Same Sex Marriage in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />California<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
By Sean McDowell
Wednesday night I was on a panel for a live simulcast at The Rock Church (San Diego) on proposition 8, which Californians will vote on next month. Prop 8 will overturn the recent ruling by California judges to allow same-sex marriage. While the economy and VP debates have been dominating the news headlines recently, this is one of the most important votes in the upcoming election. Let me respond briefly to the three questions I was asked.
Question 1: Same-sex marriage doesn't do anything to me. Why should I be against it?
SEAN: When confronted with an ethical dilemma, we naturally ask how it affects us. But as responsible citizens who make choices that deeply affect other people, we should first ask, "What is best for society as a whole." I don't just have a responsibility to myself, but to others as well. That's the essence of the golden rule.
Regardless, whether you realize it or not legalizing same-sex marriage will affect you and everyone else in society. Consider the example of 9/11. I was not directly affected by the attacks. I didn't lose any loved ones. It happened on the other side of the country. Yet, these attacks had far-reaching implications that have trickled down to affect me personally (and you).
The same is true with same-sex marriage. It's like having a hole that leaks water into a ship-everyone is affected. The attempt to re-engineer marriage will have widespread implications for all of us. Why? Marriage is the backbone of a healthy society. Virtually every social problem can be traced back to the family (crime, welfare, child abuse, etc ).
Specifically, legalizing same-sex marriage will affect your pocketbook (higher medical and insurance premiums; crime and welfare will go up so there will be higher taxes) your free speech (It's against the law in Canada to speak out against homosexual behavior, even if what you state is true), and how your kids are educated. There will be indoctrination into the homosexual lifestyle, as we are seeing in Massachusetts (a judge ruled in February, 2007 that all students in Massachusetts must be taught the homosexual lifestyle).
Question 2: Half of marriages end up in divorce, so why not allow same-sex marriages? Maybe they'll do better statistically.
SEAN: Do we have reason to believe that same-sex marriages will do better statistically? It's important to realize that 96 percent of homosexuals do not get married when they are given the opportunity. And those that do get married break up at a much higher rate. The "divorce" rate for homosexual men in Norway and Sweden is 50% higher than heterosexual marriage and the lesbian divorce rate is more than 150% higher.
But the fact that heterosexuals have degraded marriage through divorce is not an argument for same-sex marriage. Why should anyone think that same-sex marriage will improve heterosexual marriage? In fact, the recent history of the law and divorce actually argues against same-sex marriage. How? The vast social problems we're experiencing since the liberalization of divorce laws should help us realize just how important the law is to the health of the family and the country. When you pass laws that weaken the family, the entire nation gets sick. This should cause us to protect marriage not weaken it further. When a patient has a disease, giving him another disease is not a prescription for wellness. What we should learn from history is that the more we tamper with classical marriage, the more everybody suffers: couples, children, society as a whole.
Question #3: If you care about your gay friends, you want them to be happy, and that might mean being able to marry the person they love. So telling them they can't get married isn't very loving, is it? (Because I disagree with you doesn't mean I don't love you talk about how kids feel and deal with truth, conflict, and still love)
SEAN: A close friend of mine, Frank, recently told me about his neighbor who was gay. First his parents were in shock, then denial, but soon they accepted his behavior and even supported it. Fifteen years later, they buried him at 36-dead from AIDS.
His parents loved him and really wanted to do the right thing. But was that truly love? Where did we get the idea that love means endorsing whatever lifestyle our friends want us to endorse? Sometimes love means speaking the truth, even when it is costly. Homosexual behavior hurts people physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. This is why the real act of love is to stand in patient but firm opposition.
Does this mean we go around preaching at our friends, judging them, and telling them how to live? Of course not! We are each ultimately responsible for our own lives. But don't we share some responsibility in our relationship with friends?
If I was involved in behavior that was harmful to me, say, becoming an alcohol or leaving my wife, I would expect my real friends to oppose such behavior. True friends want what is really best for us, which is often different than what we perceive to be the best.
One of my best friends in college He failed a bunch of his classes and didn't graduate. He still hasn't! I wanted to give him space and allow him to make his own choices, so I never said anything. He later told me that he wished I had challenged him and made him consider his actions. The loving thing to do when our friends are involved in harmful behavior is to stand in patient but firm opposition.
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