Thursday, December 18, 2008

The purpose-driven hissy fit

The rumblings came from California yesterday. Now it's a full-blown snit -- this conniption fit gay-rights activists are throwing over Barack Obama's choice of the Rev. Rick Warren (an evangelical, AAAAIIIIEEEEEE!!!) to deliver the invocation at his inauguration.

President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday defended his choice of a popular evangelical minister to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, rejecting criticism that it slights gays.

The selection of Pastor Rick Warren brought objections from gay rights advocates, who strongly supported Obama during the election campaign. The advocates are angry over Warren's backing of a California ballot initiative banning gay marriage. That measure was approved by voters last month.

But Obama told reporters in Chicago that America needs to "come together," even when there's disagreement on social issues. "That dialogue is part of what my campaign is all about," he said.

Obama also said he's known to be a "fierce advocate for equality" for gays and lesbians, and will remain so.

Warren, a best-selling author and leader of a Southern California megachurch, is one of a new breed of evangelicals who stress the need for action on social issues such as reducing poverty and protecting the environment, alongside traditional theological themes.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights organization, said Warren's opposition to gay marriage is a sign of intolerance.
ACTUALLY, the word I heard thrown around was "bigot." That's the label you're hung with by the agents of one-way "tolerance" if you are so gauche to believe some fundamental tenets of historical Christianity.

Or that marriage, by its nature, goes something like
how it is explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

"The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament."
THE SECULAR notion of marriage hews pretty closely to this view, not because the state is in the religion business, but because the state -- historically -- has recognized fundamental realities when it is confronted with them. To ignore fundamental realities, and basic biology and sociology, is to reap the whirlwind.

Look at the disorder in society and upheaval in individual lives already accompanying the breakdown of the model of marriage as one man, one woman, till death do them part. Now we're supposed to gladly undo even the tribute our heterosexual hypocrisy pays to the truth?

It will not end well.

But to believe what mankind has held fast for more than 5,000 years -- as does Pastor Warren, who backed California's constitutional ban on gay marriage -- is now to be labeled a bigot. Be seen as unfit to appear at the inauguration of an American president.

It is to be declared an ideological leper.

How utterly Stalinist -- both in its intolerance of dissent from an accepted party line and in its radical upheaval of tradition.

NO LONGER is "tolerance" of gays and lesbians enough. No longer is it acceptable to treat homosexuals as brothers and sisters with whom we, as Christians, take issue on one area of their lives.

To treat those with whom we differ fairly and with charity is no longer sufficient. Now we must approve. Affirm. Or else.

No, it would appear that how, with whom and in what context they achieve orgasm is how gays and lesbians define themselves -- that sexuality is the be-all and end-all of their humanity. Apparently, everyone else must so define them as well.


Gays and lesbians are more than their genitalia . . . and their sexual orientation, which orthodox Christians (and, historically, society) believe to be disordered, because a family never can result from it naturally. It does not conform to the "natural law."

THAT SAID, what one does in the bedroom is his -- or her -- own damn business. Christianity hasn't gone around with firearms, torches and broadaxes yelling "resistance is futile, you will be assimilated" for a very long time now because, frankly, it didn't work out so well.
Neither was it particularly Christian.

If you don't tell me what you do with your same-sex partner, I will refrain from being so classless as to speak of what goes on between my wife and myself. If you want to enter into some contractual relationship with a gay lover, conferring legal rights and privileges, fine by me.

But don't call it marriage.

Marriage never has been a purely contractual relationship, bereft of spiritual and sociological implications, and it never will be, either. So don't slur those of us who think thus -- as does the Rev. Warren -- with the word "bigot."

To do so speaks to the intolerance of the forces of "tolerance." And to try to enforce such a perverse notion of "tolerance" infringes upon the right of the many to freely practice their faith just because the few have decided to throw a hissy fit.


George from BRLA said...

Great article. Please post more like this rather than the anti-Louisiana stuff, okay?

Tom Coleman said...

"Marriage has never been a purely contractual relationship."

Actually, legally that's exactly how it's been defined in most secular states for up to two hundred years or so.

For instance, Article 86 of the Louisiana Civil Code (from the Napoleanic Code) provides that "The law considers marriage in no other view than as a civil contract." Seems pretty much purely contractual to me, at least from a legal standpoint.

It appears that just as some confuse a claim of "tolerance" with belief that others are "unnatural" or "disordered" they also get religious belief mixed up with the legal status of marriage. But that was settled long ago in most advanced nations. Before the French and American Revolutions (or before the Mexican Revolution or Brazilian independence in those countries) various religious sects controlled marriage (along with those who wanted to marry), usually the religious sect with the most adherents or political influence. That's still the case in Israel for the most part, and they are Reform, Conservative adn Orthodox are still fighting over it rather than something more productive.

Of course you can attach any addiional meaning to marriage that you wish, you just can't impose it legally on anyone else. That's real tolerance and real freedom.