You’re only against gay marriage because of your religion. Part 1 Alternative Families on the Rise

Part 1- Alternative families are on the rise- and it’s not going well…

Part 2– Kids need more than just two committed parents, gender is relevant.

Part 3– Dad and Mom are needed to develop a healthy gender identity.

Part 4– Biology Matters.

Conclusion– Opposite-sex parenting is ideal.

I have gay friends and family members in my life. I believe that they should have the freedom to seek out the relationships of their choice. I don’t meddle in their relationships. Neither God nor society has given me the job of moral police. It is my role as their friend to love and draw them in, bear their burdens and share my life with them. As friends, we discuss our views on life and that includes our thoughts on homosexuality and gay marriage. They know where I stand in relation to advocating for traditional marriage. Although I don’t endorse some of their decisions, my disagreements should not impact whether or not I extend friendship and care to my gay friends. As a Christian my role is not to change anyone but to love them and demonstrate- with God’s help- what life with Christ looks like.

So why would I vote for and advocate for traditional marriage? Why not just live and let live? Why should I “push my beliefs” on my gay friends by denying them the “right” to marry their partner (as the media commonly frames it)? Christians, it is important that we have a convincing, secular, and statistically-supported case for how we vote on this issue. Yes, God ordained marriage. And if He did, we don’t just have to “take it on faith.” There will be measureable social, physical and economic indicators that support the goodness of His design. There will be drawbacks and deficiency when we deviate from it. And in my opinion, I don’t think it’s effective or appropirate to used scripture when advocating for public policy. So I’ve laid out my reasons for promoting man/woman marriage in this five-part post.

To begin, let’s look at the dramatic rise in single-parent households. In the past fifty years, there has been a significant shift in the sexual behavior of our nation. In 1960 5% of children were born to single mothers. Today that statistic is 41%. In the area where we live, that number is 63%. This reality has a huge impact on our country in many ways. First, when you go from a married household (whatever condition the marriage is in) to a single-mother-headed household, the average income drops from $70,000 to $30,000, with many single moms living well below the poverty line. These children and their mothers are in need of government aid in overwhelming numbers. Children that are raised outside of a married home are at increased risk for diminished physical health (obesity and eating disorders), abuse (either personally experienced or as a witness of abuse against, most likely, their mother), greater challenges to academic performance (ask any teacher if home life effects school life), risky behavior in adolescence, incarceration (inmate populations have upward of 60% fatherlessness), being trafficked, and mental health disorders. By no means am I saying that a child raised in a single-parent home is doomed in any of these areas, only that the deck is more stacked against them. Given this reality, as a society, if we want to make serious strides against child poverty, declining childhood health, gang violence, falling test scores in school, the growing barbarity known as human trafficking, drug use, pre-marital sex, teen suicide rates and depression and abortion… then we should advocate for every child to be raised by her married mother and father whenever possible.

Why is it that marriage adds health to so many areas of a child’s life? Yes, much of the reason is that there are two adults who share the equally valuable roles of income-earner and care-giver. If that was all that mattered, then there would be no reason to promote opposite-sex parenting above same-sex parenting and proponents of traditional marriage could rightly be accused of bigotry. But if fathers and mothers give uniquely to their children then we have a valid reason to set the traditional family as the ideal for child rearing.

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14 thoughts on “You’re only against gay marriage because of your religion. Part 1 Alternative Families on the Rise

  1. I’m looking forward to reading this more thoroughly, but one comment came to mind… An article I read recently advocated for the use of the term “authentic” when describing male/female marriage, rather than “traditional”. I think it is a fair point, because when we say “traditional” it sounds like we are just longing for things to stay the way they are because, well, that’s the way they’ve always been. “Authentic”, on the other hand, is what I think we really mean in this context. What is REAL? What is inherently privileged and in keeping with the natural order? I’m not talking about the feelings couples have for one another, to which heterosexuals certainly have no exclusive rights, but the actual nature of the relationship between a heterosexual couple vs. that of a homosexual couple. Anyway, just a thought…

    • Thank you for your comment, Beth. Certainly one of the next few posts will be a discussion on “What is Marriage.” Right now everyone has access to marriage as it has been historically understood. A full discussion on the two distinct views of marriage that are currently being debated within the US is in order.

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  6. This brings to mind something one of my Christian friends said {she is pro gay marriage} She said: “Besides the religious aspect of it, what is wrong with gay marriage?” And that’s the whole point. If you take the religious aspect out of it then NOTHING is wrong with it. But if you put God back into the equation {and as a Christian aren’t ALL of your decisions supposed to be Father based?!} then it means EVERYTHING.

    • I think that apart from belief in God an argument can still be made against it. Whether one believes in God or not, we still are “designed” in a particular way that commends complementary heterosexual unions to us. While an argument can be made for the heterosexual ideal, the conclusion depends upon the presupposition. If we are the product of evolution, then the best one could do is convince someone that homosexuality is a biological and psychological aberration, which we might possibly tolerate in society, but that it should not be celebrated as “normal.” From the perspective of theism, we can inject the moral suggestion that we “ought” to behave in the way that God intended, and if we don’t then we are in rebellion.

      • Thanks for your comment, Pruett. Because as a species we procreate by heterosexual means, homosexuality is not normal in that sense. However, it can certainly be argued that it is naturally occurring, (depending on your usage of natural.) Regardless of the origins of same-sex attraction, children have not yet evolved beyond needing a component from both male and the female parent for conception. Until children evolve, our policy should not evolve either.

      • Interesting argument, but please don’t mistake my comments to imply support for evolution. I have scientific, historical, and mathematical issues with that theory, some of which I’ve shared online (http://pspruett.blogspot.com/2005/02/links-and-article-index.html#science). I simply disagree that we have no basis for objection to homosexuality apart from theism. However, the limitation of that is, as Dostoyevsky pointed out, that apart from God all things are permissible. So even if an atheist were to agree that homosexuality were an oddity of nature, they could still just shrug and say, “who cares?” Even though they tend to make a great show of caring about morality (after all, aren’t they morally superior to Christians?), their ethic is necessarily subjective and relativistic when you get to the bottom of it. And what is more subjective than being free to do whatever one “feels” like doing. Of course, they have to throw in “so long as you’re not hurting anyone” as a matter both of self-defense against others just doing what they feel like doing and to appease polite society.

        I think the “naturally occurring” argument is overplayed for a few reasons.

        First, cannibalism and male domination are “naturally occurring” also. For that matter all the wicked things that humans do can be said to be “naturally occurring” (aren’t we part of nature, too?). This observation leaves no grounds for the rejection of any moral behavior at all.

        Second, it presumes that wherever one sees an animal conducing homosexual behaviors that it implies homosexuality. Homosexuality is the *preference* for the same sex. We can’t get inside an animal’s head, and for that matter, in many places that such behaviors are referenced you can also see these animals engaging in normal sex when given the chance. When a dog humps your leg, does it mean he prefers legs or just that it will do in a pinch?

        Third, this presumes that animals cannot also suffer from physical and psychological issues. Even if an animal can be found that prefers the same sex to the exclusion of the opposite sex, it still needs to be argued that this has occurred in a physiologically healthy animal that also has not been exposed to any negative environmental influences. I’ve known many Cocker Spaniels who are downright psychotic, and animal rights activist are quick to point out the negative effects of keeping animals in captivity.

      • It would be my pleasure! You may call me Scott (I go by my middle name). I hope you understand me as an ally, though my passion for precision sometimes leads me to criticize even friendly voices. My own brand of cold logic is, I think, trumped by your warm approach and compelling personal story, although I see you doing a decent job of applying reason in your posts as well 🙂 I would be honored to lend any aid or encouragement that I am able.

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