One final caveat - and I very much mean what I say here. I don't believe that homosexuals are any more wrong or sinful than anyone else. In fact, if I were to grant for the sake of argument that homosexuality were not a sin, homosexuals would still be sinners. We are all fallen in Adam and thus have inherited his guilt through the original sin. Additionally, we have all sinned in word and deed in multiple areas of our lives. We are all guilty, and not just on one account. I mean to make this point very emphatically. So many groups have acted towards homosexuals in a mean-spirited and harsh manner. This attitude is not becoming of Christians and needs to be called out for what it is. I would like to deal more in depth with some of the ramifications of these thoughts in the future, but for now I simply wanted to make a few statements by way of preface before I address the political agenda of this issue.
Homosexuality has been described by Dr. Albert Mohler as the defining issue of our generation. As Christians, we are going to be called time and time again throughout the rest of our lives to give an account of our perspective on this subject. Unfortunately, just what the Christian position entails is hardly clear anymore in our day. So many denominations and churches have capitulated to cultural stigma that it is very difficult to discern at times what the actual biblical position is.
Clarity of thought is something that is woefully lacking in our generation. Logical debate and discussion seems to be pretty much a lost art. Less and less people genuinely reflect on their own belief systems and calling for consistency is unheard of anymore. These problems are made even more difficult by the fact that we are so deluged with information every day. However, it is precisely those things that are called for when it comes to this important topic. It is in light of this that I want to turn your attention to a few important considerations.
This is not a civil rights issue, nor is it discrimination. How can I make such a bold and audacious claim? It's quite simple really. Everyone has always had the same right to get married. Marriage is equally available to every single person in the United States. You see, civil rights came about because certain people were literally not allowed to do certain things because of the color of their skin. Different drinking fountains, bathrooms, sitting in the back of the bus, etc. In order for homosexuals to assert that this is a civil rights issue, they must be able to prove that they are not allowed to get married on the basis of their sexual orientation. However, they are indeed allowed to get married and always have been. The problem is that they have no interest in getting married.
So what is really going on here then? What is going on is that homosexuals want us to redefine just what a marriage is. Throughout the entire history of mankind marriage has always been understood as being between a man and a woman. This isn't something that we just came up with to discriminate against minorities because we are right-wing haters. Now, if one wants to argue that man has been wrong all of this time and we need to change our position, that is fine and we can discuss it. However, let's please stop with the pure rhetoric that homosexuals are being discriminated against and that this is a civil rights issue. It's not.
This leads to the next question. Who really has the right to define just what marriage is or is not? Is this a government-sanctioned ordinance? Where did marriage come from anyway? Why did the human race decide to start doing this monogamy thing? These are the questions that must be answered if one wants to make any progress in this debate. Obviously we have a certain perspective on this topic from a Christian worldview. I don't want to get into that here. My point is that these questions need to be discussed if we want to think clearly about this subject. It is at this point that something will be made abundantly clear: the issue at stake is a clash of worldviews, not isolated opinions on individual topics or points of contention. This is the entire philosophical edifice of secular humanism coming into contact with the entire philosophical edifice of biblical Christianity. We aren't just debating how should we define marriage here. We are debating who is really in charge around here.
Whatever decision we make must be made consistently. We cannot make exceptions for just one group because they would like us to. It is at this point that I would like both sides to examine the foundation for their position. I have not seen much discussion on this level from either side really. I have been speaking in the abstract, so I just want to give a few examples here of just what principle may be at work on the side of the homosexual. None of these may be correct, they are pure speculation on my part:
"Marriage should be between any individuals regardless of gender."
This definition allows for bestiality. Let's try something different.
"Marriage should be between any consenting individuals regardless of gender."
This definition allows for polygamy. Perhaps the following is better?
"Marriage should be between any two consenting individuals regardless of gender."
This definition allows for pedophilia.
Now, I am driving at something here to make a point. We could continue narrowing the definition to probably exclude all types of sexual orientation and preference except for "monogamous" hetero and homo sexuality. My question is on what basis do we do so? Again, who makes these rules? Should polygamy be allowed in the camp or not? Upon what principle do we exclude certain groups from the ordinance of marriage and not the others? Whatever basis or principle we use, it must be applied consistently.
This brings me to my final point. It seems to me that the advocates of homosexuality are arguing on roughly the following basis: "Whoever wants to get married should be able to get married to whomever they please." This may be wrong, and I am happy to be corrected. However every time I see this topic being discussed, this is roughly the stance being taken. Now, this stance absolutely kicks the door wide open for every group listed above. Polygamy, pedophilia, bestiality, you name it. Please note I am NOT equating homosexuality with these other things. My point is simply that if one is to consistently apply the framework of the homosexual agenda today these other "minorities" cannot be excluded. To do so would be completely arbitrary. "That's right, they shouldn't be excluded either!" one might say (I don't really see how anybody advocating homosexual marriage could argue otherwise given their position).
Here is the point in the final analysis. If they are not to be excluded either, then homosexual marriage isn't really arguing for "equality" in marriage; it is instead arguing for the abolishment of marriage. Once marriage is defined so broadly as to include anyone and everyone who would like to be included, then marriage isn't really marriage anymore. If we redefine "dog" to include all four-legged land dwelling creatures, we haven't made cows feel better that they are dogs also; we have simply destroyed the concept of dog altogether, as the term is so broad to have lost all meaning.
The homosexual agenda will need to find a standard other than "we want to be considered as married" if they want to actually promote "equality" instead of promoting the destruction of the marriage institution. Unfortunately I fear there are too few people committed to thinking critically in the face of the rhetoric to make a difference.
I have refrained from discussing the morality of this topic in this post. I hope to address that as well in the future. I hope these points will give you a few things to think about as we proceed to deal with this topic faithfully going forward.