I’ve been called a bigot for my belief on same-sex marriage, but “bigot” means “not easily persuaded”. Here I outline a 5 arguments for persuading me that governments ought to issue certificates of authenticity of same-sex marriage.
1) Demonstrate that there is a theological basis for same-sex marriage.
The Biblical God created marriage and defines its purpose. Some people were incensed to hear Megan Kelley say, “aside from a theological argument, there is no good argument against same-sex marriage”, but she was totally right. The trouble is that’s misleading, since marriage is a theological concept, so aside from a theological one, there’s no argument for same-sex marriage. In the Biblical worldview, the sexes were created for marriage, not marriage for the sexes. God has an intention to “create man in Our image”, he creates an individual man with a task to do (Mankind’s first occupation? Landscape architect.), and but seeing him alone, God says “a man alone is not complete” – which is the sense of the scripture “not good” in that spot. He encourages Adam to find a companion, and Adam acknowledges that none of the animals meets the qualifications; God himself creates the first woman. (Check out Genesis 2). This is why people get married (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7 and Ephesians 5:31).
In addition, We learn that marriage is the metaphor God uses for the relationship between Himself and His people, and between Christ and the Church. Check out the entire book of Hosea, Matthew 25, Mark 2, Luke 5 and Relevation 21. God creates the relationship, creates another relationship as a metaphor for it, and institutes the metaphor, even before sin happens.
The Biblical God establishes rules for marriage and sex, and prohibits same-sex sex. Having created the concept of marriage for a purpose and the sexes for that purpose, God has the right to do so. He declares that erotic sexual relations are to be kept inside marriage. Throughout Leviticus, Jesus’s own words, and reiterated by the apostles, God delivers rules about how marriage is to be carried out. In no case does He allow same-sex sex. (Actually, since same-sex sex doesn’t exist, the scriptures go through a contorted description of what that would be, but our culture calls it sex, but it’s not.) As Jesus’s sacrifice removes the ultimate punishment from our sins giving us grace and mercy instead, still Jesus persists in leading us to obey the law. From the woman with five former husbands, Jesus says “Go and sin no more”, and Paul’s caution, “Should we sin more that grace may abound? May it never be!” we see the principal that even if the sin is forgiven, it can still harm you, so don’t do it.
I cannot support same-sex marriage because there is no theological basis for its existence, and there are theological prohibitions against its would-be implementation.
2) Demonstrate observability of an authentic same-sex marriage.
Governments can not create or destroy marriage. Twice Abraham lied about his marital status to Sarah (Genesis 12 and 20) in lands and to rulers who (apparently) did not respect the Biblical God. In both cases, the locals treated her as a free woman, and God was angry. He sent plagues on the Egyptians for it, and made the women of Abimelech’s and infertile. Evidently, God is more concerned with the reality of the marriage than the local government’s perception of it. God even came to Abimelech in a dream and ordered him to respect the marriage. Furthermore, Jesus tells us that it is God who creates marriage: he said “What God has joined together let not man separate”, accounted for both in Mark’s Gospel and Matthew’s (Matthew 19, Mark 10).
Governments must observe, respect and defend marriages. Before pastors and preachers perform weddings, they evaluate a couple over several weeks or months to verify whether they are fundamentally ready for marriage. Ok, never “Really” ready, but got the basics. There are Biblical standards for what the relationship looks like, and many clues for what unhealthy relationships look like. In engineering, we have tests to tell us whether our devices are functioning as we expect, and in science we use “sanity checks” to check our progress in developing new methods and equations. Part of the true stories that inspired the first episode of Recently Straight were that people who appeared and professed to be truly in love with each other (and gave all outward appearances of such) are not really. You think I’m talking about Kevin & Kendrick, don’t you. Ha! You haven’t seen Act 3 yet. With so much deception in gay relationships, how can we determine that any particular gay relationship is authentic? What are the standards by which a same-sex marriage is authenticated?
So I do not say that marriage is a thing a government can make, only that it can observe. In that sense, marriage licenses are not charters of marriage, but certificates of authenticity. Without a set of observable criteria, how does the government determine the authenticity of a same-sex marriage? Without a theological basis for what constitutes a “same-sex marriage”, there is no non-arbitrary, moral definition for what it is, and therefore it cannot be mutually observed.
3) Demonstrate that same-sex marriages would be healthy or good.
What we find in the “gay lifestyle” doesn’t usually rise to the level of phileo (Greek word for brotherly love), much less agape (Greek word used in the Bible as the command for “love”). Instead, emotional dependency and codependency are enshrined as “love”. Men make failed attempts to meet their unmet child-hood love needs with eros, or suppress their unhealed emotional wounds with eros, accepting storge instead of phileo. Neither eros or storge bring ultimate fulfillment. Statistically, same-sex monogamous relationships are few and far between, but the biggest problem I see with presuming that they could all be monogamous if same-sex marriage were the law is the belief that they would be good if they were monogamous. Monogamy is a Biblical principle for healthy opposite-sex marriage. Children need multiple other same-sex friendships in order to form a true and healthy image of themselves as a member or their own sex. If we eroticize that, we call it promiscuity. But if it is true that many eroticized same-sex attraction get that way because they are based in a true realization that the man needs to find intimate connection with many other men, why would monogamy be a healthy principle for a same-sex marriage? In fact, many same-sex marriages finally turn into “open marriages”. How do we know whether same-sex marriage, if it exists, is healthy or good?
In The Netherlands, where there is nearly no “homophobia” and same-sex marriage has been the law since 1996, research found suicide rates amongst married “gays” were eight times higher than amongst heterosexual marriages. I don’t believe that same sex marriage creates suicide: I believe that the same shame-grief double-bind which so prevalently leads to eroticized same-sex attractions leads to a sense of “there’s no way out”. Believing there is no way out, or no path to fulfillment in life, may lead one to suicidal ideation. I believe that upon discovering that same-sex marriage was not the solution as the believed it would be, the sense of “no way out” is heightened. The authors of the study also point out that HIV and suicide appear to be strongly linked, with HIV far more prevalent amongst those in same-sex marriages.
We do not find that same-sex marriage, if observed, is healthy. Instead, traditional indicators of unhealthy relationships and emotional distress are high amongst persons identifying as ‘gay’.
With no basis for an argument that ‘same-sex marriage’ is ‘healthy’ or ‘good’, we cannot even begin to make an argument that members of society must respect and defend it.
4) Demonstrate that if a government does not coerce respect for same-sex marriage, there would be harm.
Creating good is not sufficient to make something a law, one must demonstrate that harm will result if the law is not enforced. This is an argument the gay lobby is adept at making. They frequently list of complaints of various ways in which laws unjustly affect the “LGBT community”, but most of these can be addressed in different ways, most of them by repealing existing U.S. laws.
a. get married to “be happy” – The Bible tells us that marriage is not a path to make one happy. Any argument to “let a couple get married so they will be happy” is contrary to Paul’s suggestion in 1 Corinthians 7:28, that marriage causes trouble – or rather, sinners in a marriage cause trouble, and we’re all sinners. We deal with this issue in Act 1 of Episode 1, though we don’t see the end. You’ll have to fund our the rest of the episode by clicking our Donate button for that.
b. hospital visitation / medical decision rights – This can be solved easily with a “power of attorney”. Most hospitals will require a written copy.
c. health-care benefits – If health insurance were taxed like all other goods and services and available in the free market for all, instead of handed out only to employees, it wouldn’t matter what your employer’s policy was on subsidizing health insurance which provides same-sex partner benefits. I support repealing laws giving specific tax breaks to people who work in the medical profession or for the big health insurance providers.
d. federal tax breaks for married couples – This perhaps seems like the strongest argument, mostly because people are not aware of alternatives to the “progressive” income tax. I’m against all Federal taxes on individual citizens. We had a way for the Federal government to fund itself before the covetous personal income tax was passed: the Federal budget was levied on states to pay apportioned by the headcount of the state. States could levy taxes as they saw fit, some had income taxes, some did not. Some still do not. I’ve moved from supporting a flat income tax, to a sales tax, to the realization that getting direct taxation out of the hands of the federal government is the best course of action. Returning to Federalism, and away from our course towards national socialism, is in the best interests of all Americans, except for the ones who want tyrannical control. Don’t support eliminating the personal income tax just because that would provide equality for ‘gays’, but because it moves us back toward Federalism.
e. same-sex divorce – The societal problems solved by opposite-sex marriage: fatherlessness, child abandonment, verifying rape, have basically nothing to do with a same-sex relationship, because by design it cannot produce children. But American culture has abandoned Biblical marriage many decades ago. We now live with “contractual marriage” or “age-of-consent marriage”: i.e. anyone is legally allowed to engage in sexual relations with anyone else, at any time, with any number of participants, for any duration, as long as all participants consent and are above legal age for such consent. Instead, “marriage” as a label is used merely for social status, slightly more formal than Facebook status, but Facebook status is climbing up. Even though it’s a government status, government truly has no power over the same-sex couple. In what way is marriage enforced? What does that even look like?
With so many examples of defending supposed same-sex marriages harming others so needlessly and disproportionately, I cannot make an argument that we must be coerced to tolerate same-sex marriage.
5) Demonstrate that harm produced by not enforcing same-sex marriage rises to the level of powers which may be used to enforce it.
This isn’t an argument concerning same-sex marriage specifically, this is the argument for all laws. All governments have 3 and only 3 powers: fines, imprisonment & death. And when you don’t pay your fines, they imprison you, and when you try to escape from prison, they shoot you. It’s easy to remember these 3. Remember the Declaration of Independence, our “Creator”-“endowed” rights? “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” ? Well, the original draft read “life, liberty and property”. Just take those three, reverse them, and you get death, imprisonment and fines (taxation); these are governments’ 3 powers. Whatever law government passes they can only enforce it with these; without these powers, government is a bunch of narcissistic & opportunistic scam artists with no good or service to sell to earn their keep. Most people have forgotten that, and that’s why people are stunned Obama’s solution to a perceived health insurance shortage was to fine people who don’t get insurance. What did you think the legislators were going to do? earn doctorate degrees and diagnose you and prescribe medicine while you had a chat in their office about tort reform? Earn chemistry and molecular biology degrees and develop new life-saving treatments and drugs? They won’t do that: they’re the government, they will only coerce you into the desired behavior: it’s their job.
Any behavior which would be justly prohibited by a government must result in the detrimental effects greater than the detrimental affects of the power used to prevent the behavior. Otherwise, enforcing the law would increase the level of Creator-given-right infringement rather than reducing it.
a. A baker who was prosecuted when she declined to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. She was coerced by the courts to bake the cake, not to mention the legal fees, and loss of time to do other work. A basic human right is that we have the freedom not to engage in trade for any reason, whether that reason is good or bad. Violating that freedom is what we call a boundary violation, and there’s a book on that, conveniently named “Boundaries”. The result of the “anti-dicrimination” laws is not liberty: it is tyranny. Coercing someone to work for you is not equality, it’s subjugation, i.e. slavery. In this case, “drive-by slavery”. People have less individual freedom now, because of so-called “equality” laws. Is going to another baker really so harmful, as to inflict legal proceedings on them?
b. Catholic adoption agencies in Illinois are prohibited from assisting in finding homes for children in the foster care system because they do not allow adoption to same-sex couples. Children have fewer options for parents now because of so called “equality” laws.
c. Persons who do not believe in same-sex marriage are not permitted to serve on the city counsel in San Antonio, TX. That’s right: because their religious beliefs differed from the city counsel, they are not permitted to serve on the counsel; that’s the law. Business owners who do not believe in same-sex marriage are being harassed in that city as well. People lose their right to select their representation in government because of a single religious issue.
d. Brendan Eich was removed from his CEO position because someone dug up that he supported California’s Prop 8 (a state constitutional amendment passed by the people which ensured that marriage in California would only be between a man and a woman), and changed his mind about it. Well, they say he resigned, but please, who really still believes that? That’s right, private companies are now starting boycotts of people who support God’s definition of marriage, or natural marriage.
We find the history of Government enforcement of same-sex marriage is violations of basic human- and citizenship-rights.
The law does not have the power to make a man righteous
As Christians, we are called to offer something greater than the law: we are called to give love, agape love, to love our neighbor as ourselves. If we are right, and eroticized same-sex attractions are partially caused by unmet love needs and unhealed emotional wounds, and it is God’s desire for us as Christians to love and to heal, Matthew 5:4, Matthew 22:37, then hope abounds for blessings from God. As straight Christians, please use the resources of the Recently Straight project to help meet the unmet love needs of people with eroticized same-sex attractions, and to support them as they heal their emotional wounds with God’s help.