"I, as an African American Christian am pleased for the existence of the Constitution" I am writing this on Tuesday, March 26, 2013. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court has considered the Constitutional validity of California's Proposition 8 that defines marriage as being valid only between a man and a woman. On tomorrow, March 27th the Supreme Court will consider the same question as it considers the Defense of Marriage Act/DOMA. It has been the Constitution and not the Bible that has guided us as a nation to move from segregation to desegregation. And, it will be the Constitution and not the Bible that initiates marriage equality.
What do I mean? The Church and many Christians related to the Church have linked their bias to the Bible under the cover of protecting an "Institution.” Slavery and Racial Segregation have historically been viewed by many Christians as "Institutions" worthy of protection and survival. It was the Constitution and not the Bible that invalidated slavery and segregation. Many Christians viewed interracial marriage as a threat to the "Institution" of marriage. It was the Constitution and not the Bible that provided the rationale and basis for the ending of prohibitions against interracial marriage. It has been the Constitution that has led us to affirmations of equality and equal access for women and not the Bible. (Today, many Christians still believe in and support restrictions of the roles women might have within the Church).
And, it is the Constitution and not the Bible as interpreted by most Christians that is moving our nation toward marriage equality for same sex couples. Years ago, Governor George Wallace uttered his oft-quoted words, "Segregation yesterday, today and forever (paraphrased).” He has been proven to be wrong. Today, there are Christians and others, who offer their versions of Governor George Wallace by saying; "Marriage only for one man and one woman; yesterday, today and forever.” They are wrong because the Constitution of the USA will no longer support their limiting definitions of marriage.
The African American historian, Lerone Bennett wrote, "We misunderstand racism completely if we do not understand that racism is a mask for a much deeper problem involving not the victims of racism but the perpetrators." *
The Supreme Court will during this season (or in another season) declare the Constitutional validity of marriage equality for same sex couples, thus confronting the heterosexism that has been the source for those who are anti-marriage equality.
The challenge that remains for the nation and the Church is to unmask the problems of those who continue to perpetuate and perpetrate, racism, sexism and heterosexism. They, in and through the insecurities expressed through their biases, too often bigotry, represent the "much deeper problem", as Bennett suggests, that we must begin to explore, understand and correct.
Martin Luther King asked the question; "Why is the Church so often the tail light and not the headlight (on matters of justice)?" It has not been the Bible of the Church, but the Constitution of the nation, that has led us away from institutionalized inequality to equality. Could/Would the Church guide us in ways to understand, correct and heal the perpetrators of the "isms" that keep us from being "Family".
* African American Quotations, Richard Newman, editor, The Oryx press, 2000
CLICK HERE FOR DAY TWO REFLECTION and HERE for the DAY AFTER **************************** WANT TO BE IN THE MOVIES? JOIN TRUTH IN PROGRESS IN CREATING A COMPELLING, HUMOROUS, AND PROVOCATIVE FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY. BRING QUESTIONS AND FRESH DIALOGUE ABOUT RACE, SEXUAL ORIENTATION/GENDER IDENTITY, AND RELIGION TO THE FOREFRONT.
Make a donation of $50 or more and see your name on the big screen in the credits. Click here for more detailed information, including how to give through PayPal.
Don't think you have much to give? Every dollar counts especially when you find others to give with you! Spread the word, if you can give $10, find 4 more friends who can give $10, then put it all in the same envelope and mail it to:
Truth in Progress 1039 Butte Ave Helena, MT 59601
Same for $25, $50, and $100 or more gifts. Ask someone to match your gift and together we can create a documentary that brings people together rather than divides them. YOUR GIFT COUNTS!