Monday, June 15, 2009

The Word of Love

Many civil marriages are not considered “holy matrimony” by religious institutions because they do not conform to the rules of the religious institution. Those marriages have not challenged religious liberty. We must see that civil marriage, which has always been separate from religious marriage, will remain so.
-- New York Times, Why I Now Support Gay Marriage by Tom Suozzi
As a proud supporter of the Queer community, and an open-minded Interfaith minister, a statement like this raises my hackles. I agree about the separation of religious marriage from civil marriage only because I'm a staunch supporter of the separation of church & state. I want to debunk absolutely any implication that Gay marriages may not be suitable for "Holy matrimony." They are entirely suitable in my church. I challenge people to give a great deal of consideration to how much of their particular bible is in favor of love and inclusion, against mortal judgement, and what a small portion is dedicated to statements telling you to hate, to exclude. If God is Love, and we wish to spread the Word of God then we must spread the Word of Love. Where there is love, let there be marriage. Where two mindful respectful beings decide to share their lives together in the name of what is most holy, which is to say in the name of love, we as ministers are but there to witness that which has already taken place, to set it in stone, to bring it to the people, to create a certificate and to show without doubt the explicit vows for those that have already been whispered by the fireplace, whispered from the pillow, written in private love letters, engraved on the inscription of a ring too tiny to use for a proclamation, the spirit of the roses given now dust, the intent, the promises, the decision to spend a minimum of one's life with another. We are genderless spirits incarnated for a time into bodies with gender. No matter what the bibles say about that which is not condoned by God, the same bibles say to love thy neighbor, to forgive, to not pass judgement. It is not our job, and God has left us with contradictions rather than explicit instructions, with rules that say first this, then that. I'd rather go to the pearly gates and beg forgiveness for having solemnized marriages than be eternally damned for having violated the one supreme commandment: Love. It is with great love that I look forward to performing my first legal and religious marriage ceremony. Thank you, Tom Suozzi, for your explanation of your reconsideration of equal marriage. I pray that you're able to help change minds, and that more and more people will listen to the Word of Love.