Setting Christians Straight on “Gay Marriage”

"Gay Marriage" is an abomination. So is the attempt to outlaw it.

images (2) 150988990.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-large

With Senator Rob Portman recently coming out as the first Republican Senator to support “Gay Marriage”, there has been a lot of approving noise in the media, and a lot of disapproving noise from Christian leaders - unfortunately none of the noise seems to be getting to the heart of the issue. Many in the media (and on the left in general) approve because they heartily condone the morality behind “Gay Marriage” - and many Christian leaders (such as John Piper in a recent podcast) disapprove because they condemn the morality behind “Gay Marriage”. All seem to forget that we are not just talking about morality in general, but about legality in particular - and that makes a huge difference. The militant Gay Activist movement does need a strong corrective from the Church, but the Church also vitally needs a corrective on the role of the state.

THE ABOMINATION OF “GAY MARRIAGE” - Correcting (Christian) Gay Activists

Marriage, like every other institution, is designed by God for His glory. Atheists will shudder at such a claim, but I am not (primarily) speaking to Atheists here. I am speaking to Christians - who should know better. The atheist is certainly welcome (and encouraged) to read along though. He might learn something - maybe even more than the Christian.

Christians should know that God exists; that He rules over everything; that He has designed everything; and that He aims to be glorified in everything - including marriage. God created Man and Woman in very specific ways, and He gave them a very specific relationship with each other in order to communicate and reflect the glories of His perfections through them.  Marriage (and sex!), like every other good thing, is ultimately about God - and only secondarily about us and our desires. I do not mean that it is about God apart from us and our desires; that would be gnostic nonsense. I mean that our role, and the role of our desires are logically subordinate to the role of God’s glory. I mean that God’s glory ruling over us as the ultimate motive in all that we do is the ideal. I mean that all that we do - including sex and marriage - is only ever fully idealized, consummated, rational and pleasurable when it is done “for His great Name!”.

To alter His design is not only to corrupt your own pleasure (and how it corrupts your pleasure!); it is also to alter and corrupt His image, which was meant to be displayed in His design. Therefore, the attempt to alter His essential design in marriage is an abomination. Likewise, altering His essential design in sex is an abomination. I do not say that lightly. I am by no means “sexually pure”. Homosexual desire is twisted - I know it first hand. Homosexual activity is depraved - I’ve tasted the bitter fruit of it’s empty promises more than I care to remember. But, I do not take random and fleeting desires as moral absolutes. I do not, as so many tragically do, conclude from some homosexual desires that I am homosexual or that homosexuality is therefore moral -- just like I do not conclude from the desire to lie that I am a liar and that lying is therefore moral. I do not stubbornly rebel against objectivity on the basis of my subjective whims. I prefer, rather, to prostrate myself before Him - pleading for His mercy concerning my abominable desires - and, having obtained His mercy, to discover objective morality, allowing the power of its superior pleasure to progressively and overwhelmingly transform my desires. Such is the only proper response for one who finds himself to be an abomination - which means such is the only proper response for every sinner.

Homosexual desire is not the only sexual abomination though, and neither is “Gay marriage” the only marital abomination. Getting married because the other person is rich is an abomination. Getting married because the other person is famous is an abomination. Adultery is an abomination. Not leading your wife like Christ is an abomination. Not respecting your husband is an abomination. All of these are “marital” abominations - and all deserve the same moral disdain as the abomination of “Gay Marriage”. But marital and sexual abominations are not the only types of abomination either.

Lying is an abomination. Stealing is an abomination. Cowardice is an abomination. Envy is an abomination. Murder is an abomination. Cheating is an abomination. Slothfulness is an abomination. Hopefully you’re beginning to see a puzzling picture. There are tons of abominable actions and desires in the world - but only some of them are against the law. There are laws against theft and murder, but not against slothfulness or envy. Christians want laws against “gay marriage” but not against pretentious marriage for wealth or fame. What is the proper role of governmental law in regard to all of these various abominations?

THE ABOMINATION OF OUTLAWING “GAY MARRIAGE” - Correcting the Church

In addition to all of the abominations listed above, there is one abomination which I did not mention - the one (and only one) with which the state is designed to deal: the abomination of initiating force. Pay very close attention: I did not say that it is abominable to use force, per se. I said that it is abominable to initiate force, and that is a very crucial distinction. To initiate force against someone is the attempt to obliterate the image of God in them (however marred it may have been already); to enslave them to your will; to reduce them from a living person to an inanimate object - wholly subservient to you and to nothing else. The initiation of force is a particular kind of abomination. It does not only distort God’s image. It wipes it out. God, therefore, designed an entire earthly institution meant to counter the initiation of force: He created the state.

The state, as designed by God, is the only proper institution of force on earth. The state does all that it does by force (or by threats thereof), and it is therefore uniquely suited to respond to abominable initiations of force (or threats thereof). The state is designed to respond with force to any and all initiations of force. But notice that, as an agent of force, the state cannot -by definition - do anything apart from force. Everything done by the state is done by force. Every law that is passed gets upheld by force. When a decision of the state is enforced, it is done so by force. This means that if the state ever does anything which is not in response to the initiation of force, it will - by definition - be initiating force. Read that again, carefully. The state does everything by force. It either responds to the initiation of force, or it initiates force. Those are its only alternatives. It either fulfills its design as the defender against initiations of force, or it becomes that which it was meant to defend against - an initiator of force. The state, itself, becomes an abomination the second that it is used for anything other than defending against initiations of force.

But it is not just the state which becomes an abomination in such a situation - for the state is run by and reflective of the people. People - individuals - advocate for certain functions of the state, and therefore those individuals are guilty of those abominations performed by the state. It is an abomination to initiate force against someone - whether you do it yourself, hire someone else to do it, or advocate for the state to do it. To advocate for laws against anything (no matter how abominable) which are not initiations of force, is to advocate for the initiation of force - and therefore to become an abomination, yourself. “Gay Marriage” is abominable, but it is not an initiation of force. Murder is. Sexual promiscuity is abominable, but it is not an initiation of force. Rape is. Envy is abominable, but it is not an initiation of force. Theft is.

For some insane reason, Christians have got it into their heads that to properly denounce something as immoral, it must be made illegal -- which means to properly communicate moral disdain, we must initiate force; to tell you I disapprove, I must hold a gun to your head. Make no mistake. That is the essence of passing a law. You may not be the one holding the gun, but you fully instructed the policeman who is. In fact, the Church has so closely tied the use of force with moral condemnation on this issue that it is automatically assumed that those who do not wish to initiate force against homosexuals must necessarily condone the morality of homosexuality. Such is the disgustingly barbaric state of modern Christian "morality". The Church must regain the ability to pronounce moral condemnation apart from using force, i.e. apart from passing laws, lest it become infinitely more abominable than that which it condemns.

Related Posts & Pages

Vote: At Your Own Risk

There Is No Such Thing as Scripture "Apart" From Philosophy

The Christian Intellectual

9 thoughts on “Setting Christians Straight on “Gay Marriage”

  1. Steve

    I think two men getting married are using force against society. It just gets played out over a longer period of time in a more insidious manner.. The effects are not immediately seen.

    Reply
    1. "Society" is a collection of individuals. Is force initiated against any particular individuals when two men get "married"? If so, could you elaborate? If no particular individuals are forced, then "Society" cannot be said to be forced since "Society" is a collection of particular individuals.

      Reply
  2. Daniel J. Millen

    The word "abomination" is reserved for homosexuality and defiling the temple in the Bible. All other sin is referred as "missing the mark." This article is biblically incorrect.

    Reply
  3. Victor

    This article misses the point entirely. So-called gay marriage is not, repeat NOT illegal. In all 50 states, two homosexuals can go to certain churches and be "married". Neither the couple nor the church officials, nor anyone else involved will face any penalty on any level whatsoever. The argument here is about state recognition of these unions- something the left is trying to FORCE upon the states visa vie the the federal court system. The federal government has no business in the marriage business...period.

    Reply
  4. If you would, could you comment a little further here, or perhaps in a new post on this thought:

    "... God, therefore, designed an entire earthly institution meant to counter the initiation of force: He created the state.
    The state, as designed by God, is the only proper institution of force on earth."

    As a Christian and an objectivist, I agree with the arguments that come before and after, about the evil of initiating the use of force against another and about the evil of using the state to initiate force, or advocating for the same. However, I would like to know what particular biblical support you use to make the statement that God designed the state to counter the initiation of force and about God's designs for the state. I hope you can give this a moment of your time.

    Thank you, in general, for your sharing your thoughts in this blog; it's been a new favorite of mine.

    Reply
    1. I apologize for the late reply, and I do appreciate your name, ReardenPress.
      It would take a number of blogs (and potentially a book) to fully expand on that, but here are some of the basics:
      1) God instituted the government and has a specific design for its proper function.
      2) By its very nature, the government is an agent of force.
      3) The only moral use of force is in response to the initiation of force.
      4) Therefore if God is moral and just (and He is), then the design of the state is to respond to initiations of force.

      The "Biblical Support" is the overarching doctrines that God is just and moral and that God designed the State with proper functions.
      Regarding specific texts, I suggest reading the following post: http://thechristianegoist.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/there-is-no-such-thing-as-scripture-apart-from-philosophy/

      There are Biblical texts to "support" this position (and all others I hold) -- but not if you (or someone else) means "apart from philosophy" when talking about the Bible. I don't discuss the Bible apart from philosophy because it was not written apart from philosophy, and - just like everything else - it means absolutely nothing apart from philosophy (apart from over-arching philosophical ideas).

      Reply
  5. LukeThompson

    This is a really great article. I really enjoyed the clear distinctions between legality and morality (something that I think many Christians need to think more about). I also really liked what you said about the abomination of initiating force. Good stuff. I would like this post to get broad readership!

    Also, when I first commented on your blog, you had mentioned the possibility of having private conversations/messaging. Is there another way to do that besides Facebook? I don't have an account...and I would love to pick you mind on a few topics. :)

    Reply
    1. Luke, Thanks again for your comments. You are certainly welcome to advertise for the article as broadly as you wish (which might be aided by having a facebook account). :)

      Regarding personal correspondence, please email me at thechristianegoist@yahoo.com. I look forward to some good discussion.

      Reply
  6. I have a few questions for you:
    1) You claim that homosexual relationships are corrupt and a perversion of God's creation, but where is your rational justification for that in this post? Homosexual activity has been often found to naturally exist among other species of animals. Are you insinuating that nature in and of itself is flawed - that the creation of a perfectly rational being is defunct?

    2) You see homosexual relationships as incapable of being "pure" or virtuous. Rand stated that "Love is the expression of one's values, the greatest reward you can earn for the moral qualities you have achieved in your character and person, the emotional price paid by one man for the joy he receives from the virtues of another." Why is such a love only exclusive between man and woman? While I would argue that the Americanized homosexual lifestyle is often self-immolating and self-destructive, there is nothing in Rand's definition of love that implies that two men or two women are incapable of achieving a virtuous love for one another.

    3) To further expand upon my second question, you show in your post that there are abominations and virtues in every situation, including marriages between man and woman. Your perception of homosexuality in this post lacks the possibility of a virtuous and selfish love between two men or two women. Therefore it is seen as abominable, perverse, and wicked, but any sexuality without love would fit such a description. While Rand rejected homosexuality personally, I have yet to see how it is incoherent with Objectivism.

    Rand's view on sexuality is very clear coming from Francisco d'Anconia:
    “Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a person's sexual choice is the result and sum of their fundamental convictions. Tell me what a person finds sexually attractive and I will tell you their entire philosophy of life. Show me the person they sleep with and I will tell you their valuation of themselves. No matter what corruption they're taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which they cannot perform for any motive but their own enjoyment - just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity! - an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exultation, only on the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces them to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and accept their real ego as their standard of value. They will always be attracted to the person who reflects their deepest vision of themselves, the person whose surrender permits them to experience - or to fake - a sense of self-esteem .. Love is our response to our highest values - and can be nothing else.”

    One may argue that homosexuality is a person's "sexual choice", but I believe her statement is in fact blind to gender and describes the connection between two egoist individuals. We cannot change our sexual orientation or our natural inclinations, as that would in fact be an attempt to alter God's creation. Just as a heterosexual male can choose what female to love, a homosexual male can choose what male to love; that choice can be either abominable or virtuous. For a man to deny his love, given Rand's definition of the word, for another male would be an act of self-abasement and ultimately an act of altruism.

    If the person who reflects the deepest vision of myself just so happens to be the same gender as me, then so be it. As John Galt says, my life belongs to me and the good is to live it.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *