Opposing Gay Marriage is not Bigotry

 OPPOSING

Traditional teachings of marriage rooted not in animus, but in pursuit of happiness

BY TIMOTHY P. CARNEY | APRIL 23, 2015 | 5:29 PM

 Traditional marriage in the U.S. makes its last stand this week at oral arguments before the Supreme Court. If same-sex marriage wins out, the next question is what to do with the vanquished? Should we tolerate opposition to gay marriage?

What should be done, legally and socially, with photographers who don’t want to take part in a gay wedding, or churches that don’t want to consecrate a same-sex union? How should we all treat the old-fashioned view that marriage is between a man and a woman?

Many institutions, commentators and politicians already have their answer: Opposition to gay marriage deserves no more respect than racism. The government ought to force a photographer, a musician or a caterer to participate in a gay wedding, they argue, just as we forced racist diner owners to allow black customers to sit at their lunch counters.

But the premise here — that opposition to gay marriage is necessarily grounded in bigotry — is wrong.

But refusing to participate in a marriage ceremony is a different sort of thing. It’s not a statement about the people involved. It’s a decision about the ceremony itself — that one doesn’t want to endorse a definition of marriage that one doesn’t share.

And there are many valid reasons to believe in marriage as being between a man and a woman. There are many arguments to make here, but here’s one, from my own Catholic perspective:

There isn’t really a Catholic teaching on gay marriage — there is a rich Catholic teaching on marriage, which is a sacrament. Marriage is inextricably tied with sex and family formation. To deliberately separate these three things is a moral error, the Church teaches.

Sexual morality, as taught by traditional religions, isn’t terribly popular in the U.S. these days, but it’s a mistake to dismiss these views as archaic prescriptions followed blindly by the faithful. Such teachings are often far more complex than simple “shalls” and “shall nots” accepted as divine revelation.

Consider Aristotle’s view of virtue and happiness (eudaimonia, in Greek). Happiness — a deep, lasting happiness — is a life lived according to virtue, Aristotle writes. Morality can be seen as the roadmap to human happiness.

Over thousands of years, Christianity, building on the traditions of the Jews and ancient civilizations such as the Greeks, has tried to understand human nature ± — through experience, reason, and revelation. From that picture of the human soul, the Church has tried to craft a roadmap.

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We need a roadmap because life is full of obstacles and pitfalls that we typically can’t see beforehand on our own, but which are well-known in prior human experience. Walking directly towards what we think we want can often be perilous to our happiness. Sacrifice, patience, and struggle are often required.

It’s not an old-fashioned or purely religious notion that sacrifice is necessary for happiness. Secular morality embraces that notion as well: You shouldn’t always eat whatever you want; you need to exercise; don’t get too drunk.

The road to happiness also involves giving up sex at times, even when following secular moral road maps. Perfectly irreligious, live-and-let-live moral systems often guard against (for example) prostitution, open marriages, sex in the early teen years, and extreme promiscuity. These activities may appeal to some people in the short run, but one need not believe any particular religion to understand how they can cause anguish and pain in the long run.

The roadmaps provided by conservative religious moral systems prescribe a narrower path and often call for more sacrifice. In many cases, for many people, the prescribed path is celibacy. If you want to be a Catholic priest, nun, or monk, you must also agree to a life of celibacy.

If you’re unmarried, most Christian teaching tells you to be celibate. Many men and women are unmarried, despite their best efforts, and asking them to forego sex is asking a lot. But the Church does so out of an understanding of human nature, and the true path to happiness.

Married Catholic couples are often called to abstain from sex if they want to space out the births of their children. And the limitations on divorce often mean a sexless life for married people whose marriages fell apart, or whose spouses suffered a debilitating injury, or were imprisoned.

Everyone is called to some level of sacrifice — some more, some less. Nobody says it’s fair. But it’s prudent, the Church teaches.

For people who are exclusively attracted to people of the same sex, the Catholic Church also prescribes celibacy.

I got this roadmap image from a conversation over coffee with Eve Tushnet, the author of Gay and Catholic. Her heartfelt book makes it clear that carrying the cross of gay celibacy is very different from, and often harder than, the chastity to which other Catholics are called. But she has concluded this is her cross, and her path.

These rules, again, aren’t terribly popular these days. I expect this column to persuade approximately zero people that they should give up premarital sex, birth control, or their same-sex relationship.

But however unappealing or unconvincing you find this approach to sexuality and marriage, how can you say this view is grounded in bigotry?

You don’t need to agree for an instant with Catholic, or Protestant, or Muslim, or Jewish teachings on sex, family, or marriage. But if you can grant that some of these teachings are grounded, not in animus, but in an understanding of love, then at least you can agree to this: We shouldn’t use the force of law to banish these views from our society.

Timothy P. Carney, The Washington Examiner’s senior political columnist, can be contacted attcarney@washingtonexaminer.com. His column appears Sunday and Wednesday on washingtonexaminer.com.

Will speaking out against the Obama administration close the door to soul winning with youth?

blog on youth copy

Will speaking out against the Obama administration close the door to soul winning with youth?

By Mario Murillo

Exhibit one: Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich resigned under pressure from the nonprofit organization that makes the popular Firefox web browser because he does supports traditional marriage.

Ironically Mozilla’s creed says “Our organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness,” the statement goes on. “We welcome contributions from everyone regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views. Mozilla supports equality for all.” But the company is plainly taking the position that it won’t employ, in leadership positions, anyone who publicly holds orthodox Christian or Muslim views on gay marriage.

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Here is a chilling moment: Mr. Eich was recently given the chance to repudiate his belief in traditional marriage in a setting reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition and refused to do so.

Andrew Sullivan’s the noted gay blogger said about Mozilla firing Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich  “Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out.”

This intolerant behavior by Mozilla is straight out of the Obama playbook and that fact is not lost on our young.

 

 

Exhibit two: Rand Paul gets standing ovation in Berkeley.

BERKELEY, Calif. — delivering a rare speech for a Republican at this bastion of liberalism, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday was given multiple standing ovations by the left-wing audience after railing against government surveillance and warning the students: “Your right to privacy is under assault.”

“I am here to tell you that if you own a cell phone, you’re under surveillance,” he told the crowd.- Politico.

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Exhibit three: Youth turn on Obama.

The Boston Globe said, “Domestic spying by the government, the technological incompetence demonstrated in the launch of the Obama health care marketplace, the continued weakness in the economy — all have conspired to undermine Democrats’ big advantage among young voters, ages 18 to 29, according to specialists.

In a detailed, national poll released last month by Harvard’s Institute of Politics, nearly half of young voters said they would recall President Obama if they could. Only 41 percent approved of the job Obama was doing, an 11-point drop from six months earlier.”

Obama and his cronies have overplayed their hand with youth.  The wreckage of his administration, the cruelty of his actions toward his political enemies and his arrogant spending are now painfully clear to youth in America.

souls in San Jose

I am convinced that Ministers who soft peddle the Gospel and appear to be compliant with the government will lose credibility with American youth.

It sounds hip and cool to stay out of the fray but the thing that youth are going to remember about those preachers is that they sat silently as Obama washed their future down the drain.

The key is to preach against the administration in the context of a larger vision for America and the promise of a future in Christ. We are not to preach a right wing message but we can condemn the violation of the American constitution and the oppression of individual rights.  Calling Obama into account will not close the door to youth; in this case, I believe it will open it.