As we have seen in the past year, and most recently following SCOTUS’ refusal to hear appeals, marriage equality has steamrolled over the Religious Reich and their “Sanctity of Marriage” defense. State after State has surrendered to the rightful proposition that marriage is for EVERYONE, and not subject to the dogma of religious bigotry. Over 70% of the United States now recognize same-sex marriage. Soon, the other 30% will come to their senses.
Today I was contacted by a friend of a friend asking me to preside over a same-sex marriage ceremony right here in Oklahoma. I gladly accepted the invitation. And, to make those bible thumping x-tians out there bristle and steam… You can just call me the Honorable Irreverent Pastor RJ! Yeah, I’m legal to marry folks in Oklahoma, so bite me!
Anyway… It will be my first same-sex wedding ceremony, but no different from opposite sex ceremonies I’ve performed in the past. There will be no mention of gods, goddesses, fairies, demons, or anything supernatural. There will be nothing about obeying anything or anyone. There will be no “ownership” touted by anyone betrothing. There will be nothing but the simple commitment of two people to each other. Whatever the stipulations of the commitment are, they are a private matter between the two to be joined, with the only public manifestation of that commitment being their love and their words “I do”. No one has a right to give any other care.
But, if you ask a die-hard, blood-red, card-carrying member of the Religious Reich what they think… Well, you’re going to get an earful, and it will start with four words, used over and over, and over again: “The SANCTITY of Marriage”. Then, in almost the same breath you’ll hear the words “god”, “jesus”, “abomination”, “sin”, and “the bible says…”. It’s a script. You can always count on the script. It never changes. So, today I want to shed a little light on the word “SANCTITY” in the “SANCTITY of Marriage” How about some context in reality?
From dictionary.com (If you’re a fundamentalist christard/godidiot you really won’t give a shit about the definition)
1. holiness, saintliness, or godliness.
2. sacred or hallowed character
3. a sacred thing
What the fundamentalists focus on is the first of the three definitions. They completely ignore the other two because the other two don’t include “holiness”, “saintliness”, or more importantly “godliness”. Apparently they think that considering something “sacred”, “hallowed character” or “a sacred thing” is impossible without “holiness”, “saintliness”, or “godliness”. This myopic view is quite convenient of course. The Religious Reich has never cared about definitions. They’re always redefining words, phrases, scripture, and rewriting history. Remember… It’s all for jesus! But I digress…
Human Sacred = Love
When two people make a commitment to one another, they decide what is “sacred”, of “hallowed character”, a “sacred thing” in their relationship. What they’re committing to is for them to decide. Religion doesn’t hold any authority! And, as evidenced by a 51% divorce rate in the U.S., whatever is considered sacred and enforceable by religion surely isn’t keeping anyone’s attention! So, it stands to reason that “SANCTITY” isn’t strictly a religious thing. What one couple considers sacred is going to be different from what other couples consider to be sacred to some degree or another. However, the one thing that most couples likely consider sacred is their love for one another. That appears to be pretty static from couple to couple, as far as I can tell. So, I think we can safely assume love between two people is sacred. Can love exist without religion? Of course! Religion doesn’t know what love really is, anyway. The religious just use the word to attract customers. Religion’s everlasting subtext mantra? “Love me or I’ll kill you!”
Anyway… Here’s the interesting thing about love… It evolves, it follows the ebb and flow of life as time moves forward. Sometimes it grows stronger. Other times it gets weaker. Sometimes it dies. But, throughout love’s life, it changes to meet the needs of those who embrace it. My wife and I have been married 32 years. What we consider to be sacred within our marriage has been negotiated over and over again throughout all 32 years. The love is still there, and we consider it sacred, but our love has changed as we have changed throughout our lives together. It changes to meet the needs of us, as individuals, and as a couple, as time and circumstances change.
Religious Sacred = Control
Religion uses the word “SANCTITY” as a static, unchanging, dogmatic euphemism for “CONTROL”. It doesn’t give a shit about the other legitimate definitions of the word. It uses the word as a weapon to further its agenda of trying to control others because it has no self control. Love? Religion wants to kill it. The bone-chilling reality for religion is that it’s tipping its hand, showing clearly that it doesn’t know what real love is, and it never will. That’s why marriage equality is winning, and will continue to do so. And that’s because true love doesn’t discriminate. It isn’t a conspirator in bigotry, hate, vengeance, malice, self-righteousness, or condemnation. It doesn’t come at the tip of a spear, with demands from a Bronze Age mythical magician. It spills freely from real, caring, compassionate, understanding, humane, human beings. And they will decide who they will love, how they will love, and how to give life to love.