Equity (Civil Unions)
Romans 1:26 – 27 is clear that homosexuality is “unnatural” and a sin, but it is not up to me to judge another person’s character. That is the duty of God, and it is certainly not the duty of any human being. And just because homosexual behavior is outside my norm it does not mean I am not obligated to love, accept, and treat homosexuals no different than any other human being. We are not supposed to agree with all the beliefs and actions of our neighbors, but we are supposed to be tolerant. In John 8:7 Jesus reminds us “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.” Christian historical author, David Barton (I agree with Barton on all subjects but this one), condemns homosexuality and claims that higher rates of HIV and venereal disease in the homosexual community are Godly interventions punishing those who reap what they sow. Although I agree with most of what Barton writes, I do not find this rhetoric at all helpful because it is purely speculative. For example, nobody views sickle cell anemia as a curse on the African race. Furthermore, Barton argues that God does not create people to have homosexual feelings. Barton argues that homosexuality is a choice. To that end, I would ask Barton why does God create people with birth defects? By no choice of their own children may be born with multiple genitalia. These children fail to meet any gender definition that the bible dictates because they are both male and female. Thus, if these types of defects are possible then why is so improbable to think that God created homosexuality? I believe evolution is part of God’s plan to satisfy His want for diversity and uniqueness. Hence, homosexuality may very well be part of God’s plan. [i]
Barton’s critical mistake is to imply homosexuality is a crime. Barton bases the implication on prior laws which ban sodomy. Sodomy was a crime in the United States until it was overruled by the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003. Where Barton and moralism are mistaken is that they fail to distinguish between crimes against others and crimes against oneself. Crimes against others should be the focus of the justice system, not so-called crimes without any victim. Yes, it is true, God gives us the responsibility to care for our body which is a sacred vessel to house our soul and spirit (Romans 9:21). That said, natural law teaches us we can do whatever we wish with the property we own. And according to natural law, our bodies are both property and owned by the person occupying it. Defiling oneself may be a sin and crime against God, but it is not a common law crime because everyone commits self-destructive acts that are sins. Immoral behavior towards others, including bad manners, is more destructive to society then immoral behavior committed against oneself. [ii]
What is the difference between marriage and a civil union? A marriage is performed in a church and is a covenant between husband, wife, church, and God to honor and love one another to death. A civil union is a contract between two partners and the government where the partners are privy to all the government entitlements connected with a marriage. Some say the two are synonymous, but they are different in the eyes of God. The only similarity is that government benefits remain the same. As for civil unions, God did not intend for married couples to receive financial benefits that other single Americans cannot receive. For example, the federal government discriminates against single persons because they pay a higher tax rate than married couples. For that reason, government sponsored civil marriages cannot be denied to homosexual persons. Moreover, a marriage is a friendship and contact between two people and the government cannot deny this right to anyone. All that said, churches cannot be compelled to marry anyone. They are free to cater to like mined people. Since governments are chartered with treating all citizens equally, they have to provide the same privilege and immunities to all citizens. The bottom line is that civil unions must be supported by the government, but they cannot compel churches to support gay marriage. One must remember, the gay marriage case Obergefell v. Hodges was not about love but about gay couples receiving equal benefits as married couples. For marriage to be about true love, then the government needs to stop its tendency to discriminate against certain classes of citizens and treat all citizens as our Founders envisioned - the same.
I do not believe banning something is going to end the behavior. Whenever some behavior is banned, people will rebel and fight hard to protect the behavior. The responsibility of adding morals back into society falls with the Church, not the state. I believe the answer to our social issues is to have a Christian revival like the one led by George Whitfield in 1730s that influenced our Founding Fathers. We do not change behavior by denying a behavior but providing a better alternative. Until pastors and denominations put aside their differences and focus on message they can agree with, A Christian revival will not happen. One thing that turns me off about religion is how many followers put down and criticize other denominations. In one Bible study, I was told the Jehovah Witness’ are a cult. I said did you know that Jehovah Witnesses won nearly 40 religious liberty cases in front of the Supreme Court. I may not agree with all their teachings, but why can’t we see that the Jehovah Witnesses have helped the religious liberty cause in our country. All Christians can agree that Jesus is the Son of God and He died to forgive our sins and through him we can earn eternal life. “God is love” is a powerful message. 100 million Christians with a similar message will go a long way to saving others by changing mind and perceptions. Pooling resources can help the needy, create trade schools to help women who think prostitution is their only choice to care for their family, and to build an infrastructure of child support programs to support scared mothers from getting an abortion. Helping others is a positive message that everyone can get behind. Similarly, my campaign is focusing on what Americans have in common such as fundamental rights, not what we do not have in common like diversity. The bottom line, an army of 100 million united Christians can change the moral compass of the country.
Let's evaluate a brief example as to why the responsibilities for a strong moral and ethical nation lie with the Church and family, not the government. What most Americans fail to realize is that the Constitution does not protect an ideology, it protects all Americans equally regardless of our moral values. For instance, everyone agrees our First Amendment right protects free speech and religious choices. But many people practicing the First Amendment violate the first two commandments because they can worship any god or gods they wish, and they can take God’s name in vain. Everyone is judged by God, but in the United States the government must treat everyone the same. It is the only way for the government to follow the Constitution’s preamble and promote domestic tranquility. We want the government out of moral types of decisions because their interference generally becomes detrimental.
[i] David Barton, The Founders Bible, Shiloh Road Publishing, Newberry Park CA, 2012, 1742 – 1743, 1778 – 1790, 1803 – 1812
[ii] David Barton, The Founders Bible, Shiloh Road Publishing, Newberry Park CA, 2012, 1742 – 1743, 1778 – 1790, 1803 – 1812