The Blessings of Same-Sex Marriage
In this episode of Christian Mythbusters, Father Jared breaks the myth of the blessings of gay marriage—and tries to be clear about the dangers of the language used in the recent statement from the Vatican. You can hear Christian Mythbusters in the Grand Haven area on 92.1 WGHN, on Wednesdays at 10:30am and Sundays at 8:50am. You can also subscribe to the podcast on Apple here.
The transcript of the episode is below, or you can listen to the audio at the bottom of the post.
This is Father Jared Cramer from St. John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven, Michigan, here with today’s edition of Christian Mythbusters, a regular segment I offer to counter some common misconceptions about the Christian faith.
Just when you think that conservative Roman Catholics have given up on Pope Francis, the Vatican proves them wrong and demonstrates that the See of Rome remains very much in traditionalist hands. On Monday, a Vatican statement that was approved by Pope Francis said that not only does neither God nor the church bless same-sex unions, that they cannot bless them because they are an inherently sinful choice. Traditionalists cheered, progressives lamented, but it is the LGBTQ Roman Catholics—indeed, LGBTQ people of faith around the world, who will face pain and harm because of this statement.
And so today I’d like to break the myth of the blessings of gay marriage—and to be clear about the dangers of the language used in this statement from the Vatican.
My own tradition, The Episcopal Church, has been blessing same-sex unions for quite a while now, decades in some places. We have had had full marriage equality throughout the church since 2017. The parish where I serve, St. John’s Episcopal in downtown Grand Haven, has been fully affirming of our LGBTQ members ever since I’ve been here. All this to say, I have some experience with same-sex marriage in the church as a straight ally.
And it’s beautiful. It’s holy. The real blessing of same-sex marriage isn’t the one that the church chooses to bestow on couples. It is the blessings that same-sex couples bestow on the church through their participation.
One of the fundamental reasons our church changed our discipline and teaching on the place of LGBTQ Christians in the life of the church was because we could no longer deny the profound fruits of the spirit we experienced in our LGBTQ members and in their partnered relationships. They had all the evidence of holiness that we expect to see flourish in a faithful Christian marriage when people are straight—and in many respects, given the challenges same-sex couples faced, their marriages evidenced an even stronger holiness and rootedness than many straight marriages.
And I can say without a doubt that the same-sex couples who attend my church, the ones whose weddings I’ve been honored to preside over, the ones who have been together for decades and who continue to serve faithfully in church leadership… these are many times some of the strongest marriages I’ve seen in the church. They make manifest an affection, a gentleness, and a delight that inspires our straight couples to be like them.
By telling same-sex couples that their relationships are an inherently sinful choice, the Roman Church is telling a portion of the body of Christ I have no need of you—a direct contradiction to the teaching of St. Paul himself. The Roman Catholic church, my own church, all traditions in the church are diminished if same-sex couples are pushed to the side.