Marriage Equality and the Faith Debate


On Saturday last at the Faith in Marriage Equality Conference at the ISE here in Dublin Professor Linda Hogan, recently rumoured to be Rome’s first appointed lay female cardinal, opened proceedings by saying that “this debate is being framed as religious people being no voters with everyone else voting yes.” Certainly, as a Christian deeply committed to marriage equality, this is how the discussion is being put before me. All too often is secular Ireland blasted with the reactionary loudspeaker of Irish right-wing, extremist Christianity. It is little wonder that most people simply assume that this voice is the definitive voice of Christians in Ireland, and this, as Professor Hogan said, “couldn’t be further from the truth.” It is for this reason that it is imperative that other Christians speak up. If we fail to do this we will, by our silence and inaction, only allow foreign funded minority groups speak on our behalf. It hasn’t surprised me that people find religious voices in favour of marriage equality surprising. Most people think we are all the same.

What is so wonderful about most people, and by this I mean non-Christians (with respect), is that they have an intuitive understanding of the Gospel. I suspect that a great many of them stand outside the Church because they are sick of the hypocrisy that we are getting sick of fighting on the inside. We’re talking about smart people who are aware of the Gospel of radical love, many even living it in their own lives, and listening to this boom-box of so-called Christian hate speech and ignorance.


Atheism and secularism have done Christians and the Church a favour. They have become the prophetic voice that we have been bullied into silencing within our churches. True moral fibre has been in the courage to reject these gods of elitism, isolationism, and hatred. If, inside the Church, we desire to worship the God of the Christians; who is worshipped in spirit and in truth, then we must stand up with our neighbours and demand the demands of the Gospel. We must love without counting the cost and confront with missionary zeal the drone of the false prophets.


Ùr-Fhàsaidh is a Christian social justice blogger who is committed to a Yes vote in the upcoming Marriage Equality referendum, and to helping other Christians see the good sense in a Yes vote. Please take the time to sign up to his social media feeds and share his work.

 

    

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