It should come as no surprise to anyone that I am not happy about the forced resignation of Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla.He made a 1K donation in support of California’s Proposition 8 which bans same sex marriage, in 2008. After he was promoted to CEO, the outcry over his personal views on same sex marriage came under fire & the media storm began. Add to the backdrop of this drama that 52% of Californians voted in support of Proposition 8 & it was overturned by nothing short of a SCOTUS decision. He is the latest victim of the liberal “tolerance police” and likely won’t be the last. If you are unaware of this story, here are two pieces written about it from different viewpoints here (The New Yorker) and here (Townhall). Needless to say, I have uninstalled the Mozilla Firefox browsers from all of my computers & devices.
It’s funny how many people in this country are OK with unfair discrimination as long as it’s directed towards those whom they don’t like or disagree with. That phenomenon is non-partisan. Many of my liberal friends are OK with Brendan Eich losing his job for his personal opinion on same sex marriage even though in no way did it affect his ability to do his job, nor did he treat anyone unfairly. It doesn’t bother them that someone in the IRS broke the law by revealing the list of donors. The very reason this is against the law, is to prevent the very thing they are celebrating. This law was created so that donors to the NAACP long ago wouldn’t be persecuted or lynched even, for doing so. Imagine that. It’s a huge inconsistency. So if a similar thing happens to a gay employee of a company which largely leans conservative & is against same sex marriage (and I wouldn’t be happy about that either), I don’t want to hear a peep out of the LGBT community or those who support same sex marriage. By supporting unfair discrimination towards anyone for any reason, you not only are complicit, you’re encouraging it right back towards yourselves. Be careful what you condone…
Until next time – have a very productive week everyone!
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.
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.