The current Gay and Lesbian marriage issue appears to be riding the crest of the current irrational mass hysteria that is sweeping over most of Western civilization. In America, there is considerable pressure for Christians to quickly confirm that same sex marriages be included as part of traditional marriage. Those Christians who disagree are dismissed with the vague inference that they are bigots. Nowhere is there any reasoned and detailed effort to analyze this collective rush to a solution. Only two extreme points of view are offered: one to dissolve the boundaries of traditional marriage, the other to brand the opposition as bigots. Such an approach is a prescription for regression to paganism.
As a Christian Psychologist in private practice I have counseled over the years with gays and found most of them to be thoughtful and responsible people. One of my fellow psychologists was also gay. I think they should have all the rights of an American citizen. However, I have another view when it comes to combining same sex marriage with traditional marriage; and I have good reasons.
My best and first reason is that Genesis 2 defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. In addition, in Matthew 19 it is stated that man-women marriage is as much a part of the gospel as heaven or hell. Those reasons are probably enough for any bible-reading Christian. However, Christian ideas, as described in the bible, have had a tendency to become a part of the laws and beliefs of Christian cultures such as the United States (Burnt Offerings, 2010). Those cultural laws and beliefs that have Christian origins are also fair and relevant arguments against altering traditional marriage.
It seems as if the traditional marriage between a man and a woman was set up as an ideal in order to protect and provide a stable environment in which couples could reproduce and lead healthy lives. It also was devised in order to provide that same healthy environment for their children. For decades that guarantee has been diminishing as our divorce rate has increased. America has had for a long time, the highest divorce rate of any country in the world (Burnt Offerings, 2010). Further, families now are having fewer children than ever. These lower birth rates are recent data that probably reflect the widespread use of birth control
devices and the slow deterioration of the family. There is also scientific research that suggests that countries that have included same sex marriage as part of traditional marriage have fewer couples that bother to get married at all. If this modern trend continues, the ideal of traditional marriage will be diminished even further. To diminish the status of one man and one woman in marriage is to add to the deterioration of the family and eventually to the destruction of our American society.
There is also other more indirect evidence of unhealthy lifestyles within the family. Many years ago the statement was made that America prescribed more drugs in a year than the rest of the world combined. Today, that figure surely is much higher. In addition, there is data that suggests a very high rate of mental illness and low success rates in treatment (Burnt Offerings, 2010). I would say that ours is an overly drugged world that engages in bad judgment too easily. This all suggests to me that the family and the individuals within it are in trouble. It is clear to me, as a Psychologist and a Christian, that there is plenty of reason for not altering traditional marriage further.
Of course the real culprit in this side show is “the race card.” Suppose, in a debate, an argument for group equality is presented. Then, the opposition is accused of bigotry or at least stupidity before they can respond. In this debate, group equality has won before the debate has even begun. Somehow this sounds like a scam instead of a debate. It sounds hypocritical that the equality group must resort to the most unequal of manipulations in order to achieve equality through intimidation.
We are in a rush to nowhere in a high risk critical situation. Without reasoned responses, this will be a prescription for disaster, sooner if not later. Those in favor of equal rights have struggled for years to obtain equal rights for gays and Lesbians. Many Christians agree compassionately in their equality but others do not. This struggle has become a tempest and emotions run high. Instead of a reasoned debate, the issue has turned. Ordinary citizens are now taking sides and seeking blame. That blame is a thinly veiled revenge that is indeed non-Christian. Christians everywhere need to take another look at themselves before they act to legalize same sex marriage in its present form.
There is another option that has not been discussed much. It is an equal but separate proposal. It is proposed that we leave our traditional marriage the way it has always been in our churches. At the same time same sex marriage can be carried out in a civil service ceremony with a certificate of same sex marriage that is equal to traditional marriage. I think it is each Christian’s responsibility to consider any and all valid reasons for maintaining our centuries old traditions.
The present rush to judgment is an irrational denial and escape from engaging in rational planned changes that are designed to enhance each individual’s pursuit of happiness and freedom. The freedom of one group should not also involve the veiled destruction of the values that contribute to our success.
Floyd Sours is a Christian Psychologist/author who has written two books, the most recent being Burnt Offerings.
His website is http;//burntofferingsbook.com.
His books can be purchased at Amazon, Barns & Noble or his website.