Just finished reading an article about Starbucks and their vocal and financial support of gay marriage.
Something occurred to me just now: you hear people speak about this issue all the time, and those against it often mention that legalizing gay marriage threatens the sanctity of the institution itself. Does it, though?
If two men or two women were able to marry each other, would it make me any less married to Jenny? Of course not.
Would they actually be married, though?
It depends on what you believe. If you believe it’s simply the law’s recognition of the institution of marriage that legitimizes it, then making gay marriage legal is really simple.
If you believe that marriage was created and defined by God then the whole debate gets a little more complicated. For me, I do not personally feel my marriage threatened by whether or not those two fabulous guys down the street can tie the proverbial knot. I just don’t.
The problem arises, I think, when the possibility of Churches or individuals who perform (or can perform) wedding ceremonies, and who do not believe gay marriage is solely legitimized by the law are compelled by that same law to perform that which their faith and their God tells them is not legitimate at all.
I think that is a real possibility, and if it happens would be an affront to the religious freedom promised by the constitution of the United States, which was meant to protect states from favoring one religion over another.
So if we, based on law alone, attempt to force people to comply with the viewpoint of secularism over Christianity, or Islam, or Judaism (none of which recognize gay marriage), we are favoring one religion over another, because secularism taken to that level is very much like a religion. Even worse, we are denying the constitutional rights of Americans.
Here’s the other thing I was thinking about: what if what threatens the sanctity of marriage isn’t gay marriage at all?
Think about it. People cohabitate for many years and often do not marry. Society accepts that, and it is now very much the norm. Men and women also frequently approach marriage like they would contract negotiations for a house or car, and it’s no wonder there’s a 50% divorce rate. What else should we expect with such low expectations.
I think what threatens the sanctity of marriage is making marriage about law and only law, leaving sanctification out of it completely (sanctification = holiness). Soon, we will simply specify a desired term of marriage, sign a contract, and that will be that.
Marriages will fail, or never happen at all. Kids will grow up with single mothers (a single mother, by the way, is a noble thing, but they were never meant to shoulder that burden alone), and never have any idea what marriages are meant to be and can be.
I think the sanctity of marriage is also threatened when we make it a business or political interaction and not a covenant.
Should gay people be allowed to legally marry? The law will decide that soon enough, and it won’t be the death knell of the church at all. What it will be is a symptom of the decline of freedom, and the further separation of “church” from “state,” which is really sort of false.
It’s false because as I mentioned before, secularism has become very much like a “modern” religion (or anti-religion) and is being used like a cudgel to beat down those who do not agree with its precepts.
If you don’t conform to the secular status quo, then you’re a relic of a time not fondly missed. Or maybe just a “hater.”