Love is Love. But It’s Not Marriage.

“Love is love”. (spoiler alert: I agree with this statement)

They don’t even know what it means.

But do we? The Pew Research Center found that support for same-sex “marriage” among self-described conservatives has doubled since 2001[1]. In fact, almost half of conservatives believe that gay marriage should be legal. So the question we have to ask ourselves is, why? Why are we shifting along with our culture?

The underlying reason for this decline can be found in this fundamental premise behind the gay marriage argument: Homosexual relationships may be immoral, but only according to Christianity. Because the state should not support a religion, liberals reason, the state should be able to condone same-sex marriage as a constitutional right. If we take Christianity out of the picture, apparently same-sex marriage is absolutely acceptable.

At this point, most Christians do one of two things: they either attempt to persuade the listener that Christianity is the best way, or they give up and agree that Christianity is the sole justification for “traditional marriage”[2]. However, unless you’re arguing with a Christian, neither of these options is going to work. Instead, I’d like to explore a third, option, something many of you likely haven’t heard before. But before I do, there’s an important point that needs to be made.

There is explicit biblical teaching against same-sex marriage. 1 Corinthians 6:9 makes this clear: “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality…”[3]. The fact that more than two out of every three white mainline Protestants are ‘deceived’ is disturbing[4]. There are clear biblical teachings that cannot be left aside when discussing these issues with other believers.

However, when discussing this topic with non-Christians, I believe the most effective method is to leave the Bible out[5] – not entirely, but not as the main focus of your position. Here’s how to frame it: “I believe homosexuality is immoral because that’s what the Bible teaches. I believe homosexuality shouldn’t be government sanctioned because it doesn’t fit the definition of marriage and family.”

In Obergefell vs. Hodges, the Supreme Court ruled that “The fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”[6] If you’re curious, the Fourteenth Amendment reads,

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law[7]; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”[8] [9]

Footnote seven denotes the “Due Process Clause”. Note that there is no mention of the right to marry here, there is only the right to life, liberty, and property. Footnote eight points out the “Equal Protection Clause”, and here’s where it gets tricky. We’d have to look at specific laws are regulations surrounding marriage. Obviously, there are stipulations on every law. There isn’t a universal right to marry anyone (a minor, an non-consensual adult, an animal), so we can’t say that everyone has a right to marry. So what is the definition of marriage?

Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut definition of marriage. Many definitions are circular, and define marriage as a relationship between spouses, which are then defined as the result marriage itself. Instead, we should look at the historical and philosophical examples that we derive marriage from. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, in ancient and medieval time periods, marriage was used to “create kinship bonds, control inheritance, and share resources and labor”[10]. In fact, some in those time period discouraged excessive “love” because it failed to contribute to the well being of society. In medieval and ancient times then, we can safely assert that marriage focused on family and social order (the natural result of family). Plato maintained this idea of a family-centered definition of marriage in his book ‘The Republic’[11]. He believed that the purpose of marriage should be mainly to procreate, going so far as to claim that the state should regulate certain marriages. The philosopher Hegel believed marriage is the microcosm of the state because of its multi-generational contribution to society.

The main takeaway here is that marriage is marriage because it can create a family. Historically, love has been separated from marriage. This doesn’t mean marriage is devoid of love – far from it – but rather, that love is not a synonym for marriage.

 

There’s a difference between love and marriage.

 

If there’s a fundamental difference between love and marriage, then ‘love’ can be ‘love’, and that really doesn’t make a difference in the discussion of the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. Matt Walsh, author of “The Unholy Trinity”, says in his book that

“The love between a man and a woman gives birth to civilization. It creates life. It makes families. The love between a man and a woman is the bedrock. The foundation. The root that grounds our society and sustains it. The love between men is not procreative. It does not conceive and bring forth life. It does not do anything, practically speaking.”[12]

Love isn’t illegal. The government cannot and should not control our feelings. That’s up to us as citizens, to have our own moral compasses. Within the boundaries of the law, we can do and think as we please. But for the government to recognize non-procreational couples as the ‘bedrock of society’ is not only a slap in the face of true marriage, but it’s a complete and utter lie. There is no such thing as gay “marriage”.

Of course, the argument is always made that there are heterosexual couples that don’t have/can’t have kids. Because we treat these couples as legally married, why wouldn’t we treat homosexual couples as being legally married? This argument is simple and can be summarily dismissed. As Matt Walsh says, “one is an accident of nature, and the other is a result of nature.”[13] There is absolutely no same-sex couple that can procreate – on the other hand, according to the LA Times, 94% of married couples have at least 1 child[14]. The opposition always points to the minority, such as the 1% of rape for abortion, or the 6% of barren heterosexual couples. But the exception is not the rule. Homosexuals cannot procreate. They are not the foundation of society. Homosexuality should not be recognized as such by granting them the status of marriage.

Love is love. Homosexuals should be allowed to love each other – it may be immoral, absolutely – but it’s not the job of the government to stop them. However, because they cannot procreate, they are not the bedrock of society. In fact, studies show that homosexual couples break up on average in less than two years, and have much higher rates of alcoholism, drug abuse, and disease[15]. This just shows that homosexuals cannot be the grounding of our nation. They can have their love. But they can’t change the definition of marriage.

 

Love may be love. But it’s definitely not marriage.

 

[1] http://www.pewforum.org/fact-sheet/changing-attitudes-on-gay-marriage/

[2] Caveat: there is no reason to call it “traditional marriage”. Just like I wouldn’t say I was hit by a “traditional car” a couple days ago, it’s unnecessary to say “traditional marriage”. For the sake of clarity, however, I may refer to heterosexual marriage as traditional marriage.

[3] ESV, italics and bold added

[4] http://www.pewforum.org/fact-sheet/changing-attitudes-on-gay-marriage/

[5] I’ve had people disagree with me on leaving the Bible out, but with this specific topic, I agree that the government shouldn’t be supporting a religion. Don’t worry, there are secular reasons to reject homosexual “marriage” too.

[6] https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf

[7] The Due Process Clause.

[8] The Equal Protection Clause.

[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution, underline added.

[10] https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/marriage/

[11] https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/marriage/

[12] Matt Walsh, “The Unholy Trinity”. 2017. p.127

[13] Matt Walsh, “The Unholy Trinity”. 2017. p.117

[14] http://articles.latimes.com/2013/dec/08/nation/la-na-childless-couples-20131208

[15] Matt Walsh, “The Unholy Trinity”. 2017. P.120-121

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