Today, the US Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage and left the Prop 8 decision to the lower court- which had said it was unconstitutional. I excitedly posted my support on my Facebook page, and a conversation ensued. I know everyone doesn’t agree with me. I know that from comments I get on this blog and emails I’m still receiving concerning my immortal soul. How dare I not support God? How dare I write in support of equality? What would Jesus think?
I don’t know. But I can tell you what I know from His life. What I know from the Jesus in the New Testament.
He chose love above rules. In fact, time and time again, he defied the very rules that the Sadducees and Pharisees had based their own holiness on. He loved the people more than he loved the traditional law. While the religious leaders of the time were quick to condemn, he was even quicker to have compassion.
He had empathy for others. When Lazarus died, Jesus wept with Mary and Martha. Why? He knew he would soon raise Lazarus. Why then would he weep? My belief is because he felt what they felt, he had sorrow for their sorrow. He bore their grief with them.
He believed all people were equal. In the time of Jesus, women had little place in the church. Yet, his followers were both men and women. He used the Samaritan woman at the well to deliver the message to her people. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared first to Mary, a woman whose testimony would not have been accepted as competent in the courts of the time based only on her gender. When the disciples saw children approaching Jesus they tried to send them away. Jesus rebuked the disciples and spent real time with children. All were equal to him.
He lived a life of service- to all people. Jesus was not found with just people who were of higher status. No, he spent his time with the poor, the sick, the sinner. He lived a life of service to all people, not just to people who believed as he did.
He was accepting. At the time, people who were sick or disabled were often looked down upon, even stigmatized as “sinners.” When he healed the sick, he used the term that they were now “whole,” meaning that he not only healed their physical infirmities, but healed them socially, physically and emotionally. He removed the stigma of disability being a result of sin, either by the parents of the person or the individual themselves. In so doing, he showed a great acceptance to people who in that day were thought of as less. (I should qualify this here in saying that I do not believe homosexuality is a disability or something to be healed from. I gave this example to show how he treated those that society had shunned.)
He was merciful. In an effort to trap Jesus, the Pharisees and scribes brought a woman caught in the very act of adultery. The Law of Moses required her to be stoned to death, but Roman law prevented such a thing. Jesus simply said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” The people left, leaving him with the woman. “Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” Jesus, the very judge of us all, did not condemn her.
I don’t know what Jesus would say about marriage equality. I do know by his character that he loved people first. That he cared more about the heart of the man. “The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” Even if you don’t believe as I do, are your actions consistent with who you say you follow? Do they show that you really know Christ?
Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have we cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
– Matthew 7:21
Or do your actions cast judgment on those who you believe are sinners? Do they make them feel unwelcome and unloved? You don’t have to believe that they are worthy, but you are obligated to follow the commandments of the man who you take the name of- “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you.”