Their Eyes Were Watching God

So it’s been two weeks since the Supreme Court declared that gay and lesbian coupes do indeed have equal justice under law, and the sky has not fallen. The world has not stopped spinning. The birds have not stopped singing. In fact nothing has changed (well, the climate has, but for reasons that have nothing to do with marriage equality).

Those of us who lived in Massachusetts when the state’s Supreme Judicial Court recognized the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry heard plenty of apocalyptic rhetoric from the most vehement opponents of equality. I remember a lengthy argument I had with a now-former friend in 2004 on this issue: at the time, I (wrongfully) opposed same-sex marriage but supported civil unions, whereas my ex-friend, a hardcore conservative Christian, opposed any legal recognition for same-sex couples. “Gay marriage,” he insisted, “will cause God to remove His hand of protection from this country.”

I stopped speaking to that self-righteous scold several years ago, but I wish I could ask him to consider the following: if you believe that God made us all in his image, and meant for us all to live in harmony, then you logically cannot be both a Christian and a homophobe. In other words, common sense dictates that homophobia is a sin, not homosexuality.

To that end, one can make the theological argument that any country that treats gays and lesbians as second-class citizens is a country that has defied the will of God. After all, how can a country expect to receive God’s blessing and favor if that country insists upon mistreating and abusing the gay and lesbian citizens God created in his image?

Were I a Christian, I would argue as forcefully as possible that homophobia is the real abomination, the real sin against the Almighty, the real offense against Christian morality. This is an argument that would surely horrify my former friend, and other members of the Christian Right…but to quote that famous bumper sticker: “The Christian Right is Neither.”

D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.