Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

A look into the mind of one of the most random, crazy people in all the land.

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Location: East Peoria, Illinois, United States

A Lutheran seminarian eagerly awaiting the return of Our Lord. Soli Deo Gloria!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Gay Marriage, Abortion, School Violence, Euthenasia...are They Really Random?


I love how my ethics class seems to intersect many areas of my life. Two weeks ago the topic was abortion. This week, the topic is sexual morality and same-sex marriage. It was not until debating with an atheist on youtube over the issue of gay marriage that I realized several things that I think have led to our current predicament. These thoughts were assisted in "coagulation," by Chris McGarvey, though I alone bear the burdon of error.

1. The modern world, particularly the West, has lost an understanding of the nature of "cause and effect."
2. The "modern mind" is actually "post-modern" (what I was describing as "existentialist"). By "existentialism," I am referring to that general philosophical worldview that has several points: A. There is no God. B. The existence of a being occurred before its essence...that is to say you have no soul apart from your physical existence or life experience. C. The structure of the universe is dynamic chaotic. This means that the universe has natural laws only to the point that they do not change. We can predict they will remain the same universally, we cannot claim knowledge of such a thing. D. Our fundamental worth as human beings comes about by our participation in an earthly relationship. E. ALL things are relative.
3. Starting from the 1950s with the influence of Freud on sexuality (McG argued even earlier in the 1930s with the advent of birth control which made reproduction a choice as opposed to a fundamental aspect of marital happiness), sex began to be spoken of apart from the action of sex. This allowed for sex education to focus on the nature of the organs and their functions without actually talking about the physical act. In 1957, Sputnik was launched, and the introduction of evolutionary theory into public education became mandatory...because knowing we came from Old World Monkeys is vital to rocket science!
4. In the 1960s, the sexual liberation occurred. This separated the act of sex from the bounds of marriage in a social movement and context. Relationships existed, but they were fundamentally based around individuals seeking pleasure. Such pleasure focused on the gaining of pleasure using someone else (even if they consented) rather than sharing in the pleasure.
5. In 1973, the United States Supreme Court overrode every state ban on abortion (some would argue unconstitutionally) and made abortion legal (with some stipulations). Now, not only was the act of reproduction a choice with regard to its first step, now the act after the first step was a choice.
6. In the late 1980s-1990s and today, there is a fundamental rise in school violence, in overall societal respect for one another, and towards human life in general. Many of those individuals who committed the school shootings that were big (Columbine, etc.) were self-avowed evolutionists, atheists, etc. This time period is roughly one generation after the Roe v. Wade decision.
7. Now: The redeffinition of marriage is in the public mind. Gay marriage is considered by some to be another step in the ruination of society. In other minds, to ban it is seen as cruel, discriminatory, and an issue of civil rights.

What can we take from this? I put them in this order for a reason. The fundamental issue here isn't even gay marriage (for Christians it really isn't about a philosophical worldview - a la sin), but the worldview of post-modernism/hyper-existentialism (I'll say "hyper-existentialism" to differentiate the view of existentialism that is actually helpful towards scholarship and is constructive and in some ways united with Christianity). Post-modernism speaks to our needs about community. It recognizes we need a community to be whole. This is clearly in line with Genesis when God says, "it is not good for man to be alone." The institution of marriage by God himself at the creation is fundamental to this community. While not all are married, the Christian view espoused by St. Paul is that virginity is a higher gift than marriage...meaning it is a special grace of God. The default goal however, is marriage.

Such separation in the modern mind however of sex and marriage or sex and reproduction, has led to a disastrous situation. Those supporting gay marriage don't even realize they're stepping into a trap! They believe that by simply redefining the word and making it legal, it becomes good and right. What they really look for is legitimacy in the eyes of society. Why? Because at least a generation ago, the traditional family began to break down. Now these sorry people are trying to find legitimacy in the highest authority they know...the society. Don't get me wrong, there are homosexuals out there who claim to be Christian, but aside from the fact that they are not, those who defend gay marriage don't need to argue usually with religious folk....they know they'll lose. They'll argue politically, using the assumption that God is for gays....read their literature and you'll see this. If the spiritual "Father" is for you, then it only stands that your earthly father be for you to...to support your decision and value you. Sadly, many lack this or don't see it as inherent within their father...instead the government is the highest form of authority figure, and since the government in this country is a democracy, to affect the law is to assume the legitimacy of the idea in the minds of the people.

Of course many would disagree with me. They would say I'm being bigotted or mean spirited. Consider further on top of the historic argument, these:
1. In nations that have adopted same-sex marriage, less than 10% (being generous) enter into it. Therefore they don't take advantage of the estate...they wanted legitimacy in the public's eyes. Maggie Gallagher's iMAPP has statistics of this kind.
2. To redefine gay marriage in the eyes of the law is to assume that the law alone was responsible for its origin and structure. Many see that view of history as highly speculative, arguing instead that the law simply recognized what the religious institution and biological relationships already involved....in other words, God/religion instituted it or at least dealt with it because of its role in giving life.
3. The Ancient Greeks and Romans were practitioners of homosexuality. Read Petronius's "The Satyricon" if you don't believe me (on second thought, don't. It's quite disturbing.). Yet even though they practiced...they never made it legal. How long did their civilizations last?
4. Gay marriage would alter the very nature of marriage and legally separate the insitution from the initial role of child-producing and raising. While there are heterosexuals who cannot have children, this is an exception, and laws should not be fundamentally based upon exceptions.
5. If I grant that I can only marry a consenting adult, what is to stop polygamy/polyandry or incest? If we're consenting and marriage isn't about reproduction, why not?
6. While the law in the U.S. defends your right to pursue happiness, it does not grant rights on the basis OF happiness. To say that you must be married to be happy is a stretch...especially if sexuality has been separated from marriage. Instead, the law recognizes the social contract nature of the institution. Yet still, traditional marriage, even done before a judge, has to do with committment, not happiness.
7. Marriage is not just social...it is religious. Even marriages done before a judge usually have a Bible or Quran or some mention of "God." One must also take up the argument with religions.
8. The financial benefits granted in marriage are not a justification to get married...that would be using an institution or person to an end...Kant's Deontology theory would say that is wrong. For those instances when individuals are not allowed to see their friend/lover in the hospital, this should be lifted for all people regardless of their sexual preference...I would want to see my best friend even though I am not a lover nor family member.
9. To redefine marriage is to think we can redefine words and change what they really mean. I can redefine colors, but this won't change what I was initially talking about...it will shift to a different thing.
10. Gays have the same marriage rights as straights....they can marry a member of the opposite gender.

But again, we are left with a quandy...what do these have in common? The breakdown of the family and the injection of anti-Christian ideas into our culture. Because people in the West are lazy, we have swallowed it all, hook, line, and sinker...because we don't bother to analyze what we think about anything. Talk to someone sometime about anything difficult or involved (politics, theology, etc.), and you'll soon find that the vast majority of people in the West do not have a coherent worldview. If they do, it tends to be post-modernism. It is sometimes good to talk to those who have a consistent worldview...because then you can actually talk!

God showed us what marriage is and what it is for. The church is Christ's bride, and with Him present in the Gospel message, new children are brought into the faith and family. It is for this reason that John's Gospel becomes poignant for us when Christ is on the cross. He gives His rightful mother over to St. John to protect and care for...and He gave St. John to her....St. John became adopted, or brought in to the earthly family of Christ just as we are adopted in a similar way to God the Father. Hence, the church's mother, the Theotokos is our best image of what it means to be a full woman. With Christ as the New Adam and the Blessed Virgin as the New Eve, the initial created order is not only fixed, but moved beyond its original bounds. God truly becomes "Our Father" again. The bond between a man and a woman in Holy Matrimony is one of the greatest and closest bonds in creation. The other bond is between the mother and her child. It is for this reason that both abortion and homosexuality is abhorrent. They are denials of God and our renewed natures in Christ!

As we live in this Easter Season where we celebrate our new life in the Resurrection, so to we should remember the growth of Christ in the Virgin's womb.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately you consider "equal treatment" to be the same as "legitimacy by society" and immediately discount gay marriage as an ideological idea "legitimacy by society" and completely ignore the reality that gay people would like to not be put in jail because they believe different than Born Agains. In addition to "not being put in jail" (which only recently became law via the US Supreme Court..... barely) they would like to not be discriminated against... just like Born Again Christian's cannot be discriminated against. Somehow equal treatment under the law is something that Born Again Christians want for themselves, but not for those that hold different belief systems. America does not allow religious freedom as there are a many churches that celebrate same gender marriages... but Born Again Christians would like to keep civil marriage under wraps for only those who believe their own way. It is tragic that Born Again Christians use the Bible in such a way. The MOST BASIC REQUIREMENT presented by Jesus when asked DIRECTLY- was to say "love God and second to love your neighbor". When the follow up question was asked, "who is my neighbor" Jesus' gave a response that MOST theologians would agree includes gay people- but unfortunately that interpretation is often Lost on Born Again Christians... who sadly are some of the most spitefull and hateful people when they are dealing with those whose religious beliefs do not mirror their own. Gay people are God's children too. In addition, they pay taxes and are thus entitled to the same civil rights granted by the state to Born Again Christians. Jesus gave another direct answer, when asked directly how to deal with those sinners (if you want to include gays then this is his charge to you) "Let him that is without sin, cast the first stone". Unfortunately and sadly, Born Again Christians like to pick and choose which parts of the Bible they will believe and follow. God's heart bleeds for Gay people and he is torn by the hateful things done by Born Again Christians in the name of God. When asked directly, how they will know we are Christians... the answer is NOT, by our theology, but by our LOVE. Sadly, again, the Born Again Christians have behaved in some of the most UNLOVING of ways. Trying to deny gay people health insurance, pensions, hospital visits to loved ones and the list goes on and on. Born Again Christianity COULD be about LOVE..... but then, they would actually become "Christians" ie. following Christ. There is a concept! david j~

2:37 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

David J.,

Thank you very much for visiting my humble blog.

I did indeed speak of equal treatment. Pensions have nothing to do with homosexuality as does visiting loved ones in a hospital. I would argue both those are unreasonable to target homosexuals with. The issue of health insurance is one of sexual promiscuity, which even those who are not homosexual can engage in.

An issue of language though seems to be in order. How do you understand "love" as Jesus speaks about it? How do you understand His statements about marriage found in Matthew's Gospel where a man leaves his family and is joined to his wife? Aren't you cherry picking from Scripture as well when you claim that "gay people are God's children?" We are by nature objects of wrath and children of the devil. This is why our Baptisms begin with a renunciation of the Devil and all his works and all his ways.

That all mankind is in God's image (though tainted with sin and death) is not a question...it is this fact that we argue gives all human beings digniity and worth. The question though is one of society recognizing a behavior that has a long historical record of NOT being recognized by societies. It has everything to do with societal stability from the standpoint of laws. Just because a religion says one group can get married does not force the state to recognize it, that's why even a heterosexual couple must go to the courthouse or get a marriage license even after the religious ceremony.

Chris

9:44 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Your "thumbnail sketch" of postmodernism and, especially, existentialism, are far off base.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Stephen,

In what way are my views of existentialism and post-modernism "off base" as I have described them and applied them to an overarching view of reality that individuals subscribe to?

I have heard that description in two different classrooms, one from a public philosophy class and another from a religious institution. I have read further similar such descriptions.

I am not referring to the use of existentialism in some literary, scientific, or social/theological endeavors that focus on relationships and communities. I am referring to the ultimate metaphysicsl questions, particulary the existence of God and the nature of reality, that such a view answers when used as one's main worldview.

Therefore there can be theistic post-modernists, for Kierkegaard and Dostoievsky were theists even though they are commonly called "post-modernists" or "existentialists." However, the fundamental tenet, that I hold runs through society when they espouse a "post-modern" view is usually that everyone has a valid viewpoint, particularly communities, because there is no absolute truth. This is, in reality, equivalent in philosophy to saying there is no God. It equally follows from this viewpoint that the universe did not exist in the mind of God before Creation (because He's out of the picture), but simply came into being.

Thus, existentialism would claim that the existence of something in matter occurs before its essense. Essentialism which answers the question that there is a God reverses that idea.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Charlotte said...

Marriage is a basic civil right that should be attainable by all Americans if they choose. For the truth about gay marriage check out our trailer. Produced to educate & defuse the controversy it has a way of opening closed minds & provides some sanity on the issue: www.OUTTAKEonline.com

7:31 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Charlotte,

It's good to know that marriage is a civil right that all Americans have. That's why it is open to all people to join in a union that existed before nations, which propogates and stabilizes society. The issue is not equal rights, but new rights for all. All people have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex...both gay and straight people. That union does not exist between two members of the opposite sex. To say it does is to redefine marriage without actually changing what marriage is. Marriage can be polygamy by most definitions...I have yet to hear a reason why it is not allowable if gay marriage is made legal. Why can I not marry close relatives either? Could it be that the latter law is in effect for procreative concerns? If marriage is not about procreation and I really love a close relative...why should I not get married? The logic doesn't follow through does it?

Of course it must also be figured out by the pro-gay marriage group whether or not homosexuality is inherent in individuals, a product of choice, or both. And even if it is inherent in individuals, this does not give them special rights with regard to society. People are born alcoholoics and we don't say they can drink all they want if they don't hurt anyone. If it's a choice, many things are as well...why should society recognize the choice? Do you see where this becomes an issue? Pro-gay marriage people have a tendency to want to make homosexuality a congenital issue which would mean "you can't help who you love." However, they want to defend gay marriage as a choice to be made by two gay individuals...even if homosexuality is congenital it does not follow that the choice of marriage be open for them.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Hannah J said...

A soon-to-be biologist myself, I found your note entertaining:

"In 1957, Sputnik was launched, and the introduction of evolutionary theory into public education became mandatory...because knowing we came from Old World Monkeys is vital to rocket science!"

Yep...send THEM up there instead!

Signed,
The Renaissance Thoroughly-Non-Macroevolutionary Biologist

1:33 PM  

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