March 27, 2013

The “Marriage Generation” and “Lost” Causes

20130327-211630.jpg

(“Marriage Generation” leaders at March for Marriage.)

By Mark Tooley (@markdtooley)

Yesterday IRD staff joined in the March for Marriage from the National Mall to the U.S. Supreme Court and back. Afterwards, Owen Strachen, theologian and church historian at Southern Baptist affiliated Boyce College in Louisville, KY, visited our office to talk about the newly unveiled “Marriage Generation.” Here’s the website. This project aims to enlist Millennials, who were born in the 1980s, in the struggle to affirm traditional marriage over and against the popular culture that claims this fight is over because “history” always favors the secular Left. Owen is one of several very impressive young people who founded this project. Several of them were recently featured in THE NEW YORK TIMES. Even if you’re, like myself, too old qualify as a Millennial, I hope you will endorse and encourage the “Marriage Generation.”

20130327-211810.jpg

(“Marriage Generation” leaders at U.S. Supreme Court.)

At next Monday’s IRD board meeting, several of these young evangelicals will speak to the challenges facing their demographic. Speakers are Eric Teetsel of the Manhattan Declaration, Andrew Walker of Heritage Foundation, Jessica Prol of Family Research Council and our own Kristin Rudolph.

As a very young man, over 25 years ago, I enlisted in the struggle for renewal in my own liberal dominated United Methodist Church. The odds seemed daunting, but the growth of the global church and the implosion of liberal churches now favors United Methodist renaissance. Seemingly lost causes are often the best and most important causes. And because God reigns, a lost cause, if just and good, is never really lost, but just awaiting vindication by willing hands. God’s speed to the “Marriage Generation.” May He give them perseverance to prevail.

(Owen Strachan with IRD after March for Marriage.)

20130327-213139.jpg


38 Responses to The “Marriage Generation” and “Lost” Causes

  1. paynehollow says:

    As I’ve noted elsewhere here, until such time as they can answer simple questions like, “What harm is there in actually supporting and encouraging faithful, loving, committed marriage relationships – gay or straight?”… they will continue to lose this argument. And the more their answer relies upon, “My hunch is that God doesn’t like it…” or “My human tradition doesn’t believe in it…,” the more they will lose out. And the more they say things like “Gay people can’t be faithful and committed” and “marriage between gay folk destroys marriage…” the more they, like their elders, will be tuned out as irrelevant, irrational and immoral.

    I fully support young people hanging on to and defending their faith, but they must learn to do so in a respectful, loving manner that does not rely upon simplistic, “Well, I believe it’s wrong, so therefore, it’s wrong and everyone should go along with us…” sorts of answers.

    In Christ,

    ~Dan Trabue

    • albertol1991 says:

      Dan,

      I think your interpretation of gay marriage is somehow unfounded and an explicit denial of Biblical teachings which you claim considers your views positively. I wouldn’t hesitate to tell you the truth why i am against gay relationships and believe on the need for repentance of my homosexuals. There are several scriptures in the Bible that oppose same sex relationships, i wouldn’t call it marriage because it doesn’t fit into my definition of marriage.

      I hope you find time to read these passages, Genesis 19:1-11, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Judges 19:16-24, Romans 1:18-32,1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:8-10, Jude 7.

      If you believe in the divine authority of scripture and that it is complete with no need to add or remove anything from it, you would appreciate that marriage as God intended is a relationship between a man and a woman. In simpler terms, even the biological aspects of humans reflects the message that a man and a woman shall become one, i don’t see two people of the same sex becoming one.

      No one is against the people who choose to be homosexual, but we are against the sin and practice and our message has no harm in it, and that’s why we say it in full and bold conviction. As we celebrate Easter, i would want to remind you that Christ died to save us from sin, and not with our sin. A sin is a sin, and we deny it then we reject the need for a savior and thus Christianity wouldn’t be relevant to you.

      For further reference i would appreciate if you take time to read this link which answers some of the popular questions that you seem to raise http://rethinkingtheology.com/2013/03/17/a-homosexuality-fact-checker-for-born-again-christians/

      Do we allow mental health organizations to tell us the truth about scripture and marriage? Surely not, the Bible has it all. If you have texts from the Bible that supports same sex relationships, i will be glad to have them and read. We can’t afford to live in a world where truth is compromised for a certain agenda, homosexuality is wrong and a sin.

      • paynehollow says:

        Thank you for the thoughts, Alberto, but rest assured, after 50 years of Bible study, I’m well aware of what it says on this topic. I’m quite familiar with those verses you cite.

        I DO believe God inspires Scripture. Where I disagree is not with Scripture and certainly not with God, but with human interpretation of those few passages that touch on some form of gay behavior.

        The Bible does not touch on marriage relationships between gay folk, but it DOES speak clearly that those things that are good, holy, loving, noble, pure, etc, are of God.

        The question that you folk need to be able to answer is, as I’ve already asked, “On what basis would I call what is obviously good, moral, pure and loving… on what basis would I call that ‘bad…’?”

        This is the question (now that I’ve asked in several different ways without getting a single direct answer, as always) that you all are failing to answer directly, and the answers you do give tend to at least sound irrational and immoral and I can’t set aside morality and reason just to comply with human tradition.

        Here’s a question for you (any of you) that I would hope you might prayerfully answer:

        Would you agree with me that for the many of us who find your opinions (and the way you express them) to be immoral and irrational, that we are obliged to NOT agree with you, simply because you say you speak for God?

        Many of us Christians, as well as those outside the church, find your opinions to be exactly this. I hope you can understand that, until you come across as offering moral and rational explanations for your hunches, that we can not be convinced to listen to you.

        In Christ,

        Dan

      • paynehollow says:

        Regarding this…

        Do we allow mental health organizations to tell us the truth about scripture and marriage? Surely not, the Bible has it all.

        1. We DO “allow” experts to inform us as to facts that can be measured and observed. We “allow” experts to offer opinions on topics which we may not be familiar. Why wouldn’t we?

        2. The Bible makes zero claims to offer “all” information and truth, about Scripture or about marriage. This is just a fact, correct?

        I’m sure it’s not your intent, but it almost sounds as if you are suggesting we ought not use our head and our God-given reason to look at the observable evidence around us. Surely that’s not your intent, is it?

      • albertol1991 says:

        Dan,

        I would want to bring you understand certain things that are very basic when it comes to gay relationships and what my position and that which many Christians worldwide believe in. First, you made a reference to rationality and morality but i would take you that we have taken the moral position of being factual regardless of the cultural landscape that seems to go against the Biblical teachings. I don’t believe that gay relationships are good, moral, pure and loving. It is not good because it contradicts basic rational thinking about God’s purpose in creation. Isn’t there any teaching we can get from the creation story of Adam and Eve? If indeed gay relationships were appropriate, what would have been the purpose of God creating a member of the opposite sex and Jesus establishing the institution of marriage as one which relates a man to a woman. It is not moral because it doesn’t represent anything positive for the future of humanity and the lesson it teaches is destructive. Gay relationships seem to be failing in many ways, worse still in parenting, and would future would it be without procreation if everyone felt like and chose to be gay. It is not also a pure relationships as it contradicts the teachings of the Bible and tradition that has been handed over long periods of time, i don’t reasonable ground to believe in the acceptance of gay relations.

        Secondly, we don’t oblige people to believe in our views but we allow the God inspired scripture speak to the minds of people. There is no where a gay person was forced or coerced to become heterosexual, if that was to be the case, we wouldn’t be having such a conversation. People are open to discern the word of God in their own understanding, and we continue to preach the word as it is without compromise.

        Thirdly, we convey our message in a caring and loving way, but we aren’t sure what definition of love is applied by our friends who are homosexuals. You will notice that there are no insults or rude approach used, the only problem is that people have raised stonewalls that they aren’t willing to appreciate what others say. We speak the inspired word of God, all we say is backed by scripture. I am not sure if you would want to see a church operate without a Bible and since this is becoming an issue of concern in our communities we need not to hide scripture or alter the message but we say it as it is written.

        Just a thought, i am not sure what our fellows in the homosexual community really want us to do to express our message. We haven’t sent them out of our church halls or communities, we just preach the word as it is. Are we wrong for standing with the Bible or is their effort guided towards the endorsement of homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle? I am sure we aren’t getting the message clear from them. We seem not to see any reason justifying gay relationships as moral, good, pure and loving. All we see is a sin that has to be condemned and advice given as to the will of God. And we will appreciate if in future they can use scripture to convince us that it is indeed God’s plan and will for people to be homosexual.

        Alberto

      • paynehollow says:

        Alberto, I suspect you’re an english-as-second language speaker and, if so, you’re doing great! Much better than I could in another language. Having said that, I’m having a bit of a difficult time understanding some of your points, so I’ll just touch on the ones I think I understand. You said…

        I don’t believe that gay relationships are good, moral, pure and loving. It is not good because it contradicts basic rational thinking about God’s purpose in creation.

        Okay, you don’t believe that gay relationships are good, moral, pure and loving. But why?

        Consider a real world example:

        I have friends (and this applies to more than one couple) that are elderly gay and lesbian couples, living in a marriage arrangement for many years.

        1. They cook food for one another,
        2. share in life’s experiences together
        3. care for one another when the other is sick/sad/worried
        4. support one another as they, in turn support their ailing parents or family in need
        5. Have a committed, safe, respectful place to express their God-given sexuality
        6. Go to church together
        7. Babysit/play with grandkids together

        for example. Now, each of those SEEM obviously, objectively good to me and I think most people. Abundantly and clearly obviously moral and noble and good.

        Now, of all those, I imagine you object to 5 (safe, responsible place to express their God-given sexuality). It is YOUR opinion that God would not like this and THAT is why you don’t think the whole marriage arrangement is good and moral, right?

        It is MY opinion that God DOES like this.

        Neither of us can “prove” that we are morally correct, we’re rather at a stalemate, right? It’s my opinion vs your opinion, right? And, in our case, we BOTH look to God’s Holy Word as a source of guidance, and yet, we still come to an honest disagreement, right?

        Okay, then it’s a given that sometimes people of good faith will come to an honest disagreement about this behavior or that. But then what? You can’t prove you’re hunch is right and I can’t prove my hunch is right.

        Would it not make sense to accept that as a disagreement and move on? And, if so, then I would just ask the following questions:

        Other than your opinion, is there any rational or moral reason to think that my list of 7 marriage traits is “bad…”?

        And, do you recognize that for most of us now, these marriage traits constitute an obvious moral good?

        And, do you recognize that, for your “side” to win this disagreement, you’re going to have to come up with something more compelling than, “it is my opinion that God would disagree with this loving marriage arrangement…”?

  2. Dan, with all due respect, who exactly relies on these sorts of answers? There are a vast array of answers for why redefining marriage is a very bad idea. It might help if you don’t caricature anyone who disagrees with you as simplistic. Try reading “What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense.” It’s very sad that we live in a day when marriage actually has to be defended against an oxymoron, and it’s even more sad when Christians buy into this vacuousness. This book lays out the case without reference to, well, the Bible says so. And if one takes into account Scripture, the case for redefining marriage becomes all the more ridiculous. I know you think you and those who want to redefine marriage have the moral high ground, but you don’t, and not even close.

    Three cheers for Marriage Generation!!!

    • paynehollow says:

      re: “vast array of answers…”

      So I hear. And yet, I have yet to see the first one. If there is a vast array of answers to the question, “Why would we NOT support a healthy, loving, committed relationship between gay folk like we do between straight folk?” why not simply offer one up? As noted above, I used to hold your position. Strongly. It was the dearth of evidence that ultimately drove me away from that position. I CAN change my mind – you can see that it’s happened before. But it takes EVIDENCE, rational and moral support.

      Rather than citing a book, why not offer just one bit of evidence that supports your claim?

      I’m willing to listen.

      In Christ,

      Dan

      • So, Dan, you are not willing to read a book. You have yet to see the first one? So you, obviously, are not looking. But since you sign “In Christ” I will give you reasons. God said to Adam and Eve, a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. This is called complimentarity, and not only God, but nature, makes this obvious point. Two men, or two women cannot become one flesh, an arrangement that the Apostle Paul, in case you care, called “shameful lusts” and “unnatural relations.” Paul says, again in case you care, “Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” Jesus himself, numerous times affirmed that marriage is one man, one woman, again, in case you care. And the reason I keep putting “in case you care” is I don’t believe you do. Your “in Christ” is utterly meaningless if you can pick and choose what to accept and what not to. Period.

        Even in pagan and heathen cultures for all of recorded history, people didn’t have to define marriage, because men and women could create children, and that is the only reason marriage has, does and will continue to exist. Homosexuals can be as committed as they want to be, have laws give them rights, but they, or you, cannot redefine marriage, because then it will no longer be marriage!

        If you want a bunch of very cogent and persuasive secular arguments, then go read the book. But I don’t think you do.

      • paynehollow says:

        Mike…

        You have yet to see the first one? So you, obviously, are not looking.

        ? Respectfully, consider the following, Brother Mike:

        I HELD your position. I started as a very traditional, very conservative Southern Baptist. I WANTED to believe what I was taught, the traditional position. I held on to that position for over 30 years but eventually gave it up because, despite my desire to believe it, there simply was no evidence that I saw to support it.

        It is this sort of “debate” tactic that helped push me away from that position. You don’t know me and yet say “obviously I am not looking…” but in the real world, I know this to be utterly false. Rather than state a false statement about someone you don’t even know, why not just present some evidence to support your position?

        Do you see how this sort of false representation can actually drive people away from your position?

        Okay, moving on to your attempt to provide evidence, you cite your interpretation of the Bible, saying…

        God said to Adam and Eve, a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. This is called complimentarity, and not only God, but nature, makes this obvious point.

        and proceed from there. Being a student of the Bible that I love for over 50 years now, I ultimately came to disagree with that traditional interpretation of the Bible. So we have what is called a “difference of opinion” on how to interpret the Bible, right?

        No problem, that happens. Believers in good faith come to different opinions on biblical interpretations all the time.

        But consider the question that I am asking:

        Why would we NOT support a healthy, loving, committed relationship between gay folk like we do between straight folk?

        You answer, “Because I think the Bible teaches that God would disapprove…” is fine, IF I agreed with you, but I don’t. I’m looking for some real world, factual reason to think that marriage (healthy, loving, devoted, innately GOOD) between gay folk is “bad,” somehow. You offer an opinion based on your faith – a faith I share, but an opinion I don’t.

        Now what?

        Stating “I don’t think you want to see evidence” is not the same as offering up evidence. IF it exists, it should be easy enough to demonstrate, but as of yet, OTHER THAN opinions about what God thinks about it (and be clear: God has NEVER stated an opinion about marriage between gay folk – not once), you are offering no evidence.

        Do you see the difference between actual evidence and unsupported opinions? Do you see how your approach (“You don’t want to see evidence” and “you are not looking”) is actually driving people AWAY from your position?

        This was my point to begin with: If any traditionalists (younger or older) want to win people over to their side, they’ll have to be able to answer clearly and directly the question I’m asking without getting defensive, without engaging in abrasive, bullying tactics and with objective evidence.

        Again, I’m waiting for the first bit of objective evidence to win me back to the position I did not want to give up, but had to because there was no evidence.

        In Christ,

        ~Dan

  3. Re: As I’ve noted elsewhere here, until such time as they can answer simple questions like, “What harm is there in actually supporting and encouraging faithful, loving, committed marriage relationships – gay or straight?”…

    Answer’s easy: there’s no boundary here. Where does one draw the line on the number of loving, committed relationships? That’s were same sex marriage logically goes and my former Unitarian Universalist Church goes silent when Marriage Equality taken to it’s logical end. (Read WaPo: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/unitarian-universalists-would-prefer-their-polyamory-activists-keep-quiet/2013/03/22/f3d14eaa-9333-11e2-8ea1-956c94b6b5b9_story.html?hpid=z4 )

    When Americans confronted with the polyamorous family claiming equality and the conundrum of divorce, inheritiance, custody, and the justice of the relationships in such a family; then this supposed Historical tide towards SSM stops.

    The theologians of it already silent and unable to respond as the UU example shows. What seems a trend becomes seen for what it really was: the final chapter in sad story of the 60s sexual revolution.

    We’re left then with the wreackage that era wrought and will try to put the pieces back together.

    • paynehollow says:

      Bill…

      Where does one draw the line on the number of loving, committed relationships?

      Indeed, where SHOULD one draw the line on the number of loving, committed relationships? IS there an objectively “bad” side to healthy, loving, committed, adult relationships? If so, what is that “bad” side? I can think of none and the anti-marriage equity side has offered none.

      Now, I can think of bad sides to UNhealthy, UNloving relationships. Man-dog? Unhealthy, no consent, bad. Man-child? Unhealthy, no adult consent, bad.
      Man-woman-woman? Most of us would agree that it’s unhealthy and that it’s typically associated with negatively fundamentalistic, negatively patriarchal societies/groups that oppress women. That IS bad.

      But I can think of not one single “bad” side to two fellas who are attracted to fellas, committing to one another in a faithful, loving relationship. What is the Bad?

      Rationally speaking, saying “If you allow two adult gay men to marry then you might as well allow five men and two women to marry,” is not any different than saying, “If you allow a straight man and woman to marry, then you may as well allow polygamy…” That is not a sound rational argument.

      We support and encourage HEALTHY, committed relationships because it is innately a good thing to do. My family, whatsoever things are good, true, noble, loving, etc, think on and support these things.

      Until you can answer the “What is the ‘Bad'” question in some objective, moral, reasonable manner, you will continue to lose this debate. I know, I was one who was in your camp and ultimately decided there simply wasn’t sufficient rational or moral support to stay in that camp. Because I love God and want to do the right thing, I had to change my position.

      • Really? paynehollow, what is the “good” and who gets to decide what it is? “Innately good”? That’s funny. Objective, moral, reasonable? Really? According to whom? Obviously not to the God of the Bible, whom you claim to love.

      • paynehollow says:

        What is the good in having a loving, supportive, respectful, faithful relationship with a man or woman you love? Are you serious that you don’t know?

        As with my wife and I, in our marriage, a gay or lesbian couple gets…

        1. Support
        2. Family and extended family
        3. Sometimes, the beautiful and glorious chance to raise beloved children together
        4. Someone to be intimately close with, in good times and bad
        5. Someone to be with you, to death til you part
        6. A beautiful and appropriate and safe place to express one’s God-given sexuality
        7. Help in establishing a home
        8. The chance to be a healthy part of a healthy community…

        …for starters. What in ANY of that is bad?

        Why are you all unable to answer this simple, direct question? If you think that somehow marriage between two folk is “bad,” then explain HOW it is bad. It is your inability to do so that undermines your position.

        And yes, each of those things ARE innately good. Self-evidently and obviously Good. I can see it in my own marriage and in the marriage of others (gay and straight) in my community, objectively so.

        Do you really disagree? If so, be specific: HOW is having someone to be there with you in a special, uniquely bonded way a bad thing?

        Do you have any direct answers at all?

        And please, just because I disagree with your opinions about God’s opinion, don’t conflate that with disagreeing with God, who never one time condemned a marriage between a gay couple. Not one time.

        Instead, God tells us, whatsoever things are good, true, pure, noble, loving… think on THESE things.

        Amen?

        ~Dan

      • billbaar says:

        Re: …where SHOULD one draw the line on the number of loving, committed relationships? I’d say sexual relationships should be one to one. This isn’t a particularly religous thing for me. I think there’s a degree of power involved with sexuality and it best contained and managed between too partners. There’s the health angle too. I lived in Oak Park Illinois in the 80s and we had the highest HIV rate in the state if not the nation. Monogamy had obvious life saving advantages.

        Re: IS there an objectively “bad” side to healthy, loving, committed, adult relationships? If so, what is that “bad” side? Yes, I think pologamy and poly sexual loving relationships involve power too, and it becomes imbalanced with one partner (usually a male) taking charge.

        I hope it’s obvious that we can be lovingly committed to all sorts of people. That’s what a family is all about at it;s best. I’m talking about the loving committment that’s expressed in sexual relationships. I think those are best in one to one relationships, and in the case of Marriage, one to one between a woman and man.

        Again, I get here more as a Secular Humanist looking back over the institution. I find Christ unhelpful here.

        I am an ex UU after all.

    • skotiad says:

      Bill Baar, congrats on being an ex-UU. I used to have some amusing conversations with a neighbor who was a UU (and yo-yo), and it was like trying to converse with someone who had been dropped on his head. The idea of trying to foresee what his disastrous social policies would lead to was foreign to him – essentially the mind of a child, just do something and hang the consequences. When the UUs abandoned God, they abandoned the brains God gave them also. They don’t think, period, they must stake out a position and start oozing righteousness.

      • billbaar says:

        Far too many of them have succumbed to CS Lewis’s Bulverism (google it). They’ve given up thought, discernment, and argument for slogans. If you’re not for Marriage Equality, you’re a hater, but just what exactly’s meant by Marriage Equality a place they will not go. I refer you back to the “no comment” in the WaPo link on the UU Polyamory movement. That failure to think on the part of a Church once so proud of being Intellectual the real tragedy.

  4. Dan, yeah, we do have a difference of opinion. I believe what the Bible actually says, you don’t seem to. There is something called hermeneutics, the science of interpreting texts. This isn’t your opinion vs. my opinion, this is what the text says. You can use all the pretzel, self-righteous logic you want, but you can’t in any way make the Bible back up your view of marriage, no matter how committed and loving it claims to be. Jesus wasn’t real concerned with being relevant,

    • paynehollow says:

      Where does the text say, “God opposes marriage between gay folk…” even one time?

      Factually speaking, it does not.

      So, given my question is going unanswered, I have to presume that you can not offer EVEN ONE bit of evidence to support the hunch that “marriage between gay people is objectively bad…,” isn’t that fair?

      It IS a whole lot easier to say, “Yeah, Dan! You are just self-righteous and you’re using pretzel logic! So, you stink, man!” than it is to simply answer a reasonable question directly. But there’s a word for that: Ad hom attack, as opposed to reasoned and respectful response.

      And THAT is why, old or young, you all have lost the debate. You can’t engage in respectful conversation agreeably, and you can’t answer reasonable questions.

      Nonetheless, I love you in Christ, my dear brother, I just pray for a more respectful dialog in the future.

      Oh, as to this ad hom…

      I believe what the Bible actually says, you don’t seem to.

      Well, I don’t know it as well as I ought to, but I have been studying it for all 45 years of my reading life, and had it read to me my first 5 years, so I am at least a little aware of what it says. You should know that disagreeing with your opinions about the Bible is not the same as not believing what it says, right?

      In Christ,

      Dan

  5. […] Just this past week we met in Washington, D. C. to strategize about its promotion. While in town, I also attended the Marriage March, which went off with a bang. The diversity and youthfulness of the crowd encouraged me. It was a joy to represent CBMW during this momentous week and to connect with such like-minded DC friends and institutions as Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), the Manhattan Declaration, Heritage Foundation, the Institute for Religion & Democracy, and the Family Research Council. Mark Tooley of the IRD penned some gracious thoughts on these events here. […]

  6. gregpaley says:

    Alberto, you make excellent points, but the pro-gay side is incapable of grasping “Hate the sin, but love the sinner,” so the whole debate with that side is pointless. They don’t want us to accept them as creations of God, they want us to accept, approve, and even BLESS in church their lifestyle, and as Christians that is simply not an option. They’ve been very successful in their propaganda, won over the mainstream media and the entertainment world, also the colleges, so naturally they hate orthodox Christians as being the last obstacle in the way. They will continue to call us hateful, even though the real hate is clearly coming from their side, and the sad part is that in trying to deconstruct the Bible on the issue of their behaviors, they cast doubt on the Bible as a whole. Like the feminists (and in league with them), they use the “hermeneutic of suspicion,” seeing the Bible not as the inspired Word of God but as originating in evil heterosexual males’ conspiracy against everyone else. The person you responded to make the typical (and stupid) point: Christians “misunderstand” the verses that condemn homosexuality, or (his usual ploy) any interpretation he doesn’t like is “human” in origin, whereas the parts he agrees with are (maybe) divinely inspired. They are very dogmatic about their pet issues – gun control, feminism, “marriage equality,” etc – but then turn around and condemn us for being dogmatic on the Bible’s clear moral teachings.

    Do not expect sanity or charity from that side. They have the truth (so they claim) and are intolerant to the point of shrillness. Enjoy this opportunity to air your views, because the intolerance on college campuses today is a preview of what is in store for our whole culture. These people won’t be happy until it’s possible to do prison time for offending one of the protected victim groups. They want vengeance, and as we’ve already seen, they’ll gladly use the courts to get it.

    • paynehollow says:

      Greg…

      the pro-gay side is incapable of grasping “Hate the sin, but love the sinner,” so the whole debate with that side is pointless…

      They don’t want us to accept them as creations of God, they want us to accept, approve, and even BLESS in church their lifestyle…

      so naturally they hate orthodox Christians as being the last obstacle in the way…

      Do not expect sanity or charity from that side.

      …for starters. Each of these is an ad hom attack, and a deliberate misrepresentation of at least me and my tribe of believers. Of course, I/we understand the notion of hating the sin, loving the sinners. I am, after all, clearly expressing my love for each of you as dear family-members in Christ. I disagree with you, but I don’t hate you.

      And I am not asking you to “bless” anything you disagree with. I do expect that you show the respect and grace to accept me as a brother in Christ, even as I accept you as a brother in Christ. To be clear: Greg, I love you as my brother in Christ; our disagreement over this topic is not an indication (to me) that you are a fool, or are deliberately being hateful or anything other than we honestly disagree on this topic. And that’s okay, it happens.

      This IS an extension of grace, sanity and charity from “our side.” Will you not extend the same grace, sanity and charity to me and those on “our side…”? (And to be further clear, there really are no “sides,” we are one body, united in Christ’s love – we just disagree sometimes, sometimes strongly, not unlike the early church…)

      So, you can see that with each of these (and others of your claims), it is demonstrably not true. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I can assume you made an honest mistake out of ignorance (ie, you don’t really know me at all or my heart), but now that your mistake has been pointed out, isn’t the gracious, loving and Christian thing to do is to admit the mistake and have the decency to apologize for the multiple false statements, or at least clarify where we had a misunderstanding (ie, “I wasn’t speaking of you, Dan, but others I’ve met… clearly, these words do not apply to you and I’m sorry if I was misunderstood…” like that, you know, simple Christian grace and respect and human decency).

      But false witness and graceless attacks like this are an example of why you all lost this debate. Instead of answering reasonable questions that have been asked, you engage in ad hom attacks (as clearly demonstrated above) and dodge the reasonable question.

      I repeat, it comes down to this: You all are losing/have lost the “debate” because you can’t answer the reasonable question, “What is the objective ‘bad’ in two fellas/two gals engaging in a loving, committed, monogamous marriage relationship?”

      So, don’t be intellectually dishonest and misrepresent the situation, blaming it on some deviousness or evil on our part. At worst, we did a better job of answering questions in a manner that sounds rational and moral than you all did, which was my point. A point which you, Greg, seem to acknowledge, in your comment…

      They’ve been very successful in their propaganda, won over the mainstream media and the entertainment world, also the colleges

      Yes, we HAVE been successful in demonstrating how rational and moral our position is. You all have not. And you won’t until you change this approach to honest disagreement. Just a suggestion to prayerfully consider.

      In Christ,

      Dan

      • gregpaley says:

        The pro-gay side didn’t “win” the debate by being either rational or moral, for it is neither. They won because propaganda involves just the constant repetition of information, usually in catchy (and meaningless) phrases like “marriage equality”, spoken often enough that a very gullible public doesn’t even notice that the phrases are oxymorons. Don’t pat yourself on the back as being “rational” or “moral,” it’s all a matter of ceaseless repetition, in introducing gay characters in TV and movies that are never bad people (oh, please), in having high-profile (and no-talent) celebs like Ellen and Rosie. (And Anne Heche – whoops, guess we can’t cite her, can we?) Nothing rational there, just the bombardment – gays are all good, straights could be good or bad, straight who oppose “marriage equality” are REAL bad. As for “moral”? Too funny. The Hollywood elite, people who count their marriages in double digits and their sex partners in triple digits – THEM taking a “moral” stand? I’d say their endorsement is by itself a superb argument against “marriage equality.” Money and fame do not make you moral – generally, just the opposite. Judged by Christian moral standards, Hollywood is a cesspool. I do not accept the moral pronouncements of trash. I think a more rational response would be “Hollywood is for it? I’m against it!”

        So, no morality or rationality involved on your side, zip. No Christian means employed, just a lot of hate propaganda aimed at the evil Christians. Go gloat over your side using propaganda in a highly effective way – although there’s nothing particularly brilliant about it – I mean, repeat something endlessly and people (the stupid ones, anyway) will start to believe it. Since I belong to the “hate” group that is the villain part of the propaganda, I see the whole thing as a libel on a very large group of decent people living in an indecent world – and not just the world outside the church walls, since we have the spectacle of bishops and other “luminaries” forcing the immorality ON the church – because, after all, they know best, and they know the apostles would approve of trying to turn the church into Sodom. Christ did not die so that his church would be trashed by its own unworthy clergy.

        Btw, since you inevitably use the phrase “ad hom attacks” incorrectly in every post, go find out what it really means. Maybe your liberal phrasebook encouraged using the phrase but didn’t bother to tell how to employ it correctly.

        “Shame on me” – pre-emptively. But I’m not ashamed of sticking up for the truth. I have it on good authority that those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness will be blessed,” and even if the sleazebags in entertainment and academia win a few victories in this world, they don’t have the final say. I could not live with myself if I turned a deaf ear to God and let people like them guide my thinking.

      • paynehollow says:

        Greg…

        They won because propaganda involves just the constant repetition of information, usually in catchy (and meaningless) phrases like “marriage equality”, spoken often enough that a very gullible public doesn’t even notice

        So, most of the people are too stupid to agree with you, is that your point? Is that due to a huge arrogance and presumption of genius on your part or is that due to your low view of your fellow humans, as it relates to your genius?

        Greg…

        Don’t pat yourself on the back as being “rational” or “moral,” it’s all a matter of ceaseless repetition

        Man, you have some ego on you, dear brother. I’d pray for a bit more humility were I you.

        But here’s your chance to make your rational case in a moral manner (ie, without ad hom attacks, without belittling everyone who disagrees with you as being an imbecile, without dodging the actual question, without answering questions not asked…). And yes, I’m quite aware of what an ad hom attack is – an attack on the person, rather than the argument.

        Here’s the argument/question being posed:

        “HOW is having someone to be there with you in a special, uniquely bonded way – in a healthy, committed, loving marriage relationship – a bad thing?”

        That is the question you all have yet to answer (beyond saying, “I think God disapproves, so there, you have to take my word on it and stop being so stoopid!”). Here’s your chance to not engage in false witness (I’ve already demonstrated your false witness and yet you have arrogantly ignored those facts, instead of repenting. Shame, indeed).

        Come brother, let us reason together. What’s your direct answer to this simple question?

      • paynehollow says:

        Greg…

        in introducing gay characters in TV and movies that are never bad people

        Thousands of years of propaganda that gay people are evil not enough for you? One generation of a few positive gay role models can undo thousands of years of “your” propaganda… maybe the negative propaganda wasn’t effective because it rang so untrue and people could quickly recognize that?

        Greg…

        gays are all good, straights could be good or bad, straight who oppose “marriage equality” are REAL bad.

        Of course, all gay folk aren’t all good, any more than all straight folk are all good. But who has made that claim? I’ll wager ten bucks to your favorite charity that you can’t support that claim (ie, another false claim – thou shalt not bear false witness, repent).

        Greg…

        As for “moral”? Too funny. The Hollywood elite, people who count their marriages in double digits and their sex partners in triple digits – THEM taking a “moral” stand?

        Rather than taking swipes at some vague and undefined “hollywood” bogeymen, why not take on a real example. Me, for instance. Here I am, striving to engage in a reasonable and respectful conversation with you, asking a reasonable question.

        I’ve been a Christian since the age of ten, saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus, striving by that grace to walk in those glorious steps. I’ve been married to one woman for nearly 28 years now, my one and only. As is true for the majority of my church members, gay and straight.

        Are there “bad hollywood bogeymen?” Sure. Just like there are naughty conservative evangelicals and catholics (we don’t really want to go down that list, do we?) We’re all fallen human beings. That doesn’t undermine the logic or morality of our claim.

        And again, the claim:

        It is innately obvious that a couple – gay or straight – living a faithful, loving, committed, healthy marriage relationship is doing a good thing. It’s good for them, for the community, for society. Healthy families (gay or straight) living lives of love and responsibility (including not having multiple and/or casual sexual partners) is self-evidently good for us.

        That’s the claim. Rather than attacking unidentified and vague “hollywood elites,” or attacking me, just deal with the claim. Demonstrate that it’s false or admit that you can’t.

      • albertol1991 says:

        Dan,

        I would think that the question/s you seem to claim isn’t answered has been responded to in my previous posts. Let me get it clear here, your questions are “What is the objective ‘bad’ in two fellas/two gals engaging in a loving, committed, monogamous marriage relationship?” “HOW is having someone to be there with you in a special, uniquely bonded way – in a healthy, committed, loving marriage relationship – a bad thing?”

        I would respond by saying that it is objectively a bad thing to have two people of the same sex having sexual encounters. First, it is not healthy and it has been widely proven by medical research that there are more diseases coming out of the homosexual community. I hope if you would argue with this, you can bring up evidence for scrutiny.

        It’s morally wrong to be in a relationship with the person of the same sex because it denies the purpose as to why God created people of the opposite sex. If same sex relationships were good, why didn’t God just limit Himself by creation a man, or a female alone. It is because His plan are for two people of different sex groups to come together, it’s a common practice in all of God’s creation and why would we deny such truth.

        Same sex relationships aren’t in anyway special or unique, for it has been rejected by gospel over a long period of time and we seem not to get the source of what you claim to be morality and rationality supporting same sex relationships.

        You talk of the media and entertainment supporting the same sex relationships. I would openly tell you that they are misguided. The American society is running out of moral values slowly, even though we hardly accept it. The media proves everything to be right to justify positions of their sponsors as they exist for profit. Isn’t American military aggression in other countries justified by the media? And do you call that rational and moral?

        I would tell you that the same sex relationship issue is a non-issue. It has already been dealt with by the Bible. The question we should rather be talking of here is that of Biblical authority. The message we can get from people in support of same sex relationships is whether they take the Bible to be the inspired word of God or they reject it. And in which page do they start believing in the Bible, they seem to skip all pages and only note the so popular and taken out of context message of loving thy neighbor. We have extended grace and love to our fellows in the homosexual community but they have far more unclear and hidden intentions they seem not to make clear and we won’t fall into the trap.

        I haven’t noted your views that seem to oppose our position and belief, or at least bring scriptural reference to support your claim. We believe in the Bible being the inspired word of God that informs us on moral values. We shouldn’t deny that our society has become a society without sexual norms, and we seem to be disappointed that our fellows in the homosexual community don’t have a clear position on all issues. We even forget to tell the young ones that pre-marital sex is bad because we think anyone can have sex anyhow.

        I hope that you accept the grace and love we share with each other in Christ and that you appreciate our message which is clear on the need to come back to the Biblical principles and look for God’s face for our salvation.

        Alberto

      • paynehollow says:

        Alberto, thanks for trying to answer, truly. I appreciate it greatly. However, there are some problems. You say…

        First, it [marriage between gay or lesbian people] is not healthy and it has been widely proven by medical research that there are more diseases coming out of the homosexual community.

        Gay intimacy is NOT inherently unhealthy. Do you have any research to back this claim – that marriage between homosexuals is inherently unhealthy? Because I do not believe that research exists.

        Sex – gay or straight – practiced the wrong way can be unhealthy. The “more diseases coming out of the gay community” – to the extent that it is true – is true precisely because they are not married and enjoying their God-given sexuality in a proper place, one committed relationship. The diseases that comes from a promiscuous lifestyle (gay or straight) is an argument IN FAVOR of marriage (ie, healthy, loving, committed, monogamous marriage), not against it.

        Where am I mistaken? Be specific, please.

        Also, unless I’m mistaken, a lesbian couple, exclusively devoted to each other and faithfully monogamous, is the LEAST likely to get a disease. By that measure (ie, by the measure of “it is not healthy…”), the most moral answer is for us to only support lesbian marriage.

        Where am I mistaken? Be specific, please.

        Your second attempt at actually offering an argument appears to be…

        It’s morally wrong to be in a relationship with the person of the same sex because it denies the purpose as to why God created people of the opposite sex.

        That is a fine opinion for you to hold, but what are you basing it upon? Your hunches about what the Bible might be suggesting? You know, of course, that God has never one time ever said, “the purpose why I created people of the opposite sex is for getting married and they are the only ones who I want to be married…”? God has not told you that and that idea does not come from the Bible. It’s an opinion that some people extrapolate OUT of the Bible, but that idea is not in there.

        Where am I mistaken? Be specific, please.

      • paynehollow says:

        Alberto, you also said…

        The question we should rather be talking of here is that of Biblical authority. The message we can get from people in support of same sex relationships is whether they take the Bible to be the inspired word of God or they reject it.

        But we’re talking two believers, here: You and me. We both accept that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we don’t reject it. I disagree with your interpretation of a few verses as it relates to this topic and you disagree with my interpretation. But disagreeing about a Bible that we both hold in esteem is not the same as one of us rejecting it. Right?

        Alberto…

        We shouldn’t deny that our society has become a society without sexual norms, and we seem to be disappointed that our fellows in the homosexual community don’t have a clear position on all issues.

        ? Well, our society has a variety of sexual norms, some healthy and good, others less healthy and others still, outright bad/oppressive/unhealthy. This is true for straight folk and gay folk. But that has always been the case.

        I don’t see what that has to do with the question being asked, “On what basis would we say that marriage – which appears on the face of it to be a good moral and rational thing – to be bad, whether gay or straight…?”

        In Christ,

        Dan

      • albertol1991 says:

        Thanks Dan for your views. But what i can notice is an attempt to rejection of clear views that have been raised and which we continue to stand with in support of our position. If indeed we are relating in a Christian context where we both affirm the Bible , i am open to having Biblical texts that oppose my position, and which you have raised none and i don’t see the way Christianity moves a step ahead without drawing values from the holy text. If you can’t prove it with written texts in the Bible, then why do we even talk about it. If you can’t believe in what the Bible says and its definition of marriage then why do you believe in it. We need not to be selective in our understanding of the Bible but rather look at it and be inspired on our struggle to perfection.

        Jesus said for a man shall leave his father’s house and be united with his wife and the two will become on flesh. Is that not an indication about what marriage is? Are we not questioning God when we choose a category He hasn’t intended for us? Do we say God was wrong for creating people of the opposite sex? because we could still survive by ourselves without a husband or wife. Those are the aspects of morality and rationality. We can never value heterosexual and homosexual relationships in the same level lest we decide to go out of our humanity. Homosexual relationships don’t fit into the definition of marriage, and we need not to intentionally betray the gospel and our creator by engaging in things that don’t value and give him respect.

        I seem to have tackled your question unless you choose to reject it without any arguments to justify your claims and will appreciate if you can bring forth texts from the Holy scripture that makes you as a Christian believe that same sex relationships is God’s will for humanity.

      • paynehollow says:

        Alberto…

        But what i can notice is an attempt to rejection of clear views that have been raised and which we continue to stand with in support of our position.

        If you’re saying that I disagree with your opinions on some biblical texts, yes, I am. Just as you disagree with mine.

        Alberto…

        If indeed we are relating in a Christian context where we both affirm the Bible , i am open to having Biblical texts that oppose my position, and which you have raised none

        Well, that’s not the point of this post and I don’t want to stray off topic. I’ve discussed my biblical and rational reasoning on my own blog in the past, if you’d like to visit that sometime, I could point that out to you. Feel free to email me if you’re interested.

        Alberto…

        If you can’t prove it with written texts in the Bible, then why do we even talk about it.

        Because the Bible is not All Knowledge. The Bible does not make a claim that we can find ALL knowledge in its pages and there is no need to look anywhere else. God hasn’t told us that and reason dictates that such a conclusion would be ill-advised. Are you suggesting we ought to ONLY seek knowledge ONLY through the Bible? That doesn’t seem rational, I’m sure that’s not what you’re suggesting.

        We study a wide range of sources and meditate and contemplate and use our God-given reasoning because, what else should we do?

        Alberto…

        If you can’t believe in what the Bible says and its definition of marriage then why do you believe in it.

        I believe the Bible because I believe it to be the inspired Word of God. But, because I believe the Bible and take it seriously, I’m well aware that the Bible never once offers a “definition of marriage.” It hasn’t happened.

        You see, the problem I think some of us have (left, right and all around), is the tendency to take OUR interpretation and make it equal to God’s Word. Thus, if I think the Bible “defines” marriage, then to disagree with that opinion is not disagreeing with me, but disagreeing with God. But that is not a good, rational or humble way to approach Bible study and, in fact, comes close to blasphemy – making our opinions equal to God’s Word.

        Can we agree that this is important not to do?

        Alberto…

        Jesus said for a man shall leave his father’s house and be united with his wife and the two will become on flesh. Is that not an indication about what marriage is?

        When asked about divorce (which, in the time, was often a great injustice to women and children), Jesus said the purpose of marriage was to stay together, not simply divorce a wife because she displeased you. This is what Jesus was saying in that passage. What he DIDN’T say is, “This is the definition of marriage: One Man + One Woman. Nothing else…” That is not what the text says. If we go BEYOND the text and claim that Jesus said something that Jesus did NOT say, then we are adding our own words to the Bible, something that is specifically warned against.

        Agreed?

    • killyhawk says:

      “Gay intimacy is NOT inherently unhealthy”? Ummm, according to the Center for Disease Control (pretty authoritative), it is. Man takes another man’s bodily fluid into his own body – BIG risk. Male and female? Maybe an infection that a couple of doses of penicillin or keflex can knock out in less than a week. In other words, the viruses didn’t get the “equality” memo. They seem to be sort of selective. It is not right to encourage (or bless) any behavior that is the primary cause of a global plague. I’m not for criminalizing gay sex, just getting the facts out there, which apparently upsets these people foisting their rosy Ozzie and Harriet view of gay couples on a gullible public, the “noble lie.” Letting these people marry isn’t going to change their sexual habits, that is just too absurd. I had some surgery a few years ago, they said I might require some blood, so had to have them draw a couple of pints of my own, just on the possibility that somehow some HIV-infected blood would get past the screeners and infect some innocent person. Isn’t it sad that so much of the medical community’s time and money is devoted to this completely preventable plague? And think of what all us of pay, through our insurance premiums, to support people who can live 20 or 30 years on their daily cocktails of expensive drugs. All of us pay a price for the misbehavior of others, and our dunce politicians run around screaming about the sugar in soda – talk about straining out the gnat and swallowing the camel.

      • paynehollow says:

        Killy…

        Man takes another man’s bodily fluid into his own body – BIG risk.

        So, by that measure, lesbian sex is perfectly fine and healthy? And gay guys who practice safe sex are also perfectly fine and healthy?

        Not every gay encounter involves taking male bodily fluid in another male’s body, right?

        My point stands, right? If not, specifically where am I mistaken?

        By the way, your research you cite, are you saying that it’s saying that ALL male bodily fluid taken into a body is unhealthy – male or female? If so, then isn’t that an argument against any unprotected sex, gay or straight?

      • paynehollow says:

        Killy…

        It is not right to encourage (or bless) any behavior that is the primary cause of a global plague.

        It is not right to make false claims. Sex – gay or straight – is not the primary cause of a global plague. Promiscuity and unhealthy sex has led to bad STDs, but this is an argument in FAVOR of encouraging marriage relationships.

        Right?

        If not, then where specifically am I mistaken.

        This is a good try, Killy, to actually answer this obvious question, but you’re not reaching a logical conclusion. Try again? Or admit the mistake you’ve made, at least?

  7. […] While in town, I also attended the Marriage March, which went off with a bang. The diversity and youthfulness of the crowd was deeply encouraging. It was a joy to represent CBMW during this momentous week and to connect with such like-minded DC friends and institutions as Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), the Manhattan Declaration, Heritage Foundation, the Institute for Religion & Democracy, and the Family Research Council. Mark Tooley of the IRD penned some gracious thoughts on these events here. […]

  8. […] This article first appeared on the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s blog and is used with permission. […]

  9. Funny that someone else’s “opinion” is always wrong but yours never is. Some might call that “self-serving.”

    These anecdotes about “loving couples” prove nothing at all. You might as well refer to Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker as a loving couple – they were. Which proves what? That we should approve of bank robbers because they can form loving couples? Vladimir Lenin was faithful to his wife, and wasn’t he an admirable character? You think because people cook meals for each other that they ought to be able to marry?? My mom cooked for me when I was a kid, and when she had pneumonia 2 years ago, I cooked for her. So we cooked for each other… Not much of a basis for marriage there, though, thank goodness.

    It is not “abundantly and clearly obviously noble and good.” It is also not even remotely clear it is “loving.” There’s way too many stories about these “open” relationships to ignore. If Bob “loves” Ken, why are they engaging in casual sex with other men? You can call that “loving” all you want, I certainly wouldn’t tolerate that promiscuity in my own marriage, and no wife or husband should. People who genuinely love each other don’t act that way, that is the behavior of animals, not human beings made in God’s image. It’s obvious these people want the term “marriage” so as to make a thoroughly disreputable setup look respectable. Maybe over time some of them become best friends and help each other in a crisis, plus sharing expenses. I believe that’s a situation called “roommates,” not “marriage.” When a “married” guy is bringing strangers home for sexual hookups while his “spouse” is playing computer games in the next room, then I would say they are just plain trash. If the “spouse” says “It’s OK, it doesn’t bother me,” then the only response is, “Well then you don’t have much LOVE in this house, do you?”

    • paynehollow says:

      Alex…

      If Bob “loves” Ken, why are they engaging in casual sex with other men? You can call that “loving” all you want

      Rather than arguing points I have not made, why not address my actual points, Alex? And answer my actual questions?

      My question is NOT about swingers (couples engaging in licentious sex with multiple partners), it’s specifically about a loving, committed, faithful marriage relationship. What specifically is wrong with that?

      If you’re saying “The problem with ‘the gays’ is that they’re promiscuous…” even if it were true, then that’s an argument IN FAVOR of encouraging marriage, not against it.

      So, be specific: What specifically is bad about a loving, committed marriage relationship, gay or straight?

      You can call that “loving” all you want

      This is, of course, a false representation. I never called promiscuous sex with multiple partners “loving.” Tell you what, though: Find the place where I called promiscuous sex “loving” and I will donate $1000 to the GOP or the church of your choice.

      On the other hand, if you just made an obvious misrepresentation of my points, then wouldn’t the appropriate thing be to apologize for the mistake?

    • paynehollow says:

      Alex…

      Funny that someone else’s “opinion” is always wrong but yours never is. Some might call that “self-serving.”

      This seems odd, is it directed towards me? Because I certainly never have said that my “opinion” is never wrong. Clearly, it is and has been. After all, I used to agree with you all on this topic and now believe I was wrong.

      It’s part of the human condition and I’m certainly human and I certainly err in my opinions. Some might call this false suggestion a “false witness,” but I’m sure it was a simple mistake on your part. No harm, no foul, just strange how you read something that I never said into what I did say.

      I hope you’ll take the time to address your demonstrably false statements, Alex. It’s making snipe-y, snarky comments that are clearly false and then not being adult enough to admit the mistake that’s part of why you all have lost this debate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *