June 27, 2015

A Common Sense Argument Against Same-Sex "Marriage" [repost]

In the currently raging controversy over "marriage equality" one simple fact seems to have been overlooked:

Homosexuals already have the right to get married. . . . They just don't want to.

A gay man can marry any woman he chooses. A lesbian can marry any man she wants. They simply don't want to get married. Because that's what marriage is: a union between a man and a woman. Homosexuals don't want marriage. They want something else entirely, and they want the rest of us (the government in particular) to treat this union as if it were a marriage. This is utter nonsense.

A less emotionally charged example will illustrate the absurdity of this whole debate:

I am bald. A few years ago, my hair started falling out, so I shaved the rest of it off. I would like, though, to have a full head of hair. Should I then demand that everyone else start referring to my (non-existent) long, flowing locks and treating me as if I actually have a beautiful head of hair? Of course not. The very suggestion is absurd. If I was actually deluded enough to demand that others treat me and speak of me as if I had a ponytail or a pompadour, the most loving thing others could do for me would be to ignore my requests and give me a reality check. I'm bald. No one should feel the need to refer to my shaved head as if it were actually adorned by a thick mane of hair.

In the same way, the opponents of marriage (because that's what the opponents of "traditional marriage" actually are, they are simply opponents of marriage) need a reality check. They are deluded. If homosexuals want to get married, then they should go ahead and do it because they already have that right. But that is not what they want at all. And the rest of us should feel no obligation to go along with their delusion.

P. S.

For those who believe the answer is for the government to get out of the marriage business entirely, I tend to agree. Despite this, I believe that a case can be made for the government recognition of one type of union (traditional marriage) and not the other (same-sex "marriage"). The following is my attempt to provide this rationale:

Government recognition of traditional marriage helps propagate the family unit. The nuclear family (a real family that is, with a mom, a dad, and children) is the basic unit of civilization. Parents have children. Children need parents. Society needs both. The government has an interest is preserving this sort of thing. The propagation of the family unit means the propagation of society itself. Conversely, homosexual unions, by their very nature, do not produce children. There is no reason, then, to privilege same-sex unions because they provide none of the societal benefits provided by an actual marriage. Any argument, then, for same-sex "marriage" could be applied to virtually any other union between two (or more) individuals. Why shouldn't the government recognize unions between tennis doubles partners? Or poker buddies? Answer: It has no reason to. The government has good reason for recognizing actual marriages. It has no business, however, getting involved in unions between homosexual partners.

June 22, 2015

Southern Baptist Hypocrisy

The power elite of the Southern Baptist Convention have grown increasingly brazen. A few recent examples:
The future of the SBC does not look bright.

June 11, 2015

Is It Always Sinful to Disobey the Government?

Based on a face-value reading of Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13, many Christians believe that it is always sinful to disobey the government. Civil disobedience, according to these Christians, is only permitted in those cases in which obedience to government requires direct disobedience to God.

If that's true, then the two little girls mentioned in this article sinned by opening a lemonade stand. So, either these two little girls need to repent of their gross immorality (opening a lemonade stand, that is), or the contemporary interpreter of Scripture needs to recognize that 1) the biblical authors did not intend to address this sort of regulatory overreach and 2) they most likely would have qualified their statements if they did.

June 05, 2015

The Real Problem With the ERLC

Unbeknownst to most Southern Baptists, the money they give each week is being used (in part) to fund an organization known as the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. The ERLC serves as the public policy arm of the SBC. The ERLC is, essentially, a lobbying organization. They attempt to influence government officials on behalf of the Southern Baptists whom they purport to represent.

The problem is that we Southern Baptists are a varied bunch, and, while we may largely agree on certain public policy issues (e. g. restrictions on abortion), there is also much disagreement. Political positions are, to a certain extent, underdetermined by Scripture. We can agree, for example, that based on a biblical understanding of our duties toward God and man, that we ought to provide assistance to the poor and other disadvantaged members of society, but we might disagree strongly on which policies will best help us achieve that goal.

Consequently, while Southern Baptists are united around certain theological convictions, our political views may differ widely. For example, my pastor and I agree on virtually every theological issue of any importance. However, I imagine that if we were to have a frank discussion about politics we would find some significant areas of disagreement. That shouldn't be a problem. As Southern Baptists, we're united for the sake of the gospel, not politics. Certainly I believe that my political views are more consistent with Christian ethics than other views or else I wouldn't hold them in the first place. I'm sure other Southern Baptists of different political persuasions feel the same way, and it is our right (perhaps even our Christian duty) to try to persuade one another.

In and of itself, our divergent views are not the problem. The problem is that we are all, whether we know it or not, funding an organization that is advocating a very particular political viewpoint, a political viewpoint that many (probably most) Southern Baptists do not share.

An Antidote to Al Mohler's Summer Reading List

Al Mohler has recently posted his yearly summer reading recommendations (check them out at this link). While Mohler's choices aren't bad, they're a bit too safe for my tastes. Do you really want to read another book on World War II? Why not try something a bit less obvious?

In response to Mohler's very tame list, I've created one that's a bit less conventional.  Consider the following my antidote to Al Mohler's summer reading list:

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