Saturday, September 17, 2005

Who Will Speak for Marriage?

By Alexander Samuels

The California State Legislature recently passed a measure that would have essentially legalized same-sex "marriage" in America's most populated state, and would've become law if Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had not pledged to veto the bill. In an article posted yesterday by AgapePress, James Lambert interviewed radio talk show host Paul McGuire of KBRT in Southern California about the role pastors are not playing in dealing with such legislation in California: . . .

"I recently interviewed Dr. James Dobson [of Focus on the Family] and Dr. James Kennedy [of Coral Ridge Ministries] on my program," McGuire stated this week. "They both agreed that one of the major reasons that homosexual marriage bills like AB 849 are being passed in California is that the pastors of California are not involved in these issues and are not alerting their people."

The talk-show host continued, offering his opinion that "the number-one reason California keeps seeing gay marriage bills and other anti-family bills passing is that the pastors of California refuse to talk from the pulpit about the serious issues facing California families."

It is obvious, McGuire says, that those pastors' flocks would like the preachers to take on the tough issues. "The problem is not so much the individual Christians," he says. "The problem is the pastors."

So why are some pastors not willing to speak out about the important issues facing marriage? I don't see this as just a California problem. I believe the question is relevant to our nation. Marriage was instituted and ordained by God at Creation. We cannot ignore God's law concerning the establishment of this institution.

In many cases, I think that pastors even avoid teaching the simplest principles of the Bible on marriage because of the "whining factor." One pastor I know was told by single members of his church, "It make us feel 'less than' when you teach on being married." The divorced members of the church would line up to tell him, "You make us feel so guilty when you teach about God's laws concerning marriage." Others would say, "Don't say anything about homosexuality because a member of the congregation's son is gay. We don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. We don't want to lose members."

So for the sake of hurt feelings and whiners who really don't want to have the discipline of God's Word in their lives, pastors cave in and give up. Of course, there are also those situations where a pastor is told to give in or get out by the elders or deacons. Finally, we cannot forget that some "so-called" pastors believe that the moral teachings of the Scriptures are outdated anyway.

R.C. Sproul, in his book Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, writes:

Marriage is to be an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman wherein the two become "one flesh," being united physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. It is intended to last for life. The union is secured by a sacred vow and covenant and consummated by physical union. Scripture lists only two situations under which the agreement may be dissolved - infidelity and abandonment.

Infidelity is forbidden in the marriage relationship. The institution of marriage was created by God so that men and women could mutually complete one another and take part in His creative work of procreation. The physical union necessary for procreation also has a spiritual significance. It points toward and illustrates the spiritual union of husband and wife. Paul uses this union to symbolize the relationship between Christ and His church even as the Old Testament described the covenant relationship between God and Israel by the figure of marriage.

So, where do your church and your pastor stand in this battle? It is not just a political battle, but rather a spiritual battle with forces of light and darkness making war here on Earth and in the heavens. The apologists for an irrelevant and meaningless Gospel have already made deadly inroads into the church. The destruction of the family, as God ordained it at Creation, is the devil's ultimate goal.

Alexander Samuels is a regular contributor to Carolina Christian Conservative.


At Sunday, September 18, 2005 2:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can understand wanting your own church to condemn gay marriage. But I believe we have to think of marriage in the legal sense as well as marriage in a spiritual sense. After all, atheists get married. Marriage always represents a legal agreement. It doesn't always represent a Chrisitian or even religious bond between two people. I'm a little perplexed by the whole gay marriage vs. civil union discussions. If I were gay I'd be happy to accept civil unions. What's the difference? Marriage in a spiritual sense is a personal thing. Why does it need to be recognized by government? I think you're going to see a lot more gay marriage/civil unions because I think the Constituional argument for it is quite strong.

At Sunday, September 18, 2005 11:28:00 AM, Blogger Roch101 said...

"forces of light and darkness making war here on Earth and in the heavens"

Um, no. People like me and anonymous above believe in the principles of equality that this great country holds as its supreme promise. That doesn't make us a force of darkness, although such hyperbole is bound to excite a few people.

At Sunday, September 18, 2005 1:46:00 PM, Blogger Roch101 said...

"Is the principle of equality you are refering to here - the state legalizing gay marriage?"


At Sunday, September 18, 2005 9:50:00 PM, Anonymous Ed Cone said...

My wife of 16 years and I have no problem with the state granting the rights of marriage to gay couples. The rites of marriage, on the other hand, belong in the hands of individual religious denominations, where couples can choose to seek them out or not. Christian marriage is the province of Christian churches; the state should not impose its rule upon those churches, and those churches should not impose their rules upon the state.

At Monday, September 19, 2005 2:34:00 AM, Blogger Roch101 said...

Well said, Ed. Nobody is asking Alex's church to grant or deny the religious rites of marriage to gays. On the other hand, Alex wants the state to deny the civil rights of marriage to them.

At Monday, September 19, 2005 7:43:00 AM, Blogger Roch101 said...

Oh, the irony: Alex asserting his Constitutional right to deny others the same rights he has. It's very un-American, Alex, to say that some adults do not have the same access to the law as you do simply because they are different from you.

If you murder or steal, you deprive another of their life or property. If two women marry, they deprive you of nothing -- there is no victim.

I've never understood how gay marriage would lead to the "destruction of the family." If marriage between same sex couples became legal in North Carolina, will currently married men and women suddenly decide that they are gay and leave their families? Will the lesbians snatch up all the good wives? Would people take marriage less seriously and start getting divorced -- no wait, that happens alread, so it can't be that. How would that "destruction" work exactly? How is this argument any different than those previously used to justify bans on inter-racial marriages?

What I do understand is that some people view same-gender sex as wrong and don't want anything to happen that would give such relationships any legitimacey. Some Americans are willing to turn their backs on America's promise of equal protection under the law not because same-sex marriage would hurt anybody or "destroy" anything (a canard) but simply because they want to keep homosexuals marginalized in a misguided attempt to have the law re-affirm their questionable view of morality.

At Monday, September 19, 2005 12:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


The Bible clearly teaches that homosexual lifestyle is a sin. I'm not sure whether you agree with that or if you just don't want it being legislated by government. As a Christian, I am well aware of my own sin, much more than I ever was as a non-Christian. My point is not to cast judgement on others, as God will certainly do that in time. However, I do believe that this lifestyle, like any sin that becomes openly accepted, can lead to destruction of the family, whether in and of itself or as a stepping stone to other sin as Alex mentioned. I commend Alex for taking a stand for Christ and pray that other Christian leaders will have the courage to do so as well.

Timm P

At Monday, September 19, 2005 1:44:00 PM, Blogger Tim said...

God instituted the covenant of marriage before man instituted the Constitution of the United States. The founders clealy intended to institutionalize certain "rights" for "the people". However, they also clearly recognized that "the people" believed in a certain moral code (namely, Christianity). Granted, not everyone was a Christian. However, the code was accepted by the majority. I will point to people like Ethan Allen. Allen was a noted hooligan and patriot. In the Vermont Constitution, Allen and others praised the ethos of Christianity and encouraged its practice. John Adams said "Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." This being the case, the assumption would be (on the part of the framers) that the people governed by this Constitution would be starting with a common understanding. They apparently believed that the people agreed on certain moral points, derived from a Judeo-Christian ethic. This is only disputable to those who wish to view history from the revisionist standpoint, as numerous documents exist which detail the framers' beliefs and intents. That they protected certain "rights" and not others is indicative of the awareness that some things needed to be spelled out, while others did not. For instance, though they acknowledge the "pursuit of happiness" as an unalienable right, they did not sanction or guarantee the "right" of pedophiles to pursue happiness as they saw fit. It was, and is, understood that this was not a right. Had they felt the need to define marriage, they surely would have. The current debate about homosexual marriage would not have been necessary to them as there was a common understanding of what that "rite" entailed. However, they did provide for a method of change should such change become necessary or desirable. What is interesting is that those who support homosexual marriage do not try to use the procedure outlined in the Constitution (the amendment process), but seek to have their wishes "imposed" on the rest of society through the courts. I believe that this is due to the simple expedient that it is easier to get one, three or nine to agree with you that it is to get 60% of 280 million to agree with you, particularly if you are in the minority to begin with.

I believe that pastors who are not confronting this issue from the pulpits are not convinced of the "rightness" of their position. Or, there should be doubts about their commitment to Biblical teachings to begin with. As an example, the pastor of our church (a Christian Missionary Alliance Church) is very vocal about the immorality of homosexual unions. But, here in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Vermont, he is outnumbered by Universalist / Unitarians who are not Christians, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Methodists who are Christians in name only and Wiccans (and other religions) who do not ascribe to Biblical values. Therefore, VT goes the way of the most numerous voices in the area. Might does not make right, nor do numbers. Alot of people can be wrong in great numbers. It is not the number of people who should determine what is right. The standard is what determines "right". I am sure that the argument will now turn to "who's standard". But that is another issue.

At Monday, September 19, 2005 4:56:00 PM, Anonymous ed cone said...

Why should Americans who have a different intepretation of the Bible, or who do not follow the Bible at all, be forced to live under laws that conform to your specific religious beliefs? That's the essential question, I think.

At Monday, September 19, 2005 5:58:00 PM, Blogger Roch101 said...

Alex, since we are answering questions, please review the above posts for the questions I aksed of you, which remain unanswered.

I strongly concur with Ed's post. Implied in his point is that there is not a binary choice between your personal interpretion of the Bible and a lack of morality in law. It's not one or the other.

Let's face it, the Bible condemns all sorts of sins that we find perfectly acceptable in civil society. The only way one can come to the conclusion that he is entitled to demand that the harmless behavior of others be outlawed is through a very selective reading of the Bible, building a house of cards to include this, exclude that, to reach a view of God's word that justifies his prejudices -- as we've seen expertly performed on this blog.

Significantly, not all people who believe in the Bible share the views expressed on this subject here. (The authors of this blog want to put a stop to them too.) So, this is hardly a choice between moral or immoral. Indeed, I find efforts to deny people equal protection of their civil rights immoral.

Which leads me to my answer to your question. Polygamy is against the law for everybody. Nobody is allowed to marry more than one person. Marriage in groups is also against the law for everybody.

Some people however do have the ability to marry a single other person. It is a legal priveledge granted to some adults of both sexes. To deny that same priveldge to other adults because of his or her gender is flatly discriminatory -- on its face; by definition.

Can you offer me a single legal argument why that discrimination is justified? Other than, "my interpretation of my religious tenants says it's wrong," is there any legal foundation? Can you put one foot in the world of American law and legal heritage and tell me how outlawing gay marriage builds upon America's legal tradition of expanding freedoms? Who does such a ban protect? I think your position dies outside of its insulated world of narrow religious justification, but I'll respectfully wait and see.

At Monday, September 19, 2005 6:54:00 PM, Blogger Roch101 said...

"[T]he legalization of homosexual marriage will lead to other perversions which will destroy the family in our country."

That's it? You dodged my questions and offered a boogie man.

At Monday, September 19, 2005 6:55:00 PM, Blogger Roch101 said...

"[T]he legalization of homosexual marriage will lead to other perversions which will destroy the family in our country."

That's it? You dodged my questions and offered a boogie man.

At Monday, September 19, 2005 7:01:00 PM, Blogger On Lawn said...

Few points here...

1) The secular case for marriage is enough to debunk ss"m". My friend calls this secular case, the 800lb gorilla.

2) We can choose to believe the re-assurances of ss"m" advocates on forcing religious institutions to perform marriages against their ethics, but then 30 years ago no one ever dreamed that third trimester abortions would be considered a "right" after Roe V Wade. Its a spurrious re-assurance that I do not see enough solidity to trust.

3) Its still about removing moral judgements from the populace. At some point the thrust for civil liberties tramples on the civil liberties of others. I discussed this in a little thing I wrote called, "Civil Libertarian Wedding Bells".

Oh and btw, y'all might want know that the bill in California is unconstitutional and has a sordid past? It never ceases to amaze me what ss"m" advocates throw under the bus to ensure their progress. Its clear the legislature in CA is out of touch with the populus.

At Monday, September 19, 2005 8:04:00 PM, Anonymous Ed Cone said...

Alex, the Founding Fathers allowed slavery and denied women the vote -- obviously and thankfully we live in a very different world, with different standards of civil liberties. I know that sounds like a trite response, but it's entirely factual and you beg for it by throwing up 18th Century values as the template for modern civil rights.

As to trusting the values of man or God, no offense, but I'm not interested in having you or anyone else use the government to tell me and my family what God's values are. That's the point of our wholly secular Constitution: we make some choices for ourselves, in our churches and our homes, and allow the state to set broad parameters in which we can all function.

At Monday, September 19, 2005 8:38:00 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Roch (and Alex), please allow me to address those questions listed above:

Q. If marriage between same sex couples became legal in North Carolina, will currently
married men and women suddenly decide that they are gay and leave their families?

A. No, not likely. Although, there have been cases of such happening. Just as there have been
cases of homosexuals deciding that they are straight after all (in defiance of the “conventional
wisdom” that homosexuality is a genetic or in-born trait. If that were the case, they would have
no more “choice” in the matter that I have about being a male.) This, however, is a strawman as it
has nothing to do with the issue. Married men and women are (generally) settled in their sexuality.
The question is, what about those who choose to go against the natural function of the human
body? Homosexuality makes no sense from a Darwinian perspective. If the numbers of
homosexual unions grows the ability to continue the species diminishes. As that process expands,
the strong genes (those that are able to procreate) are eliminated. End of the species. It is
contradictory to survival.

Q. Will the lesbians snatch up all the good wives?
A. See above.

Q. Would people take marriage less seriously and start getting divorced -- no wait, that
happens already, so it can't be that. How would that "destruction" work exactly?
A. Divorce is a product of mankind’s selfishness and sinfulness (though I know that you do not
agree with that term). Homosexual unions are divorcing in areas where they are not only accepted
but encouraged (one of the first cases was in Massacheuttes). The destruction of marriage, as an
institution, comes as a result of the definition being changed. Marriage, apart from a Biblical
perspective, has long been viewed by societies as a stabile condition in which to raise children and
to get people to behave in a responsible manner. Yes, there are many who are unstable in
marriage, as well as many who break up marriages, leading to instability for children. It is
noteworthy that this is not considered the norm and is discouraged by virtually all “civilized”
societies. (By the way. You, sir, are an arrogant, intolerant individual. You imply, based on your
own over-broad interpretation of how you would like to see the world, that YOU are civilized,
while anyone on the other side of the issue is “uncivilized”. You show your own bigotry by
judging others by a yardstick you deny them the ability to use.) Back to my answer, however.
The fact that divorce, adultery and child abandonment are considered wrong by most societies
shows that -though they happen - they are not to be the normal state of affairs. How does it
benefit society to add more instability to the equation, instead of promoting the strengthening and
encouragement of the type of union that has served mankind well for centuries?

Q. How is this argument any different than those previously used to justify bans on inter-
racial marriages?
A. Homosexuality is a choice, not a condition. Race is not chosen by the individual, it cannot be
picked up or dropped at will. (See above). Races use heterosexual relationships to continue the
species with their unique characteristics. Inter-racial marriage still offers the ability to procreate
(whether the couple chooses to do so is irrelevant, the ability still exists). Bans on inter-racial
marriages were the product of bigotry based on a host of factors. To compare the racial
component to homosexuality is canard (to borrow from you). It is malicious in that it equates race
with a practice that has been held outside of the norm, indeed perverse, by virtually every healthy
society for all but the last 15 years or so. Those who live under this comparison find it highly
offensive (as many African-American groups have publicly stated).

Q. Can you offer me a single legal argument why that discrimination is justified?
A. I am no expert in the law. However, we justify bans (discrimination) on many things because
the public has agreed, as a whole, that they are improper. Such as, sex with animals. Apart from a
few areas that simply do not have laws forbidding it, “civilized society” rejects it as perverse,
immoral and medically dangerous. On the other side of the fence, we discriminate against
Christians by forbidding prayer in school. Why, from the standpoint of “Who is it hurting?” do we
allow this discrimination? We discriminate against drunk drivers, people who do not wear
seatbelts or motorcycle helmets, convicted felons and people who cheat on their taxes. All laws
are a form of discrimination. We discriminate between what we, as a society, are willing to accept
and what we are not. Ergo, ALL laws are the legal argument for justifying discrimination.

Q. Other than, "my interpretation of my religious tenants says it's wrong," is there any
legal foundation?
A. See above.

Q. Who does such a ban protect?
A. As a former corrections officer (of 10 years service) I can state with complete confidence that
such bans protect (if no one else) children. As stated above, homosexuals do not procreate. They
do not have the ability to have children of their own, as a couple. They must use artificial means,
such as adoption or artificial insemination. Please do not bring up the tired argument that this is
also true of many heterosexual couples. Those are exceptions to the rule. On their own, 100 % of
homosexual couples will not be able to have their own natural children. This means that they must
recruit other homosexuals to continue their “lifestyle choice”. They must also bring adopted or
implanted children into the union. Homosexuals have a demonstratably higher incidence of
pedophelia. Even if the couple themselves do not practice this, they associate with a group that
has a remarkably higher incidence of it. In addition, Homosexuals have higher rates of sexually
transmitted diseases. Most of these diseases lead to earlier than normal death rates, leaving the
children without one of their “parents”. Children raised in homosexual unions will be exposed to
much higher rates of mental illness and depression. I ask again, how does it benefit society to add
more instability, rather than working to increase stability in a normally functional situation?

Now, Roch, would you please answer Alex’s questions about polygamy or other forms of
marriage not currently accepted? You did not answer before. You simply said that these things
were illegal. That is a nifty way of dodging the issue. I agree that many things are illegal, but if I
had my way, I might change a few of them since I (personally) disagree with them. Would you,
given the opportunity, support polygamy? Would you support people marrying animals (as has
been tried in Indonesia)? Would you agree that it does not matter what a person wants to sleep
with, no matter how outre? Or do you think that there is a limit?

At Monday, September 19, 2005 8:53:00 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Ed -
"As to trusting the values of man or God, no offense, but I'm not interested in having you or anyone else use the government to tell me and my family what God's values are." Yet you are perfectly willing to let the government tell those who disagree with you about homosexual marriage what they have to beleive. You seem content to allow the government to use its might (through force of law) to impose your values, or lack of values (simply pointing to both sides of the coin), on the rest of us and to H**L with our rights to be free from an oppressive government. The beauty of the system is that there are legal means to determine the majority will. As I said before, the pro-homosexual side does not want to use those lawful means. If you will remember, it was the courts that upheld Dred Scott. It was the courts that upheld denying women the right to vote - until the people changed the laws. Given that the majority of people were in favor of abolition and sufferage, I am willing to live with that process, though I run the risk of being disappointed. Even Jefferson and Washington knew that slavery was doomed. And they knew enough to allow for a process of change. My understanding of the bible lets me know that sin will be present until Christ returns. It matters not how many people endorse it. It only matters how I respond to it. And, in America, we have a means for expressing that response. You do not want someone else dictating morality to you. Yet you dictate to others. That is the way of things in a "pluralistic" society.

At Monday, September 19, 2005 9:14:00 PM, Anonymous Ed Cone said...

"Yet you are perfectly willing to let the government tell those who disagree with you about homosexual marriage what they have to beleive."


I don't want the government telling you what you have to believe, and I never said anything of the sort.

Allowing gay couples civil protection under the law doesn't mean you have to believe it's a good choice, any more than ending Prohibition required everyone to believe that drinking alcohol was a good idea.

This isn't about you or me. Your rights and mine are secure. Why must we deny them to others?

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 12:18:00 AM, Blogger Roch101 said...

Alex: "I don't mean any personal disrespect, but Roch101 I prefer that the laws be based on God's moral values not yours."

And with the same respect, I don't need your sanctimoneous arrogance to tell me you have a lock on understanding God's values, especially when your understanding begins with a twisted, selective and distorted, if not dillusinal, view of God's word and ends with justifying vile discriminatory personal prejudices. It's good that we know where you are coming from, though.

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 8:15:00 AM, Blogger Roch101 said...

No, Alex, not mad, just calling them like I see them.

"But I suggest you check the plank in your own eye."

Now, that's rich. For all the finger-pointing that goes on here, it seems that only comes up when it is convenient. Actually, that's a common theme here, quote the Bible when it supports the prejudices of this blog's authors, dismiss other teachings of the Good Book when they contradict the authors. It's a spiritual contortion act.

"You don't seem to know very much about Christian doctrine from the things you write."

Like I said, sanctimonious arrogance.

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 9:36:00 AM, Anonymous Ed Cone said...

At the risk of interupting the argument, I'll repost some of my last comment:

I don't want the government telling you what you have to believe, and I never said anything of the sort.

Allowing gay couples civil protection under the law doesn't mean you have to believe it's a good choice, any more than ending Prohibition required everyone to believe that drinking alcohol was a good idea.

This isn't about you or me. Your rights and mine are secure. Why must we deny them to others?

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 9:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That which you legalize, you endorse.

Ed uses the example of ending Prohibition to demonstrate how not everyone needs to agree that something is good for it to become law. I'm sure Ed and others will appreciate the fact that homosexuality would be every bit 'in your view' as is alcohol.

Whether it is a television ad or a drunk driver on the road, we are all touched by alcohol in some way. Our society legalized it, therefore approved of it and now there is nothing to stop it from being in your view on a daily basis.

Call me whatever you must, but I don't want to see gay men kissing on the cover of the magazines in the check-out lane. I don't care to see them making out on television. I don't want them in my school telling my kids that there is no difference in who or what you choose to marry.

And the list will go on and on and on....Sorry, it just ain't natural.

the Heckler

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 11:24:00 AM, Blogger Tim said...

Ed - Rights granted within a society necessarily impact that society. They impact the direction and future of that society. Yes, granting various rights is tantamount to an endorsement of those rights. By agreeing to grant the rights I am, of necessity, giving tacit approval to the right granted. Therefore, for Christians to stand back and allow something to happen, that they believe is inherently wrong, is the same as an endorsement. That which you do not deny you accept.

Let me see if I can give you an example of where we see this going. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has endorsed the idea that the age of sexual consent should be lowered to 12 years of age. The National Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) proposes that there should be no bars to sex between adults and minors (men and boys). Both of these are established facts. If Ginsberg has her way, there would be no bar on pedophilia. Therefore, with the granting of "rights" to homosexuals for marriage, the time could well come when we, as a society, are required to endorse marriages between adult men and 12 year old boys. This may seem an extreme case to you, but 20 years ago the issues we are facing today seemed to be fringe and extreme. You may believe that you can passively stand back and allow something like this to occur, but passive acceptance is acceptance none the less. We are not "denying rights" to others. We are attempting to maintain a standard of acceptable behavior or conduct. Making it a "right" simply puts society's stamp of approval on it. Something Christians are opposed to.

Roch - I have given you my justifications for my stand on the legal side of this issue. Would you please tell me what Biblical references you can cite for your position? You seem to believe that the Bible, somewhere, allows for Christians to accept this behavior, or -at least - ignore it. I would like to know what your references are. (Ed, I would be interested in knowing any that you could cite, as well). Also, you have not yet answered Alex's questions about polygamy, etc. and I am very interested to know what that anwer would be.

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 12:35:00 PM, Blogger Mickey McLean said...

Roch, your argument here is not with the authors of this blog, it is with the Word of God. We are not infallible but it is. It lives and breathes within us and we choose to study it and follow its teachings. In this life, we will not always succeed - but please know that we will defend what it undeniably says and not back down.
Of course you are free to disagree with us and with God; that's your choice. But when you come to this blog to debate us, you have to be willing to accept that God and His Word are our final authority, not man. Any change in the way we understand that Word will come by the work of the Holy Spirit, not by human reason. Regardless, I hope you'll always find us willing to respectfully answer your questions. You may not always like the answers, but please know that they'll be as truthful, honest and according to God's Word as we can convey them.
Peace, brother.

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 12:51:00 PM, Blogger Mickey McLean said...

On a related note, my friend Joel Gillespie takes a look into the future with his post today at Joelblog titled "End Game?" Could this actually happen? Based on what's been going on in our society of late, what's in place to stop it from occurring?

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 1:37:00 PM, Anonymous Joel Gillespie said...

One thinks of the oft quoted phrase, "if there is no God, then everything is permitted." The problem with this whole chain which should be manifestly obvious is this: without some EXTERNAL point of reference for values - whether we're talking the State and what it endorses or permits, or the private life and what guides it, - in time anything goes. Anything. There is not one decent argument for homosexual union that cannot be applied to heterosexual or homosexual bigamy or polygamy, or adult incestual marriage, whether heterosexual or homosexual (the birth defect deal can be solved if it's heterosexual), etc. So, we may just as well admit, and say it out right, that when it comes down to it, it's a matter of what the majority of the people in the culture in the moment determine is within boundaries of acceptable practice that determine what the State determines is OK. It's not a matter of innate urges (that's just inane stupidity to argue that). It's not some secret but heretofore unforeseen "right" hidden deeply in the mysterious text of our constitution. It's just math. It's having enough people supporting the values to tip the scales. That's why it's a values/culture war. In time the arguments used to support the State's recognition of homosexual marriage will be used to support a whole range of other things most people now truly detest, and there will be no stopping the train. The groundwork has been laid. The former foundation has been blown to bits. We await the brave new world ahead. When there is no consensus on an external source of values outside of us; when God as previously understood has been deemed unwelcome and no longer relevant; then we are left to ourselves, and we will reap the whirlwind.

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 2:50:00 PM, Anonymous ed cone said...

The Ginsburg/age of consent myth is exploded here:

Re the Word of God: many people hear the Word differently than you do, Mickey. You believe they are wrong, but they have the right to their beliefs just as you do, and they should accord you the same respect. That said, we are discussing public policy under a deliberately and wholly secular Constitution.

It's an interesting argument, this notion that to make something legal is to endorse it. Again, I think the example of alcohol prohibition is instructive. Millions of people abstain completely from alcohol, millions more drink responsibly, millions more abuse it. Who endorses abuse? Not me, but I do endorse legalized alcohol.

I would be happy to see gay couples have the rights of partnership, inheritance, and visitation that the state recognizes for other committed pairs. Marriage is in the eye of each given religious group, and of course the state should never impose any such requirements on those groups.

Thanks for the forum and the conversation. Peace.

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 3:03:00 PM, Blogger Roch101 said...

Heckler, I find your honesty refreshing. You don't want to see guys kissing. Gotcha.

Tim, I answered Alex's question on polygamy, which he found reassuring. If it wasn't satifactory for you, I address it in more detail over at Joelblog.

My Biblical justification for same-sex marriage? I don't have one. Sure, there's that stuff about he who is without sin, examining the plank in your own eye and loving your neighbor as yourself. There are also questions about the linguistic integrity of the scpriptures that appear to speak of homesexulaity. Oh, and there are those cosey stories of David and Johnathan and Ruth and Naomi. But my contention has not been that the Bible explicitly justifies same-sex marriage (it doesn't specifically justify right turns on red, either). My view is that the Biblical reasons for denying same-sex marriage are weak, cannot be asserted without hypocricy and that they become insignificant in light of our Constitution, to which I give greater weight when considering issues of civil law. (Make the case for a theocracy if you want, but that's a whole other debate.)

Mickey, my arguement is not with the authors of this blog but with the Word of God? Oh, for Pete's sake. It should be quite clear by now that my argument is indeed with the opinions of the authors of this blog, not the least of which is the self-righteousness they show when they pretend that their way is God's way and God's way is their way and anybody who diagrees, Christian or not, is misguided or immoral. (Oh, and their view that even though we live by secular law in a country in which a myriad of religious view are held, we should all be subject to law guided by the religion to which the authors of this blog subscribe -- that's a bit of a disagreement too.)

But, let me be clear, for all the rancor and heated discussion I contribute to here, there is no hate. I'm looking forward to meeting you and Alex. I'm aware that we are having an important discussion, but one that is narrow enough in the scheme of things that it does not deny me the ability to appreciate your offering of peace or the willingness to extend the same to you. Peace to you too, Mickey... and Alex, Tim, Ed, everybody.

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 3:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I also do not have a problem with alcohol (in responsible drinking). But since you asked for an example, my father-in-law is a hardcore Southern Baptist who seems to think that if you drink an ounce of the stuff you are basically doomed to an eternal hell. I'll be packing sunglasses.

But he and I cannot watch a football game or listen to the radio or drive down the road together without being bombarded with some advertising. Though, when I am not around him I don't even notice things like that.

But none of this would be possible without the government okaying the distribution. I don't know if a trip to the future back then would have changed anyone's mind or not. But I'm quite certain that, as was also mentioned here earlier, that if late-term abortions were the issue back in the 70's- none of it would ever have happened.

And like I've also said before...aside from a religious standpoint, I'm not so concerned about the average gay couple living their own lives together. It's the militant gays out there with agendas that worry me.

Crack that door just a little and it will slam all the way open. And if you don't like it- tough, there will be nothing you can do to ever close that door again.

the Heckler

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 4:56:00 PM, Blogger Tim said...

From Slate's "debunking":

"A person is guilty of an offense if he engages in a sexual act with another person, not his spouse, and: (1) compels the other person to participate: (A) by force; or (B) by threatening or placing the other person in fear that any person will imminently be subjected to death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping; (2) has substantially impaired the other person's power to appraise or control the conduct by administering or employing a drug or intoxicant without the knowledge or against the will of such other person, or by other means; or (3) the other person is, in fact, less than twelve years old."

"Yes, the language Ginsburg quotes with approval puts the age of consent at 12, which does seem awfully young. But she isn't addressing herself to the age issue; she's addressing herself to the gender issue. "

If that isn't splitting hairs, I don't know what is. Those of you on the the other side of this issue seem to be content to allow yourselves wiggle room that you condemn others for (apparently) using. So with that parting thought, I respectfully thank you all for the debate and concede (in the words of W.C. Fields) that "There comes a time in the lives of men when they must take the bull by the tail and face the situation." It has been interesting, but (ultimately) I question the productivity.

Blessings to all.

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 5:02:00 PM, Anonymous BGH said...

To All:

I'm not sure why this went on for so long. Good grief, Ed said on Sunday that he and his wife of 16 years have no problem with the states granting gays the right to be legally married. Well, let's just fold up the tents and head home - case settled!

Ed, just for grins, by whose authority do you speak?

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 5:29:00 PM, Anonymous ed cone said...

Actually, what I said was that I had no problem with gays having the rights of a married couple, but that the actual marriage rites should remain the province of religion.

By what authority do I make that statement? My own. Never claimed anything more, just stating an opinion in a debate -- an informed and thoughtful opinion, I hope. Didn't realize I needed a license.

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 5:59:00 PM, Anonymous BGH said...

Ed, license? None needed, of course. Just wanted to know from whom you speak.

At Tuesday, September 20, 2005 10:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All you guys who are against gay marriage/civil unions need to get over it, because it's going to happen. Maybe not in your lifetime. It's already happened in some European countries. Public opinion on this is quickly changing. Heck, we already have TV sitcoms on networks about gay people. Today's kids will have a more liberal take on this issue than the adult population today does. Does anyone doubt this? You can get red in the face with anger over the inevitable and have a nagging thought in the back of your mind that will keep you awake at nights or you could turn you energies to more constructive pursuits that have a greater chance of helping people. Why focus so much on what others are doing wrong? I think that turns a lot of people off to Christianity. I'm curious, does the Bible record any statements Christ himself ever made about gays? Is it mostly an old testament thing?

At Wednesday, September 21, 2005 11:32:00 AM, Blogger Roch101 said...

If the Bible has the authority you wish it to, then you cannot, without hypocricy, ignore its other demands.

If we are to construct our civil marriage laws according to scripture, do you then agree that the law should also:

- Outlaw re-marriage for people who have been divorced?

- Prohibit re-marriage by widows (unless to their borther in-law)

- Prohibit marriage between people of different races

- Outlaw marriages between Christians and non-Christians

- Prohibit a man from marring a woman if he has had sexual thoughts about another woman

- Require that marriage vows include a promise by the wife to obey her husband

- Prohibit pastors from marrying a woman who is not a virgin

- Require that rapists marry their victims

What construct allows you to point to the Bible as an authority for denying equal rights to gay people (even though the Bible doesn't address sam sex marriage) while ignoring these other Biblical demands which specifically address marriage?

At Sunday, October 02, 2005 3:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you all ok with gays living with each other out of wedlock? Are you boycotting companies that offer spousal benefits to gays? I'm sure you wouldn't be against companies hiring gays. Have you ever enjoyed lesbian porn?


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