Is Marriage Hetero?

(I am changing some of my “Pages” to “Posts,” so some of this info is older to my site)

This post deals with two questions at separate times asked of me explaining why marriage should be considered in it’s ideal form ~ heterosexual. This post deals only with laws of biology and natural law. It does not deal with states Constitutional opportunity to define marriage, or issues peripheral to what is my response to two honest questions proffered to me.

John, you asked a very constructive question in regards to marriage and sexuality, let me repeat your question here:

  • “If it doesn’t have to do with being turned on, mentally and physically, and acting upon one’s desires, then what does define our sexuality? What defines us being heterosexual?”

Keep in mind that you have caused me to search out better definitions and understandings with respect to our current conversation, so I am starting to build on past knowledge, and may only be able to answer you thoroughly in the future and not at this immediate time.

However, I believe I have come to terms with what it is that we are discussing, and I believe I can define “sexuality” in a way that you can take away from this conversation and say, “So this is where the crux of the debate lay on their side.”

Okay, let me start this long – arduous – definition of heterosexuality. First of all, the claim that the law ought to be morally neutral about marriage or anything else is itself a moral claim. As such, it is not morally neutral, nor can it rest on an appeal to moral neutrality. We are both debating a subject, and as such, both are using reference points, subject/object distinctions, and the like. We are far from being neutral and must admit we are trying to propose one mortal system over another. I am sure we are both agreed on this.

The CORE of the traditional view and understanding of marriage (remember that homosexuality has long been condemned as immoral by the natural law tradition of moral philosophy, as well as by Jewish and Christian teaching, not only that, it may have been recognized by past cultures, but never authorized… as the gay rights movement is asking for today):

Marriage is a two-in-one-flesh communion of persons that is consummated and actualized by acts that are reproductive in type, whether or not they are reproductive in effect (or motivated, even in part, by a desire to reproduce). The bodily union of spouses in marital acts is the biological matrix of their marriage as a multi-level relationship: that is, a relationship that unites persons at the bodily, emotional, dispositional, and spiritual levels of the being.

Marriage, precisely as such a relationship, is naturally ordered to the good of procreation and to the nurturing and education of children) as well as to the good of spousal unity, and these goods are tightly bound together with a healthy society.

The distinctive unity of spouses is possible because human (like other mammalian) males and females, by mating, unite organically – in other words, they become a single reproductive principle. Although reproduction is a single act, in humans (and other mammals) the reproductive act is performed not by individual members of the species, but by a mated pair as an organic unit. Germaine Grisez has made this point:

“Though a male and a female are complete individuals with respect to other functions – for example, nutrition, sensation, and locomotion – with respect to reproduction they are only potential parts of a mated pair, which is the complete organism capable or reproducing sexually. Even if the mated pair is sterile, intercourse, provided it is the reproductive behavior characteristic of the species, makes the copulating male and female one organism. Masturbatory, sodomitical, or other sexual acts that are not reproductive in type cannot unite persons organically: that is, as a single reproductive principle. Therefore, such acts cannot be intelligibly engaged in for the sake of marital (i.e., one-flesh, bodily) unity as such. They cannot be marital acts!”

Rather, persons who perform such acts must be doing so for the sake of ends or goals that are extrinsic (definitions at the end) to themselves as bodily persons: Sexual satisfaction, or (perhaps) mutual sexual satisfaction, is sought as a means of releasing tension, or obtaining (and, sometimes, sharing) pleasure, either as an end in itself, or as a means to some other end, such as expressing affection, esteem, friendliness, etc. In any case, where one-flesh union cannot (or cannot rightly) be sought as an end-in-itself, sexual activity necessarily involves the instrumentalization of the bodies of those participating in such activity to extrinsic ends.

In marital acts, by contrast, the bodies of persons who unite biologically are not reduced to the status of mere instruments. Rather, the end, goal, and intelligible point of sexual union is the good of marriage itself. On this understanding, such union is not a merely instrumental good, i.e., a reason for action whose intelligibility as a reason depends on the other end. The central and justifying point of sex is not pleasure (or even the sharing of pleasure) per se, however much sexual pleasure is sought – rightly sought – as an aspect of the perfection of marital union; the point of sex, rather, is marriage itself. Considered as a bodily (“one-flesh”) union of persons consummated and actualized by acts that are reproductive in type.

Because in marital acts sex is not instrumentalized, such acts are free of the self-alienating and dis-integrating qualities of masturbatory and sodomitical sex.

Unlike these and other nonmarital sex acts, marital acts effect no practical dualism which volitionally and, thus, existentially separates the body from conscious and desiring aspect of the self which inhabits and uses the body as its instrument. (On person-body dualism, its implications for ethics, and its philosophical untenability, see: John Finnis, Joseph M. Boyle, and Germaine Grisez, Nuclear Deterrence, Morality and Realism [Oxford University Press; 1987], pp. 304-309.)

As John Finnis has observed, marital acts are truly unitive, and in no way self-alienating, because the bodily or biological aspect of human beings is “part of, and not merely an instrument of, their personal reality.”

But, one might ask, what about procreation? On the traditional view, isn’t sexual union of spouses instrumentalized to the goal of having children? It is true that Augustine was an influential proponent of something like this view, and there has always been a certain following for it among Christians. The strict Augustinian position was rejected, however, by the mainstream of philosophical and theological reflection from the late Middle Ages forward, and the understanding of sex and marriage that came to be embodied in the civil law of matrimony does not treat marriage as a merely instrumental good. Matrimonial law has traditionally understood marriage as consummated by, and only by, the reproductive-type acts of spouses; by contrast, the sterility of spouses – so long as they are capable of consummating their marriage by a reproductive-type act (and, thus, of achieving bodily – organic unity! This is why court annul a marriage that hasn’t reached this unity) – has never been treated as an impediment to marriage, even where sterility is certain and even certain to be permanent (as in the case of the marriage of a woman who has been through menopause or has undergone a hysterectomy).

According to the traditional understanding of marriage, then, it is the nature of marital acts as reproductive in type that makes it possible for such acts to be unitive in the distinctively marital way (“one-flesh”). And this type of unity is intrinsic, and not merely instrumental, value.

Thus, the unitive good of marriage provides a noninstrumental (and thus sufficient) reason for spouses to perform sexual acts of a type that consummates and actualizes their marriage. In performing marital acts, the spouses do not reduce themselves as bodily persons (or their marriage) to the status of means or instruments.

At the same time, where marriage is understood as a one-flesh union of persons, children who may be conceived in marital acts are understood not as an ends which are extrinsic to marriage (either in the strict Augustinian sense, or the modern liberal one), but, rather, as gifts which supervene on acts whose central justifying point is precisely the marital unity of the spouses. Such acts have unique meaning, value, and significance, as I have already suggested in this post, because they belong to the class of acts by which children come into being – what I have called “reproductive-type acts.” More precisely, these acts have their unique meaning, value, and significance because they belong to the only class of acts by which children can come into being, not as “products” which their parents choose to “make,” but, rather, as perfective participants in the organic community (i.e., the family) that is established by their parents’ marriage. It is thus that children are properly understood and treated – even in their conception – not as objects of the desire or will of their parents, but as subjects of justice (and inviolable human rights); not as property, but as persons.

Excerpts from Robert P. George, The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion, and Morality in Crisis.



Glossary

Extrinsic (Random House Webster CD-Rom) – all are relevant.

1. Not essential or inherent; not a basic part or quality; extraneous: facts that are extrinsic to the matter under discussion.

2. Being outside a thing; outward or external; operating or coming from without: extrinsic influences.

3. Anatomy. (of certain muscles, nerves, etc.) originating outside the anatomical limits of a part.

Intrinsic (Random House Webster CD-Rom) – all are relevant.

1. Belonging to a thing by its very nature: the intrinsic value of a gold ring.

2. Anatomy. (of certain muscles, nerves, etc.) Belonging to or lying within a given part.


A question posed to me years ago by one of my son’s friends:


Question 3) What is your views on gays? Are they bad? Are they going to hell? Are you born this way?

The homosexual man or woman is just as much a sinner as you or me. We all need Christ. To touch on the hell issue first, I believe hell is a testament to free-will, and dignity as well. C.S. Lewis mentioned that hell is locked from the inside. The only thing separating mankind from God is a belief in the finished work on the Cross. By choice people reject their Creator, they choose their path, God never imposes it. Many who are saved are not immediately pure in action, nor will they ever be. Sometimes people take decades to work through their faults (counseling, prayer, reading God’s Word, etc), so just like the person who may cheat on his wife regularly, when he comes to a saving knowledge of God, he will be challenged to change his ways and seek counseling and prayer and reference from God’s Word. The same with a gay man or woman. If they truly have a saving knowledge of God, they will be challenged by the Holy Spirit to seek biblical guidance in their life, and like many others, they will turn away from their homosexual lifestyles.

However, there is a “created order,” or, even a natural order (if you do not believe in God). My argument for heterosexual (between a man and a woman) unions is usable both by the atheist (non believer in God) and the theist (a believer in God – in the Judeo-Christian sense). Here is the crux of the matter in regards to “nature’s order:”

“…take gold as an example, it has inherent in its nature intrinsic qualities that make it expensive: good conductor of electricity, rare, never tarnishes, and the like. The male and female have the potential to become a single biological organism, or single organic unit, or principle. Two essentially becoming one. The male and female, then, have inherent to their nature intrinsic qualities that two mated males or two mated females never actualize in their courtship… nor can they ever. The potential stays just that, potential, never being realized…..

“….Think of a being that reproduces, not by mating, but by some act performed by individuals. Imagine that for these same beings, movement and digestion is performed not by individuals, but only by the complementary pairs that unite for this purpose. Would anyone acquainted with such beings have difficulty understanding that in respect to movement and digestion, the organism is a united pair, or an organic unity?”

So you see, the two heterosexual organisms that join in a sexual union cease being two separate organisms for a short time and become one organism capable of reproduction. This is what the state and the church are sealing in a marriage, this intrinsic union. The homosexual couple can never achieve this union, so “natures order” has endowed the heterosexual union with an intrinsic quality that other relationships do not have or could never attain. Both the atheist and theist can argue from this point, because either we were created this way or we evolved this way. Either way, nature has imposed on the sexual union being discussed.

Also, I do not think it is wholly genetic. I believe choice is involved as well as violence. For instance, take this thought from a pro-choice, lesbian woman, Tammy Bruce:

“ . . . . and now all manner of sexual perversion enjoys the protection and support of once what was a legitimate civil-rights effort for decent people. The real slippery slope has been the one leading into the Left’s moral vacuum. It is a singular attitude that prohibits any judgment about obvious moral decay because of the paranoid belief that judgment of any sort would destroy the gay lifestyle, whatever that is…. I believe this grab for children by the sexually confused adults of the Gay Elite represents the most serious problem facing our culture today…. Here come the elephant again: Almost without exception, the gay men I know (and that’s too many to count) have a story of some kind of sexual trauma or abuse in their childhoodmolestation by a parent or an authority figure, or seduction as an adolescent at the hands of an adult. The gay community must face the truth and see sexual molestation of an adolescent for the abuse it is,* instead of the ‘coming-of-age’ experience many [gays] regard it as being. Until then, the Gay Elite will continue to promote a culture of alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, and suicide by AIDS.”

* By the age of 18 or 19 years, three quarters of American youth, regardless of their sexual orientation, have had sexual relations with another person. Gay males are more likely than heterosexual males to become sexually active at a younger age (12.7 vs. 15.7 years) and to have had multiple sexual partners. The ages at the time of the first sexual experience with another person are closer for lesbians and heterosexual females (15.4 vs. 16.2 years).

(New England Journal of Medicine)

What she is basically saying is that there are emotional reasons, usually trauma, or circumstances that push these young boys into the choices they make in regards to their sexuality. For instance, one of my co-workers is a homosexual man. He is a wonderful guy; I would invite him to my wedding if I could go back in time. He is very open about his past, he was “initiated” into the homosexual lifestyle by a grown black man when he was 14. In other words, he was raped. Whether he feels now that he consented, or the person was a family friend or complete stranger. This act of sex with a minor by a grown man is rape. And this rape, at an age where boys are having surges of hormones and confused about a lot of things is what Tammy Bruce was speaking to. It is a psychological trauma that if not dealt with has traumatic results in one’s life. This sometimes works its way into sexual matters. There are many homosexual people, Al Rantel (790am 6pm to 9pm), to name a more popular one, that believe marriage should be kept between a man and a woman. Tammy Bruce wants it, but she, like most Republicans, want the states to decide, and not the Supreme Court.

Also, in 1993, the biggest march by the “gay” community (Elite gay community) on Washington was held, and they had this as part of their platform:

  • The implications of homosexual, bisexual, and transgendered curriculum at all levels of education.
  • The lowering of the age [12 years old to be exact] of consent for homosexual and heterosexual sex.
  • The legalization of homosexual marriages.
  • Custody, adoption, and foster-care rights for homosexuals, lesbians, and transgendered people.
  • the redefinition of the family to include the full diversity of all family structures.
  • The access to all programs of the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Affirmative action for homosexuals.
  • The inclusion of sex-change operations under a universal health-care plan.

Obviously the Elite gay community Tammy Bruce spoke of [made up of Leftist Progressives] knows which age is best for “recruiting,” e.g., traumatizing.More can be said on all the above issues, but my book is not yet written. I will post three quotes from Tammy Bruce (a pro-choice lesbian):

Even if one does not necessarily accept the institutional structure of “organized religion,” the “Judeo-Christian ethic and the personal standards it encourages do not impinge on the quality of life, but enhance it. They also give one a basic moral template that is not relative,” which is why the legal positivists of the Left are so threatened by the Natural Law aspect of the Judeo-Christian ethic. (Tammy Bruce, The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values [Roseville: Prima, 2003], 35.)

…these problems don’t remain personal and private. The drive, especially since this issue is associated with the word “gay rights,” is to make sure your worldview reflects theirs. To counter this effort, we must demand that the medical and psychiatric community take off their PC blinders and treat these people responsibly. If we don’t, the next thing you know, your child will be taking a “tolerance” class explaining how “transexuality” is just another “lifestyle choice”…. After all, it is the only way malignant narcissists will ever feel normal, healthy, and acceptable: by remaking society – children – in their image (Ibid., 92, 206)

The below are two non-Biblical arguments presented in video form.

In the above video just past the 2:38 mark, the below point is made, the strongest point of the video:

Culture has a right to redefine marriage.

Spousal rights and marital traditions have changed. However, marriage has always been between males and females because of the unique function they perform in society.

Marriage can’t be a social construction because cultures emerge when humans reproduce.

This means that cultures cannot be the constructors of the marriages that make culture possible in the first place. Bricks make the building, not the building the bricks. Culture does not construct marriage. Marriage and family construct culture.

The above is a favored video of mine. The point about police work and other jobs in society and later how the government doesn’t discriminate against other professions when it promotes police work. Great, useable point.

And, if this were to be characterized as “Biblical,” so what? This thinking fails to distinguish the reasons for a law from the content of the law:

…Such “exclude religion” arguments are wrong because marriage is not a religion! When voters define marriage, they are not establishing a religion. In the First Amendment, “Con­gress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” the word “religion” refers to the church that people attend and support. “Religion” means being a Baptist or Catholic or Presbyterian or Jew. It does not mean being married. These arguments try to make the word “religion” in the Constitution mean something different from what it has always meant.

These arguments also make the logical mistake of failing to distinguish the reasons for a law from the content of the law. There were religious reasons behind many of our laws, but these laws do not “establish” a religion. All major religions have teachings against stealing, but laws against stealing do not “establish a religion.” All religions have laws against murder, but laws against murder do not “establish a religion.” The cam­paign to abolish slavery in the United States and England was led by many Christians, based on their religious convictions, but laws abolishing slavery do not “establish a reli­gion.” The campaign to end racial discrimination and segregation was led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist pastor, who preached against racial injustice from the Bible. But laws against discrimination and segregation do not “establish a religion.”

If these “exclude religion” arguments succeed in court, they could soon be applied against evangelicals and Catholics who make “religious” arguments against abortion. Majority votes to protect unborn children could then be invalidated by saying these vot­ers are “establishing a religion.” And, by such reasoning, all the votes of religious citizens for almost any issue could be found invalid by court decree! This would be the direct opposite of the kind of country the Founding Fathers established, and the direct opposite of what they meant by “free exercise” of religion in the First Amendment.

Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible [Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010], 31.

As well as what legal changes have been wrought by the Judeo-Christian worldview that has been positive for societies all over this world:

Historian Alvin Schmidt points out how the spread of Christianity and Christian influence on government was primarily responsible for outlawing infanticide, child abandonment, and abortion in the Roman Empire (in AD 374); outlawing the brutal battles-to-the-death in which thousands of gladiators had died (in 404); outlawing the cruel punishment of branding the faces of criminals (in 315); instituting prison reforms such as the segregating of male and female prisoners (by 361); stopping the practice of human sacrifice among the Irish, the Prussians, and the Lithuanians as well as among other nations; outlawing pedophilia; granting of property rights and other protections to women; banning polygamy (which is still practiced in some Muslim nations today); prohibiting the burning alive of widows in India (in 1829); outlawing the painful and crippling practice of binding young women’s feet in China (in 1912); persuading government officials to begin a system of public schools in Germany (in the sixteenth century); and advancing the idea of compulsory education of all children in a number of European countries.

During the history of the church, Christians have had a decisive influence in opposing and often abolishing slavery in the Roman Empire, in Ireland, and in most of Europe (though Schmidt frankly notes that a minority of “erring” Christian teachers have supported slavery in various centuries). In England, William Wilberforce, a devout Christian, led the successful effort to abolish the slave trade and then slavery itself throughout the British Empire by 1840.

In the United States, though there were vocal defenders of slavery among Christians in the South, they were vastly outnumbered by the many Christians who were ardent abolitionists, speaking, writing, and agitating constantly for the abolition of slavery in the United States. Schmidt notes that two-thirds of the American abolitionists in the mid-1830s were Christian clergymen, and he gives numerous examples of the strong Christian commitment of several of the most influential of the antislavery crusaders, including Elijah Lovejoy (the first abolitionist martyr), Lyman Beecher, Edward Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin), Charles Finney, Charles T. Torrey, Theodore Weld, William Lloyd Garrison, “and others too numerous to mention.” The American civil rights movement that resulted in the outlawing of racial segregation and discrimination was led by Martin Luther King Jr., a Christian pastor, and supported by many Christian churches and groups.

There was also strong influence from Christian ideas and influential Christians in the formulation of the Magna Carta in England (1215) and of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution (1787) in the United States. These are three of the most significant documents in the history of governments on the earth, and all three show the marks of significant Christian influence in the foundational ideas of how governments should function.

Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible [Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010], 49-50.

Nature’s Laws Defines the Reasons for Heterosexual Relations

Romans 1:18-21:

For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse. For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened.

Here is the intro from a chapter in my book explaining a bit the above:

Like all of Scripture, Romans references eternal truths based solely in God’s nature and His created order.  These truths brought the once pagan scholar, Augustine, to the Christian faith transforming him into an exemplary apologist.[1]  Similar truths found in the Book of Roman’s electrified Luther’s life.[2]  These two person’s mentioned have had a huge impact on the direction of Western Culture.[3]  The truths in the letter Paul penned were evident enough from the natural created order that even the common ancient man could understand his own nature and the nature of others.[4] [5]  For instance, while Aristotle did not codify the Laws of Thought[6] for another 150-years — the Law of Contradiction and Excluded Middle was clearly used in a legal setting referenced in the Old Testament. This law of nature/thought was referenced to make a stand against the pagan God of the day, Baal:

“So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto Mount Carmel.  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, ‘How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him’.”[7] [8] [9]

These laws were not invented by Aristotle just like gravity was not invented by Newton. Newton – like Aristotle – merely codified these already existing phenomena.  Similarly, while natural law[10] [11] was not officially codified until more modern times[12] – natural law always existed and was referenced and used by thinkers all throughout history.  This includes biblical authors importing Grecian constructs in the writing of Romans 2:15 in regards to natural law expressing God’s eternal truths to the audience of his day.[13]  Paul had a theistic-Christian understanding of “human nature”[14] much like Moses had a grasp on the nature of God’s triuness[15] before the word “Holy Trinity” was ever used.  When Paul wrote that person’s “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator,”[16] he was categorically defining human nature.  Not only that.  Paul was referencing the early chapters of Genesis when he spoke about a Creator.  The early chapters of Genesis “are the very foundation on which all knowledge rests,”[17]  Paul knew the importance of a coherent worldview based in the Judeo-Christian worldview as do pro-choice lesbians confirming its positive impact on culture:

Even if one does not necessarily accept the institutional structure of “organized religion,” the “Judeo-Christian ethic and the personal standards it encourages do not impinge on the quality of life, but enhance it.  They also give one a basic moral template that is not relative,” which is why the legal positivists of the Left are so threatened by the Natural Law aspect of the Judeo-Christian ethic.[18]

FootNotes

[1] Walter A. Elwell and Robert W. Yarbrough, Encountering the New Testament: A Historical and Theological Survey, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005), 274.

[2] Ibid., 275.

[3] For example:

a) Augustine’s impact implicitly on George Washington, see: Michael Novak and Jana Novak, Washington’s God: Religion, Liberty, and the Father of Our Country (New York: Basic Books, 2006), 202-203;

b) Luther on work ethic leading to the Protestant ethic therein, see: Paul Marshall, God and the Constitution: Christianity and American Politics (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Pub. Inc., 2002), 31;

c) generally the Reformation’s impact on nationalism and economic freedom, see: Alvin J. Schmidt, How Christianity Changed the World (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 2004), 199-213;

d) Calvinism and the influence on the Founders understanding of mankind’s place in the universe, see: John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1987), 17-26.

[4] John R.W. Stott, The Message of Romans (Downers Grove: IVP, 1994), 78.

[5] This polemic, by-the-by, is not an argument for the superiority of natural revelation verses special, the latter is what guides all Christians.  Even to interpret “Romans 1 and 2 in deistic terms of natural religion is unjustifiable” (Carl F. H. Henry, “Natural Law and a Nihilistic Culture,” First Things 49 [1995]: 55-60), this is realized.

[6] Chris Rohmann, A World of Ideas: A Dictionary of Important Theories, Concepts, Beliefs, and Thinkers (New York: Ballantine Books, 1999), cf. “Aristotle,” 26.

[7] The Holy Bible: King James Version (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version; Bellingham: Logos Research Systems, 1995), cf. 1 Ki 18:20-21.

[8] This came to me during one of Dr. Wayne Houses lectures at Faith Evangelical Seminary.

[9] These verses also hint at the Law of Excluded Middle as well as the Law of Identity.

[10] Defined generally as “[r]ules of conduct determined by reflection upon human nature…”  Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan, eds., Oxford Concise Dictionary of Politics (New York: Oxford, 2003), cf. “natural law”, 365.

[11] Dr. Elwell defines it as “[a] moral order divinely implanted in humankind and accessible to all persons through human reason.”  Walter A. Elwell, ed., Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001), 814.

[12] Evolving from Aristotle, to Augustus, Aquinas, Locke and most recently, John Finnis. See Finnis’s  Natural Law and Natural Rights (Clarendon Law Series; ed. H. L. A. Hart; New York: Oxford University Press, 1980).

[13] Thomas R. Schreiner, Romans (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998), 122.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Cf., Genesis 18:1-3, 9, 13, 22, 26-27, 30; 19:1-2, 18, 24. Actually this was a revelation directly to Abraham [revelation of God’s attributes], but Moses edited these earlier testimonies and was himself aware of these explicit implications.

[16] NASB, Romans 1:25.

[17] C. Everett Koop and Francis A. Schaeffer, Whatever Happened To The Human Race? (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1983) 112.

[18] Tammy Bruce, The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values (Roseville: Prima, 2003), 35.

Now, let us read a bit from both The Declaration of Independence:

…the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them.

Founding.com explains succinctly what is meant by “laws of nature” penned in one of our many founding documents:

“The laws of nature and of nature’s God” are the beginning point of the political theory of the American founding. They explain the Founders’ decision to declare America’s independence from England. But what does this phrase mean–“the laws of nature and of nature’s God”?

First, it means that nature encompasses laws: certain obligations are prescribed for all human beings by nature–or more specifically, by the fact that all humans share a common nature. Today, some scientists claim that “nature knows no morals.” For the Founders, that is what one might expect to hear from a tyrant like Hitler or Stalin, but not anyone who understands that human nature itself, rightly understood, provides objective standards of how human life should be lived.

Second, “laws of nature” are laws that can be grasped by human reason. The Founders did not believe-as one often hears today-that there is a right to liberty because “who’s to say what’s right or wrong?” The Founders were not moral relativists. To the contrary, they boldly proclaim that they grasp certain fundamental principles or moral and political conduct.

Third and finally, the “laws of nature,” accessible in principle to any person anywhere in the world who thinks clearly about the nature of human beings, mean that the American founding is not based on ideas specifically tied to one people, such as “the rights of Englishmen,” but on ideas that are true for all people everywhere….

Obviously God’s laws are not arbitrary. But according to the Founders, nature is not either. And it is this non-subjective portion of nature that every culture tapped into, based in God’s character/attributes.

For instance, people have a distorted view of Greek culture (B.C.). One is that homosexual acts with boys was accepted in-situ as equal to male/female relations. This is not the case.

NOR were the moral giants from that time that so influenced our Republic silent on the matter. Here for instance is Plato in dialogue with a detractor who ends up agreeing with him on the morality of the two relations compared:

Now, what lives are they, and how many in which, having searched out and beheld the objects of will and desire and their opposites, and making of them a law, choosing, I say, the dear and the pleasant and the best and noblest, a man may live in the happiest way possible

[….]

Speaking generally, our glory is to follow the better and improve the inferior, which is susceptible of improvement, as far as this is possible. And of all human possessions, the soul is by nature most inclined to avoid the evil, and track out and find the chief good; which when a man has found, he should take up his abode with it during the remainder of his life…. every one will perceive, comes the honour of the body in natural order. Having determined this, we have next to consider that there is a natural honour of the body, and that of honours some are true and some are counterfeit…. but the mean states of all these habits are by far the safest and most moderate;

[….]

…but they will not wholly extirpate [root out] the unnatural loves which have been the destruction of states; and against this evil what remedy can be devised?…

[….]

Either men may learn to abstain wholly from any loves, natural or unnatural, except of their wedded wives; or, at least, they may give up unnatural loves; or, if detected, they shall be punished with loss of citizenship, as aliens from the state in their morals.

  • ‘I entirely agree with you,’ said Megillus,…

This is excerpted from The Dialogues of Plato, in 5 vols (Jowett ed.) [387 BC]

Another “big-wig” in the roots of philosophy our Founder knew so well is that of Aeschines:

Aeschines (390-314? BC), in his work Against Timarchus, acknowledged that there were laws on the books that prohibited sexual harassment or assault of young boys.

1. He further records that Greek law prohibited male prostitutes from holding office in civic affairs, or participating in religious observances.

2. He recognized that laws that regulate moral conduct are the best means of establishing and maintaining an orderly society.

3. This work indicates that there were laws prohibiting these things, and that the punishment was fine or death, depending on the severity of the offense.

Even the Greeks had a reference to nature that exuded a universal moral application. An ideal.

As an aside, no founder of any of the worlds great religions supported the measure of same-sex relations as equal to those of the hetero lifestyle. For instance, the Buddha was alerted to the problem and he issued a rule for the community not to give any ordination to a homosexual, and those ordained gays are to be expelled (Vin.I, 86).

What Christianity did is apply both the Book of Revelation in God revealing His plan to us. So, in Genesis 2:24 God sets up the parameters of the laws of nature and what the Greeks were really tapping into when we read:

This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.

Remember, in Genesis 1:26 you have a clear reference to the Plurality of the Godhead. This is continued through chapter two with the reference to Lord God. Elohim is a plural hint at the Godhead.

Who is part of this Godhead Paul references in Romans? In classical understanding God is: God the Father, Jesus the Messiah/Son, and the Holy Spirit. So Jesus is in the mix, fully God. Theology 101. So what did Jesus [God] have to say on the matter?

I will let Dr. Andrews respond to my question (from: Did Jesus Believe in Adam and Eve?):

…If you want to limit yourself to the words of Jesus Himself (as distinct from NT testimony as a whole) you have I think only two specific texts to argue from:

1) Matt 19:4 ‘And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ (repeated in Mark 10:6 “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’) In Matt. 19 it is important to notice the words that follow; “and SAID ‘For this reason …”, quoting Genesis 2:24. But this latter text doesn’t say ‘God said’ … which means that Jesus attributes the simple statement of Gen. 2:24 to God, thus testifying to the divine authorship of this verse and by implication the whole book of Genesis.

2) The other useful text is Mt 24:38For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, etc”. Here Jesus testifies to the historical reality of the flood, Noah and the ark. Most theistic evolutionists believe that the first 11 chapters of Genesis are mythology and not to be taken literally or as historically true. (But this may not apply to everyone who accepts macro evolution).

Um… in case you are confused… Jesus was one of the “Hombres” present when He made essentially the first contractual obligation for mankind to follow. The perpetuation of mankind.

This law from nature or God’s law (or both!) have inherent benefits, or an ideal situation for offspring to be raised and benefit society ~ as a whole.

...Doug Mainwaring

I’m gay, and I oppose gay marriage

In our sometimes misguided efforts to expand our freedom, selfish adults have systematically dismantled that which is most precious to children as they grow and develop. That’s why I am now speaking out against same-sex marriage.

By the way, I am gay.

A few days ago I testified against pending same-sex marriage legislation in Minnesota’s Senate Judiciary and House Civil Law Committees.

The atmosphere at these events (I’ve also testified elsewhere) seems tinged with unreality—almost a carnival-like surrealism. Natural law, tradition, religion, intellectual curiosity, and free inquiry no longer play a role in deliberations. Same-sex marriage legislation is defended solely on grounds of moral relativism and emotions.

Pure sophistry is pitted against reason. Reason is losing.

[….]

Same-sex marriage will do the same, depriving children of their right to either a mom or a dad. This is not a small deal. Children are being reduced to chattel-like sources of fulfillment. On one side, their family tree consists not of ancestors, but of a small army of anonymous surrogates, donors, and attorneys who pinch-hit for the absent gender in genderless marriages. Gays and lesbians demand that they have a “right” to have children to complete their sense of personal fulfillment, and in so doing, are trumping the right that children have to both a mother and a father—a right that same-sex marriage tramples over.

Same-sex marriage will undefine marriage and unravel it, and in so doing, it will undefine children. It will ultimately lead to undefining humanity. This is neither “progressive” nor “conservative” legislation. It is “regressive” legislation.

(read more)

Which is why one of the most respected Canadian sociologist and homosexual, Paul Nathanson, writes that there are at least five functions that marriage serves–things that every culture must do in order to survive and thrive. They are:

  • Foster the bonding between men and women
  • Foster the birth and rearing of children
  • Foster the bonding between men and children
  • Foster some form of healthy masculine identity
  • Foster the transformation of adolescents into sexually responsible adults

Note that Nathanson considers these points critical to the continued survival of any culture. He continues “Because heterosexuality is directly related to both reproduction and survival, … every human societ[y] has had to promote it actively . … Heterosexuality is always fostered by a cultural norm” that limits marriage to unions of men and women. He adds that people “are wrong in assuming that any society can do without it.” Going further he stated that “same sex marriage is a bad idea” …[he] only opposed “gay marriage, not gay relationships.”

Here is the crux of the matter in regards to “nature’s order:

“…take gold as an example, it has inherent in its nature intrinsic qualities that make it expensive: good conductor of electricity, rare, never tarnishes, and the like. The male and female have the potential to become a single biological organism, or single organic unit, or principle. Two essentially becoming one. The male and female, then, have inherent to their nature intrinsic qualities that two mated males or two mated females never actualize in their courtship… nor can they ever. The potential stays just that, potential, never being realized…..

“….Think of a being that reproduces, not by mating, but by some act performed by individuals. Imagine that for these same beings, movement and digestion is performed not by individuals, but only by the complementary pairs that unite for this purpose. Would anyone acquainted with such beings have difficulty understanding that in respect to movement and digestion, the organism is a united pair, or an organic unity?”

So you see, the two heterosexual organisms that join in a sexual union cease being two separate organisms for a short time and become one organism capable of reproduction. This is what the state and the church are sealing in a marriage, this intrinsic union. The homosexual couple can never achieve this union, so “natures order” has endowed the heterosexual union with an intrinsic quality that other relationships do not have or could never attain. Both the atheist and theist [gay and straight] can argue from this point, because either we were created this way or we evolved this way.

Whichever it is, nature has imposed on us certain realities that a healthy society should adhere to.

Continuing.

Keep in mind all societies have supported the superiority of the male-female relation over and above other forms. When Christianity cam on the scene, it not only supported that reality (and in fact explained it’s Origins), but had from Genesis to the Epistles supported marriage as being bewteen only two people.

This had a net benefit for society as well. By supplanting polygamy women and children are better protected from exploitation. Often times women are treated as chattel in these relations. And young boys are shunned as the older patriarchs are after the “younger-better-models” that in a healthy society would pair up typically with their opposites of similar age.

The reality of polygamy, like slavery, was dealt with in the early church. For instance, we see Paul dealing with the reality of polygamy by calling people to a higher standard, a Godley standard:

“But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:2-3)

Monogomy is clearly taught in the Bible.

Granted, there are exceptions to the rule — I will give an example I learned in seminary about missionary work in countries that practice polygamy.

In discussing this matter with my professor, he noted that when a family comes to a saving knowledge of God, and the man has multiple wives. You do not go in and then break up that family. These women are better off than being single in that society, not is it right to break up families and release the kids “into the wild” so-to-speak.

Through guidance and teaching God’s principles, the children from these relationships typically throw off their paganism and marry in a way that is honoring to God.

One must also keep in mind as well that in the Western tradition, laws are not written on outliers:

…Proponents of gay marriage fail utterly to comprehend the idea that laws are made with society, not the individual, in mind. That is why they also fail to grasp the idea that law is predicated upon averages, not outliers. Interestingly, both libertarians and progressives suffer from this lack of under-standing…

…But more often they try to undermine the link between marriage and childrearing by pointing to outliers—marriages in which couples choose not to have children or cannot have them because at least one partner happens to be infertile. But this argument only reveals the weakness of the progressive understanding of the law. Put simply, rules that are justified by the average case cannot be undermined by the exceptional case, otherwise known as the outlier. Thus the old maxim, “Hard cases make bad law.”…

Mike S. Adams, Letters To A Young Progressive (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2013), 81, 82.

And the one-man-one-women is the most natural way to curb man’s nature to go from one woman to the next propagating offspring and then leaving the child to have no contact with a father.

We can see as our society becomes more accepting of this behavior, and, in facts rewards it, you will see more incarcerations, violence, drug use, suicides, poverty, and the like.

This being said, the most recent cases on same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court have paved the way for polygamy, as well as incest. People may be happy with the “freedom” they think lies in these rulings, but only when this younger generation is older will they realize what they have done to a once proudly Christian nation.

The bottom line is this. Those wanting male-male relations are not arguing against God, but against nature. Mind you, they are rejecting God’s Ideal as well — in their rebellion. However, you could argue from nature alone for the primacy of the male/female relation in the least.

HOWEVER, if one were to argue that the number in a marriage should be only two-people ~ they are specifically arguing from a Judeo-Christian platform. In arguing for the number two in some objective manner, they are inserting Biblical standards on to the law. Something I do not have a problem with, but point of fact, these people do have an issue with it.

When I say Christianity is true I mean it is true to total reality—the total of what is, beginning with the central reality, the objec­tive existence of the personal-infinite God. Christianity is not just a series of truths but Truth—Truth about all of reality. And the holding to that Truth intellectually—and then in some poor way living upon that Truth, the Truth of what is—brings forth not only certain personal results, but also governmental and legal re­sults.

Francis Schaeffer, The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer, Volume Five (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1982), 425.


Raising one’s self-consciousness [awareness] about worldviews is an essential part of intellectual maturity…. The right eyeglasses can put the world into clearer focus, and the correct worldview can function in much the same way. When someone looks at the world from the perspective of the wrong worldview, the world won’t make much sense to him. Or what he thinks makes sense will, in fact, be wrong in important respects. Putting on the right conceptual scheme, that is, viewing the world through the correct worldview, can have important repercussions for the rest of the person’s understanding of events and ideas…. Instead of thinking of Christianity as a collection of theological bits and pieces to be believed or debated, we should approach our faith as a conceptual system, as a total world-and-life view.

Ronald H. Nash, Worldviews in Conflict: Choosing Christianity in a World of Ideas (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1992), 9, 17-18, 19.

Nor, do I agree that religion should be excluded from the law. To do so would mean a LOT of reversing of freedoms gained here in the West as well as in other corners of the world:

…Such “exclude religion” arguments are wrong because marriage is not a religion! When voters define marriage, they are not establishing a religion. In the First Amendment, “Con­gress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” the word “religion” refers to the church that people attend and support. “Religion” means being a Baptist or Catholic or Presbyterian or Jew. It does not mean being married. These arguments try to make the word “religion” in the Constitution mean something different from what it has always meant.

These arguments also make the logical mistake of failing to distinguish the reasons for a law from the content of the law. There were religious reasons behind many of our laws, but these laws do not “establish” a religion. All major religions have teachings against stealing, but laws against stealing do not “establish a religion.” All religions have laws against murder, but laws against murder do not “establish a religion.” The cam­paign to abolish slavery in the United States and England was led by many Christians, based on their religious convictions, but laws abolishing slavery do not “establish a reli­gion.” The campaign to end racial discrimination and segregation was led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist pastor, who preached against racial injustice from the Bible. But laws against discrimination and segregation do not “establish a religion.”

If these “exclude religion” arguments succeed in court, they could soon be applied against evangelicals and Catholics who make “religious” arguments against abortion. Majority votes to protect unborn children could then be invalidated by saying these vot­ers are “establishing a religion.” And, by such reasoning, all the votes of religious citizens for almost any issue could be found invalid by court decree! This would be the direct opposite of the kind of country the Founding Fathers established, and the direct oppo­site of what they meant by “free exercise” of religion in the First Amendment.

[….]

Historian Alvin Schmidt points out how the spread of Christianity and Christian influence on government was primarily responsible for outlawing infanticide, child abandonment, and abortion in the Roman Empire (in AD 374); outlawing the brutal battles-to-the-death in which thousands of gladiators had died (in 404); outlawing the cruel punishment of branding the faces of criminals (in 315); instituting prison reforms such as the segregating of male and female prisoners (by 361); stopping the practice of human sacrifice among the Irish, the Prussians, and the Lithuanians as well as among other nations; outlawing pedophilia; granting of property rights and other protections to women; banning polygamy (which is still practiced in some Muslim nations today); prohibiting the burning alive of widows in India (in 1829); outlawing the painful and crippling practice of binding young women’s feet in China (in 1912); persuading government officials to begin a system of public schools in Germany (in the sixteenth century); and advancing the idea of compulsory education of all children in a number of European countries.

During the history of the church, Christians have had a decisive influence in opposing and often abolishing slavery in the Roman Empire, in Ireland, and in most of Europe (though Schmidt frankly notes that a minority of “erring” Christian teachers have supported slavery in various centuries). In England, William Wilberforce, a devout Christian, led the successful effort to abolish the slave trade and then slavery itself throughout the British Empire by 1840.

In the United States, though there were vocal defenders of slavery among Christians in the South, they were vastly outnumbered by the many Christians who were ardent abolitionists, speaking, writing, and agitating constantly for the abolition of slavery in the United States. Schmidt notes that two-thirds of the American abolitionists in the mid-1830s were Christian clergymen, and he gives numerous examples of the strong Christian commitment of several of the most influential of the antislavery crusaders, including Elijah Lovejoy (the first abolitionist martyr), Lyman Beecher, Edward Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin), Charles Finney, Charles T. Torrey, Theodore Weld, William Lloyd Garrison, “and others too numerous to mention.” The American civil rights movement that resulted in the outlawing of racial segregation and discrimination was led by Martin Luther King Jr., a Christian pastor, and supported by many Christian churches and groups.

There was also strong influence from Christian ideas and influential Christians in the formulation of the Magna Carta in England (1215) and of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution (1787) in the United States. These are three of the most significant documents in the history of governments on the earth, and all three show the marks of significant Christian influence in the foundational ideas of how governments should function.

Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible [Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010], 31, 49-50.

And it is this First Amendment that is under stress as of late. I will end with an excerpt from Francis Schaeffer’s “Christian Manifesto,” something I think every Christian should reacquaint themselves with if they have read it many years ago… or not at all.

When the First Amendment was passed it only had two pur­poses. The first purpose was that there would be no established, national church for the united thirteen states. To say it another way: there would be no “Church of the United States.” James Madison (1751-1836) clearly articulated this concept of separation when explaining the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty. He said that the First Amendment to the Constitution was prompted because “the people feared one sect might obtain a preeminence, or two combine together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform.”

Nevertheless, a number of the individual states had state churches, and even that was not considered in conflict with the First Amendment. “At the outbreak of the American Revolution, nine of the thirteen colonies had conferred special benefits upon one church to the exclusion of others.” “In all but one of the thirteen states, the states taxed the people to support the preaching of the gospel and to build churches.” “It was not until 1798,that the Virginia legislature repealed all its laws supporting churches.” “In Massachusetts the Massachusetts Constitution was not amended until 1853 to eliminate the tax-supported church provosions.”

The second purpose of the First Amendment was the very opposite from what is being made of it today. It states expressly that government should not impede or interfere with the free practice of religion.

Those were the two purposes of the First Amendment as it was written.

As Justice Douglas wrote for the majority of the Supreme Court in the United States v. Ballard case in 1944:

The First Amendment has a dual aspect. It not only “forestalls compulsion by law of the acceptance of any creed or the practice of any form of worship” but also “safeguards the free exercise of the chosen form of religion.”

Today the separation of church and state in America is used to silence the church. When Christians speak out on issues, the hue and cry from the humanist state and media is that Christians, and all religions, are prohibited from speaking since there is a separa­tion of church and state. The way the concept is used today is totally reversed from the original intent. It is not rooted in history. The modern concept of separation is an argument for a total separation of religion from the state. The consequence of the acceptance of this doctrine leads to the removal of religion as an influence in civil government. This fact is well illustrated by John W. Whitehead in his book The Second American Revolution.’ It is used today as a false political dictum in order to restrict the influ­ence of Christian ideas. As Franky Schaeffer V says in the Plan for Action:

It has been convenient and expedient for the secular humanist, the materialist, the so-called liberal, the feminist, the genetic engineer, the bureaucrat, the Supreme Court Justice, to use this arbitrary division between church and state as a ready excuse. It is used, as an easily identifiable rallying point, to subdue the opinions of that vast body of citizens who represent those with religious convictions.

To have suggested the state separated from religion and reli­gious influence would have amazed the Founding Fathers. The French Revolution that took place shortly afterwards, with its continuing excesses and final failure leading quickly to Napoleon and an authoritative rule, only emphasized the difference between the base upon which the United States was founded and the base upon which the French Revolution was founded. History is clear and the men of that day understood it. Terry Eastland said in Commentary magazine:

As a matter of historical fact, the Founding Fathers believed that the public interest was served by the promotion of religion. The North­west Ordinance of 1787, which set aside federal property in the terri­tory for schools and which was passed again by Congress in 1789, is instructive. “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary tc good government and the happiness of mankind,” read the act. “schools and the means of learning shall forever be encouraged.”

In 1811 the New York state court upheld an indictment for blasphe­mous utterances against Christ, and in its ruling, given by Chief Justice Kent, the court said, “We are Christian people, and the moral­ity of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity.” Fifty years later this same court said that “Christianity may be conceded to be the established religion.”

The Pennsylvania state court also affirmed the conviction of a man on charges of blasphemy, here against the Holy Scriptures. The Court said: “Christianity, general Christianity is, and always has been, a part of the common law of Pennsylvania . . . not Christianity founded on any particular religious tenets; nor Christianity with an established church and tithes and spiritual courts; but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men.” . . .

The establishment of Protestant Christianity was one not only of law but also, and far more importantly, of culture. Protestant Christi­anity supplied the nation with its “system of values”—to use the modern phrase—and would do so until the 1920s when the cake of Protestant custom seemed most noticeably to begin crumbling.

As we continue to examine the question of law in relation to the founding of the country, we next encounter Sir William Black­stone (1723-1780). William Blackstone was an English jurist who in the 1760s wrote a very famous work called Commentaries on the Law of England. By the time the Declaration of Independence was signed, there were probably more copies of his Commentaries in American than in Britain. His Commentaries shaped the perspective of American law at that time, and when you read them it is very clear exactly upon what that law was based.

To William Blackstone there were only two foundations for law, nature and revelation, and he stated clearly that he was speak­ing of the “holy Scripture.” That was William Blackstone. And up to the recent past not to have been a master of William Black-stone’s Commentaries would have meant that you would not have graduated from law school.

There were other well-known lawyers who spelled these things out with total clarity. Joseph Story in his 1829 inaugural address as Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University said, “There never has been a period in which Common Law did not recognize Christianity as laying at its foundation.”

Concerning John Adams (1735-1826) Terry Eastland says:

…most people agreed that our law was rooted, as John Adams had said, in a common moral and religious tradition, one that stretched back to the time Moses went up on Mount Sinai. Similarly almost everyone agreed that our liberties were God-given and should be exercised responsibly. There was a distinction between liberty and license.

What we find then as we look back is that the men who founded the United States of America really understood that upon which they were building their concepts of law and the concepts of gov­ernment. And until the takeover of our government and law by this other entity, the materialistic, humanistic, chance world view, these things remained the base of government and law.

Francis Schaeffer, The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer, Volume Five (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1982), 433-436.

Alan Keyes (Natural Law) Debates Alan Dershowitz (Legal Positivism)

Alan Keyes defends the Natural Law position while Alan Dershowitz defends the legal positivism side of the philosophy of law. This debate is long… so you really must love the intricacies of legal philosophy and Natural Law. This is Alan Keyes at his best.

Exclude Religion Arguments Fail Miserable ~ Illusory Neutrality

In conversations since the decision I get the, “you are defending your religious point of view… what about others religious or non-religious viewpoints?” Firstly, I use — typically — non-Biblical responses. My Same-Sex Marriage Page makes one point using the Bible, the other five and secular worries that should make one consider the issue. I have written an entire chapter in my book dealing with the natural law response to the issue. I also note that at no time in history has this idea of same-sex marriage ever been even contemplated to be of equal value to society. No religious leader or major moral thinker that helped shape sour society or others ever thought different.

So, while I try to stay away from either expressly or even using my faith in the majority of the argument… lets say I were to do so? So What! Here is [lesbian] Tammy Bruce:

Even if one does not necessarily accept the institutional structure of “organized religion,” the “Judeo-Christian ethic and the personal standards it encourages do not impinge on the quality of life, but enhance it. They also give one a basic moral template that is not relative,” which is why the legal positivists of the Left are so threatened by the Natural Law aspect of the Judeo-Christian ethic…

…these problems don’t remain personal and private. The drive, especially since this issue is associated with the word “gay rights,” is to make sure your worldview reflects theirs. To counter this effort, we must demand that the medical and psychiatric community take off their PC blinders and treat these people responsibly. If we don’t, the next thing you know, your child will be taking a “tolerance” class explaining how “transexuality” is just another “lifestyle choice”…. After all, it is the only way malignant narcissists will ever feel normal, healthy, and acceptable: by remaking society – children – in their image.

Tammy Bruce, The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values (Roseville: Prima, 2003), 35; 92, 206.

Justice Without Absolutes?

The French Revolution was fueled by rhetoric about the “rights of man.”  Yet without a foundation in the Judeo-Christian teaching of creation, there is no way to say what human nature is.  Who defines it?  Who says how it ought to be treated?  As a result, life is valued only as much as those in power choose to value it.  Small wonder that the French Revolution – with its slogan, “Neither God Nor Master,” quickly led to tyranny accompanied by the guillotine. The American Revolution had its slogan as well, and it goes to show how different the understanding of human nature was in these two revolutions.  The end result of our freedom also goes to show the validity in “the eternal foundation of righteousness” in which they were set.  (Tellingly, the Revolutionary slogan of the U. S. was, “No King But King Jesus!”)

According to C. S. Lewis (professor of medieval and Renaissance literature at Oxford and Cambridge universities, and a philosopher in his own right) one source of the “poison of subjectivism,” as he called it, is the belief that man is the product of blind evolutionary process:

“After studying his environment man has begun to study himself.  Up to that point, he had assumed his own reason and through it seen all other things.  Now, his own reason has become the object: it is as if we took out our eyes to look at them.  Thus studied, his own reason appears to him as the epiphenomenon which accompanies chemical or electrical events in a cortex which is itself the by-product of a blind evolutionary process.  His own logic, hitherto the king whom events in all possible worlds must obey, becomes merely subjective.  There is no reason for supposing that it yields truth.”

First mock Conversation

  • First Person: “You shouldn’t force your morality on me.”
  • Second Person: “Why not?”
  • First Person: “Because I don’t believe in forcing morality.”
  • Second Person: “If you don’t believe in it, then by all means, don’t do it. Especially don’t force that moral view of yours on me.”

Second Mock Conversation

  • First Person: “You shouldn’t push your morality on me.”
  • Second Person: “I’m not entirely sure what you mean by that statement. Do you mean I have no right to an opinion?”
  • First Person: “You have a right to you’re opinion, but you have no right to force it on anyone.”
  • Second Person: “Is that your opinion?”
  • First Person: “Yes.”
  • Second Person: “Then why are you forcing it on me?”
  • First Person: “But your saying your view is right.”
  • Second Person: “Am I wrong?”
  • First Person: “Yes.”
  • Second Person: “Then your saying only your view is right, which is the very thing you objected to me saying.”

Third Mock Conversation

  • First Person: “You shouldn’t push your morality on me.”
  • Second Person: “Correct me if I’m misunderstanding you here, but it sounds to me like your telling me I’m wrong.”
  • First Person: “You are.”
  • Second Person: “Well, you seem to be saying my personal moral view shouldn’t apply to other people, but that sounds suspiciously like you are applying your moral view to me.  Why are you forcing your morality on me?”

(Francis Beckwith & Gregory Koukl, Relativism: Feet Planted in Mid-Air (Baker Books; 1998), p. 144-146.)

SELF-DEFEATING

“Most of the problems with our culture can be summed up in one phrase: ‘Who are you to say?’” ~ Dennis Prager

So lets unpack this phrase and see how it is self-refuting, or as Tom Morris[1] put it, self-deleting.

➤ When someone says, “Who are you to say?” answer with, “Who are you to say ‘Who are you to say’?”

This person is challenging your right to correct another, yet she is correcting you.  Your response to her amounts to “Who are you to correct my correction, if correcting in itself is wrong?” or “If I don’t have the right to challenge your view, then why do you have the right to challenge mine?”  Her objection is self-refuting; you’re just pointing it out.

…Such “exclude religion” arguments are wrong because marriage is not a religion! When voters define marriage, they are not establishing a religion. In the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” the word “religion” refers to the church that people attend and support. “Religion” means being a Baptist or Catholic or Presbyterian or Jew. It does not mean being married. These arguments try to make the word “religion” in the Constitution mean something different from what it has always meant.

These arguments also make the logical mistake of failing to distinguish the reasons for a law from the content of the law. There were religious reasons behind many of our laws, but these laws do not “establish” a religion. All major religions have teachings against stealing, but laws against stealing do not “establish a religion.” All religions have laws against murder, but laws against murder do not “establish a religion.” The campaign to abolish slavery in the United States and England was led by many Christians, based on their religious convictions, but laws abolishing slavery do not “establish a religion.” The campaign to end racial discrimination and segregation was led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist pastor, who preached against racial injustice from the Bible. But laws against discrimination and segregation do not “establish a religion.”

If these “exclude religion” arguments succeed in court, they could soon be applied against evangelicals and Catholics who make “religious” arguments against abortion. Majority votes to protect unborn children could then be invalidated by saying these voters are “establishing a religion.” And, by such reasoning, all the votes of religious citizens for almost any issue could be found invalid by court decree! This would be the direct opposite of the kind of country the Founding Fathers established, and the direct opposite of what they meant by “free exercise” of religion in the First Amendment.

Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 31.

Historian Alvin Schmidt points out how the spread of Christianity and Christian influence on government was primarily responsible for outlawing infanticide, child abandonment, and abortion in the Roman Empire (in AD 374); outlawing the brutal battles-to-the-death in which thousands of gladiators had died (in 404); outlawing the cruel punishment of branding the faces of criminals (in 315); instituting prison reforms such as the segregating of male and female prisoners (by 361); stopping the practice of human sacrifice among the Irish, the Prussians, and the Lithuanians as well as among other nations; outlawing pedophilia; granting of property rights and other protections to women; banning polygamy (which is still practiced in some Muslim nations today); prohibiting the burning alive of widows in India (in 1829); outlawing the painful and crippling practice of binding young women’s feet in China (in 1912); persuading government officials to begin a system of public schools in Germany (in the sixteenth century); and advancing the idea of compulsory education of all children in a number of European countries.

During the history of the church, Christians have had a decisive influence in opposing and often abolishing slavery in the Roman Empire, in Ireland, and in most of Europe (though Schmidt frankly notes that a minority of “erring” Christian teachers have supported slavery in various centuries). In England, William Wilberforce, a devout Christian, led the successful effort to abolish the slave trade and then slavery itself throughout the British Empire by 1840.

In the United States, though there were vocal defenders of slavery among Christians in the South, they were vastly outnumbered by the many Christians who were ardent abolitionists, speaking, writing, and agitating constantly for the abolition of slavery in the United States. Schmidt notes that two-thirds of the American abolitionists in the mid-1830s were Christian clergymen, and he gives numerous examples of the strong Christian commitment of several of the most influential of the antislavery crusaders, including Elijah Lovejoy (the first abolitionist martyr), Lyman Beecher, Edward Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin), Charles Finney, Charles T. Torrey, Theodore Weld, William Lloyd Garrison, “and others too numerous to mention.” The American civil rights movement that resulted in the outlawing of racial segregation and discrimination was led by Martin Luther King Jr., a Christian pastor, and supported by many Christian churches and groups.

There was also strong influence from Christian ideas and influential Christians in the formulation of the Magna Carta in England (1215) and of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution (1787) in the United States. These are three of the most significant documents in the history of governments on the earth, and all three show the marks of significant Christian influence in the foundational ideas of how governments should function.

Wayne Grudem, Politics According to the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 49-50.

“First Things” Exemplifies Modern Man’s “Red Herring”

Jump to Bradley Monton’s Isaac Newton and the methodological method.

... LAWS!

  • Newton is a leading contributor to the scientific worldview, and yet he does not bind himself by the assumption of uninterruptible natural law ~ Bradley Monton
  • The divine art of miracle is not an art of suspending the pattern to which events conform but of feeding new events into that pattern ~ CS Lewis
  • Meredith’s whole argument about ID, miracles, and the so-called “breaking” of natural laws is nothing but a red herring. Again, the real issue is about the nature of causation not about natural law ~ Michael Flannery

In the most recent issue of FIRST THINGS (February 2014), Stephen Meredith attempted to critique Intelligent Design theory, by, essentially creating straw-men arguments or by debating issues others have dealt with well.

Later in this “short” review of topics that caught my critical eye, we will see the similar vein John Derbyshire takes in the January/February (2014) issue of The American Spectator in comparing ID to Islam.

AT LEAST American Spectator had the foresight to have an alternative view side-by-side, so you get to see what an erudite, idea filled presentation looks like (Stephen Meyer’s)…

— a portion of which I will publish at the bottom from a magazine I recommend highly

…alongside another filled with fallacious arguments, non-sequiturs, and a lack of intelligence in laying out a positive case (John Derbyshire).

First, however, my mind went immediately to David Hume and CS Lewis after reading the following from Stephen Meredith in the First Things article:

If God is omnipotent—that is, can do all that is possible without self-contradiction—what is the re­lationship between God and causality? Is there any causality outside an omnipotent God? Or is anything in nature that seems to act as an efficient cause only carrying out the causality of God, with no agency of its own? These questions get to the heart of a philosophical problem posed by Intelligent Design: It supposes that natural law, which is the basis for science, operates most of the time but is periodically suspended, as in the Cambrian “explosion” and the origin of life itself.
As well as reading John Derbyshire in the American Spectator article:
IT IS THE religious aspect that causes most scientists to shy away from ID. Not that scientists all hate God. Many of them are devout.…

The metaphysics of ID is occasionalist. It holds, to abbreviate the doctrine rather drasti­cally, that causation is an illusion; that every­thing happens because God makes it happen.

Why does ice float on water? Aristotle thought it was a matter of shape (see On the Heavens, IV.6). Science says it’s because ice is less dense than water. The occasionalist says it’s because God wills it so….

But: Ice floats on water because God wills it so? Oh.

This straw-man built up by Mr. Derbyshire seems likewise heavily influenced by Hume, who said in his well known essay entitled, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, the following:
“A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature; and as a firm and unalterable experience has established these laws, the proof against a miracle, from the very nature of the fact, is as entire as any argument from experience as can be imagined  … It is no miracle that a man, seemingly in good health, should die on a sudden: because such a kind of death, though more unusual than any other, has yet been frequently observed to happen. But it is a miracle that a dead man should come to life; because that has never been observed, in any age or country. There must, therefore, be a uniform experience against every miraculous event, otherwise the event would not merit that appellation.”

(David Hume: The Essential Philosophical Works, eBook, [2012], pages 662 and 663)

JOHN LENNOX breaks down Hume’s argument thus:
A. Argument from the uniformity of nature:

1. Miracles are violations of the laws of nature
2. These laws have been established by ‘firm and unalterable’ experience
3. Therefore, the argument against miracle is as good as any argument from experience can be

B.  Argument from the uniformity of experience:

1. Unusual, yet frequently observed, events are not miracles – like a healthy person suddenly dropping dead
2. A resurrection would be a miracle because it has never been observed anywhere at any time
3. There is uniform experience against every miraculous event, otherwise it would not be called miraculous

Dr. Lennox continues:

Are miracles ‘violations of the laws of nature’

Argument 1.    Hume says that accounts of miracles ‘are observed chiefly to abound among ignorant and barbarous nations’ (op.cit. p.79).

Fallacy. In order to recognise some event as a miracle, there must be some perceived regularity to which that event is an apparent exception! You cannot recognise something which is abnormal, if you do not know what is normal. Example: 1) virgin conception of Jesus; 2) conception of John the Baptist.

Argument 2.    Now that we know the laws of nature, belief in miracles is impossible.

Fallacy. The danger of confusion between legal and scientific use of word law. Why it is inaccurate and misleading to say that miracles ‘violate’ the laws of nature. It is rather, that God feeds new events into the system from time to time. There is no alteration to or suspension of the laws themselves.   

‘If God annihilates or creates or deflects a unit of matter, He has created a new situation at that point.  Immediately all nature domiciles this new situation, makes it at home in her realm, adapts all other events to it. It finds itself conforming to all the laws. If God creates a miraculous spermatozoon in the body of a virgin, it does not proceed to break any laws. The laws at once take over. Nature is ready. Pregnancy follows, according to all the normal laws, and nine months later a child is born’ (C.S Lewis, Miracles. p.63).

Continuing with CS Lewis and his relating to us this “red herring” of naturalism in rejecting the miraculous/metaphysical aspects of reality:
The first Red Herring is this. Any day you may hear a man (and not necessarily a disbeliever in God) say of some alleged miracle, “No. Of course I don’t believe that. We know it is contrary to the laws of Nature. People could believe it in olden times because they didn’t know the laws of Nature. We know now that it is a scientific impossibility.”

By the “laws of Nature” such a man means, I think, the ob­served course of Nature. If he means anything more than that he is not the plain man I take him for but a philosophic Natu­ralist and will be dealt with in the next chapter. The man I have in view believes that mere experience (and specially those artificially contrived experiences which we call Exper­iments) can tell us what regularly happens in Nature. And he finks that what we have discovered excludes the possibility of Miracle. This is a confusion of mind.

Granted that miracles can occur, it is, of course, for experi­ence to say whether one has done so on any given occasion. But mere experience, even if prolonged for a million years, cannot tell us whether the thing is possible. Experiment finds out what regularly happens in Nature: the norm or rule to which she works. Those who believe in miracles are not deny­ing that there is such a norm or rule: they are only saying that it can be suspended. A miracle is by definition an exception.

[….]

The idea that the progress of science has somehow altered this question is closely bound up with the idea that people “in olden times” believed in them “because they didn’t know the laws of Nature.” Thus you will hear people say, “The early Christians believed that Christ was the son of a virgin, but we know that this is a scientific impossibility.” Such people seem to have an idea that belief in miracles arose at a period when men were so ignorant of the cause of nature that they did not perceive a miracle to be contrary to it. A moment’s thought shows this to be nonsense: and the story of the Virgin Birth is a particularly striking example. When St. Joseph discovered that his fiancee was going to have a baby, he not unnaturally decided to repudiate her. Why? Because he knew just as well as any modern gynaecologist that in the ordinary course of na­ture women do not have babies unless they have lain with men. No doubt the modern gynaecologist knows several things about birth and begetting which St. Joseph did not know. But those things do not concern the main point—that a virgin birth is contrary to the course of nature. And St. Joseph obviously knew that. In any sense in which it is true to say now, “The thing is scientifically impossible,” he would have said the same: the thing always was, and was always known to be, impossible unless the regular processes of nature were, in this particular case, being over-ruled or supple­mented by something from beyond nature. When St. Joseph finally accepted the view that his fiancee’s pregnancy was due not to unchastity but to a miracle, he accepted the miracle as something contrary to the known order of nature. All records

[….]

It is therefore inaccurate to define a miracle as something that breaks the laws of Nature. It doesn’t. If I knock out my pipe I alter the position of a great many atoms: in the long run, and to an infinitesimal degree, of all the atoms there are. Nature digests or assimilates this event with perfect ease and harmonises it in a twinkling with all other events. It is one more bit of raw material for the laws to apply to, and they ap­ply. I have simply thrown one event into the general cataract of events and it finds itself at home there and conforms to all other events. If God annihilates or creates or deflects a unit of matter He has created a new situation at that point. Imme­diately all Nature domiciles this new situation, makes it at home in her realm, adapts all other events to it. It finds itself conforming to all the laws. If God creates a miraculous sper­matozoon in the body of a virgin, it does not proceed to break any laws. The laws at once take it over. Nature is ready. Preg­nancy follows, according to all the normal laws, and nine months later a child is born. We see every day that physical nature is not in the least incommoded by the daily inrush of events from biological nature or from psychological nature. If events ever come from beyond Nature altogether, she will be no more incommoded by them. Be sure she will rush to the point where she is invaded, as the defensive forces rush to a cut in our finger, and there hasten to accommodate the new­comer. The moment it enters her realm it obeys all her laws. Miraculous wine will intoxicate, miraculous conception will lead to pregnancy, inspired books will suffer all the ordinary processes of textual corruption, miraculous bread will be di­gested. The divine art of miracle is not an art of suspending the pattern to which events conform but of feeding new events into that pattern.

[….]

A miracle is emphatically not an event without cause or without results. Its cause is the activity of God: its results fol­low according to Natural law. In the forward direction (i.e. during the time which follows its occurrence) it is interlocked with all Nature just like any other event. Its peculiarity is that it is not in that way interlocked backwards, interlocked with the previous history of Nature. And this is just what some people find intolerable. The reason they find it intolerable is that they start by taking Nature to be the whole of reality. And they are sure that all reality must be interrelated and consistent. I agree with them. But I think they have mistaken a partial system within reality, namely Nature, for the whole.

CS Lewis, Miracles (New York, NY: Touchstone Publishers, 1996), 62-63, 64-65, 80-81, 81-82.

This is mainly the point Michael Flannery makes near the end of this portion of his critique of the First Things article, entitled: “Writing in First Things, Stephen Meredith Offers Confusion in the Guise of Critique“:

He [Stephen Meredith]  has

1) a faulty view of ID’s relationship to nature, miracles, and the supernatural;

2) no clear definition of what ID really is; and

3) an erroneous view of much of the history related to ID, evolution, and theology.

In company with John Derbyshire, Meredith, insists that ID proponents are “occasionalists,” holding to a particular theological understanding of causation. As occasionalists they do “not credit natural or physical law with enough causal power to enact evolution on its own.” Instead they “educe supernatural causes to do most of the heavy lifting in worldly events.” This is a fundamental misunderstanding. ID does not require the “breaking” of natural law or the notion that a natural law would have done X but instead Y happened. As William A. Dembski has pointed out, ID doesn’t need this “counterfactual substitution.” People act, for example, as intelligent agents not by “breaking” or “suspending” natural laws but by arranging or front-loading laws to suite particular ends (The Design Revolution, pp. 181-182). Meredith seems to argue that ID is incongruous with modern science because it invokes miracles and yields to supernatural causes. Here Meredith is making an old mistake, called out again by Dembski: “The contrast between natural law and supernatural causes is the wrong contrast. The proper contrast is between undirected natural causes on the one hand and intelligent causes on the other” (p. 189).

Furthermore, Meredith’s concern regarding miracles contravening natural laws seems to suggest a position of tension between the miraculous and science itself. However, this is not a scientific position. It is a philosophical one suggestive of methodological naturalism. “Scientists, as scientists,” Norman Geisler explains, “need not be so narrow as to believe that nothing can ever count as a miracle. All a scientist needs to hold is the premise that every event has a cause and that the observable universe operates in an orderly way” (Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, p. 467). Meredith’s whole argument about ID, miracles, and the so-called “breaking” of natural laws is nothing but a red herring. Again, the real issue is about the nature of causation not about natural law

Even atheist philosophers refute the idea that to incorporate a theistic view into nature is NOT anti-science, and works within the scientific paradigm:

FOLLOWING SUPERNATURALISM MAKES THE SCIENTIST’S TASK TOO EASY

Here’s the first of Pennock’s arguments against methodological naturalism that I’ll consider:

allowing appeal to supernatural powers in science would make the scientist’s task too easy, because one would always be able to call upon the gods for quick theoretical assistance…. Indeed, all empirical investigation beyond the purely descriptive could cease, for scientists would have a ready-made answer for everything.

This argument strikes me as unfair. Consider a particular empirical phenomenon, like a chemical reaction, and imagine that scientists are trying to figure out why the reaction happened. Pennock would say that scientists who allow appeal to supernatural powers would have a ready-made answer: God did it. While it may be that that’s the only true explanation that can be given, a good scientist-including a good theistic scientist—would wonder whether there’s more to be said. Even if God were ultimately the cause of the reaction, one would still wonder if the proximate cause is a result of the chemicals that went into the reaction, and a good scientist—even a good theistic scientist—would investigate whether such a naturalistic account could be given.

To drive the point home, an analogy might be helpful. With the advent of quantum mechanics, scientists have become comfortable with indeterministic events. For example, when asked why a particular radioactive atom decayed at the exact time that it did, most physicists would say that there’s no reason it decayed at that particular time; it was just an indeterministic event!’ One could imagine an opponent of indeterminism giving an argument that’s analogous to Pennock’s:

allowing appeal to indeterministic processes in science would make the scientist’s task too easy, because one would always be able to call upon chance for quick theoretical assistance…. Indeed, all empirical investigation beyond the purely descriptive could cease, for scientists would have a ready-made answer for everything.

It is certainly possible that, for every event that happens, scientists could simply say “that’s the result of an indeterministic chancy process; there’s no further explanation for why the event happened that way.” But this would clearly be doing bad science: just because the option of appealing to indeterminism is there, it doesn’t follow that the option should always be used. The same holds for the option of appealing to supernatural powers.

As further evidence against Pennock, it’s worth pointing out that prominent scientists in the past have appealed to supernatural powers, without using them as a ready-made answer for everything. Newton is a good example of this—he is a devout theist, in addition to being a great scientist, and he thinks that God sometimes intervenes in the world. Pennock falsely implies that this is not the case:

God may have underwritten the active principles that govern the world described in [Newton’s] Principia and the Opticks, but He did not interrupt any of the equations or regularities therein. Johnson and other creationists who want to dismiss methodological naturalism would do well to consult Newton’s own rules of reasoning….

But in fact, Newton does not endorse methodological naturalism. In his Opticks, Newton claims that God sometimes intervenes in the world. Specifically, Newton thinks that, according to his laws of motion, the orbits of planets in our solar system are not stable over long periods of time, and his solution to this problem is to postulate that God occasionally adjusts the motions of the planets so as to ensure the continued stability of their orbits. Here’s a relevant passage from Newton. (It’s not completely obvious that Newton is saying that God will intervene but my interpretation is the standard one.)

God in the Beginning form’d Matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, moveable Particles it became him who created them to set them in order. And if he did so, it’s unphilosophical to seek for any other Origin of the World, or to pretend that it might arise out of a Chaos by the mere Laws of Nature; though being once form’d, it may continue by those Laws for many Ages. For while Comets move in very excentrick Orbs in all manner of Positions, blind Fate could never make all the Planets move one and the same way in Orbs concentrick, some inconsiderable Irregularities excepted, which may have risen from the mutual Actions of Comets and Planets upon one another, and which will be apt to increase, till this System wants a Reformation…. [God is] able by his Will to move the Bodies within his boundless uniform Sensorium, and thereby to form and reform the Parts of the Universe….

A scientist who writes this way does not sound like a scientist who is following methodological naturalism.

It’s worth noting that some contemporaries of Newton took issue with his view of God occasionally intervening in the universe. For example, Leibniz writes:

Sir Isaac Newton and his followers also have a very odd opinion concerning the work of God. According to them, God Almighty needs to wind up his watch from time to time; otherwise it would cease to move. He had not, it seems, sufficient foresight to make it a perpetual motion.”

Note, though, that Leibniz also thought that God intervened in the world:

I hold that when God works miracles, he does not do it in order to supply the wants of nature, but those of grace.

Later investigation revealed that in fact planetary orbits are more stable than Newton thought, so Newton’s appeal to supernatural powers wasn’t needed. But the key point is that Newton is willing to appeal to supernatural powers, without using the appeal to supernatural powers as a ready-made answer for everything.

Pennock says that “Without the binding assumption of uninterruptible natural law there would be absolute chaos in the scientific worldview.” Newton’s own approach to physics provides a good counterexample to this—Newton is a leading contributor to the scientific worldview, and yet he does not bind himself by the assumption of uninterruptible natural law.

Bradley Monton, Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design, (Peterborough, Ontario [Canada]: Broadview Press, 2009), 62-64.

How one can go from the above rational positions by a Christian (CS Lewis), and an atheist (Bradley Monton), to comparing floating ice as an unnatural event held in situ by God’s continuous miraculous intervention. And then compare this straw-man to the Islamic understanding of extreme fideistic occasionalism?

The claim that there is a God raises metaphysical questions about the nature of reality and existence. In general, it can be said that there is not one concept of God but many, even among monotheistic traditions. The Abrahamic religions are theistic; God is both the creator of the world and the one who sustains it. Theism, with its equal stress on divine transcendence of the universe and immanence within it, constitutes a somewhat uneasy conceptual midpoint between deism and pantheism. Deist conceptions of the divine see God as the creator of a universe that continues to exist, without his intervention, under the physical impulses that he first imparted to it. In pantheism, God is identified with the universe as a whole. Theism itself has numerous subvarieties, such as occasionalism, which holds that the only real cause in the universe is God; thus, all other causes are simply signs of coincidence and conjunction between kinds of events occurring within the created order. For example, heat is not what causes the water in a teakettle to boil but is simply what uniformly occurs before the water boils. God himself is the cause of the boiling.

An important object of metaphysical reflection is God’s nature, or the properties of that nature. Is God simple or complex? If omniscience, omnipotence, and beauty are part of the divine perfection, what exactly are these properties? Is timeless eternity part of God’s perfection? Can an omnipotent being will that there be a four-sided triangle or change the past? Does an omniscient being know the future actions of free agents? (If so, how can they be free?) Does an omniscient being who is timelessly eternal know what time it is now?

(HISTORY OF RELIGION)

Nor do Christians suspend belief or do not question their own understanding or nature’s causes for events, like Islam has, historically:
We humans have an inner balance with which we weigh good and evil. This balance, in Muslims stopped working. The indicator is stuck on zero. Muhammad’s companions could no longer register right and wrong. Because it’s hard to envision how a human being could be this ruthless, they persuaded themselves that he must be from God. As for why this god is so demonic, they fooled themselves with the lies that he told them. He told them that it is not up to man to question God. This absurd explanation satisfied his benighted followers. They resorted to fideism and argued that reason is irrelevant to religious belief. The great Imam Ghazali (1058 – 1111) said: “Where the claims of reason come into conflict with revelation, reason must yield to revelation.” A similar thesis in defense of foolishness is presented by Paul in 1 Cor. 1:20-25 where he argues “the foolishness of God is wiser than (the wisdom of) men”. The statement “Credo quia absurdum” (I believe because it is absurd), often attributed to Tertullian, is based on this passage of Paul. In DCC 5 he said: “The Son of God died; it is by all means to be believed, because it is absurd.” Upon this belief in absurdity fideism is founded and it is the position that has been adopted by Muslims. This fideistic attitude allowed the early believers to abandon reason and accept whatever Muhammad did, even his blatant crimes, without questioning him.

(WHY CAN’T ISLAM BE REFORMED?)

And when something “unnatural” is introduced into nature, this does not interfere one iota with science or the natural order of events, causality, or the like. As CS Lewis said many years ago, this is a Red Herring. Not to mention, that in reality, neo-Darwinian thinking IS A METAPHYSICAL PREMISE at its core. So often times it is the kettle calling the pot… well, you know.

IN a great presentation from True U. (http://www.trueu.org/), Dr. Stephen Meyer shows how — by using the supposition from Hinduism that the earth sits atop a turtle used by Stephen Hawkings — the materialist position differs little from any religious suppositions.

“We must ask first whether the theory of evolution by natural selection is scientific or pseudoscientific …. Taking the first part of the theory, that evolution has occurred, it says that the history of life is a single process of species-splitting and progression. This process must be unique and unrepeatable, like the history of England. This part of the theory is therefore a historical theory, about unique events, and unique events are, by definition, not part of science, for they are unrepeatable and so not subject to test.”

Colin Patterson [1978] (Dr. Patterson was Senior Principal Scientific Officer of the Paleontology Department of the British Museum of Natural History in London.)

People think evolution is “science proper.” It is not, it is both a historical science and a [philosophical] presupposition in its “neo-Darwinian” form. The presupposition that removes it from “science proper and moves it into “scientism” is explained by an atheist philosopher:
If science really is permanently committed to methodological naturalism – the philosophical position that restricts all explanations in science to naturalistic explanations – it follows that the aim of science is not generating true theories. Instead, the aim of science would be something like: generating the best theories that can be formulated subject to the restriction that the theories are naturalistic. More and more evidence could come in suggesting that a supernatural being exists, but scientific theories wouldn’t be allowed to acknowledge that possibility.

Bradley Monton, author of Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design ~ Apologetics315 h/t

In other words, the guy most credited in getting us to the moon used science to get us there, but was a young earth creationist. His view on “origins” (origin science) is separate from his working science. Two categories.

Likewise one of the most celebrated pediatric surgeons in the world, whom a movie was made after, “Gifted Hands,” is a young earth creationist. And the inventor of the MRI, a machine that diagnosed my M.S., is also a young earth creationist.

Evolutionary Darwinism is first and foremost an “historical science” that has many presuppositions that precede it, making it a metaphysical belief, a philosophy, as virulent anti-creationist philosopher of science, Michael Ruse explains:

Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. . . . Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.

Michael Ruse, “Saving Darwinism from the Darwinians,” National Post (May 13, 2000), p. B-3. (Via ICR)

….Nevertheless, there is a second, and arguably deeper, mystery associated with the Cambrian explosion: the mystery of how the neo-Darwinian mechanism of natural selection and random mutation could have given rise to all these fundamentally new forms of animal life, and done so quickly enough to account for the pattern in the fossil record. That question became acute in the second half of the twentieth century as biologists learned more about what it takes to build an animal.

In 1953 when Watson and Crick elucidated the structure of the DNA molecule, they made a startling discovery, namely, its ability to store information in the form of a four-character digital code. Strings of precisely sequenced chemicals called nucleotide bases store and transmit the assembly instructions—the information—for building the crucial protein molecules that the cell needs to survive. Just as English letters may convey a particular message depending on their arrangement, so too do certain sequences of chemical bases along the spine of a DNA molecule convey precise information. As Richard Dawkins has acknowledged, “the machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like.” Or as Bill Gates has noted, “DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.”

The Cambrian period is marked by an explosion of new animals exemplifying new body plans. But building new animal body plans requires new organs, tissues, and cell types. And new cell types require many kinds of specialized or dedicated proteins (e.g., animals with gut cells require new digestive enzymes). But building each protein requires genetic information stored on the DNA molecule. Thus, building new animals with distinctive new body plans requires, at the very least, vast amounts of new genetic information. Whatever happened during the Cambrian not only represented an explosion of new biological form, but it also required an explosion of new biological information.

Is it plausible that the neo-Darwinian mechanism of natural selection acting on random mutations in DNA could produce the highly specificarrangements of bases in DNA necessary to generate the protein building blocks of new cell types and novel forms of life? 

According to neo-Darwinian theory, new genetic information arises first as random mutations occur in the DNA of existing organisms. When mutations arise that confer a survival advantage, the resulting genetic changes are passed on to the next generation. As such changes accumulate, the features of a population change over time. Nevertheless, natural selection can only “select” what random mutations first generate. Thus the neo-Darwinian mechanism faces a kind of needle-in-the-haystack problem—or what mathematicians call a “combinatorial” problem. The term “combinatorial” refers to the number of possible ways that a set of objects can be arranged or combined. Many simple bike locks, for example, have four dials with 10 digits on each dial. A bike thief encountering one of these locks faces a combinatorial problem because there are 10 × 10 × 10 × 10, or 10,000 possible combinations and only one that will open the lock. A random search is unlikely to yield the correct combination unless the thief has plenty of time.

Similarly, it is extremely difficult to assemble a new information-bearing gene or protein by the natural selection/random mutation process because of the sheer number of possible sequences. As the length of the required gene or protein grows, the number of possible base or amino-acid sequences of that length grows exponentially. 

Here’s an illustration that may help make the problem clear. Imagine that we encounter a committed bike thief who is willing to search the “sequence space” of possible bike combinations at a rate of about one new combination per two seconds. If our hypothetical bike thief had three hours and took no breaks he could generate more than half (about 5,400) of the 10,000 total combinations of a four-dial lock. In that case, the probability that he will stumble upon the right combination exceeds the probability that he will fail. More likely than not, he will open the lock by chance.

But now consider another case. If that thief with the same limited three hour time period available to him confronted a lock with ten dials and ten digits per dial (a lock with ten billion possible combinations) he would now have time only to explore a small fraction of the possible combinations—5,400 of ten billion—far fewer than half. In this case, it would be much more likely than not that he would fail to open the lock by chance.

These examples suggest that the ultimate probability of the success of a random search—and the plausibility of any hypothesis that affirms the success of such a search—depends upon both the size of the space that needs to be searched and the number of opportunities available to search it. 

In Darwin’s Doubt, I show that the number of possible DNA and amino acid sequences that need to be searched by the evolutionary process dwarfs the time available for such a search—even taking into account evolutionary deep time. Molecular biologists have long understood that the size of the “sequence space” of possible nucleotide bases and amino acids (the number of possible combinations) is extremely large. Moreover, recent experiments in molecular biology and protein science have established that functional genes and proteins are extremely rare within these huge combinatorial spaces of possible arrangements. There are vastly more ways of arranging nucleotide bases that result in non-functional sequences of DNA, and vastly more ways of arranging amino acids that result in non-functional amino-acid chains, than there are corresponding functionalgenes or proteins. One recent experimentally derived estimate places that ratio—the size of the haystack in relation to the needle—at 1077non-functional sequences for every functional gene or protein. (There are only something like 1065 atoms in our galaxy.)

All this suggests that the mutation and selection mechanism would only have enough time in the entire multi-billion year history of life on Earth to generate or “search” but a miniscule fraction (one ten trillion, trillion trillionth, to be exact) of the total number of possible nucleotide base or amino-acid sequences corresponding to a single functional gene or protein. The number of trials available to the evolutionary process turns out to be incredibly small in relation to the number of possible sequences that need to be searched. Thus, the neo-Darwinian mechanism, with its reliance on random mutation, is much more likely to fail than to succeed in generating even a single new gene or protein in the known history of life on earth. In other words, the neo-Darwinian mechanism is not an adequate mechanism to generate the information necessary to produce even a single new protein, let alone a whole new Cambrian animal….

[….]

Of course, many scientists dismiss intelligent design as “religion masquerading as science.” But the case for intelligent design is not based upon religious or scriptural authority. Instead it is based upon scientific evidence and the same method of scientific reasoning that Darwin himself used in the Origin of Species

In rejecting the theory as unscientific by definition, evolutionary biologists reveal a deep a priori commitment to methodological naturalism—the idea that scientists must limit themselves to materialistic explanations for all things. Yet, we know from experience that certain types of events and structures—in particular, information-rich structures—invariably arise from minds or personal agents. Indeed, no thinking person would insist that the inscriptions on the Rosetta stone, for example, were produced by strictly materialistic forces such as wind and erosion. Yet, by insisting that all events in the history of life must be explained by reference to strictly materialistic processes evolutionary biologists preclude consideration of a designing intelligence in the history of life, regardless of what the evidence might indicate. 

This commitment to a wholly materialistic account of the origins of life also helps to explain the reluctance to criticize the Darwinian theory publicly. Many evolutionary biologists fear that if they do so they will aid and abet the case for intelligent design—a theory they disdain as inherently unscientific. Those of us who support the theory of intelligent design advocate a more open approach to scientific investigation. Not only do we think the public has a right to know about the problems with evolutionary theory, we also think that the rules of science should allow scientists to “follow the evidence wherever it leads”—even if it leads to conclusions that raise deep and unwelcome metaphysical questions.

(AMERICAN SPECTATOR)

RPT’s Cumulative Case Against Normalizing SSM (Updated 11/2014)

This is a short, 6-point reason why I believe same-sex marriage should not be “normalized” by society as a whole — THAT IS, gay-unions should not be placed in importance, culturally, as equal in its benefiting society. Gender differences are important and have a great and lasting benefit to society. It always will. THIS should be celebrated and understood in the meaning of marriage. All while not chasing gays to the outskirts of society or denying them civil-unions. (My positions below would not be against civil unions, to be clear.) Again, this is not meant to be an in-depth expose, but merely a statement, or cumulative case against “normalizing” this type of relationship. Gay men and women are people who deserve love, respect, AND God’s grace from his believers (some of which are in fact gay). At the same time we can practice that while standing firm against having government authorizing something that is not the bedrock of its foundations, that is, relationships wrought by nature or God as the ideal for producing AND raising offspring in.

BECAUSE JESUS SAID — I start out with this because every Christian should. We have a reference point, a guide, and it should be consulted — first, along with Natural Law and biology/nature (see my chapter on this in my book), as well as other great moral and religious thinkers (see some responses to ancient Greece and other non-sequiturs, here):

“Without guidance, people fall, but with many counselors there is deliverance” (Proverbs 11:14);

“Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22);

“…for you should wage war [culture war] with sound guidance—victory comes with many counselors” (Proverbs 24:6).

Before reading the following, when I posted the points below originally, I got this response from one reader:

➳ ➳ J.M.

I don’t have time to read this right now but it’s very telling that you started your reasoning with the word Jesus. People aren’t going to agree with you just because Jesus does.

➳ ➳ ME

And that is why most of my points are non-Biblical. But if people argue from the Bible, they should argue [from it] correctly… which was my main point with J.S.’s cousin.

There is a deeper issue at work in this discussion, and it is this:

“… I was riding in a cab in London and happened to mention something about Jesus to the driver. Immediately he retorted, “I don’t like to discuss religion, especially Jesus.” I couldn’t help but notice the similarity of his reaction to my own when the young Christian woman told me that Jesus Christ had changed her life. The very name Jesus seems to bother people. It embarrasses them, makes them angry, or makes them want to change the subject. You can talk about God, and people don’t necessarily get upset, but mention Jesus, and people want to stop the conversation. Why don’t the names of Buddha, Muhammad, or Confucius offend people the way the name of Jesus does? I think the reason is that these other religious leaders didn’t claim to be God. That is the big difference between Jesus and the others.” (Josh and Sean McDowell, More Than a Carpenter [Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2009], 9.)

Jesus Himself claimed to be the great “YHWH” (Hebrew), or, the “Ego Eimi” (Greek) of the Old Testament (Exodus 3:14; John 8:48-59). So not only was Jesus referring (Matthew 19:4-6) directly to the ideal of the biological union (two becoming one) in Genesis 2:24, AS-WELL-AS the ideal God wanted all nations to follow, He was in a sense “quoting Himself.” So Jesus spoke very publicly about the homosexual “relationship.” HE spoke in Leviticus as well when mandating actions for all nations (mankind) in Leviticus 18:21-22, Leviticus 20:13. As well as being involved in inspiring Romans 1:26-27, 1 Timothy 1:8-10. One last example from a previous dialogue, someone mentioned to me that, “Jesus never mentions homosexuality in the bible.”

➳ ➳ To which I respond:

You are wrong, Jesus specifically mentions the ideal in Matthew 19:4-6 (see a more accurate translation – HCSB):

He answered, “Haven’t you read in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh—no longer two bodies but one. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.” (The Message Bible ~ Red is Jesus)

(http://tinyurl.com/at2hg2f)

Jesus was making note of gender and gender importance in this union, which should be celebrated as the ideal for a healthy society. In a Constitutional Republic, which can compromise and debate, civil-unions are what should be allowed. That does not mean I or others will cease in our moral case and concern for those we love, but it means a gay man or woman can know that any well-thought-out opposition comes from a place of love and not bigotry. My goal as a Christian is to be persuasive enough to change hearts and minds, all while being a friend and confident. That is a tough line to walk. But as a member of the larger American “body-politic,” I need to recognize our form of government and keep IT safe against progressive attacks. In this endeavor I count many gay friends and acquaintances.

Again, to be clear, much like some atheists taking proselytization as a bigoted attack against their non-faith, others (Like Penn Jillette’s example to the right) can choose to realize that it is done out of love and concern. Similarly, the LGBT community can choose to take this concern (above and below) as a personal attack against them, or, choose to realize it is done from a place of love and concern. Approaching life as one of the other as well will dictate in a small way if one is happy and has a wide variety of friends/acquaintances, or a miserable life — the “woe is me” complex, or “victicrat” mentality Larry Elder refers to often — surrounded by a small group of “mini-me’s” regurgitating thoughts in a sound-room. This last thought should be seen as a challenge to believers as well.

GENERAL HEALTH — To explain why I end a couple of points with “THIS is the loving thing to do,” is because I was challenged by a parent of a gay man — with Scripture — to “love my neighbor.” The person was equating acceptance of same-sex marriage with love. So I responded with the really loving thing to do.

If one of my boys came up to me and mentioned they were gay, my first concern would be their physical health. The death rate and the passing of bacteria directly into the blood stream in the gay relationship is very high. The CDC, to use one example, says that In 2008, “men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for 63% of primary and secondary syphilis cases in the United States.” The gay population of men is about 1.6% of the U.S. population. “… [N]ature designed the human rectum for a single purpose: expelling waste from the body. It is built of a thin layer of columnar cells, different in structure than the plate cells that line the female reproductive tract. Because the wall of the rectum is so thin, it is easily ruptured during intercourse, allowing semen, blood, feces, and saliva to directly enter the bloodstream. The chances for infection increases further when multiple partners are involved, as is frequently the case: Surveys indicate that American male homosexuals average between 10 and 110 sex partners per year (L. Corey and K. K. Holmes, ‘Sexual Transmission of Hepatitis A in Homosexual Men,’ New England Journal of Medicine; and, Paul Cameron et al., ‘Sexual Orientation and Sexually Transmitted Disease,’ Nebraska Medical Journal). Not surprisingly, these diseases shorten life expectancy” (http://tinyurl.com/8jr3tt2). (Other diseases of course include HIV, and also: gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis A and B, a variety of intestinal parasites including amebiases and giardiasis, and even typhoid fever at much higher rates.)

Damning Graphs

The chasm between the obvious and extreme health risks associated with “gay” male sex and the CDC’s politically correct, pro-homosexuality mindset reflects public policy malpractice on an Orwellian scale. “Gay” activist ideology and assumptions — including intrinsic (many would claim innate) “gay”/bi/transgender identities — go unquestioned at the CDC. Ironically, the most direct answer to the HIV-youth crisis — teaching young people NOT to practice unhealthy homosexual sex — is the one thing that is essentially forbidden. (CCV)

An in-depth study by a large insurance company which provides quotes from more than 200 insurers to people across the US, pointed out that gay men have a life expectancy 20 years shorter than heterosexual men (http://tinyurl.com/bnuspjv). An ALL POINTS BULLETIN going out to the Left: the gay lifestyle takes more years off of one’s life than smoking. Where are all the campaigns trying to save lives? Do you not care about gay men and women?

Here is a graph from the CDC tracking Syphilis from 2007-2011, something NARTH says that the newest 2012 report “finds that STDs continue to threaten the health and well-being of millions of Americans, particularly gay and bisexual men and young people.”

Source: CDC

 Click to enlarge

“Trend data available for the first time this year [speaking about the updated 2012 CDC report] show that primary and secondary syphilis cases – the most infectious stages of the disease — are increasing among gay and other men who have sex with men, who now account for more than 70 percent of all infections. If not adequately treated, syphilis can lead to paralysis, dementia and death. Syphilis infection can also place a person at increased risk for HIV infection.  Given the high prevalence of HIV in the gay community, increasing syphilis infections among gay and bisexual men are particularly troubling.” (NARTH)

So if a homosexual male truly loved his partner, he would abstain from any sodomy type acts (this includes hetero sodomic acts as well). If someone has a true friend who happens to be gay, they will in moments of friendship, counsel them to do the same — that is, curb gay sexual acts. In other words, society allows people to smoke, but it doesn’t encourage the action. AGAIN, the latest from the Washington Times:

The nation’s HIV rate has fallen by a third in the last decade, the federal researchers said in a new report released Saturday.

While many population groups shared in this welcome decline in new HIV cases, one group — young gay or bisexual men — saw a 133 percent increase over the time period.

[….]

Around 62 percent of HIV cases in the United States are due to MSM [men who have sex with men] sexual contact, the report’s data showed.

(Remember, gay men make up 1.7% of the entire population.) I grew up in an era where “Marlborough” was on Formula One cars, TV shows had smoking, etc No more, and the truth about the consequences of smoking is passed on to young people. The homosexual lifestyle is not a healthy choice, and it isn’t an alternative lifestyle. And it shouldn’t be held up to young minds as being equal — talking health wise — to the hetero lifestyle.

This holds true as well if my own son came to me and announced he was gay. While showing my son love, I would lovingly challenge him to curb his desires, as society should as well.

In another recent debate of mine Paul Cameron’s work on obituaries was called into question (I quote his work in an old post), to which I noted the following, really a redux of the above, but repeated below for clarity:

1) …Gay and bisexual men are at significant risk for developing anal cancer, and testing them for the disease would save many lives, says a new study in the American Journal of Medicine.Anal cancer in gay men is as common as cervical cancer was in women before the use of the Pap smear…. (WebMD)

2) …An in-depth study by a large insurance company which provides quotes from more than 200 insurers to people across the US, pointed out that gay men have a life expectancy 20 years shorter than heterosexual men (http://tinyurl.com/bnuspjv). An ALL POINTS BULLETIN going out to the Left: the gay lifestyle takes more years off of one’s life than smoking. Where are all the campaigns trying to save lives? Do you not care about gay men and women?

3) …primary and secondary syphilis cases – the most infectious stages of the disease — are increasing among gay and other men who have sex with men, who now account for more than 70 percent of all infections. (CDC) [That is less than 1.7% of the population that accounts for this LARGE percentage]

4) The nation’s HIV rate has fallen by a third in the last decade, the federal researchers said in a new report released Saturday. While many population groups shared in this welcome decline in new HIV cases, one group — young gay or bisexual men — saw a 133 percent increase over the time period….. Around 62 percent of HIV cases in the United States are due to MSM [men who have sex with men] sexual contact, the report’s data showed. (Washington Times)

All of the above [and much more not cited] lends to the following being confirmed:

WASHINGTON, DC, June 6, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A new study which analyzed tens of thousands of gay obituaries and compared them with AIDS deaths data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has shown that the life expectancy for homosexuals is about twenty years shorter than that of the general public. The study, entitled “Gay obituaries closely track officially reported deaths from AIDS”, has been published in Psychological Reports (2005;96:693-697).

In an interview with lifesitenews.com, Dr. Paul Cameron, the President of the Family Research Institute and the scientist who headed the study, indicated that he was not at all surprised by the findings. Rather he said that it only served as further confirmation for what had long been known and other studies have already shown.

One such study was conducted in Vancouver British Columbia and published in 1997 in the International Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 26, 657-61: http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/26/3/657). It almost exactly mirrors the findings of Cameron’s research.

The Vancouver study was conducted by a team of pro-gay researchers, who, upon finding that pro-family advocates were using the results of their research as confirmation for their beliefs about the risks of the homosexual lifestyle, issued a statement trying to curb this unintended after-effect. “The aim of our work,” said the research team, “was to assist health planners with the means of estimating the impact of HIV infection on groups, like gay and bisexual men, not necessarily captured by vital statistics data and not to hinder the rights of these groups worldwide. Overall, we do not condone the use of our research in a manner that restricts the political or human rights of gay and bisexual men or any other group.”…. (LifeSite News)

The bottom line is that the lifestyle DOES shorten life… dramatically

I let people who are friends that happen to be gay know the above, and encourage them to change their lifestyle within their same-sex relationship.

THIS is the LOVING thing to do.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IS AT ODDS WITH THE CONSTITUTION — Same-sex marriage as pushed by liberals is in direct conflict to enumerated protections in the Constitution. In Massachusetts, and now it is happening in Illinois. The oldest (in the nation), most successful foster and adoption care organization has closed its doors because they would be forced to adopt to same-sex couples. Lets peer into who this would affect:

  • “Everyone’s still reeling from the decision,” Marylou Sudders, executive director of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC), said yesterday. “Ultimately, the only losers are the kids,” said Maureen Flatley, a Boston adoption consultant and lobbyist. (http://tinyurl.com/a5ypfle)

So these marriages hurt many heterosexual persons as well as children in finding families. And “religion/religious institutions” are specifically protected via that founding document, the Constitution — gay marriage is not. Which is why many of the conservative gay men and women I know rejects the agenda by the Left in this push. There are other areas this affects the heterosexual, as do all “special rights” and not “equal rights.” But the above example should show this is not a neutral idea.

One example of this “non-neutrality” come from The Witherspoon Institute in their article title, “Same-Sex Marriage Ten Years On: Lessons from Canada.” In this article we read:

The Impact on Human Rights

The formal effect of the judicial decisions (and subsequent legislation) establishing same-sex civil marriage in Canada was simply that persons of the same-sex could now have the government recognize their relationships as marriages. But the legal and cultural effect was much broader. What transpired was the adoption of a new orthodoxy: that same-sex relationships are, in every way, the equivalent of traditional marriage, and that same-sex marriage must therefore be treated identically to traditional marriage in law and public life.

A corollary is that anyone who rejects the new orthodoxy must be acting on the basis of bigotry and animus toward gays and lesbians. Any statement of disagreement with same-sex civil marriage is thus considered a straightforward manifestation of hatred toward a minority sexual group. Any reasoned explanation (for example, those that were offered in legal arguments that same-sex marriage is incompatible with a conception of marriage that responds to the needs of the children of the marriage for stability, fidelity, and permanence—what is sometimes called the conjugal conception of marriage), is dismissed right away as mere pretext. 1

When one understands opposition to same-sex marriage as a manifestation of sheer bigotry and hatred, it becomes very hard to tolerate continued dissent. Thus it was in Canada that the terms of participation in public life changed very quickly. Civil marriage commissioners were the first to feel the hard edge of the new orthodoxy; several provinces refused to allow commissioners a right of conscience to refuse to preside over same-sex weddings, and demanded their resignations. 2 At the same time, religious organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus, were fined for refusing to rent their facilities for post-wedding celebrations. 3

Now, the above examples do not have to be the case. Civil-unions can co-exist alongside marriage and religious institutions if the Left isn’t in control of the culture war. Which is also why many gay men and women stand arm-and-arm with people against same-sex marriage and exploitation or twisting of nature (the “genderless” agenda). Gay Patriot eruditely points out that it has been done, and when done correctly, can be a wonderful thing:

In New Hampshire, for example, then-Governor Lynch vetoed a bill passed by the legislature recognizing same-sex unions in his state. He was personally opposed to gay marriage. After the veto, responsible voices reached out to him and helped craft a religious liberty clause to tack on to the legislation. With that amendment in place, the legislature voted again; the governor signed the new law. Same-sex couples would get the benefits of marriage. And religious groups had a guarantee that they could continue to define marriage in accordance with the dictates of their faith.

This understanding and firm stand against the progressive agenda is needed, especially from the gay community. One astute post on the matter points out that the views of what constitutes marriage within the LGBT community are varied and wide:

The reasons for gay objections to same-sex marriage are varied. Some are moral, some political, some religious. Some gay individuals believe that marriage should not be state-sanctioned at all; that it should be a purely civil matter. Others believe that if the government subsidizes marriage with financial benefits, it should subsidize marriages that promote the traditional nuclear family with a mother and father. Still others take a more stereotypical view, and claim that homosexual relationships are more about sex and lust than love.

Whatever the rationale, it’s important to note that homosexuality is a sexual orientation, not a social or political group – opinions among LGBT individuals are as varied as LGBT individuals themselves. As same-sex marriage becomes more commonplace across the U.S., don’t automatically rely on gay men and women to support it.

Which is why many gays are against this relation being celebrated as equal to that of the heterosexual underpinnings of society, see number six for some more examples.

MUTABLE CHARACTERISTICS — Homosexuality is often times due to trauma early in the person’s life. So, for instance, my mom knew quite a few lesbians throughout her life as a hippie/druggy, who now loves Jesus. In her mobile-home park living experience she has become friends, acquaintances with and met quite a few lesbians over the years. She told me that most had been abused by some older man (often a family member) when they were young. Also, the men I have known well-enough to intimate to me their early lives also have corroborated such encounters (one was a family member, the other not). Which brings me to a quote by a lesbian author I love:

“Here come the elephant again: Almost without exception, the gay men I know (and that’s too many to count) have a story of some kind of sexual trauma or abuse in their childhood — molestation by a parent or an authority figure, or seduction as an adolescent at the hands of an adult. The gay community must face the truth and see sexual molestation of an adolescent for the abuse it is, instead of the ‘coming-of-age’ experience many [gays] regard it as being. Until then, the Gay Elite will continue to promote a culture of alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, and suicide by AIDS” (Tammy Bruce, The Death of Right and Wrong: Exposing the Left’s Assault on Our Culture and Values [Roseville: Prima, 2003], 99).

You see, much like this man who had a sex operation, lived as a woman for 8-years, and then was forced to deal with his early life after taking some courses to get a degree in counseling via U.C. Irvine, his gender problems came because of trauma at a young age (http://tinyurl.com/b5c9elj). To put a stamp of approval via society on a “choice” that is caused by anothers “choice” in making these relationships equal, is doing more harm to the individual that good (as Walt Heyer also points out in his book, mentioned in the link). Many have changed their sexual orientation from gay to hetero, as shown above. But if this is the case, then it is very UNLIKE ethnic origins (an ex-gay tells his story: http://tinyurl.com/anrvm64; a man raised by lesbians and who’s own early sexuality was in flux tells his story: http://youtu.be/MeNrPJ42Xoo).

`Ex-gays outnumber actual gays` ~ Dr. Neil Whitehead

Alan Shlemon talks about the mutability of homosexuality (via STR):

…One study followed approximately 10,800 adolescents between the ages of 16 and 22 years old. Of the 16 year-old males who had exclusively SSA, 61% had opposite-sex attraction at age 17. For same-sex attracted females, 81% changed to opposite attraction in just one year.

The study also compared sexual attraction at ages 17 and 22, with similar results. For example, 75% of adolescent males with SSA at age 17 had opposite-sex attraction at age 22.

Dr. Neil Whitehead, a research scientist who worked for the New Zealand government for 24 years and the United Nations for another four years, analyzed this study. He notes that although a small percentage of heterosexual adolescents developed homosexuality, the vast majority transitioned in the opposite direction. Based on the data, 16 year-olds with SSA are “25 times more likely to change towards heterosexuality at the age of 17 than those with a heterosexual orientation are likely to change towards bi-sexuality or homosexuality.” That means that heterosexuality is 25 times more stable than homosexuality. It also seems to suggest that heterosexuality is more of a “default” orientation…

See more specifics at  Girls Just Wanna Have Guns

THE LOVING thing to do is to allow society to not make the private actions of individual illegal, but not to normalize these actions when there is another root cause, or a combination of root causes, other than genetics.

A liberal society might, then, find it prudent to ignore homosexuality. It might well deem it unwise to peer into private bedrooms. However, this is not the issue before us. Today the demand is that homosexuality be endorsed and promoted with the full power of the law. This would require us to abandon the standard of nature, the one standard that can teach us the difference between freedom and slavery, between right and wrong. (Source)

➍ⓐ DECADES OF TWIN STUDIES — This next bit of info comes by way NARTH, in an audio posted the “genetic” aspect of this debate has been prevalent… so this is a rejoinder to it:

Identical Twin Studies Demonstrate Homosexuality is Not Genetic

Eight major studies of identical twins in Australia, the U.S., and Scandinavia during the last two decades all arrive at the same conclusion: gays were not born that way. “At best genetics is a minor factor,” says Dr. Neil Whitehead, PhD. Whitehead worked for the New Zealand government as a scientific researcher for 24 years, then spent four years working for the United Nations and International Atomic Energy Agency. Most recently, he serves as a consultant to Japanese universities about the effects of radiation exposure. His PhD is in biochemistry and statistics.

Identical twins have the same genes or DNA. They are nurtured in equal prenatal conditions. If homosexuality is caused by genetics or prenatal conditions and one twin is gay, the co-twin should also be gay. “Because they have identical DNA, it ought to be 100%,” Dr. Whitehead notes. But the studies reveal something else. “If an identical twin has same-sex attraction the chances the co-twin has it are only about 11% for men and 14% for women.”

Because identical twins are always genetically identical, homosexuality cannot be genetically dictated. “No-one is born gay,” he notes. “The predominant things that create homosexuality in one identical twin and not in the other have to be post-birth factors.”

Dr. Whitehead believes same-sex attraction (SSA) is caused by “non-shared factors,” things happening to one twin but not the other, or a personal response to an event by one of the twins and not the other. For example, one twin might have exposure to pornography or sexual abuse, but not the other. One twin may interpret and respond to their family or classroom environment differently than the other. “These individual and idiosyncratic responses to random events and to common environmental factors predominate,” he says.

The first very large, reliable study of identical twins was conducted in Australia in 1991, followed by a large U.S. study about 1997. Then Australia and the U.S. conducted more twin studies in 2000, followed by several studies in Scandinavia, according to Dr. Whitehead. “Twin registers are the foundation of modern twin studies. They are now very large, and exist in many countries. A gigantic European twin register with a projected 600,000 members is being organized, but one of the largest in use is in Australia, with more than 25,000 twins on the books.”

A significant twin study among adolescents shows an even weaker genetic correlation. In 2002 Bearman and Brueckner studied tens of thousands of adolescent students in the U.S. The same-sex attraction concordance between identical twins was only 7.7% for males and 5.3% for females—lower than the 11% and 14% in the Australian study by Bailey et al conducted in 2000.

In the identical twin studies, Dr. Whitehead has been struck by how fluid and changeable sexual identity can be. “Neutral academic surveys show there is substantial change. About half of the homosexual/bisexual population (in a non-therapeutic environment) moves towards heterosexuality over a lifetime. About 3% of the present heterosexual population once firmly believed themselves to be homosexual or bisexual. Sexual orientation is not set in concrete.”

…read it all…

FIRST TIME IN HISTORY — No society, no great moral teacher, no major world religious founder ever approved of the normalization of the homosexual lifestyle.

See my posts dealing with this:



This is the first generation to want to legalize gay-marriage. “Marriage,” has been defined a certain way for eons (man + woman or women). Changing the definition in a society for the first time in world history is the EXTREMIST position. In fact, GayPatriot points out the Native-American tradition and how it does not support full acceptance:

…As perhaps the only gay person on this thread, I must note that I have long been decidedly ambivalent on gay marriage, in part because many gay marriage advocates seem more interested in winning the culture wars than in promoting the institution and in part because of my studies of myth, psychology and anthropology and the longstanding human recognition of the importance of sex difference.  And marriage rituals of every culture (see van Gennep) are based upon bringing together individuals from different groups.

In my grad school paper for my Native American class, I researched the legends of the berdache, or two-spirit.  Many cite the berdache tradition as an example of cultures which accept and embrace homosexuality and same-sex relationships.  And while many American Indian tribes recognized same-sex marriages, they all required one partner in such a union to live in the guise of the other sex.  Thus, if one man married another man, one would wear men’s clothes and go hunting with the “braves” while the other would have to wear women’s clothes and live as a “squaw.”  The one who lived as a woman could not go hunting with his same-sex peers nor could he participate in activities, rituals etc reserved for his biological sex.

Sex difference in short has long been inherent to the notion of marriage…

Do you understand? The left has done a bang-up job in making those who want to keep the definition as “one man one woman” as the extremists. Persons — hetero and gay — who want to keep marriage as “one man one woman” are not the extremists.

As an aside to this section, I was challenged with the Mosuo people in China, but this likewise supports the point above:

Myth 2 – Mosuo women are sexually promiscuous

…To set the record straight; while promiscuity is certainly not frowned on like it is in most other cultures, most Mosuo women tend to form more long-term pairings, and not change partners frequently. It might be better described as a system of “serial monogamy”, wherein women can change partners, but tend to do so relatively rarely; and while with one partner, will rarely invite another. I’ve personally met many Mosuo who have had a “walking marriage” relationship with the same man for twenty or more years….

Marriage, then still seems to be universal in this regard. The walking-marriage is similar to no-fault divorce in our culture, they just don’t have lawyers and judges.

NATURE WROUGHT THIS RELATIONSHIP FOR SOCIETAL MEANS (WHETHER GOD OR BY NATURE) — The male and female are two separate organisms that are the only species in humankind (“Homo sapiens”) that have the potential in becoming a completely different organism. Matrimonial law in the West has recognized this and realized that this organism is the basis and bedrock to society and to raising children. Whether God instituted this fact, or nature, it doesn’t matter. Natural Law (capital “N” and capital “L”) whether in the Hayekian or the Lockian formulation (without God or with God) both settle on State being involved in making this relationship the bedrock to raising healthy children — all things being equal. Which is why one of the most respected Canadian sociologist/scholar/homosexual, Paul Nathanson, writes that there are at least five functions that marriage serves–things that every culture must do in order to survive and thrive. They are:

Foster the bonding between men and women

Foster the birth and rearing of children

Foster the bonding between men and children

Foster some form of healthy masculine identity

Foster the transformation of adolescents into sexually responsible adults

Doug Mainwaring

I’m gay, and I oppose gay marriage

In our sometimes misguided efforts to expand our freedom, selfish adults have systematically dismantled that which is most precious to children as they grow and develop. That’s why I am now speaking out against same-sex marriage.

By the way, I am gay.

A few days ago I testified against pending same-sex marriage legislation in Minnesota’s Senate Judiciary and House Civil Law Committees.

The atmosphere at these events (I’ve also testified elsewhere) seems tinged with unreality—almost a carnival-like surrealism. Natural law, tradition, religion, intellectual curiosity, and free inquiry no longer play a role in deliberations. Same-sex marriage legislation is defended solely on grounds of moral relativism and emotions.

Pure sophistry is pitted against reason. Reason is losing.

[….]

Same-sex marriage will do the same, depriving children of their right to either a mom or a dad. This is not a small deal. Children are being reduced to chattel-like sources of fulfillment. On one side, their family tree consists not of ancestors, but of a small army of anonymous surrogates, donors, and attorneys who pinch-hit for the absent gender in genderless marriages. Gays and lesbians demand that they have a “right” to have children to complete their sense of personal fulfillment, and in so doing, are trumping the right that children have to both a mother and a father—a right that same-sex marriage tramples over.

Same-sex marriage will undefine marriage and unravel it, and in so doing, it will undefine children. It will ultimately lead to undefining humanity. This is neither “progressive” nor “conservative” legislation. It is “regressive” legislation.

(read more)

Note that Nathanson considers these points critical to the continued survival of any culture. He continues “Because heterosexuality is directly related to both reproduction and survival, … every human societ[y] has had to promote it actively . … Heterosexuality is always fostered by a cultural norm” that limits marriage to unions of men and women. He adds that people “are wrong in assuming that any society can do without it.” Going further he stated that “same sex marriage is a bad idea” …[he] only opposed “gay marriage, not gay relationships.”

Here is the crux of the matter in regards to “nature’s order:”

“…take gold as an example, it has inherent in its nature intrinsic qualities that make it expensive: good conductor of electricity, rare, never tarnishes, and the like. The male and female have the potential to become a single biological organism, or single organic unit, or principle. Two essentially becoming one. The male and female, then, have inherent to their nature intrinsic qualities that two mated males or two mated females never actualize in their courtship… nor can they ever. The potential stays just that, potential, never being realized…..

“….Think of a being that reproduces, not by mating, but by some act performed by individuals. Imagine that for these same beings, movement and digestion is performed not by individuals, but only by the complementary pairs that unite for this purpose. Would anyone acquainted with such beings have difficulty understanding that in respect to movement and digestion, the organism is a united pair, or an organic unity?”

So you see, the two heterosexual organisms that join in a sexual union cease being two separate organisms for a short time and become one organism capable of reproduction. This is what the state and the church are sealing in a marriage, this intrinsic union. The homosexual couple can never achieve this union, so “natures order” has endowed the heterosexual union with an intrinsic quality that other relationships do not have or could never attain. Both the atheist and theist [gay and straight] can argue from this point, because either we were created this way or we evolved this way. Either way, nature has imposed on the sexual union being discussed. (http://tinyurl.com/8unujfs)

So the optimal design by nature or God for the rearing of children is found in this organic union. Many gay men and women realize this, people like Doug Mainwaring (in the video above), Al Rantel (was a radio personality), and Paul Nathanson (Canadian sociologist quoted above), Tammy Bruce (a favorite author of mine), Rupert Everett (actor), and someone like Walt Heyer (who had an operation to become a “woman,” is now living as his birth gender [a man] and is married w/kids). When talking about this subject and a person says you are a bigot or intolerant for not wanting to support Same-sex marriages, mention the above.

See a few others who do not agree with Same-Sex Marriage (#SSM) being brought up to an equal plain with hetero-marriage HERE.

RESOURCES — I have written extensively on the natural law aspect of this topic (actually, I compile others thinking on the matter), and even have a chapter on it in my book.

Must See Excerpt

See excerpts of a few pages that challenge the idea from conservative leaning libertarians that mar­riage has no public value.

A link to it (my chapter) and other writings (mine as well as others posted to my blog) can be found in this “link-fest” from one of my “Notes” from my Facebook:


5-Books:

1) Same-Sex Matters: The Challenge of Homosexuality

2) Homosexuality and American Public Life

3) What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense 

4) Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth

5) Ex-Gays?: A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation


A Cordial `Clambake` on the Mutability/Immutability of Homosexuality (round 1) ~ Conversation Series

http://tinyurl.com/b8ohsle

A Cordial `Clambake` on Biblical Dietary Laws and Homosexuality (round 2) ~ Conversation Series

http://tinyurl.com/at2hg2f

All Religious and Moral Thinkers in History Rejected/Never Endorsed Same-Sex Marriages (Challenged with Buddhism)

http://tinyurl.com/amskd6o

Using Homosexuality In Nature To Support Same-Sex Marriage Backfires ~ #SSM

https://religiopoliticaltalk.com/using-homosexuality-in-nature-to-support-same-sex-marriage-backfires…

 “BIGOT!” Discussing Same-Sex Marriage with a Leftist

https://religiopoliticaltalk.com/bigot-discussing-same-sex-marriage-with-a-leftist/

Marriage, is it Hetero? (Q&A Included) ~ Two Imports from my Old Blog

http://tinyurl.com/ahxedmf

Unfriended for Judge Judy

https://religiopoliticaltalk.com/unfriended-for-judge-judy/

Concepts: Proposition 8

https://religiopoliticaltalk.com/proposition-8-concepts-4-6-2013/

Dennis Prager Interviews Ryan T. Anderson, Co-Author of “What Is Marriage?”

http://tinyurl.com/b3phafa

Dennis Prager Critiques Joe biden’s Comments about Same-Sex Marriage (May 2012)

http://tinyurl.com/a5gf76w

Just a small sampling of homosexuals who stand against Gay-Marriage:

http://tinyurl.com/a59uttb

Chapter from My Book, “Roman Epicureanism: Natural Law and Homosexuality”:

http://tinyurl.com/8unujfs

Halloween Night “Debate” Over Some Beers:

http://tinyurl.com/96p8rfb

Homosexual Marriage, Parenting, and Adoption ~ First Things

http://tinyurl.com/ab3qzpu

The LEFTS support of radical Islamic positions (there is a full chapter from Melanie Phillips book included):

http://tinyurl.com/arlq3x4

All My Debates Combined:

http://tinyurl.com/bdjxt2h

Homosexual Quip, “I Would Never ‘Choose’ To Be Gay”:

http://tinyurl.com/bdsoros

Homosexuality, Is It Good for Society?

http://tinyurl.com/8jr3tt2

Responding to Christian Homosexuals:

http://tinyurl.com/av5ke83

Dennis Prager Discusses at Length (2-Parts):

★ [P1] http://vimeo.com/10619678 [P2] http://vimeo.com/16410147