By Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team from Germany (qe07 (9)) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center International Team from Germany (qe07 (9)) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Two Christian leaders openly discuss their support of same-sex marriage.

The ruling by majority of the Supreme Court of the United States of America in favor for marriage equality was bound to elicit varied responses across different sectional leaders in the United States. Some of the earliest opinions have come from church leaders with a considerable number expressing support for the bill. Notably amongst these are Rev. Nathaniel Katz an Episcopal priest and Pst. Adam Phillips an evangelical minister. These two in different ways have voiced their support for the ruling with Rev. Nathaniel Katz saying the ruling marks a great progress to the understanding of God’s love by humanity. Indeed the love of God is an underlying theme in both the Christian leader’s vocal support as Pst. Adam Phillips said the court had finally caught up with the movement of the Holy Spirit.

The Rev. Nathaniel Katz chose to raise his concerns in an open letter addressed to the Chief Justice Hon. John Roberts. This action was instigated by the Chief Justice’s dissenting statement in which according Rev. Nathaniel; the Chief Justice made presumptions and took upon the role of a spokesman for a wide group of people in different cultures. According to the Reverend, the Chief Justice is not in a position to speak for all the cultures and he is also misinformed regarding the reality and experiences of their marriage values in the past, present and future just as he is misinformed regarding the reality.

In his open letter, Rev. Nathaniel quotes the late Professor Peter J. Gomes a minister at Harvard’s Memorial Church. In explaining the treatment levelled against the gay community based on biblical teachings, the Professor, himself gay, said that “gay people are not victims of the Bible, or the church or religion but rather victims of those who use religion ‘to devalue or deform those whom they can neither ignore nor convert.” The reverend also applies the professor’s description of the good news to explain how only a greater understanding of God’s all inclusive love will enable break down the barriers set by the sections in the religious community.

Pastor Adam Phillips an evangelical and Pastor of the Christ Church in Portland echoes most of the views raised by the Reverend Nathaniel Katz. In supporting the majority ruling which now grants everyone the right to marriage regardless of sexual orientation, Phillips rebukes many of the leaders especially conservatives who have in the past and still do now oppose the gay marriages saying it is redefining the traditional marriage institution as set up in the Bible. The people Pastor Phillips rebukes greatly are Southern Baptist leader Dr. Russell Moore, and politicians Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee.

In his criticism of these leaders the Pastor Phillips says the very notion of a biblically approved marriage is stretched out given the ‘thorny mess’ marriage becomes when one considers the varied examples available in the Bible. Thus according to the pastor, it becomes wrong to deny marriage to people based on their sexual orientation and basing this on the Bible. To him this is using the Bible to promote bigotry. Discrimination based on sexual orientation and focusing on LGBTQ when there are other pertinent issues from wars to hunger and sins like greed and avarice are allowed to prevail is what Phillips views as pursuing the wrong course. The pastor holds that love is the higher law just as Christ teaches and no one should have to go through life challenges alone. Thus to him the majority ruling is the arc of history finally stretching and curving closer to justice for a community that has hitherto been denied a basic right.

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