The recent ruling legalizing gay marriage in Iowa has inspired mixed reactions from the state's clergy. While some, such as Rabbi David Kaufman and Rev. David Ruhe, who both wrote essays about the decision, have been supportive, others have been, shall I say, more negative.
The Rev. Keith Ratliff, leader of the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church, received a standing ovation Sunday as he denounced the court's decision.
Ratliff, an outspoken critic of gay marriage, called on state lawmakers to begin the process of amending the constitution to restrict marriage to between a man and a woman."We believe the homosexual lifestyle is wrong," he said. "But we invite homosexuals to the church, and invite them to repent."Ratliff said the ruling contradicted God's word, and he cited a Bible passage from the Old Testament. The passage, according to some translations, says: "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination."
"I don't care how you spin it," Ratliff said. "I don't care how many philosophical discussions you have on it. I don't even care what the Iowa Supreme Court says. There's a higher court."
Hmm, where do I start. First off, Rev. Ratliff, it doesn't matter what your beliefs or Bible says about gays or marriage. This is a state, I repeat, STATE issue. If you want to continue to preach that 'dem evil homosexticals are wrong (even though I don't agree) and refuse to marry gay couples in your church, the do you playa. But in case you haven't noticed the government doesn't deal in sin and scripture, but in the law and equality.
Secondly, if you want to follow the Bible to the letter, then the entire civil rights movement of the 60's was an immoral, ungodly rebellion, at least according to Romans 13:1-2:
1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
Third, how sad and ironic is that you're the leader of Iowa's NAACP chapter? An organization that recently declared their opposition to Proposition 8, a measure you support. Nevermind the potential boost to the Iowa economy gay marriage could provide, which, according to scholars and business people, could be in the range of $160 million dollars. Not that money should be a reason to grant civil rights, but I'm just sayin'. But don't think about all that Rev. Ratliff. Just keep those blinders on and keep protesting.