It’s Nothing to Do With Equality

The Supreme Court of the United States is currently hearing oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry in which the issue presented is “Whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the· union of a man and a woman.”

Let’s get beyond whether the Supremes will extend the 14th even further beyond all intent, stretching until it has got to finally snap. The Nine – and their various incarnations over the last 50 years -have  made the 14th into whatever they have want to fashion it. And one may argue that they can do so. The 14th Amendment is a creation of the people of the United States and those who are the lawful representatives of the United States, whether in matters legislative, executive or judicial, will do what they may.

What all the “fair-minded people” in front of the Supreme Court building and all of their friends in the blogosphere have missed is that whilst the 14th Amendment is the creation of the people, marriage isn’t it. Marriage isn’t the creation of any people, “fair-minded” or not.

I can understand why there might be some confusion by those who think that either marriage laws or individual marriage licenses create marriage. From at least  the time of Moses, there has been civil regulation of marriage. The Biblical concern was degrees of consanguinity. In more recent times, there have been age regulations and occasionally health precautions. All of these are concerned with the core purpose of marriage: procreation.

Likewise the purpose of a marriage license is to prevent those who should not procreate from doing so and to register the initiation of the marriage, should such information be needed later in the case of a dissolution. That there are those who will procreate unlicensed does not invalidate the purpose. After all, the law formerly addressed adultery and fornication to curb that factor.

But we need to get this clear: marriage was created by God and is merely regulated by the State. That marriage was created by God to be between a man and a woman is patently clear from Scripture. It’s very institution is linked to the creation of woman as distinct from man. Scripture never suggests that it could be otherwise. All of human history until this most recent blink of an eye has been a universal witness to this. This is, of course, not surprising, as this is the only means of procreation.

And what of the constant cry that we shouldn’t stand in the way of two people loving each other? Love only enters into the matter within the bounds of the institution itself. There are many loves in the world that are not the love of marriage. Each of those must respect the bounds of the type of relationship in which the love grows.

Our affections for other people do not define us. Our desires do not define us. Love itself is not subject to our definition. It is an attribute of God and a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

The legislatures of the several States have the authority to create a type of contractual relationship which persons of the same sex can enter into that carries with it the same legislated advantages that marriage has in the eyes of the law. These legislatures can pass laws regarding real property ownership, taxation, and intestacy.  If the 14th Amendment were going to apply, it would be that these new contractual relationships would be allowed to heterosexual fornicators as well.

So once again, let us be clear. Marriage equality is not about marriage equality. All marriages are equally marriages. However, to declare something a marriage outside of the inherent definition of marriage in creation is to directly defy the Creator. We can throw ourselves on the floor and have a tantrum and say, “But it’s not fair!” all we want. “Fair”, along with “righteous,” “just,” and “true,” are not ours to decide or define.

If the Supreme Court of the United States decides that the State of California is prohibited from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman on the basis of the 14th Amendment, it will really be saying states must recognize the marriage of any two people – though logically the next step must be to overturn polygamy laws – but I’ll leave that for now. This is not really about the 14th Amendment or equality before the law. It is about who or Who has the authority to define marriage.

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Forcing the Profane on the Holy

The local Anglican bishop was taken to an employment tribunal recently for turning down a gay man for a job as a youth worker.

Reaney was not denied the job because he is gay. Rather, the bishop made it clear to him during the interview that a person in a committed sexual relationship outside of marriage, whether they were heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or transgender, would be turned down for the role. This seems to be a rather conservative view for Anglicans, especially in a diocese that has led the way in the ordination of women.

Nonetheless, the employment tribunal said Reaney was discriminated against “on the grounds of sexual orientation”. This has massive ramifications. First, it means churches must hire people whose sexual orientation they may believe is incompatable with a particular position. Second, it equates orientation with activity. This means church must hire people openly engaged in immoral behaviour (whether homosexual or heterosexual), even as youth workers. Third, this will logically and necessarily include those who have been hired while demonstrating good moral character but who susequently make different behavioural decisions. The Church in this country effectively has no way of preserving and living out its teachings about living holy lives.

Clarkson’s Driving Offence

Where political correctness abounds, thankfully Jeremy Clarkson is there as the antidote. Newspaper commentator and host of the premier car telly programme Top Gear, Clarkson just says what he means. I don’t always agree with him, but I’m glad for his frankness.

On an episode of the show last year, Clarkson opined that the Daihatsu Copen was “a bit gay.” He actually only repeated the words of a member of the studio audience, but then he added, “Yes, very ginger beer.” This is apparently Cockney rhyming slang for queer. So Ofcom, the media watchdog (whatever that means), have ruled that he criticised the car by describing it as homosexual. Apparently you cannot describe a car as homosexual. I can only guess this is because same-sex attracted cars are offended by this.

Ofcom said, “In the context, there was no justification for using the word in this way.” That’s because in this country you aren’t allowed to just say what you think. You have to justify your choice of words to the PC police.

And cars not being able to speak for themselves because of their lack of, well, speech mechanisms, gay people special interest groups have had to come to their defence.   A spokeslesbian for Stonewall said, “We’re glad to see that Ofcom has censured Jeremy Clarkson for the use of the word gay, in what was clearly meant in a derogatory way.”

“There was no doubt that it was being used in the sense of ‘homosexual’ and was capable of giving offence,” said Fraser Steel, the BBC head of editorial complaints.

Clarkson’s reported response shows just how seriously he takes this: “It wasn’t a gay car – it was actually a bit lesbian.”

Just an Opinion

A demonstration of the stark contrast between the US and UK was made evident by a story out of northern Indiana. Amy Sorrell, the teacher responsible of overseeing the student newpaper at Woodland Junior-Senior High School in Woodburn was suspended because of a student-written op/ed piece. A sophomore author suggested other students should be tolerant of students who are gay. She said she was inspired by the struggles of a one of her gay friends at the school.

There are actually two contrasts here. First of all, journalism is not taught to high school students in this country and there are no school-sponsored student-edited newspapers.

However, if there were, it is unimaginable that the staff member would be disciplined for allowing the publication of the article that Principal Ed Yoder considered potentially controversial. This is one case where I would have to agree with the UK model. It is unfortunate that tolerance of a person (as opposed to a behaviour) is controversial.

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Keeping Pace

General Pace has been catching lots of grief from the gay rights lobby (and all the PC crowd who are held in their thrall) and now Senator Brownback is feeling the heat for being open about his Catholic faith and its congruity with General Pace’s view that homosexual acts are immoral.

One blogger reprinted the oft-circulated Dr. Laura letter which attempts to invalidate the provisions of Leviticus 18:22 by pretending to seek advice about enforcing other provisions of the Mosaic law, posing the questions instead to General Pace and Senator Brownback. I decided to answer the letter on their behalf.

The God Who Heals

The Ted Haggard situation may have brought this issue to the forefront, but it’s nothing new. Greg Wallace has very insightful piece about what evangelical Protestants have missed in dealing with homosexuality.

Though I know Greg did not necessarily intend it this way, it is a very Orthodox approach.

The Science of Gay Adoptions

Following on the previous entry and with a H/T to Greg Wallace, the American College of Pediatricians has published an article on homosexual parenting.

As Greg opines, “This is one of those serendipitous little moments when science and morality align themselves… and the only group group neither surprised nor outraged is probably the conservative segment of Christians.”