Why I was not angry with the Supreme Court decision over Gay marriage – لما لم أغضب من قرار المحكمة العليا حول زواج المثليين

Let me start by saying that I did not intend to write about this topic. The Supreme Court in the US took a decision to make homosexual marriages legal in all states. I am not a US citizen, nor do I live there, so I did not plan to write about this.

However, over the past two days, there has been an outbreak of discussions from Lebanese people over this issue on social media. Some are ecstatic while others are very angry.

Now, for those who do follow this blog (you can do so by entering your email address, go on, don’t be shy), you will already expect that I was not particularly upset by the decision in the US. Actually, I think the decision is fair. In a previous post I argued that we should defend homosexual rights and treat all people with respect.

Here are the reasons I wasn’t angered by the court decision. They are not meant to be as an attack against anyone:
Reason 1: The new law is not about the church

The law is not: “The church has to marry homosexual people.” Nor is it “churches have to put rainbow flags in their pulpits,” or “pastors have to be gay to be ordained.” Simply put, it was a law, from a government, giving homosexual couples the right to get a legal marriage. This law is not aimed at the church, nor is it about the church. Similar laws have been put in place in many places in Europe over the last ten years. Nothing has happened in the church. Christians still have their liberties, enthusiastic Christians are still going about doing and being the church to all people and God is still moving.

This law does not “take” anything from Christians. This law gives something to homosexuals.

Reason 2: I am busy being angry about other more important stuff

Last week was pretty bloody all over the world. Terrorists attacked in Europe, Africa, and as usual in Syria. I did not see any posts from my Christian friends about this terrorism. Israel is still daily oppressing Palestinians. Poor people are living in horrible conditions in Lebanon. Last week videos showing police brutally beating prisoners in Lebanon were posted all over the media. Sex trade is prevalent all over the world as humans are still sold as slaves, and much more. Yet all we find the time to comment on on social media are weddings we attend and new laws about homosexuals in a country thousands of miles away from us.

I read the Bible (I try to every day, you should do it too) and I see a God who is constantly angry about oppression and injustice in the world. I read the prophets of old telling the people that until they treat their neighbours with justice God will not listen to their prayers. I hear Jesus telling us to forgive so we can be forgiven. So, for me, laws granting people the right to live as they choose are not high on my priority list as a Jesus-follwer.

Reason 3: The church and the government are two different things

I do not want a “Christian” government that would force all people to live by Christian values. The church is the church. We live as we do, followers of Christ, disregarding what the secular government does. We are called to have political views which seek to enhance justice and peace and to be good citizens, but the state and the church are two different things. We want to build the Kingdom of God not any earthly empire.

If two people want to get married in a government office then that’s their choice. If two people want to get married under the sight of God and the church and on the hands of a pastor then that’s also their choice. The two are not mutually exclusive (meaning one cancels the other).

Reason 4: We define marriage by the way we act

We define things and terms by the way we live them out. We may live in a world where most Christians do not follow Christ. However, we show true Christianity by being followers of Jesus and not by attacking others. We define Christianity by how we live out our faith.

I hear that people are worried about marriage being re-defined. Are we really? Then we should work to live out the true definition of marriage as we understand it through our faith. All the terms are “up for grabs” if you like. People speak of faith, marriage, and God and mean different things. We can’t have a monopoly over terms but we can have a monopoly over our own actions. We make marriage holy by living a holy marriage. Marriage in itself is not holy. Only God is holy and the presence of God in a marriage makes it holy

Those are a few of the reasons I was not angry about this new law in America. I actually think it is fair.

These are troubling times. The church is faced with new and old questions. My prayer is that we have the grace to dialogue through those issues in a respectful way.

Please feel free to add more reasons as to why you support or are against this law.

Let us stand in prayer:

Lord,

Give us less pride

And more truth,

Less anger

And more grace.

Amen

مدونة حيث تجتمع الجوارح

ملاحظة: الجوارح تلك النسور التي تأكل الجثث. وإن أردت معرفة لما اخترت هذا الإسم الغريب فاقرأ مدونتي الأولى

مدونة #21 : لما لم أغضب من قرار المحكمة العليا حول زواج المثليين

دعوني أبدأ بالقول أنني لم أنوي أن أكتب حول هذا الموضوع. اتخذت المحكمة العليا في الولايات المتحدة الإمبريالية (أو الأمريكية) قرارا يسمح للمثليين بالزواج في كل الولايات. أنا لست مواطنا أمريكيا ولا أعيش في أمريكا لذا لم أخطط للكتابة عن الموضوع

لكن في الأيام الماضية انهمرت التعلقات في وسائل التواصل الإجتماعي حول الموضوع من اللبنانيين. البعض ابتهج فرحا بينما البعض الآخر صرخ غضبا

إذا كنت تتابع مدوناتي (بامكانك أن تفعل الأمر من خلال كتابة عنوان بريدك الإلكتروني، هيا، لا تكن خجولا) ستقدر أن تتوقع أنني لم أشعر بالإنزعاج من هذا القرار. على العكس، اعتقد أنه قرار عادل. في مدونة سابقة، ناقشت الموضوع ودافعت عن الرأي القائل بأنه على المسيحيين أن يدافعوا عن حقوق المثليين ويعاملوا كل الناس باحترام

هذه هي الأسباب لما لم أشعر بالغضب من قرار المحكمة. هذه الأسباب لا تهدف للهجوم على أحد

السبب الأول: القانون الجديد لا يتعلق بالكنيسة

القانون لا يقول بأنه على الكنيسة أن تزوج المثليين أو أنه على الكنيسة أن ترفع أعلام قوس القزح في المنابر أو أنه على الرعاة والقسس والخوارنة أن يكونوا مثليين. بكل بساطة هذا القانون الذي صدر من دولة يعطي المثليين الحق بالزواج المدني. هذا القانون غير موجّه للكنيسة ولا يتعلّق بالكنيسة. لقد تم وضع قوانين مشابهة في أوروبا في السنوات العشر الأخيرة ولم يحدث شيء للكنيسة. ما زال المسيحيون يتمتعون بحرياتهم والمسيحيون المندفعون يقومون بعمل الكنيسة ويعيشون الكنيسة والله يتحرك

هذا القانون لا “يأخذ” شيئ من المسيحيين بل يعطي شيئ للمثليين

السبب الثاني: أنا منشغل بالغضب من أمور أهم

الأسبوع الماضي كان دمويا حول العالم. هجم الإرهابيون في أوروبا وأفريقيا وكالعادة في سوريا. لم أرى أي تعليقات من أصدقائي المسيحيين حول هذا الإرهاب. إسرائيل يوميا تظلم الشعب الفلسطيني. الفقراء في لبنان يعيشون في أوضاع مزرية. تم نشر فيديو يصور وحشية رجال الأمن اللبنانيين في التعاطي مع السجناء الأسبوع الماضي على كل وسائل الإعلام. الإتجار الجنسي متفشي في كل العالم والبشر يُباعون كالعبيد وأكثر من ذلك. ولكننا لا نجد الوقت إلا للتعليق على وسائل التواصل الإجتماعي عن الأعراس التي رقصنا بها وقوانين جديدة حول المثلية الجنسية في بلد يبعد عنا آلاف الأميال

أنا اقرا الكتاب المقدس  (أجرب أن أقرأ يوميا، حاول أنت أيضا) وأرى الله غاضبا باستمرار من الظلم في العالم. أقرأ الأنبياء في القديم يقولون للشعب أنه يجب عليهم أن يعاملوا القريب بعدل لكي يسمع الله صلواتهم. أسمع يسوع يقول لنا أن نغفر للآخرين ليغفر لنا. بالنسبة لي قانون يعطي الناس الحق بأن يعيشوا كما يشاؤون ليس من أولوياتي

السبب الثالث: الكنيسة والحكومة أمران مختلفان

لا أريد حكومة مسيحية تفرض على الناس أن يعيشوا المبادئ المسيحية. الكنيسة هي الكنيسة. ونحن نعيش كأتباع للمسيح بغض النظر عن ما تفعله الحكومة. نحن مدعوون ليكون لنا آراء سياسية تدفع نحو العدل والسلام وأن نكون مواطنين صالحين. ولكن الوطن والكنيسة أمران مختلفان. نحن نريد أن نبني ملكوت الله وليس أي ملكوت أرضي

إذا أراد شخصان أن يتجوزا في المبنى الحكومي فهذا خيارهما ولهما ذلك. وإذا أراد شخصان أن يتجوزا تحت عين الله والكنيسة وتحت يد قسيسة فأيضا هذا خيارهما ولهما ذلك. الأمران لا يلغيان بعضهما البعض

السبب الرابع: نحن نعرّف الزواج بطريقة تصرفنا

نحن نعرّف الأمور والمفردات بالطريقة التي نعيشها. قد نعيش في عالم حيث معظم المسيحيون لا يتبعون المسيح. ولكن نحن نظهر المسيحية الحقيقية من خلال اتباع المسيح وليس التهجّم على الآخرين. نحن نعرّف المسيحية من خلال عيشنا لإيماننا

أسمع الناس يتوترون ويصرخون أن الزواج يتم إعادة تعريفه. حقا؟ إذا كنت قلقا على الزواج فالأحرى بك أن تعيش الزواج الحقيقي من خلال فهمك للإيمان. كل المصطلحات متاحة للجميع. الناس يتكلمون عن الزواج والإيمان والله. ولكن كل شخص لديه مفهوم مختلف. ليس بإمكاننا أن نحتكر المصطلحات بل بإمكاننا أن نحتكر تصرفاتنا الشخصية. نحن نجعل الزواج مقدس من خلال أن نحيا زواج مقدس. الزواج بحد ذاته ليس مقدسا. فقط الله هو المقدس ووجود الله في الزواج يجعله مقدسا

هذه بعض الأسباب التي دفعتني لأتقبل خبر القانون الجديد بدون غضب لا بل بالشعور بالرضا

هذه أوقات صعبة. الكنيسة تواجه أسئلة قديمة وجديدة. صلاتي أن يكون لدينا النعمة لنتحاور حول هذه الأمور بطريقة محترمة

الرجاء إضافة تعليقاتكم حول الأسباب التي دفعتكم لدعم أو رفض هذا القانون الجديد

دعونا نقف لنصلي

يا رب

أعطنا كبرياء أقل

وحق أكثر

غضب أقل

ونعمة أكثر

آمين

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2 thoughts on “Why I was not angry with the Supreme Court decision over Gay marriage – لما لم أغضب من قرار المحكمة العليا حول زواج المثليين

  1. Dear Nabil,
    I came across your blog lately and I like to read your articles and appreciate your outlook on the corruption happening in this world. However, regarding this particular blog, I have to say that I completely disagree with your point of view and here are some of the reasons why:
    1) You said “they are not meant to be an attack against anyone”: I believe that homosexuality is a sin that God condemns severely in both the OT and NT. And as Christians, if we just sit and watch this kind of abomination happen and not do anything about it, for me is a red flag; there’s something wrong and we need to check our hearts. Homosexuality is a big sin and people who do it have the highest rates of suicide, STD’s, drug addiction and murder. If you don’t believe me, check aids.gov or better yet check Romans 1.
    2) You said that God in the Bible is constantly angry about oppression and injustice. When reading Genesis 19 and 2 Peter 2, how do you think God feels about homosexuality? And should we have the same disposition?
    3) I really can’t find anywhere in the Bible where God says that the government should perform marriages. If marriage is merely a legal binding agreement between two consenting adults, how would you feel if your friend tells you that he wants to marry his mother and both of them are fine with it? Wouldn’t you feel angry (at least inwardly)? I was reluctant to write this because the thought of it alone is very disturbing, but I had to write it because this is the logic that homosexuals use to justify 2 guys or 2 girls getting married and sadly Christians are buying into it.
    4) I don’t believe that we should use force and aggression in defending our beliefs, but I also don’t think that we should sit still and watch the world fall apart just because we’re worried we might offend someone God forbid. I don’t think it’s wrong to get angry and speak out against sin, after all the Bible talks about a righteous anger and a suitable time and place for anger, but the Bible also commands us to reprove, rebuke and exhort with all long suffering and doctrine (2Tim 4:2)
    5) I don’t want to live in a world where I take my kids for a walk in a park to see 2 dudes holding hands and kissing. This is in of itself an attack on our values and lives as godly Christians. But I fear that this day might eventually come if we always try to accommodate everybody’s “freedoms” at the expense of our own.
    I like that you write about the current events happening in America because after all almost everything they do there always affect the rest of the world somehow.
    Thanks
    Joe

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Joe,
      Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I am glad that you agree with many parts of it. I am also glad that you took the time to comment on this blog.
      Allow me to answer your comments:
      1- My main point is: though I might believe that something is a sin, that does not give me the right to ban others from doing it. This is not how our faith works. We voice our concerns. We work for justice. But we can’t force others to abide by our moral code.
      Let me ask you this: If we ban gay marriages, will gay people stop having sex together? Even more yet, isn’t it safer for them (less STDs…etc.) if their relationship is brought above ground and organized by the state rather than kept underground?

      2- Again, yes, in more than one passage, God, or the prophets or apostles, condemn homosexuality. I will give you that. The next question is does that mean we should ban gay marriages? I get your point: just we we ban, for instance, slavery, shouldn’t we also ban this. The main difference is that although other justice issues (such as slavery or stealing) are agreed upon by all members of a society. But, many in today’s society, whether we like it or not, do not agree that homosexuality is a sin. The question becomes: can one part of society (the Christians) force the other parts to abide by their standards?

      3- I really can’t find anywhere in the Bible where God orders the church to perform marriages. I would strongly suggest that you (and me too) do some research on the early church. From what I have read so far, and I have not read even close enough to what is required, I can make the following statement: The early church did not see it as part of its role to marry people, that was a society-driven value. I will stand corrected if you present research to the contrary.
      Civil marriage, as performed by the state, is an acknowledgement that many members of society do not wish to be married under the authority of God, or the church.
      Allow me to give an example from my context. In Lebanon, Muslims can marry up to 4 women. Do I agree with that? no! Do i have the right to force Muslims not to marry 4 women? no! Would I love it if they married one woman only? yes! But I am aware that marriage is in the hands of the state.
      Now, when I got married, we chose, me and my wife, to get married in a church by the hands of a pastor. We are committed Christians and we wanted God’s blessing and presence in our marriage. That is a choice we made. But I can’t force it on others.

      4- Will the world fall apart if gays got married? I say no. You say yes. Do you have evidence that gay marriage will make the “world fall apart”?

      5- Again, see my comment in point 4. Am I happy when my child sees a Muslim man with 4 wives. Maybe not. But I can take the chance to explain to him the differences in values concerning marriage in different families, faith groups, and societies. I can’t force my Muslim neighbour to get married by my Christian standards.

      I wrote about what happened in the US for 2 reasons:
      1- most of my Lebanese Christian friends were angry with what happened. I was trying to present my own, different, point of view.

      2- Yes, what happens over there will slowly, or rapidly, come over here and we will have to face it too. Better be ready 🙂

      Many blessings brother Joe,

      Like

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