Friday, June 18, 2004


Okay, I'll admit it: In the world of instant news, this is old stuff. But still, it got me thinking. Conservative icon Rush Limbaugh is getting his third divorce. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the conservative position on marriage was one man-one woman-until death do us part.

Is there any kind of conservative backlash about the evils of multiple marriages? Or about how marriage must be taken more seriously and that this kind of thing can't be tolerated? Or that this behavior is an affront to the "sanctity of marriage"? Or that he's being excommunicated from his denomination for living a life contrary to scripture?

And on the other end of the spectrum, are the liberals refraining from gloating over this incident?

I'm having a little trouble coming to terms with the whole gay marriage thing. If for no other reason than that marriage is indeed defined as an act between one man and one woman (or, at least biblically, between men and women, actual numbers may vary). Do I think that we should recognize the union of a gay couple? Yes, I do. But for me it's the semantics of it all, at least when it comes to marriage.

One of the things that I think gay unions does is that it forces heterosexuals to consider the implication of marriage. In a society where long marriages are anything over ten years, and where "trial" marriages are becoming chic -- and that's not even counting people like Liz Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Lisa Marie Presley, David Letterman and a host of other stars -- the debate over gay marriages/unions has the possibility to make heterosexual couples say, "No gay marriage is going to outlast mine." And regardless of the motivation, isn't that what everyone would hope for: a marriage that lasts a lifetime?

Now I'm not getting into situations of abuse or other valid reasons for divorce, so don't go there. I'm simply saying that in the best possible world, marriage lasts a lifetime. And if gay marriage has that effect on heterosexual marriages, that's fine by me.

So Rush isn't perfect afterall. But neither is anyone else, despite what the AAC and the Anglican Communion in the Global South are saying. I invite Rush, and others like him, to join the Episcopal Church. Come pray with us, worship with us, confess with us, eat with us, and talk with us. We're listening.

Instant thought for a new sign outside my two parishes:
ECUSA -- Sinners Welcome.


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