I didn’t really want to get involved in the gay marriage debate, because I like to be liked. Granted, the debate was in the back of my mind when I started writing social/political posts, and a number of those post were, in essence, about that subject. But I didn’t want to tackle the whole issue of gay marriage, as the left in this country sabotages anyone in this country who opposes it. So I became what they wanted me to be, a Christian who leaves his beliefs at worship.
My frailties are my own, even if they are real. Historically, my inner scoreboard can fluctuate, and I base a lot on the opinion of others. I take criticism too personally, which makes me wonder at times if I should even be a writer.
It wasn’t for any lack of knowledge. I listen to Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse and other social issues-guests on Issues, Etc., every chance that I get. Reading Getreligion.org has kept me up to date on these issues, as well as some other books. the problem went beyond that.
But a couple of days ago, I ran across a blog by Julie Rodgers, who has struggled with same sex attraction, but has committed to living a celibate life in Christ. Julie tries to deal with the more practical issues of showing kindness toward gays who need to hear God’s love and kindness, especially now that the political battle has gotten so intense. So I ended up writing a long comment on her blog as to why it’s important to fight the political battle against gay marriage, compiling in a lot of things that I’d heard along the way.
I do believe that it’s possible to show love and be kind to someone who is gay, and then go into the political arena and argue against gay marriage with all the fervor in the world. Why is this? Because there’s more at stake in this debate than just the treatment of gays; it’s about what’s best for the children who are being born into this world. As Just Scalia said, “I attack ideas, not people.”
But the lifestyle left never sees it this way. Not that it has anything to do with me, the political left in this country has absolutely no conscious. Probably it’s what mates them successful, but what I find completely hypocritical is that the political left and the gay lobby particular, who has historically asked for tolerance, won’t stand for any reasonable discussion or anything more than throw hateful smears at their opponents. Gays don’t just ask for acceptance, and acceptance is a reasonable request. They ask for a complete endorsement of the way they feel feelings, and if they don’t get it, they call their opponent a hateful person.
No matter what I write on the subject of gay marriage, I’ll loose. But that’s life. Here’s the post on why Christian’s have
Sorry about the length of this, but since reading Julie’s post, I have set forth an argument is to why fighting for traditional marriage in the public square is a moral obligation for Christians. I have set about drawing from a number of sources which are more knowledgable than I am: Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, who can be found on ruthblog.org & heard on Issues, Etc. (http://issuesetc.org/archive/ search for Roback in the archives), a paper by Pastor Mark Preus which you can find here: http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=26743 ; and this is Issues, Etc. Interview with Dr. Allan Carlson: http://issuesetc.org/2013/01/24/1-evangelicals-and-birth-control-dr-allan-carlson-12413/ I cite other influences in this post. Thanks again Julie for finally getting me to put this stuff down.
There are two fronts to confront and deal with homosexuality: first, how do we deal with them as individuals? How do we deal with a friend or son or daughter or someone off the street who tells us that he or she has homosexual desires? Then there’s the second part, the public square and public policy, and how do we live and coexist with homosexual couples who do live together and ask to be treated equally, and how do we lovingly bring our convictions into the public square? These are two, separate but interrelated issues, and I’d defer to Julie on how homosexuals need to be approached in the real world. In my personal experience, the handful of gays I’ve known are highly sensitive and do need to be approached with a kindness-first attitude.
While everyone deserves to be heard and treated with respect, we as Christians have been influenced by our faith in the political system we’ve set up, a society that was set up to give a reasonable political voice to everyone and to give all people a reasonable chance to succeed and have social stability. The sexual ethics that have been embraced by the lifestyle left (as Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse refers to them) in this country have undermined the lower classes, and now that they’ve achieved all their goals, they are turning to same-sex marriage as the next battle in the “civil rights” front. The divide on gay marriage, however, isn’t just that one side says homosexuals should be able to marry and the other side hates homosexuals. No, there is a much deeper divide on this issue.
The real reason that gay marriage not only is being pushed in our country but also seen as a moral imperative by the left is the same reason we have abortion: Contraception. I was surprised when I first started to hear about how contraception was originally perceived in the early part of this century by American evangelicals, but after I studied it more, I came to realize just how important it is in the divide in our country today.
Now, I don’t think contraception is completely bad. If there are people out there who are dead set against having children, they shouldn’t be forced to have children. Certainly, if a woman has had several children and could have serious health risks, she and her husband should be using some form of contraception. I’ve been chaste my whole life, so I’ve never had to face the question personally, and I have a lot of ambivalence about having children myself.
But let’s look at how birth control has changed are society, and how the evangelicals viewed it a hundred years ago. Before Margaret Sanger, turn of the century evangelicals stood with the Roman Catholics on opposing birth control, viewing it as a vice, as something that intervened in the natural process of God’s creation. On a social level, birth control did just that: it took away reproduction out of sex and made it about achieving pleasure. If sex should be about pleasure and not about reproduction, then homosexuality is the ideal model.
If you don’t believe me, read some popular literature or watch TV and see how homosexuals are discussed and even envied. (A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve and “The Rebound Girl” episode of How I Met Your Mother are good examples.) Heterosexual secularists want to have as much sex as they want and not deal with the consequences, namely children, so they always have this cloud hanging over them because they can reproduce. Homosexuals don’t have to deal with immediate consequences of sex (beyond the emotional baggage of one-night stands) because they have complete control over whether or not they raise children, AKA exactly what the secularists goal is.
This is the great tragedy of what contraception has turned sex into: a world with the pursuit of pleasure and good feelings are at its center, where “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die” is the motto. If I knew Christianity were a lie, I would rather believe false Christianity than live in the world of gratification-only sex. What the marriage equality movement calls “love” (whether between gays or straights) is just a synonym for gratification. Saying “no one judges what one does in the bedroom” is an over-simplification that doesn’t address the social consequence of mass promiscuity.
If you want an argument outside of the Bible against homosexuality, here it is: sexuality and the maximization of pleasure shouldn’t be the pursuit of life or at the center of life. In the end, it won’t even make a person happen, because happiness isn’t found in blind pursuit of aestheticism. Sex should at its core, be something permanent, or at least lead to something permanent. Blind, universal use of contraception takes the most dignifying thing about sex out of it.
That’s really what this is all about: every child who is born into this society has every right to be raised by the two people who brought it into this world, and society should to do all it can to maximize the opportunity for people to parent. That should be an inherent, human right. Outside of this context, children become a means of self-fulfillment, but ask anyone who has a child how much self-fulfillment they get when they get up at 3 A.M. to calm their crying child.
Our society has built itself against children, putting career advancement in one’s twenties, when people are most able to conceive and have the energy to rear children. It is an observation I’ve seen many times: the people who have children in their early twenties sacrifice for their children and others much more easily, and are just more self-less people. They don’t expect others to exception for them, unlike people who live at work between the ages of 20-30, when a person’s self-construct of what adult life should be like is formed. (Obviously these are generalizations.) If I have one regret about my life now, it’s that I didn’t sacrifice as much in my early twenties to get somewhere in my life, get married, and have a family. But I digress.
And it is the decline in the number of children per couple that has hurt the lower classes of our society the most. The poor are the ones who need larger families, to ease the burdens of a family illness or injury, or to survive divorce or an unwed pregnancy, two situations religious institutions did deal with poorly back in the 1940′s and 1950′s. This left divorcees and unwed mothers to look to the government for looser divorce laws and social programs, all the way up to Obamacare. (Not to get into an endless discussion of that, but my general assessment of the health care reform act is right problem, wrong solution.) And, according to Jonathan Last in an Issues, Etc. interview, without immigration, the United States would be in an even worse situation, with a high aging population. Japan was not spared this fate, and its younger generation is working to support its older generation.
Of course, there were benefits to fewer kids. We made Workaholic Nation, had an economic surge for a while. But we embraced less-stringent parenting and bred lazier kids, and eventually, it will catch up to us.
But lifestyle left, living by the old adage “minimize pain, maximize pleasure” sees none of this, using their momentary gratification to distract themselves from the day when they will be in the nursing homes by themselves. Since their utopia never came to be (even though they won the secularist battle in certain parts of the country), they continue on the path of non-stop gratification.
I’ll say it again: I don’t just oppose gay marriage because of the Bible. I oppose it because it doesn’t promote a high view of sexuality, it won’t help to build a sustainable society, and gay marriage is part of a worldview that oppresses the poor of society.
To anyone read this who is gay, I say: I respect your right to live in the way you choose. I don’t hate you, and these are statements for the political arena. But, I am morally obligated to support a social system that naturally takes care of the poor. I will stand up to make sure that you are treated well, and I’ll listen to anything you have to say. I only ask that you respect my views as well.
To everyone who is gay or who is straight and sexually promiscuous, I would simply ask this: read Julie’s post about a more robust life that she lives. It’s a post about being centered in the things that matter, not just our feelings and our subjective experience.
An addedum on the Prop 8 case:
I do have one critique to the side of gay marriage, which was mirrored in an article by Doug Mainwaring on lifesitenews.com. Mainwaring is gay, and he opposes gay marriage, warning the movement is charging too quickly and not moving tactically. Ruth Bader Gingsburg has made similar observations about Roe vs. Wade, that it moved too fast, too quickly, striking down abortion bans in the vast majority of states and ending civil political discourse as we know it. Roe and the Prop 8 case do share striking similarities: Prop 8 could strike down many voter approved marriage protection amendments, and, as Terry Mattingly noted in an Issues, Etc. interview late last year, curtail religious freedom to the point where there is massive civil unrest. Which is why freedom of religion was put into the constitution to begin with.