The ‘equality’ conundrum of gay ‘marriage’: Where judgment begins
You know about the brouhaha, right? Seven million Californians voted to uphold the ages-old view that marriage is between one man and one woman and enshrined it into their state’s constitution. With one judicial stroke, a federal judge nullified their will. It’s becoming a common theme.
It’s all about “marriage equality,” we are told by the progressives. Is it? Is there even such a thing as marriage equality? Same-sex marriages will threaten traditional marriages, shout conservatives. Should we be more alarmed by what no more than 5 percent of the population is doing than we are by the 50 percent whose families are already ravaged by no-fault divorce?
For millennia marriage has been the basic building block of civilization. It is the microcosm of society, in fact. Families are little societies that exist for the mutual benefit of all members. Many families intersect to build enclaves and towns and spread out from there. It is, therefore, not far-fetched to say that as the family goes, so goes all of civilization.
Although the Judeo-Christian ethic teaches us that “the same Lord is Lord of all” (Romans. 10:12), and America’s Declaration of Independence declares that “all men are created equal,” there is something deeper to ponder.
Consider Isaiah 29:16: “You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, that what is made would say to its maker, ‘He did not make me?’ or what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘He has no understanding?’”
Those who disregard the significance in why God “made them male and female” and warned us not to “put asunder” what he had joined together are, indeed, telling the potter what to make of them. That casts culpability on both sides in this debate.
Of course, it is foolish to claim that because we’ve already made a shambles of God’s perfect design for marriage, we may as well open it to whatever definition imperfect man can come up with. After all, can dirt be made dirtier?
Historical/religious defenses of marriage are being quickly ushered out the back door of every house on Main Street America. Those who look to history or Scripture are considered antiquated backwaters, out of step with the times. Pity.
There once was a time when common sense was more attuned to the divine, when C.S. Lewis’ analogy of “one-flesh” marriage as a lock-and-key mechanism was perfectly understood. Now we have “studies” (God help us) purportedly affirming that moms and dads are interchangeable, that the great mystery of marriage is not. Is this what academic freedom has wrought?
As Lewis’ old Screwtape said to his demon-in-training nephew, “Great scholars are now as little nourished by the past as the most ignorant mechanic who holds that ‘history is bunk.’”
Where is the Church in this conundrum? More properly, where ought it be? Many culture warriors want to use God’s truth as a great battering ram to knock down the idols they see accumulating over the landscape. Better that than to allow the long-standing pillars of civilization to be knocked down, they reason. But isn’t it true that judgment will “begin with the household of God” (1 Peter 4:17)?
If those of us who go by our Maker’s name would properly tend to our own houses, how could the result be anything but good? You see, this, too, is a purpose of family — to set examples for others to see and emulate. It’s a ripple that goes out far and wide, for ill or for good.
Naturally, given that all things are not equal, many families will still lie in ruins, stinking up the land. Human nature is strong and difficult to buck. Difficult but not impossible.
Time will give us the consequences of the ill-conceived experiment of same-sex marriage, just as it has with all the other fool’s gold on Earth. Meantime, those of us who know better have some chores to attend to at home.
[Award-winning columnist Debbie Thurman writes from Monroe, Va., for the Amy Internet Syndicate. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.]