Commentary on social and moral issues of the day

Adam and Steve Want to Marry: Should the federal government stop them?

Bruce L. Thiessen

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Adam and Steve want to marry. Whose going to stop them? Why should anyone stop them? Is being gay perfectly normal? Is it fashionable? Is it cool? Is homosexuality a sin? Is the act of denying gays the right to marry tantamount to racial discrimination? Is it wrong to say that homosexuality is unnatural? Is it wrong to say it's abnormal? Is it wrong to have a moral opinion about the issue of gay marriage? Does bringing morality into the equation make one a hypocrite? A right-wing nut case? A hater?

Sin and the Psyche

If it were only a matter of sin, I would have a simple solution to offer: condemn the sin, love the sinner, and sanction marriage only between a man and a woman, for to sanction any other sort of union would be to condone such a union as legitimate in the eyes of God. If it were only a matter of the psyche, I suggest that the problem be dealt with exclusively within the context of a psychotherapeutic relationship.

Judeo-Christianity, the foundation upon which the constitution was established, clearly regards homosexuality as a sin, though many, who have allowed the vicissitudes of culture to dictate their interpretation of scripture, would argue that we must never again treat it as a sin. I am a Christian, and, as such, cannot explain away scripture that clearly defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and condemns homosexuality as a sin.

I believe homosexuality to be a sin, but not simply a sin. I believe it to be a manifestation of psychological dysfunction, but I also agree with scripture in declaring that all of my righteousness is as filthy rags. When it comes to breaking the laws of God, to break one, is to break them all. I am not without sin, and I am not without psychological dysfunction. Nobody is free from the bondage of either, not even sanctified shrinks like me.

So on what basis shall we deny Adam and Steve the right to marry? On what basis shall anybody have the right to express a moral opinion on the matter? How about on the basis of common sense and on the basis of intellectual honesty? Can anyone in their right mind, who is aware of the nature of typical female and male anatomy, and of the direct physiological connection between human sexuality and reproduction, honestly suggest that homosexuality is normal? Can a person with common sense really look at the marriage between a man and a woman, on the one hand; and one between a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, on the other; and really suggest or pretend that the two are equal? I doubt it.

Clearly the issue is not simply a matter of sin. Nor is it not simply a matter of the psyche. Though it was clearly not part of God's perfect plan, I believe that there are actually genetic structures in certain individuals that support the predilection of a particular individual towards homosexual behavior. Moreover, childhood sexual abuse can further reinforce such a predilection. Parental dynamics can further confuse a person in terms of sexual identity issues. All of these are contributing factors. But contributing factors are not equal to cause. Ultimately, no matter how tortured and complicated the choice, the choice of how we express our sexuality is one that is only determined by the person in the driver's seat.

Under normal conditions, I would not look towards the Federal government to step in and offer built-in protections to preserve traditional marriage via a constitutional amendment. However, the cultural climate is such that a handful of activist judges have begun to use (or rather abuse) the bench to promote their own political agenda and to push their religion--a religion of secular humanism onto a culture that largely still holds to a traditional view of marriage. These activist judges have hijacked American culture. The will of the few and the powerful now requires the rest of us to capitulate to their liberal, Godless ideology.

So the constitution must be strengthened to support the values that once made this nation strong. I've introduced so many questions, because on this issue, I have few answers. The issue is complex and must be respected for its complexity.

Be tolerant, you may say. Well, I don't believe in unconditional tolerance. For example, hatred or violence towards gays should never be tolerated. It is incumbent upon me to love my neighbor as myself. Using one's status within the legal system to further one's liberal or conservative agenda should not be tolerated. Redefining marriage should not be tolerated.

So, Adam and Steve want to Marry. Well, the Garden of Eden is now full of weeds. I am one of the biggest weeds in the garden. I deserve to be yanked out and left for dead. But for the grace of God, I would be. I don't expect Adam and Steve to ever become Adam and Eve, but I also don't expect that in God's eyes, marriage will ever be anything but a union between a man and a woman. Tarnished though it may be, as it consists of two imperfect people, let's do what ever we can to protect that blessed union. The heterosexual community came up with the term marriage to describe a heterosexual union. We called it "marriage." If you ask me, the label is not particularly original or creative. Let's not underestimate the creativity of the gay community by assuming that they cannot come up with their own unique name to call a unique union of their own creation.

So, Adam and Steve want to marry. Well, it's not up to Adam. It's not up to Steve. It's not up to Adam and Steve.

Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen is a psychotherapist and musician. Visit his website. Submitted by author.

Posted: 7/22/04

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