[Gov. David] Paterson, who is black, framed the issue in sweeping terms, invoking Frederick Douglass and Harriet Beecher Stowe and drawing a parallel between the fight to eliminate slavery in the 1800s and the current effort to allow same-sex marriage.
"Rights should not be stifled by fear," Paterson said. "What we should understand is that silence should not be a response to injustice - and that if we take not action, we will surely lose."
[For the full article, see here.]
It's high time that all decent people saw the light regarding the struggle for equal rights for LGBT people! This struggle is no different than the struggle for equal rights for any other minority group, and is no less significant than was and is the struggle for equal rights for African Americans in the U.S.
When Gov. Paterson says that "silence should not be a response to injustice," I can only think of all those professing Christians who remain silent amidst the hateful rhetoric visited upon Gay people "in the name of God" by clergy and others who are given undeserved credibility as representing the Prince of Peace.
So, when one reads an article by Rev. Marvin M. Ellison affirming the consistency between Christianity and same-sex marriage, it provides a refreshing oasis that is, unfortunately, very rare, yet shows a Christian who takes God seriously; who takes very seriously Jesus' commands to us to love and not condemn others:
As a Christian theologian, I support marriage equality because I take the Bible seriously. More importantly, I take the God of the Bible seriously. The God I worship has a divine passion for justice that compels me to respect all neighbors and defend their human rights, including the freedom to marry regardless of the gender of the two people.
This freedom to marry is important because my religious tradition teaches that love — the call to love and be loved — is at the very heart of what it means to be human. Love is also holy ground. “Where there is love,” the tradition affirms, “there is God.”
[For the full article, see here.]
Despite the quest for equal rights for Gay people affirmed by Rev. Ellison and relatively few other Christians, the tragic fact is that full and equal civil rights for Gay people will first come to pass in secular society before most all of the churches within the institutional Church jump on the bandwagon and capitalize on the gains made after the necessary "season of suffering" that will have to be endured before the realization of that goal.
The Governor Patersons of the world deserve our respect and admiration for understanding the absolute need for equal rights, and by their so doing bring shame upon so many professing Christians, unlike Rev. Ellison, who don't seem to understand, or want to understand, that we are to be agents of God's grace in this world; we are never to condemn others; we are certainly never to seek to deny others the advantages and rights that we possess.
Remaining silent amidst this tragedy of having Gay people being treated as second-class citizens, being denied equal rights, is just as reprehensible as is the hate-mongering rhetoric that emanates from all too many pulpits and venues throughout the world by people who profess to be Christians but whose very words consign them to a netherworld that has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity or with Jesus or with God!
God bless Governor Paterson and Rev. Ellison and all those like them who both see the need for equal rights for Gay people and who have the guts to do their best to see to it that those equal rights are extended to Gay people as soon as possible.