Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Equal Footing: Not A Leg To Stand On

This is the sixth post in a series on marriage.

Let’s leave God, the Bible, and all religion out of the marriage debate for a minute. Let’s assume marriage is only a legal contract, subject solely to civil laws. Does anyone who still opposes “gay marriage” (or any other sort of non-traditional marriage) have any leg to stand on? Ultimately, the answer is no, because without God, there is no source of absolute morality. But then again, the proponents of “gay marriage” have nothing solid on which to base their argument, either. Any logic they try to apply will always be reduced to a subjective opinion, which has no more validity than the opposing opinion.

Let’s look at some things a “gay rights” advocate may say to a supporter of traditional marriage and how they break apart under scrutiny.

“We just want marriage equality.”
“Gay rights” activists are making great progress under the banner of “equality.” But as I’ve already discussed in a previous post, equality is relative, and many would argue that since traditional marriage laws apply to everyone, equality is a moot point. On the flip-side, there is no limit to how far you can take the concept of equality, to the point where marriage itself, in any form, actually produces inequality. If you really think about it, marriage grants married couples additional protections that singles do not have.

“Two people who love each other should be able to marry.”
I keep hearing how “gay marriage” is about allowing all loving couples the same benefits. But the fact is that, legally speaking, marriage has absolutely nothing to do with love, or any real motive for wanting to get married. Is there a law that says that falling in love has to result in marriage? There are many in this world who get married by arrangement or for financial or political reasons. And conversely, there is an ever-growing number of couples that decide to live together, without getting married at all.

“You Christians need to be more tolerant of gays.”
On the surface, “tolerance” implies that we should all try to get along and respect each other’s differing opinions. However, when it comes to people’s rights, tolerance hits a brick wall. Our nation must tread a fine line, to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected, even if their values are diametrically opposed. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, many states have now made it illegal to discriminate against homosexuals, but that trounces upon the rights of devout Christians whose consciences prevent them from conducting certain kinds of business with gays. It is now very evident that “gay rights” groups are quite intolerant of those who dare to oppose them. So who gets to decide which group has to be tolerant of the other?

“Don’t fight progress.”
For the first time in our nation’s history, polls indicate that more than half of Americans now support “gay marriage”. So the argument now becomes that we hard-headed Christians should get with the program and fall in line. But this is a stupid argument, because just a few years ago, the pro-gay activists were in the minority. And long before that, sodomy was illegal in many states. Why didn’t the gays get with the program and fall in line, way back then, even though they were the ones in the minority?

So what’s my point? The liberal media, advertisers, corporations, and Hollywood are doing their best to convince us Christians that we are on the wrong side of the debate. But even if there was no God, they would, at best, be on equal footing with us. But there is a God! And there is an absolute standard for right and wrong, well-established in the Bible, God’s inspired Word. So do not be afraid to speak out against the acceptance of the “gay lifestyle”, and to teach your children God’s opinion on the matter.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Civil Rights vs. Moral Character

This is the fifth post in a series on marriage.

“Gay rights” proponents often liken their plight to the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-20th century. It is now almost universally accepted that that was a righteous cause, so naturally, if they can draw enough parallels to it, they will further validate their own cause. But are the two movements based on enough similarities, or is there a fundamental difference that cannot be reconciled?

In his famous 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” As a Christian minister, Dr. King was very well versed in the Bible and the moral principles set forth by God. By this quote, he demonstrates a good understanding of the New Testament teaching that skin color is irrelevant to God, but rather that He places very high importance on a person’s deeds, which are a reflection of their character.

In short, while skin color and other external attributes have no moral aspect, homosexual practices (along with most other things that people can choose to do or not do) have inherent moral implications. Pro-gay groups would like us to believe that sodomy is perfectly morally acceptable, homosexual relationships are totally normal, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a “homophobe” who needs to be rebuked and re-educated.

While many anti-gay sentiments are probably based simply on the “grossness factor” of same-sex intimacy, there are many of us who see it more importantly as an immoral practice that has deep implications upon a person’s character, especially if that person not only doesn’t think there is anything wrong with what they’re doing, but are actively encouraging others to “give it a try.”

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet... Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:26, 27, 32).

This is why we Christians need to continue to stand up against laws that not only sanction immorality, but aim to silence those of us who believe that God is the ultimate Authority on right and wrong.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Redefining Equality

This is the fourth post in a series on marriage.

Here are some of the latest developments in the fight over marriage:
  • A judge put a halt on same-sex “marriages” in Utah, but the U.S. Attorney General has said that the federal government will recognize marriages that have already occurred during the brief time that they were allowed in the state.
  • Indiana legislators are pushing a state constitutional amendment to formally define marriage as between one man and one woman.
  • A Federal court has ruled Oklahoma’s state amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman as unconstitutional. But at least the judge had the sense to put a hold on gay “marriages” until the state has a chance to appeal.
The primary weapon the pro-gay alliance has been using to push their distorted version of “marriage” is the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection clause,” which states:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

At first blush, it may look like “inequality” to allow only heterosexuals to marry. However, the word “equality” is pretty overloaded, and its meaning outside of mathematics is highly subjective.

Consider, for instance, the Declaration of Independence, which begins with the famous phrase, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights….” When Thomas Jefferson penned these words, the application of the word “equal” was quite different from ours. Slavery, for instance, was heavily practiced in the New World. If white people really thought that God created them "equal" with black Africans, then how could they live with a practice that left them with no rights and barely a shred of humanity?

Fast-forward a century. Slavery was finally illegal in the entire U.S., and the 14th Amendment was added to the Constitution. The main purpose of the “equal protection clause” (found in Section 1) was to guarantee that all former slaves had “the same rights” as all free men. But in practice, it tolerated racial segregation in the South, and the use of the generic term "persons" did nothing for women’s right to vote.

So what about so-called “marriage equality”? Some will say that we already have that: everyone is free to marry whomever they like, as long as they are the opposite gender. But that's not the only typical exclusion. Most states impose restrictions based on age, familial relationship, current marital status, and even genetic incompatibility. The “gay rights movement” wants to expand the definition of marriage by removing only the gender requirement, but that will not result in true “marriage equality?”

Since gays cannot have their own children, for example, “incest” doesn’t really apply to them. Will states want to allow a gay man to “marry” his son, but not his daughter? Is that “more equality” or “less equality?” And what about the other restrictions? Is it not hypocritical for the gays to demand "equality," while leaving all the others in place? Unless all of those restrictions are lifted, rendering marriage virtually meaningless, certain people still will not be able to marry whomever they want.

The simple fact is that traditional marriage laws are already “equal,” because the same restrictions apply to everyone equally. The fact that a very small percentage of the population doesn’t like them the way they are is a totally separate issue. The use of the "equal protection clause" is merely legal wrangling to achieve an unrelated (and immoral) goal. I just hope there will be enough Supreme Court justices with enough sense to see it.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bully Tactics: Name-Calling

This is the third post in a series on marriage.

Mostly everyone agrees that bullying is an unacceptable practice. In fact, much of the early pro-gay laws were written to combat this monster. Calling people names or threatening them in any way is wrong in the eyes of our society. I like to think this is due to our Christian heritage, whose lingering effects have not yet worn off from our culture.

Let me be crystal-clear here: as Christians, we are to speak out against the sin of sodomy and stand up to the wave of propaganda that is pushing for its acceptance in our society, but there is never any justification for name-calling or threats or physical harm to anyone who supports or practices it.

However, pro-gay groups such as GLAAD, as well as the liberal media, have resorted to the same tactics, in an effort to "normalize" homosexuality and demonize those who speak out against it. Whenever someone makes anti-gay remarks (which, as of this writing, are still protected by the First Amendment), they are almost always referred to as a "homophobe." As a recent example, several sources called Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson's comments on the evil of homosexuality as "homophobic."

What exactly did he say that was so bad? "Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ‘em, give ‘em the good news about Jesus, whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ‘em out later, you see what I’m saying?"

Mr. Robertson was ostracized (and temporarily suspended from the highly successful show) simply for expressing an opinion that is in-line with the Bible. It was not only his First Amendment right to do so, but also his duty as a Christian.

Calling people names is the age-old tactic of side-stepping logical arguments, in favor of ad hominem attacks. When done in public (or in the media), this effectively villifies the opposition and undermines the validity of their viewpoints. In this case, since phobias are commonly perceived as illogical and devoid of reason, the term "homophobe" presumes that Christians have no credible arguments against homosexuality.

Don't let the pro-gay community get away with this. Expose the name-calling for the logical fallacy that it is.