Wednesday, June 22, 2005

An honest question about a touchy subject.

I keep hearing conservative Christian radio preachers and politicians say that it is imperative that we pass a federal marriage amendment that recognizes marriage only between one man and one woman--basically prohibiting any states from passing marriage laws favorable to homosexual people. They say that allowing homosexuals to marry will endanger the institution of marriage. What I don't hear them say is just how marriage for heterosexuals will be in jeopardy. I guess I always miss that part. I really want to know how my rights as a married person or the rights of any other Christian heterosexual who is married or wants to marry will be in jeopardy. Can you explain it to me?

Really, I'm not trying to be a smart alec here--I really don't know the answer.


jettybetty said...

I will be interested to what you get as answers--
The one I have heard most often is that the next generation will grow up thinking it is "normal".
However, the last couple generations grew up with a 50% divorce rate and that's not God's plan (or normal) from a Christian point of view either.
So, you see I don't buy the one answer I have heard.
I do not believe God approves of homosexual relationships--but all I think they are hearing from the Christian community right now is that we hate them. That bothers me--a lot!.

JMG said...

JB, I had that same divorce statistic in mind as well. If a 50% divorce rate doesn't jeopardize marriage, how will homosexual marriage do it?

Tony Arnold said...

How does banning homosexual marriages change anything? Most homosexual couples aren't married now, but they still are homosexual. Banning homomsexual marriages isn't going to change a person's sexual preference.

Further more, how is it ministering or loving people? We only alienate people which makes it impossible to love them as Christ does.

Do we need a law? Is it not enough for a minister to say, "I am sorry, I cannot endorse your relationship by performing the ceremony. It is at odds with my understanding of the scripture. But I still love you. If you need me to comfort you, to help you, to be a friend, I am always here."

Homosexuality is such a tough issue for a Christian, it is for me anyway. I am not homophobic in the least. I have people close to me that I love who are homosexual. But, I don't understand it. I cannot reconcile the behavior with scripture (anymore than lying, gluttony, hatred, bigotry, abusive lifestyles, sexual promiscuity among heterosexuals, etc.).

Long winded response, sorry. To address your question--I don't see how banning or allowing gay marriages affects me, my marriage, my rights, or my ability to love my Father and claim Christ as my Savior.


JMG said...

I can't reconcile it with scripture either, Tony, and that's what bugs me because as you said, we'll just alienate them even more, and I want to be someone who fosters love and not alienation. So if it comes down to a vote to amend the constitution, I don't know which way to vote.

Now, some time ago there was a debate about marriage vs. civil unions for homosexuals; if marriage means being endoresed by the church, then I don't like the idea of churches or ministers being forced to recogize and perform these marriages if that conflicts with their beliefs. But a civil union is another story. Technically, everybody who is married is involved in a civil union because the county issued the marriage license. My brother was "married" by the county clerk in her office, so does that mean he has a marriage, or only a civil union?

This is all just very complicated, and I don't know what to think about it.

Tony Arnold said...

Last night Randy Harris (ref. Preston's Blog today) spoke to that. His definition of simplicity was desolving our life down to two purposes (badly paraphrased): How do I develop a deep, life-changing spirituality in Christ? And, how do reach out and share it with the world?

He then said at this point, your mission becomes clear. You have to open the church doors and invite the world in. The homosexual couple; the blue-haired, pierced punk; the rappers, the hip-hoppers; the adulterers; the prostitutes, etc.

Next he said, be prepared. It will get very messy. It will be painfully hard. It will cause trouble in your Church. It will fail, and fail again. What you then have to do is quit trying to be in control. Quit trying to make sense of every little thing. You have to trust God and realize that He can handle it. We won't handle it perfectly, but His Will will get done through our imperfection and mess. He also said this whole process should scare us. If it doesn't, we are crazy.

So do the best you can and know that God can handle it. I limp along on these issues and just try to make the right choices with a loving spirit. It is extremely uncomfortable though.

Also, if either side of a vote seems to conflict with your Chrisitanity, it is appropriate not to vote. David Lipscomb did not vote.


jettybetty said...

AMEN and AMEN--you all said it much better than I did.

It's not that I love controversy--but I do like to understand the other side--I was hoping someone would give you an answer that was the flip side of our answers.

I am like JMG--I don't want to be a smart alec--but what I am missing here?


JMG said...

OK, I found this quote from an article on Richard Land’s website:

On a larger level, same-sex marriage will hurt marriage itself. Studies of Scandinavian countries, where they have the equivalent of Vermont-style civil unions, show that marriage is slowly dying. The tendency there is to marry only after giving birth to the second child. Same-sex marriage will separate for society parenthood from marriage because legalizing same-sex marriage equalizes same-sex relations (which, by design, cannot produce their own children) with marriage and parenthood. In doing so, the necessary link between marriage and parenthood are severed, and the structure of children raised with a mom and a dad suffers. It is one thing to tolerate personal relationships that are different than ours, but it is quite another thing for society to elevate such a relationship to a preferred status, and that's what same-sex marriage would do. Once we say that same-sex couples have a right to have their commitments recognized by the state, it becomes next to impossible to deny the same right to polygamous, or even cohabiting relatives and friends. And once everyone's relationship is recognized, marriage is gone, and only a system of flexible relationship contracts is left.

The first sentence of the next paragraph says that “While same-sex marriage will likely not hurt your marriage, it will damage the culture.” It then talks about how society's acceptance of same sex marriage will hurt our children.

So basically, it’s a slippery slope argument. If we legalize same sex marriage, we have to then legalize any other type of “marriage” relationship, and the problem with those other types of relationships is that they can’t produce children.

JMG said...

Sorry, I meant to provide a link to that info:,,PTID313086|CHID590694|CIID2036152,00.html

jettybetty said...

Okay--that's basically what I have heard--and I don't like "slippery slope" arguments, really. I mean you can slip and slide arguments into all kinds of ridiculous things.

I am not saying the argument you quote is ridiculous, but our culture is far from Christian and already a mess, isn't it??
Without God, we are all a mess. (On Jana's blog, they have been using another word)

JMG said...

The article mentions the "necessary link between marriage and parenthood." We have noticed the slippery slope nature of their argument, so I'll create a slippery slope of my own. In the religious right's ideal world: Same sex couples may not marry; same sex couples may not adopt children; only a man and woman who are married to each other may have children; only a man and woman who are married to each other may adopt children; children born out of wedlock will be taken away from the unmarried parents and given to married couples; unmarried people who have sex (heterosexual and homosexual) will be prosecuted.

That makes about as much sense as saying that same sex marriage would cause all this chaos in society. The chaos is already there. Children are already being harmed by the divorces of their heterosexual (and many times, Christian) parents. So let's add that to the list as well: Married couples who divorce will be prosecuted, and their children will be taken away and given to other married couples.

OK, enough of being ridiculous. If it comes down to it, I just won't vote on the issue at all. Like Tony said, God will handle it.

jettybetty said...

I know it's in good hands with God!
Me, I am not so sure about!