Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Things We Do for Love



"Mawage. Mawage is what bwings us togevah todayy..." (From the Princess Bride, thanks Peter for the inspiration!)

I know I said I was going to shy away from gotcha headlines, but I couldn't resist with these two stories today.

First is a moving piece (yeah, I said it) from a gay couple who are one of the few whose marriage was upheld by the California Supreme Court earlier this week. The other is of the notorious priest, 'Father Oprah' who left the Catholic Church so that he can marry the girlfriend he recently got busted with.
What do these have to do with one another? The irony to start. In one case, long standing tradition and legal precedence prevent gay couples from being married (the couple in this case call themselves the "lucky ones") and in the other, long standing tradition and legalistic precedence prevent priests from being married. And I don't necessarily agree with either. (Yet somehow some consider me a bigot, go figure) The irony is that Evangelical Protestants would be quick to defend the priest on the basis of being able to marry whomever he chooses on the basis of love, yet that is the very same argument used to support gay marriage that they vehemently oppose.
Not that I side with either of these couples, however. The description David Schmader gives of his ceremony and the tearful toasts from their fathers is just as possible with a Civil Union. Interestingly, in the subtitle of his article he says he doesn't "feel" married since the California Supreme Court decision. I've been married for five years and I wonder what being married feels like. I know what love feels like and I know what stress feels like, but I don't need a marriage certificate to experience either.
Meanwhile, Father Alberto Cutie' made an oath before God to remain celibate in his calling. (Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.' But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. -Matthew 5:33-37) He says, "I believe that I've fallen in love and I believe that I've struggled with that, between my love for God, and my love for the Church and my love for service." But we are told by Jesus that to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength" is the Greatest Commandment (Mark 12:28). And we are also instructed that to follow Jesus, we "must deny [ourselves] and take up [our] cross daily and follow [him]." (Luke 9:23)
And that's the problem in both of these cases. Neither is willing to deny themselves and take up their cross. That's not a popular stance, but then Jesus didn't live to a ripe old age on account of his popularity either.

1 comment:

Peter P said...

What? Jesus wasn't popular?

... But that's the Jesus I've been trying to emulate. I want to be like the popular Jesus!

(or not, as the case may be)