Category Archives: Marriage

SCOTUS Docket 14-556 and Proverbs 18:17

The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him. – Proverbs 18:17 (NASB)

Some of the arguments people are making to support the legalization of homogamy sound plausible. On closer examination they don’t hold the proverbial water they should.

1) No one is going to make you be gay.  Now that SCOTUS has finally declared that discriminating against people on the basis of their sexual orientation violates their basic rights, they are not saying that you have to become gay now yourself. This approval of same-sex marriage at the national level does not mean that you now have to get gay married, okay?  So let’s get that part out of the way first.  It also doesn’t mean that you can’t teach your own children to judge other people for their sexual orientation. You’re still free to do that, no matter what. It’s your right.  It’s a part of your religion (or at least of your particular version, just don’t ask the other people in your religion who don’t see it the same way), so the United States government is not going to take that away from you, I promise.

Making specious claims about the arguments of others will get them nowhere. Address the issue accurately. The Obergefell v. Hodges decision, Supreme Court Docket 14-556, addressed homogamy, not homosexual discrimination. The court in its magical way found homogamy in the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution when nothing in the Constitution says anything about marriage, let alone homogamy or homosexual marriage. On the basis of this decision from the Supreme Court homogamy is now constitutionally protected. Suggesting that Christians are still free to teach our own children to judge on the basis of sexual orientation because “the United States government is not going to take that away” is being blind and deaf to the whims of not only the court, but of the other two branches of government as well as the education system. The powers that be want nothing more than to indoctrinate our children. To “promise” such a thing upon which one has no control is foolish and stupid.

2) Preachers will not be forced to marry gay people. Thanks to the same First Amendment that keeps your religion from taking over everyone else’s lives, those churches which do not approve of this move will remain free to disapprove of it—and to speak publicly about their disapproval—for as long as you still care about this issue.  What’s more, that constitutional protection has enabled churches to refuse to marry anyone they choose despite every new national advance in the fight for civil rights.  You don’t want to marry an interracial couple?  That’s actually your right.  Always has been, always will be.  Your churches will remain free to reject as many kinds of people and relationships as you please.  This is a well-established protection that will not budge no matter what those who disagree with you wish were the case. Even if somebody tries to take you to court over it in the future, they will fail because your constitutional protections overrule their personal views.  That’s how this works.

John Adams, as many others have echoed, believed this to be a government of laws, and not of men. This guiding principle, like the failed Confederacy in Jefferson Davis’ words, died of a theory. The First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances“, and the Supreme Court’s enshrinement of homogamy into the constitution are on a collision course if only because homosexuality and Christianity don’t go together. If the court can conjure homosexual marriage out of a document which says nothing about marriage at all then it can compel pastors and the religious to sanction something labeled marriage for the clearly immoral. Anyone claiming “…that constitutional protection has enabled churches to refuse to marry anyone they choose…” is ignorant of a little SCOTUS case called Bob Jones University v. United States which was argued due to the university’s prohibition of student interracial dating or marriage. Yes, the constitution enabled Bob Jones University to freely practice it’s belief, but this case enabled the IRS to withdraw Bob Jones’ tax exempt status based upon racial discrimination. Money has a way of speaking louder than the law. The SCOTUS in this case found that “Government has a fundamental, overriding interest in eradicating racial discrimination in education.” If a similar case comes before the court it wouldn’t hesitate to use this case as precedent and eradicate sexual discrimination. A question in the minds of many is how long it will be before the first 501c3 tax exempt status is withdrawn by the IRS from a church on this basis. It’s been threatened on the basis of sermon content alone before. When the first homosexual couple darkens the doorway of a church to insist that their “marriage” be officiated by some reluctant curate we’ll know we’ve arrived.

3) It will not become illegal to be a Christian. Ever the opportunist willing to stoke the fires of evangelicals’ persecution complexes, Mike Huckabee continues to spout warnings that once LGBT folks are given the same rights as the rest of us the government will begin putting people in jail for openly disparaging this move.  He continues to capitalize on evangelicals’ irrational fears that the Christian faith will soon be criminalized like it was back in ancient Rome under a completely different kind of government. Huckabee used to run the entire state of Arkansas, but I honestly can’t tell if he just really doesn’t get how the US government works, or if he’s being intentionally dishonest in order to whip his potential base into a frenzy just to get their vote. Either way, you shouldn’t listen to him because he’s misleading you.

Again, anyone foolish enough to imagine this to be a “completely different kind of government” and that a former state governor and presidential candidate “really doesn’t get how the US government works” doesn’t have a very good handle on reality themselves. Christianity can just as easily be criminalized tomorrow as homogamy was sanctioned in a day by a panel of 5 judges. Perhaps the only reason it doesn’t happen suddenly would be because it runs the risk of revolt. Yes, there are Christians who would revolt. No, it most likely won’t happen that way, but it will happen slowly, carefully and methodically. There may be enough of their atheist friends around to help make their dreams come true. That pesky law of unintended consequences, though, will bring about some very undesirable results in the absence of Christian moral restraint.

4) God isn’t going to destroy America. I can’t really tell if my Christian friends seriously think this will happen even though they use the rhetoric a lot.  Most American evangelicals I know harbor a deep sense of exceptionalism which leads them to believe that God needs America in ways that would prevent him from wiping us out.

This is one Christian who knows that America isn’t standing in the way of God’s will, it’s unpleasantly coming to it. While the atheists, agnostics and all around ungodly merrily celebrate an America covered in rainbows, there are Christians wise enough to see the hazards and dangers ahead. Just because the destruction of America, just as illegal Christianity, doesn’t happen tomorrow doesn’t mean we’re not headed there. It’s a pity as well, for if their minds were of understanding they would realize, just as Christians do, that America’s time is drawing short.

While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. – 1 Thessalonians 5:3-5

In reverse

These times in which we live are remarkable. It would have been hard to imagine some of the remarkable things that have happened recently just 20 years ago. It seems as if events are accelerating. Perhaps the end of all things is closer than we think? Or maybe it just seems that way to this Christian simply because common sense has become an anachronism.

Just when we thought gay marriage or as I prefer to call it, homogamy, was only something in the same realm of possibilities as unicorns and pots of gold at rainbow ends, along comes government to call those things into being which are not. Not only this, but to add insult to injury, the arguments before the SCOTUS in the Obergefell v. Hodges case to decide the legitimacy of homogamy seem to this Christian observer to be precisely backward. Consider the following quotes from attorneys arguing before the SCOTUS on each side of the issue. (Bold my emphasis)

The opportunity to marry is integral to human dignity. Excluding gay and lesbian couples from marriage demeans the dignity of these couples. It did demeans their children, and it denies the — both the couples and their children the stabilizing structure that marriage affords.

Well, I — I — I’m not entirely sure there would be, but, of course, marriage is something more fundamental than that. It is an enduring bond between two people. – Gen. Donald B. Verrilli, Solicitor General for the US Department of Justice; arguing on behalf of the plaintiffs for same sex marriage

Our answer number one is that the marriage institution did not develop to deny dignity or to give second class status to anyone. It developed to serve purposes that, by their nature, arise from biology. Now, imagine a world today where we had no marriage at all. Men and women would still be getting together and creating children, but they wouldn’t be attached to each other in any social institution. Now, the — the marriage view on the other side here is that marriage is all about love and commitment. And as a society, we can agree that that’s important, but the State doesn’t have any interest in that. If we’re trying to solve that social problem I just described, where there’s no marriage, we wouldn’t solve it by saying, well, let’s have people identify who they are emotionally committed to and recognize those relationships. – JOHN J. BURSCH, ESQ., Special Assistant Attorney General of Michigan; arguing on behalf of respondents against same sex marriage

Strange it is to consider that the homogamy proponents base their arguments using transcendental ideas like “enduring bond” and “dignity”, while those supporting hundreds of years of religious tradition accept the view of homogamy as being “all about love and commitment” offering “biology” as support for their claim of marriage. Strange it is indeed when the irreligious reach for the transcendent and the religious use but the mundane to support their arguments. This is with what the religious right is left. It supported the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). It further wanted a Constitutional amendment defining marriage. It voted for presidential candidates who would appoint conservative judges to the SCOTUS. It finally thought passing state initiatives and referendums on marriage would settle the matter. Virtually all those state measures have been overturned by federal circuit judges. DOMA has been emasculated by the supreme court in the Windsor case. Justice Kennedy, who will by many accounts be the deciding vote on the court and is expected to rule in favor of homogamy, was a Reagan appointee.

It comes down to one thing. Government is not the answer. It’s not even the question. Marriage was defined, not by some legislative body or court, but by divine fiat of the Creator God at the beginning of all things. Gen. Verrilli, et. al. have swerved by the truth as a testimony against themselves. Marriage is spiritual, not legal. One clear point to remember is that whatever government is allowed to define, it will legitimize. The court, by way of Justice Kennedy, eisegeted the transcendent concept of “equal dignity” into the 14 Amendment in the Windsor case. After reading and listening to the oral arguments before the SCOTUS in this “landmark” case it seems clear that this court, by oligarchical rule, intends to change an institution into something it hasn’t been for hundreds of years, and the sanctity of the marital love of a man and woman into a parody of itself.

Legal arguments such as these are slippery. The terms change as the times change to suit the participants. There is not only the direct issue at hand, but the indirect issues in consequence. Marriage won’t stop with two men or two women. If we accede to the idea of marriage being “all about love and commitment”, regardless of whether the state has an interest in it or not, it won’t be long before it will be redefined to include polygamy or pederasty as legitimate. Government will act as god, defining and redefining “love and commitment” to mean anything it chooses, granting “equal dignity” to those in decadence.

Justice Sotomayor made an interesting statement during the course of the proceedings.

But the problem is that even under a rational-basis standard, do we accept a feeling? I mean, why is — why as — and I think Justice Kagan put the argument quite clearly, with something as fundamental as marriage, why would that feeling, which doesn’t make any logical sense, control our decision-making?

This ironically seems to bring the discussion back to the point of it all. Does love not “control our decision-making”? Is marriage a just feeling? What is love? Hartley Coleridge’s Sonnet VII begins this way, “Is love a fancy, or a feeling? No. It is immortal as immaculate Truth…” Love can be many things to many people, but true love, the kind upon which marriages are built, is eternal.

Elmo’s Theory: An Anti-Gender Bender

The line from the movie Titanic goes, “A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets.” Indeed, a woman’s heart is so secretive that even women don’t know themselves.

The rule applying to age disparity for romantic relationships.

The rule applying to age disparity for romantic relationships.

Women are often obtuse to their own condition. Men have the objectivity of not being women, and therefore have the distinct advantage of perspective when it comes to inquiries into that “deep ocean of secrets”. From that vantage point and having dealt with women in a variety of situations and circumstances, I’ve come to understand something about how women function, how they think, and in this particular theory, how they regard their choices. They are most definitely peculiar.

As an important point to consider at the outset of this discussion is Elmo’s Rule #13 which states, “Women are honourable, but respect is earned.” Women are designed to be the propagators of the species. It’s a biologic fact. As much as the feminists would hue and cry about it, the fact is that America needs American women as breeders and nurturers. As women fulfill that function, within the confines of marriage, they should be respected, held in esteem and valued for it. However, it should come as no surprise to say that feminist enablers have given women the validation to act according to their own selfish desire. As they cease to fulfill the role of propagator they become biologic dead ends. Basically, they are nothing other than men with emotional issues and due no other sort of respect. Homogamy bears the same outcome. Particularly in view of the current issues with wanton alien invasion, this becomes critical in America. The future of the U.S. is already in grave peril due to other factors. It will have no future at all if the core ideals of marriage and family aren’t preserved.

Prevailing modern thinking presumes women with career and vocational roles classically held by men as a furtherance of the misguided notion of equality of the sexes. Again as before, egalitarianism is the particular bete noire to which Elmo’s Rule #8 responds, “Men and women are not equals, nor is either superior to the other.” Men and women think differently and feel differently, not to mention their different physiology. Yet there is the prevailing ethos that somehow men and women must be equal. The present day dictates of equality of the sexes have their roots in the amalgamation of the transcendentalist, feminist and communist ideology over the last 100 years. Gender egalitarianism is just humanist utopianism co-opting Christian principles to make it palatable to the masses while fomenting ideologic war against biblical precepts. It is anathema to all that is at the core of family and marriage. 

Parenthood roles have been devalued in society to the advancement of individualism. Many young women today choose college, career or even ministry over marriage and family due to individualist doctrine. Focus on classic family values pales compared to the societal focus of personal improvement, development or satisfaction. As with other terminology in popular parlance, family and family values has been redefined and redetermined. The establishment of family involves personal sacrifice, but the emphasis on individualism has women pursuing personal goals. In addition, women are typically driven toward security. As the variety of careers, vocations and opportunities for women to provide their own security are available, marriage and family is shunned as a riskier and arduous prospect. External forces of a morally degenerative society threatens the cohesiveness of marriage and family.

Marriage as a human institution has also become degraded into a caricature of itself though the assumption of its domain by the state. In this way, ironically, the institution of marriage takes the blame for the dismal quality of the people entering it. Because of these and other factors, many young marriageable women are less interested in being married, to the frustration of men who long to be honourably married and raise a family. Men with moral imperatives and a sincere desire for a lasting marriage and wholesome families face difficulties finding similarly minded and concerned mates.

Age is a significant factor in choosing a mate. One particular yardstick of romantic eligibility is the “Half-age-plus-seven” rule, a chart for which is provided above. This basically determines a range of ages from which eligible marriage partners may be sought. As example, if a male aged 30 were looking for a suitably aged woman the rule would dictate that she should be no younger than 22 (30/2+7=22) and no older than 46 (46/2+7=30). This is more art than science, and the rule is just a guideline, but there are age limits which an individual should consider as appropriate. Imagine, for example, the perceived impropriety of a 30 year old man paired with a 17 year old female. On the other hand, in terms of life experience, consider what a particular 53 year old man should have in common with 26 year old woman.

A woman’s age is a particular marriageable factor in their biologic window for child bearing. Women typically encounter difficulties bearing children beginning in their 30s and the difficulties statistically increase as they get older. If a young man is interested in marriage he intends to marry a woman of child bearing age, generally their twenties if not late teens. But it’s clear that women are delaying if not completely avoiding the commitments of marriage and children. As example:

America’s next generation of youngsters should be called “Generation Rex.” If you’re wondering why playgrounds around the city are so quiet and dog runs are packed, a new report has an answer: More and more US women are forgoing motherhood and getting their maternal kicks by owning handbag-size canines. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that a big drop in the number of babies born to women ages 15 to 29 corresponds with a huge increase in the number of tiny pooches owned by young US women,…“Women are not only having fewer children but are also getting married later. There are more single and unmarried women in their late 20s and early 30s, which also happens to be the demographic that buys the most small dogs,” market researcher Damian Shore told Quartz.

This is the logical consequence of feminist egalitarian ideology; women self-indulgently fulfilling their irrepressible maternal instincts choosing dogs over children. In view of this and other observations as mentioned, I offer Elmo’s Anti-Gender Bender Theory, stating:

Women not already involved in a purposeful relationship leading to marriage with a man by their mid 20’s will be disinterested in pursuing any such relationship before their mid 30’s.

Assuming a woman attends college very soon after graduating high school, and because the typical 4 year university degree often takes 5 years to achieve, generally by her mid 20’s she’ll be facing college graduation. This age seems to be a critical point at which if a woman doesn’t already have a prospective suitor she will shift her focus to career, more education, ministry or some other vocational ambition once she graduates college. If she does move toward a personal ambition of the sort then marriage and family is a responsibility which can wait, or so she surmises. Unfortunately, it doesn’t wait for the men in their mid to late 20’s who are still eligible. By this time they’ve established a career track, perhaps become well-heeled and looking to parlay their lives into marriage and family. While the male builds upon his marriageability as provider and his biologic opportunity window of procreation remains nominal, the woman’s biologic clock winds down causing her marriageability to erode. Truly marriageable men can and want to provide for a wife and family and aren’t particularly interested in a prospective wife’s career or pursuits. Women often fail to see that as they leave their 20’s their estimation as wives in the view of men becomes diminished because their procreative window closes.

Then, as if awakened from a sleep, women seem to come around to the idea of marriage and family, if not again, at about their mid to late 30’s. Perhaps it is the realization of the vanity and futility of career pursuits. It could be the loneliness of not sharing life with a dedicated husband or the satisfaction of being needed by one’s children. Whatever the reason, marriage and family becomes an attractive opportunity again.

It remains to be seen whether Elmo’s Anti-Gender Bender Theory is verifiable, but anecdotal or empirical evidence at least seems to it being a consistency in the behaviour of young otherwise marriageable women.

ADDENDUM:

Seems that Susan Patton, the self-described Princeton Mom, author, speaker, executive coach, and human resources consultant, validates my suspicions:

I sincerely feel that too much focus has been placed on encouraging young women only to achieve professionally…Again, I understand that all women don’t want marriage (to men or other women) and or children, but for those that do, identifying the right partner is critical. One of the criteria by which I am defining the right partner is someone with shared educational and intellectual appreciation. Yes, that can be found after college and outside of Princeton, but the concentration of outstanding men (and women) will never be greater than it is as a student. I wanted to encourage the wonderful young women on Princeton’s campus to take advantage of this while they can. From a sheer numbers perspective, the odds will never be as good again.”

To celebrate or not to celebrate

The Reality of Gay Marriage

The Reality of Gay Marriage

Facebook is a website of wonder. It’s a wonder why people spend so much time on it. I had a Facebook account at one point, but ultimately found it vapid and vacuous, not to mention an invasion of privacy. Though I don’t have my own Facebook account any longer, there are occasions when I can peruse the entries just to see how people think. After reading this, I wonder if they do.

 

I hope that when I get married someday, that those close with me and everyone else who is on my Facebook will celebrate with me no matter what our differences of opinions because I assure you…EVERYONE has differing opinions but that didn’t stop you from celebrating your straight friends when they got married. Love is love and when you celebrate a couple in love no matter if they’re LGBTQ or not, you’re doing yourself and them no harm even if you do not approve of their relationship.

The individual writing this considers herself as being in that “L” category. She’s stuck in the morass that could be politely considered alternative sexuality, and the statement she makes, which is an appeal to feeling rather than reasoning, is nonsensical. Not so astonishingly, there were several minions who gave mindless assent to this post. Some of those who expressed approval with “likes” I admit I found bemusing.

There’s plenty of, excuse the metaphor, tongue lashing happening between Christians and homosexuals. Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame experienced a backlash of criticism for his comments of a Christian perspective on homosexuality published in GQ magazine in December of 2013. After being initially suspended by A&E network executives for those comments he was quickly reinstated, most likely because the rest of the Robertson family took the position that if their patriarch was gone, so were they. Although his comments regarding homosexuality might be considered raw by some, he nevertheless expressed the biblical position. It seems it’s that biblical position to which homosexuals take offense because they desire the validation of their behaviour through acceptance and approval (read: celebration) which the Bible doesn’t allow.

After [Deirdre] Gurney [executive producer of Duck Dynasty] explained that Robertson treats all the people connected with the show, even the several gay people on the production crew, like a family, co-panelist Tim Gunn, who is gay and co-hosts Project Runway, said, “Are you saying he didn’t make the comments?” Gurney answered, “He made the comments, but he doesn’t deny who he is. He has beliefs and he stands by his beliefs and what he said. But that isn’t how he treats people and what he thinks. I think there’s a separation between what he thinks and how he thinks people should be treated,” said Gurney.  “And I don’t think he was saying anything about how people should be treated.

The ‘separation’ of which she speaks is the dichotomy the Christian deals with in the world between sin and the people who practice it. The nature of evil is such that people become confused by the descent into the sin they practice. The apostle Paul addresses this in Romans as he states, “they exchange the truth of God for a lie”. In People of the Lie, M. Scott Peck puts it this way, “Mental health requires that the human will submit itself to something higher than itself. To function decently in this world we must submit ourselves to some principle that takes precedence over what we might want at any given moment.” (Pg. 162) People involved in sin, and to speak to this point homosexual sin, become blinded to the truth by the lie that is the nature of evil. In this way, their corrupted state keeps them from an understanding as to how a Christian can oppose sinful behaviour while having a loving attitude toward the sinner.

I understand that the writer of this Facebook post intends the meaning of marriage to be as between some female and herself, but no matter how she uses the word or how the civil authorities choose to define it, marriage it isn’t. To hope for such a thing is a futile hope indeed, opinions notwithstanding. Marriage is a bond between a man and a woman. It has always been that and will always be so. It is a state or condition recognized and defined by God, and when the state chooses to enact what can only be considered a counterfeit it becomes another example of government assumption of the role of God. Most importantly, whatever government claims it to be doesn’t make it so. A similar thread of logic comes to mind from scripture (see Romans 3).

Opinions mean nothing. Remember Elmo’s Rule #16: “People have enough opinions of their own. No one is interested in yours.” My opinion may be that she and her significant other still won’t be married even if they have a blowout of a ceremony. Her opinion may be quite the contrary. Differences of opinions have no bearing, except in her own mind. Ideas which have a basis in reality and are anchored in truth do. This post presumes a conflict of opinion in the writing as it begs for assent, and disregards the foundation of opposition. The question simply becomes whose opinion is based in fact and truth.

When people say something like, “Love is love, and …”, they’re attempting to give love the broadest definition possible that suits their use. Again, as in opinions and marriage, this comes down to semantics. What is love? It’s a simple question, and outside of Christianity, it’s possibly the most difficult to answer. The Christian has a very simple yet profound response, God is love. Her “love is love” statement is simply more tautological rhetoric reminiscent of the writings of one Gertrude Stein whom she may now consider to be one of her sexually challenged champions. Sin is sin, but that doesn’t mean anyone has to approve of it.

Finally, and perhaps most significantly, she makes the claim that “…you’re doing yourself and them no harm even if you do not approve of their relationship” as to celebrate a couple in love. It’s ridiculous. To celebrate implies approval. Approvals have their basis in reality. Contrary to her notion, one does oneself the harm of damaging their own rationality, if not their outright sanity, as was touched on in the paragraph above. I don’t have to draw upon being a Christian and all the biblical mandates against homosexuality to not celebrate gay marriage. I don’t celebrate it because there isn’t such an animal. It doesn’t exist. It would be as if I invited people to a celebration of a rainbow coloured elephant in the street. Gay marriage isn’t real, no matter how many government officials, judges or even formerly mainline Christian denominations declare it to be.

The top legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has voted by large margins to recognize same-sex marriage as Christian in the church constitution, adding language that marriage can be the union of “two people,” not just “a man and a woman.”

Essentially, this entire statement of hers is the ranting of a confused and afraid young woman seeking validation and the security of her decisions. If she were secure in herself it wouldn’t matter if her hopes came to pass. Just making the statement, and particularly making it on Facebook, suggests that’s not the case. But then this is a person who has become as so many have, moved by feelings wholly unconnected to reason. To love is not simply to feel, but to know with the mind and to do by the actions. To love is to be filled with meaning. Celebrations, for all their frivolity, have meaning, apparently escaping someone such as her. Therefore, left with the choices faced by her proposition, if not to attend the celebration could mean that one doesn’t approve or simply that there’s nothing to celebrate. I leave such an ambivalence for her to choose.

Couldn’t Have Said It Better

I’ll simply let Denzel Washington speak for himself, but in so doing he puts it precisely as I would. These two are among the reasons homogamy will never work.

What is the secret to staying married so long? Denzel Washington revealed, while being interviewed by Wonderwall at the premiere of his film “Flight”, what works: Do whatever my wife says, and keep my mouth shut!Love at first sight? When interviewed on Oprah regarding their long lasting marriage in 2008, Denzel Washington stated: “People who say they knew (if their spouse was the one) right away are lying! It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”