The Case against Gay Marriage
Insert: I hate developing arguments to win or define a position. It usually just makes the ‘other side’ even more
defensive. Eventho I can argue well, I would never make a good attorney because when someone is hurt or has a valid point, I tend to stop and listen and consider. I much prefer to listen and comfort
and point to Jesus. And I know that what follows is uncomforting. So let all who read it know that if it feels like a cold condemnation, it was not intended to be. It is merely what I consider to be
the case points against gay marriage along with how I feel about the whole thing.
Marriage is a civil construct used to define and clarify the attraction and union between the human male and female sex. Before society existed, men and women formed such unions. As history played out, variations of this union were tried and sometimes even sanctioned by society, but ultimately “one man and one woman” (unrelated by blood) became the norm for all modern cultures. Even in Muslim countries, where the Koran permits up to 4 wives, the norm is nevertheless “one man and one woman”.
Although some species may mate for life, animals don’t ‘get married’, only people do. Only people recognize and understand the implications of marriage AND recognize and understand what kinds of unions are not marriages. Can societies change their interpretations of marriage? Of course they can. But here is the change we are being called to consider: will “one man and one woman” (unrelated by blood) continue to be the basis for defining marriage or will “any loving, committed relationship” become the standard?
Each side has gathered arguments to buttress their cause. Frankly I find few of these compelling. They usually boil down to “if we do this, that will happen” or “this has been done already and nothing bad happened”. It’s kind of pitiful when you think about it. But what else is to be expected when people try to bolster their secret fears or desires with more and more words? And, just like me, they avoid any data or scripture that compromises their position. In the final analysis we are all dishonest lawyers.
It is the great desire of these who support gay rights to see homosexuality normalized. Legalizing gay marriage is a major objective in achieving that goal. But if homosexuality is not normal or natural, if homosexuality is in fact dysfunctional, if most homosexuality is largely a product of trauma or deficit (and sin, if we would serve the conservative Christian view) then institutionalizing it is the supreme disservice to those who would leave it. They will be told to “quit living a lie” and embrace it.
And the ones who desire to leave homosexuality will be demonized, indeed are already being demonized. Too bad. Too bad for those who have already left homosexuality, for their voices will be stifled. Too bad for those struggling with same sex attraction, for the remedies of religion, psychology, and recovery groups will be removed from them. Too bad for the children who yet have to embrace a sexuality, for they will be told at school and through the media that any attraction is good attraction, just don’t hurt anybody by passing a STD. And too, too bad for those who do not wish to embrace gay marriage as the new civil right, for their calls to repentance will be labeled “hate speech” and they will be jailed for their dissent. This is happening already. So much for freedom of speech and respectful dissent.
Civil rights protect us from injustices based on religion, sex, or race. Nevertheless, redefining marriage as a civil right based on our sexual desires is ill advised. We have an infinite ability to be sexually attracted to almost anything as well as an equally infinite ability to rationalize that our sexual desires can be housed in a “loving, committed relationship”. In trying to deflect this objection, opponents will use the phrase “sexual orientation”, but if there are only two genders, chromosomally either xx or xy, which are defined by biological differences, compatibility, and procreative potential (hence the institution of marriage arising to describe and protect such relationships between these two genders) then gender identification or sexual orientation really become yet another rationalization to allow us to stay in our houses of “loving, committed relationships”.
It is wrong to lump all the varieties of homosexuality into one etiology or one paradigm. This is unfair to homosexuals and promotes misunderstanding and prejudice. Same sex attraction does not come from one cause or one gene, nor is it from the same constellation of causes or genes acting together. For one it might be alienation from the opposite sex that began with a traumatic event(s). For another it could be over-identification with the opposite sex that formed by sharing gender-similar traits. For some it was from envy of the same sex because of a self-perceived gender inadequacy. For some it was from a relational disconnect (resentment, really) that materialized into an idealized same-sex solidarity supplemented by same-sex sexual activity (this is common for lesbians). For another it might have come from a response to romantic overtures from someone of the same sex which enmeshed them in an affirming/adulating relationship which compensated for a damaged self-image or sense of isolation. For yet others it makes no sense at all but just is.
It is ironic that the gay rights movement uses the rainbow as their emblem inasmuch as the causes of homosexuality are indeed as varied as the colors of the rainbow. But when sexualized at puberty and reinforced in adolescence, same sex attraction becomes entrenched and is fortified with every new homoerotic fantasy or personal affirmation by a sympathetic party. It justifies its worth with “love” and deflects disapproval either by open opposition or secret retention. This is indeed living the lie, and we should not propose gay marriage as a final endorsement of the lie.
Insert: And Dear Ones, God knows all this. He is aware of every one of our hurts and self-deceptions. He is aware that we carry a sin nature with us everywhere we go. He remembers when you prayed that you didn’t want to have this desire for the same sex. He was there when you were hurt. And hurt again. It’s not your fault. In this world hurts abound. Sometimes even we are the ones who do the hurting. In a fallen world with a sinful human race, the wonder is that there is not much more pain and oppression. But this is what God wants to do about it. He doesn’t want you just to be healed; He wants you to be redeemed. He doesn’t want to just return you to your birthright; He wants you to be holy, which means being ‘set apart’ for Him. If there is an unforgivable sin, it is refusing this His love and sacrifice and plan for living (summed up in the person of Jesus), and clinging to the lie.
For the most part I have used secular reasoning as for why gay marriage should not become a civil right. It is so regretful for me that in a post-Christian world, appeals to Scripture are so easily dismissed. Nonetheless if God did in fact create marriage, that is, for a man to be joined to a woman, for a husband to be joined to a wife, then we tread dangerously if we would seek to overturn this. If we get this one wrong, human-ordained civil rights will not protect us from God’s judgment in Heaven.
Still my heart is always saddened when I hear Christians vilifying homosexuals. The admonition to “hate the sin and love the sinner” seems lost on these. Fortunately they are only a small minority. They are nevertheless a large embarrassment to the Church of Christ, especially when the media delights to showcase them and ignores the much larger part of the Church that wishes to offer friendship and reconciliation AND redemption . If anyone wishes to identify these Christians, they are the ones who believe homosexuality is a sin but are happy to befriend any homosexual who wishes to leave the gay lifestyle (as in, have them over for dinner or go out to a movie with) and are ever courteous to those who wish to remain homosexuals and ever come to their aid when in trouble. This is constitutes “being in the world but not of it”. Common courtesy to all is as much a part of the Christian calling as being unalterably opposed to sin. True love tells us to ‘love our enemies’ as well as to stay pure personally in an adulterous world.
This article will probably have no effect on those committed to their respective causes. They have too much invested. Frankly, both sides of the issue as portrayed in the media leave me cold. It seems that once we have made up our minds, any appeals to alternate resolutions are easily deflected. Being properly labeled as a homophobe or a pervert is much easier when no one wants to listen. But if for a few I can be a voice of calm that offers different view of things, especially in an increasingly turbulent and polarized sea, then I am satisfied.
Further Nuts to Crack…
Re: Adoption –So much energy and time are spent on qualifying prospective adoptive parents. Why? Presumably this is to reasonably insure that the adopted child will be raised in a stable home. But if there is a 99% likelihood of that child turning out to be heterosexual, how does it make sense to send a child to a household where neither of the partners can model or relate to that sexuality?
Re: The prohibition of interracial marriages being comparable to prohibiting gay marriages – In highlighting the “evolution” of marriage in culture, some point out that the legal changes striking down interracial marriage or giving wives equal footing within a marriage are evidence of ‘marriage’ being a malleable institution which can and should change with the times. A reasonable observation. But in all these advances, never had the question revolved around changing the definition of marriage from “one man and one woman” to “anyone in a loving, committed relationship”. Equality of race or sex is not the same as conflating all love as marriageable love.
Re: The separation of the sexes – Why do we have separate bathrooms for men and women? Now bring your answer over to address why we don’t have separate bathrooms for homosexuals and heterosexuals. Wouldn’t the reasons be the same? And again, why do we separate the sexes in the military, that is, why are they given separate barracks and bathing facilities? And again, bring your answer over to address why we don’t separate barrack and bathing facilities for heterosexuals and homosexuals to see if the reasons would not be the same. For me, this is the reason that homosexuality is incompatible with military service, not from any questions of competence or bravery or patriotism.
Re: Polygamy – Those against gay marriage correctly point out that if marriage is conferred on any union based on a loving, committed relationship, then little objection that can be interposed for incestual relationships. But this is rare and unlikely to be an issue any time soon. But polygamy is found in many places. Granted, it is currently hidden or in obscure cultures or religions, but it is sure to be the next non-traditional marriage hot topic. And advocates will find support in the animal kingdom, history, and economic logic, just like they do now for gay marriage. As too will be their protests that love and commitment and caring are altogether possible within such unions, and that it is a callous and cruel decision to discriminate against these kind and just people. So who shall say them nay?