Two couples come to you wanting you to photograph their wedding. The first couple has been living with each other for years. Neither of them are active in the community, they don’t go to church, they cheat on each other regularly, and have no intentions of starting a family. The second couple volunteers at the homeless shelter, they go to church every Sunday, they have stable, well paying jobs, and after they wed, they plan on starting a family. Which couple’s wedding would you rather photograph?
Oh, and the second couple is also gay.
I grew up as a born again Christian, in a Baptist church. I went to a Christian high school. I learned about all the beautiful stories in the Bible, and the incredible person Jesus was. I also learned to judge others, to fear things that were different than me, and to be afraid of certain activities because they might lead to the perceived “rabbit hole” of sin. I was trained to feel guilty for not reading my Bible every day, or not sharing my testimony at school chapel. I didn’t drink, smoke, do drugs, have sex, or believe that homosexuality was anything other than a horrible crime against marriage. And I hated it. Not my faith, but I hated that I had to fit in or else be labeled as a Christian that “lost his way”. I was constantly struggling with the idea that I had to be a certain type of Christian.
Then I grew up. I went to college. Started a career. Got married. Had a kid. Left my career to be a full time photographer. Bought a house. Had more kids. Along the way, I let go of some of my ideals that no longer made sense to me. I love to drink beer, yet it didn’t lead to alcoholism and didn’t ruin my life. I’ve smoked pot, yet it didn’t lead to hardcore drugs and I didn’t become a drug dealer. I realized gay marriage wasn’t going to bring this country to its knees. I realized gay people can be productive members of society and have well balanced families.
There’s been a battle between Christians and the government about Christian’s perceived religious freedom to deny service to gays looking to get married. I question the validity of the argument. I wanted to get to the root of why Christians believe they have the right to deny service for gay weddings. When it comes down to it, Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin, sexual immorality, and against the institution of marriage God set up. OK fine, you think being gay is a sinful choice.
But if you are a Christian that believes no sin is greater than another, why is being gay the one sin where you draw the line? How is it any worse than when you go 5 miles over the speed limit, or tell a little white lie to your child? Romans 3:23 says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. So then if all have sinned which prevents us from attaining perfection, then one sin cannot be greater than another. James 2:10 says “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” If we all are sinners, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:5) You don’t get to choose what sins offend you and what sins you can overlook in order to do business.
Ok but what if you’re a Christian that believes there are indeed sins greater than another? 1 Corinthians 6:18 states “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” So that pretty much fits into your argument right? But how many weddings have you photographed where the bride and groom have been living together and has had sex before marriage? Is that not sexual immortality? What if the groom cheats on the wife or vice versa? Is that not sexual immorality? Why are you celebrating that? Is their money greener?
How many atheist, Jewish, or Indian weddings have you photographed? If you believe the God in the in Bible is the one true God, aren’t these bride and grooms worshipping false gods? Or no god at all? “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) But they pay well right? You’re ok with those sins. And at least they aren’t gay.
What if gay marriage is legal in your state? Are you allowed to break the law and not photograph a gay marriage? Romans 13:1 states, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” You try to follow every other law put in place by man whether you agree with it or not. But gay marriage? Nope, not gonna follow that one?
I have gay next door neighbors. If it wasn’t for their adoption of two twin boys, those boys would be living with their crack addicted mother and criminal father. We live in a nice, quiet neighborhood in a decent school district. Those boys now have the love, support, and stable family they need. This gay family hasn’t brought fire and brimstone onto this country. They haven’t weakened the health insurance business. All they did was give two boys a loving home. That’s not so bad is it? The great sin helping these boys be loved? A lot people think gay marriage against God’s laws of nature and the institution of marriage he set up thousands of years ago. Do you think as human beings we can not evolve our thinking? You would rather have these boys in a destructive environment rather than a loved one, just because the parents are the same sex? Do you think we will become Sodom and Gomorrah? What are you afraid of? I believe the world changes and certain strict institutions are no longer needed. Recent studies show that there is no destructive psychological impact of growing up with two same sex loving parents. There just is no need to keep marriage between a man and a woman if you are worried about a child’s well being.
The great thing about this country is that it affords people like me to live my dream of owning my own business, and I believe part of the responsibility of being a business owner in this country is to not discriminate against gender, race, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs. If I’m allowed to make as much money as I can from the people of this nation, I believe that I need afford the opportunity for everyone to use my services. And I think the government should keeps their hands off your personal life and what goes on in your church, but I believe doing business in public comes with certain responsibilities.
Another great thing about this country is that I get to have an opinion and you get to agree or disagree with it. I don’t want you to change your morals, I just want you to think about the bigger picture and ask yourself why you believe in what you believe, whether or not there’s bigger problems that we can tackle. This is just my opinion, but your argument lacks logic. Maybe I’m wrong but it doesn’t make sense what sins you get to stand up against and what sins you get to push to the side in order to pay the bills. That’s why I think your religious freedom argument is bulls@%t.