Chipping Blocks from the Foundation
What’s dismaying is that which the Providence Journal editorial writer elides in his or her advocacy for same-sex marriage:
The ruling essentially locks homosexual couples into marriage in Rhode Island unless one or both members of the marriage move back to Massachusetts and institute divorce proceedings there. That is not equal justice under the law. After all, heterosexual couples who were married in the Bay State are allowed to divorce in Rhode Island.
The court, in its 3-2 ruling, noted that marriage in Rhode Island is repeatedly defined in state laws as being between a man and a woman. True, but the state has long recognized legal marriages performed in other states whose criteria for legality are different from its own. Take, for instance, that Ocean State courts have accepted marriages in other states involving people who would not have met the minimum age for marriage in Rhode Island.
The missing admission is that, in Rhode Island, marriage remains what everybody always thought it meant until very recently: a relationship between a man and a woman. By that definition, an out-of-state marriage between a boy and girl too young to enter into the arrangement in Rhode Island is still a marriage; there’s a difference between finding that a marriage was improperly entered into and/or ought to be considered void and finding that a relationship is not actually a marriage. The problem with the same-sex marriage movement, as with the larger homosexual movement, and the whole progressive movement beyond that, is the nonchalance with which advocates hack away at the blocks that form the foundation of our society in order to enable their peremptory emotional social manipulation.
Imagine a wall of cinder blocks toothed and stacked like bricks. In order to layer on a new block that allows homosexuals to enter into marriage, our system requires activists to gain acceptance across the population, which often builds with restrictions on positioning and changes in import. To avoid that necessity, same-sex marriage advocates have been attempting to swing the sledge hammer labeled “civil right” at more fundamental principles: that marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman and, more fundamental still, that men and women are different in substantial ways. The tragedy is that other blocks rely on those principles — such as that children ought to be raised by their own mothers and fathers.
Attacking the fundamentals — usually without acknowledging that one is doing so — is the only way to declare, as the Projo does, that extending “full marriage rights to… homosexual residents” is “the right and just thing.” According to the structure of the law, the state’s gay citizens do have “full marriage rights”; they just don’t wish to exercise them. The predictable response from those opposite me on this issue is to scoff sardonically at a bigotry that they see as inherent in my assertion that legal equality indeed obtains, but no bigotry exists. I’m simply pointing to the “marriage = man and woman” block on which my opinion is based. That not being good enough for the advocates, they proceed to undermine that principle, and to continue the process on down to bedrock.
This is why homosexuality, as a movement, is so irredeemably subversive. Consider what’s been happening within the Episcopal Church:
The Fresno-based congregation is the first full diocese to secede because of a conservative-liberal rift that began decades ago and is now focused on whether the Bible condemns gay relationships. …
“I do not intend to threaten you, only to urge you to reconsider and draw back from this trajectory,” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, head of the U.S. denomination, wrote in a letter to Schofield earlier this week.
[Bishop John-David] Schofield responded that the Episcopal Church “has isolated itself from the overwhelming majority of Christendom and more specifically from the Anglican Communion by denying Biblical truth and walking apart from the historic Faith and Order.” …
Christian advocates for accepting gay relationships, including Jefferts Schori, say they are guided by biblical teachings on social justice and tolerance. But Schofield and other conservatives believe Scripture bars same-sex relationships. San Joaquin also is one of three dioceses in the Episcopal Church that will not ordain women. Schori last year became the first woman elected to lead the denomination.
The movement plainly can’t insert its preferences into a religious infrastructure guided by Christian scripture without addressing all previous thought, right down to the way in which the Bible ought to be read and applied. In this case, leveraging previously installed wedges, the liberal movement has declared that “biblical teachings on social justice and tolerance” both override proscriptions against homosexual activity and apply to the church’s hierarchy in a specific manner.
The increasing experiences of religious organizations reveal the stress cracks that do and will run more deeply throughout our culture:
“This is not an abstract debate on principles,” Stern said, describing a number of other situations currently or recently in litigation:
— The Sea Scouts, a branch of the Boy Scouts of America, was denied use of a public wharf in California because Boy Scouts do not permit homosexuals as leaders.
— In Canada, where same-sex marriage is legal, a religious organization’s billboard quoting from the Bible that homosexuality is “an abomination” was ruled to be “hate speech.”
“Around the world, many countries are following the European model, which says hate speech is entirely unprotected and trumps religious liberty,” Stern said.
— An evangelical student wearing a T-shirt that said “Homosexuality is a sin” was suspended from school because the shirt challenged “the essence” of some of the other students. His suspension was upheld in court.
“Whether attacks on a person’s ‘essence’ are reason to deny free speech is questionable,” the attorney said.
— A physician who refused to treat a lesbian couple who wanted artificial insemination was sued by the couple and lost in court.
“Are we going to ask doctors to sign documents that violate their doctrinal beliefs” as a condition of licensure? Stern asked.
— An Orthodox Jewish university that designated certain housing for married couples only was accused of discrimination for denying a same-sex couple a place there and eventually was forced to open the housing to any couple.
Rights of association. Rights of speech. Professional rights. All must fall, and the promise from the demolitionists is always that not much more needs to be removed, that the structure will hold, and that we don’t need principles that uphold the rights of “bigots” (as their opposition gets branded) anyway. Unfortunately, we will all have to live in the society that they attempt to rebuild upon the morass that remains after their destruction.