Is Banning Same Sex Marriage Discrimination?

Print
[Note: This is an exchange which took place between myself and an anonymous correspondant regarding a recent article I published on Blogos.org (and also posted here). The correspondant’s comments are appended below and immediately followed by my response.]

Dear Blogos Editor,

First of all, congratulations on your new site. I’m glad and excited for your new venture and pray that God would bless and prosper your mission. As a Christian, I stand side by side with you all in contending with the faith. God bless you all.

However, I must disagree with you in one point in the fact that you say banning gay marriage is not discrimination. If I were to ban interracial marriage, and tell two people they cannot be married based on their race, it would be discrimination. The Lord himself shows discrimination, he chooses to save those who believes in his Son, and reject those who do not. There’s nothing wrong with a government being discriminate in some cases, as long as its based on an objective set of morals. In this case, that would be the Word of God. If we want America (or any country) to judge on spiritual matters, they must judge ALL spiritual matters, which means we must also persecute heretics, and we both know from history how that works out. If a society would want to base their government off the Bible, I would be excited, but wary. But the nation that has been murdering infants for over 50 years and that has done some very deplorable things in warfare, needs whole-scale moral reform, not just knit picking to ostracize certain sinful groups, and promoting others. That is my opinion. God bless.

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Regarding my recent article concerning the issue of same sex marriage in Scotland, you expressed disagreement with what I wrote. You remarked,

“I must disagree with you in one point in the fact that you say banning gay marriage is not discrimination. If I were to ban interracial marriage, and tell two people they cannot be married based on their race, it would be discrimination.”

This is not quite what I said. Maintaining the traditional concept of marriage as an exclusive life-long union between one man and one woman does discriminate. However, it is not discrimination against persons, but against behaviour. As I previously stated, all laws are discriminatory in this sense. As I explained in my previous article, there are a number of reasons why the institution of same-sex-marriage is not conducive to society’s best interests. Homosexuals have — or at least should have — equal rights to anyone else when it comes to such things as employment, benefits, medical care, etc. Likewise, they have equal rights to marry anyone of the opposite gender. It is not merely equal rights that homosexuals seek, but rather special rights — that is, the right to fundamentally redefine the age-long institution of marriage. You also committed a category error with respect to your comparison of same-sex-marriage with interracial marriage. Again, this is an issue of discrimination against behaviour, and not against persons. There are plenty of former homosexuals; whereas there are no former Africans. Similarly, denying a schoolboy the right to get changed in the girls’ changing rooms is not discrimination against boys but rather against a particular behaviour. In any civilised society, certain restrictions on what is permissable have to be set in place.

You further commented,

“The Lord himself shows discrimination, he chooses to save those who believes in his Son, and reject those who do not. There’s nothing wrong with a government being discriminate in some cases, as long as its based on an objective set of morals. In this case, that would be the Word of God.”

I don’t think any of the arguments in my previous article made appeal to the Word of God.

You continued,

“If we want America (or any country) to judge on spiritual matters, they must judge ALL spiritual matters, which means we must also persecute heretics, and we both know from history how that works out.”

There are three things that any government can do in relation to a given behaviour or activity. They can (i) prohibit an activity; (ii) permit an activity; or (iii) promote an activity. The institution of same-sex-marriage attempts to make the move from merely permitting an activity to actively promoting it. As I stated in my article, the majority of homosexuals living in areas where same-sex-marriage is legal do not get married. Why? The purpose of their campaign is not primarily for the purpose of marriage, but rather for legitimisation of their practice.

You concluded,

“If a society would want to base their government off the Bible, I would be excited, but wary. But the nation that has been murdering infants for over 50 years and that has done some very deplorable things in warfare, needs whole-scale moral reform, not just knit picking to ostracize certain sinful groups, and promoting others.”

Again, the arguments I described in my previous post made absolutely no appeal to the Bible. I quite agree, however, that Christians ought to be careful not to single out homosexuality as if it were the ‘chief of all sins’. The world is in need of moral reform, and this includes matters such as abortion. The church also needs to be careful not to be found guilty of double standards. As Jesus explained in Matthew 7:4-5, “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” The church must be careful to walk in purity and integrity, and not fall into sin.

– Jonathan McLatchie

Free CrossExamined.org Resource

Get the first chapter of "Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case" in PDF.

Powered by ConvertKit

Facebook Comments