Thursday, April 4, 2013

Why the Marriage Debate Cannot Be Won

If the debate is about homosexuals being granted the same civil marriage rights as heterosexuals, I have to say there is nothing in our current form of polity that can stop it. We've adopted a form of government that permits almost anything, so long as enough people mobilize to demand it. Our society values freedom above all else, and in the homosexual marriage debate we are seeing what human beings ultimately do with unrestrained freedom. This is all a moot point from the perspective what is legally possible, for in America anything is legally possible if people mobilize to demand it.

That does not mean there is no philosophical or religious angle to this issue. There are a lot of religions in America, and religion involves beliefs about what reality is all about. Science that investigates human origin is usually heavily biased by evolutionary philosophy, which undergirds some of the pro-marriage thinking in the debate. However there are still other philosophies. All systems - religious and philosophical - use a combination of evidence, experience, thought, and faith (conviction) to arrive at the conclusions they hold. There will never be an end to the religious and philosophical debate, since in such situations few people are able to listen to opposing view points without seeing their own biases or getting emotional. There can be no meaningful debate if the debaters argue from emotion instead of logic.

But frankly the issue of homosexual marriage confronting and dividing our country is not an issue of religion and philosophy so much as it is an issue of government. Within the current governmental structure the only way to stop homosexual unions from being legalized is to convince those with deciding power that 1) a different philosophical/religious perspective on this issue needs to be adopted, or 2) that homosexual unions are demonstrably harmful to those involved, families, communities, or society in general - no matter peoples religious and philosophical views.

We have this issue before us because of the form of government we have chosen for ourselves. Period. Human nature is what it is; it seeks what it wants. As an Orthodox Christian I can say with a high level of confidence that those who desire to inherit the kingdom of heaven will not live as practitioners of homosexuality, no matter how much they may be tempted to do so in body, mind, or spirit - just as it is with those tempted with adultery, sex outside of marriage, and other sexual practices found among men but forbidden by Christ through His Apostles and His Church. Those outside of Christ will not necessarily struggle against these practices, and so will do whatever they find in themselves, whatever that may be.

If Christians are unhappy with the choices the people in our society are making, we ourselves have at least two choices:
  1. Leave for another society whose government and/or people hold allegiance to Christianity;
  2. Do a much better job articulating our position against opposing philosophies.

I do not include the third idea of establishing a different government, because Christians should not engage in revolutions. The Christians is Syria are being persecuted terribly for not rising up against Asad. It's evil that they are treated this way. The weapons of Christians are not revolution and war, but prayer and love and fidelity to Christ.

We are making our city on the plains of Shinar, with its tower reaching up to the heavens. The ultimate solution to this problem will come from God. We may find ourselves conquered by Islam or torn apart in war for our crimes, so that by one means or another we may return to sanity. I'm personally hoping for the Parousia.