Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Defending Marriage is Bigotry

To deal with this issue, it is necessary to hear all the discussion.
From Chuck Colson's site--we see.

Defending Marriage Is Bigotry?
All Things Examined
By: Regis Nicoll|Published: December 3, 2010 12:17 PM
Topics: Arts & Media, Church Issues, Marriage & Family, Sexual Ethics

The only thing motivating opposition to gay “marriage” is bigotry and hate. If it were really about the sacredness of the institution, Kirsten Powers wonders, where is the Christian activism against divorce and promiscuity among heterosexuals?

Powers, a Fox News political analyst, explains that this double standard is important “because it reinforces the idea among Christians that gay people are morally inferior and don’t deserve to be treated fairly.” I'll come back to this "double standard" in a moment, but right now I want to consider Ms. Powers' rather strong suggestion that judgmental rhetoric by Christians is responsible for the upsurge of teen bullying and gay suicide.

To support that line of thought, Powers voices some incautious judgments of her own, starting with the allegation that Purpose-Driven pastor Rick Warren compared “same-sex marriage to pedophilia and incest.” That’s a charge that packs high emotional impact among gays and gay “marriage” supporters. So what did Rick Warren actually say?

What he said

In a lengthy interview, covering numerous topics, the Editor-in-Chief of Beliefnet asked Warren what he thought about partnership benefits, like insurance coverage and hospital visitation. Warren’s response:

“You know, not a problem for me. I favor anyone being able to make anyone else the beneficiary of their health or life insurance coverage. If I am willing to pay for it, I should be able to put a friend, partner, relative, or stranger on my coverage. No one should be turned away from seeing a friend in the hospital.”

Warren, remember, is one of those who believe that homosexuals “don’t deserve to be treated equally.” He went to explain,

“The issue to me… [is the] redefinition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.”

As the transcript makes clear, Rick Warren was voicing his opposition to any social arrangement that would fundamentally change the nature of marriage as it has been defined and valued in every civilization throughout recorded history.

Yet, the inconvenient truth of the matter is that, if legalized, an adult-child or brother-sister union would be on equal legal and social footing with same-sex “marriage,” such that anyone referring to them pejoratively as “pedophilic” or “incestuous” would be libel for hate speech. What’s more, if we follow the numbing drumbeat of the gay lobby—namely, that marriage is the civil right to marry whomever one chooses—there will be no legal or logical barrier to limit it to non-relatives or adults, or even to two people.

Those who pooh-pooh that last prospect have not been paying attention to what has been happening in Canada.

Lesson from Canada

In 2005 Canada redefined marriage to accommodate same-sex couples. Today, five years later, a challenge to further “modernize” the nation’s marriage laws is heading to the Supreme Court. The modernization called for is the legalization of “multiple conjugal relationships,” or polyamory.

The arguments advanced for polyamory in Canada are the same as those being made in the U.S. for same-sex “marriage”: Polyamorous unions are loving, committed, consensual, and egalitarian; laws prohibiting them are discriminatory and unconstitutional; there is no evidence that polyamory is harmful to society or the individuals involved.

To see where Canada’s modernization is heading, here is a description of the living arrangements of some of the plaintiffs involved:

(1) a woman and her male partner who live and have relationships with two other adults in the household (they also have a child living in the home) and who have agreed that each can pursue relationships with others, (2) a woman who lives with two other men (two of her teenage sons also live in the home), (3) a husband and wife who live with another adult (and the married couples' two young children and the third person's teenage children), and (4) a man who lives with a woman and another man (with whom he is raising a two-year-old child).

These types of relationships (and more) would become legal should the plaintiffs prevail. The take-away from Canada is that once marriage is redefined, it is not a question of if, but when political pressure will be applied to extend it to any constellation of relationships that mankind can imagine.

Gay “marriage” is a social juggernaut that, once launched, can be hampered only by an arbitrary and coercive act of law.

A Bible lecture

After Ms. Powers charges Christians with “heaping condemnation and judgment on others,” she lectures them with this bit of learned biblical insight: “Let’s remember, Satan wasn’t kicked out of heaven for being gay; it was pride.”

As I recall, neither was he kicked out for judgmentalism, bigotry, or a host of other sins. But what Satan was or wasn’t guilty of is beside the point. If the Bible is marshaled in defense of some human behavior, the foremost authority is Jesus and what he said about the matter.

For the matter at hand, Jesus warned his disciples that extramarital sex, including willful lust, put a person in risk of damnation. And since Jesus never saw fit to modernize marriage Canadian style but, rather, re-affirmed the institution as originally given, his warning would include same-sex behaviors whether or not they are committed within a legally-recognized, or church-blessed, relationship.

Continuing her lecture, Powers writes, “The people who really ticked Jesus off were the Pharisees, who were self-righteous and hypocritical, which would fairly describe many of today’s Christians.”

It would also fairly describe many of today’s social progressives whose outrage against social injustice goes strangely mute against the injustice done to the smallest, youngest, and most powerless among us; or the advocates of tolerance whose intolerance for the views of others is expressed in vandalizing churches, threatening and assaulting opponents, and storming into worship services throwing condoms on the altar and shouting insults at the congregation; or of those who play fast and loose with the hypocrisy card.

The double standard

But this is only the set up for Powers’ main point, which comes straight from the social progressive playbook: The anti-gay marriage movement is driven not by reasoned argument, but by bigotry. Else, Powers suggests, Christians would be “running around confronting their sexually active heterosexual co-workers and friends about their ‘lifestyle.’”

While it is true that Christians have been sorely remiss in living out the teachings of Jesus and holding each other accountable to them, collectively Christians have done more than any group to address the myriad problems associated with extramarital sex through abstinence programs like Aspire and True Love Waits and healthy marriage programs like Marriage Encounter, Marriage Savers, Smart Marriages, and Preventing Divorce.

On top of that, many churches require premarital counseling for engaged couples and offer free counseling to married couples. And if it weren’t for Christian authors, there would be scarcely any books on the shelves promoting monogamous intimacy and fidelity.

Yes, Christian individuals have a long way to go in practicing the faith they profess and in supporting, encouraging, challenging, and, when necessary, confronting each other in their Christian walk. Sadly, in some isolated and highly publicized incidences, Christian individuals have been guilty of hurtful and judgmental confrontations with homosexuals, as have homosexuals with those who hold opposing views.

Nevertheless, the Christian pro-marriage movement, on which Powers breezily heaps her own judgment, is not about confronting individuals; it is about defending a time-honored institution through public discourse and civic involvement.

That includes educating the public and elected officials about same-sex “marriage” and the seismic implications it has for society, and exercising the right of free speech and the right to vote for laws and political leaders that uphold marriage as the exclusive, life-long, life-welcoming union between one man and one woman. And there is nothing hypocritical or bigoted about that.

Regis Nicoll is a freelance writer and a BreakPoint Centurion. His "All Things Examined" column appears on BreakPoint every other Friday. Serving as a men’s ministry leader and worldview teacher in his community, Regis publishes a free weekly commentary to stimulate thought on current issues from a Christian perspective. To be placed on this free e-mail distribution list, e-mail him at
Articles on the BreakPoint website are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Chuck Colson or BreakPoint. Outside links are for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply endors


Friday, December 10, 2010

Come Now, Let Us Reason Together

Come Now, Let Us Reason Together

As we contemplate the recent past and anticipate the immediate future, many are unsure about what may happen in North Dakota, or even in this land we call America. As we approach this Holy season, it may be time to reflect, a time put all in perspective.

The elections in November provided two new faces in the North Dakota congressional delegation, as well as placing the Republicans in control in the US House of Representatives. Republicans made substantial gains in the North Dakota legislature and especially in the senate where the margin is now 35-12.

As in the aftermath of most elections, the victor claims a mandate—citing “the voters have spoken”. President Obama made this claim in 2008, and now Republicans in 2010. To a great degree this is how things have gone for years, on all levels, state, federal, and local.

The losing party develops an immense liking of compromise, and castigates the majority as some sort of evil force if it fails to give in proportionately. On the national level, today—President Obama and the Democratic Party are expecting compromise. The same scenario will play out in the 2011 North Dakota legislative session—compromise will be expected.

While compromise in and of itself is not unacceptable, the foundational reasoning for the compromise may be of concern. If that reasoning does not have its basis in the constitution, or in firm principled standards, but is responding to the temporary whim of a poll—it is not sound or wise. Ours is a republic which places supreme power with the people.

As we seek even greater guidance, looking to Isaiah 1:18 may provide some profound wisdom, applicable centuries before Christ’s birth, as well as today. “Come now, let us reason together”, says the Lord. In response to His people turning away, rejecting Him, He offers to reason with them.

Was He offering to compromise? The short answer is ‘no’. The offer is to reason. The verb reason is to think or argue logically. The noun reason is defined as a motive or basis for an action, decision, or conviction. God is asking those in 700BC to bring their thoughts, requests, and arguments to Him. The basis for the response is measuring their arguments in relation to His standards, His will. Isaiah documents His response.

Today, whether in the public policy arena or in our personal lives, we fail to measure our arguments against His standards. Compromise in most cases is limited to the viewpoints of this world, the standards of this world. The culture of the flesh determines the parameters of our discussion, and the eventual compromise.

So what can we learn from Isaiah 1:18? We can utilize His call to reason. Whether in our personal lives or as an elected public official, we must carry with us the values, beliefs, principles, and standards of our faith. Doing so we will be able to reason in all environments; dealing with a family matter, a business transaction, or a public policy decision on the state, local, or federal level.

As Christians, being of good courage, reflecting truth and grace, “Come now, let us Reason together”.


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