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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Who Has the Right to Define It?

The Supreme Court heard two days of argument. The Justices are considering. Proponents want to see "restrictions" removed so no one is excluded, claiming they are entitled to equal benefits.  Rush Limbaugh says that it will eventually be legal nationwide. Bill O'Reilly says all the "opponents" can really do is thump the Bible.

What is the issue?

The definition of marriage.

Up until two or three decades ago, when someone announced he or she was getting married, it was naturally assumed that the spouse-to-be was of the opposite gender. That is what marriage is, right? Apparently not in today's language.

Marriage is no more understood to be a man and woman, joining together for life and raising children who will, as Mike Huckabee says, "become their replacements.

Now, we are told that marriage should be redefined to be two people joining together and, if they so choose, raising children which they must either adopt or have help from someone of the opposite sex in order to bear.

Not the same thing. It can be called some kind of union, I suppose, but it is not marriage, which was fundamentally defined by God and then again by Christ during His earthly teaching as a "one-flesh" relationship between a man and a woman.  (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5)

A same-sex "relationship" is unnatural, of course, since it does not propogate the human race and is contrary to the very anatomical design of mankind. This lifestyle results in health issues, not all of which are AIDS related, though that is the biggest risk, of course. And this lifestyle distorts the plan of the Creator.

I have to take issue with Bill O'Reilly here and say that, for me, having the Bible as the main argument for my position makes perfect sense to me and is no small confirmation of correct thinking. As a follower of Christ, I strive to center my entire life on the teachings of His Word. My politics flow out of that commitment; I cannot make up my mind about social issues apart from it.

I am not a gay hater. I have worked with gay people and know some gay people personally. They are human beings created in the image of God and have great value as such. It is not their intrinsic worth that is the issue, though many would like to say that it is. If we made social and political decisions based on our human worth alone our nation would be in jeopardy. Behavior does matter. Opponents of "gay marriage" do not deny the worth of those involved but object to giving same-sex relationships legal "marital" status, as if there were no difference. If one wants the benefits of "marriage" then he or she must be "married" - as in a lifelong commitment to a person of the opposite sex. To try to redefine this relationship to allow for deviations of the normal tradition is foolish. It is not the same thing.

Of course, none of this make sense if you do not believe that same-sex relationships are abnormal or a type of dysfunction.  It is becoming apparent that the problem in America is a much deeper one than merely a difference of opinion on this issue.  Our country has had a violent shift in its moral base. That would have to be the case when Bill O'Reilly can say that using biblical principles as argument doesn't amount to much. Our founders wouldn't have agreed with him. The embryonic documents of our nation reveal that those men had great reverence for biblical wisdom and often relied on the leading of Providence. But it has become unconstitutional to uphold religious slogans and displays and to pray in our schools, so it should not surprise us that the Bible is no longer seen as a legimate authority on social issues.

I know that many of you reading this agree with me and you've heard all the things I could say on this issue. So, this is not a new angle, but an affirmation of my right as an American citizen to free speech and of where I stand as a Christ-follower. 

Marriage is a sacred institution created by God, and it is He who has the right to define it. Even the decision of the highest court in the land cannot change that.

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