Gay marriage became legal last week in Massachusetts. For many it was a day of celebration. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, saw it differently. He saw terrorists lurking behind corners. Mohler wrote in his daily online column:
Like mile-markers in time, certain calendar dates stand in memory as not only historic, but momentous. Dates like December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001 represent far more than mere days on a calendar. Now, May 17, 2004 must be added to that list.
Why? Because today--by the unilateral decision of activist judges--the State of Massachusetts will legalize same-sex marriages. This is a day that will live in moral infamy. Civilization itself has been attacked by forces that would redefine marriage, normalize homosexuality, and transform our understanding of family, gender, parenthood, and human relationships.
This is the new Republican line of attack: everything they don’t like resembles 9/11. Those they disagree with are no better than terrorists. Bush adviser Karen Hughes tried the same tactic to smear pro-choice supporters.
Mohler has done yet another disservice to Christianity (click here, here, and here for other examples). In a difficult time for Christians on both sides of the gay rights debate he has chosen to use his position to inflame tensions with reckless comparisons. Fostering division and hatred is clearly contrary to the will of God and sinful.
Because there is a need to end the rhetoric which fuels hostility, misunderstanding, fear and hatred expressed toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, and the denial of their equality under the law... we...
* Call for the defeat of the Federal Marriage Amendment and the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DOMA);
* Call for the defeat or repeal of any similar Amendments to the Constitution of any State and the defeat or repeal of any State's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) or similar legislation...
* Encourage and support the continued collaborative efforts of the UCC to develop educational resources, study guides and social policy analyses for use by UCC members and congregations in addressing the issues of marriage;
* Urge all settings of the UCC and individual church members to engage in serious, respectful, responsible discussions about the study of marriage, including diverse understandings of marriage;
* Commend the resources now available to our churches called "God Is Still Speaking, About Marriage." This resource is a discussion guide for congregations to engage in healthy conversations and study about marriage, biblical and theological reflections on covenant and marriage, legal and economic aspects of marriage, and the role of the church in making marriages official and legal (see ; and
* Affirm equal rights for all couples who seek to have their relationships recognized by the State.
* The national setting of the United Church of Christ is committed to being in ministry in ways that are multiracial, multicultural, open and affirming, accessible to all, and advocate for peace with justice.