At the heart of the matter of gay marriage, what are the real issues? And what important truths are we forgetting when considering this issue? I have a lot of thoughts, so please bear with me.
While many believe that truth is relative or transitional, I disagree. Our understanding of that truth may vary and change from time to time, but truth itself is absolute.
As a man of faith, and as a Latter-day Saint, personal weaknesses notwithstanding, I believe in God. Deeply. No matter how fallible and "fallen" of a human being I am, I have an abiding, unmovable testimony of not only the reality of God, but of the fact that He speaks to us today through living prophets. And I believe, as a man of faith and as a devoted father, that I owe it to my children to help them understand why I feel the way I do. Especially about this issue. I don't expect everyone to agree with me. I'm sure that my gay friends will not. Of course, just being a Latter-day Saint may immediately separate me or alienate me from many who might stumble across this blog, but it is what it is, and I make no apology for it.
I would venture that most of those who share my faith also share my testimony of the reality of God's existence, as well as the reality of the fact that He speaks today through living prophets. Yet, it seems that occasionally some may want to "compartmentalize" that belief out of convenience... believe it when it's "safe," and then turn and question it when public pressure (or their own arrogance and pride) convince them that they actually know better than the Creator of the Universe. To me, it's very simple. God either is or He isn't. He either speaks through living prophets or He doesn't. End of story.
For those of faith; for those who share my faith particularly, this issue should be cut-and-dried, but as with all passionate issues, from time to time the sophistry and artificial intellect of the world may cloud our ability to discern truth from error. Sometimes we may even wake up to realize (hopefully not too late) that we enlisted in the wrong army.
As I have pondered this subject, the issues (at least to me) boil down to the following, in order of priority:
1) What has the Lord said on the matter? It is abundantly clear that the world simply doesn't care anymore. We used to. The Word of God used to be the core of our convictions as a nation. Now, many (if not most) of those who advocate for gay marriage deny the existence of God altogether, opting instead for the convenience of moral relativism or the hedonistic comfort of secular humanism. Their priority lies with carnal adult desire rather than divine sanction.
But for a person of faith... of whatever faith... aren't the pronouncements of a loving, omniscient God ultimately the only reliable litmus test for any temporal or moral issue? Sometimes we allow ourselves some leeway when the Lord has been silent on a particular matter, presumably watching us as a parent watches his or her child grapple with a specific dilemma, to see on which side the child will fall. Sometimes this divine silence is misconstrued as implicit approval, or at the very least, divine apathy or non-commitment. This is not the case with this issue. God has been very clear... both in scripture and through the pronouncements of living prophets, whom we profess to believe. The question is, "Do we?" Those in Jesus' day were soundly condemned by the Savior because "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." Could that not be the same situation today with those who profess belief in living prophets, but then turn and reject the pronouncements of God that come through them?
Unfortunately, some may even allow their own arrogance and pride to take priority over the very clear pronouncements of the Divine, even bowing so low as to begin second-guessing and questioning their own faith in their own belief system, and ultimately the reality of God Himself, in order to rationalize their own worldly leanings and convictions.... and their own arrogance. Instead of standing strong as the Armies of Helaman, they instead lovingly nurture the seeds of apostasy, cowering in the hills of sedition and treason against the Divine... presumably because, at the end of the day, they honestly believe that they know better than God.
It certainly begs the question as to on how "firm a foundation" one stands when in direct defiance of God... regardless of whether or not one could intellectually "win the debate"? Some of us seem to believe, as we are mesmerized in the thralls of our own self-adulation, that eloquence and sophistry equal being "right." Nothing could be farther from the truth. Lucifer "won the debate" in the minds of billions... a full 1/3 of the host of heaven... and he was as wrong as he was hopelessly selfish and arrogant.
God has declared both that homosexuality is a deep moral sin and that marriage should be between one man and one woman. At different times throughout history, that definition has been [temporarily] expanded to include one man and more than one woman at the express instruction of the Lord, to "raise up seed unto Him." At no time, however, has God condoned homosexual relations. Ever. In fact, many of the bloodiest, most brutal judgments of the Almighty have been because of the sin of rampant homosexuality. Ask the former residents of Sodom & Gomorrah how tolerant the Lord was with them, and how much weight their arrogant arguments carried. God has taught us very clearly that there is no "live and let live" complacency where this practice is concerned. He has taught us that it is wrong, and it is evil. Perhaps being omniscient, He saw the damage that it would do to society in our day.
2) The children. Those who advocate for gay marriage claim that there is no harm to children by having gay parents. And in that, they are being flatly dishonest, and deliberately deceptive. The very best that can honestly be said is that the jury is still out, and that it will take decades to gather solid data with which to prove this premise. More realistically, one must reject out of hand hundreds of years of social science... and reality. It is indisputable that children do better in homes with both a father and a mother. Prominent sociologist David Popenoe wrote: "The burden of social science evidence supports the idea that gender differentiated parenting is important for human development and that the contribution of fathers to childrearing is unique and irreplaceable."
He went on to explain that:
". . . The complementarity of male and female parenting styles is striking and of enormous importance to a child’s overall development. It is sometimes said that fathers express more concern for the child’s longer-term development, while mothers focus on the child’s immediate well-being (which, of course, in its own way has everything to do with a child’s long-term well-being). What is clear is that children have dual needs that must be met: one for independence and the other for relatedness, one for challenge and the other for support."
The National Review printed an excellent article on this, titled "Beware the Science of Same-Sex Marriage," in which a mountain of serious and credible points were raised that were submitted as part of the Supreme Court Case on this matter in the form of Amicus Briefs ("friend of the court" briefs). You can read it here. I highly recommend it.
The following is but a brief snippet:
"Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. It is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are different and complementary, on the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and on the social reality that children need a mother and a father. Marriage has public purposes that transcend its private purposes.
"Marriage predates government. It is the fundamental building block of all human civilization. All Americans, especially conservatives, should respect this crucial institution of civil society. This is why 41 states, with good reason, affirm that marriage is between a man and a woman.
"Government recognizes marriage because it is an institution that benefits society in a way that no other relationship does. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means to ensure the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage protects children by encouraging men and women to commit to each other and take responsibility for their children. While respecting everyone’s liberty, government rightly recognizes, protects, and promotes marriage as the ideal institution for childbearing and childrearing.
"Redefining marriage would further distance marriage from the needs of children. It would deny as a matter of policy the ideal that a child needs a mom and a dad. We know that children tend to do best when raised by a mother and a father. The confusion resulting from further delinking childbearing from marriage would force the state to intervene more often in family life and cause welfare programs to grow even more.
"In recent years marriage has been weakened by a revisionist view that is more about adults’ desires than children’s needs. Redefining marriage represents the culmination of this revisionism: Emotional intensity would be the only thing left to set marriage apart from other kinds of relationships. Redefining marriage would put a new principle into the law—that marriage is whatever emotional bond the government says it is.
"Redefining marriage to abandon the norm of male-female sexual complementarity would also make other essential characteristics—such as monogamy, exclusivity, and permanency—optional. But marriage can’t do the work that society needs it to do if these norms are further weakened. All Americans, especially conservatives who care about thriving civil society capable of limiting the state, should be alarmed.
"Redefining marriage is a direct and demonstrated threat to religious freedom that marginalizes those who affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman. We have already seen this in neighboring Canada and right here in places such as Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. What should the Supreme Court do? The Supreme Court should not usurp democratic authority from citizens and their elected officials."
3) True Equality and Liberty. One of the most insidious lies that pro-gay marriage proponents put forth is that this is about "equality." Contrary to the implicit suggestion of the pink-on-red "equal sign" that has become the icon of gay marriage, the fact is that gay marriage is not a "civil right" and never has been, outside of the mind of its proponents. Proponents of gay marriage, when asked where those mysterious "civil rights" are defined and declared, can only bluster and obfuscate. They simply don't exist. The reality is that gay marriage proponents need such rights to exist in order to bolster their arguments and give them [artificial] credibility... so they fabricated them and then continually referenced and referred to the fabricated "rights" as though they were real. The entire concept is a fraud of monumental proportions, invented to prop up an immoral agenda and perpetrate a massive scam on the American people.
It is interesting to note that the Founding Fathers of our nation self-admittedly constructed the Constitution and the Bill of Rights under the inspiration of God. And nowhere within those inspired words do we find special accommodations for special interest groups of any flavor over the rights of the many.
The argument that this issue is about "equality" is nothing more nor less than a composite of several massive, glaring logical fallacies, all designed to appeal to emotion and to advance potential negative implications towards those who oppose it. This is not the hallmark of a solid argument. It is nothing more nor less than over-reaching ad-hominem. When one has to resort to logical fallacy to advance an argument, one has lost the debate from the very beginning. When one must fabricate a "right" to rally around that didn't previously exist, one has no basis for that position in the first place.
For instance, the argument that same-sex marriage equals "the pursuit of happiness" is a stunning example of carnal rationalization and inventive reasoning... and one that could easily be posited by NAMBLA...the "Man-Boy Love" movement. They insist that they are merely pursuing happiness too. The burning question seems to be "At what point do we draw the line?" "At what point do we realize that our national morality is swirling the drain and make the conscious choice to reverse course?" "Do we even have that right anymore?" Many liberals argue that we never had such a right... that "anything goes" in a free society. They argue that society has never had the right to regulate human behavior... that there should be no societal standards... that such is an infringement of our basic Constitutional rights of freedom and liberty. But was that the intent of our Founding Fathers? Even a brief skimming of their writings answers this question with profound emphasis.."No." They knew the chaos, licentiousness, and havoc that such as society would produce.
What DID the architects of the Constitution feel about this issue? Homosexuality was certainly not unknown in their day. Was sexual preference identified as one of those "inalienable rights" that are given by God? Why did they not specifically identify it as a "right"? I realize that on one level, this is an argument from silence, but on another it is quite revealing. The issue of sexual preference is not new. Why, then, did they not "protect" it? The answer is very simple. These great men were guided by inspiration from God to lay the foundation of a Great Nation. And none of them... not one... is recorded to have felt that sexual preference was an "inalienable right." Or even acceptable to society in general. Marriage, which predates government, was not something that either infringed on our freedom or which should be a candidate for "redefinition." Personally, I think many of them would be spinning in their respective graves right now if they were aware that the Supreme Court of the United States were even hearing this argument.
If anyone has any doubts, consider their own words:
"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible" - George Washington
"Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." - John Adams
"The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: It connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity." - John Quincy Adams
"I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our creator." - Thomas Jefferson
"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it, we have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." - James Madison
"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here." - Patrick Henry
Some may argue, however incoherently it may appear, that gay marriage is actually a First Amendment "religious freedom" issue, all the while ignoring the glorious irony in that argument. The reality is that one of the most insidious challenges of gay marriage is the inherent threat to religious freedom that it poses. Under the anti-religion philosophy of gay-rights proponents, any form of opposition to their lifestyle constitutes "discrimination." And, curiously, they seem to believe that only they can truly and adequately define what constitutes "discrimination," and more importantly, that no one else's opinion matters. As the Church Lady would say, "How conveeeeeeenient." Such is the attitude of tyrants and despots.
As just one example of this, one of the primary stated goals of gay-rights activists is to force any and all religious institutions to perform gay marriages whether their sacred religious beliefs allow that or not. Their strategy is very simple... destroy religious liberty through civil fiat. They intend to accomplish this through manipulating and redefining "non-discrimination laws" so as to legally force all religious institutions to not only perform gay marriage, but to accept practicing gay members as completely moral and acceptable, without exception, and without opposition, and certainly without condemnation or discipline, whether it be in violation of their religious tenets or not. In practicality, gay-rights activists envision a world where the gay lifestyle is elevated to the point where it is actually illegal to oppose it on any grounds. Suddenly, this slippery slope would make it legally forbidden to quote certain passages of the Bible, or to preach against homosexuality in any way, or to equate it with "sin."
The LDS Church emphatically commented on the legal threats to religious liberty that are at stake with this issue in its statement "The Divine Institution of Marriage":
"Legalizing same-sex marriage will affect a wide spectrum of government activities and policies. Once a state government declares that same-sex unions are a civil right, those governments almost certainly will enforce a wide variety of other policies intended to ensure that there is no discrimination against same-sex couples. This may well place 'church and state on a collision course.'
"The prospect of same-sex marriage has already spawned legal collisions with the rights of free speech and of action based on religious beliefs. For example, advocates and government officials in certain states already are challenging the long-held right of religious adoption agencies to follow their religious beliefs and only place children in homes with both a mother and a father. As a result, Catholic Charities in Boston has stopped offering adoption services.
"Other advocates of same-sex marriage are suggesting that tax exemptions and benefits be withdrawn from any religious organization that does not embrace same-sex unions. Public accommodation laws are already being used as leverage in an attempt to force religious organizations to allow marriage celebrations or receptions in religious facilities that are otherwise open to the public. Accrediting organizations in some instances are asserting pressure on religious schools and universities to provide married housing for same-sex couples. Student religious organizations are being told by some universities that they may lose their campus recognition and benefits if they exclude same-sex couples from club membership.
"Many of these examples have already become the legal reality in several nations of the European Union, and the European Parliament has recommended that laws guaranteeing and protecting the rights of same-sex couples be made uniform across the EU. Thus, if same-sex marriage becomes a recognized civil right, there will be substantial conflicts with religious freedom. And in some important areas, religious freedom may be diminished."
This issue is so important to the LGBT community and gay marriage advocates that both the well-being of children and the sacred integrity of our nation's religious framework must be forcefully sacrificed on the altar of their carnal adult desires... through whatever means necessary. No longer satisfied with quietly living the lifestyle they have chosen, they now seek to impose it on the nation as a whole... forcefully... under penalty of their carefully-crafted "non-discrimination" laws.
And those who drink the artificially-flavored Kool-Aid of "tolerance" are unwittingly selling both their civil and religious liberties and freedoms down the proverbial "fountain of filthy water." When Satan can convince even the elect that the "good is bad, and the bad is good," then the battle has been lost, and we, as a nation, are ripe for destruction.
Someone very close to me, and who I love very much, recently said, "So back off on the whole gay marriage thing. Sure, it's wrong, but it should be legal. It absolutely should be."
This position relies on the assumption that words, principles, and beliefs don't mean anything and that there is no such thing as the boogeyman... or groups that seek to silently and systematically destroy our religious freedom. After all, it's just a word. "Live and let live." "It's wrong, but so what?" The problem is that it's not just wrong... it will almost certainly lead to the destruction of all we hold to be sacred. It's a seditious legal issue of the "Ignore that man behind the curtain!" variety. And yet many of our elect are being sucked into this rationalization vortex in order to appease the gods of Political Correctness.
For those who share my faith, such a position as I related above is unconscionable. After all, we believe and "solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children . . . The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity." Why then do we even entertain such positions, and intentionally open the door for Satan to stick his foot in?
The bottom line is that marriage means something. It stands for something. It is a divinely created institution that we are commanded to respect, honor, and revere... as much as those with whom we enter its sacred bonds. Perhaps the very simple question we should all be asking ourselves, as some our own elect seek to gratify their inflated sense of self-importance, arrogance, and ego by opining on this issue, "Who's on the Lord's side? Who?"