Time For Truth

A place to grow in the Grace & Knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ

Equality?

One of the major arguments for “gay marriage” is equality.  Proponents both inside and outside of “church” organizations often claim that they are fighting for equality.  When they encounter failure in secular or religious political fights, they claim that the decisions went against equality.  When they encounter political victories, they claim that equality has won out.

Let us for a moment examine the argument for equality.

Question 1:

Do self-identified homosexuals have fewer political/church rights than those who do not identify themselves as gay?  Do they have the same marriage rights?

The answer of course is a resounding yes.  They have exactly the same rights as all others.  They have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex, just as anyone else does.  They do not have the right to marry someone of the same sex, like all others.  What is actually being attempted is a redefinition of marriage, not a rights issue.  This has nothing to do with equality or fairness.

Within my own PCUSA there are several groups who exist for the sole purpose of the promotion of full acceptance of homosex behavior, often using the argument of equality.  The argument is made that active self-affirming unrepentant homosexuals are banned from leadership positions within the church, and are therefore “unequal”.  They therefore fight for the equality of homosexuals, including the arena of marriage.

In fact, the term equality is often used to frame the debate.  This is completely dishonest.  For one must first provide sufficient proof within a Christian context that God recognizes homosexuality as a personhood identifier.  There is no definitive scientific/biological or even psychological evidence for this, let alone a shred of biblical evidence.  Until enough such evidence can be provided which leads to concession from the opposing side, then this argument is fallacious to the extreme.

The fact is that all those who have a sinful homosex bent, are called to repent and turn to God for forgiveness.  They are then called to live in obedience to Christ and his infallible word, making them eligible for positions of spiritual leadership.  It is the same for those who have a bent for gossiping, or lying, or stealing.  All of us are equal, and have the same rights and responsibilities before God.  All are sinners, called to repent of our sins and live lives that please God.  But those who defiantly reject God’s word, embrace their sinful behaviors, and continue stealing, cannot and should not be eligible for ordination into a leadership position.  We are all equal in this.

It is morally irresponsible to frame the issue as one based on equality without bringing sufficient biblical evidence to bear that would show that God recognizes “homosexuality” as a personhood category.

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May 29, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

10 Comments »

  1. Well done, brother; you have stated it exactly right. “Equality” in a legal sense, if conferred upon same-sex marriage (a big issue here in California), amounts to allowing anybody to marry anybody they choose—anybody. [Since freedom and privacy are the prevailing values to be upheld]. The hole in our formal arguments exists around the question of why hetero-sexual marriage is best for the common interest, which is to be the compelling reason for any public policy. As far as I can tell, declaring same-sex couples “married” is, perhaps (though I don’t believe this), good for those couples, but it is disastrous for the common good. Why is it considered a compelling public interest to affirm a lifestyle known to be “bad for the health,” confusing within society, contrary to God’s design for human beings, non-pro-creative, and diminishing to the dignity and sanctity of the vast majority of marriages (heterosexual)? Beats me.

    Comment by Rev. Mary Holder Naegeli | May 30, 2009

  2. Excellent clarification. I don’t know why it has taken so long for anyone to point this out. Of course, those who argue for “equality” will disagree with you, because they absolutely believe that “homosexual” is a personhood category, but your point is correct that there is not yet sufficient evidence for this, that by no means does everyone agree that it is a personhood category, and that the argument is really about redefining marriage.

    Comment by Deborah Milam Berkley | May 30, 2009

  3. Adel,
    I think you and I just have to agree to disagree. I don’t think your argument concerning gays having the same rights to marry people of the opposite sex is going to heal the broken hearts of those who are told they cannot marry. But, those are your beliefs and I respect that. However…

    Rev. Mary,
    When you say, “allowing anybody to marry anybody they choose-anybody’, who are you referring to? The only scenario I could think of is, close family members. The arguments against that, are mostly scientific, namely, really bad for the gene pool. Oh yeah, maybe children, there you can argue that it harms the child. With gay marriage, no gene pool, no underage children, what is the “bad for the health” argument? Most of the long term couples I know are very healthy. They are pretty much normal, happy couples, going to work, watching TV in the evenings, giving back to the community…it’s not so confusing.

    I can’t argue about God’s design, I don’t read the Bible literally.

    Many hetero marriages are non-procreative, maybe we should give fertility tests before marriage, and a survey to see if they intend to have children? I didn’t plan to have children, no one told me I couldn’t get married.

    How is the dignity and sanctity of MY marriage diminished? I would think, and correct me if I’m wrong, only I can do that by my actions. The dignity and sanctity of my marriage is between my husband, me and my God.

    Peace

    Comment by Sam Mack | May 30, 2009

  4. Sam,

    Can you clarify for me how your remarks deal with the substance of my blog entry?

    How do we heal the broken hearts idolaters? Is it by affirming for them that idolatry is good?
    How do we affirm the broken hearts of those who desire to be in a polygamous relationship? Is it by affirming polygamists in thier desires?

    You don’t read the Bible literally? What does this mean? Does it mean that you don’t believe that you should love God with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself? Does it mean that you don’t agree that you should do unto others as you would have them do unto you? Or do you like those verses and choose to interpret them literally, but not others? Who in your life is sovereign?

    Comment by Adel | May 30, 2009

  5. Debbie,

    Thank you for your kind comments and may the Lord continue to bless your ministry.

    Comment by Adel | May 30, 2009

  6. I’m amazed that such an argument can seriously be put out there. Folks are free to marry as long as it’s the right gender is on par with saying people are free to join a any religion so long as it’s the right one.

    Comment by Dwight | May 30, 2009

  7. Dwight,

    Please deal with the substance of the argument.
    As a Christian, is there a biblical defense for personhood defined as “homosexual”?
    Further, is there a biological, psychological defense for personhood defined as “homosexual”? If there is no definitive evidence for a “gay gene”, how can a person be defined as such?
    Until such a clear and compelling argument can be put forth, equality cannot be argued.

    I would posit that we are all born heterosexual, and therefore, we have full equality of rights.

    You cannot frame the discussion otherwise, without a full defense of personhood to which the other side concedes.

    Comment by Adel | May 30, 2009

  8. I’m assuming there is no gay or heterosexual gene. There usually isn’t a one to one correspondence between a gene and some set of behaviors, attitudes, etc. There is a relationship between our genetics and who we are but sorting out causality is not easy. But the consensus whether it’s the scientific community or even the Catholic Church is that orientation is not “chosen” no matter what the mixture is between “nature/nurture.”

    Of course that wouldn’t address the issue of whether something is right or even a good idea. In that I don’t buy a natural law argument to establish it as valid or invalid (and folks seem to do this on either side of the debate). But positing that who we are attracted to is set right from the start is more biological determinism than I’m willing to go with.

    Something along the lines of the lived experience of glbt folks and the social consequences of support versus discrimination and marginalization come in to play for me. Marriage can strengthen the bonds that tie us together. In that gay marriage becomes a moral good that we ought to be invested in as Christians who believe in that good.

    Comment by Dwight | May 31, 2009

  9. Dwight,

    Where is your biblical defense for a personhood defined other than heterosexual? As Christians, we must have that, before we change overwhelming biblical evidence for marriage between one man and one woman.

    Your other arguments take this form:
    1. Homosex desire is not chosen.
    Problem: All kinds of sins and addictions are not “chosen”. This is a worthless argument. People do not choose to be alcoholics, yet the urge is unmistakable for them.
    2. Lived experience makes it good.
    Problem: polyamory, polygamists, pedophiles can make the same claims to “lived experience.” This is another nonsense argument which can be used to defend almost anything.
    3. Support vs. discrimination and marginalization makes it right.
    Problem: Does discrimation for morbidly obese require affirmation of obesity as a good? Does discrimination against polygamists make full acceptability of the practice required? This argument is absurd. If there is discrimation, you deal with the discrimination, not affirmation of sinful behavior.
    4. Marriage can strengthen bonds.
    Problem: Polygamists and pedophiles can use the same arguments.
    Problem: Marriage by definition is between one man and one woman biblically. There is no wiggle room in this. Jesus affirms this in the gospels.

    Your arguments are meaningless and do not deal with the substance of the personhood issue. Where is the evidence for personhood other than heterosexual?

    Comment by Adel | May 31, 2009

  10. Okay Teacher, I didn’t stick to the argument. I was trying to deal with the premise that, because we all are equal to marry someone of the opposite sex, under the law, we are all equal. I’ve thought about the “personhood” question as it pertains to abortion, in this context, I’m going to have to think about it.

    I have trouble with the term “idolatry” because that makes marriage all about sex, and I don’t agree. Actually, I think polygamists can make a Biblical argument.

    I cannot use the Bible as evidence to the “personhood” of gays. The closest I can come is Gal. 3:28, and that’s weak.

    Do YOU believe that you should love the Lord your God with all… just because it says you have to in the Bible? If God resides in us, 1Cor. 3:16, shouldn’t everything you say, follow? In Christ I am a new creation…2Cor. 5:17. It’s internalized. It’s not a matter of literal interpretation of the Bible.

    What I believe about the Bible, today, it could change tomorrow, is: It was inspired by God, written down by imperfect humans, compiled by the same and we’re trying to interpret it in the context of our times and experiences. ie: I don’t think Jonah was swallowed by a whale/fish, the story tells me that God has a plan, and it will do no good to run the other way. The Bible is limited because of it’s cultural context. Who decided that God is no longer speaking to us?

    Who is sovereign in my life? God, not the Bible.

    “Do you accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be, by the Holy Spirit, the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ in the Church universal, and God’s Word to you?”

    I think I can live with that. Or, should I renounce my vows?

    Comment by Sam Mack | May 31, 2009


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