The Lack of Logic for the Redefinition of Marriage
The Arguments for Change
I was at a “meet the candidate” forum in my electorate at the 2013 federal election and the Labor candidate, a past Queensland Premier, indicated he believed there were good reasons to support homosexual marriage. He argued, “Jesus was all about love, and if two people were in love, well we should be celebrating that and even encouraging it, shouldn’t we? Isn’t there enough hate and anger in the world?”
I approached him privately afterwards and we discussed it further. To his credit, he didn’t brand me a bigot, a hater, or suffering an irrational phobia. He welcomed a dispassionate intellectual conversation about the subject. He told me he didn’t dismiss Scripture, as he was a proud Anglican and the son-in-law of a noteable Anglican missionary and priest. He just interpreted it differently to me.
Acknowledging he had zero chance of convincing me that the consistent New Testament teaching on sexual morality was able to be interpreted as anything other than literal and eternal, I offered to completely abandon my position and agree with his if he could make the case logically.
He offered most of the things normally regurgitated by “progressives”:
- Homosexual mental health will be improved by inclusion in the legal definition of marriage.
- What homosexuals do in the privacy of their bedroom doesn’t affect anyone else.
- It doesn’t affect you so you have no right to care what someone else does.
- If you don’t like homosexual marriage don’t have a homosexual marriage.
- Children have no relevance in considerations to redefine marriage.
- It’s a matter of if, not when, so get on the right side of history.
- Homosexuals aren’t less devoted or loving parents.
- Homosexuals are born that way; it’s genetic.
- Discrimination is invariably a bad thing.
- Tolerance is invariably a good thing.
- Equality is invariably a good thing.
- Love is love.
(If I’ve missed any, please let me know in comments below.)
The Blatant Hypocrisy of Those Arguments
I asked him which of the tests for the offered, new definition of marriage didn’t completely defend including adult incest or polygamy as well – if “equality” and ending discrimination was indeed the goal. Why couldn’t 3 or indeed 23 people who mutally loved each other, were committed to each other, and were sexually attracted to each other have their love accepted and included in the definition of marriage, justified by his same arguments for including homosexuals? Is their love not equal? Won’t children just have more love in their home?
“Oh well, marriage can only be between two people, not three or more.” I challenged him that by making up rules to exclude other relationship types he was in fact repeating the allegedly immoral behaviour of discrimination and bigotry, as I am often accused of by defending traditional marriage and advocating it as in society’s best interest.
“You’re not ending discrimination. You’re merely moving the lines of discrimination. If discrimination is invariably immoral and bad for society, why aren’t you proposing completely ending discrimination?”
“Well that’s just what I think, and most of society would agree that incest and polygamy are wrong.”
The conversation didn’t go much further – other people wanted to talk to him and I had taken up a lot of his time. But it didn’t need to go any further.
He had perfectly demonstrated that the position for change is based entirely on subjective opinion, and has no foundation on objective reason or ration. There is no consistently applicable logic.
Advocates of change are quite happy to discriminate on their subjective moral compass whilst condemning those like me who discriminate on the eternal moral compass, the Word of God.
As we place more and more value on multiculturalism, we have rocketed far beyond ethnic diversity and into cultural relativism. We are not far from the point where one can defend nearly any behaviour by claiming cultural tradition. In fact, if you care to look for them you’ll find a few cases where it’s already been offered as a defense for outright criminal behaviour.
It is extremely well documented that many societies and cultures around the globe practice both polygamy and adult incest. Here in Australia I personally have friends from Egypt who are first cousins and got married. Perfectly normal and even commonplace in their culture, and now ours.
By the arguments offered above for homosexual marriage, what right do we have to say this is wrong?
Adult Incest in Germany
According to this article just two years ago, Germany’s national ethics council has called for incest between siblings to be decriminalised. They cited a case where a bloke was adopted as an infant, then met his sister in his 20s, and then had four children with her. The ethics council argued the risks to the children were not enough to justify the law. The couple felt their fundamental freedoms were violated and that they shouldn’t have to deny their love.
“In the case of consensual incest among adult siblings, neither the fear of negative consequences for the family , nor the possibility of the birth of children from such incestuous relationships can justify a criminal prohibition.
“The fundamental right of adult siblings to sexual self-determination has more weight in such cases than the abstract protection of the family.” – read more
Adult Incest in Australia & Scotland
Closer to home, Peter Overton presented a story called Forbidden Love, a title reminding me of the heroic romance between Romeo & Juliet. In this story he documents the love of John & Jenny – father and daughter.
“Time and again they claimed society should accept their relationship,” writes Overton. “They told me of the chemistry, the physical attraction between them. They remain convinced that, as consenting adults, they should be allowed to live their lives the way they want to live their lives.”
Then he takes us to Scotland and introduces Nick and Danielle – who have the same mother. Overton again observes, “They are adamant they have never felt such intense emotions for any other person.”
Finally he describes that these nice folks were “born this way”. He reports, “This attraction is explained by a recognised phenomenon called Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA).”
Doesn’t that sound familiar? It is, because it’s logically consistent with every argument offered above for redefining marriage.
To really blow your mind to the commonality and consistency between these issues, read the comments below Peter Overton’s blog post on the story. Click here to read more.
“There will always be close minded people who cannot see past their own filtering prejudice. But I am not so narrow minded.”
– last (anonymous) commenter
It is perfectly logical for us to discriminate against ideas that are wrong, and only embrace and endorse ideas that are true.
Truth is by definition exclusive. Abraham Lincoln is alleged to have demonstrated this by rhetorically asking,
“If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?
Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg. It’s a tail.“
Tails are excluded, discriminated against, from inclusion in the definition of legs. It’s not hateful, prejudiced, bigoted, intolerant or tailophobic to exclude tails from the definition of leg. It’s truth. Truth is not arbitrary or affected by popular opinion. It’s entirely dispassionate and unemotional, intrinsically objective.
The quest to escape the inescapable nature of truth is itself fundamentally illogical. So when God’s Word says something is wrong, and His Word is Truth, that thing is wrong not just because God’s Word says so, but because it’s true.
Having a Christian worldview and accepting Scriptural authority on human issues does not disqualify a Christian from intellectually embracing and recognising Truth. The opposite is more likely to be true, that the non-Christian may dismiss truth simply because they reflexively and irrationally reject anything associated with a Christian worldview.
God’s Word says,
“In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”
– 1 John 5:3
See? Even God says My commands are not burdensome – they’re for your benefit.
Why are homosexuality, adult incest, polygamy, adultery, prostitution and promiscuity all wrong? Because marriage has a design and a plan, and perverting that plan hurts the very people abandoning that plan and often the people around them as well – such as children.
We can’t curse God, believe He’s not there and simply expect there to be no consequences to or harm from rejecting His designs and plans. It’s like cursing the trees on the side of the highway, believing they’re not there and abandoning the designed path for your vehicle at 100kph. That would be harmful (burdensome), and so it is with God’s singular idea for marriage.
Don’t leave the designed path. It may not affect me personally, but I don’t want to see you hurt yourself, your partner or your kids. God didn’t put the tree there to hurt you in case you left the straight and narrow. He put the designed path there to bless you! People like me pointing this out aren’t doing so to hurt you either.
It is perfectly logical and good for us to discriminate against ideas that are wrong, and only embrace and endorse ideas that are true for ourselves, our neighbour and our nation.
Much more can and has been said about the war of attrition on marriage, and I will write more again soon, especially explaining the Rock solid Scriptural basis for traditional marriage.
The burden falls on those advocating to change the laws and redefine the timeless institution of marriage to provide sufficient reason to. The reasons they offer must then be tested for logical validity and consistency, as well as pass no harm tests for society.
Whether you recognise the reality of the moral law Giver and the damages of perverting His design for marriage or not, the fact remains that there is no logical reason to redefine marriage.