Persuasive arguments against legal Homosexual "marriage"

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Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
Somewhat of a theological topic but also somewhat general. The theological portion concerns: (1) When precisely are we allowed to make an appeal to Scripture in arguing for civil law, and especially with unbelievers? E.g., must we argue from natural law first, then if that is ignored, appeal to Scripture?; may we start with Scripture first, immediately?; should we only appeal to Scripture in a national situation in which the land is mostly made up of Christians, or may we appeal to Scripture in other national situations as well (I suppose the state of the Western world would be: largely made up of unbelievers, but emerging from a Christianity that was past; I suppose it could also be described as "rebellious disciples", thinking in line of the "discipling of nations"), and if so, when?

The more general portion concerns: (2) What are the most persuasive rational arguments against legalizing homosexual "marriage"? It might be a good idea, at least for myself anyway, to brush up on this (I do live on a university campus that has a large homosexual population; and many of the professing Christians I know both here and elsewhere are for it, though some may think personally that it is a sin; some arguing that we cannot enforce Christian morality on unbelievers, others that we cannot do so in the civil sphere), but also (since I know that I myself am not always the most persuasive of arguers) to get some ideas of how to communicate better concerning this issue. I suppose this last topic can be applied to unbelievers, but there are many professing Christians out there who will support such a thing too, to whom such arguments may be useful with.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
What are the most persuasive rational arguments against legalizing homosexual "marriage"?

From a natural viewpoint, it is a contradiction in terms, since marriage by definition is between two different things. Homosexual union falls under a "merger," not a marriage. From a medical viewpoint, it is contrary to human biology and productivity. From a social viewpoint, it is detrimental to the family as the basic social unit of society, and detrimental to society's ability to propagate. From a moral point of view, it shifts the markers of human character for testing integrity and honour. From a psychological point of view it is damaging to individual identity since identity includes sexuality and union. From a biblical point of view, the moral law forever binds all, unregenerate and regenerate persons, and the moral law condemns homosexuality. Any attempt to weaken the force of the moral law weakens the fabric of the Christian message which addresses humankind as sinners.
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
Thanks! If you don't mind, perhaps I can offer an objection or two that would almost certainly come from those in support of this position? I don't want to be too much of a constraint on your time though, so anyone feel free to answer! (Indeed, if I can think of an answer, I'll try to respond to myself too)

From the natural view, most would be fine with re-defining terms. Or at least would mention that the body isn't what matters but the soul and personality; and those inward things are what is different. Besides, if two people love each other, they should be allowed a legal union. From a medical view, some would say that it is not contrary to human biology and productivity, since who are we to say that one thing is more natural than another? (It seems to me, that when I hear this objection, that such see human biology as "arbitrary" in some manner; and they will back this with "science", stating that humans are just another animal, and we see animal behavior in this vein, so it is not necessarily contrary to biology; again, to me, it appears the substance of such an objection is a view of biology as "arbitrary") But further, biology actually teaches us that men and women aren't all that biologically different; most of the differences can be accounted for based on cultural conditioning.

From a social view, there are plenty of kids who have been raised by such "families" who have turned out alright; and the loss of the ability to propagate could just be evolution's next step in keeping us from over population growth. From a psychological view, the individual identity consists in sexuality and union, but surely that is why those who are sexually oriented towards one another should be allowed a legal union (I should note here: that such objectors will not polarize orientation like that: they view sexual orientation as a "spectrum" rather than a definite "this" or "that"). From a biblical view, the moral law may forever abide and such may be a sin, but we shouldn't enforce moral law--because it is moral--in the civil sphere, especially considering all the unbelievers in this nation. (I think I can answer some of the more common objections against homosexuality being sinful)


Ugh. Some of these objections seem so dark, but those are some of the things that tend to be offered, as I've observed typical arguments.
 

Paul1976

Puritan Board Freshman
I see this issue a bit differently. I agree with all of the arguments Rev. Winzer made. However, I suspect he would agree with me that non-Christians seldom find them persuasive. Personally, I find the most enlightening text to be the 2nd half of Romans 1. There is a clear pattern:

1) All men have at least a basic knowledge of some attributes of God (His eternal power and divine nature).
2) Unregenerated men suppress this truth, turning to futile thinking, failing to retain the knowledge of God, turning to false idols, exc. This is the primary sin that the wrath of God is being revealed against.
3) Because of #2, God turns them over to all kinds of wickedness, which includes a very explicit description of homosexual acts, but many other forms of wickedness as well.

In other words, the judgment of God doesn't fall on us because of the sins (including homosexual ones) described in the chapter, those sins ARE the judgment of God for rejecting the knowledge of Him. This is not to say that those sins will not lead to further negative consequences, but they are secondary to rejecting God. It took me years to see this structure in that section, but it is quite clear. Please read it carefully before rejecting my argument.

So, I see sins, including homosexual ones, as secondary compared to the sin of rejecting God. If we make our stand against these secondary sins, we are at best treating a symptom rather than the disease. We may, in a sense, be fighting against the judgment God has decreed. I do not believe much will be done for the kingdom in the long run if we succeed in getting, say, a sensible definition of marriage into the U.S. constitution, although I do believe this would be a good thing. However, a much better thing would be praying for and directing our energies towards evangelism and spreading the knowledge of God.

We can argue until we're blue in the face over this issue with unbelievers. Even in the unlikely event we're successful, we will accomplish little of real importance. I don't mean to say that we accept the sin - I just want to be focusing on the cause (rejection of God) and not the symptom.


Paul
 

Tyrese

Puritan Board Sophomore
Mark 10:6-9, "But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.'
'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh.
What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." At the end of the day God sets the standard for what marriage is to be. It doesn't matter what anyone else has to say.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Or at least would mention that the body isn't what matters but the soul and personality; and those inward things are what is different.

From my exposure to the issue it is usually the materialist who denies a distinct soul who is keen to redefine terms. The problem with the redefinition is that it does not merely open marriage to another group of people but annihilates marriage itself. It is such a universalising of terms as removes all particularity and therefore destroys the privileges of marriage. E.g., one of the privileges of marriage is that the child born to the mother belongs also to the father. In male homosexuality neither men can have children and in female homosexuality both women presumably could have children but only by going outside of the so-called bond of marriage. It is evident there is no marriage here at all, but merely a merger of interested parties.

From a medical view, some would say that it is not contrary to human biology and productivity, since who are we to say that one thing is more natural than another?

One would have to be entirely ignorant of human biology and the reproductive system to say such. Even evolutionary ethics recognises that what has evolved is a necessity of nature and should not be openly violated.

But further, biology actually teaches us that men and women aren't all that biologically different; most of the differences can be accounted for based on cultural conditioning.

Every being seeks its own perfection. There is no perfection in mating with the same kind but merely a fusing of the same qualities. And reproduction can never be reduced to cultural conditioning. There is a psychological need to reproduce. Otherwise our sexual organs serve no other purpose than pleasure; which no materialist would accept.

From a social view, there are plenty of kids who have been raised by such "families" who have turned out alright; and the loss of the ability to propagate could just be evolution's next step in keeping us from over population growth.

"Alright" in that instance is a term of normality which begs the question as to what is normal. And evolution cannot be blamed for human interposition on the natural order.

but surely that is why those who are sexually oriented towards one another should be allowed a legal union

We have already established that no legal privileges belonging to marriage will actually follow such a union. As for sexual orientation, there isn't any. We have established it is a perversion of the natural order. So psychologically there are all sorts of identity issues which arise. Even if society fully accepts it, the union is always going to be out of the ordinary so far as the natural order is concerned.
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
People raised without one committed father and one committed mother do not turn out "all right," by any generally accepted socioeconomic definition.

"Two studies released Sunday may act like brakes on popular social-science assertions that gay parents are the same as — or maybe better than — married, mother-father parents.

“The empirical claim that no notable differences exist must go,” Mark Regnerus, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said in his study in Social Science Research.

Using a new, “gold standard” data set of nearly 3,000 randomly selected American young adults, Mr. Regnerus looked at their lives on 40 measures of social, emotional and relationship outcomes.

He found that, when compared with adults raised in married, mother-father families, adults raised by lesbian mothers had negative outcomes in 24 of 40 categories, while adults raised by gay fathers had negative outcomes in 19 categories.

Findings such as these do not support claims that there are “no differences” between gay parenting and heterosexual, married parents, said Mr. Regnerus, who helped develop the New Family Structures Study at the university.

Instead, “children appear most apt to succeed well as adults when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father, and especially when the parents remain married to the present day,” he wrote.

Mr. Regnerus‘ study of 2,988 persons ages 18 to 39 — including 175 adults raised by lesbian mothers and 73 adults raised by gay fathers — marks the first research from the new dataset, which initially included some 15,000 persons.

The second study, also in Social Science Research, takes a critical look at the basis of an oft-cited American Psychological Association (APA) report on gay parenting.
The APA brief says, “Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents,” said Loren Marks, associate professor at the School of Human Ecology at Louisiana State University.

However, after looking at the 59 studies that undergird this assertion, “the jury is still out,” Mr. Marks said. “The lack of high-quality data leaves the most significant questions [about gay parenting] unaddressed and unanswered.”

Problems with the APA-cited studies were their tiny size; dependence on wealthy, white, well-educated lesbian mothers; and a failure to examine common outcomes for children, such as their education, employment and risks for poverty, criminality, early childbearing, substance abuse and suicide. Instead, the APA studies often looked at children’s gender-role behaviors, emotional functioning and sexual identity."

Source: Study: Children fare better in traditional mom-dad families - Washington Times

Cause of Death: No Father

Most children born to American women under thirty are now born out of wedlock, even though studies show that their children are more likely to experience poverty and other negative consequences as a result. Studies also indicate that children raised in non-traditional homes are more likely to commit crimes and suffer abuse than children raised in traditional homes. A series of incidents over the last few weeks illustrate this sad fact, and suggest that such children may also be more vulnerable to violence outside the home.

On Feb. 8, 18-year-old Alyssa Bustamante was sentenced to life in prison for the 2009 murder of her neighbor Elizabeth Olten, aged nine. Olten's mother, Patty Preiss, called Bustamante "an evil monster," and her crime was monstrous. Yet the teenage murderer is herself a victim. Bustamente was abandoned by both of her parents, and she was raised by her grandmother. She attempted suicide two years before killing Olten.

Bustamante's victim, Elizabeth Olten, also grew up in a non-traditional home: her parents were not married, and her father was in prison when she was murdered. Was the fact that Olten's father was not present a factor in Bustamante selecting her as her victim?

On Feb. 17, nine-year-old Savanna Hardin allegedly was forced by her grandmother and stepmother to run for hours until she collapsed and died. Her father, Robert Hardin, worked outside the country while his second wife and his mother raised his daughter. Would Savanna Hardin be dead if her father had been present? The most recent National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect reports that children living with two married biological parents are at the lowest risk of suffering abuse, eight times less likely than children living with one parent and an unmarried partner. (The perpetrator is typically the person who is not related to the victim and not the biological parent, as some have mistakenly supposed.)

On Feb. 22, eight-year-old Amina Kocer-Bowman was accidentally shot after a boy in her class brought a gun to school. The boy's parents were not married, and he was raised by his grandmother until her death last year, when his uncle assumed custody. Would Kocer-Bowman be struggling for her life if this boy had grown up in a stable, two-parent home?

On Feb. 24, eleven-year-old Joanna Ramos died after a fight (allegedly over a boy) with a classmate at her elementary school. Ramos was raised by her mother and stepfather, and her father, Israel Ramos, lives in Mexico. Would this girl be dead if she had known the love of her own present father?

The list goes on. On Feb. 26, seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin, who lived with his mother, Sybrina Fulton, was shot to death while visiting his father and his father's girlfriend in Sanford, Florida. On Feb. 27, T.J. Lane, an Ohio high school student, allegedly shot five other students, killing three. Lane's parents never married, and he had lived with his grandparents since 2009. On March 1, seventeen-year-old Chris Wormely was stabbed to death by a classmate at a therapeutic day school in Chicago. The victim was raised by his mother, Charmayne Price, and there is no indication that he had a father in his life. On March 11, police found the body of fifteen-year-old Anne Grace Kasprzak, who was allegedly murdered by an older man when she refused to have sex with him. Kasprzak was adopted out of foster care, and her adoptive parents later divorced. On March 16, fifteen-year-old Sierra LaMar disappeared on her way to school in Morgan Hills, California, five months after moving there following her parents' divorce. Would these tragedies have occurred if Martin, Lane, Wormely, Kasprzak, and LaMar had lived with their fathers in traditional, two-parent homes?

Nor is the vulnerability of children from broken homes limited to the United States. On March 4, Mario Albanese shot to death his ex-wife and her daughter from a previous marriage in northern Italy. On March 14, Terry-Lynne McClintic testified against her ex-boyfriend as he stood trial in Ontario, Canada for the 2009 rape and murder of nine-year-old Victoria "Tori" Stafford. The victim's mother, Tara McDonald, previously testified that she and her boyfriend had twice bought drugs from McClintic. Would these children be dead if they had lived in intact homes?

Many children who grow up in non-traditional homes will not suffer violence, and children who grow up in non-traditional homes are not the only ones who commit violent crimes. Yet non-traditional home life increases the likelihood that children will suffer and inflict crimes like these, and a caring society must do everything it can to restrain and protect them.

It is unlikely, though, that society will ever be able to replace the essential role of men as fathers who protect, love, and discipline their children. Our only hope lies in returning to the norm of intact, traditional homes, and that will happen only when we begin to notice how many apparently random crimes can be traced back to the family structure of the suffering children who perpetrate them.

Michael Iachetta teaches American Government at Richland College.

Read more: Articles: Cause of Death: No Father
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I have many more articles like this saved but I don't know that much more needs to be said.

It is NOT GOOD for children to be raised without their mother and father. Sometimes, a parent dies, or abandons, or gets sinfully divorced, and the remaining family and society at large tries to step into the gap and compensate. We do our best. But to deliberately set up a system of serious failure for the rearing of our children is a sinful and wicked thing to do.
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
Paul1976 said:
So, I see sins, including homosexual ones, as secondary compared to the sin of rejecting God. If we make our stand against these secondary sins, we are at best treating a symptom rather than the disease. We may, in a sense, be fighting against the judgment God has decreed. I do not believe much will be done for the kingdom in the long run if we succeed in getting, say, a sensible definition of marriage into the U.S. constitution, although I do believe this would be a good thing. However, a much better thing would be praying for and directing our energies towards evangelism and spreading the knowledge of God.
It seems to me that the main part of your post deals with the problem of the place (if it has any) of rational argumentation for the Christian. I am well aware of the root issue and certainly (from a human standpoint) don't see much in the way of success, but I am convinced there is a place for rational argumentation. If such argumentation involved happens to be one of the links in the chain of God drawing out the elect, or in testifying against others for their wickedness, or even--should persecution arise--keep some of the persecutors from being as harsh as they might be, I think something of real importance has been accomplished. However, these things should probably best be saved for another thread, since I'd like to keep this one focused.


Thank you again, Mr. Winzer! Those are quite deep thoughts, and I'll probably need to think about them for a while, if indeed I can think of an objection from the other side.
 

R Harris

Puritan Board Sophomore
Honestly, any secular argument against homosexual marriage can easily be countered. The pro-creation argument, the argument that children have problems being raised by homosexual parents, etc., have all been readily answered by the homosexual community. Perhaps not to our liking, but the problem is that there is no absolute objective standard you can take refuge in to counter the homosexual arguments. Such is always the case with moral relativism and when no transcendant authority can be appealed to.

The main thing they are after are the monetary benefits that are provided with the marriage covenant in society - tax laws, insurance policies, employer benefits, government benefits.

Once society delegates God and His Word to a place of complete irrelevancy - as has been done pretty much worldwide - the arguments being brought before the SCOTUS are the natural consequence. Secular arguments against homosexual marriage for the most part ring hollow and are easily countered.

The US - along with the rest of the world - is now ripe for more severe judgments from the Lord, for as Johannes Vos once said in 1980 shortly before his death, "His terrible judgment hangs over any nation which treats Him as a private, irrelevant matter."
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
Thank you, Miss Marple!

And to answer my own "objection" concerning the biblical point of view, it appears that question is inextricably tied up with (1) and the question of how God's law applies to the state. Hence, it will probably be answered along the same lines.
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
Here's a question: What precisely do we mean when we say, "Against nature" in this context? Against....the Creation order? I would certainly think so, but if we're operating in the sphere of natural reason, then is it fair to call it the Creation order? Against...how things naturally work? But then I'd think the observation of animal behavior that some will point to might be justified. So what precisely do we mean by "against nature"?


Also, does anyone have any recommended reading on human identity from either a theological or philosophical perspective, especially something that covers aspects of the topic that are relevant for this subject?
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
I think "against nature" is a biological reference, i.e., the body was created to work in one way, not the other. Certain body parts are not part of the reproductive system.

I also think "against" nature has a, how would I put it, anthropological reference, as another has suggested, there are sins that are just exaggerations of what is ok (like eating too much instead of just enough), as opposed to sins that are quark leaps out of "normalcy" (like eating other people).
 

Afterthought

Puritan Board Senior
Thanks for the thoughts, Miss Marple.

Incidentally, it seems the above arguments would also work against legal "civil unions" (though it seems to me, that's merely a distinction without a difference anyway, given what the "union" is for; but I could be wrong.).
 
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