Monday, December 22, 2008
A Divided Ethic? That's The Price of Freedom
Posted by Adam Parker
I am opposed to gay marriage bans such as prop 8, and have had many friends asking me why I would oppose such a law since I personally do believe that homosexuality is wrong. I wanted to briefly lay out the reasons why I would hold one position and yet oppose its being introduced into law.
I believe that marriage is meant to be between only one man and one woman, forever. I believe that marriage is permanent, so long as both partners are living; therefore I also believe that divorced couples who remarry are living in sin. I believe that homosexual behavior is wrong, in the same way that sex between unmarried people is wrong. I am indifferent as to whether or not people are born gay. I am open to that possibility, but I consider it irrelevant since people are still responsible for their decisions, even if their proclivities are to do wrong (after all, even straight people are lustful creature who must control their own urges). What I'm saying is that I have a very high view of marriage and a very conservative view of homosexuality. Another part of this is that I believe that any church who approves of homosexual marriage is making a GRAVE error and abandoning the Bible. But my opinion on this matter is religiously informed, and I will not kid myself that I get my beliefs regarding gay marriage simply from general revelation. Thus, I know that these beliefs will not be shared by someone who does NOT believe the Bible to be God's perfect Word.
Now, I could take the position that it is good to make a law against gay marriage right now since I am in the majority. After all, strike while the iron is hot, right? The problem is, people like us will not be in the majority forever (or for much longer, I fear). When this happens, we will have set a bully precedent, essentially setting a painful standard for dealings in this area in the future. The gay community does not forget its mistreatment, as we've seen with their unjust reaction to Prop 8. Do you think that once THEY are in the majority they will not also try to restrict the freedoms and activities of us as Christians? They will remember how they were wronged by laws like Prop 8, and when their time to strike comes WE will be the ones whose freedoms are restricted. Tit for tat.
Rather, I say, let people live freely as they desire, so long as it does not cause harm to another or restrict another person's freedom. After all, there are people out there whom I feel make great errors in theology and philosophy all the time, but I don't go around making laws against their mistaken beliefs. This is what it means to live in a free society. It comes with risks and rewards. The risk is that a gay guy might walk past your family holding his boyfriend's hand causing your son or daughter confusion. The reward is that you are allowed to disagree with his lifestyle, tell your children about this fact, and even speak against it if you like, but then you can freely go down the street to your church and worship God without external influences or coercion from the state because this world of disagreeable people has decided not to create laws against distastefulness or even against immoral behaviors.
So my opposition to laws restricting gay marriage are based upon my (hopefully) consistent belief in liberty. I believe that the function of government is not to make a series of laws restricting beliefs or actions which some of its citizens (including myself) find distasteful or sinful. Rather, government exists to preserve the freedoms of its citizens. This is the same reason why I oppose the government's extremely expensive AND unsuccessful "war on drugs." There are a lot of practical reasons for this as well, but that's for another time.