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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Gay Agenda, Pt. 4 Legitimize Same-sex Marriage

Prelude to the Series
The fact that there is a gay agenda, at least on the part of the leaders of the Gay Rights Movement, should not be understood as anything out of the ordinary.  All movements have agendas, including political parties, religious organizations and nonprofit enterprises like the Red Cross.  So simply having goals they want accomplished should not be off-putting.  It is a normal function of modern movements that want to advance their causes.  

However, many opponents of the gay agenda are trying to make it look like there is something underfoot akin to the subversive activities of the communists of the 1950s, along with a corresponding witch hunt.  When I finish with this series which focuses on the publicly declared and commonly held items of this agenda, I will list some of the more outrageous charges that act more as red herrings than actual concerns.   I hope to show that, regardless of the hysteria surrounding the reality of a gay agenda, these are reasonable, responsible and valuable contributions to the public square.  (Not withstanding the outlandish charges masquerading as part of the agenda, but are only made up by the opposition.)  This is why I chose an opponent of the gay rights movement's (John Rankin) list of what he sees as the gay agenda, as it is, except for the last two, a fair assessment of it.

The following quote is another of critic John Rankin's notions of the gay agenda: 
"Redefine 'marriage' to include 'same-sex' relationships."

As I indicated in a previous post, the redefinition of marriage has been a continuous pursuit over many millennia.  Marriage has never always been between one man and one woman, as many critics of same-sex marriage would have us believe. They have recently modified it to say that it has always been a matter of opposite sexes marrying, and even that is false.  True, same-sex marriages are rare among Western societies, but they are found even today.  Their bottom line position has become that, well, Jesus was in favor of only one man and one woman marrying, so we should be too.  That is a far cry from their original position that it has always been that way.

But we are not talking about what the church should believe and how it should act in matters of marriage. I will only summarize the argument here, but not all biblical scholars agree that Christian marriage can be only between one man and one woman.  (You'd be surprised how many Christian missionaries allow converts in polygamous marriages to continue in them.)  

It's one thing to say there is a norm and quite another to say that that norm is universal.  It is the norm that most humans are right handed, but it is not universal. It is a norm that most Mexican speak Spanish, but not a universal. It is the norm that Christian heterosexuals are expected to marry in the opposite sex, have children, and not divorce.  As I say, this is the heterosexual norm.  But what of nonheterosexuals?  How can we expect them to conform to a norm that is not possible for them. See a fuller treatment of this reasoning here. 

As much as the critics of the gay agenda would like to believe that America is a Christian nation, it isn't.  Israel is a Jewish nation, Saudi Arabia is a Muslim nation, but the USA is a democratic republic, presided over by the Constitution.  So whatever Christianity may say or not say, its rules for itself are confined to itself and are prohibited from being forced on an unwilling public (insofar as it is unwilling). Therefore, to insist, rightly or wrongly that the Bible says marriage can only be between one man and one woman, we respectfully say, you have no standing in this decision.  It is not for you to decide.

What the Supreme Court of the US is wrestling with is not what does the Bible say about marriage, but what does the US Constitution tell us we must do with respect to same-sex marriage and DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act).  Children entering high school are astonished to learn from their history of the United States, that marriage between separate races was once illegal in many parts of our nation.  It's virtually unthinkable that as late as 1964, states could prohibit two people in love, but of different races, to marry. Interestingly, these same students are on record as overwhelmingly in favor of same-sex marriage.  Do you suppose there is a connection?  Known injustices have a way of translating outrage against other injustices.  

The Mexican Supreme Court today (February 19,2013) produced an opinion that make same-sex marriage legal there.  Interestingly, they cited the logic of the US Supreme Court in its striking down of laws banning interracial marriage.  Here's the part of the Mexican courts opinion that bears on our point:
The historical disadvantages that homosexuals have suffered have been well recognized and documented: public harassment, verbal abuse, discrimination in their employment and in access to certain services, in addition to their exclusion to some aspects of public life. In this sense … when they are denied access to marriage it creates an analogy with the discrimination that interracial couples suffered in another era. In the celebrated case Loving v. Virginia, the United States Supreme Court argued that “restricting marriage rights as belonging to one race or another is incompatible with the equal protection clause” under the US constitution. In connection with this analogy, it can be said that the normative power of marriage is worth little if it does not grant the possibility to marry the person one chooses.
It may be that SCOTUS returns to its own logic in the Loving case and ends one more inequitable slice of American life and makes same-sex marriage legal across the nation.

I have to believe (the evidence is just too obvious) that the reason so many people fight against this inequality is that they really don't believe that LGBTs deserve equal standing with heterosexuals.  That they are somehow less than human, even, and to grant them this right would be to dignify the undignifiable.  The Roman Catholic Church considers LGBTs "intrinsically disordered." Those who are Christians and feel this way justify themselves, often, with the belief that anyone who is destined to hell should not be afforded any heaven on earth. What a pity; and not just for LGBTs, but for those miserable Christians who must detest life here on earth.  No wonder they can't wait for Jesus to return and destroy it all.

But for others of us Christians who fight daily for the realized dignity of LGBTs, we look to the day when no one is denied their rightful place in that great community called humanity. Even in the church as well as in the nation and world.  

TOMORROW: The Gay Agenda, Pt.5 
Here's where I part company with Rankin's listing of the gay agenda: "Elevate 'gay' relationships to a place of moral superiority for the wider culture to honor and emulate."


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