Friday, September 7, 2012

A Christian Argument Against "Gay Marriage"

It would seem that the very important subject of gay marriage is a topic that has not even yet begun to wane in its ascendancy.  Indeed, there are many well-meaning folks that are trying mightily to make this into the new civil rights issue for our times.  While I think that such comparisons are strongly misplaced, and frankly do an injustice to those good people of color that had to struggle and suffer to finally reach equality in their rights under the law, I can see cleverness in couching the debate in such terms.  It is a debate that has even caused President Obama to reconsider his position on gay marriage and for him to state, unconstitutionally, that he will not have his administration enforce the Defense of Marriage Act that was passed in congress and signed into law back in 1996 under President Clinton.

The rhetoric from the pro-gay marriage side of the debate has become quite heated.  Often times, an immediate and vociferous proclamation regarding one’s bigotry and hatefulness is issued if one does not agree and support the concept of gay marriage.  Evidently it doesn’t occur to these folks or it is rather ignored that those of us that support and defend traditional marriage do so out of strong sociological reasons that support the concept that a family composed of a mother and a father is typically the very best environment in which to raise and support children.  The fact that many people who think this way also do so because of a strong religious Christian faith only seems to exacerbate the matter.  Indeed, many pro-gay marriage advocates and even many “enlightened” Christians think that God’s word is not necessarily eternal and on this issue it is antiquated.  It is an anachronism to them accordingly.

I have been confronted by pro-gay marriage proponents that have used the fallacious logic that “Christ never said anything about same-sex marriage”.  This argument is used as justification for some Christians to assume that Christ would not condemn such marriages, since they are still constituted in love.  The notion is silly frankly.  Christ also never explicitly said anything about rape, suicide, or pedophilia either.  Surely, following such flawed logic, they are not implying that our Lord is just fine with those things too.

While I absolutely do not support gay marriage or condone homosexual acts, I certainly do not have any hatred or loathing for gay people.  My thoughts on the issue, while having matured over time, have always been rooted in the same basic tenet that such actions were intrinsically wrong.  People with same-sex attraction though are God’s children, just as we all are, and should thus be treated with respect and dignity.

I was very pleased to read what the Catechism of the Catholic Church had to say on the subject, as I found myself in complete agreement with the teaching of the Church’s Magisterium and thus Christ’s own teachings accordingly.

CCC 2357 states: “Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, *141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." *142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

CCC 2358: The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

So what specifically did Christ have to say about marriage?  In the gospel of Matthew 19:3-12, Christ gives us His word on what marriage is supposed to be.

Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”  He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate."   They said to him, "Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss (her)?"   He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.   I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery."   [His] disciples said to him, "If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry."   He answered, "Not all can accept [this] word,  but only those to whom that is granted.   Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it."

The people seemed to be amazed at what Christ told them regarding a valid marriage and how anyone who divorced and remarried was living in adultery.  “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry!” (Mt.19:10 )  The fact that Jesus didn’t clarify or back-pedal means that they had obviously understood his meaning.  Jesus knew that it would be difficult for fallen men to live by that definition of marriage, and yet he held firm.  “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted” (Mt. 19:11).

Let’s look closely at what Jesus said next: “Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 19:12). The implications of Christ’s words are absolute then.  A man’s ability to be united to his wife sexually is was what made him a candidate for marriage. If he was unable to achieve sexual union because of a birth defect, castration, or a vow of celibacy, than marriage was not his vocation. 

Consequently it would seem that the foundation of Jesus’ whole argument is indeed biological. Unless “a man” and “his wife … become one flesh,” there is no valid marriage.  For Jesus, and for anyone committed to His teachings, it is impossible to speak of a “Christian same-sex marriage.” Jesus’ words rule it out absolutely. The parameters for marriage between Christians, the parameters for a sacramental marriage, have been set by Jesus and cannot be changed.  Indeed, as Christ said, “Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away” (Lk.23:33).

*141 Cf. Gen 191-29; Rom 124-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10.
*142 CDF, Persona humana 8. [Rom.1:21-32, 1 Cor.6:9-11]

24 comments:

John Myste said...

Evidently it doesn’t occur to these folks or it is rather ignored that those of us that support and defend traditional marriage do so out of strong sociological reasons that support the concept that a family composed of a mother and a father is typically the very best environment in which to raise and support children.

It does not occur to these gay folks because the welfare of children has nothing to do with anyone’s objections. How is it that Conservatives want to tell people how to live in this case, but they condemn regulating sugar intake or putting limitations on the consumption of unhealthy happy meals? I think it is more likely that they are wanting government interference prohibiting some forms of marriage in this case, not out of love for children, but out of disdain for homosexuals.

They should start by arguing what they believe for the reason they believe it if they want the other side to respect their arguments.

The notion is silly frankly. Christ also never explicitly said anything about rape, suicide, or pedophilia either. Surely, following such flawed logic, they are not implying that our Lord is just fine with those things too.

I think they are implying that burden of proof is on you if you are stating that Christ condemns gay marriage and they don’t agree. Pedophilia harms innocent children. Everyone agrees that. Christ was against harming innocent children. However, not everyone agrees that homosexuality is harmful to children. Not even Christ thought that so far as we know.

By the way, I am not 100% sure that Christ was against pedophilia, but I accept your statement for the sake of the discussion. Nor am I convinced that pedophilia harms children in every culture and has in every culture throughout history. Additionally, I suspect that Jesus disapproved of homosexuality, partially based on your presentation. Ironically, I don’t really care what Jesus thought about the subject very much.

Consequently it would seem that the foundation of Jesus’ whole argument is indeed biological. Unless “a man” and “his wife … become one flesh,” there is no valid marriage.

They do not become one flesh. There are still two, as proven by the fact that one can die and one live on. Jesus was mistaken.

For Jesus, and for anyone committed to His teachings, it is impossible to speak of a “Christian same-sex marriage.” Jesus’ words rule it out absolutely.

For someone using reason outside the context of religion, it is impossible to disapprove of same sex marriage. Funny, huh?

Indeed, as Christ said, “Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away” (Lk.23:33).

Ironically, he said lots of other things as well. Some of those other things were lost, so we don’t know about them. Ahahahahahah.

Respectfully, I strongly suspect you are against gay marriage because your religion renounces it. That is all there is to it. The rest of your case is simply false justification for your real position, which is wholly religious. The idea of rejecting gay marriage for social reasons it antithetical to the rest of the secular conservative’s philosophy. The idea that gay marriage denies heterosexuals their marriage is simply a made up lie.


T. Paine said...

Myste: It does not occur to these gay folks because the welfare of children has nothing to do with anyone’s objections…They should start by arguing what they believe for the reason they believe it if they want the other side to respect their arguments.

Paine: I am not for legislating against gay folks raising children. I simply think that credible evidence shows that most children do better when raised in a loving home with their mother and father. Do some children of gay parents do well? Absolutely. Do some children of heterosexual parents do poorly? You betcha. But, on average, evidence suggests that the most likely positive outcomes for children is when they are raised by their mother and father. That strikes me as simple common sense. Further, while that was not the main thrust of my argument against gay marriage, it is a valid point with which I do agree. The fact that you discount that notwithstanding, it is indeed part of my reasoning for my views on the subject. Also, I have found that many pro-gay marriage supporters do not respect my arguments from either a sociological or Christian perspective regardless, so I really don’t care to waste valuable effort trying to convince them otherwise.


Myste: I think they are implying that burden of proof is on you if you are stating that Christ condemns gay marriage and they don’t agree. Pedophilia harms innocent children. Everyone agrees that. Christ was against harming innocent children. However, not everyone agrees that homosexuality is harmful to children. Not even Christ thought that so far as we know.

Paine: I feel like I have fallen down the rabbit hole. I think I already have shown that marriage, as defined by Christ himself, is supposed to be between a man and a woman only. I don’t think the concept of gay marriage was something that was even contemplated in that day, hence there was no reason for Christ to explicitly condemn it.

T. Paine said...

Myste: By the way, I am not 100% sure that Christ was against pedophilia, but I accept your statement for the sake of the discussion. Nor am I convinced that pedophilia harms children in every culture and has in every culture throughout history. Additionally, I suspect that Jesus disapproved of homosexuality, partially based on your presentation. Ironically, I don’t really care what Jesus thought about the subject very much.

Paine: Your statement amazes me, John. I can say with 100% certainty that Christ was absolutely against pedophilia for the very reason you stated previously that it does harm innocent children. And I do care what God thinks on the subject very much.


Myste: They do not become one flesh. There are still two, as proven by the fact that one can die and one live on. Jesus was mistaken.

Paine: I really don’t care to expand on the philosophical and theological reasons why a husband and wife are supposed to “become one flesh”. You are being intentionally contrarian here, my friend.



Myste: For someone using reason outside the context of religion, it is impossible to disapprove of same sex marriage. Funny, huh?

Paine: While I was not trying to disapprove of same sex marriage outside of the context of religion (note the title of my post again), I disagree with your assertion. Again, there are many sociological and psychological studies that support my thesis on the topic, without resorting to religious arguments.



Myste: Respectfully, I strongly suspect you are against gay marriage because your religion renounces it. That is all there is to it. The rest of your case is simply false justification for your real position, which is wholly religious. The idea of rejecting gay marriage for social reasons it antithetical to the rest of the secular conservative’s philosophy. The idea that gay marriage denies heterosexuals their marriage is simply a made up lie.

Paine: Respectfully, you would be mistaken, sir. Yes, my religious faith powerfully instructs me on this issue, but it is not the only factor. Further, it might surprise you that I felt similarly about the issue back when I was still a heathen atheist. In this case I was less libertarian about this issue as I saw an over-riding reason for maintaining the natural family structure in order to ensure the survival and better functioning of our society.

John Myste said...

I am not for legislating against gay folks raising children. I simply think that credible evidence shows that most children do better when raised in a loving home with their mother and father.

That does not strike me as common sense. Additionally, I have read psychological studies to the contrary. Either way, I know children do better on balance when raised by affluent families. They are more likely to go to school instead of doing drugs and getting pregnant. Perhaps we should turn our attention to affluence in our effort to help the embattled children and turn our attention away from sexual preference or hair color or whatever.

Also, I have found that many pro-gay marriage supporters do not respect my arguments from either a sociological or Christian perspective regardless, so I really don’t care to waste valuable effort trying to convince them otherwise.

Your arguments are opinions, nothing more. They know the root of the opinion and they don’t respect the root.

Myste: They do not become one flesh. There are still two, as proven by the fact that one can die and one live on. Jesus was mistaken.

Paine: I really don’t care to expand on the philosophical and theological reasons why a husband and wife are supposed to “become one flesh”. You are being intentionally contrarian here, my friend.


No, I think the argument is wrong and I am pointing out how silly it is framed. The idea that man was “designed” or is constructed for monogamy is folly. The basic sexual instinct in man is counter to monogamy, and I believe this is because natural selection would work against the monogamous man in a major way. Most animals are not monogamous, and the notion that a man should be monogamous is a religious one, not a scientific one.

Again, there are many sociological and psychological studies that support my thesis on the topic, without resorting to religious arguments.

A. There are many scientific studies that rebut your thesis.

B. Even if your thesis were true, it would in no way show that gay marriage should be prohibited. There are a thousand preferences that relate to the health of children. I think people who shop at WalMart are MUCH worse for children than people who shop at Whole Foods, but I am against preventing WalMart shoppers to marry. Homosexual marriage is in no way child abuse. The argument is beyond absurd. The effect on children is a bogus justification for resenting the rights of homosexuals.




T. Paine said...

Myste: B. Even if your thesis were true, it would in no way show that gay marriage should be prohibited. There are a thousand preferences that relate to the health of children. I think people who shop at WalMart are MUCH worse for children than people who shop at Whole Foods, but I am against preventing WalMart shoppers to marry. Homosexual marriage is in no way child abuse. The argument is beyond absurd. The effect on children is a bogus justification for resenting the rights of homosexuals.

Paine: I never said nor even meant to imply that homosexual marriage is child abuse. I said that the rearing of children is BEST done by a father and a mother. This strikes me as common sense simply from a biological perspective. The different genders of the parents typically help to impart different lessons on the child and provide for different needs in order to raise a well-balanced and well-adjusted child. The only way that one could argue from a biological/sociological standpoint that there is no difference between a heterosexual and a homosexual couple raising their children (with all other factors being equal) is if you consider there to be no difference between the genders. That is patently absurd.

John Myste said...

I agree that there is a difference between genders. I don't agree that a "well-balanced" child should be exposed primarily to the family unit concept of the 50's. I actually think that helps convert the child into a mindless goofball.

T. Paine said...

Maybe we shouuldn't accept the roles of the 1950's, but the roles of the latest decade strike me as far worse. I think perhaps something in-between but leaning more towards the traditional roles of the 1950's would be more beneficial to our kids and society as a whole.

John Myste said...

I am not sure whether Amish treatment of children is ultimately good for them. If you can keep children benighted, they may be happy that way. However, it is a big IF.

John Myste said...

By the way, gay children of the past, did not have a good lot in life. They have it much better now. In fact, those who suffer the most because of homosexuality are not children. They are backward adults who recent sexual freedom. It is the prejudice itself that causes the majority of suffering and today, those who suffer the disease of prejudice are eaten up by it if is not treated.

The sooner we rid the world of this malady, the better for all of our children, who are simply adults in the making. If the adult is destined for unhappiness, then the child is a victim of what he is doomed to become.

Liberal Evangelical said...

I don't understand how "defending traditional marriage" and opposing marriage equality are considered to be the same thing. If we legalized gay marriage tomorrow, across all fifty states, would any traditional marriage be harmed? No, not one.

If one were to fight for legislation protecting traditional marriage, that would be something closer to banning divorce, which would actually protect marriages. But no one is proposing anything like that, even minsters who are fighting to "save traditional marriage".

Even better, legislation that protected traditional marriage would be best if it actually helped people who were married; greater tax incentives for marriage, subsidies for marriage or parental counseling, increased support for families struggling with medical and financial burdens. Again, no one is making that argument.

Instead, we "protect" marriage by denying the institution to people who only want the same rights the rest of us enjoy. The current legal benefits to marriage are a civil right, make no bones about. Being denied those rights is a very real civil rights issue.

T. Paine said...

Liberal Evangelical, I appreciate your comments, even though I obviously don’t fully agree with everything you wrote. I do agree with, in theory, some of your excellent suggestions for protecting and incentivizing marriage through legislation. I am afraid that I simply cannot go so far as to support so-called gay marriage though. That term is simply an anathema to the term marriage as the Bible and Christ taught us. I think my post speaks very clearly to that matter. Obviously gay people will choose to do as they wish, and with now more states recently passing laws supporting gay marriage, I suspect the trend will continue in the way you wish it. I don’t think that is a good thing for the structure of the family and society accordingly though.

John Myste said...

Liberal Evangelical,

You have made a powerful case, but I just don't know if I could ever treat gays as legal equals. They do, after all, commit acts that I and my God, as I define Him, find objectionable. This whole: "You have the right to love anyone anyway you want so long as it does not infringe on the rights of others thing" is a bit much.

The part you are completely missing is that I don't like men “that way” and I don't want men to be able to unite with other men because that bothers me personally. In fact, if we allow this, I am quite certain it will compromise my marriage in some way or something. My marriage is sacred and you have no right to do it harm.

I know, you think I sound like a raving lunatic; but I assure you: I am just as sane as any other gay marriage opponents.

T. Paine said...

Liberal Evangelical, you will have to excuse my friend John Myste. He is a regular here and while he does mean well, he is quite often misguided. I simply stated the case of why gay “marriage” is not a concept compatible with Christianity. That said, the practice seems to be gaining more wide-spread acceptance in the secular world, and will probably continue to do so. It is my opinion that this is wrong based on what my faith instructs me. If you all want to continue to slouch towards Gomorrah, however, then by all means do so. Cheers!

John Myste said...

If you all want to continue to slouch towards Gomorrah, however, then by all means do so.

Read some tabloids to fulfill the drama need. Damn. America is not slouching because it is discriminating against fewer people, even if it is "them people." I have to agree with you on one thing, though. If we are going to curtail discrimination in America, we should not shower this gift on gays. There are equal people whose civil rights we could guarantee. Why waste our time on those whose lifestyles we arbitrarily assume inferior?

It is hard to keep up with. I need a list of who is entitled to equality and who is not. We are so disorganized in our discrimination agenda.

T. Paine said...

Oh, drama is coming in a big way, John. This nation is headed for HUGE trouble. That said, if I want to get my fill of it in the mean-time, about a 15 minute dose of MSNBC in the evening will do it.

You needn’t worry though. Your world view is prevailing now. We won’t “discriminate” against gays any longer. That discrimination will be and is now being directed towards people of faith that try to abide by the dictates of their faith. Obama is merely accelerating that process. We will soon become Canada where a reverend cannot legally even say that homosexual acts are immoral. Or that abortion is evil. Our government is already insuring that our faith is something that we must keep private and to ourselves. We won’t be allowed to actually live it and proclaim it outside of church on Sundays. Yep, we are headed for a brave new world full of drama!

John Myste said...

We will soon become Canada where a reverend cannot legally even say that homosexual acts are immoral.

Conservatives kept threatening to move to Canada if Obama was elected, which amused me to no end.

We can avoid the fiscal cliff unless the GOP does not want to avoid it. It is that simple. Cooperate and compromise. We will do the same. Disaster averted.

T. Paine said...

First, while I think the western provinces of Canada that I have visited are beautiful, I would hardly want to live in such a restrictive country.

As for the fiscal cliff, I would say just the opposite is true. Already there are linguini-spine Republicans showing that they are willing to “compromise” and raise taxes during this near-recession. And yet there hasn’t been any substantiative talk on what areas we will be cutting spending. If anything is cut at all anywhere, it will only be on the Department of Defense. Once again it is the RINO’s that will compromise their so-called principles and the Democrats will give up nothing. The disaster is coming regardless, and progressives of both parties are to blame. Actually, it is the ignorant folks that elected them that are to blame; not that this matters anymore.

John Myste said...

The disaster is coming regardless, and progressives of both parties are to blame. Actually, it is the ignorant folks that elected them that are to blame; not that this matters anymore.

I am one of those who elected him and I am not ignorant. Additionally, just as the S & P stated in another situation, our willingness to default on loans and go over fiscal cliffs, is what makes us not financially stable. That willingness was born with the Tea Party. If we go over the cliff, the Tea Party will have the lion's share of the blame.

If not for recent gerrymandering, perhaps popular vote would have saved the day and the House would have been won by democrats also, in which case there would be no fiscal cliff issue, as you know already. A democratic clean sweep would have instantly averted the fiscal cliff, so long as we don't do anything crazy, like use super committee's are anything but super.

T. Paine said...

The masochist in me almost wishes the Democrats would have taken the House as well. In that way they would have no excuse or anyone to blame but themselves and their bankrupt ideals as we accelerated towards that cliff under their “benign” governance. I am sure they still would have found a way to blame this on conservatives though. It really isn’t a difficult concept. If you continue to spend more than you make, you will eventually go bankrupt. This is true for individuals, families, and nations. I don’t know why Democrats think we are exempt from economic laws. They seem to think that they can repeal those economic laws, I guess.

I love being gay! said...

So you to not condone any homosexual acts?

Hmmmm, well I've heard that most men /women that are disturbed by homosexuality are themselves, a homosexual.

Got some confessions to make?

Grow up.

T. Paine said...

Love, I don’t know if you are a Christian or not, but I was simply providing the scriptural context for why homosexual acts/marriage are considered to be wrong and sinful from a Christian perspective. Since I am a Christian, I choose to believe what God and my church teaches me on the matter.

That said, it is a free country and you may do as you please. I certainly don’t hate you or wish ill for you. I simply don’t condone what I am taught is a sin. That doesn't mean that I don't condone you. It means that I don't condone homosexual acts or gay marriage.

If that makes me “unenlightened” or not “grown up” in your eyes because I don’t agree with you on this topic, then I am fine with that. There are a lot of things in the world we live in which secular society finds permissible and I don’t. I still have the freedom to express my opinions on those topics and live my life accordingly, at least for now.

Thanks for your comments though, and feel free to contribute in a productive manner to this or any other post I have written in the future. God bless!

John Myste said...

Thanks for your comments though, and feel free to contribute in a productive manner to this or any other post I have written in the future. God bless!

Love asked me to inquire as the exact number of posts you have written in the future, anyway.

T. Paine said...

That wasn’t grammatically correct, was it?

How about, “Thanks for your comments though, and in the future please feel free to contribute in a productive manner to this or any other post I have written.”

Thanks, Mr. Myste. :) (smart aleck!)

Rocky2 said...

when DIVERSITY becomes PERVERSITY

The typical UNIVERSITY now prides itself on DIVERSITY. But watch out when DIVERSITY becomes PERVERSITY. That's when God will put His CURSE-ITY on the whole world (see Malachi 4:6 - NIV)!
For dessert Google "Separation of Raunch and State," "God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up" and "Dangerous Radicals of the Religious Right."
And a Google piece titled "Control Hollywood, Not Guns" is an after-dinner mint.

[Foregoing seen on web!]