The problem, in my view, with the LGBT movement is not that they have a particular view they are advocating for, but the manner in which they pursue it. Regardless of whether I agree with their ends, which I don’t, I could at least respect them if they didn’t have to demonize the church or anyone else that doesn’t agree with them. There is something to be said for being gracious when you’re fighting for a cause, and the LGBT movement scores a big goose egg in that department. The odd thing is that they make a moral argument to justify their ends, while rejecting any contrary moral arguments. We see this clearly in that they constantly denigrate Christian values, while saying that their values are superior. But how can they do this? They say their values are “progressive” values that have evolved over time culturally, but what exactly are progressive values? On what are they based? Christian values are based on thousands of years of history and observation of natural law, and were validated by the resurrection of Christ. Now many may argue that they don’t believe Christ resurrected, but they cannot argue the historical accuracy of Christianity, and they cannot deny that Christian values, when properly applied, promote love, patience, hope, perseverance, and tolerance of others with whom they disagree. So while the Christian has a set of timeless principles to work from, the LGBT movement has no objective basison which to moralize. So why should anyone listen to them? Demonizing those who disagree with you and seeking government to force people to accept your point of view is hardly a sustainable moral ethic.
I know the rejoinder from someone in the LGBT community will be that Christians are filled with hate and discriminate against gays. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Christians are called to love and accept all human beings, and simply see the gay lifestyle as being one of many different sinful lifestyles. But Christians don’t seek to ban gays from living their chosen lifestyles, and don’t see their sin as any worse than premarital sex amongst heterosexual couples or adultery. These are all forms of sexual sin and I don’t see any Christians clamoring for laws that prevent consenting adults from entering into whatever relationships they wish to enter, even if they are wrong (which they obviously are in the case of adultery). They say that Christians are against “gay rights.” But Christians are not against “gay rights.” This is because “gay rights” are not any different from the rights of any other human being. We all have the same rights in this country by virtue of being human. So I don’t see anything special about being gay. If you’re gay, then you’re a human, and it doesn’t make you any different than anyone else. The LGBT movement would have us believe gays are somehow different and special, but I don’t see how they can rationally justify that. Being gay has no affect on one’s ability to get a job, love who they want, or live the life of their choosing. There simply is no broad or systematic discrimination today against gays any more than there is against blacks.
I’m catching a lot of hell for recent remarks I made regarding repealing DOMA on a social media thread. As many of you already know, DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) is a United States federal law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman for federal and inter-state recognition purposes in the United States. The law passed both houses of Congress by large majorities and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996. Under the law, no U.S. state or political subdivision is required to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state. Section 3 of DOMA codifies the non-recognition of same-sex marriages for all federal purposes, including insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors’ benefits, immigration, and the filing of joint tax returns. In my opinion, this is unconstitutional because the Constitution does not give the federal government the authority to define marriage in any way. It is also important to note that former President Bill Clinton has recently appealed for a repeal of DOMA.
Listen, either conservatives are for limited government or they are not. What I am finding out is that some of us, on the right, only want limited government when it suits us. Liberals, on the other hand, seem to want the federal government involved in every aspect of our lives (which is problematic too!), but I digress. We don’t want the federal government to re-define marriage to include same sex unions yet we support that same federal government defining marriage our way. It’s inconsistent, and I try my best not to be. DOMA is unconstitutional and no matter what spin we come up with, the federal government should not be defining marriage. This includes heterosexual or homosexual unions.
I advocate states’ rights but to put an end to the issue I think the state & the feds should get out of marriage altogether. Last year I shared with you all my marriage proposal intended to fairly resolve this issue. I, together with my friend & fellow writer Walter Myers III plan to make some changes to that initial proposal and address other issues that will arise, such as polygamy. The government should issue everyone civil unions (gay & straight couples) and allow religious institutions to define marriage for themselves. Since there are plenty of religious institutions who already perform same sex unions, it is very fair. You can simply choose not to attend such a religious institution if what they choose to allow is against your beliefs. Any other solution will give politicians room to repeal/enact laws every 2, 4 or 6 years – each time congressional demographics change and power shifts to the Democratic party or the GOP. They will continue to use this issue to take our eyes off of the economy and quite frankly, I’m sick of it. We need to end this already and I stand by my commentary. I also welcome the thoughts of persons from all political affiliations, or without one, on this issue. Together, we can resolve this fairly, in a “multi-partisan” manner and move on to other issues.
Talitha “TK” McEachin
Talitha “TK” McEachin is a conservative libertarian political & cultural blogger for CainTV, KiraDavis.net and Yahoo Voices. She’s also an editorial writer for Black Literature Magazine & an upcoming writer of fiction. Her first novel, THE ELEMENTS, the first book in her epic fantasy series will be released in 2013. Learn more about her fictional writing by visiting her website (www.theelementsbooks.com).
My friend & fellow blogger Walter Myers III shared some wonderful commentary on Facebook regarding the Yahoo article on the recent meeting of Chick-Fil-A CEO & a gay rights activist & I wanted to share his thoughts:
“I just learned about this today, and I think it is a great thing. What I think gay activists need to understand is that when one is a follower of Christ, one cannot pick and choose what they believe. Regardless of what we believe, we are called to love all people, and being for traditional marriage does not make us “anti-gay.” The Bible is clear about homosexuality, so when a Christian opposes same-sex marriage, it is not because we don’t like those who are gay or are against them having equal rights under the law. With respect to marriage, we don’t believe that same-sex marriage is equal because it is clear that it is not the same thing as heterosexual marriage. Just calling two things equal doesn’t make them equal.
A friend of mine argued today that I am discriminating against a group of people, and used the example of heterosexual couples who can’t have children to say that marriage is not about procreation. My response was that the fact that some couples can’t have children is because something went wrong, but the design of man and woman is to be able to continue the species. It’s the same as saying that a football game that produces a score of 0-0 is not a football game because no one scored. The design of the game IS to score, but that doesn’t mean it is NOT a game because no one scored. By the same token, the fact that some heterosexual couples can’t have children in no way detracts from the fact that they are married and that is the institution designed to produce children.
Some compare the fight for interracial marriage as equivalent to same-sex marriage. Interracial marriage is not actually “interracial,” because there is only ONE race, the human race. Just because people divide themselves into racial categories has nothing to do with the fact that regardless of these racial categories, all men and women of any race can procreate naturally. So interracial marriage has always been a false distinction because there is no such thing as “interracial marriage.”
Some say that because about fifty percent of marriages end in divorce, even in Christian marriages, that this shows marriage is not a special institution. But the fact that we as people, who are fallen and fallible, end up in broken relationships in no way affects the ideal that is marriage. Just imagine if everyone gave up on other ideals in life because they weren’t successful in more than fifty percent of their endeavors. Life is a struggle, and nothing is promised in life, so we make the best of it we can, and we always hold out hope for the best.
So regarding discrimination against gays because I may be against redefining the definition of marriage, I think it is instructive to point out that discrimination occurs in all walks of life, and that there is not always ill intent. Aren’t women that are not very attractive excluded when they can’t make it to the Miss America or Miss USA pageant? That, indeed, is discrimination of some sort. When white women won’t date black men because they are black, or black women won’t date white men because they are white, is that discrimination? Am I being excluded from joining the Pacific Club in Newport Beach because I can’t afford the $15,000 membership? In each case, there is some exclusion, but the “discrimination” in these cases is simply meeting some particular criteria that has no intent expressly meant to cause harm to others. And in the same way, marriage being between a man and a woman is simply a way to distinguish a particular type of union (not to “exclude” or “discriminate against” anyone), which is the only union that can possibly produce children naturally.
From the Christian perspective, we are all sinners, and we all have to deal with our sin. There are various types of sin, some obviously more heinous than others. But why would a Christian, whose charge is to bring others into the kingdom, treat gays differently from anyone else when it comes to sin? Homosexuality is just one of many types of sin that keeps that person separated from God. Gays need the love of Christ just as much as anyone else, and must face their sins as I have to face my own. So any Christian would be doing someone who is gay a great disservice by accepting either homosexuality or same-sex marriage as normative, even though it may pain us to do so. Either a Christian is going to be true to God’s word, or they are not going to be true to God’s word. But in being true to God’s word, there should be no greater friend to gays than Christians, and we should be the ones who are the first to help if gays are treated in an intentionally harmful or hateful manner. Just because we disagree on same-sex marriage does not mean we are not to serve a gay person as our fellow man or woman in goodness, in love, and in truth.”
Amid the controversy of statements made by Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy, about his support of traditional marriage, I want to share with you my proposal to solving this seemingly never ending issue on same sex marriage vs traditional marriage. For the record, I am a Christian Conservative who supports traditional marriage between one man and one woman, therefore, although I respect proponents of same sex marriage, I oppose their platform on the matter, in favor of the tenets of my religious faith. Those who would oppose me because of their secular humanist philosophy or religious views even, certainly have the freedom to do so, however, if such opposition includes ad hominems such as bigot, homophobe, religious zealot or any other such labels, immediately, they demonstrate a lack of the very same tolerance which they demand from me, rendering their arguments exponentially futile to my ears.
Since this missive is not about the current Chick-Fil-A controversy, I will not discuss it, however, you can read Dan Cathy’s statement here if you are unfamiliar with it. Currently, only six states have legalized same sex marriages – Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont & most recently, New York. Although these states recognize same sex marriage, the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) means that the federal government does not have to recognize these unions performed in those states. Also, Washington, DC, Maryland, Rhode Island and two Native American tribal jurisdictions recognize these unions from those six states but does not perform them. According to Wikipedia:
“Same-sex marriage has been established through court rulings and legislative action, but not via popular vote. Nine states prohibit same-sex marriage in statute and thirty prohibit it in their constitution. The movement to obtain marriage rights and benefits for same-sex couples in the United States began in the 1970s, but became more prominent in U.S. politics in 1993 when the Hawaii Supreme Court declared the state’s prohibition to be unconstitutional in Baehr v. Lewin.
Throughout the 2000s decade, public support for legalizing same-sex marriage grew considerably, and various national polls now show that a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage. On May 9, 2012, Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to publicly declare support for the legalization of same-sex marriage.”
Before the current Chick-Fil-A controversy, the last event to re-ignite the debate on same sex marriage was indeed President Barack Obama’s open support of same sex marriage which some celebrated & others stood against. President Obama is no different from any other citizen in that he can personally choose to support or oppose any view he wants but since he is a self-professed Christian, this decision disappointed me greatly. As a Christian, I believe in the biblical scriptures on which I base my opposition to same sex marriage. The Bible is explicitly clear on homosexuality in both the Old & New testaments, therefore a marriage based on a homosexual union is utterly invalid to those whose religious faith inherently prohibits it:
“You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman.”
“That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.”
Christianity is not alone in it’s condemnation of homosexuality:
“We also sent Lut: He said to his people: Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds. And his people gave no answer but this: they said, “Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!” (Qur’an 7:80-82)
“If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way. If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 4:15-16)
In Theravada Buddhism, it is explicitly mentioned in the Vinaya (monastic discipline) and prohibited. It is not singled out for special condemnation, but rather simply mentioned along with a wide range of other sexual behavior as contravening the rule that requires monks and nuns to be celibate.
Of course there are non-religious persons who support homosexuality and believe that it is as normal as heterosexuality and two persons who love one another should be able to join together in marriage legally. The arguments for same sex marriage are vast but predictable (in my opinion) and there are some religious persons (self-professed Christians included) who present arguments in favor of same sex marriage as well. I won’t present them here but the point is that regardless to the arguments from both sides, a solution to this dilemma will require compromise from both groups. Here are some major points in my proposal to resolve the issue:
Rather than re-defining marriage as well as civil unions for every citizen as an arrangement based on gender and sexual preference, let’s re-define them based on the institution ordaining the marriage or presiding over the civil union (religious institutions vs. the government). In other words, a marriage becomes a union ordained by a religious institution and a civil union becomes a union presided over by the government. This removes the entire issue of sexual preference by redefining it based on who performs the union. One complaint from those in the LGBT community is that “civil unions” have a negative connotation and are inherently inferior by name. Since a civil union would now be defined by merely being a union sanctioned by the government, regardless of the gender of both parties, non-religious heterosexual couples would also be “merged”under governmental civil unions.
With marriages & civil unions re-defined in this manner, certain terminology would also change. A religious institution will “marry” couples & the state (government) will “merge” a couple. Partners in a civil union will be called “life partners” and in marriages they will be called “spouses” . Religious institutions may or may not specify this with “husband”and “wife”. Civil unions will designate a “life partner A or B” (or I & II) on documentation.
Leaders of individual religious institutions or entire denominations as a whole will not be required to maintain licenses, the couples they marry will not either. Each religious institution may issue it’s own marriage licenses or permission to marry (or not)based on their own decision making processes. Each denomination or individual institution must submit their marriage requirements or procedures to the state government for the purpose of record keeping and in case of divorce proceedings.
The State (government) can continue to issue licenses as is for same sex and heterosexual couples alike who choose state sanctioned “mergers”.
It is the couples’ decision alone on which arrangement to seek. It is the religious institution’s decision to accept or deny a marriage based on their religious dogma or their interpretation of it.
Divorces would have a two step process for marriages (for filing), first, the religious institution would issue an certificate or decree (written consent) to divorce and take on the responsibility for any emotional distress and counseling. This certificate or decree would be presented to the state for the sole purpose of dividing assets, calculating child support or alimony payments to either spouse. The religious institution will deal with the spiritual and emotional, the state (courts) will only decide material & monetary divisions. The religious institutions may give a recommendation with the divorce decree/certificate/written consent for custody of any minor children, but this too, will remain the role of the courts. Civil Unions would only have a one step “dissolution” process, filing directly with the state and settling all monetary/material distributions with the courts just as marriages will.
Religious institutions must adhere to the law in each state with regards to the legal age of consent. In other words, a religious institution cannot marry a 40 or 18 year old man and an 11 or 14 year old girl in Georgia (for example), whose age of consent is 16. Religious institutions must also adhere to the law in each state not allowing blood family members to marry one another. This is because there is a proven biological risk for birth defects and other medical problems when close family members procreate. Such relationships includes siblings, cousins, parent-child…etc. Marriages of this type performed by a religious institution knowingly, can be annulled by the state and the religious institution would pay a penalty.
Now I have shared only a portion of my marriage proposal here and will share more as I fine tune it but with this proposal, marriage is defined by religious faith which is in accordance with today’s marriage practices, because for the overwhelming majority of marriages in the United States, the date of actual marriage (and anniversary celebrations) is based on the date of the ceremony and not the date when marriage licenses are issued by the state. Now as I briefly alluded to above, there are religious persons who support same sex marriage and believe that the Bible does not expressly forbid it, because although the New Testament mentions it (Romans 1:26) their main argument is that Jesus himself does not forbid it in his words. This is a spiritually dangerous technicality in my view, but everyone has the right to believe what they want. For the religious institutions in support of same sex marriage, as you may have deduced, they will in fact, have the freedom to marry couples of the same sex in theirindividual institutions or denominations.
Before my fellow Christians in opposition of same sex marriage start cursing me or my proposal, this is not problematic, because although we know and believe that homosexuality is expressly forbidden based on the scriptures, we cannot dictate to a church, synagogue, mosque or other religious gathering that they must share our interpretation of scriptures or sexual morality. Sinners are allowed to sin. If an entire church body decides to approve a same sex marriage, in short, that’s their business and we don’t have to attend such a church. I refuse to. That’s my personal decision. To find this problematic spiritually, you’d also have to take issue with any denomination that has any practice which yours does not based on a difference in scriptural interpretation or a lack of one. We cannot pretend as though all denominations are the same theologically or otherwise.
Now to some that begs the question, “Why can’t the federal government just legalize same sex marriage everywhere? What’s the difference?” The answer is simple – because in doing so the government is legislating morality for all. When an umbrella is opened fully, whoever is under it will be in the shade regardless as to whether they want to be or not. In order to get back in the sun or rain, one must have the freedom to do so and this is impossible with only one umbrella or a federal mandate.For some, this is the same problem if a majority vote does not go in their favor. If the federal government (or for that matter individual states) makes a law to legalize same sex marriages everywhere and the government decides who gets licenses and requires them in order for a person to perform a marriage, what is to stop the government from refusing a license to someone who refuses to marry a same sex or heterosexual couple? Wouldn’t a same or opposite sex couple be able to sue a religious institution for discrimination? Of course they could because as it stands now, marriages in the church are subject to the authority of the state, because without a license, a minister cannot marry anyone.
If we sever this relationship, the decision of who to marry becomes the sole decision of the religious institution and they cannot be punished or rewarded in any way for it. If you are thinking that such a scenario will never happen, think again, it already has in this instance. There have also been instances where churches refused to marry same sex couples and homosexual pastors have refused to marry heterosexual couples, which is their prerogative. In my opinion, this is inherently in conflict with anti-discrimination laws because of the existing license requirement imposed on leaders of religious institutions by the state. If we take away license requirements, we cut the religious umbilical cord to the state.
To avoid all of this, the decision of who can marry should rest in the hands of each religious institution or entire denominations and we must eradicate licensure requirements in this regard. What I am advocating for are individual umbrellas for each religious institution and one for the state. A religious institution has the right to oppose and refuse gay marriage or allow it. My proposal renders the state non-partisan as it should be and restores autocracy to religious institutions as far as marriage is concerned. Others will ask, will a church or mosque be able to deny interracial or interfaith marriages? The answer is yes as they should be, because religion is a predecessor of government and religious institutions can define marriage how they want with a few limits. Contrary to what some think or recent events, institutions who refuse interracial couples are not popular nor widespread. Ones who refuse interfaith couples (for example a Christian marrying a Hindu) are doing so because of religious dogma and are within their rights to refuse such a union. For every religious entity which discriminates for these reasons, there are ones that don’t. In America, we have options, let’s utilize them.
Both spouses and life partners would also have equality in civil and legal matters which are not covered by legal documents such as wills, for example. If same sex or opposite sex couples do not want a merger under a civil union because of any perceived inequality or inferiority because of naming, they can seek a marriage from a religious institution which will marry them and these days there is no shortage of institutions willing to do either. I must reiterate that neither marriages or civil unions are defined in my proposal by the gender or sexual preference of the individuals which make up the couple by the state. It’s up to the religious institutions to restrict their definitions to same sex or opposite sex couples, or allow both. This also would mean that DOMA would not need to be repealed necessarily, but rather it would be amended to define marriage as a union of religious origin rather than gender, for two or more** persons. A religious institution, however, can define marriage by gender in it’s decision of who it will and will not marry.
What one religious denomination decides to allow or refuse has no bearing on the religion as a whole. Denominations were created because of varying religious interpretations for the most part. If a religious institution presided over your ceremony you’re married, if the government did so you are merged. Your gender is irrelevant. From my perspective, this is the best way to compromise while keeping the state in it’s proper place with regards to marriage – limited but allowed some regulation, which is no different from private sector commerce. Think about it.
**Stay tuned, Walter Myers III will explore the topic of polygamy & marriage in Part II to this blog!
Once in a while another conservative blogger writes something so brilliant and thought provoking on a topic that I just have to feature it on my blog. My great friend and fellow Christian Conservative Walter Myers III is such an exceptional writer. We are both Christians who are classically trained philosophers who also feature political & social commentary on each of our own personal blogs as well as our joint Facebook fanpage Conservative BFF’s. In his recently released blog he explains five cogent, valid arguments against same sex marriage which are very difficult to refute effectively.
My first argument is that the traditional definition of marriage is not discriminatory. Marriage, as defined traditionally between a man and a woman, is simply a description (and no more) of the natural union between a man and a woman who are in love and want to commit to a lifetime together. This is the only union that can naturally produce the fundamental unit of all societies since the dawn of civilization: the family. This is in accord with natural law in that it is a readily and naturally apprehensible concept, as it is marriage and the family that provides the underpinnings of any society. Families build communities. Communities build cities. Cities make up states. States make up a nation. Regardless of whether one accepts the traditional definition of marriage, they must acknowledge the historical role of the family and the fact that this has always been the natural order and always will be the natural order until such a time that homosexual sex can produce children naturally. From my understanding of the design of the human body, I don’t see that happening any time in the near or far-flung future.
Second, advocates of same-sex marriage desire this definition change in a discriminatory manner, which I think is the most powerful argument against as currently proposed. I believe same-sex marriage advocates have a low view of marriage and the family, because they see it as some type of exclusive club that allows a specific group to join while rejecting those who don’t fittheir definition. Specifically, same-sex marriage advocates believe that marriage is just about coupling. In other words, it is about two people coming together in a loving, committed relationship. Yet they don’t seem to feel that these same relational attributes should also apply when the committed parties are greater than two in number. If they are willing to redefine the definition of marriage beyond its natural description, then shouldn’t any arrangement be acceptable as long as the arrangement is declared to be a loving, committed relationship, regardless of the number of parties involved? To willfully exclude three or more people of any gender combination from participating in the marriage bond is inherently discriminatory, and should not be accepted if traditional marriage is deemed discriminatory itself…
To continue reading the other three reasons (remainder of his blog) please click HERE.