Are the advocates of traditional Marriage, or marriage between one man and one woman, really seeking to deny liberty and happiness to those who are attracted to their same gender? What is really at risk? Are trampling the rights of others when we stand for traditional Marriage, even in our support of an Amendment to the US Constitution? In my opinion, the answers are clearly – No, Freedom and No.
Without equivocation, extremes exist in our society that advocate on both sides of the Marriage argument. It is not my intent to elicit stereotypical extremes, but to advocate a rational, reasoned and substantive argument supporting the answers above.
Foundationally, there are certain assumptive ground rules to the argument.
1) Word definitions - notwithstanding society’s redefinition of certain words, I will try to adhere to words that are clear and distinct in definition. For example:
a. “same gender attraction” is more specific and definitive than gay or lesbian and it’s connotation is clear and without confusion with “gay lifestyles” – there is a distinct perceptional difference, hence it’s use;
b. “agency” or “choice” – man’s agency or choice have been redefined in society as an entitlement without consequence or accountability that seeks to justify man’s right to choose whatever he will without consequential impact on self or others, i.e., I can do whatever I wish, it is my body, hence my choice. The argument of Pro-Choice is reflective of society’s interest to justify and rationalize the position of a “woman’s right to choose” without regard to accountability for creating life. Choice or Agency is not a “right” or “entitlement” if we deny or reject consequential accountability. In fact, we are all entitled to “agency,” it is a God-given gift, but inherent in its right reside responsibility, accountability and the consequential affects thereof. To redefine choice and agency as a right without consequence is simply a veiled attempt to pervert the God-given gift that it is;
c. “tolerance” vs. “acceptance” – tolerance in our society seems to have been redefined to further justify passivity and compromise to core values and principles, i.e., to be “politically correct” and not offend others. The situational standards of society have attempted to define tolerance and acceptance as the same – they are starkly different. As members of society we should be tolerant, i.e., respecting and understanding, of others. Even so, tolerance does not dictate nor demand that we are accepting of that which is contrary to our core principles.
2) Assumptions – notwithstanding society’s stereotypes, I hold to the following positions:
a. Individuals with same gender attraction are not by definition lascivious in their lifestyle and do not advocate promiscuity. Surely there are some, both heterosexual and homosexual, that do advocate and promote promiscuity and lasciviousness in their lifestyles, but these are the minority on both sides, and not to whom I speak. Those who fall outside of this dialog are wrong in their lifestyles and will never know happiness therein.
b. The situational standards of society have been used to justify and rationalize lifestyle and behavior. For example, a man who is kind, loving, and sensitive, even effeminate is often deemed to have same gender attractions, and is therefore classified and justified in choosing such a lifestyle – it is an “acceptable societal norm.” Unfortunately, the perversions of our society’s foundational norms have sought to classify individuals by their sexuality and hence justify and even advocate “alternate lifestyles.” This is not an argument of genetics or environment, only to state that our society is seeking to redefine and justify the rights of men and women by sexual orientation, without consequence.
c. The “traditional family” is and has been the foundation to our society and society’s through the ages. It is fundamental to God’s plan for man, to provide a nurturing environment for the development of the human soul within the bounds set forth by a loving Heavenly Father.
To the argument –
Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are enumerated in our Declaration of Independence, which is foundational to, and even the lens for, our Constitution. Even so, to put it in perspective, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The reference to unalienable Rights endowed by our Creator sets the framework for the argument, for our Rights, as so noted, are endowed within the bounds set forth by our Creator, our God, even our Heavenly Father. The unalienable Rights, within this framework and bounds set forth, are not without responsibility or accountability, for no man can have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness unto himself as it would contravene the very society in which we live and the basis for our Declaration and Constitution. Our liberty and pursuit of happiness are set forth within our society, a society of laws, order and boundaries that preserve our freedom and liberty. Government and laws are not to trample upon our freedom and liberty, but in fact exist to preserve them. It is a fine line that seems to be getting lost in the judiciary of our day. Government and laws exist to preserve and protect, not dictate or determine our lifestyle.
Marriage has existed through the ages, and specifically our society, as a sacred and religious institution and covenant between one man and one woman (“Marriage”). The origin of Marriage began with the creation of man and was given by God for the nurturing of the human soul in a loving, divinely established family (The Family: A Proclamation to the World). The laws of our society have recognized and accepted Marriage in this form, a “status” if you will, and thus are set forth to preserve and protect the integrity of the institution as it was intended. It is neither within the purview nor authority of our Government to redefine or dictate the terms of Marriage, but to respect and preserve the sanctity thereof. Government did not create, nor establish the institution of Marriage, and thus cannot regulate it, only preserve and protect it. Therefore, the role of the Government is to defend and protect the status of Marriage as it was instituted by God. When governments seek to legislate lifestyle, or dictate who may enter into the covenant of Marriage, they overstep the bounds upon which they were founded and thus trample upon the liberties and freedoms of its citizens. It would be no different than the Government dictating that those, whose beliefs may be contrary to a given institution or church, are entitled by right and not privilege, in the preservation of liberty, to membership therein. We set foot on a slippery slope when we concede to governments the privilege of religious belief, the determination of our religious institutions, and the capacity to redefine the practices therein to the situational standards of society.
Some may say it is discriminatory, even disparaging, to deny those with same gender attraction the privilege of Marriage, hence the need for government intervention. Marriage is a privilege granted by God and a status protected by our nation, not a Right, even though some in society would say otherwise. The situational standards of society would have us believe that the sanctity of Marriage, as defined by God, discriminates against, and disparages, those of same gender attraction. On the contrary, governed by the order of eternal principles and privilege, of which Marriage is an integral part, obedience, fidelity and complicity thereto are fundamental – it is our choice to accept and obey, or reject the governing principles, again – accountability for our choices. If we choose to comply and obey we reap the blessings, if not, we receive not. The paradox in our society is that those whose attitudes and beliefs are contrary to the eternal principles of Marriage seek for the blessings and “entitlement” without paying the price of admission. The blessings of Marriage are available to all willing to comply with the principles whereby it is governed. With the privilege and sanctity of Marriage come responsibilities and obedience to the principles thereof, which responsibilities demand fidelity and complicity to its governing principles! Marriage and family have been and will continue to be critical to the foundation upon which our nation is sustained and preserved. If we question the veracity of the previous statement, look to the history of man, Rome, Greece and elsewhere where societies have failed when they have neutered Marriage and family.
If individuals with same gender attractions believe that choosing a lifestyle consistent thereto brings happiness, they are protected under the laws of the land to do so, provided however, that they do not seek to force or impose that lifestyle upon others. This equally applies to a society seeking to impose Marriage on the unwilling. Marriage is an elective covenant recognized and protected in our society and not legislated or imposed upon others, willing or unwilling. Again, the role of our Government is to protect and preserve the liberties and rights of its citizens. If individuals with same gender attractions wish to contractually cede certain rights to one another, as in any legal and binding contract, they are free to do so and the laws of the land should protect such. But to seek to define such an agreement as Marriage, reconstitutes and redefines sacred existing covenants, thus contravening and trampling upon the liberties of those who willingly entered into this sacred covenant.
Unfortunately, it has been the course of our society, and/or certain extremes therein, under the guise of tolerance, liberty, choice and lifestyle, to justify and legitimize the extreme. In effect, by twisting and redefining interpretations, and employing the liberality of the courts, there are certain elements of our society that would seek to impose and legitimize their lifestyle, behavior and opinions to the detriment of our liberty, our freedom and the foundation upon which our country was formed. As a society we are being led downward, with "flaxen cord," into a society where our freedom and liberty are being trampled upon, under the guise of “tolerance,” “choice” and “discrimination.”