A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Marriage is God’s Justice for Gays and Lesbians

Not all men and women submit their same-sex desires to God and His purposes. Increasingly, we live in a day when ‘the only problem with homosexuality is the one you have with it,’ to paraphrase the curt response of a young Christian to his pastor.

In some circles—legal, academic, artistic, journalistic—you could say that homosexuality is even accorded a special status. Maybe it’s a response to past abuses to gays, or the threat of being perceived as intolerant. The ‘enlightened’ bend overbackwards to celebrate all things homosexual, including gay marriage. The reasoning is simple: How could you withhold marriage from such winsome guys and girls?

But clever and disarming personalities should not alter the truth of God’s design for His human creation.Marriage proclaims that design over and over again on the face of the earth. It bears witness of a greater reality: the holy ‘otherness’ of gender differences, creativity within boundaries, the only just context for the raising of kids.

State-honored marriage upholds that witness for gays and lesbians. Its truth honors the design of the universe. Honoring marriage restrains assaults on that design. The Psalmist declares: “The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.” (PS 12:8) Conversely, when we honor what is honorable, wickedness is curbed.

I recently engaged with a young man bound to homosexual addictions who was intent on pursuing a sexual relationship with me, or anyone who would attend to him. I simply and clearly defined how God in His mercy had freed me to live within His design for marriage. He was blown away; I created a boundary which freed me to be kind to him.

Marriage is justice for gays. It is a living witness of a truth that may be distorted or struck down in their hearts but not destroyed. Its wholeness restrains their brokenness. How? By offering them what they really need: the living witness of one man for one woman, pledged to permanence and fidelity, who include others in that life-giving offering.

Marriage is God’s justice for gays. It should also curb those who with misdirected compassion cede marriage to gays. A brilliant thinker on natural law, J. Budziszewski writes: “True compassion relieves his [the gay man’s] suffering, gives him what he needs. False compassion relieves what I suffer for him, gives him what he wants.”

Marriage is God’s justice to gays. Whether or not one is ready to admit it, marriage mirrors God’s design to those who fracture it. It bears witness of the better way. It gives one what (s)he needs, if not always what (s)he wants.

Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Proposition 8.

“Father, show us how whole marriage is one witness of truth and grace for gays. Temper our notions with justice with Yours. May we manifest that justice liberally.”

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Marriage is God’s Justice for Those with Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction

Many exist in the church and outside of it who experience unwanted same-sex attractions. These are men and women like me. For reasons we understand and do not, we have historically felt inclined toward our own gender. By the grace of God and out of reverence for Him, we have sought to overcome those inclinations. We now take our places as part of God’s evident design for His human creation: humanity as male and female.

For us, the reality of same-sex attraction is neither a right nor an identity or a lifestyle. It is disorder. It is a distortion of an otherwise normal need for same-sex love and attention. We steward our need for that love in proper non-sexual ways while seeking to love the opposite gender well as fellow image-bearers.

Desires do not define us; God’s evident design in creation does. And what God wills, He enables. We cast ourselves upon His grace constantly in our effort to love well. According to His definition, not ours.

We recognize instantly the wisdom of men like Robert Gagnon who define homosexuality in terms of its inherent narcissism—fixating upon our own gender along the good hard road to sexual wholeness.

He writes: “By definition, homosexual desire is sexual narcissism. There is a recognition that one desires in another what one already is and has as a sexual being…The modern word ‘homosexual’–from the Greek ‘homois’ or ‘same’–underscores this self-evident desire for the essential sexual self shared in common with one’s partner…Such a desire is really a form of self-delusion. We are gender beings by virtue of our gender, not due to possessing some social construct of gender. We need not seek completion in ‘sameness’. We must come to terms with our own essential gender.”

For us, the witness of whole marriages (and the state’s upholding of what true marriage is!) is a blessing. It encourages our journey onward to gender self-acceptance and recognizing the other gender as a needed counterpart.

I recall early on in my journey sitting in church and watching a young couple tending to their child. They cared for each other and the baby beautifully. It is as if I awoke to the beauty of God’s design and began to long for that—not merely as an ideal but as a personal goal. At that time, I also began to see the strength of my parents’ marriage; it too became a source of inspiration to me.

Whole marriages—defined and rewarded by the state—are God’s justice to those with unwanted same-sex desires. Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Prop. 8.

“Father, open our eyes to the powerful witness of marriage for those dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction. Thank you for the grace to resume the journey.”

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Marriage is God’s Justice for the Boundaryless

You could say we live in a relational holocaust. More children than not are subject on a daily basis to porn, various forms of abuse, in general, a violation of what God intended for His human creation: one man for one woman committed to one another for life.

God created marriage to be a kind of boundary, a relationship intended to protect the lives of its offspring. That includes protection from misuses of adult power, all forms of adult sexuality, and violence between men and women. When protected, children are given the chance to grow up normally, to be prepared for an adult world in which they must make wise decisions about relationships and sexuality.

Most kids are not blessed with these boundaries. If just under half of marriages fail, then that many kids are subject to the pain of a single parent who is unhappy and overburdened, often expressly due to the failure of a spouse. The break-up of marriages often results in neglect of the child, a lack of attentiveness to his/her emerging life. That life requires more protection than ever before.

Before the age of 18, 25% of girls will be sexually molested, as will just under 20% of boys. 40% of victims are abused by family members, another 50% by those whom they know and trust.

The Internet plays a huge role in violating young boundaries. 9 out of 10 children between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed Internet porn: 11 being the average age of exposure. The 12-17 year-old age group are the largest consumers of Internet porn. 1 in 5 children receive unwanted sexual solicitations online.

The Justice Department said: “Never before in the history of U.S. telecommunications has so much obscene material been so easily accessible to so many minors in so many homes with so few restrictions.”

Kids who are unattended and without boundaries need whole marriages in their lives. These marriages serve as a sanctuary for them, a living witness of who men and women can be for one another. It raises a standard and a boundary for those living without them.

I remember a young boy living in a boundaryless family across the street from us. His mother had drug problems stoked by a string of boyfriends. He would come over and play with my kids and I; he drank in the attention I gave him. I have never witnessed one as hungry for love and order. He longed for normal and got it through our family.

Whole marriages and families help heal those broken in their boundaries.

Honor marriage for the good of all. Vote YES on Proposition 8.

“Father, set the orphans into families. Restore the broken through whole marriages.”

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Marriage is God’s Justice for Citizens

The state cannot redeem marriage. That is the business of the church. But the state has a responsibility to its citizens concerning marriage. It must uphold what is best for the common good. That means defining marriage clearly for all: one man for one woman, pledged to fidelity and permanence.

That definition establishes something true and enduring that helps shape the morality of its citizens. We are all impressionable, being-formed moral beings. We take our cues from our families, our faith, and our culture. A significant strand of our moral development takes its cues from the laws of that culture.

California has currently removed all gender references on its marriage licenses. Bridegroom and Bride, Husband and Wife, have morphed to Partner 1 and Partner 2.

When gay marriage was legalized, photos of lip-locked gay newlyweds adorned every newspaper in California. Articles about CA gay wedding trends have gone throughout the nation.

Schools will now have to conform to the law of the land. Teachers and other civil servants must adhere to the new truth that homosexuality is now completely on par with heterosexuality. Gay marriage legitimizes homosexuality; it insists that all citizens recognize its moral neutrality, even its moral decency.

Gay marriage is the strongest arm of legitimizing homosexuality in the culture. As such, it will profoundly influence the morality of our youngest citizens. How? Through the media, the schools, and any other body that represents the state. Gay marriage is law. That law has altered the most fundamental institution in our culture.

Its social influence will further erode the fledging morality of many. Kids scour the landscape, trying to make sense of who they are, and what they want to become. Especially kids who don’t have parental guidance.

Youth today face a bewildering array of options as to how to meet their needs for love.

They look for answers about their own sexuality at school, on the Internet, in chat rooms, on TV. Gay marriage guarantees that homosexuality will figure in as a powerful option for youth, another means to resolving a monumental struggle for security.

Let’s get real. Homosexuality is complex, and subject to many variables, including the cues one takes from the culture. Through gay marriage, California legitimizedhomosexuality and said to its youth: “Gay is good. If it feels right to you, marry it.”

Honor marriage for the good of all, especially its young citizens. Vote YES on Prop.8.

“God, we ask that you would open our eyes to the long-range social influence that gay marriage will have. Wake us up so we can act on behalf of generations-to-come.”

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Marriage is God’s Justice for Children

Marriage is the only institution on earth that rewards and supports couples who raise the children they created. If they honor that commitment, the man and woman provide stability and a source of clarity and confirmation for the identities of both sons and daughters.

The state is wise to honor that attempt. We are all aware that many couples falter in it. At the same time, any legal effort made to increase the chance that a man and woman are going to make good their vows serves justice to children. It declares that the legally binding union of one man and one woman, pledged to commitment and fidelity, is in the best interests of children.

State-honored marriage is an act of justice for children. Any act of the state to alter that definition, and so extend support and reward to other definitions of marriage, is not in the best interest of children. In truth, these reconfigurations are unjust.

For example, children subject to same-sex couples are immediately deprived of both biological parents. These children were either adopted or conceived in one partner’s previous marriage. Many were created through a sexual surrogate, artificial insemination, or complicated in-vitro process.

These children will not have adequate exposure to both genders as they seek to emerge up the developmental ladder and into secure enough men and women. They simply will not be exposed to the whole image of God. In order to survive, gay couples must downplay the necessity of both genders in the parenting process; to uphold ‘the whole image’ as essential to wholeness would undermine their very lives together!

To further defend themselves, gay couples will land on the side that homosexuality is inborn, encoded in one’s being before birth. Thus, they reason, their unusual pairing will not impact the child in the least. In truth, their same-gendered approach to parenting will have a huge impact upon an impressionable life. Every single child subject to homosexual couples will bear an extraordinary burden.

I have walked with many adult-children who bear the pain and shame of having homosexual parents. These parents battled between wanting the best for themselves and their kids. In opting for same-sex partnership, they invited children into households charged with their own painful conflicts.An unstable, emotionally volatile, and often sexually unfaithful environment failed to satisfy the child’s need for ‘normal’. And saddled him/her with shame due to the peculiar configuration of parenting over which the child had no control.

‘Gay marriage’ is unjust to kids. Many claim that ceding marriage to gays is just. Just for who? Not for children. Be their voice. Honor marriage for the good of ALL. Vote Yes on Prop. 8.

“Reveal true justice, O God. Expose the injustice foisted upon kids via gay marriage.”

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