Law of nature and nature’s God

Dr. Michael A. Milton's picture

[Editor’s note: A version of this article was first published by the Reformed Theological Seminary.]

When the rats begin to scramble on board a ship, it is a sure sign that the boat is sinking.

First the self-described individual, freedom-loving libertarians — and now Karl Rove — believe that conservatives can embrace same-sex marriage or just leave it to the state as it is a personal “liberty” matter: “Let the church regulate marriage and leave the state out of it. Let the state allow whoever wants to be married to be married. It is a legal contract, not a religious ceremony, for goodness sake.”

Nonsense.

The nation we live in was and is grounded in “inalienable rights” that come from God, not from government. This truth is the very ground of our civilization.

So, too, just as there are certain God-given or “natural” rights that come to mankind — and that government is designed to guard, not dispense or arbitrate but to defend — so, too, are there “inviolable laws” that are incumbent upon mankind.

This is not a “religious” matter, but a matter of “natural law” that transcends government and social trends and attitudes.

One of those inviolable laws is the law of marriage. It is a “creation ordinance” in that it extends to the very beginning of humankind. It is embedded within our species as surely as murdering another person is or stealing from another is.

Jesus, when questioned about divorce, appealed to this creation ordinance and said, “It was not so in the beginning.” He went on to describe marriage as between a man and a woman and in that union, spiritually, physically, and socially, they become one; the two genders come together and become “one flesh.”

Biology itself defends the arrangement, and without ever appealing to St. Paul, I could appeal to the universal law that is placed in man’s heart to defend heterosexual marriage.

No one has the right to take away freedom of thought or choice unless that freedom turns to licentiousness by hurting another — or by denying the inviolable laws of nature and nature’s God.

Make sure that the nation marks this well: A people who will deny the inalienable rights of nature and nature’s God will perish from the earth. For freedom cannot be shackled in the human soul.

And be certain of this as well, that when you deny the inviolable laws of nature and nature’s God, including marriage of one man and one woman, civilization will not stand.

The church did not invent marriage. The church (and the synagogue) seeks to bless what God has placed in the very nature of mankind and the order of His universe.

To give in to libertarian or licentiate, muddle-headed notions and cries for transforming what is encoded into the very law of life is to not only go down with the ship, but share in the culpability of destroying it.

Marriage is an inviolable law that cannot be tampered with by man. It is lunacy and suicidal to think and act otherwise.

And that is just what the Republicans are doing if they join the ranks of conscience-seared and sadly mistaken people who so cavalierly dislodge the veritable cornerstone of human civilization.

[Dr. Michael A. Milton is Chancellor and CEO of Reformed Theological Seminary and a contributor for The Center for Vision and Values.] © 2013 by The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.

PTC Avenger
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God Hates Facts

"Marriage is an inviolable law that cannot be tampered with by man."

LOL wow. Actually, marriage is an institution created by man. It is not the default setting of true natural law.

"This is not a 'religious' matter, but a matter of 'natural law' that transcends government and social trends and attitudes."

Natural law? You Christians really are delusional. Homosexuals have been around since the beginning of time. They will always be present in society. No matter how much money you donate to the Westboro Baptist Chuch, there is nothing you can do to change this. That said, it seems that homosexuality, which is unarguably a minority position, is naturally occuring. Further, I posit that if we truly adhered to natural law then there would be no human rights to speak of.

It's a good thing The Citizen is free or else I would've unsubscribed long ago.

kcchiefandy
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LOL, PTCA...

...what ISN'T an institution created by man?! Now, THAT'S funny! Hey, did ya know pedophiles have been around since the beginning of time, too?! Hey, got a 12-yr old daughter I can get to know?

Btw, if you haven't noticed, there's many a part of this world that don't have those great human rights you speak of.

If your post wasn't so funny, it'd be sad...

stranger than f...
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Grove City College Narrow-mindedness

The Grove City College institute now extends to a seminary, I see; however, the narrow-minded thinking does not reach the level required for graduate training.

Dr. Milton vacillates between invoking God's ordinances and nature's order to condemn gay marriage. His overriding assumption seems to be that God and nature only produce heterosexuals. The professional psychological research literature on this topic is unequivocally opposed to this proposition. Homosexual sexual identity is an inborn trait as surely as is heterosexual sexual identity. Homosexuality resists modification as strongly as does heterosexuality. This is part of the natural order, albeit homosexuality is by far the minority sexual identity.

Dr. Milton may oppose a homosexual lifestyle and marriage as antithetical to his religious beliefs and identify it in the statistical minority; however, his premise that it is somehow unnatural for the person born that way is preposterous.

kcchiefandy
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You assume much, stf...

...therefore my inborn trait to have sex w/ preteens or horses is surely acceptable; it's only fair since I was born that way, and it is as you say, part of the natural order. I wonder how many of those professional psychologists are homosexual?

Perhaps Dr. Milton speaks for the integrity of a societal axiom that has exists for thousands of years that the traditional family is that of a man & woman joining in marriage and producing children for the continuance of their society. Two homosexuals cannot do this, at least without the interference of current medical science.

IMHO, if two homosexuals want live in a 'civil union' and provide benefits for one another, fine; just don't call it marriage, because it's not.

stranger than f...
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KC - We are not that far apart

KC, thanks for the response; I don’t think you and I are far apart. As you note, merely having a sexual predilection does not give license to act on that urge. Indeed, any nonconsensual or manipulative sexual activity is inappropriate regardless of sexual orientation. Also, Dr. Milton (or anyone else) has the right to oppose gay marriage on religious grounds.

My problem is Dr. Milton’s assertion that his argument arises from a natural order instead of his religious convictions. A trait that is not statistically average does not necessarily qualify as an unnatural trait. Geniuses are rare, but thank goodness some naturally brilliant people exist. Weekly, Cal prints these Grove City College narrow-minded rantings masquerading as thoughtful opinions.

kcchiefandy
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stf, I believe...

...his comments might be better served using 'obvious order' rather than 'natural', hence his subsequent comment to the biological evidence for the purpose of the male & female sexes.

My concern is where the line of manipulative (non-consensual being self-explanitory) sexual activity is, will be, or where going. A current example is the FDA approval of the 'morning after' pill for those as young as 15 (let us pray it will be known to the parents)! So a HS sophomore girl is being told she can now start having sex because she can buy this pill at Kroger's and be safe? HS homosexual clubs exist out there; so a 14 YEAR OLD knows what they want in the way of sexual partners, or is it just encouragement to try it out?

I can go on and on, but am far too conservative to believe the current track is good for our nation, albeit adult same-sex partners caring for one another under the same roof; that becomes more of a right to provide earned benefits issue, not so much sexual in essence.

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Homosexuality in our world
Quote:

KC, thanks for the response; I don’t think you and I are far apart. As you note, merely having a sexual predilection does not give license to act on that urge. Indeed, any nonconsensual or manipulative sexual activity is inappropriate regardless of sexual orientation. Also, Dr. Milton (or anyone else) has the right to oppose gay marriage on religious grounds.

The issue is the 'rights' of homosexuals - not the condoning of their lifestyle, etc. J.Edgar Hoover was a respected and productive member of American society. He did not impose his lifestyle on others - but his life partner did not have the same 'rights' as would be just. They had a relationship that lasted longer than most marriages today. Homosexuals have always been with us - since biblical times. There are cultures that have accepted this. Our culture is based on the Bible and the Golden Rule. To deny anyone of their 'rights' is against the Golden Rule. . IMO. I respect those who wish to follow the Bible - but if they followed all of the 'commandments' of the Bible, there would be no divorce and no war. Just a thought.

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DM, Hoover's relationship was one of those 'secrets' that every-

one knew about but never spoke of or at least only behind closed doors. You can bet if Hoover was a communist instead of a gay man he would have gone after homosexuals with the same vengance that he pursued "commies." I really have to laugh at those who spout what the Bible does and does not condone. After all the Bible was written and interpreted by man and has been translated many times. Who today can honestly say they know exactly what the original Bible said? If you rely on the beliefs of that time, women would not own property, you would engage in intercourse only to procreate--I have to laugh when I read or hear that homosexuals will destroy the sancticy of marriage--the heterosexuals are needing no help in accomplishing that themselves. We have one religion that forbids its priests to wed, yet in many instances, not only turns a blind eye to child molestation but protects the molester. That same religion at one time told their members what movies they could or could not attend, told their members they were breaking the churches laws if they used contraceptives, yet did nothing to support the many children born because of this rule. We have religions that have beautiful cathedrals and coffers of jewels and much wealth, and yet many of their members live below the poverty level. If we are to believe everything we had read about Jesus, should we really believe he would want this show of ostentatiousness in his name while many go without, expect the poor to tithe when their hard earned money should go to feed and clothe their children?

As with so many other things, we pick and choose which tenents of religion we need to fit our own beliefs. If everyone lived strictly by what the Bible 'says' and not what we interpret we would be living in a much different world than the one we now inhabit.

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Mytimite

Amen! Two commandments I love. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not kill. Now if all believers obeyed those two, there would not be divorce or war among the believers. Pick and choose society.

kcchiefandy
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Well, ok, mytemite...

...I guess I can murder and rob! Headin' to the Pavilion now!

Yes, there are archaic tomes in the Bible, like ANY other religion, especially in the OLD testament; you might find less drastic concerns in the NEW testament. But even that's not the rub of what the Bible means; it's a guide for life. Without religious tenets, I might as well take what I like and do what I please, as long as I how the power and ability to do it.

As stated in another blog, yes, we could all probably care more for our brothers & sisters, an excellent point on why we should pay more attention to applying Biblical teachings in our daily life. Thanks for the affirmation of the Holy book!

Davids mom
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KC

I love the Bible. I also know atheists who lead very moral lives. The tenets found in the Christian Bible are found in the tenats of many 'guides for living'. What an awesome God. His/Her message seems to get through to all who 'listen' regardless of their professed religious/non-religious beliefs.

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KCCHIEFANDY, you proved my point when you pointed how things

had changed between Old and New Testament and no, we shouldn't be able to go out and kill and pillage. What I was speaking to is the fact that things change, even the interpretation of the Bible. Just as three people can see the same thing and have three different interpretations of what they saw, different people get different things from what they read in the Bible, the only difference in those two situations is that the interpretations of the Bible is usually based on what we have learned from church and the pastor/priests' teachings. Take a look at the different religions people practice today just within the country and i am not referring to those practiced by the peoples of other nations who have come to the states in the last half century. There are many interpretations within one church in many instances. I know of at least three churches that have split in the last several years over just such interpretations. Excluding the homosexual issue, there are certain sects of religions where the ladies do not cut their hair nor wear jewelry, even a wedding ring. There are religions that believe it is a sin to drink alcoholic beverages, then other churches serve wine at their functions. At one time no one would consider going into a house of worship unless they were dressed in their 'Sunday best': today many go dressed as if they have just finished yard work. In years past this would have been considered disrespectful, today it is accepted practice. I could go on and on but i am sure you are aware of all the changes. With or without religion, we all should have our own moral compass that would keep us from killing, etc.,and, we have laws that penalize us for these actions, and they have nothing to do with religion.

kcchiefandy
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Well MYTMITE...

...where does your 'moral compass' come from if not rooted in some religion? US law/Constitution? Guess where most of that came from. But, please let us know, did you develop your own moral compass all on your own?

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They crossed the line by insisting on marriage

Civil unions - fine. Life partners - fine. Same sex marriage - not fine.

The issue is benefits. Heterosexual (or normal) marriages exist to procreate and raise children. Health insurance benefits provided by an employer that extend to the wife and children (regardless of who pays for this) makes sense because the marriage serves a greater purpose - procreation.

A same sex marriage serves no purpose whatsoever in the procreation area and when you realize the costly insurance benefits that will be provided under Obamacare to these couples include pregnacy coverage - yes it does, that's just plain stupid.

The hospital visitation thing could have easily been solved other ways if we had some adults in Washington insteaad of agenda-driven idealeogues who care only about their own agenda.

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RWM-Good Points on Gay marriage Issue

You make some good points. Why can't a partnership between a man and a woman be called marriage while a partnership between two of the same sex be called a civil union? It's just a label. One reason, I agree is that benefits is an issue. Many that support calling it a "gay marriage" do not consider the cost that will be involved in forcing companies to provide coverage to these additional people. But I also believe that forcing the label that they want on to this partnership is part of mainstreaming the lifestyle. By forcing the rest of us to call them a married couple is a way of putting it in our face. Same as the Gay pride parades. It's a way to desensitize us. If you watch something over and over you no longer see it as something awful. That includes things like murder, rape etc. You see I, as I think most people, feel that you can go do whatever you choose as long as I don't have to see it. You go live your life and I'll live mine. But that's not enough for these people.

Spyglass
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It is crazy what scares some of you....

Just saying...

I guess sterile people have no business being married either.

Look, I think Church's should be able to say who they will and won't marry in their own Church...I don't see that the Govt has any say in that area...

IF only the hetero's would stop having homo children, all this would go away.

kcchiefandy
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Spy, who's scared?

Sorry to offend you if we have beliefs in-congruent with what you think. If we'd put a bullet in every - as you say 'homos' - head, like a good Nazi, it'd go away, too. But maybe if those 'homos' had a different upbringing, they'd go away. What does sterility have to do w/ anything? Heck, that's the problem that opened the door for homosexuals to 'have' children! Guess we could cap them, too...

Spyglass
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Not offended at all

Obviously we disagree on this issue, it happens. I think the Country has much bigger issues that waste much more of our money, like the war on drugs..

I mentioned sterile folks not getting married because it was mentioned above that marriage is for procreation...try and keep up with the thread.

Homo's..Hetero's as in Homosexual and Heterosexual..I assumed you would know that too. No offense meant by saying "homo".

IF this entire country felt the same way on every issue, we would be in big trouble...in my humble opinion.

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Why can't I marry a 13 year old any more?

Why does every discussion throughout American society about gay marriage denigrate down to the absolute stupidity of "marrying animals" or "marrying children?" by fundies? Seriously, is that the best you have to offer?
Do you not get the part whatsoever about CONSENTING ADULTS? I emphasize ADULTS here and HUMANS. Who is trying to marry their goat? Seriously?

Why was it OK for Jerry Lee Lewis to marry a 13 year old? Why were people getting married back in the days of the Bible at the same age or earlier? Why is that now no longer considered legal whatsoever, even in Alabama or Mississippi? Obviously, those laws are total crap because they don't follow "natural law" or some other complete nonsense. How about polygamy that was widely practiced in the Old Testament by numerous people? How dare you outlaw that!!!!!

Things change people, and sometimes for the better. The government has no business being involved in "marriage" and can leave it up to the churches to decide who or what they want to marry and individual states that can then grant the same rights to same-sex whatever-u-want-to-call-it or not.

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Nuk..New York teaching 13yoa girls to make out with girls so....

..."Parents Upset After Middle School Girls Forced Into 'Lesbian Kiss' at NY School"

http://www.christianpost.com/news/parents-upset-after-middle-school-girl...

"A middle school in New York has been managing complaints from angry parents after their daughters complained that they were forced to ask each other for kisses and pretend to be lovers during an anti-bullying presentation on homosexuality and gender identity."

Just wait a few years NUK I am sure they will be pushing to allow 50yoa men to marry 13yoa soon.

Spyglass
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Some states allow that now

with parental permission. Marrying a 13 year old that is.

I certainly don't think it is right in this day and age, but it must happen..

I too also wonder why the argument always goes there. We start off talking about legal adults......

NUK_1
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SL: Yuck

Got to love the public education system.......such wisdom and common sense on display in NY there!

I'm surprised that the 50-ish haven't already pushed to lower the age of consent way back down again. After all, the 50-ish is pretty typical age of legislators that have been around a while and want to get some perks that go with the job. Getting rich isn't enough! Give me your young teens or pre-teens too!

The story Joe Kawfi posted about the thing/girl that wants to marry a rollercoaster made me LOL until I realized that it was a "real" article and not satire.

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Woman To Wed Amusement Park Ride

Naw, Steve. In a few years they will be encouraged to marry whatever they want.

Woman To Wed Amusement Park Ride

The goal of the left is to de-legitimize marriage- It has nothing to do with civil rights.

kcchiefandy
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Well, NUK...

...you've really missed the point on this one from most of our positions. Btw, in Biblical times living to 30 or so was a ripe 'ol life, so that was pretty much a 'marrying age' back then. Polygamy back them; same reason - people died earlier & easier (think about life w/o penicillin, modern medical care, etc...). And yes, marriage is more about a legal bond, mixed w/ religous overtones, and practiced as a man & woman for eons. Most opinions I've seen here express support for homosexuals being able to co-habitate and provide care for the other; they just oppose to it being 'marriage'. Maybe simplistic on the face of it, but important to the eons of men & women who have produced families in the biologically determined way.