Dear young Christian friend now celebrating the SCOTUS gay marriage ruling, you are naive…and you are a fundamentalist.
Please hear me out. I do not want to offend. I am trying to just be honest. If I am wrong, then prove it. Make your case. I’ll listen. But I mean this with all genuine concern. Your naivete in these spiritual matters is spiritually deadly.
When I say you are naive, I mean it in the simplest sense…you are inexperienced and too trusting of progressives in power. (As for calling you a fundamentalist, I’ll explain that next time but you can read here for some initial insight into what I mean.)
And before you assume you know all my views, understand I argue that fundamentalism is the worst modern heresy, and on the issue of gay marriage I was actually proposing nine years ago a solution to the gay marriage issue similar to what Alabama is suggesting now, which would get the church out of providing state licensing services and the state out of the church and the bedroom in matters of marriage–but it requires full acceptance that we are a pluralist (not Christian) nation. That said, I am not interested in the political as much as the theological issues. (Though the concern here is closely tied to religious freedom.)
Also, while I am somewhat upset, I am not upset at SCOTUS or that they overturned “the will of the people.” This isn’t a states’ rights issue…it is an ontological issue. We can no more set the definition by referendum than the courts can by the dictatorial abuse of its power. Marriage really is something specific, a sacramental relationship of a man and a woman becoming one flesh. No ruling by court or vote can change that any more than any government could make 2+2=5.
Still, the SCOTUS decision didn’t really shock me. That people with that much power and lifetime appointments and virtually no real chance of being impeached have the arrogance to “redefine” marriage is not shocking. After all, similar people in similar situations once ruled that a person wasn’t a person because he was black (Dread Scott) or that a person isn’t a person because she is still in the womb (Roe v Wade). When a small group of people have the power to reject reality for the sake of public opinion…well what do you expect.
But I really don’t want to go down the road of rehashing that debate. What concerns me here is not the ruling so much as the large number of young Christians celebrating the ruling. There are several reasons you should not be celebrating this ruling. But for now I want to touch on the threat to churches and people of faith who dissent from the gay narrative.
I know…”the slippery slope is a logical fallacy,” and “the courts and the president said we must respect religious rights to disagree.” You are, of course correct on both points. But the fact that you find any comfort in them simply points to your naivete.
No, there is no slippery slope, but that doesn’t mean there is no threat to churches and Christians in the current law. I have no fear that we will haphazardly slide into some new ideas about marriage or mistakenly slip into placing a check on religious liberty in the US. We are not slipping–we are being pushed; there is a well organized and heavily funded movement with supporters in all levels of government, entertainment, and big business pushing us toward a goal of total acceptance of the gay lifestyle. There is no room for dissent. Have you seen the Education department FB post? What about the White House in rainbow colors? The Tylenol ad with gay couples? The drag queen on “Food Network Star”? For Pete’s sake…the rainbow band suddenly at the top of my wordpress editing page? We must be assimilated.
And what of the words of comfort from our illustrious leaders? They might be meaningful if we didn’t see, prior to this ruling, a bakery (and small family business) shut down and the owners forced into re-education (sensitivity training) or a CEO fired over a political donation. For that matter, look at how religious people are treated on another issue limiting sexual liberties.
I once heard the president speak warmly to a pro-life group prior to being elected. Furthermore, in his recent speech about the SCOTUS gay marriage ruling he said plainly, “We are people who believe every child is entitled to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Yet this is from a man who threatened to veto any limit to the most horrendous partial birth abortion practices. And what of respect for religious organizations that disagree with this administration on birth control (another hot button issue about which some of us simply haven’t progressed or evolved to their level of wisdom)? Maybe you should ask the Little Sisters of the Poor or take a look at the war they declared on Hobby Lobby.
Of course the president is going to say that we must respect religious liberty, he is a politician. But, why should I believe anything he says about the future? Especially in light of everything mentioned above and his rather rapid evolution on this issue of gay marriage, and his speech after the SCOTUS announcement expressing his desire for those of us who haven’t progressed to basically change our faith (“those who have come so far on their journey to equality have a responsibility to reach back and help others join them, because for all of our differences, we are one people, stronger together than we could ever be alone”).
We must open our eyes to the general mindset of those pushing us in this direction. The ACLU says it can no longer support the Religious Freedom Restoration Act because it can be used to discriminate. Lesbian activist Masha Gessen has stated, “Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we’re going to do with marriage when we get there…It’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist.” Pro gay marriage writer Mark Oppenheimer is arguing for the removal of tax exempt status from churches and non-profits based on dissent from government positions on gay rights. (“Rather than try to rescue tax-exempt status for organizations that dissent from settled public policy on matters of race or sexuality, we need to take a more radical step. It’s time to abolish, or greatly diminish, their tax-exempt statuses.”)
No, there is no slippery slope. We’ve been pushed, and the pushing won’t stop now. They won’t be throwing preachers in jail tomorrow or next week or probably even next year over this. But dissent is not welcome, and those guilty of it will be pushed to the fringe. It is happening in Canada where they have had similar laws longer. The demonization has only just started here–but it will get worse. If you are OK with that, then keep posting your rainbow flags…but please don’t be naive. Realize where this is headed with purpose and momentum.