This may be part of a series. I like to sermonise in the shower. To get the full effect you need to read this with a Desmond Tutu accent.
Marriage is a sacred institution. Perhaps this is so. However those who say this in order to exclude people from marriage by their unfitness have forgotten what the sacred is for.
We do not utilise sacred institutions because we are eligible for them. We enter into them because we are inelligible for what lies beyond it. Sacred institutions are the means of approach given to us so that in our unholliness we can come closer to that which they point to. Were we already holy we would have no need for sacred institutions. Or rather the sacred would be paths leading to us.
Who can say that of themself? Who can say that they in their holiness are what the sacred points to?
Equally who stands before marriage and says “I am fit”. Who says before marriage our relationship is perfect and so deservedly we claim marriage as our right? Actually we are what marriage is about?”
I reply, “Then what do you need marriage for? Marriage is not for you who are already perfect. Marriage is for the rest of us to approach such perfection.”
I am not saying that Marriage perfects us. We long for that to happen. We want our vows to ensure we live up to them. They won’t. They are not magic words. We must ensure we keep our vows ourselves each day.
And we will probably fail. Most marriages fail. Most people don’t keep their vows. Marriage is just not that kind of magic unfortunately.
However maybe Marriage can improve us. There is something ideal in our hearts; the old couple who only grow more and more in love with each other; the one who has the others back even past death to ensure that their final wishes are served. If Marriage is a sacred institution, an institution of Gods design, then it is perhaps the best means we have to approach this ideal.
But we only ever approach Marriage unfit for what it points to. We come to it deficient, distorted, looking nothing like the ideal beyond it. We try to feed on its sustenance without teeth, gummily draw what we can of it into a stomach riddled with tapeworms. We get distracted by its least sustaining qualities; the circus of the wedding. Time and time again we misunderstand it.
We misunderstand it most of all when we think it is a reward for being already sufficiently marriage-like. A wedding veil is not a homecoming queens crown. We do not fit it. In fact wedding attire should be several sizes too big to remind us we need to grow into it.
How foolish is it therefore to claim that a person mustn’t be gay if they want to enter into it, that gay people can’t fit this sacred institution – as if others did. I think if any of us are walking upright into it we are definitely going to bump our head. That’s the other thing that sacred institutions should do. They should take us to our knees.