God in the Machine

Literally "God in the machine", Deus Ex Machina originally referred to Greek plays, where the "gods" would be lowered onto the stage with ropes in order to provide a quick resolution to the story. Today, Deus Ex Machina refers to any improbably and/or overly convenient character or mechanism that comes out of nowhere and saves the character(s).


"I don't get it, Big Dan..." -George Clooney in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Revisiting gay marriage from a Christian Pastor's perspective

I have heard an interesting argument surrounding the gay marriage debate twice in the recent past, both times from humans I admire and respect. The argument, though stated in different forms, centers on the concept of blessing.

There is a telling scene in the movie "The Mission," wherein Robert DeNiro's character, a priest about to return to his warring ways, asks the Jeremy Irons character for his blessing on the coming violence. Irons chooses, interestingly, to remove himself from the issue. He says something to the effect that "I can neither bless nor curse your choice. If God is on your side, you don't need MY blessing, and if God is against you, my blessing won't help."

This type of moral avoidance applies to Christian pastors (or in my case, Baptist pastors) in this way: (a) there is nothing in my tradition that has blessed gay marriage in the past, (b) there is no clear word from God on the issue, (c) there is no directive in the Bible telling pastors to do this sort of thing, therefore (d) I choose to neither bless nor curse gay marriage.

PLEASE NOTE that this is NOT my opinion, just a re-stating of the arguments I've heard. My own opinion is still up for grabs here, and I raise the topic, in part, to help me clarify my own thoughts. I would appreciate feedback that includes more reasoned thought than the typical "Gays are an abomination" responses.


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