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My exchange with a NOM #marriagemarch speaker

by Jeremy Hooper

This person is scheduled to speak at the National Organization For Marriage's "March For Marriage" (held on Tuesday outside of the US Supreme Court):


Email connection is fine / no problem

Okay to jump in

For starters:

I preach from the Bible –same as preacher for the last 1700 years

But – when preach on marriage – that is “politicization” – according to you --- which I find quite amusing (wrong, actually)

Nope – it is just plain good Bible

I have ALWAYS attempted to relate the Bible to contemporary issues

Always have

Always will

Every good preach does / should

Otherwise – he/she would be irrelevant

so – when the whole nation is talking about the definition of marriage – and the Bible is our “textbook” on the subject – I preach on what the Bible says about it – encourage others to do the same --- but you call my preaching on the “national conversation” “politicization”

Not all all

Just plain “biblical”


If I would have said 50 years ago that killing a baby in the womb is a bad thing – everyone would go – “of course”

Say it today, “oh no, you are being political”


If I would have said 30 years ago, that the practice of homosexuality is considered a sin according to the Bible, everyone would say – “of course”

Say it today, “oh no, you are being political”


If I would have said 10 years ago, that marriage according to the Bible is between one man & one woman, everyone would say – “of course”

Say it today, “oh no, you are being political”


What changed?

I didn’t

The Bible didn’t

YOU did

You decided to call “political” what is actually only biblical / scriptural

And – when bloggers scream “you are political” – admittedly some pastors “back up” – afraid

But – decent, bold, courageous, and truth telling pastors don’t & won't

Because they know they are not political…..

They know they are biblical

And – it is not my fault that the Bible speaks to ALL aspect of life
church life
community & national life

I did not write the Bible

But – I preach from it (a right in America)

And – I am merely being “biblical”

You might not recognize what is authentically “biblical” from the purely “political”

Okay – our conversation has started

I don’t have time to write much

And – you don’t either

We are both too busy
I would love to sit down with you & hear your story

…..Why you believe what you do

But – in reality – we will likely never do that

But – we CAN be friends – via this correspondence

(Your possibly new friend?)

This person proudly opposes the "March For Marriage" and all of NOM's efforts:

Jeremyprof-242X300Your entire premise is flawed. You misrepresent my feelings in the second line of your email and then argue against something I do not claim.

I don't think it's political for you to preach. [Name redacted], I would defend your right to preach to the death. Any true progressive would. Heck, I defend Westboro Baptist's right to preach. You can believe what you believe, preach what you preach, stand in any public place in America and shout whatever message you want to shout. Again—I 100% support this.

What is political is when you marry your personally-held biblical beliefs with our shared public policy. Civil marriage is just one example of this—but oh, it is a glaring one.

Every duo in this country that seeks state/federal recognition of their marriage must obtain a civil license. There are certain requirements placed upon that licensing process, but religiosity is not one of them. Religious ceremony, while an extremely popular choice, is *ALWAYS* a choice. No couple has to have a religious ceremony to execute the civil marriage. On the other hand, every couple seeking the aforementioned rights and benefits does have to obtain the government contract. I did not write the rules.

Sure, you think a marriage must be performed in a church, and you think it has to be man/woman. Of course you do, because you see your personal theology as the one and only truth. However, many religious people disagree. At my own wedding, for instance, my officiant identified as a Christian, many in attendance identified as Jewish (from reform to Orthodox), others trended Buddhist, some were decidedly non-faith, and others still fell somewhere else along the spectrum. Oh, and we also had a nun there (in full habit). All who were in attendance—quite a few Republicans, I should add—support marriage equality, and they do so not despite their personal faith beliefs but BECAUSE OF THEM.

Now, you might call these people wrong, immoral, heretical, blasphemers, or whatever. Again, you have that right as a religious man and I could not be more in support of this right of yours. But you do not have the right—DO. NOT. HAVE. THE. RIGHT.—to impose your personally-held theology onto all of us. We do not choose to attend your church, and we do not choose to subscribe to your religious beliefs. Religious freedom not only defends your right to be religious—it defends my right to not be stifled by your own faith choices (nor you by mine).

The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people on my "side" are more than willing to let you have every deserved religious freedom. We support your right to preach, rally, march, condemn, and deny us of religious ceremonies (just like you are free to deny heterosexual couples for just about any reason). The problem is that your "side" wants more than you deserve. You all claim it is a violation of your religious freedom when you are not allowed to wantonly discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation (which you then relate to marriage even though it's really a nondiscrimination matter). Or you say it's an affront to an organization like Catholic Charities when it learns it is not allowed to both enjoy taxpayer subsidization and discriminate against certain kinds of citizens. Or you pretend that it is somehow limiting and/or oppressive to your life/marriage/faith for my husband and me to enjoy civil recognition. And so on and so forth. You have overplayed and overextended in an egocentric way that exalts your freedoms and rights of citizenship onto a moral pedestal towards which we mere mortal peons can only hope to someday reach. You might not realize it, but it truly comes across like you think you are better than the rest of us. It's as if we can only hope (or even beg) for whatever scraps you might be willing to grant us. Whether or not your intent, that is the scenario that your movement has crafted.

And this, my friend, is why you will lose. Your entire movement—just like your email to me, I should note—is setup on a false premise. You all have spun this issue into such a mess of noise that I completely understand why there is so much confusion within your ranks. You have spent the past many years—decades, actually—talking at us, telling us who we are and what we supposedly want. When someone like me tries to speak frank and direct sense, your movement's practitioners mistrust my heart and motivations, accusing me of having some agenda other than what I state. We have had to jump over the highest of high bars, looking at this deeply personal issue from every perspective—legal, political, religious, personal, etc—and have had to learn how to convey our case to a public that had a ways to go. We have applied great and deep thinking in the face of harsh rhetoric and shallow canards. You all have responded to our heartfelt hard work with, well—more noise. Oh, and self-victimization, which you cleverly use to mask the obvious discrimination that is ingrained in your cause.

Look, from a PR perspective (former public relations guy here), I get why you do this. But this "protect marriage" marketing is failing because it was designed to fail. Ruses have failure built-in.

Be well,


Jeremy Hooper
Good As You

Author, www.tinyurl.com/IfItsAChoiceBook

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