Thursday, November 20, 2008
Why I Voted "Yes" on Prop 8
Yes, I know, the election is over. Although, the battle over Proposition 8 is not. I believe the next few years in our nation will prove to be very interesting. In light of this, I thought I would share my thoughts on this issue.
Quite frankly, I am not sure where to start. The intensity and passion on both sides is quite high thus making communication between two groups difficult. Shamefully, violence is on the rise and I may be subjecting myself to some attacks for posting on this issue.
A disclaimer. I do not hate gay people. In fact, I profoundly love a lesbian family member who is "married." I have had friends and neighbors who are committed gay couples. I cannot say that I have had an unpleasant, or un-cordial, encounter with a gay person.
It is unlikely, actually impossible, that I will fully cover my thoughts on this subject in this blog. My intent is to address a few talking points that are on my mind.
1. World View. We each have one. I attempt to develop my world view through the lens of Scripture as I believe firmly that this is God's revealed Word to humanity. I believe the Bible is the ultimate authority on every issue.
2. Biblical understanding of marriage. Marriage is first described in Genesis 1-2 with the creation of Adam and Eve. The Bible describes Adam's life as being incomplete without Eve and therefore God created woman and a helpmate for Adam. This was very good in the sight of God.
One primary purpose of this union was to multiply. Thus, marriage is the building block of family and ultimately society. Throughout the Scriptures marriage is affirmed as being between one man and one woman (please note that there are examples of all sorts of things within Scripture that are not affirmed by God). The issue of family (natural family that occurs between a man and woman following sexual relations) is the main reason why government is involved in this issue--to protect children and the building block of society: family.
3. Biblical understanding of homosexuality. I wish there was a gentle way to address this topic. We live in such a "politically correct" society that is filled with all sorts of hypocrisy and inconsistency. Leviticus 18:22 is clear: "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." Within this context there are all kinds of commands given to humans concerning sexual conduct (i.e. a man shouldn't have sex with relatives, a woman and her daughter or granddaughters, during menstrual cycles, other people's wives, animals, etc, etc). God is pretty clear concerning the context by which sexual relations are blessed by God: within the committed relationship of marriage. Period.
4. Varying levels of sin--a word on hate. I do confess that many Christians have handled the sin issue of homosexuality in a very unbalanced manner. I don't necessarily think that homosexual relationships are more sinful than other ones that are more accepted (i.e. See Romans 1:26-32). However, I am prone to be more understanding of a child who is disobedient to his parents, or a man who is having sex out of wedlock, or a drunkard--manly becuase those are sins are more common to non-homosexual people. I am less comfortable in homosexual settings because that is not my background, but by no means do I believe they are worse on the "sin-scale."
That being said, I do believe homosexual intercourse is sinful and I believe God will bring judgment on all sin. I admit that Christians could do a better job of "hating the sin" and "loving the sinner." But in Christians defense, they are often perceived as being hateful simply because homosexual people generally find their identity in their particular choice of sin. Therefore, any criticism, or varying perspective, is perceived as an attack on them personally.
5. Homosexuality and Racism. I believe this is a horrible comparison. First, homosexuals and heterosexuals all have the same rights (i.e. freedom of speech, to bear arms, to vote, etc, etc). We all can marry one of the opposite gender, none of us can marry someone of the same gender. Second, homosexual couples do have many of the same benefits of married couples (i.e. they can buy property together and they can visit one another in the hospital, etc). Third, homosexual people are allowed to practice their lifestyle freely in our country. I actually find it quite offensive that proponents of homosexual marriage would compare this to the atrocities of the racial history of America.
6. Let's compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges. I don't think this needs much explaining. One Man + One Woman does not equal One Man + One Man or One Woman + One Woman. None of these three things are the same thing. The NFL is the NFL, MLB is MLB, NHL is the NHL...they are what they are. Marriage is man and woman...nothing else. Man and man or woman and woman are in essence something else.
7. Where does the logic take us? I had a conversation in recent months when I pressed the logic of my homosexual friend. Should we then also allow for people to marry their cats, dogs, horses, cars, planes, you fill in the blank. He was appalled and quickly offended that I could compare his relationship to these other examples! Quite frankly, I felt his response was a bit hypocritical and ironic. The homosexual position for wanting to be included within the definition of marriage is linked to emotional reasoning (i.e. their love for one another, etc). I don't know about you, but I know a number of people who have far superior relationships with their animals and possessions than they do other people. Quite frankly, I don't know why, or how, those pushing for homosexual marriage can oppose marriage to other items? Please be logically consistent in your argument.
8. What about my freedoms? If Proposition 8 is shot down, how long do you think it will be before a discrimination suit is filed against me or another pastor in California who believes that marriage is between a man and a woman alone and refuses services to a gay couple? A nano-second? There are already lawsuits being filed against fertility doctors who refuse to artificially inseminate gay couples etc... What about their rights?
9. The state of traditional marriage today. All this being said, I believe the worst attack on marriage has been the total lack of respect for this union between man and woman before God. People today burn through marriages faster than I burn through my socks. I know this is sad, but I don't buy socks that often... For those of you who are pro traditional marriage, I encourage you to esteem and cherish your marriage! I cannot control society as a whole (although I try to influence it for good), I can cultivate a marriage and family that God desires within my own boundaries.
Posted by Gunnar Hanson at 5:23 PM