Gay is Not the New Black – Are We Completely Missing the Point?

This article is a bullet point rebuttal of this one: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/07/19/gay-is-not-the-new-black/. You’ll need to be familiar with it as I’m just going to refer to portions of it by headings and referring to his arguments. I’m not going to reproduce any of it here for the sake of time.

General Objection

On the whole, we’re confusing the issue here. The issue is not primarily about defining a new minority group who should now get special treatment. Neither is the issue about the moral right or wrongness of homosexuality or calling homosexuality marriage. The issue is over whether everyone, and I mean everyone, has the right (civilly) to do as he pleases, so long as he does not harm his neighbor through aggression. Does the government have the right to restrict private behavior that does not harm other people? Libertarians say no.

Perhaps we’re looking at this the wrong way. It’s not so much that gay marriage is a good thing that the goverment should promote. It’s not that gays are people who should now get special sanction or treatment. I hope that I would never have suggested that. Rather, it is that the government, by being the authority that sanctions marriage, is usurping the God given role of the church. Anything we can do to remove the government’s grip on marriage and return it to the domain of the church would honor God. What homosexuals do and what they call it, is irrelevant to what the church defines as marriage, and so long as this generation is crooked and perverse, it matters not what government calls marriage. It does nothing to distort the reality and the standard. Those should be held up by the church.

So in terms of allowing freedom of religion – the right to choose whether to obey God.
And in terms of allowing freedom of choice – the right to do as you please so long as you are not harming another.
Then I support loosening, if not completely removing, the government’s grip on marriage.
Allowing marriage licenses for homosexuals to marry same sex partners is a loosening of the government’s grip, and is akin to Moses issuing certificates of divorce because of the hardness of the people’s hearts.
I don’t promote this so we can re-define marriage. I don’t promote this so we can sanction sin.
I promote this so the church can return as the authority for such definition and such censure of wrong.

The government should only be concerned with providing justice to victims of crimes and making sure that our freedoms remain intact.

And while homosexuality IS a choice unlike the race into which you were born, being a sinner is not. We are all born as sinners, and without the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, we are indeed lost. Expecting dead men to behave like live men simply because the government tells them to is foolish. The church should hold out to the gospel and those who believe will fall under his authority and receive his grace to renounce their sin.

The government redefining marriage will cheapen it. That much is certain. But like when the Federal Reserve prints fiat money, all it will cheapen is the meaning of the government issued marriage certificate. It can’t touch the standard of true marriage that the church and Christian couples can hold forth!

Specific Rebuttal Points

Unidentifiable Minority

His objection about the inability to apply the civil rights to people because we can’t identify them, so we don’t know who to apply the rights to is laughable. It is the very essence of the state sanctioned special treatment to special interest system that we have in our country. If you are in category X we treat you this way, but if you are in Category Y, we treat you another way. Why don’t we instead simply extend the same rights to everyone: you have the right to be free from aggression by anyone through force or fraud. So long as you do not aggress on anyone else, and your dealings are done through voluntary, mutual consent, you are free to do as you please. There’s no need to identify anyone but victims with those rights.

Unalterable Definition

Miscegenation

Civil rights were about far more than intermarriage. They were about the state imposed Jim Crowe laws that segregated blacks and treated them as second class citizens. When homosexual partners can’t get health coverage and can’t get retirement benefits simply because the government doesn’t recognize their claim, then there is a valid point to their perception of inequality. For us to continue to ignore this is obtuse. To be sure, many of these are private contract issues. For example, I’m sure an insurance company would get lots of customers if they would simply offer to cover same sex partners. However, in many states there are literally laws against these things. These laws should be repealed.

Definitional Disconnect

The state is not supposed to define marriage, the church is. The state only began issuing marriage certificates after the reformation ended the regime of the catholic church requiring couples to pay the church for the right to marry and the state said, “we can get in on that.” There is no Biblical mandate for a state granted marriage certificate for a marriage to be considered valid. A valid marriage is a covenantal relationship entered before God, which must be pleasing to him. Homosexuals can call themselves married all they want, it doesnt’ make their relationship pleasing to God. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t have the right to deceive themselves in this way.

Historical Disconnect

The objection to this argument from the LGBT community is always loudly “It doesn’t matter what happened in history. It matters whether we have the right to do so now.” Slavery had never been outlawed before the US and Britain did it. Should we not have outlawed slavery? Appealing to history for the sake of history is to use past injustices to justify current injustices. Once again, I’m not suggesting that homosexual marriage is on equal footing with heterosexual marriage morally, just that gays should have the right to behave as they choose provided they are not harming others, and that they should have a right to call what they do whatever they want in order to please themselves, so long as they are forcing their views on anyone else, and if the government issues them a piece of paper to sanction it, who does it harm?

Legal Disconnect

He is once again missing the point. Saying that gays have the right to marry as long as they marry someone of the opposite sex is equivalent to saying that you or I have the right to marry but not the person we love. I thought this was America. Before the civil law, what is the difference between a couple living together in a committed relationship and a married couple? Answer: a piece of paper from the government saying “You’re married.” That piece of paper does not change anything about the nature of their relationship.

Unsustainable Precedent

Perhaps the Liberal/Progressive agenda of the vocal LGBT community does fall into the categories he is describing here, but Libertarians do not identify with them. The issue for us is not how we define a minority group, but that we reject the whole concept of government sanctioning minorities with special treatment. The Civil Rights was not about creating a new minority group that would get special treatment. The Civil Rights movement was about removing the negative special treatment that was already being inflicted on a minority group and allow them to be treated like everyone else! Don’t miss the point of that!

We see one group in America: Americans, who are all free to do as they please, so long as they do not commit force or fraud on another. We will not separate the wheat from the tares or the sheep from the goats. God will do so. We simply will keep the piece by allowing justice to be done in cases when there is actual harm done by someone through force and fraud. This leaves no room for government sanctioning of marriage at all or of any kind, but so long as they do it, they should allow the couple to define what marriage means for them.

So you can marry a dog, or three people, or a shoe? Well, yeah. You can. Who is harmed by this? Nobody. And really, the people who say this are arguing against nobody at all. This is a straw man. If someone does want these things in the future, then we can deal with the justice of it then. And doing so should be done on the basis of whether there is a victim to the action.

Of course issuing a marriage license to people who claim to marry their shoe cheapens the meaning of marriage, but only by cheapening the meaning of the government issued marriage certificate.

It does not have to cheapen the meaning of a Church Wedding. The church is the definer of the Biblical standard of marriage. So long as the church holds high that standard, marriage will never be redefined and will never be cheapened. So long as Christians hold high the standard of Biblical marriage laid down in Ephesians 5, there will never be a cheapening of marriage. And when unbelievers who feel disenfranchised by their meaningless sinful marriages see the glory of a Christ honoring Christian marriage, they will see our good works and glorify the Father who is in heaven! No church should allow gay wedding ceremonies inside its doors. Neither should churches be forced to perform them. But the church and the state are not the same thing.

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3 thoughts on “Gay is Not the New Black – Are We Completely Missing the Point?

  1. Interesting stuff. I knew you’d have some opinions haha. I can agree with most of what you are saying here. However, I’m am not convinced that a complete moral degeneration of our culture will have no negative impact on the lost or the younger generation. Were our culture to fall to the point where we allowed all forms of immorality (people marrying animals, group marriages, adults with children, etc.), the consequences may be more severe than we can imagine at this point. Your claim that such behavior is personal and would affect no one outside of such a relationship is difficult and probably impossible to verify, especially on the large scale we could see in the near future. The unintended consequences to a younger generation, the weak and defenseless, and those seeking truth may be massive.

    I agree with your analysis and concede that the government’s loosening it’s grip on marriage will most likely be a good outcome of this whole debate. However, I believe that as a society and culture we must draw a line in the sand somewhere, not merely in order to have a nice, friendly society we can feel safe living in, but because I believe the societal institutions we have are essential for the growth and survival of our society. Just look at the negative impacts of the prevalence of divorce, or even more extreme, allowing sex outside of marriage. The destruction of the family unit is one of the key contributing factors to a generation of children raised in poor, underprivileged single parent homes. This leads directly to the burgeoning need for welfare, food stamps, and a plethora of other social programs which leach on the growth and development of our society.

    I don’t believe it’s as simple as you put it. If people are to be free to live and indulge their flesh in any way they desire, we must be prepared for the consequences this will bring to bear on our society.

    1. This is a very common objection and not without merit. We should be concerned with the moral degradation of our culture. But we have to remember that the government’s laws are not the determiner of whether our nation is morally degenerate. Yes, we must take a stand. Do it in the church! Do it by having a godly marriage that all can see! Do it by speaking the truth in love to your neighbor! This is the God ordained way of being salt and light to the world, not by forcing a standard on them that only incites their rebellion.

      Scriptural support: Romans 7; The Gospels – Despite the super strict rule of the Pharisees, Jesus called the world of his day a crooked and perverse generation.

      Historical Support: Prohibition; The Drug War

      Government regulation does not hold back the moral degradation of a culture. Degradation comes from the heart and the gospel is the only cure. We must see our task of reaching the world to be independent of government.

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