Should we support laws against gay marriage?

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mkprr
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Should we support laws against gay marriage?

Post by mkprr » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:18 pm

For those of you who believe that involvement in politics is appropriate for Christians, what are your thoughts about instituting laws against gay marriage? It is clear to me that God does not endorse gay marriage and that anyone professing to be Christian should be instructed accordingly, but at the same time, in a pluralist society is this a value we should try to impose upon non-Christians? I’m interested in hearing you reasons for or against supporting these types of laws as I myself haven't been able to come up with a satisfying answer to the question.

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steve
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Re: Should we support laws against gay marriage?

Post by steve » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:04 am

I am not a political activist, by any means. I am not against Christians' or non-Christiians' principled involvement in legitimate political activities, but I am not one who wishes to encourage any further confusion of the cause of Christ with the agendas of any political party than is already the case in this country. This confusion, I think, hurts Christ's cause.

When supporting or opposing legislation, we ought to ask ourselves, "Does this law offend only such sensitivities as I have acquired because of my Christian faith, or does it defy something that more broadly affects the safety and welfare of human society?"

I do not think Christians do Christ a favor by seeking to make secular laws forcing unbelievers to conform to convictions that only believers share.

On the other hand, there are standards of natural law, which, I believe, affect the very definition of human nature and its outworking in human relationships. For example, if someone proposed a law stating that all adults must yield the leadership of their homes to their toddler children, such a law would offend not only Christianity but also natural law. It would not be Christian fortunes alone that were adversely affected by such a law, but the welfare of society as a whole. For Christians to vote in any way that would undermine the natural foundations of normative human society, would be to advance a cause that is in no sense loving to our neighbors.

If I were of a 3% segment of the population who wished to overthrow the natural law norms recognized by every society throughout the history of the world, simply so that I could win my point—a social experiment the long-term consequences of which neither I nor anyone else could predict—I could hardly pretend to be acting in a way that is loving to my neighbor—nor to anybody but myself.

The question of whether same-sex marriage violates natural law, or only Christian theology, is what must determine the way we should debate and vote the issue.

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mkprr
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Re: Should we support laws against gay marriage?

Post by mkprr » Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:12 pm

Thanks for your feedback. I too strongly agree that there needs to be a natural reason to support any law. I think a Christian, or Jew or Muslim or Hindu or anyone from any other worldview ought to be able to use their religious views to shape their political views but in a pluralist society, we have to have a good argument that doesn't rely on the authority of our religion alone. This is why I feel somewhat stuck when it comes to legislation against gay marriage. Do you think gay marriage does “defy something that more broadly affects the safety and welfare of human society?” If so what are some of your strongest points in support of that idea?

For me it seems right to support legislation against gay marriage, but I’m having a difficult time finding a satisfying argument to back that up. To me the right answer to abortion, assisted suicide and many other hotly debated moral topics is clear enough that I am at peace supporting measures against them, but the gay marriage debate for me gets a bit murky for some reason. I just can't come up with a satisfying argument against gay marriage despite my convictions and I'm torn over whether or not I should support measures against it.

steve7150
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Re: Should we support laws against gay marriage?

Post by steve7150 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:52 pm

I just can't come up with a satisfying argument against gay marriage despite my convictions and I'm torn over whether or not I should support measures against it.






I think as a bible believer i have to recognize God is against gay marriage and that has to be a principled position and if i ever voted on it, i have to vote my conscience.
However i can recognize that unbelievers are not in the kingdom of God and if they see fit to allow gay marriage as legal in their secular society i will accept it as a civil marriage , not a godly marriage. Many things in the secular society are outside the bounds of the kingdom of God but they happen and you just can't force people to walk the straight and narrow, they have to want to.

Singalphile
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Re: Should we support laws against gay marriage?

Post by Singalphile » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:58 pm

I'd say this:

Marriage is the contract/union between a husband and a wife. There's no such thing as "gay marriage" any more than there's such a thing as a "male wife". Only through attempting to redefine the word "marriage" can people claim that "gay marriage" is illegal. It is illegal to be a "male female"? No. There's no such thing. Will "gay marriage" ever be legal? No. There's no such thing.

There could hardly be a more logical, reasonable reason to oppose a law than that it contains or promotes an obvious contradiction or false statement (e.g., that a man can be married to another man). There may be other reasons to oppose it, but I don't think you need more.

Which leads me to this question: What "laws against gay marriage" are you talking about? All gay people are allowed to get married. I (a male) cannot obtain a gov't issued marriage license with my housemate (also a male) and neither one of us is gay. So where is this law that says that a man who enjoys sexual activity with another man is not allowed to get married?

Laws about marriage usually simply restate the fact that marriage is between a male and a female as a defense against those who are vigorously attempting to impose a false definition against the will of the society (usually by judicial fiat). It's sad that such laws are necessary, but they aren't "laws against gay marriage."

Bottom line, I think: Some people want the government to actively participate in the elimination of the concept of marriage (by defining it away into meaninglessness) in the hopes that it will eventually lead to widespread social approval and normalization of certain sexual activity.

There's no reason to accept that tactic simply because we live in (mostly) free, pluralistic societies where people can do what they want. The definition of marriage is not a behavior.

Certainly, it is not the governments job to try to impose personal morality. (Yeah, it's not their job to issue marriage licenses either, but oh well.) Fornication, rudeness, and greed are immoral, but I would never want our government to criminalize such acts. In a (mostly) free country, people can do those things if they wish, but they can't be expected to get the government to officially call it something it's not for the purposes of legitimizing it. That's going too far.

I could perhaps understand being undecided or ambivalent about whether the government should license some other type of union or contract between close friends or sexual partners or loved ones. That would be a waste of resources and indicative of way too much governmental involvement in the affairs of society, but that's just my opinion.
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

brotherjoseph
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Re: Should we support laws against gay marriage?

Post by brotherjoseph » Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:42 pm

I may disagree with homosexuality in premise, but I think that the people who desire to be with each other should do what they want. Many on the right side of the politics have told me that they think that same-sex unions are no different, and that homosexual couples should not use the term "marriage". This, to me, sounds foolish. It doesn't matter to me what the word used to mean, it matters to me how it looks like we're treating homosexuals in our society. Homosexuals probably feel like we are pigeon-holing them, and they are not sensing the love of Jesus from us (at least this is what has convicted me). If that's the case, then we should really analyze whether we're acting like Christ or not.

Singalphile
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Re: Should we support laws against gay marriage?

Post by Singalphile » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:55 am

brotherjoseph, would you then vote for laws that mandate that the government issue marriage licenses to any two adults? Would that be the Christ-like thing to do, in your view?
brotherjoseph wrote:
I may disagree with homosexuality in premise, but I think that the people who desire to be with each other should do what they want.
I think that private sexual behavior between adults should not be illegal. Is that what you mean? Otherwise, it sounds like you are encouraging sexual sin, which is neither a Christian or loving thing to do (Matthew 18:6-17, 1 Corinthians 5,1 Corinthians 6:9-10,Romans 1:18-32).
brotherjoseph wrote:
Many on the right side of the politics have told me that they think that same-sex unions are no different, and that homosexual couples should not use the term "marriage". This, to me, sounds foolish. It doesn't matter to me what the word used to mean, it matters to me how it looks like we're treating homosexuals in our society.
It just sounds foolish or it is foolish (I Corinthians 2:14)? I think that words matter. As an example, "healthy" (i.e., physically fit) is a word that describes a good condition. We should not support a law that would define "healthy" as "weighing less than 500 pounds" or would mandate that the government issue a "certificate of health" to any requesting individual. Such a law might make some people feel better, but it would be a law based on a falsehood and would possibly encourage people to be unhealthy, which would be unloving. (Of course, that does not mean that it should be illegal to weigh 500 pounds or that we should not love unhealthy people.)
brotherjoseph wrote:
Homosexuals probably feel like we are pigeon-holing them, and they are not sensing the love of Jesus from us (at least this is what has convicted me). If that's the case, then we should really analyze whether we're acting like Christ or not.
Most people (Christian, pagan, and everywhere in between) find the thought of homosexual sex physically unsettling. (Would that all sins were so distasteful to me!) Unmarried couples who engage in heterosexual sex are behaving no less sinfully, but nobody finds such acts inherently disgusting and so there is less stigma, if any. I can understand that you want to disassociate yourself from those non-Christians who are unkind or violent to those who engage in homosexual sin.
Yes, it is supremely Christ-like to love (Matthew 22:34-40,Romans 13:8-10). If you are in a unique position to show Christ-like love to someone who engages in homosexuality, great. If by your love and example, you can help him turn to God and repent of his sins, all the better. Sin harms and leads to destruction (Romans 6:14-23). I should think we'd all know that from personal experience. It is never Christian or loving to encourage any kind of sinful behavior or make someone feel better or more comfortable about their sin.
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

Tychicus
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Re: Should we support laws against gay marriage?

Post by Tychicus » Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:11 am

For those of you who believe that involvement in politics is appropriate for Christians, what are your thoughts about instituting laws against gay marriage? It is clear to me that God does not endorse gay marriage and that anyone professing to be Christian should be instructed accordingly, but at the same time, in a pluralist society is this a value we should try to impose upon non-Christians? I’m interested in hearing you reasons for or against supporting these types of laws as I myself haven't been able to come up with a satisfying answer to the question.
This is a complicated question. From a secular viewpoint it seems totally unfair. In fact, the way you framed the question "instituting laws against gay marriage" it seems patently discriminatory, targeting a certain segment of the population.

This is a sensitive issue, and any answer will almost certainly be misunderstood by one side or the other. As Christians we need to seek a better way. As with the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11), we see that Jesus has the wisdom and sensitivity to travel this road. I'm far from having any of this.

From Scripture it seems clear that God "made them male and female . . . a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh" (Matt 19:3-5). But what bearing has this on our secular society?

So what is the secular basis of a male-female definition of marriage? It seems obvious (I think) that people come in two kinds, a male and a female. And one of each comes together to bear children. This is reality, and it is based on the science of physiology and biology. The institution of marriage is based on the idea that it is best for society if the male and female stay together and jointly raise the child, perhaps having others as well. If you want to challenge traditional marriage you will have to challenge this principle as well.

You can't say this view is particular to Christians. It is held by virtually every religion and historically by every society in the world. (And yes, I have read of many "exceptions"; even if one accepts some of them as real exceptions it doesn't invalidate my point.) The point is that it is not correct to say the man-woman definition of marriage is based on the prejudice of some religious group.

On the other hand the definition of marriage as "any two adults" is totally arbitrary. Why not three or four, or any other arrangement that someone feels enables their "pursuit of happiness"? Why should a family be headed by two adults, rather than one, three, a commune, or the government? There is just nothing in human nature or science that would indicate that people form in groups of two (unless, of course, you have one male and one female).

All I can see here is a new definition of "marriage" based on a very powerful socio-political ideology (a religion?). It is not based on logic or science. Once the ideology shifts, that definition of marriage will not last, and it's anyone's guess where we'll go next.


These are just my humble thoughts. Take them for what they are worth. The human dimension for anyone in this lifestyle is on a totally different level. I pray for Christians involved in this ministry.

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