Over the weekend, I had the misfortune of reading a redstate article by a self-proclaimed conservative Christian condoning homosexual marriage. I’ve never met this guy, yet he is very familiar to me. Like the racist that has “many black friends,” he is ultraconservative, attends church and is raising a family. These facts are meant to endear him to the reader and in fact create a bond of trust between the author and audience. But finally, the author states that he supports homosexual marriage, or at least he thinks Republicans should and he personally doesn’t care.
There are many political reasons to endorse homosexual marriage, it is trendy, fashionable and an issue that could soon lose elections for Republicans due to the massive media bias on the issue. I don’t know how to fight it and I don’t intend on laying out a groundwork today.
But in the horserace of politics, many Christians seem to have forgotten why we felt uncomfortable with homosexuals getting married in the first place – because it is sin. And . . . because it isn’t good policy.
Moses spoke clearly on homosexuality. Paul spoke clearly on homosexuality. Jesus clearly stated that marriage is between one man and one woman. From a Christian perspective, the morality of homosexuality isn’t really up for debate. Which I realize is a humorous statement because everyone wants to debate that.
But then we come to the question of policy. Too often, we on the right are painted as gay marriage opponents. In reality, I don’t oppose gays. With the exclusion of a couple of militant activists, I have generally found people of alternative sexual orientations to be very amicable. But that is beside the point. A free society must allow people to engage in relationships that you and I may disagree with.
But the simple matter is that marriage by age-old, cross cultural definition, is for one man and one woman. The institution of marriage wasn’t created for homosexual partners any more than a baseball glove can be worn on a foot. It doesn’t make any sense to bend a tool for one thing to fit the needs of another when more appropriate tools are available.
Marriage’s purpose is to stabilize a relationship for the purpose of creating a family. The government has an interest in family. It has an interest in ensuring that children are born and grow up to be productive members of society and that can most effectively be achieved through the institution of marriage. That is why families get certain tax breaks and incentives, because children are an integral part to marriage. They may not be a part of every marriage, but they are integral to the concept nonetheless.
Now, I realize that many gay couples want the “white picket fence.” They want to have raise a family and partake in the romanticized American dream. But because of the inherent differences in heterosexual and homosexual relationships, they will never experience that setting. Alternative lifestyles simply don’t present the same opportunities for a traditional family. It just doesn’t. The idea reminds me of a Seinfeld episode when Kramer installs a screen door and rocking chair on his indoor hallway door to his New York City apartment. You can try to replicate a traditional feel, but at the end of the day it just isn’t the same.
Men and women have different strengths and weaknesses that define the marital relationship that homosexual couples cannot replicate, no matter how hard they try. Those strengths and weaknesses are even more necessary for children.
Many other gay couples just want equal rights. While we can’t condone civil unions as it is simply marriage by another name, I am of the belief that gays should receive the same death/estate tax breaks and hospital visitation rights as straight couples. While gay couples should not quality for marriage deductions provided for in the tax code, as those deductions are meant to encourage the flourishing of a productive family, they should have all of the equal rights that heterosexual couples enjoy.
In other words, we shouldn’t penalize gay couples by preventing them from visiting loved ones in the hospital or by taxing the heck out of them when they leave their estates to whomever they choose just because they aren’t married. But it also doesn’t mean we can add additional rights to accommodate every alternative lifestyle that comes down the pike.
I say all of this to lead to this one point. If we accept homosexual marriage as an institution, we must accept homosexual adoption. Not only do we have to confront the reality that many monsters that would seek to harm children parade as gay men, at a higher per capita rate than heterosexual men, but we must consider the disservice we are doing to children who have no voice, and are adopted into homes where they will not receive the benefits of both a male and female presence.
That is not to say that many of the strengths of heterosexual relationships cannot be duplicated by hard working homosexual couples who expose their children to both sexes. However, it is to say that children should be given the opportunity to be adopted by a loving mother and father before being forced into a brand new familial institution with unknown stability factors. It just isn’t right.
And don’t ask me whether I would rather a less than ideal heterosexual couple adopt over model homosexual citizens. We are talking about broad national policy, not individual cases.
Most importantly, Christian conservatives love all people. And we realize that we are the most sinful and require Christ’s grace above anyone. That is why most of us have asked for his grace. We understand that the wages of sin are death. And because we love people, we feel the responsibility to warn people engaged in sinful lifestyles, what the consequences of those choices are. The wages of homosexuality, or heterosexual adultery is death. We say it because we care.
So in regards to a Christian who says he “doesn’t care” who marries who. Listen, I get it. I’m in my twenties, I don’t stay up late thinking about the dangers of homosexual marriage. But the problem is finer than that. There are policy considerations for the effect of homosexual marriages on tomorrows society. And from the Christian perspective, we care about saving our fellow Americans from relationships that God calls destructive.
In regards to policy –NO gay marriage doesn’t ruin my marriage. I never said it would. But gay marriage on a large scale can ruin all marriage. If you don’t like the word “ruin,” consider that it will redefine it in a way that leaves it unrecognizable to future generations. If one NFL player alters the way he plays football, it really doesn’t have an effect on the way other players play football. But if the NFL changes its rules so that players and teams can play outside the parameters of the game, such as running out of bounds and back in or having more than four downs, or shooting the ball through the goalposts, it eventually changes the game, making it unrecognizable . This is the inherent danger involved with playing with marriage. You can’t change it so dramatically without ruining it. That is why we oppose sweeping policy changes.