I was going to stay out of this debate, but I think I’ve had too much coffee. As most of you know, I grew up in Indiana, my church family is there and I even ran for State Office in Indianapolis in 2010. I’m not writing this to start a discussion or a debate in the comments, so please, just don’t.
Local and national news can’t get enough of HJR-6, now HJR-3. The Indiana State Constitution defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but this bill would bring to the ballot box an amendment to the State Constitution, banning all forms of same-sex unions. I stumbled across an advertisement by Advance America. Most in my circles know the organization and its leader Eric Miller. On occasion my church hosted him. The Advance America commercial boasts frightening music with dark clouds behind the Statehouse, while people say, “let me vote.” It ends with the narrator and large letters stating, “Let the people vote to protect marriage and the family.” The commercial and organization is aimed at the church to motivate its members to become politically active. When nearly the same bill, labeled Proposition 8 came to vote in California, churches and Christian organizations raised millions, airing commercials and with the help of the Mormons, knocked on nearly every Californian’s door. If this amendment comes to a vote, you can expect the same in Indiana.
Here’s the deal. I know how this will go down. There will be marches, quoting of the the famous Scripture verses pertaining to same sex erotic behavior and the church will yell persecution as the other side calls them bigots. Constitutionalists, like me, will preach the dangers of changing the Constitution, noting the costs of all the lawsuits to follow and realists will warn of a culture that will inevitably change it back 10 years down the road.
The church’s argument as stated by Advance America in support of HJR-3 will be to protect the family and societal structure. I ask this respectfully, but I do mean to make a point. Church, what is left of marriage and the societal structure to protect? We will righteously argue that a child needs both a mother and a father to be properly raised, but why are we quiet about a divorce rate of over 50% in our pews? Why did we say nothing about the 17 children in the state of Indiana who died of abuse and neglect in 2010? If it’s so important for children to have traditional families, why don’t we make it our mission to adopt the 520,000 children in the US currently in foster care? If we are willing to raise millions of dollars to add a few sentences to the State constitution, when its change won’t add one person to the Kingdom, then why did Wheeler Mission have to ask the public for warm clothes when it was 18 degrees below zero last week? I ran for office, I believe in Christians being involved in government, but the city of Indianapolis’ murder rate just bypassed that of Chicago, if this amendment is the issue we want to hang our hat on or are willing to go to war over, I’ve go to say we’ve missed the mark.
We live in the most free nation in the history of the world. Likely, our freedoms, especially religious freedoms will narrow. Jesus ministered under the rule of the Romans, who later hung him on a cross. Today Christians are imprisoned all over the world, us Americans just got the luck of the draw. There are so many other things we could do with our prosperity and our freedoms in the name of Jesus. If we think that raising millions of dollars, airing tv commercials, and knocking on doors proclaiming “God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve,” will buy us street cred when we stand before God…
I can promise this one thing… it won’t.