Most newsmen know that politicians and corporations love to release bad news on a big news day, when other news will overshadow their bad news. It’s kind of like if our child brings home a report card with a “D” in both math and science, we’ll barely notice it if our house burned down that morning.
Likewise, endless discussions of the evils of gay marriage are a convenient mechanism for diverting attention away from the greatest threats to our families.
Does a child need to be protected from the knowledge that the two women who live across the street are married to each other, or does that child really need two parents in his or her home? Are two gay males who are married to each other a more ominous threat to families than are two straight men who live alone, apart from the women they impregnated who are left alone to raise their children?
Yet we dare not say such things in polite company for fear that we offend those whose sons are the fathers who have left both their children and the mothers of their children.
Just as we avoid talking about single parents, we also avoid discussing other issues that threaten our families.
True Threats to the Family
We do not like to talk about families that can’t find work, or that earn too little to keep a roof over their heads. As we crawl into our warm, dry beds we do not want to even think about them huddling under a bush in an ice storm, soaked to the skin, shaking and shivering uncontrollably, praying they’ll still be alive in the morning.
We do not like to talk about people whose only access to health care is an emergency room. We do not like to talk about people who cannot eat an apple because most of their teeth are rotten. They cannot afford to go to a dentist. We do not want to talk about extending health care, dental care and child care to many of the poor.
We’d rather raise money to build a new gymnasium at the church to “minister to the young people.” We’d rather give our money to “fight” gay marriage. Those causes are surely more worthwhile than poor, sick, cold people, than poorly educated single mothers (with children whose fathers and their families pretend they don’t exist) who don’t know how to make enough money to pay for the basics of life for themselves and their children.
Attitudes about gay marriage are changing at breakneck speed when compared to the rate that attitudes on major social issues often change. Literally, many of those opposed to gay marriage are dying (of old age). The youngest third of voters is twice as likely to favor gay marriage as the oldest third.
Also, many people are discovering that they have gay family members, co-workers, neighbors and other gay people in their lives. Only one person I know has told me in the past fifteen years that they don’t know anyone who is gay. For many people, their attitude about gay marriage corresponds directly to how many gay people they know.
Regardless of our opinions on the issue of gay marriage, let us carefully consider and focus on the many issues that threaten families. What are we personally doing to alleviate the plight of single mothers and children with absent fathers? What are we doing to improve educational opportunities, job opportunities, expanded housing opportunities, health care and childcare for those same people?
Some say they see Jesus weeping because of gay marriage. I see Jesus weeping for the poor, lonely single mother who is unable to provide for her children. I see Jesus weeping for the family living on the street. I see Jesus weeping for the little girl who cries herself to sleep every night because her daddy left her and her mommy. She doesn’t know what she did wrong.
Who do you see Jesus weeping for? What do you see as the biggest threats to families today?