Yesterday, after much thought and prayer, I painted a target on myself. I usually try to avoid that kind of thing; in my opinion I’ve had enough conflict to last me the rest of my life. But then again I traded in my opinion 33 years ago, and darned if it doesn’t affect my behavior sometimes.
On FaceBook I noticed a handful of people who put up the above equal sign icon to show their support for re-defining marriage, and I can see why they would. (I know, I know; it’s uncomfortable! It’s unpopular! But it’s important, so bear with me for a minute.) What bothered me – and still does – was the absence of meaningful dialogue from those for natural marriage, and the openly rude shunning treatment toward anyone who disagrees. Taboo! Why so much vitriol from such a tolerant group? So I respectfully and publicly put forth a few simple reasons for the pro-marriage position.
Two reasons I put myself out there:
1. I have seen pervasive insulting, assumption-based labeling of pro-marriage people. For example, this morning I read that it’s because people with my viewpoint are acting out of fear, anger, and hatred. I was told I’m mean, homophobic, and against equal rights. Had I been asked, I would have explained my deep love and concern for SSA (Same Sex Attracted) people. But these presumptions of my motives show a clear dearth of publicly spoken reasons to preserve marriage as-is. If one is painted as such a villain before speaking, I can see why people are intimidated into silence! So I am happy to give people a chance to actually discuss the matter and disagree kindly, especially if it brings understanding.
2. The discussion is being framed as an equal rights issue, which it is not.SSA people already have the same constitutional rights as all citizens. But laws may be put in place to force the American public to accept a new definition of marriage, which in the history of mankind has been limited at least to man and woman or women. I could be wrong, but I’d like to offer a perspective on that.
Three reasons I disagree:
1. For the children. We have decades of research showing that kids need a Dad and a Mom to thrive. It should be obvious, for example, that two women are not the best choice to show a boy how to become a man. A helpless child’s NEEDS should always trump an adult’s DESIRES. Regardless of sexuality, I think we’re all noble enough to put kids first and not launch an uncharted social experiment which could risk the well being of the children who do not get a choice.
2. For the people. American citizens should not be forced to accept a new definition of marriage they don’t agree with, especially since family is the foundational unit of our society. Why not just call it what it literally is – something entirely different from the original?
3. For God. Our nation was founded on Christian principles and the Bible, which has been almost completely eliminated from the public sphere in favor of now-popular humanism. Unfortunately, there’s still a native people group archaic enough to accept God’s word as final truth who never signed up for the change in ideas. They get a say in the public square too. Since the law is for all people, passing a law recognizing homosexual relationships as equal to man-woman marriage forces Christians to publicly deny God by affirming that His design and the Bible are wrong in order to abide by the law. It’s open discrimination against Christians who follow the Bible as written while setting the stage for more. The law-making bodies of a nation thus founded should respect its heritage enough to at very least not hinder people from publicly following God’s written opinion on the matter – and we can’t have both.
Note that none of the above have anything to do with hating, fearing, or demeaning SSA people, or denying feelings or rights. We should, however, bear in mind that including homosexuality as marriage will exclude practicing Christians from being able to acknowledge the law; a huge violation of religious freedom. We legislatively affirm sexual license (which already exists) at the cost of constitutionally-guaranteed religious liberty. This isn’t equality; there’s no way not to leave someone out. Maybe there’s a lot more riding on this decision than can be seen on the surface.
Carole Manning is a housewife and home educator in Salt Lake City, Utah. She enjoys a thoroughly blessed life with her husband Jon and five crazy boys – plus bunnies, birds and bees.