To begin with, yes, I am a Christian. I read the Bible and I go to church, and brushing aside such things that can be construed as “appearances only” I also believe that Jesus was God’s only begotten son sent to Earth for the salvation of mankind, and in the inerrancy of Scripture.
I am a Christian and I am okay with same-sex marriage.
Yesterday I had a debate on Facebook that lasted for literally hours on this subject. I was simply going through my newsfeed when an article popped up titled “Inter-Racial Marriage and Same Sex Marriage.” I didn’t even have to open it up to read it to know I disagreed, because the friend who posted it decided to also quote the last paragraph:
“The real question here, it seems to me, is whether marriage has an essence or is merely a social construct akin to driving on the right- versus left-hand side of the road. Those who espouse same-sex marriage want to deconstruct marriage so that what counts as marriage is just a matter of convention. Once we start down that route, anything goes: a man and two women, a man and a child, two men and a goat, etc. I see no reason at all to start down that road.”
Which prompted my response, on the left, and the decision to embark on a discussion that would last from roughly 1 to 6 p.m. and leave me emotionally, more than mentally, exhausted. I soldiered on, however, because within that paragraph is a very common argument in the Christian community that I simply cannot agree with. It’s a go-to response for many regarding same-sex marriage, and one that follows a particular line of logic.
To sum up their argument very simply:
“If we legalize gay marriage what’s to stop us from allowing pedophilia and bestiality and [deviant sexual act here]?”
What I’m going to do is state the point that I both began and ended my debate with. It’s very straightforward, and should not be difficult to understand. The difference between legalizing same-sex marriage and all of these other things is consent.
One man, of sound mind, decides to enter, of his own volition, into a romantic and sexual relationship with another man, also of sound mind and who likewise wants to take part in this relationship.
To explain why the above differs from pedophilia, necrophilia, and bestiality [the unholy trinity of deviant sexual acts] I defer to a fantastic infographic I found on imgur two years ago:
Again, consent. To address this point an argument was brought up [more than once] that the government could always change the terms of consent, and you know what, that is not something I can disagree with. The government could change how they view consent, but if they do it won’t be because they legalized same-sex marriage. You know how I know this? Because they’re not changing it now.
Consent is viewed in same-sex marriage and relationships the exact same way it is viewed in heterosexual marriage and relationships. The governments of the world are not deciding to stretch their laws past accepting that two men, or two women, are to be viewed the same way that a man and a woman can.
This doesn’t even flow into the issue of polygamy, which I know some people will bring up, because marriage continues to be between two people. As a legal contract by the government rights and benefits are shared between two people and two people alone. They’re not changing the system in any way except, as I have been saying, that now people can get married to partners of the same sex.
I feel like, in the span of the last few paragraphs, I’ve been hammering this point with a sledgehammer, and I apologize if that’s the case. It’s the exact same point I was trying to make on Facebook, and one I tried to say as many different ways as I could while still being as clear and concise as possible.
What upsets me most is that by comparing homosexuality to pedophilia or bestiality we as Christians simplify what I see as being the most important issue facing the modern church right now. That’s in addition to the fact that doing so is offensive in a way I can’t put into words without breaking my no-profanity rule on this blog. I honestly don’t know if homosexuality will ever be an easy topic for Christians to deal with, not without a drastic shift in exegesis, or interpreting scripture.
I was upset before, and I’m trying not to be now, that the site that hosted the article is called Reasonable Faith. William Lane Craig likens marriage as a social construct to “driving on the right- versus left- hand side of the road” before making that final point I so strongly disagree with. He uses the perfect illustration, though. If same-sex and heterosexual marriage are just like driving on opposite sides of the road then pedophilia is driving on the sidewalk, then bestiality is driving head-on against traffic. To say that one logically leads to the other just doesn’t sound very reasonable to me.
Here is the only good purpose of the slippery slope argument: any deviation from what is right is wrong.
For those of us who believe that the “marriage” of two people of the same sex is wrong (or impossible, in my case), it makes sense to say that accepting something bad makes it easier to accept something worse.
You are exactly right in saying there’s a huge difference between same-sex marriage and the unholy trinity of deviance, and I’m definitely not here to continue the same argument, but I wanted to explain what I think the slippery slope comes from for better or (mostly) for worse.
The only real argument that holds water against gay marriage is something along the lines of this: Currently gay men and women have the same rights as straight men and women in regards to marriage. That is to say, a man, gay or straight, can marry a woman. A woman, gay or straight, can marry a man. Then if you look at marriage as a contract with prerequisites (in this case, man to woman, woman to man, etc) then you shouldn’t just change the prerequisites of voluntary contracts. Anything to do with morality gets pissed on when you look at things like divorce, which the majority of Christians would say should be allowed but is undesirable. It’s this kind of picking and choosing of what morality to legislate that is a real problem.
I’m of the belief that no morality should be legislated, let people do what they want so long as they don’t infringe upon anyone else’s ability to do what they want. The idea of a government-issued certificate that makes you and your partner “legally married” seems silly to me anyway, but DEM TAX BREAKS MAN.
I dearly wish that I had known about this comic when writing my post.
I’m always amused when I hear Christians sputter on about how gay marriage will lead to such evils as polygamy, especially given that the Bible is full of polygamist relationships and never declares them sinful.
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