05 August 2010

"Special Meaning"

by Frank Turk

So you know: Pack a lunch.

And before you read a single word of this post, I require of you that you read this post, by me, regarding this essential conflict involved in talking about this topic. If you do not read that post, and you want to reproach me about my post here, I will simply ignore you. You can't know why unless you read that other link.

Back in 2000, the Jewish World Review published a categorically-brilliant essay by Sam Schulman called "Gay Marriage: fin de ligne" in which Mr. Schulman simply and dispassionately dismantled the argument that sexual appetites are the basis for anything but self satisfaction. That essay, sadly, is a dead link, I am certain, that because of its force, JWR received plenty of hate mail and threats.

However, in 2003, Mr. Schulman rolled up his sleeves again and published this essay, called "Gay Marriage -- and Marriage" which leap-frogged even the span of his previous essay and made what must be called the definitive secular case against gay marriage. It's a shame that this essay is not more widely-known in Christian circles because it would greatly reform our engagement on this topic. You should read it simply to be an informed person. (here's the PDF for those of you so inclined to read that instead)

I bring it up because on 04 August, 2010, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that the California's Proposition 8 ballot initiative denying marriage rights to same-sex couples was unconstitutional. His reasoning culminated in this statement:
Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite- sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

REMEDIES: Plaintiffs have demonstrated by overwhelming evidence that Proposition 8 violates their due process and equal protection rights and that they will continue to suffer these constitutional violations until state officials cease enforcement of Proposition 8. California is able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as it has already issued 18,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples and has not suffered any demonstrated harm as a result, see FF 64-66; moreover, California officials have chosen not to defend Proposition 8 in these proceedings.

Because Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, the court orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement; prohibiting the official defendants from applying or enforcing Proposition 8 and directing the official defendants that all persons under their control or supervision shall not apply or enforce Proposition 8. The clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment without bond in favor of plaintiffs and plaintiff-intervenors and against defendants and defendant-intervenors pursuant to FRCP 58.

IT IS SO ORDERED. (again: the PDF)



Of special interest to me in the ruling is this paragraph on page 12 of the ruling, under the heading, "WHETHER ANY EVIDENCE SUPPORTS CALIFORNIA'S REFUSAL TO RECOGNIZE MARRIAGE BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE BECAUSE OF THEIR SEX":
All four plaintiffs testified that they wished to marry their partners, and all four gave similar reasons. Zarrillo wishes to marry Katami because marriage has a “special meaning” that would alter their relationships with family and others. Zarrillo described daily struggles that arise because he is unable to marry Katami or refer to Katami as his husband. Tr 84:1-17. Zarrillo described an instance when he and Katami went to a bank to open a joint account, and “it was certainly an awkward situation walking to the bank and saying, ‘My partner and I want to open a joint bank account,’ and hearing, you know, ‘Is it a business account? A partnership?’ It would just be a lot easier to describe the situation —— might not make it less awkward for those individuals, but it would make it —— crystalize it more by being able to say * * * ‘My husband and I are here to open a bank account.’” Id. To Katami, marriage to Zarrillo would solidify their relationship and provide them the foundation they seek to raise a family together, explaining that for them, “the timeline has always been marriage first, before family.” Tr 89:17-18.
Isn't it interesting that the judge can see with no uncertainty that marriage has "special meaning" and not merely some kind of "general meaning"? It's actually a little horrifying because the judge actually grasps a central issue to the matter by also recognizing the "timeline" for "family" -- something Sam Schulman makes into a well-rounded rational case (completely absent of religion) against making marriage into "a variety of other goods and values with which it is regularly associated by its defenders and its aspirants alike ... love and monogamous sex and establishing a home, fidelity, childbearing and childrearing, stability, inheritance, tax breaks, and all the rest."

So what exactly is going on here? Listen: I have made this case before when Newsweek thought they had put this question to bed. This is not a question of whether or not there is equal protection under the law, but in fact a question of whether or not those advocating for the ambiguation of the definition of marriage really wanted what they say they want.

Seriously: look at the example they bring to court. Can Zarrillo and Katami really not get a joint bank account? Really? Oh wait -- somehow they are ashamed to get a joint bank account. Oh no -- that can't be it because they believe they are doing nothing wrong. What is at stake here is that they want to enforce their moral choices on other people to justify their own behavior. They phrase their quandary as an opportunity they themselves are denied, when in fact they are seeking to change the way other people see them.



I wanted to say what Mr. Schulman says in my own words, but I simply cannot find a way to improve it. He says plainly:
The question addresses a class of human phenomena that can be described in sentences but nonetheless cannot be. However much I might wish to, I cannot be a father to a pebble--I cannot be a brother to a puppy--I cannot make my horse my consul. Just so, I cannot, and should not be able to, marry a man. If I want to be a brother to a puppy, are you abridging my rights by not permitting it? I may say what I please; saying it does not mean that it can be.
And to say what must be said, also from Schulman:
Marriage, to say it for the last time, is what connects us with our nature and with our animal origins, with how all of us, heterosexual and homosexual alike, came to be. It exists not because of custom, or because of a conspiracy (whether patriarchal or matriarchal), but because, through marriage, the world exists. Marriage is how we are connected backward in time, through the generations, to our Creator (or, if you insist, to the primal soup), and forward to the future beyond the scope of our own lifespan. It is, to say the least, bigger than two hearts beating as one.
This ruling is simply and abjectly unrelated to this truth -- even though it clearly and categorically recognizes it.

May God have mercy on the judge who has ruled this way, on those who are rejoicing in that judge's lack of wisdom, and on all of us who have, frankly, contributed greatly to these events.






68 comments:

RealityCheck said...

And May God have mercy on those “Christians” who voted for our current President who just replaced two liberal judges with two liberal judges who will ultimately take part in ruling on this down the road.

Frank Turk said...

Endnote #1: (sorry DJP)

I used the phrase "sexual appetites" rather than "sexual orientation" in this post. It was intention and not merely being clever and denigrating.

I would be willing to concede, without any fanfare or qualification, that the person who self-identifies as LGBT has a sexual orientation with which he or she (do those genders apply? I'd be willing to stand corrected) was born with, as long as the LGBT advocate was willing to concede that this is also true of the millions (perhaps billions) of non-GLBT walking around the world today doing, for lack of a better euphemism, what is right in their own eyes.

The question is not "are you inclined to act that way?" The question is if there is a law prior to the law of the country which defines what a human being is morally, ontologically, and teleologically.

I admit it: before I was married -- indeed, before I was saved -- I was inclined to desire sexual activity which, frankly, was immoral. I wanted to; they wanted to. That didn't mean anyone ought to have condoned those actions.

This lies at the root of this political conversation: should everything a person is inclined to do be legalized -- indeed, should it be enshrined as a right? There's no way to frame this as the view of the founding fathers, and it's certainly not a tenable moral philosophy.

DJP said...

In on first 1000.

Barbara said...

The judge is gay too.

thetimehascome said...

Excellent post, and excellent article by Schulman.

David said...

The only weakness I see in Schulman's argument is that he allows for the primordial soup. With evolution, our current state is in the hands of whatever scientist is telling the story at any given moment.

The whole "endowed by their creator" thing is important.

Al said...

Well said Frank,
I think you make the case quite well that the judge can see righteousness and yet he ignores it. In fact he enjoins that others participate in his (and their) wickedness.

So with that, I wonder at your prayer for mercy at the end of this post. When a ruler of a people is engaged in and promoting wickedness, should we not be more imprecatory in our prayers?

al sends

David Rudd said...

nicely done, Frank.
unfortunately, now I'll have to put away my green chuck taylors.

greglong said...

Also from the judge's ruling:

"Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage."

Tim Bushong said...

Isn't it time that we, as the Church, rescind our allegiance to the State in this crucial area of holy matrimony?

I know it sounds radical, but we know that it is God Himself who defined marriage in Mt. 19:4-9.

The old aphorism: "He who pays the piper chooses the tune" is probably part of the driving force behind at least some of this. I'm referring to tax breaks and other incentives.

Just thinking out loud here...

MCC said...

"fin de liGNe" not "fin de liNGe." This has nothing to do with laundry.

Robert said...

I am right there with Frank in my desires for sinful sexual gratification before salvation. And I still have to work to mortify that sin in my progressive sanctification. I think that the homosexual suffers from the same problem, just with a different type of desire. And I think we need to keep that in mind so that we can present the gospel clearly to every sinner, including homosexuals, while keeping in mind that we are just as much a sinner.

I have not seen a better example of such than what MacArthur does at the end of the dialogue here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5lgT49M2oY&feature=youtube_gdata

BwayneM said...

I enjoyed this read Frank. Thank you for this and for your post on centuri0n from February '08. Thanks for linking and "forcing" me to read it :)

This is Right On!

Brad Williams said...

Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite- sex couples are superior to same-sex couples

That sentence and it's spin was really the mind blower to me. It is patently obvious that opposite sex couples, i.e. marriage, is superior to same-sex unions from even a secular, natural stand point. Can you say progeny?

mikeb said...

"The judge claimed to have “uncloaked” the real reason California’s voters adopted Proposition 8 — “a desire to advance the belief that opposite-sex couples are morally superior to same-sex couples.”"

"Beyond this, Judge Walker claimed to read the minds of California’s voters, arguing that the majority voted for Proposition 8 based on religious opposition to homosexuality, which he then rejected as an illegitimate state interest. In essence, this establishes secularism as the only acceptable basis for moral judgment on the part of voters. The judge’s statements condemning religious opposition to homosexuality speak for themselves in terms of animus."

From Al Mohler's post at:
http://www.albertmohler.com/2010/08/05/the-gavel-falls-on-marriage-the-proposition-8-decision/

Phil said...

David,
Even considering the primordial soup bit the argument against gay marriage stands. He is still able to reach the desired destination whether he takes the religious road or not. The argument is thus:
Hetero marriages protect women, raise healthier more durable children, and raise your chance of having your chromosomes prosper. Homo marriages not only are an evolutionary dead end because they produce no offspring and have no chance to, but wreck the methods by which we prosper as a society or people. Therefore, to prosper ourselves, we must not let them destroy marriage.

While I agree that would not my starting point, I do think the argument is sound.

Robert said...

The truth is still the truth, even if you deny it. And a lie is a lie, even if you believe it.

The Word of God is truth, whether this judge believes it or not. Same for me when confronted with my sin after searching Scripture.

It seems to me that the judge (and the plaintiffs) deny the truth that we were created by God to have male-female marriages and for our sexual desires and relations to fall solely within that relationship in a way that honors Him.

Whenever it seems that the world is falling further into sinfulness, I often think of 2 Timothy 3:1-9. More and more people are becoming "lovers of self, lovers of money, ...unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control,...lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God". I know that for me, following Jesus involves denying myself in many of these areas every day...and sometimes only after being convicted and disciplined to varying degrees. Sadly many people who profess to be Christians deny the sinfulness of practicing homosexuality. Of course, many of these same people excuse "white lies", too. I just praise God that he does turn the hearts of some towards Him and that he does open eyes to the truth of His Word. With the article Frank linked in mind, though, we must remember we can't tell whose heart God will turn. I think it is also good for us to be of one mind with the thoughts of Paul in that we are each the chief sinner. Easy to say and think...hard to practice.

Charlie said...

It's an important insight that what is being attempted is a moral redefinition that will have the effect of removing stigma and shame from something that has long been stigmatized and shameful. The awkward bank account moment in the testimony is telling.

But I'm surprised that the two (men?) were feeling embarrassment about a relationship that they surely believed to be morally legitimate. Does their embarrassment suggest that they have unexpressed doubts? That a voice inside of them still whispers "this is wrong" despite their best efforts to silence it?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

For all Christians praying for a revival in America, here's a Godly test for your desire for revival:

Are you willing to follow Biblical teaching on sexual morality?

If Yes, then you truly desire a revival.

If No, then you do not truly desire a revival.

If Yes, you do want to follow Biblical teaching on sexual morality, then you will oppose same-sex marriage from poisoning the culture, from poisoning your children, from poisoning the people that you want to be revived in Jesus.

Frank Turk said...

Isn't it funny that TuaD can agree with me and I feel like I did something wrong?

DJP said...

I feel moved to check your baptism.

David said...

Phil,

Any given scientist can say that homosexuality is nature's way of keeping the herd at a sustainable level.

See, homosexuality combats global warming.

It make a difference who is in charge of the narrative.

word verification: wifect

Sir Aaron said...

I admit it: before I was married -- indeed, before I was saved -- I was inclined to desire sexual activity which, frankly, was immoral. I wanted to; they wanted to. That didn't mean anyone ought to have condoned those actions.

And I have to admit that not only did I desire it before I was married but I rampantly engaged in it. And even after marriage the desire still lingers like a cancer that eats away at my soul. The only reason I'm faithful is (A) God's grace (B) my salvation which makes me want to glorify God more than satisfy my own desires. And there's the rub. Clearly there are tangible, earthly benefits to self and society by remaining obedient to the moral precepts given by God. But my selfishness will trump my concern for society at large everytime. If you divorce social law completely from any theological basis as we are now, then the greater sociological benefits become clouded by selfish desires. Gradually the laws provide fewer and fewer deterrants to selfish behavior so that there really is no deterrant. Then we are left arguing for the greater good for society, which I said, has been obfuscated.

You simply cannot have meaningful social laws and policies without a theological basis. And sorry to say, that applies to "fiscal conservatives" who want to divorce fiscal policy from social policy.

Word verification: expel

Sam Schulman said...

David,
Thanks so much for remembering my scribbling so generously. I will try to find a copy of "Fin de ligne" either mis-filed at Jewishworldreview.com or on some backup disk of mine. I returned to the question last year at the Weekly Standard.http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/533narty.asp

Sam Schulman

Sam Schulman said...

Forgive me, Frank!
Sam again.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Manhattan Declaration!!

Mr. Fosi said...

I scanned this meta but didn't see it, so... Is this the article Frank: http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0400/gay.marriage1.asp

Kim said...

Frank, I should charge royalties for your use of my feet. :)

Stan said...

So short sighted, all of you who claim "I cannot be a brother to a puppy." I mean isn't that what the "T" of LGBT is doing? "I will declare myself the opposite gender because I want to." So why can't you declare yourself a puppy?

Okay, kidding aside, good stuff, Frank. Thanks for the new insights regarding what they really want.

Joey White said...

TIM B.
I could not agree with you more, this has been one of my soapboxes for quite some time. As Christians we need to define marriage in our own terms, because the world is going to define it in their terms wheather we like it or not. We need to affirm biblical marriage and accept nothing less. This would force us to hold ourselves to a higher standard instead of holding the world to our standards. Let us divorce ourselves from the state and cling tightly to the word of God. Even if our morals were put into legislation and people willingly accepted this yoke, all we would have is moral people dead in their sin. We need to proclaim the gospel of Christ to everyone because we have a wonderful savior that can save anyone not just from homosexuality, but lying or self-righteousness or any depravity our minds can conjure up.

Joey

gymbrall said...

Frank,
Re: Endnote #1.
I would be willing to concede, without any fanfare or qualification, that the person who self-identifies as LGBT has a sexual orientation with which he or she (do those genders apply? I'd be willing to stand corrected) was born with, as long as the LGBT advocate was willing to concede that this is also true of the millions (perhaps billions) of non-GLBT walking around the world today doing, for lack of a better euphemism, what is right in their own eyes.

The question is not "are you inclined to act that way?" The question is if there is a law prior to the law of the country which defines what a human being is morally, ontologically, and teleologically.

I admit it: before I was married -- indeed, before I was saved -- I was inclined to desire sexual activity which, frankly, was immoral. I wanted to; they wanted to. That didn't mean anyone ought to have condoned those actions.


There is at least one additional distinction that needs to be pointed out (I think you allude to it):
It is not wrong for an unmarried man to desire to have a wife with whom he can engage in sexual activity. It is, however, wrong for a man to even desire another man in such a way. To go even broader, it is not wrong for a man to desire heterosexual sex, period. With the sodomite, even their desire is sinful.

Thanks for the post.
Charles

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Joey White: "We need to affirm biblical marriage and accept nothing less."

Absolutely. See my prior comments.

RealityCheck said...

I think at the end of the day, particularly when reading Franks post from 2008, this really is about evangelism and how we do it. Our goal isn’t just the “what” that is being discussed but the “why” behind it. “Christians” who can’t even figure out that homosexuality is wrong and therefore gay marriage is wrong are a non-starter, so I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about those of us who know it is wrong but in an effort to convince someone else that it is wrong, forget to cover the “why” it is wrong. What good does that really do in the end? If we convince everyone that homosexuality is wrong but without connecting the issue (like any other issue for that matter) back to the authority of God, then I think we have really missed the entire point. Imagine a world where everybody lives like Christ and therefore the world is a better place to live in, but when everybody dies, they all end up in hell.

This topic, just like “theistic evolution” (for example, and no I’m not trying to start that up again) boils down to “who” or “Who” is your authority. The gay marriage debate isn’t just about trying to lead someone “out” of the gay life-style but “in to” a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Frank Turk said...

Mr. Fosi --

THAT'S IT!

WOW! I thought that was gone forever!

For those who can't do Mr. Fosi's link, this is what he meant to do.

Frank Turk said...

This is the link Sam Schulman tried to post.

Personally, I'm grateful for his contribution. Mr. Schulman -- long time no e-mail. Thanks for dropping by.

Mr. Fosi said...

Glad to be able to something useful today. :D

Thanks for properly linking it... I've grown lazy from posting of forums where URLs are automatically hyperlinked.

naturgesetz said...

Well said, Frank, — in this post as well as in the earlier one — and Sam in your article. Judge Walker was all too facile, and of course mistaken, in his dismissal of the need for procreation as a rational basis for the state to recognize marriage as different from any same-sex relationship. I hope the argument will be well-presented on appeal. As Aristotle said in his Politics "Male and female must unite for the reproduction of the species." And it is wholly rational for the state to recognize this fact of nature and encourage these unions.

Frank Turk said...

Aha. Sam Schulman's 2009 essay in Google Doc format.

Phil said...

Dave,
While I agree poisoned hearts lead to a bad treatment of logic I still think the argument stands, and evolution, if followed to it's natural conclusion comes down against homosexuality.
In true survival of the fittest fashion we should have the maximum number of offspring and protect them only. Screw the non-elect.
The global herd is thinned out when my offspring go kill off all your offspring. There are other, better ways to solve resource scarcity than not breeding.
Now to say the unregenerate are incapable of a right application of logic is fine, but the logic stands whether they are able to use it rightly or not.

Lee Shelton IV said...

I agree with Tim Bushong. God has already defined marriage, no matter what a judge, the electorate, or anyone else may say.

Personally, I would like to see the state out of the marriage business entirely. The "sanctity of marriage" argument lost all meaning the moment Christians accepted the notion that they had to ask the government permission to marry.

Mark B. Hanson said...

Of course, once you have changed the definition of marriage from "one of each" to "two of whatever", it's a quick step to say, "why two?" Mightn't Heather be better off with three mommies, or four?

Funny how so many people will only admit the slippery slope argument in retrospect.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

I read a comment on the Wall Street Journal post that seems typical of secular liberals:

"The bible is not a divine book that descended from the sky. It is a collection of stories created by man to explain the unexplainable and to establish a code of living that was acceptable at the time. Don’t assign current society’s actions to a book that is irrelevant for today. If you don’t want to marry someone that is the same sex as you, don’t. If you want to live in a world that supports your cultish, mind-numbing religion, move to Kansas."

There looks to be irreconciliable differences between Christians affirming Biblical Marriage and secular liberals affirming same-sex marriage.

Mike Riccardi said...

There looks to be irreconcilable differences between Christians...and secular liberals...

And no one should expect differently:

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. - 1Cor 2:14

Frank Turk said...

Regarding the irreconciliable differences, I did link to this old blog post on this subject, but Of course they don't want Biblical marriage, do they?

Do they?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Of course they don't want Biblical marriage, do they?"

No, they don't. Whereas Christ-followers do want to uphold Biblical marriage.

So now what?

On a related note: What about those Christ-followers who abandon standing firm for Biblical marriage?

Is it okay for Christ-followers to give in and cede to Gay Marriage proponents?

Mike Riccardi said...

Frank,

I'm really glad you re-linked to that post in the meta as well as the OP. That was excellent.

Christians' ire over the legalizing of gay "marriage" should be first and foremost because of the way it mars the picture of the Gospel that marriage is designed to be. If marriage is given to us in order to point us to the reality of Christ's covenant-keeping grace with His people, and if we're told that the husband pictures Christ and the wife pictures the Church, then any monkeying around with those participants confuses and obfuscates the Gospel.

And that's what should get our dander up.

David said...

Phil,

I agree that a simplistic survival-of-the-fittest narrative doesn't favor homosexuality.

However, there's not an evolutionist in the world who believes that in its simplicity. If we argue from that point, in its supposed "logic", we've completely failed to understand their narrative, and we've failed to embrace our own in faith.

The secular origins narrative is indeed at odds with their redemption and apocalypse stories. That's because they're all three false. But that won't stop them from trying to harmonize them.

That's exactly what they're trying to do here. And that's why our response must be based on what God has revealed.

Jacob said...

fyi: http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=4108

candy said...

i was debating this issue on FB with some gays who are "giddy" with this ruling. All was civil until I pointed out that there are serious social implications to the ruling, and now others will expect their "rights" to be accepted. Muslims who marry little girls, polygamous marriages, etc. Where do we draw the line? They considered my question to be the "Oh brother, the last refuge, I may as well stop the conversation now and roll my eyes" situation, and refused to look at my "hysterical" question. I find it interesting that morals are relative to certain groups of people. So, gays are excited that they can be seen as "equal", but I would imagine that some of them would draw the line and consider themselves too moral to accept Muslim "minority" rights. Gays supposedly want to be seen as respectable folks and this ruling is a victory in their quest to normalize homosexuality. I also asked if there might be radical gays whose intention is strictly to tear apart and undermine traditional marriage. That question wasn't answered either.

DJP said...

Homosexuals and their enablers hate the slippery-slope argument, because there simply is no response to it.

Jason said...

Wow, Who would imagine a gay Judge ruling in favor of g&L...

May God grant him repentance and a saving knowledge of Jesus!

Rachael Starke said...

... the way it mars the picture of the Gospel that marriage is designed to be.

And that's why the American so-called "evangelical" church needs to repent with tears over their complicity in this. Mangling, trampling, mishandling, diluting and distorting the Gospel --> mangling etc. marriage in the church--> all of the above and more in the world.

Sadly, there will be a whole bunch of churches this Sunday wringing their hands over the mangling of marriage, and then they'll sit down to be fed a big spoonful of out-of-date marshmallow fluff, instead of the life-giving gospel, which is the only power of God unto salvation for heterosexual sinner and homosexual sinner alike.

Tim Bushong said...

Let's see- the phrase "sanctity of marriage" has a word used to describe a holy thing; something 'not common', in it. [I]Holy[/I].

I'm not sure what it looks like in the end, but just for kicks, let's imagine a Church where the divorce rate doesn't mirror the pagans' divorce rate.

That would be a great ethical starting place so we could marry people in the church [I]without[/I] the State's permission. I'm just saying- that is one of the arguments that is thrown up in our collective face...

We still must obey God rather than men, of course.

Tim Bushong said...

Now how did I mess up my first Pyro attempt at italics?

)o:

Mike Riccardi said...

You used these: [ ] instead of these: < >.

Phil said...

Dave-
Sure, but the function of the argument is to expose their hypocrisy and infidelity to their own worldview, to show them we know they are not interested in science but have adopted evolution to justify their carnal appetites.
For what Sam does I think it works.
I wouldn't have approached it the same way Sam did, and it looks like you wouldn't either, but I wanted to be fair to evaluate the argument he makes. And I conclude that it although it will not persuade anyone because of our fallen reason and it's not the power of God unto salvation, it's still right. Like math, or science.

Rob Auld said...

Down with prop 8. Glad to see a judge has the good sense to kill this amendment.

DJP said...

Ahh, there's nothing quite like a contentful, sober-minded, meticulously-reasoned argument!






Or so I recall.

Mark B. Hanson said...

Rob -

Why do you think it's bad?

[verification: tothypne - "to the pain"?]

Robert said...

Nothing like the mob mentality argument. Down with (fill in the blank)!

Similar were the cries of a crowd to Pontius Pilate.

Frank Turk said...

Hi Rob Auld --

Did you read the Sam Schulman essay I linked to? How do you respond to his argument?

Victoria Lynch said...

Amen Rachael Starke!

Sir Aaron said...

Tim Bushong:

Those stats are complete bunk. First anybody can claim to the outside world to be a Christian (or a Christian church) for that matter. I can't prevent a homosexual Pastor from claiming that he's leading a Christian church. Nor can I do anything about membership in Churches outside my own.

What I can tell you, is that there are Churches all over the U.S. and the World were the divorce rate (not including rates before one became a believer) are practically zero. And that is further borne out by the statistics that show that couples who pray together rarely (and I mean mathematically almost zero) get divorced.

Rob Auld said...

Nice to see the irony of my comment was not lost.

I would respond that there is no rational secular argument against gay marriage. If not for religion no ne would be motivated to oppose it.

The argument you have is that you call the bible literal and inerrant and I don't.

Evolution is a poor argument against. One could argue that genetics in 7 billion animal population can cause a great many things.

The question you need to ask in a secular democracy is how do 2 guys getting married affect your life?

Rob

Tim Bushong said...

Sir Aaron-

You misunderstand- I know the 'stats' aren't the most accurate gage, but come on- we all know people that we should have exhorted and even rebuked who were in the Church- the local assembly.

So yeah- talk is cheap. I didn't mean to beat up the Bride- I am a pastor, too- maybe I shouldn't have used the "mirror" comment.

Just because you can point to Churches where divorce is "practically zero", that doesn't mean we don't need reformation in these areas... the modern church is pretty messy sometimes, and to speak prophetically we should attain to being above reproach.

B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam Schulman said...

Y'all might be interested in an op-ed I just wrote at the request of the Christian Science Monitor giving a purely secular argument against gay marriage, written (fair warning) for the secular audience of The Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2010/0806/Gay-marriage-Why-Judge-Walker-got-Proposition-8-ruling-wrong

naturgesetz said...

Regrettably, Sam Schulman's Christian Science Monitor article, as I read it does not give any reason why extending the legal definition to include same-sex couples will deprive the institution of its ability to protect women. I'm afraid it gives no real support to our side, at least not without some showing of how same-sex marriage will undercut real marriage.

To me the best argument that can be made in a secular society where people find an argument from revelation inadmissible is that from nature. In the words of Aristotle in the Politics, "Male and female mmust unite for the reproduction of the species." That being so, it is entirely rational for states to confer on the union of male and female a status which they confer on no other. And Judge Walker lies when he says there is no rational basis for the enactment of Prop. 8 by the voters of California.