Post submitted by Diane Martin, HRC Religion and Faith Intern
On Wednesday, hundreds of people stood outside the Supreme Court in anticipation of the rulings on two same-sex marriage cases concerning DOMA and Prop 8, and in their midst were many religious leaders and people of faith showing their support for LGBT marriage equality. However, for some people of faith, the Supreme Court’s decisions to strike down DOMA will be a difficult one to accept, and even more so to fully support.
Rev. Dr. Karyn L. Wiseman addresses such conflict in her biblical commentary “Luke 9:51-62: Resistance is Futile,” supported and published by The Odyssey Networks. Odyssey Networks is the nation's largest multi-faith coalition. It is dedicated to producing and distributing multi-media resources that foster understanding among people of different beliefs and perspectives. Their program ON Scripture is a weekly resource, which invites various religious leaders to reflect on the week’s lectionary passages, providing relevant commentary in light of recent issues and current events.
This week, the passage from Luke 9:51-62 will be read in churches across the country. In her commentary, Rev. Wiseman makes ties between the passage from Luke and the overturning of DOMA as she calls on people of faith to look forward towards justice instead of standing in resistance.
Rev. Wiseman teaches that growing closer to God requires growing in faith and love, and yet she acknowledges the difficulty of this task as “we know not everyone we meet is irresistible… for some of us, they are hard to love simply because of whom the other person loves.” She points to Luke 9:51-62 as a story of similar struggle. Throughout the passage, Jesus’ message and his call to discipleship is resisted, just as the ruling on DOMA is met with resistance.
However, while resistance is inevitable, Rev. Wiseman teaches that so too is the call to justice. Jesus criticizes his disciples’ resistance, saying, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Instead, as Rev. Wiseman calls for, people of faith must keep their hand to the plow and look forward because the call to justice and the call for love are inevitable.
While many people may point to their faith as a reason to resist, Rev. Wiseman concludes her teaching by pointing to her faith as a reason to support LGBT equality: “I support the freedom to marry and full equality for all. I support marriage equality because of my faith not in spite of it. And in that call to justice and in everything I have come to know about faith, I trust that resistance indeed is futile.
Rev. Wiseman’s full commentary is available online at the ON Scripture website. Her teaching serves as a valuable resource for all people of faith and an important message to keep in mind as we head into a weekend of both celebration and spiritual reflection on this week’s historic victories for the LGBT community.