Agree With Us or Else

October 15, 2012

I have written previously about repressive tendencies of the secular left with regard to the gay rights agenda. Because the arguments of the secular left are generally basedon  emotion and desire for power rather than reason and logic, they fear pressing their agendas in the marketplace of ideas where they exposed for the shams that they often are. Given this inability to make and sustain an argument for their ideas, they instead attempt to attack and vilify those who disagree with them. Thus the ongoing attempts to persecute Chik-fil-a for its pro-family stance.

The great difficulty with the left-wing position is that it has no natural limits. As with Orwell’s Animal Farm, secular leftists insist on increasingly strident positions that end up destroying the very people whom they once claimed to be fighting for. In the end nothing is left but totalitarianism, with a few power hungry people controlling everything.

There is perhaps no greater recent example of this than the case of Dr. Angela McCaskill, a Deputy to the President and the Associate Provost of Diversity and Inclusion at Gallaudet University. Dr. McCaskill was put on administrative leave for the sin of signing a petition for a referendum on the same-sex marriage law in Maryland. This was despite the fact that Dr. McCaskill was the first African-American woman to graduate with a Ph.D. at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., a school for the deaf and hard of hearing. That she is a supporter of a gay rights resource center on her campus apparently didn’t factor in at all. There is no reason to believe she even opposed gay marriage. Her unforgivable error was to indicate she supported allowing a vote by the people of Maryland on the issue. In the extremism that typifies secular leftist thought, even this slight derivation from leftist dogma is punishable by the loss of one’s job.

The greatest freedom that exists is the right to conscience. It is the basis of all our primary freedoms – free speech, free press, free association and of course freedom of religion. It is also the essence of Christian belief – because there is no other means of salvation in the gospel than a choice made by faith; a belief that is compelled by men can never lead to salvation. This is why the truest danger of the gay rights agenda is not to families themselves (though such dangers exist) but to our essential liberties that are rooted in our conscience rights. It should give every person concerned with liberty pause that while gay marriage is not yet the law of the land the secular left is using the issue as a bludgeon to silence opponents, real and imagined.

Heaven help our liberties the day it does become the law of the land and the insatiable desire for power of the secular left has no limit.

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Designed to be Married

May 26, 2012

In a recent article on CNN Albert Mohler responds to complaints that conservative Christians have an unwarranted focus on homosexuality. He aptly parses the difference between the laws that governed ancient Israelite society and the principles that govern the lives of Christians, and provides a solid basis for Christians to maintain strong opposition to normalizing homosexual behavior.

What I find lacking in Mohler’s argument as well as most Christian’s discussion of homosexuality is the fact that human sexuality is firmly rooted in our design. In Scripture our sexuality doesn’t emanate from Old Testament law or even the teachings of Jesus, but in our very natures. Christians find this in Genesis 1 commanding the first humans to “be fruitful and multiply” and also in the description of a monogamous life-long marriage in Genesis 2 that pronounces that a man “be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” This is the understanding of marriage that was later reiterated by Jesus.

As it turns out the Christian argument for the preeminence of heterosexual relationships transects the secular one. There is no doubt about the importance of the reproductive aspect of heterosexual relationship, from the aspect of maintaining the human species. Marriage however is equally important in this respect. As I have noted elsewhere the long term relationship between men and women who parent children together has physiological impacts on adults and children which facilitate the investment necessary to raise a child.

And on a societal level a healthy nuclear family is perhaps the greatest indicator of success in one’s life in terms of education, employment and later relationships. The income and education gaps in our society often fall along the lines of marriage success.

And the failure of the traditional family has notably pernicious effects. As Steven Pinker details in his recent book on the history of violence The Better Angels of Our Nature, the Free Love and anti-authority 60’s had a dramatic impact on the American family, and a corresponding dramatic increase in violence in the following decades. A diminished commitment to the marriages and families had a decivilizing impact. In many ways this explains why older adults oppose gay marriage in higher numbers than younger do. These people were the free-loving hippies of yesteryear – and they remember the damage such social experimentation did to our society.

In his letter to the Romans Paul employed the argument from design when he described what happens when we move away from the purposes of marriage for which we are created:

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Romans 1:26-27

In this sense law and morality are merely descriptions of our ‘natural functions’. The laws in Scripture governing sexuality then aren’t arbitrary at all but flow from understanding the behaviors that allow for human flourishing. Thus we can no more confer marriage on homosexuals than we can confer the ability to breastfeed on men. And attempts to pretend men can breastfeed would be as harmful to child rearing as ignoring the importance of traditional marriage was in the 60s – or today.

So while there is certainly warrant for a Christian to oppose homosexual behaviors and the idea of homosexual marriage from Scripture, we also have an appeal to nature and to the benefits of supporting monogamous, committed heterosexual relationships as a basis for healthy parenting and human flourishing, an idea which is well supported by data and history.


Who is Oppressing Who?

April 29, 2012

News comes this last week of vandalism against a church in Portland by a group identifying itself as “angryqueers@” because of the churches anti-gay stance:

Neighbors who live on Southeast 32nd Avenue and Taylor Street in the Hawthorne neighborhood reported seeing several young adults throwing rocks into the windows of the Mars Hill Church early Tuesday Morning.

When the church grounds keeper arrived, hours later, he discovered nine windows smashed — two of which are historic stained-glass windows. The damage is estimated at several thousand dollars.

It is of course not the only instance of vandalism by such groups. A church sign in Hickory, NC was defaced earlier in the week:

After the vandals were finished with it, the marquee sign in front of Hickory’s Tabernacle Baptist Church read: “Hate Speech Sunday April 22.” The black paint obliterated the sign’s original message: “Marriage Sunday April 22.”

The sign’s other side was scrawled with the message, “Love not Hate.”

The Rev. Scott Hooks said he thinks the vandals were reacting to his church’s stand supporting the proposed amendment to North Carolina’s constitution that would define marriage as between one man and one woman.

These events are not infrequent. I personally know pastors who have received death threats for their stances on various policies advanced by the gay agenda. As blogger Wintery Knight chronicles, such persecution is widespread and goes far beyond mere vandalism. Whether it is a public harangue against Christian students at a journalism conference or students keeping a speaker from talking at a public university, Christians have become a major target of homosexual activists.

All of this flies in the face of the story we are typically given concerning gay rights. The normal narrative one hears when gay rights are discussed in the media or academic discussions is as a group gays are a powerless minority being oppressed by an antagonistic majority. Lately one hears about bullying in schools, but the same narrative pop-ups during gay marriage debates and discussions of adoption.

And historically homosexuals as a group have certainly been subject to discrimination of various sorts in the Christian West. Such intolerance has ranged from legal sanctions against specific sexual acts to an unwillingness to officially acknowledge homosexual relationships to mere personal disdain for homosexuals in social circles. And it is no exaggeration to say that as a group homosexuals have been targeted for their proclivities, whether one consider police raids on bath houses or individuals being attacked for their orientation.

I think most people now agree (including Christians), that whatever their personal views of the gay lifestyle, targeting any group for persecution is wrong. And while most professing Christians such as myself find fault with the sexual choices of gay individuals I would think most generally accept the fact that a certain number of people have same sex attractions and that those people will operate throughout a wide strata of the society. In short, most gay folks have attained a level of acceptance in our society that many minorities in our culture could only dream about.

That being said, the advancement of the gay agenda continues to be predicated on the notion that homosexuals are an oppressed group in our society. This continues despite the fact that as a group they have higher levels of education than their heterosexual counterparts, they generally have higher incomes than heterosexuals and have no restrictions in terms of where they live or what they do for a living. As a group gays have a very sympathetic ear in the media as well as educational and governmental institutions. These are measures of equality, but the current concern isn’t so much about equality and freedom as it is about sanctioning and normalizing homosexual relationships. On this front the gay agenda has met much more resistance and as a result gay rights advocates have lashed out against the group they see as being the primary barrier to full acceptance – believing Christians.

So when it comes to freedoms are being reduced, it isn’t the freedoms of homosexuals that are endangered – as NPR reports, the freedoms being denied are those of Christians to speak, worship, associate and educate and work as they see fit.

Oppression is certainly occurring – but it’s coming from a politically organized and unconstrained gay activists and it’s against Christians.


On that Proposition 8 Ruling

February 8, 2012

IN a ruling that surprised only that guy who recently woke up from a 20 year coma, the ultra-left 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of a gay lower court judge (Whose orientation had no bearing on his ruling. None. Don’t even go there now) that Californians don’t have the right to define marriage in a way that offends the gay rights advocates.

Interestingly the ruling is predicated on the fact that Californians had previously extended civil unions to gays in such a way that gave gay couples marriages in every way but the official label.

So it seems the takeaway from this is if a state’s citizens want to maintain the traditional definition of marriage, they should avoid giving gay couples any official sanction at all.