I found a flyer in the mail today entitled “77 Non-Religious Reasons to Support Man/Woman Marriage”. It has some pretty solid points inside (as well as couple floppy ones) regarding why the state should spurn homosexual “marriage”. Overall it is a very natural law-y presentation.
In the end though, I can’t help but think that – if the goal is to actually stem the tide and prevent same-sex marriage from becoming an accepted cultural norm – this is simply barking up the wrong tree. It seems anymore that everyone thinks this battle is won or lost based on appealing to good secular (i.e. “non-religious”) arguments against same-sex marriage, but that’s absurd. As long as the argument is a secular one (see the flyer link above for examples) we are not addressing the foundational issue. We can make these arguments until we’re blue in the face, but the rebuttal will always be the same:
“But same-sex marriage is what it takes to make me happy. You can’t deny me my right to happiness, and if you try you are a shameful bigot!”
Which is, of course, a response that has been well-designed to pull on the heartstrings of every non-discerning person within hearing distance, and tends to end the conversation with a win for that side. Rather than play that game, the issue we need to be focused on is the fact that we are creatures of God, bearing His image – NOT advanced slime-creatures-seeded-from-outer-space (or whatever the prevailing evolutionary theory is these days… real science is shooting them down so quickly it’s hard to keep up). Once we re-focus the conversation off of the secular presupposition that “I have a right to do whatever feels good” and back to “God made me and has revealed His standard for how I am to live my life in a way pleasing to Him” we will be much better positioned to “win the fight”.
Is that likely to happen? No, because for some reason Christians have – in the name of being considered “open minded” – made our stand predominantly on secular arguments that, by very virtue of being relied upon, grant the secular premise that utilitarianism = morality. Therefore, all that’s left is for the folks on the other side of the debate to gather a majority unto themselves (as they are doing swiftly and effectively) and they are the de facto victors.
Once you grant that premise, the conclusion follows automatically. Therefore: DON’T. GRANT. THE PREMISE.
Seriously, our secular culture demands that we approach the debate without the Bible (“Don’t you try to impose your morality on me!”), and we are tripping over ourselves to accommodate them. When will we as Christians wake up and realize that this is a losing proposition? As soon as we forego God’s Word, we have conceded it all, for there can be and is no morality apart from “and each man did what was right in his own eyes” without revelation from the Creator.
So if we can’t rely on secular arguments to make our case, what can be done? The solution, as I see it, is evangelism. Only proclaiming the Law in all its harshness, and the Gospel in all of its graciousness, can bring repentance and faith to an apostate people. At the end of the day the debate is really about God’s will vs. man’s will, and only the restoring power of the Holy Spirit can break our sinful hearts of our own will and bind them unto Christ’s.