Saturday, June 16, 2012

In Each Other's Hands

 “Dear God, Heavenly Father. Our lives are in your hand. You follow us through the days and nights. We thank you for the people we share our life with, for every loving glance, in whose light we have matured, and for each meeting: which has opened the world. We ask you, spread your loving sky above us and strengthen us by your grace, so we never hesitate to put our lives in each other’s hands. Amen.” 

Mercy me, that’s beautiful, don’t you think?  Even as a non-believer I listen to that and I think, “these guys have got them a religion I can relate to.”  They seem to understand love and what it does for us.  If you want to talk to the Man in the Sky, I should think this would be one of the nicest ways to do it.  And what a prayer!  Help us never to hesitate to put our lives in each other’s hands?  Lordie, Lordie, you’re going to make me cry!

Now who wrote that, I want to know.  Certainly not a bishop in the Lutheran Church, right?  

I’m being facetious.  It was a bishop in the Lutheran Church of Denmark.  Ten of all eleven Danish bishops actually wrote it collectively.

Ah, so that’s it, I can hear you say.  It’s not because they’re Christians that they’re so enlightened.  It’s because they’re Danes.

Maybe so.  I’ll leave that for you to discuss amongst yourselves.  As for moi, I just want to luxuriate in the fact that in this culture war between the children of an angry god and the children of a loving god, sometimes the lovers win.

The Danish Parliament voted 85 to 24 the other day to legalize same-sex marriage.  And because they have an official state church and do not go for separation of church and state, they have decided that the churches will perform the ceremonies, if that’s OK with everybody involved.   If the vicar is going to work up a sweat about it, that’s OK, too.  The loving couple will just find another vicar.

The sheer sanity of it all.  The common sense sanity.  And with this move, the 4100 couples in domestic partnerships automatically get married.   Unlike here in California, where some people I know have been married three times to keep up with the ever-changing laws and the nasty fact that in some states we won’t recognize marriages performed elsewhere, this is cool.  And terribly considerate.  A law that works for the benefit of its citizens instead of for the people with the money to buy the nation’s lawmakers. 

I told my Danish friend Jason I had to find a nefarious Dane so I could keep my sense of balance.  I’ve been working myself up to a hopelessly unrealistic state in which I fawn over everything Danish these days.   All he was able to come up with was a sourpuss up in northern Jutland who is opposed to gays marrying so he’s not going to discuss the subject in his newspaper.  I had to explain to Jason that that’s not even close to nefarious.  If it were, the rest of us who slip into old fart behavior from time to time would all qualify.

And get this.  The sourpuss is mad at the local vicar, because it was the vicar who wanted him to promote the new same-sex marriage policy.   

I just can’t keep up with that country.

at lægge vores liv i hinandens hænder…
to put our lives in each other’s hands…

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