together, had the ups and downs that go with the territory of living, and through it all we have clung to each other, loved each other, and shared our lives together in a way that my life would have been woefully inadequate, incomplete, and unthinkable without her.

Whatever I have accomplished so far in my adult life has been directly due to her influence in and on my life!

When we first got married we were extremely poor, and lived in a small one room apartment in New York, and grateful for the rent of $50.00 a month, which we were able to barely afford because my wife was working while I was finishing college and then finished graduate school. When my wife was pregnant with our first child, she quit working and I was then able to work full time to support us and I have been doing so ever since. And I've never let her forget it! :))

How dare anyone seek to deny other loving couples from having and sharing the kind of intimacy that my wife and I have shared for all these years!

How dare anyone seek to deprive the essential dignity to the love that same-sex couples share that is not one bit inferior to the love that heterosexual couples share!

How dare anyone in this day and age, after the history of oppression that was visited upon African Americans that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court finally codifying into federal law in 1954 in Brown v Board of Education that "separate is not equal" (thereby overturning Plessy v Ferguson), still dare treat LGBT people and same-sex loving couples one bit differently than heterosexual people and couples!

How dare anyone seek to deprive a same-sex couple of the more than 1,000 federal rights that are now enjoyed by heterosexual married couples!

How dare anyone seek to put the children of Gay people and of same-sex couples in jeopardy, putting them at the mercy of a whole host of forces beyond their control should one of the couple die!

How dare anyone who dares consider him/herself a Christian seek to in any way hurt or discriminate against any other human being, and seek to deny others the same civil and sacramental rights that he or she enjoys!

How dare any clergy person have the temerity to willfully sin from the pulpit and other venues, claiming to speak for the Prince of Peace, and promote the vilification and discrimination against God's LGBT children!

How dare any professing Christian be a member of any church that promotes rhetoric and/or actions that in any way discriminate against LGBT people and same-sex couples!

What any Christian, and what any decent person should want for our fellow human beings is the right to live as full, meaningful, satisfying, and authentic a life as possible, and those who wish to make a lifetime commitment to another human being, and have that love and commitment be witnessed before God and before the world, must be congratulated and affirmed as, in this life, there is no higher and more laudable value and goal than is love!

The Apostle Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 13:

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

My wife and I send out our heartiest congratulations to all same-sex couples who are now becoming legally married in California, and we hope and pray that your marriages be as fulfilling and as rewarding as ours has been all these years!
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This is a sermon! It cries out to be preached from the pulpit. You must preach it, and do so this very month. If you don't preach it, then please submit it as a guest op-ed to your local newspaper. A beautiful expression like this deserves more exposure than it will get as a one-time blogpost.

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks so much, Don Charles. I really appreciate it. I'll do just that the next time I get a chance to give a sermon.

Jerry Maneker said...

Don Charles: I did just now send this article to my local newspaper as an Op Ed piece. It will be interesting to see whether or not they publish it. It's a VERY conservative newspaper. Thanks so much for the idea.


I just said a prayer that it will be accepted. God's will be done!

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks so much, Don Charles. It means a great deal to me. I submitted it without the inclusion of 1Corinthians 13, as I felt they might use its extra length to have an excuse to not print it, but it's a serious question whether they will print it or not, in any case. I'm glad I took your advice and submitted it to them.