Currently America is locked in turmoil regarding “gay marriage,” thanks in part to the president’s recent “evolutionary” approval of same-sex nuptials. In contrast, consider the perpetual success of state anti-homosexual marriage initiatives over the last decade. Given the depth of disagreement, there is not much deep analysis. So is there any enlightened opposition to the idea of Adam and Steve? In this essay are offered both religious and secular reasons for opposing gay marriage. Yet, the principled reader must make up his or her own mind as to the merits of this issue.
Starting with the most obvious argument, the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments expressly prohibits homosexual activity without exception. An important detail must also be noted. Homosexuality is referred to an activity rather than a fixed identity, as commonly presented today. The following verses are self-explanatory.
Old Testament—Leviticus 18:22 (KJV)
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
New Testament—Romans 1:26-27 (KJV)
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Christ grounds his analysis of marriage in Adam and Eve’s hetero relationship. See Matthew 19: 4-5
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Jesus describes His relationship between Himself and the Church as akin to a man’s relationship between he and his female wife. See Ephesians 5 (KJV)
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
One cannot ignore the negative prohibitions against those who defy the only model for sexual activity sanctioned by the Bible – Heterosexual, monogamous marriage. In fact, Jesus himself not only embraced the biblical model of Adam and Eve in the Garden, but even refused to sanction divorce except in the most dire circumstances.
Hebrews 13:4 (NKJV)
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
Ephesians 5: 5-6 (NKJV)
No fornicator (a person engaged in sexual activity outside biblical marriage), unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Natural Law is the “law above the law,” a biblical application of God’s law into man’s world, according to Edward S. Corwin in The “Higher Law” Background of American Constitutional Law. One of the most powerful arguments against “gay marriage,” whether secular or religious, comes from Natural Law. Classical Natural law is composed of a few chief elements.
First, the ideas of enlightened pagans, such as Aristotle, Plato and Cicero. Second, important church fathers as Augustine. Third, essential philosophers such as Aquinas and Locke. One must also add logic and common sense. Finally, the Bible is the code book from which all the other elements must agree.
It may go without saying that a “gay marriage” is a non sequiter under the Natural Law. This is notable as Natural Law is the most ambitious and successful theory of jurisprudence ever proposed. The Founders used Natural Law for their commitment to a government based on rule of law, constitutionalism, and a Natural Rights theory.
And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous…And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly!...Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain…
Further, Derrick Sherwin Bailey‘s famous defense of homosexual behavior in claiming Sodom’s sin was inhospitality, is wholly unsatisfying given the above words. Moreover, to raise children in an unabashedly gay household means to deny to them the truth of the God of the Bible every bit as much as never mentioning His name.
The fact is that very little is known about the potential side-effects of children being raised by a single gender within a homosexual union. But, we do know of other details which should give a profound sense of hesitation before committing our entire society in this direction. First, the overall statistics on children raised without fathers are astoundingly bad. For example, consider a few statistics from Fatherless Generation:
Now, one can assume that a female playing the male role in a lesbian relationship would erase this problem, if such a dynamic exists. But frankly, why would a female attempting to act masculine take the place of a real man? This assumes that the problem with being fatherless is due entirely to there being only half a couple responsible for the children. It also assumes men and women are utterly interchangeable. And yet we know for a fact that men and women, even when undertaking the same tasks, are still radically different (see here).
It also assumes that male and female homosexual couples model male and female behavior effectively, which is crucial since young children learn much by mimicking. In fact, many experts are concerned that gay parenting will be brought in with anodyne claims of its harmlessness, and only after it becomes an institution, will we be told it is harmful but its too late to call it off. But what could possibly be done after it is legally and culturally established as a norm if it is found deleterious? For instance, in dealing with cases which came before a court, one author wrote:
A systematic analysis of appeals court cases or cases cited in those appeals cases regarding custody of children in which a homosexual parent was involved. Here, 82% of the homosexual vs 18% of the heterosexual parents and 54% of the homosexual’s associates vs 19% of the heterosexuals’ associates were recorded as having poor character in cases involving a homosexual claimant.
Perhaps the most devastating argument against formalizing homosexual marriage is the argument from design. It is a simple fact that two men, or two women, have only half the necessary apparatus to consummate a marriage; only half of what it takes to naturally produce offspring. So every single gay marriage with offspring contains children of only one of the partners. This likely will produce confusion, anger, and even rebellion in many of these homes.
Further, to state the obvious, there must be a great temptation to seek children to meet one’s own needs, including proof that the couple is “normal.” It’s easy to claim “gay marriage” will not change traditional marriage. Yet, one must immediately jettison the element that a typical marriage can naturally produce offspring as part of the essential definition. So marriage is then essentially defined as about the participant’s needs, and not fundamentally the children’s.
Contra writers like John Boswell in Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe, most scholars agree no credible institution of homosexual marriage is found in Western history. Further, and despite the fact that some aspects of homosexuality were normative in ancient cultures such as Greece and Rome, neither was gay marriage found anywhere in the ancient world.
Yet, we know that procreation was considered a primary purpose for marriage in the classical and biblical world. In fact, in bot ancient Greece and Rome, fines were levied against men who did not procreate. In the present age, many claim the earth is over-populated, so it’s assumed most persons will find childlessness a blessing. And yet, our ancient forebears universally saw progeny as a blessing, and childlessness a curse, even if they disagreed at times on the treatment of handicapped newborns.
One common argument defending gay marriage is to claim marriage was originally a secular contract bastardized over time by the church, yet only properly understood as non-religious. This argument could not be further from the truth. For example, marriage in the ancient pagan kingdom of Rome was highly religious. Further, removing the religious nature of a Roman marriage destroyed the entire undertaking, according to Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges, in his unparallelled masterpiece The Ancient City. Coulanges writes,
Thus, when we penetrate the thoughts of these ancient men, we see of how great importance to them was the conjugal union, and how necessary to it was the intervention of religion. Was it not quite necessary that the young girl should be initiated into the religion that she was henceforth to follow by some sacred ceremony? Was not a sort of ordination or adoption necessary for her to become a priestess of this sacred fire, to which she was not attached by birth? Marriage was this sacred ceremony, which was to produce these important effect The Greek and Roman writers habitually designate marriage by a word indicative of religious act.
Ironically, it is the Muslim notion of marriage, utterly opposed to Western practice, which treats marriage as a wholly secular contract, according to Joseph Schacht in An Introduction to Islamic Muslim Law. Certainly this developed to simplify the routine Islamic approach to polygamous marriage and frequent divorce. It would seem that a normal marriage is seen as essentially religious in the human experience (see John Witte’s, From Sacrament to Contract).
Does God judge the actions of people and their societies that are radically outside his revealed rules? How could he not and retain any integrity? It is clear that America ratifying gay marriage will be an enormous change to families. Further, if 80% of Americans are Christian, then it also represents massive heresy. Remember Genesis 1: 26-28
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
But even atheist secularists understand the profound need to seek out one’s birth parents. If this does not occur, many children will grow up with permanent emotional and spiritual scars which no amount of therapy can erase, and that can only cause chaos and destruction for future generations.
The most absurd doctrine currently circulating among humanistic mankind is that – while God laid down his rules long ago, they have now been preempted and updated – and God Himself must accept these new laws of evolving, liberal man without judgment. Most ominously, remember the judgments reserved for those who truly ignore the Creator’s rules for His subjects and creation:
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
Final question: What is more credible – Mankind judging the acts and laws of God – or Him judging ours?
Kelly O’Connell is an author and attorney. He was born on the West Coast, raised in Las Vegas, and matriculated from the University of Oregon. After laboring for the Reformed Church in Galway, Ireland, he returned to America and attended law school in Virginia, where he earned a JD and a Master’s degree in Government. He spent a stint working as a researcher and writer of academic articles at a Miami law school, focusing on ancient law and society. He has also been employed as a university Speech & Debate professor. He then returned West and worked as an assistant district attorney. Kelly is now is a private practitioner with a small law practice in New Mexico. Kelly is now host of a daily, Monday to Friday talk show at AM KOBE called AM Las Cruces w/Kelly O’Connell
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