Commentary on social and moral issues of the day

Can America Survive Same-Sex Marriage?

Samuel Silver

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As discussed in the first two essays in this series,The Truth About Religion and Homophobia and The Destructive Force Driving Same-Sex Marriage, this critical debate is not truly between homosexuals and heterosexuals; it is between two opposing worldviews, one secular and the other religious. On a micro level the victims of same-sex marriage will be our children, but on a macro level, our free society will be the ultimate victim.

As President John Adams said in 1798,

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

George Washington expressed this same idea in his 1796 Farewell Address to the Nation:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness - these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.

In other words, our secular form of government was designed only for a non-secular people.

150 years later, President Harry Truman confirmed that a "moral and religious people" were still necessary for maintenance of our free society.

The fundamental basis of this nation's laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul.

If we don't have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State.

Adams, Washington, the other Founders, and Presidents through George W. Bush have understood that a limited Constitutional government "of the people, by the people, and for the people" could work only if the society is primarily self-policed, based on a common moral code that served as an invisible net of social stability. In America this has always been the Judeo-Christian values derived from the Bible, most recently expressed in the phrase "one nation under God."

Some argue that to officially declare the United States is "one nation under God" or to publicly recognize Judeo-Christian thought as the source of our legal and political systems violates the rights of atheists and non-monotheists. The very concept of "rights" in the United States presupposes belief in the God of the Bible, not by every citizen, but at least by the majority. Like homosexuals, atheists want to invent a "right" to force their neighbors to lock their religious beliefs in the closet, so no one except the religious ever feels uncomfortable.

To accept the assertion that public sanction of religion violates the rights of atheists and non-monotheists, one must completely ignore the Declaration of Independence, the history and writings of the Founders, and our nation's history until the last 50 years. If ignored, then this discussion is not about the United States, but a completely new country. How can the greatest nation in the history of the world allow judges and special interest groups to completely redefine the nature and character of this great country without ascertaining the will of the majority through a democratic process?

Do we really believe that the Founders, who created this revolutionary concept of rights and created the greatest Constitutional system as yet devised by mankind, did not understand what they were doing? Contrary to a historical myth perpetrated by the secularists, America at the time of the founding included atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, etc., and the Founders knew that it was only this unique form of government, based on individual rights from God, that would protect people of all beliefs.

As historian David Barton explains, the Founders were all religious Christians, but they did not oppose pluralism, "as long as the beliefs of other religions did not threaten the stability of civil society. In fact, the Founders believed that pluralism survived only within the concept of religious liberty espoused by American Christianity," uniquely different from European Christianity and based on what we now term the Judeo-Christian Ethic.

The opposite is not necessarily true. The leaders of the secular movement, secular fundamentalists, are strident atheists who cannot tolerate religious people; a constant reminder of everything they are attempting to reject. As much as they try, reality and human nature do not allow them to fully reject their Creator. But instead of accepting objective reality and human nature, the only way for them to explain the failure of their philosophy in the real world, is to deny them both, and try to blame their failures on the continued existence of religion. In their imaginary world of subjective reality, if they could just get rid of religion and Judeo-Christian values, they mistakenly believe their utopian fantasies would finally work.

Sadly, the mass murders of 100 million innocent victims by secular Communists and pagan Nazis during the 20th century, and the anti-religious bigotry and anti-Semitism of 21st century secular liberalism, confirm the prophetic understanding of the Founders that pluralism of belief will not survive in a secular society.

People yearn for predictability in their lives and communities. If predictability is lost to chaos, they often turn to dictators or other forms of totalitarian government to restore predictability.

Without a moral public culture shared by the majority of citizens to provide an invisible net of social stability, there is no basis for human cooperation, other than force. Government could not be limited and would have to encroach into every citizen's life and freedom. Instead of a free society of cooperation between individuals, more and more human interaction would have to be decided by the legal system and bureaucrats. Morality would be replaced by legality. Freedom would rapidly morph into tyranny.

As Rabbi Daniel Lapin has explained:

One unintended side effect of the secular fundamentalism sweeping America is how it erodes the rules that hold together the invisible net of social stability. By encouraging unfettered personal license, secular fundamentalism helps collapse civilized norms. Then, when people dress with deliberately provocative vulgarity and they express themselves loudly and obscenely in public, hardworking, family-minded citizens are left with a growing feeling of unease. When young people no longer see their maturation leading naturally toward marriage and when marriage itself becomes threatened by cultural ridicule and purported alternatives, parents feel unmoored. When public institutions depict religion as only for the emotionally needy and the intelligence impaired many Americans feel resentment and alienation.

This is obviously not to suggest that the hobby of shattering traditional rules that seems to delight so many journalists, academics, and intellectuals is going to endow America with a future dictatorial tyrant. It can eventually, however, infect ordinary Americans with docility about further Federal control beyond that necessary to protect us from our enemies. In a desperate attempt to recover some sense of normality and predictability in our lives, we might be tempted to embrace expanded government influence over how we live, earn, and worship. We would yearn for the predictability and normality that used to be supplied by those traditional rules that many Jewish and Christian Americans of faith remember increasingly nostalgically. Biblically-based faith helps to maintain freedom by holding together the invisible framework of social stability.

The Founders understood this lesson well, but we have strayed from that lesson.

Our free society, as the Founders dreamed it and we once knew it, will be lost forever unless Americans make a political stand to preserve this endangered "invisible framework of social stability." That stand must begin with protecting children from the Trojan horse of secular fundamentalism expressed in such formerly unthinkable legalisms as same-sex marriage. (As explained in The Truth About Religion and Homophobia, religious objection to same-sex marriage or belief that homosexual behavior is a sin, in no way equates to homophobia and hatred of individual homosexuals.)

The secular fundamentalists leading this assault on Judeo-Christian values understand very well that the children are their point of attack. If you doubt that children are the intended victims, read the words of Tammy Bruce, an openly homosexual woman who was formerly an insider in the leadership of the feminist and radical "gay rights" movements. These are a few of her comments about their efforts "to end anti-gay bias in K-12 schools."

For people whose entire identity and reason to live is based in their sexuality, what do they need to do in order to fit comfortably into our society? They must work to sexualize every part of society - and, as every good marketer knows, that effort must begin with children.

The efforts of gay establishment organizations, if the future is really their concern, should be focused on persuading the horde of bacchanalian boys to change their lifestyle. Instead, they are demanding that we accept their degeneracy, and the destruction of our future in the process. We dare not judge them. We dare not question their actions. And we are to hand the nation's children over to them.

This is why a free society such as the United States, where the vast majority of the people believe in Judeo-Christian values, can tolerate no government restrictions on non-violent, private sexual activity between consenting adults, but cannot allow public sanction and endorsement of homosexual behavior as a cultural norm.

Until the past few years, almost all Americans, and especially Presidents and candidates for President, firmly believed that America had earned God's blessings. Now, secularists and even some Presidential candidates question this bedrock belief of religious Americans. The naysayers may unwittingly prove to be correct if they are successful in imposing their secular agenda on the majority of Americans.

From the religious point of view, same-sex marriage and its public sanction of homosexuality will desecrate God's name. On a much larger scale it will also risk the loss of His blessings on the United States, so eloquently requested by President George Washington in his first Inaugural address (1789):

... it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the People of the United States, a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes.

Samuel Silver is Chairman of Toward Tradition (www.towardtradition.org), a national movement of Jewish and Christian cooperation, fighting anti-religious bigotry and secular fundamentalism.

Read this article on the Toward Tradition website. Reprinting allowed.

Posted: 5/15/04

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