“I have no problem with it.”
This is the way former Joint Chief of Staff Chairman, Colin Powell responded in an interview with Wolf Blitzer of CNN, today. Blitzer asked Powell his thoughts about same sex marriage and he responded with those words. He spoke of persons he knew who were in same sex partnered relationships. Powell spoke of how impressed he was with the love they shared and the stability of their families.
The question that must be asked of those who oppose marriage equality for same sex couples, “Why do you have a problem with it?”
Recently I had a conversation with my oldest son about his writing and workshop-leading, based on “Influence”. He has explored why it is important for each of us to explore, what and who influenced our attitudes and actions. It would be helpful if each of us assessed what shaped our attitudes on marriage equality for same sex couples.
Today, I received a letter from a member of my denomination, The United Methodist Church, who not only criticized my affirmation of same sex couples, the person demeaned the quality of my faith, and my understandings of the Bible. There was something about the negative tenor and tone of the letter that conveyed a kind of anger, fear, less-than-kind spirit, and emotionalism that made me much more concerned about the wellbeing of the person, than the person’s criticisms of my position on same sex marriage.
Unlike Colin Powell who has no problem with same sex marriage, this person does have a problem. I am concerned about those persons whose resistance to same sex marriage has taken on an illogical, unreasonable, unkind, and unfair emotional tenor.
It may be helpful for them to engage in some inward reflection that answers for them the question: “Why do I have a problem with marriage equality and what influences were responsible for my problem? And, what am I going to do about it?”