Monday, 16 May 2011

What's the issue with same-gender marriage?

Up until recently in human history, marriage has been uniquely between a man and a woman, for the purpose of begetting children and raising a family. Recently, that has been challenged by advocates for same-gender marriage.

The logic for same-gender marriage goes like this:
  1. Our sexuality is part of our body;
  2. We, as individuals, have the right to determine what we do with our bodies;
  3. If anyone else tries to tell us what to do with our bodies, including our sexuality, that's the same as doing violence to our bodies - ie, we are "hurt", and we must "scream" and "fight back";
  4. Society must affirm individuals in their search for bodily, sexual self-expression;
  5. If society doesn't affirm us, we have been violated, and can "scream";
  6. Because we, as individuals, have the right to determine our own sexuality, then having sex with someone of the same gender is as valid as sex with someone of the opposite gender;
  7. If anyone disagrees with 6., we have been violated and can scream and fight;
  8. Marriage is the normal societal way of affirming sexual union;
  9. Therefore society must - not may, not can, but must, is morally compelled to - permit same-gender marriage;
  10. If society doesn't, then those who choose to be sexually active with someone of the same gender has been violated, and can scream.
The Biblical view departs from this at point 2.

1. Our sexuality is part of our body - agreed. God made us embodied and sexual, and it was good. Genesis 1:28; 2:23-25; Song of Songs; 1 Tim 4:3; etc.

2. We, as individuals, have the right to determine what we do with our bodies - No. As creatures of a good God, we trust him to tell us what to do with our bodies - sexually, and in everything else - because he knows us better than we know ourselves. Psalm 11:4, 139:13; Prov 20:24.

3. If anyone else tries to tell us what to do with our bodies, including our sexuality, that's the same as doing violence to our bodies - ie, we are "hurt", and we must "scream" and "fight back" - No. When God tells us how to live our lives, he does so for our good. And we are called to speak good words of rebuke and correction to each other, for each other's good. Heb 10:24; 2 Tim 4:2; Titus 1:9.

4. Society must affirm individuals in their search for bodily, sexual self-expression - Not quite.

Christianity is not a secular religion; we do not seek to impose belief on unbelievers through law and coercion. The only way to truly come to God is to be convinced, through the Bible, that Jesus really is God, and that he died to forgive us. Having come to God in Christ, we trust his good direction for our lives - including our sex lives. None of that can be achieved through law and coercion; it is achieved through explanation and persuasion.

So, the secular State should maintain broad freedoms - including freedom of religion, speech, assembly, media - so that people can search for what is "true", including the truth of Biblical Christianity.

That said, the secular State should not affirm anything that is positively damaging. And, as will be argued below, same-gender sexuality is positively damaging. So the State should not affirm it.

5. If society doesn't affirm us, we have been violated, and can "scream" - No. See 3. above. Even if we're not Christians, a mature person is able to transcend their own opinions, listen to others, and consider that they just might be wrong. Radical individualism necessarily leads to ethical narcissism - I do whatever's good for me - which eventually leads to the dissolution of society because no-one's listening to each other, everyone's screaming and fighting everyone else.

6. Because we, as individuals, have the right to determine our own sexuality, then having sex with someone of the same gender is as valid as sex with someone of the opposite gender - No.

Same-gender friendship is very good; same-gender sexuality is very bad. Our bodies are made for sexual expression with someone of the opposite gender, not the same gender. Same-gender sexuality - especially men having sex with men - damages the body by making it do things it wasn't designed to do. For more info, see my article on AFES WebSalt.

7. If anyone disagrees with 6., we have been violated and can scream and fight - No. See 3. & 5. above.

8. Marriage is the normal societal way of affirming sexual union - Yes, historically and Biblically (Gen 2:23-25; Matt 19:4-6; Hebrews 13:4).

Marriage is for sex, and the children that sex begets. As I argued in another AFES WebSalt article, cross-gender friendships are very good. They can and should be truly "loving" and "affectionate" - as in we deeply care about the person, we like to be with them, they make us feel good, we're happy when they're happy and we're sad when they're sad - but these relationships are not sexual, therefore they're not a marriage.

The irony of the same-gender marriage movement is it's coming at a time when sex and marriage have been broken apart. Contraception has broken the link between sex and babies, thus breaking the link between sex and families. Why bother getting married? If you want to have sex with someone, just do it. If you want to live with them while having sex with them, just do it.

9. Therefore society must - not may, not can, but must, is morally compelled to - permit same-gender marriage - No. In fact, because same-gender sexuality is personally destructive, the State is morally compelled to oppose it.

10. If society doesn't, then those who choose to be sexually active with someone of the same gender has been violated, and can scream - No, but they will anyway. If the homosexual lobby succeeds in getting legal recognition for same-gender marriage, they will use it as a tool to persecute the church. They will turn up at churches, demand to be married, and when we say no, they'll publicly mock us or use legal sanctions against us. And because we're to love our enemies, we'll respond with kindness and gentleness - which will itself be used against us, just like Paul's refusal to take money for ministry was used against him (1 Cor 9).

3 comments:

Roger Gallagher said...

Hi Kamal,

There's one other argument used by those in favour of same-sex marriage that you haven't covered - love.

The basic argument goes - the core reason for marriage is the declaration of your love for, and committment to, another person. Homosexual couples are just as capable of love and committment as heterosexual couples, so they should be just as able to express their love for each other as heterosexual couples can by getting married.

The slippery slope with this argument is that it not only opens the door for same-sex marriage, but also polygamous and polyandrous marriages. How would you respond to this argument?

Kamal Weerakoon said...

Rog - good question - I'm preparing an answer but might take a little while sorry. Basically it's got to do with the meaning of "love".

Kamal Weerakoon said...

You can find my answer to this question at http://kamalsmmm.blogspot.com/2011/05/love-nature-purpose-commitment-and.html