Over the last couple weeks, the whole Chick-fil-A and Dan Cathy “traditional marriage” storm has created a great deal of public shouting all over the media and Facebook. I’m not even sure that anyone is hearing anything anymore. I’ve quit posting replies on Facebook because it’s impossible to really get your point across in short bits and impossible to use long bits because who’s going to read them?
But some of the arguments I’ve been seeing have really gotten under my skin for a number of reasons, and I want to reply, though I’m sure my points have already been made by others and probably better than I can make them. But regardless, here’s my take on some of the pro-gay marriage arguments that are being shouted at me by the media and my liberal friends:
Biblical Marriage—polygamy, forced marriage, slave marriages, gay marriage, etc.
I’ve seen this comment in multiple places. It usually starts as something like: “You’re for biblical marriage? There are lots of different types of marriage in the Bible: multiple wives, rape victims have to marry their rapists, masters can force marry their slaves, etc.” It usually has a long list of “offensive” relationships, and sometimes culminates in my personal pet peeve, and the one they intend to be the most shocking: “David and Jonathan were in a gay relationship.”
If you’re arguing from this angle, you are not presenting the Bible accurately, and you should know the whole story before you start pointing fingers. Yes, there are various examples of ungodly marriages in the Bible: it’s a history book, so it records lots of events and mistakes that people made—that were not condoned by God. Marriage is very clearly defined by God in the Bible (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-5). The other forms described were not prescribed, but often held up as 1) examples of what not to do, 2) necessary ramifications for sinful, disobedient behavior, or 3) historical accounts of what happened. There is a huge difference between recording/describing and condoning/prescribing. Remember, the people of Israel often offended God with their behavior, and He judged them for disobedience in many occasions.
The Bible records all of this—even the mistakes made by very human people (like David) that God blessed, not for their mistakes, but for their willingness to confess and turn away from their sins. God also gave the Israelites a pretty tough set of laws to obey so that they would stand out from the world as God’s people. They could not obey the Law perfectly and that was exactly the reason that God introduced the sacrificial system to absolve man of sin, which culminated in the supreme sacrifice of Jesus (the Last Adam and the Perfect Lamb) to once and for all absolve man of sin. But, as Paul puts it very succinctly in his epistles, this does not mean that we can then sin freely because the sin is paid for. That’s far worse than shoplifting without conscience because you know the store’s insurance will cover the loss—and I hope everyone can still agree that such criminal behavior is wrong.
Also, the accusation that David and Jonathan were homosexuals is one of the reasons that I am so against the normalization of homosexual behavior—it taints the concept of intimate friendship. David and Jonathan were close friends—not sex partners. People have not only tainted with an amoral worldview what was obviously a very genuine friendship/brotherhood, but such views seriously harm the expression of close friendship in today’s society. Case in point, I have a friend that I consider the sister of my heart—she is happily married to her husband, and yet we have a very close friendship that often contains embraces. There is nothing sexual about that at all. Just friendship. You wish to twist that into something that it is not? Because society so wants to accept homosexuality as “normal,” the new societal expectation is that people of the same sex who hang out together are in a relationship—and that cannot be farther from the “norm,” nor is it good for people to have to be careful of friendships (which they need in order to be well-rounded people) in order to avoid misconceptions.
So many people on the “gay” side of this debate are presenting things from the Bible out of context, displaying a willful ignorance of what the Bible actually says to their own detriment (it has no impact whatsoever on those of us who actually read and know the Bible as God’s authoritative Word).
Christians are supposed to love
Undoubtedly, the most frequent comment in this whole debate is that Christians are supposed to love everyone, no matter who they are or what they do. And the short answer to that comment is “of course!” But then you must give the longer answer because, unfortunately, nobody seems to understand what Christian love actually is.
First, I do NOT “hate” homosexuals. Disagreement is not hatred or discrimination. Intervention is often considered one of the greater acts of love, and that action requires a loving friend to step between a person and a habit or desire that puts that person at risk. On the opposite end of that spectrum is enabling a bad habit. An enabler is someone who uses a person’s weaknesses to destroy him by giving him exactly what he thinks he wants. For example, I would be enabling an alcoholic if I provided him with easy access to alcohol—especially to the point of forcing it on him or making him feel obligated to drink it.
So, if I really, truly believe that homosexuality is destructive behavior that harms the person doing it both physically, emotionally, and spiritually, how could it possibly be considered “love” to enable any person to continue in it without some kind of loving intervention? That seems like hate to me. And it breaks my heart to be called a hateful bigot because I don’t wish a harmful sin to be considered normal behavior. Christians should be striving to help people overcome their sins and find peace, not in acceptance, which is a spiritual lie and has eternal consequences, but in redemption—which spells hope for lost souls. And by the way, I feel the same way about the other sexual sins like adultery. Everyone needs intervention by caring friends to help them turn from their sin and seek healing. Isn’t the first step to any recovery acknowledging that you have a problem?
I understand that many homosexuals want/need affirmation in the life choices that they have made, but a true friend speaks constructive criticism out of love, not to discriminate or abuse, but to build up and seek the betterment of his/her friend. While some Christians do speak of homosexuality in a very abusive manner—and they are definitely in the wrong for doing so—they are often tempted into this unloving speech by the horrific abuse that is heaped on them by the “gay agenda” for being “anti-gay.” We’re only human, and we make mistakes, speak out of anger or frustration, and have to ask forgiveness too.
The Civil Rights War Cry—Rosa Parks and the back of the bus!
OK, this is the last one I’m going to harp on in this blog post. This one is probably the loudest battle cry right now: being anti-gay marriage is discrimination on the order of discrimination against other “races” and the belittlement of women. We “gay-bashing” Christians probably cheered when Rosa Parks was forced to sit in the back of the bus . . .
I hope everyone who gets to this point of the post will take a minute to go back and read my previous post “Born that way . . . why that excuse is not valid” if you haven’t already done so. I start with this link because at the root of the civil rights “pro-gay” war cry is the belief that being a homosexual is on the same order as being born with a certain shade of skin or gender. I have to differ with this belief. For one thing, it is not genetically possible for homosexuality to be a result of “normal” genetics. Homosexuals do not reproduce in the normal sense—they are a genetic dead end—so therefore, if homosexuality is a genetic trait, then it would be selected against and would eventually vanish from the human genome.
Yes, I’m aware that homosexual behavior has been observed among animals, but I kind of find this part of the excuse a bit laughable for a couple reasons. The obvious first, we’re not animals . . . we’re smarter, can discern right from wrong, and can love, interact, and intervene to stop destructive behaviors, and we can actually choose when, where, and with whom we have sex (or choose to abstain completely). We definitely don’t have to fight over the right to mate, and we can ignore or rise above our baser instincts (if you can call them instincts). The second reason I find this excuse funny is that homosexual behavior among animals has little to do with loving someone of the same gender, but is more the case of not having access to the appropriate gender when the sexual tension demands release. These “homosexual” animals would do it with the correct gender if they had access to the correct gender—there is no desire other than accessibility at a time of need generating the behavior.
Can homosexuality be cured? Probably not in the sense that the desire completely goes away, no more than alcoholism or any other psychological addiction, but this does not mean that the behavior should be considered normal simply because it’s hard to stop. Sin, while not necessarily genetic, is an inborn condition of humanity. We are all born with some kind of overwhelming sinful desire that causes us to routinely sin in thought and deed. There are consequences when we choose to allow sin to take over our lives, and I intend to post more on this in a sequel to my “born that way” post in a few days.
So in answer to the question “are we denying people their basic civil rights?” I’d have to say no. As a friend of mine put it, a homosexual has the same right as everyone else to marry a person of the opposite sex. We’re not asking homosexuals to sit in the back of the bus, live in segregated communities, wear stars (or rainbows) on their persons so they are clearly identified, or denying them access to the same rights we all have in our society. They are even welcome at church and any Chick-fil-A. But we are asking that abnormal behavior not become so normalized that it forces redefinition of certain basic concepts such as marriage, friendship, and family. None of those things need to be redefined to make a select minority of people comfortable with the self-destructive behavior they choose to indulge in. If there were really no human choice involved, then there would definitely be a civil rights issue to discuss, but as far as I can see, humans can choose, even against sinful reflex and instinct. That’s what makes us different from animals.
Please stay tune for my next post: “Born that way . . . again!”