Should a Christian Attend a Same-Sex Wedding?

same sex marriage 3

As the U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage looms on the horizon, Evangelicals have taken to asking and answering the question, should a Christian attend a same-sex marriage?   Here’s what  Bryan Fischer, chief shit-stirrer for the American Family Association (AFA), had to say:

Should Christians Go to a Gay Wedding?

The short answer is “No.”

…Why should a Christian politely decline to attend a homosexual wedding? For exactly the same reason a Christian baker should politely decline to bake a gay wedding cake. It sends a message of affirmation for something God has plainly condemned.

A wedding is a celebration. Guests are there to rejoice with and congratulate the couple. Their presence represents approval.

Approving of homosexual “marriage” in any way, shape or form is one thing no sincerely devoted follower of Christ can do. This is simply because a homosexual “marriage” is based on a sex act the Bible uniformly condemns from beginning to end as immoral, unnatural and unhealthy.

Homosexual “marriage” is a sham and a counterfeit. In reality, there is no such thing as a homosexual “marriage,” since God has defined marriage from the dawn of time as the union of one man and one woman. Jesus reaffirmed God’s definition of marriage with words that came from his own lips during his incarnation.

You can call a homosexual union a “marriage” if you choose, you can even write it into law, the Supreme Court can even tyrannically impose it on an entire nation, but calling it a “marriage” doesn’t make it one…

…The research done by the CDC – not a part of the vast, right-wing conspiracy – has plainly shown that homosexual behavior among men is a greater risk to human health even than intravenous drug abuse. (Roughly 65% of all males who have even been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS contracted it through having sex with other men, while 25% contracted through IV drug use.)

To use a stark but appropriate parallel, ask yourself this question: if a friend decided to open up a shooter’s shop, a drug den where folks could go and inject themselves in a warm, inviting atmosphere, could you attend the open house and celebrate the grand opening?

(One can understand that a parent might attend a same-sex ceremony in an effort to retain some relational connection with a much-loved but wayward child. But a parent should only do that after first communicating that attendance should not be read as approval.)

Is a refusal to attend a same-sex wedding of a friend or family member an act of hate? No, on the contrary it is an act of love. Genuine compassion says, “I love you too much to give my approval to behavior that will damage you in body, soul and spirit. It is because I love you that I cannot come.”

Sometimes love means we must say “No.” And saying “No” to attending a gay “wedding” is one of those times.

First it was wedding cake, now it is the ceremony. Evangelicals continue to find various ways to frame their objection to homosexuality and same-sex marriage, hiding the fact that the real issue is their hypocrisy, bigotry, and homophobia.

Consider that most of the heterosexual couples who walk down the aisle of an Evangelical church are not virgins. The Bible has a lot to say about fornication, yet I don’t see Evangelicals boycotting heterosexual marriage ceremonies. Divorced church members, having met a wonderful Christian person, have marriage ceremonies at the local Evangelical church, yet I don’t see Evangelicals boycotting these marriage ceremonies. Surely, they know what the Bible says about divorce? Many of these remarrying divorcees, according to the Bible anyway, are adulterers. Not only are they living in sin, the Bible says such people will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The truth is, there is one sin above all sins in the Evangelical church and that is the sin of homosexuality. In the eyes of people like Bryan Fischer, homosexuals are unsaved, vile sinners who, according to Romans 1, have been given over to a reprobate mind. There is, in their mind, no such thing as a Christian homosexual.

What is it that makes homosexuality a sin? Surely it can’t be same-sex attraction? I think the Bible is clear that God judges us on our actions not our desires and thoughts. If the homosexual is judged a sinner just because they admit they are attracted to the same-sex, wouldn’t any Evangelical who has a weakness for donuts be considered a glutton because they walk down the snack and pastry aisle and long to feast on pastries? Even though they refrain from actually giving in to their donut desire, are they a glutton just because they admit they have a love for pastries? I know, silly, but this is the logic being used by those Evangelicals who, because of a person’s admitted desire, determine the homosexual is a sinner.

What makes one a fornicator or an adulterer? Most Evangelicals would say, the illicit sex act. And I think that this is THE issue for many Evangelicals; the very thought of a same-sex couple having sex disgusts them. Generally, the disgust is greater for same-sex male couples than it is for same-sex female couples. Why is this?

Heterosexual Evangelical men have a hard time understanding two men having sex, whereas two or more women having sex is their secret fantasy. This reflects the hypocrisy of the Christian culture when it comes to sex in general. Let a male school teacher have sex with a sixteen year old student and the teacher is charged with statutory rape. Yet, when a 16-year-old boy has sex with a female school teacher, it is often considered every teenage boy’s dream.  I know it was mine years ago when I had a hot student teacher. When she taught, she had every boys attention.

Male homosexuals tend to have sex one of two ways: orally or anally. If the Evangelical says that it is the sex act that makes one a reprobate homosexual, then they have a real problem on their hands. Heterosexual couples also have oral and anal sex. Are they sinning against God? Some churches and pastors, seeing this as a glaring contradiction, consider anal and oral sex a sin. According to them, God gave man a penis and woman a vagina; one meant to be inserted in the other.

Bryan Fischer, like many of his ilk, argues that homosexual sex puts a person a greater risk health-wise. However, couldn’t that be said of most any human behavior? I don’t see Fischer decrying overeating at church picnics. Surely, he knows that overeating can result in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, right?  Far more Evangelicals die of these diseases than homosexuals with HIV. The same goes for sexually transmitted diseases. Far more Evangelicals get STD’s than do homosexuals or same-sex couples. Why no outrage about the Christian church’s STD crisis?

An Evangelicals refusal to attend a gay friend or family members same-sex marriage has nothing to do with standing firm on the Word of God. As I have shown in this post, Evangelicals routinely ignore sinful behaviors among their own. The are the textbook definition of a hypocrite. The only reason an Evangelical refuses to attend a same-sex marriage is because they are a hateful bigot. Going to the wedding is not going to cause God to strike the Evangelical dead. Western civilization will not collapse if they attend a same-sex wedding. The Evangelical doesn’t have to change their beliefs in order to attend. Outside of the ceremonial kiss, there is nothing in a same-sex marriage that is different from a heterosexual wedding.

The Evangelical church has a huge PR problem on its hands. Their opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion, and birth control have presented the American public with a picture of hate. Ask the non-Evangelical what they think of Evangelicalism and they will likely say that Evangelicals are judgmental and hateful. If the goal is to win people to Jesus and increase their numbers, Evangelicals are failing miserably. As our culture continues to evolve on issues like homosexuality, Evangelicals are relegated to the fringe, a place usually reserved for nut jobs and cults. Is this really how Evangelicals want to be perceived? If not, then quit with all the whining about same-sex marriage. Yes, the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, but Evangelicals are capable of looking past a variety of sins in order to show love and support to their non-Christian family and friends.

15 Comments

  1. Geoff

    I’ve never been invited to a same sex marriage but I like to think I’d treat it in exactly the same way as any other marriage.

    Does homosexuality make me uncomfortable? Yes, if I’m truthful it does a little. But just because I don’t do it doesn’t give me the right to tell others how to behave. I don’t like peanut butter or marmite, but it doesn’t mean I’m entitled to go into my local grocery and tell them to stop selling them.

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  2. sgl

    and following their logic of not attending marriages not ordained by god, shouldn’t they also shun marriages by any religion other than christianity, or any flavor of christianity that worships the “wrong” god? eg, doesn’t attending a hindu wedding, or a islamic wedding, or even a non-religious civil ceremony imply that god is blessing this “marriage” (trademark by god) when he’s not? nor should a baptist attend a catholic wedding either, right? (my guess is that they aren’t likely invited to many of these weddings in the first place.)

    re: “Heterosexual Evangelical men have a hard time understanding two men having sex,…”

    perhaps not. according to a psychological research study:
    ———-
    http://www.petertatchell.net/lgbt_rights/homophobia/bigots_are_buggers.htm

    “Research by US psychologists suggests that 80 percent of men who are homophobic have secret homosexual feelings. This finding lends scientific support to the long-standing speculation that those who shout the loudest against homosexuality have something to hide.

    The research results were published in the prestigious Journal of Abnormal Psychology, with the backing of the American Psychological Association.

    In tests conducted by Prof. Henry E Adams of the University of Georgia, homophobic men who said they were exclusively heterosexual were shown gay sex videos. Four out of five became sexually aroused by the homoerotic imagery, as recorded by a penile circumference measuring device – a plethysmograph.

    Prof. Adams says his research shows that most homophobes “demonstrate significant sexual arousal to homosexual erotic stimuli”, suggesting that homophobia is a form of “latent homosexuality where persons are either unaware of or deny their homosexual urges”.”

    [….]

    In response to the gay sex videos, Prof. Adams found that 20 percent of the homophobic men showed no erection, 26 percent showed moderate erection, and 54 percent showed strong erection. By comparison, a control group of non-homophobic straight men produced very different reactions: 66 percent didn’t get aroused, 10 percent got slightly turned on, and 24 percent had definite hard-ons.

    ———-

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  3. DarrenB

    maybe this sounds incredibly naive, but I thought a key part of it is that the person inviting you to their wedding is a friend. As a friend presumably you have already have a relationship. You care for them as a friend and they care enough about you that they invited you to their most special day. I think the problem for many Christians is that they’ve forgotten how to be friends. They’ve forgotten what it means to have a conversation or a relationship with people who aren’t exactly like themselves.

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  4. Charles

    Bruce makes a strong argument. However, I think he left out an important detail that weighs big in the Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical fetish about homosexuality being the No. 1 sin. That is the fear of being destroyed. Most fundies I have ever known immediately equate homosexuality with Sodom and Gomorrah, which is a place where both the government and the people had totally bought into butt-fucking men—at least from their Biblical perspective. I think it has become their Number 1 sin concern because they are afraid that God will look down from Heaven, see the United States as another Sodom and Gomorrah, and wipe it out with nuclear weapons from “own ha.” In their minds it is probably not a bad thing that all the apostate Christians (always everyone else who claims to be a Christian except them) and nonbelievers would be destroyed in the nuclear fire, but they are afraid that they and their families will be caught up in the destruction and be wiped out as what the Pentagon calls “Collateral Damage.” There is not much confidence that they would be counted as “Lot” and be saved.

    In addition, although I know there are many exceptions, the fundie world on the whole has been historically populated by an inordinately large number of people who are economically and socially disadvantaged in assorted ways in our culture. One of the great appeals of Christian fundamentalism is its internal sense of being an “exclusive club” and its insistence that (in God’s eyes) “I’m Tigger, and I’m the only one.” People who are on the low end of the social and economic totem pole, where their rich employers use them and abuse them like they are shit every day at work, need something that makes them feel “set apart” and “special” above all other men and women—especially the evil ones who are mistreating them and keeping them down in society. In addition to Jesus, their great hope has been that they will all one day be able to participate in the Great American Dream that has eluded them and their families for generations—before the Rapture of course. Combined with this dream is a profound fear that it will never come true and that both they and their children will turn out once again to have the same sorry life as the family generations before them: “sweat a lot, suffer, eat a few green beans, shit a lot, and die.” All of the profound changes that are happening in American society and culture right now, changes that seem to be mysterious and unfathomable to most of them, make them feel as if they are refugees in a small dingy at sea with a hurricane bearing down on it. Societal acceptance of homosexuality is just one of many frightening elements in this storm, and they believe it is all an evil designed to tear them away from their opportunity to ever participate fully in the American Dream. The American dream is not to “own your own home,” as the government tried to convince us in the 1980s. The American dream has always been to “become rich and live in great comfort.” For those who use no deodorant, take a bath once a week, have no health insurance, work at a menial job, and get poor pay, this American dream is a version of heaven that can be experienced early here on Earth—if they can just somehow get their foot in the door and the cultural forces they fear so much do not succeed in stopping them. I believe this is one of the main reasons you will almost never see a fundie criticizing the “real sins” in American culture—particularly in American business and its predatory nature. They want a piece of that sinful and oppressive business pie before they die—and they want the pie to stand still, stay intact and be understandable and unaltered—so they will have their best shot at getting their piece of the pie.

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  5. Jaisen

    I said I wouldn’t approve any further comments from Jaisen the Catholic, but this comment allows us to take a crystal clear look at the man, so I thought I’d approve it. Enjoy.

    ***********************

    Nothing different than a heterosexual marriage? Well, besides the fact that there’ll be no communion with God later on or any procreation (a commandment, not a suggestion), there’s also zero complimentarity. Sure, it fits. But that doesn’t mean you should stick it there. Apply that logic to a cigar cutter sometime.

    And clearly, the difference between attending a Hindu marriage and a same-sex “marriage” is that homosexuals aren’t trying to change the definition of a Hindu marriage, which is why it’s a direct attack on Christian marriage. One would think someone who spent 25 years in ministry could understand such a simple concept. But I guess that explains why you’re no longer there.

    But seriously, how much more demeaning to women and human life could it be? Seriously, a vagina that brings forth another human being is somehow EQUAL to some guy’s stinky anus? You’d have to be a real nut job liberal to believe that garbage.

    However, if you prefer wiping someone else’s excrement off of your manhood even though you courteously gave them an enema beforehand, more power to you. That’s your business. Just don’t pretend you’re something you’re not or that marriage is yours to profane. Being a homosexual doesn’t make you a sinner, nor is it any different than any other sin. It’s the act of sticking your penis in another man’s stink hole that makes you a sinner. Go try that BS with Islamic marriage and find out who the real bigots are when they toss your ass off the top of a building or hang you in a public square.

    Reply
    1. Becky Wiren

      Funny how this Jaisen pretends to be such a great Christian while he’s totally hateful. He’s mean and vicious. And I bet he tells himself he’s doing it for the Lord. No, Jaisen, you’re a terrible human being.

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    2. Edward

      Stop it. You’re turning me on.

      Reply
  6. Jaisen

    Comment deleted.

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  7. Jaisen

    Comment deleted.

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  8. Geoff

    Jaisen is a catholic!! The catholic church that turned paedophilia, with lots of anal sex one might add, into an industry!

    Please!

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    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      It’s the people, Geoff, not the church. 🙂 The church is made up of people. I use the skunk analogy. If a skunk sprays me I don’t say I hate the smell but love the skunk. The skunk and its smell are linked. So it is with the sex scandal and the church. Hundreds of priests, cover ups at the highest level. For these reasons, there’s no way I could be a Catholic. That and there being no God. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Knoxville Freethinker

    What is it that makes homosexuality a sin? Surely it can’t be same-sex attraction? I think the Bible is clear that God judges us on our actions not our desires and thoughts.

    To me, it seems like the Bible preaches a lot of judgment based on desires and thoughts, and helps blur the line by casting thoughts as actions (e.g. Matt 5:28–“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”).

    For all the onerous requirements the Bible places on women, this one is a particular pain in the ass for men. There’s a lot of tap-dancing in evangelical circles trying to draw the line between “noticing” beauty and having “lust.” As usual, the more fundamentalist evangelicals compete to be the most “pure” and essentially prohibit and shame heterosexual male biology. The irony is, if homosexuality could be “taught” like they believe, what better first step than to attach shame to involuntary biological attraction to the opposite sex?

    As far as Christians attending a same-sex wedding, if the family is the type that gives weight to AFA material, it’s probably best for everyone if they do not attend. It is just another way that religions (the tribalistic, exclusivist ones anyway) divide, well-explain by Jesus/Jesus’ Doppleganger/whoever wrote “Matthew”.

    Matthew 10:32-38
    32 Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

    34“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to turn

    “ ‘a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
    a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
    36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’c
    37“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

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  10. Maggie

    Wow…there were times while reading Bruce’s post that I had to stop reading and go get coffee or something to let his words sink in. I’ve read posts that were so bad and such flawed representations of what it means to be ‘gay’ that I had to stop reading them. Rarely (and I mean rarely) have I read a post so good and so honest I had to stop reading. Bruce’s was one of those rarities for me. And the comments have been so thoughtful and affirming that they simply blew me away!

    I used to think that being a woman was the hardest role I would ever have to play. To my surprise, I discovered that being a ‘gay’ woman far surpassed simply being a woman. Then, being a ‘gay Christian woman’ took its place. But nothing I had ever experienced could have possibly prepared me for being a ‘gay Christian mother’.

    But my partner (now ex-partner) and I have played the role of ‘mothers’ for the last 17 years. She is still a Christian while I have deconverted and no longer think of myself as a Christian. Our son is the product of artificial insemination so neither of us brought him to our relationship. He was born three years after she and I got together so he’s never known anything other than ‘two moms’.

    Our struggles have been no different than the struggles of any other couple. Our ‘gay agenda’ consists of being the best mothers to our son we can be along with the usual struggles with employment, paying bills, keeping food on our table and a roof over our heads, etc. And for any Christians who may be reading this and wondering what we plan to do when our son goes to jail or to juvenile detention…he was recently inducted into The National Honor Society, has no tattoos, has never even been to juvenile detention or even knows where it is, doesn’t drink, do drugs and has met the girl (even at 17) he plans to spend the rest of his life with. How’s that for all the damage having two moms without a male influence in his life sound? Do we love him? You bet we do! Are we proud of him? You bet we are!!

    Ah, so much I could say about same sex attraction, gay marriage, god and Christianity. But I tried to keep my anger and contempt intact and my post short. Its hard, but I keep trying and will continue to try. Bruce, thanks for your support. Other respondents, I can’t thank you enough either. Your support and affirmation almost restores my faith in humanity that I allowed Christianity to steal from me for all of those years.

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  11. Jaisen

    Comment deleted

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  12. Robert

    I’d love to get an invite and go to a gay wedding … you KNOW it would be FABULOUS 😀 (contrary to conservative/evangelical opinions, there’d NEVER be pizza at a gay wedding … E-V-E-R)

    Not to be crass, but Jaisen REALLY needs a hummer – he’s wound WAAAY to tight … seriously dude, a cigar cutter?!? Please tell me … if you are currently married … how two people of the same sex were to get married, how does it have ANY effect on YOUR marriage? Will you be forced to include a same sex partner to your current marriage? Will you be FORCED to perform anal sex? Will you be forced to receive anal sex? Will your wife be forced to “kiss the kitty”?

    Of course these are all silly and absurd questions since the reality is that NOTHING will change your current marriage if gay marriage is legalized (Provided that anyone chose to marry your uptight, hateful self in the first place)

    Also, I’m curious – where is the “outrage” against the elderly getting married FAR beyond their “procreation” years – please tell us your plans to lobby for banning octogenarians from getting married since they cannot “fulfill” the procreation “commandment”

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