Our nation is in the midst of a hysteria every bit as emotionally charged as the “Red Scare” of the 1950’s. I wasn’t around for the first “Scare,” but I have been an eyewitness to the latter. I speak of the “Marriage Equality Movement.” In any discussion of the sort it’s obligatory to begin with the traditional disclaimer: I am not now nor have I ever been a “hater” or a “homophobe.” I make this assertion with the sad realization that for those within the movement, my oath will neither be accepted as honest nor will it be enough to inoculate me against such verbal attacks or other retaliation. How can it? A personal statement cannot be proven or disproven at face value. I have found that those who support the gay marriage agenda are usually so emotionally invested that it is impossible to have a calm, rational discussion. They immediately either pull out the “persecution card” or the “hate card.” This frustrates me, because I would really like to honestly discuss the issue.
Full disclaimer here: because of my strong personal religious beliefs based upon the Bible, I believe marriage should be “one man, one woman, for one lifetime.” This is the way I voted in North Carolina’s recent Amendment One proposal supporting traditional marriage and it is the answer I give whenever I am asked. However I have been to several weddings that were second marriages. I have been to weddings where the bride and groom were “unequally yoked” due to religious or cultural factors. I have been to weddings where I didn’t feel the marriage would last until the ink dried on the certificate. And I have attended weddings I thought would last a lifetime but didn’t. I have also promised gay acquaintances that I would attend their theoretical future nuptials.
Religious beliefs are what ultimately guide our daily actions and attitudes. I do not hold myself up as a great example, falling so short as I do in my daily walk, but I will not violate my conscience in order to be politically correct. As Martin Luther once proclaimed, “Here I stand. I can do no other.” But I because I know the supporters of gay marriage are not going to accept my religious views, I do not even use this argument in general discussions.
It would be much easier and safer to just go ahead and go along with the whole “Marriage Equality Movement.” At times I have wished I could support it because it is not enough to just “live and let live.” Our personal seal of approval is demanded. It is at those times that two questions have always held me back.
The first question is: What is marriage?
I have never heard anyone who could provide a definition of marriage that wasn’t exclusive and “discriminatory.” A legal definition must by its own nature define limited parameters. Due to our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage, it is impossible for even supporters of gay marriage to define marriage apart from this idea. That is why their definition will always begin with the word “two.” This simple question traps gay marriage proponents in their own argument. By their own definition they have outed themselves as “haters” and “polygaphobes.”Is it wise, or even humanly possible, to vote on changing the definition of a word that they themselves cannot define differently and which precedes the society itself?
The second question is: What other forms of marriage are valid?
Is “marriage equality” the end all, be all, final frontier? I refuse to be drawn into the
“man and dog matrimony” distraction on this point. There are many forms of marriage from polygamy, to child marriage, to marriage between close relations that are legal around the world but are not sanctioned in the United States. I have never found any supporter of gay marriage that will also openly support these other arrangements. But whether or not they are supported by proponents of gay marriage, once that door is cracked open, will the other groups not attempt to gain entry? How will these unanticipated consequences further affect our society?
These are two legitimate questions and they deserve a serious answer.