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When I was living in Portland, I was in an accountability group with some fellow pastors. One day, we were discussing how much pressure the gay community had been pouring on at the political level to get legal married status. It had been a hard day, so I was just kicking back, sipping my latte. But my attempt to chill abruptly ended when one of the pastors stood up, pounded on the table, and, with neck veins popping out, said, “We just can’t let them win this fight! They will ruin the holy state of matrimony!” He ran out of breath and sat down, looking around at us, expecting a standing ovation, I guess.

Nobody said a word, so with the perfect timing of a seasoned comedian, I said, “Yo, Rev. Here’s how I see it: if you really want to punish the gay community—I mean, if you really want to hit ’em where it hurts—then let them get married.”

Everyone looked at me with scrunched brows, like I had just eaten a cat. “Yeah,” I said, “I mean, if you haven’t noticed, our little group here started because, Kevin, your wife caught you watching porn, and she’s still not sure she can trust you. And, Joe, every week we try to encourage you to not be a complete jerk to Lisa. And, Louie, your wife is constantly telling on you to my wife, especially about how you always prioritize the church over her and the kids. And I’m here because I never seem to find the right balance between work and home so that my kids and Cheryl feel like they are top priority. So, I say let ’em get married, because it is brutal and hard and a daily pain in the neck!”

There was silence for a moment, and then Louie said, “Gosh, I’ve never thought of that. Seems like we’re defiling the sanctity of marriage all the time, eh?” The conversation was much more civilized after that.

Halter, H. (2015). Brimstone: the art and act of holy nonjudgment. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook.

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