Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Miss California Gay Marraige Controversy

I really don't care anything about Miss America and what anybody involved in it thinks about anything and frankly am mystified anybody else cares what they think. But it on everyone's mind at our adult Bible Study and they all thought Miss California was treated unfairly for speaking her mind and saying marriage should be between a man and a woman.

So this is what I think and it's probably going to piss off everyone.

#1 - There is a significant number of Christians who are not going to accept same sex marriage. You can disagree with them and I do, but having a different interpretation of the bible than me does not make someone homophobic. Frankly we cannot demand tolerance from others for views they find repugnant if we are not willing to exhibit the same tolerance.

This is what we in the ELCA are going to have to learn to do if we are going to be able to live together. We are considering a local option. We are asking people to be willing to live in the church with other churches that have Gay and Lesbian leaders in committed same sex relationships. That means we need to be willing to live in a church with churches that won't accept them. That's called compromise.

#2 This is Miss America, People!
I think anyone woman who enters it should know full well she gives up the right to have people care if she has an opinion or a brain.

"But I didn't win because of my opinion" So what? Somebody else didn't win because because her butt was too big! Give me a break.


  1. I have some disagreement with what you wrote. First, it was the Miss USA competition. Secondly, although I agree that Miss Cal. shouldn't be lambasted for giving her personal views even though they aren't currently politically correct in some circles, her answer was inarticulate and awkward, even to the point of containing some factual errors. I use that term with caution because with the inarticulateness, it is hard to know if she really knew what she was talking about or if she really knew what she meant. The anti-gay marriage part jumped out in the news cycle, but if one would plug in other words from another topic into her answer, the awkwardness would be more evident.

    AS to the issue of "compromise." At first blush, I would disagree, since how can we compromise on Biblical principles? Yet, throughout history, we, as humans, have, right? There is much of the Bible that we ignore, even in the most conservative circles. There is much of the Bible that we seem to apply to others but not to ourselves. And that doesn't even touch on the issue of interpretation of certain passages..... I just don't know what to think anymore about a whole lot of stuff. That isn't compromise, that's more like confusion.

  2. Miss USA, Miss America, Miss Tape on My Boobs...I don't really care.

    The trouble with saying we can't compromise on Biblical Principles is that is what those with whom we disagree say as well. And so we both stand on our "biblical principles" and being right and we label the "other" and we draw our lines and split up and go our own way happy that we are right and they are wrong.

    Or we learn to live with the ambiguity. We learn to live with and love or neighbor even if we don't agree with them and even if they do tape up their boobs and enter stupid contests and make inarticulate and politically incorrect responses. The good part about that is that our neighbor learns to live with and love us even when we do and say stupid things. And we all learn to be humble enough to entertain the possibility that we have been wrong all along, which is okay as long as we have not been wrong about God's grace.

  3. Actually, I do agree with you, but it is so hard to know when compromising is because we've thought things through and have agreed to compromise or to agree to disagree and when we are just wishy washy. Just what do we make a stand for?

    My current thinking on "Biblical interpretation" that I think is often forgotten by those who think their own denomination's doctrine is RIGHT as opposed to everyone else's being WRONG, is that, in most cases, the Biblical scholar(s) who devised a certain doctrine were sincere people, usually learned in the ancient languages, who read, thought, processed, and, hopefully, with the help of the Holy Spirit, came up with the doctrinal statements. They were and are sincere in their work and belief. So how can any of the rest of us not honor that sincerity?

  4. Right.

    I think the key is to trust in God's grace, not our ability to be "right" Unfortunately what many have interpreted as "Saving faith" is "being right" So we are saved not by God's grace but by getting it right.

  5. Yes, for all of us, it can only be by God's Grace - how can it be anything else! It's not about me being right, it's that God is.

  6. I'm still back on the idea that people care what a beauty queen thinks about gay marriage. (Much less "Biblical principles.") It's like asking a theologian about dairy farming.

  7. Father- YES - that really was my point!

  8. I'm struggling with this issue right now -- in a circumspect way -- because we have a group of men from our congregation planning to attend a big "ecumenical" Promise-Keepers-type men's conference in a nearby community where I KNOW there's going to be "Bible-based" misogyny, homophobia, etc. promoted, if not from the speakers, then among the participants. The rational part of me is saying, well, okay, but our congregation is big enough for these guys on one hand and you and your partner on the other, and we can all peacefully coexist, because that's what we've been doing already. My gut fear, though, is that these men might come back with ideas about complementarianism and "loving gay people but hating the 'sin'" that are going to make my life in my congregation as a woman, a lay leader and a lesbian all harder. Now, my pastor is also going to this thing, I think among other things to provide some theological and other guidance to our attendees. But I frankly don't feel that my partner and I have the same freedom to, say, put up posters about Lutherans Concerned or Goodsoil, or promote any of their events/actions. But, on the other hand...if the conference really is simply all about promoting mutual male spiritual support, then that's a good thing. I am very, very, VERY conflicted about all of this, and I feel myself ready to get very defensive if the men come back challenging the ELCA's position on gender equity in the home/church/society, or challenging the inclusion of gay folks in the active life of our congregation. The problem with tolerating the intolerant is that they have a tendency to infect whole systems with their intolerance. I wish I had the faith to believe that this will not happen in our congregation, if my anxieties about the subtexts and agendas of this "men's gathering" are realized. Am I right to feel anxious? You tell me. I live in a rural area and worship in a largely blue-collar congregation whose male members have become ever more economically disempowered by the loss of jobs in the area for which they're qualified. We have a scary white-supremacist organization in our area that preys on the frustrations and fears of marginalized working-class men. How am I supposed to feel when I suspect that other groups with a less violent and nefarious but yet similarly retrogressive social agenda start recruiting males among our congregants? At what point does tolerance of their point of view turn into handing them the tools to disempower and marginalize women and gay people around them?

  9. LutheranChick - I think it is reasonable for you to be anxious. It's one thing to tolerate Miss California and her's another thing to co-exist in the congregation with people who think who you are and who you love is wrong. I honestly don't know if we can co-exist in this way, which is why I have such misgivings about the proposed ELCA recommendations. People who are against same sex marraige and ordaining rostered leaders in such relationships think a lot is being asked of them - but really all is being asked is that they exist in a church where there are congregations who have such leaders. But Gays and Lesbians are being asked to exist in a church where there are congregations who do not accept them and their gifts. I think those who believe in full inclusion are being asked to give up much more. Perhaps it's too much.

    Oh and funny story about "Promise Keepers" I was dating a guy who went to one of those meetings and was all gung ho on them. So I asked him "So you don't believe in having sex until you are married?"

    "Oh I don't take it that far" Of course not.

  10. LOL. After I posted, I thought to myself, "Well, maybe the post manly-man conference afterglow will last as long as our teenagers' spiritual zeal and social idealism after summer which case we have nothing to worry about." Call me a cynic!

  11. Gosh, I've looked everywhere and I can't find it...Jesus didn't ask the disciples if they would agree to a particular doctrine BEFORE they answered the call to "Follow me"...nor can I find anything AFTER they did, other than love God, love your neighbor as yourself and get out there and make some disciples.

    This whole issue bothers me because it's one of the few things we can latch on to to pick sides. Well, maybe more than one of a few but, really? We're going to get worked up over deciding what God thinks about someone else's lifestyle? I am certain that a careful examination of just about any person would reveal something that someone else would determine to be pastorly self included.

    No thanks, no stone throwing from this quarter. I'm too close to being in the line of fire since I am also chronically human.

  12. Hey,
    I came here from RevGalBlogPals. I'm an active layperson, particularly in the area of full inclusion of women in the church. It's an area in which the church I attend is a "leader" in a denomination that is slow to change.

    The quotation marks around the word "leader" reflect, more than anything about the church itself, my impatience with the amount of time that true change takes. I have trouble with the non-recognition of the full humanity of women-folk, gay and lesbian folks, and of non-Christian folks. I recognize my own hypocrisy in my intolerance toward people who are intolerant. We should not be silent about such things, but how do I speak the truth in love? And patiently? That's where I'm tripping up.

    I like what you say, Rev. Sis, about being "chronically human". :-)