what God has joined together

Today gay marriage is the top news story. The president yesterday said he supported it, the first time a president has said so. And North Carolinians voted overwhelmingly to add a constitutional amendment banning it in their state.

The arguments for equal civil rights make sense to most people, it's just the "marriage" part that many object to. And this objection usually has something to do with religion. What seems to be overlooked, however, is that if we really believe what the bible (and Jesus) taught about marriage, then the whole fight over gay marriage becomes irrelevant.

When asked about divorce, Jesus said this about marriage: "They are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder." Thus marriage is God's doing. We human beings can't make "one flesh" from two. No matter what the president or lawmakers or judges (or bishops) decide, the nature or marriage and the reality of marriage between any two people is not changed. The civil rights and social obligations may change; those are the creations of our society and we can do with them as we please. But marriage is God's creation, each and every time. Only God gets to decide who is married, who is made one flesh.

It's not our decision to make. Lawmakers cannot stop God from uniting two people in marriage, and activists can't insist on the "marriage" of two people God has not united. The best we can do is try to truthfully discern God's work, what God has done among us. And rejoice in it.