asktheBreeder- The question of discrimination.

I am the new girl in the blogosphere so I spend a fair amount of time reading other blogs. When I search the term “gay marriage” the blog results are overwhelmingly in favor. It’s been an eye opening experience. I’ve read some thoughtful blogs from gay marriage supporters who are making an even-handed case for their convictions without sensationalism. However, I have been astonished by the number of bloggers who are downright venomous in the pursuit of their cause.

One of the more notable revelations has been the use of the term “breeders.” No, I’m not talking Chihuahuas and poodles.  This is the term some in the LGBT community use to refer to heterosexual couples. In most cases, not surprisingly, it is used with condescension and disdain. I understand the desire for it to be insulting but its use actually makes my point beautifully. “Breeder” illustrates exactly the distinction between the two ideas of marriage being debated in this election. It helps to debunk some of the foundational assumptions on which the pro-gay marriage campaign is built.

So let’s talk about sex. Our bodies can move with another person in many different ways, using different parts, to bring about sexual climax. But heterosexual intercourse is distinct.  Robert George puts it this way:

In coitus, but not in other forms of sexual contact, a man and a woman’s bodies coordinate by way of their sexual organs for the common biological purpose of reproduction… Thus, their bodies become, in a strong sense, one—they are biologically united, and do not merely rub together—in coitus (and only in coitus), similarly to the way in which one’s heart, lungs, and other organs form a unity: by coordinating for the biological good of the whole. In this case, the whole is made up of the man and woman as a couple, and the biological good of that whole is their reproduction.

Gender is a relevant part of marriage because sex is relevant to marriage. Sex is relevant because only one kind of sex produces children. The nature of heterosexual sex carries more responsibility– the bearing and raising of children. It is entitled to more protection and benefits because of that increased responsibility.

This following video succinctly states these differences:

The video provides a rebuttal to common objections from the pro-gay marriage camp:

Q. But what about equality?  A. The law already treats everyone equally.  Every citizen can marry someone of the opposite sex.

Q. But is it fair to promote natural marriage but not promote same-sex marriage?  A. Yes.  The law treats all people the same, but it does not treat all behaviors the same.  Same sex marriage and natural marriage are different behaviors with different outcomes.  So the law rightfully treats them differently.

Q. Isn’t this discrimination against homosexuals?  A. No. This discriminates against behaviors, not people.

Gay marriage supporters often cite “Loving vs. Virginia” in their reasoning for why marriage should be redefined. The landmark case that decriminalized interracial marriage didn’t change any of the foundational components of marriage—one man, one woman, exclusivity, not too young, not too closely related, life-long commitment, and everyone involved had to be human. Miscegenation laws were put in place to prevent… breeding!  It wasn’t that people didn’t think that black people and white people couldn’t be married; it was that they didn’t want mixed race children. Loving vs. Virginia reinforces the concept that children are at the center of true marriage.

Does any of this invalidate the genuine affection, ability to sacrifice, and aptitude for commitment that gay couples have for one another?  You would be a fool to say so.  Many of the people in my life who identify as gay might be more tender-hearted and lend themselves more easily to earnest affection than some heterosexuals.  My mother and her partner have demonstrated commitment through great life transitions and challenges.  But we come back to the central question of “What is marriage?” Breeding is, and always has been, an intrinsic part of this institution.

The laws of nature support the concept that at the heart of our human existence there are some basic design elements that favor the male/female model in a familial relationship. The law of man should promote this biological fact.  For those of us who worship the Author of Creation, it’s no wonder that the law of God affirms and encourages this design. Observations and experience over thousands of years haven’t changed the complimentary nature of men and women. Neither has the new prevailing winds promoting homosexuality changed the reality that children are born of, desire to be known by, and do best when raised by, both a father and mother.


17 thoughts on “asktheBreeder- The question of discrimination.

  1. Love it! There seems to be, in general, a disdain for procreative sex in our culture. Oddly, pregnancy seems to be glamorous – a “baby bump” being all the rage in Hollywood – but only the passionate aspect of sex is valued. I think this disconnect makes it hard for people to understand why it’s legitimate for the law to affirm the natural privilege of heterosexual unions.

  2. THANKS for the information you are passing along to interested people. There seems to be a lot of confusion in our world today. People are telling me that we should just ignore what others are doing that is not Biblical and pray for them and their souls, turn it over to God and go on with our life.

    Maybe I am off track, but I find that difficult to do. My parents taught me you are thought to be similar to those you circulate with. My father told me a story when I was young to illistrate “real life”. He said one day when he was a teenager he was having a soda with a friend in a cafe in his small home town in Missouri. A policeman he knew came in and told my father he wanted to talk with him outside. He took him outside and said, very emphatically, John, (my fathers name) I have a warrant for arresting your friend and if you are with him, YOU will be arrested also, just because you are with him. Of course my dad, said thanks and took off.

    This is my problem with associating with these people that I feel are off track. I do not want to get “arrested” (thought bad of) (not living a Christian life) simply because of my association. My fathers story has stayed with me for about 65 years now. I still follow his lesson.

    KEEP UP THE GOOD MESSAGES, your friend Hal Willard

  3. I like your piece. However, if you do not favor same-sex marriage, what do you propose as a legal solution for couples such as your mom and her partner in order to ensure fair treatment under the law (with regard to issues like wills, health care decisions, finances, retirement benefits,etc.)?

  4. Dear Christine,

    Thank you for your comments. And thank you for the message of advocating for women expressed in your blog.

    In the state of Washington, gay couples are afforded all the rights that married couples are under the state’s “everything but marriage” domestic partnership law.

    Here is an overview of those rights:
    • Visitation, health care decision-making, and information-access rights
    • Inheritance and administration rights
    • Burial, disposition, organ donation, autopsy, and wrongful death claim rights
    • A domestic partner has testimonial privileges in court
    • Community property and dissolution laws apply
    • Domestic partners may sue on behalf of the community
    • Domestic violence statutes apply
    • Certain property transfers between partners are not taxed
    • State veterans benefits apply
    • Appointed and elected officials’ partners subjected to same laws as married officials’ spouses
    • Use of sick leave to care for a domestic partner
    • Rights to injured partners’ wages and benefits and unpaid wages upon death of a partner
    • Access to unemployment, disability insurance, and workers’ compensation coverage
    • Access to insurance continuance rights after the death of a domestic partner
    • Rights related to adoption, child custody and child support
    • Business succession rights

    My mother and her partner do not live in Washington State. But when I have asked her, she tells me that she and her partner are solidly covered regarding hospital rights, taxes, benefits from her employer (for years her partner was recognized on my mother’s health insurance), and other areas that matter to them. All without a domestic partnership- just diligence on their part to have all affairs in order.

  5. Hal, thanks for your comments. I know that you have had to make a difficult decision recently to step away from those who identify as Christians but who approve of homosexual behavior. (1 Cor 5:11) We cannot have Christ AND our sin as the book of 1 John explicitly states.

    But when it comes to those in the world who are not of Christ, it is our responsibility to be Christ to them which requires engagement, sacrifice, and involvement. We must follow His example of extending love and care, without compromising on truth, to those outside of the body of Christ, regardless of the lifestyle they claim. We are not to withdraw from those who are different (1 Cor 5:9-10) but rather we are to hold out the Word of Life to all. (Phil 2:14-18)

    Thanks for reading Hal. Keep running after Christ!

  6. In my experience the term “breeders” in in common usage amongst heterosexual couples who have not chosen to procreate, including ones that have adopted children because they want to be parents, but don’t want to contribute to the overpopulation of the planet. Because it is often used as a term of derision, it is seldom employed in a face to face situation involving people they like.

  7. It was a new term for me, Keith. 🙂 I had only seen it used in particularly malicious blogs aimed at supporting gay marriage. But obviously, I’m one of those who probably won’t hear it in face-to-face conversations.

    All the best to you.

  8. Indeed. Marriage is not the recognition of individuals or pairs of individuals on the basis of their gender or sexuality, but the recognition of a specific form of relationship on the basis of what it does. We have marriage because society needs permanent and exclusive sexual unions of men and women to thrive.

  9. I really enjoyed this post. I work in youth ministry. As the openness to gay relationships permeates certain parts of the universal church, I find there to be what seems to me to be a double standard…or at least maybe it seems that way because only one side is discussed and the rest is ignored. What I mean is I know a number of youth workers who will advocate for abstinence until marriage by heterosexual youth. Some of people will advocate that being gay is okay in God’s eyes and that we should be affirming of all people of all sexual orientations. The paradox that I never see mentioned is that people who are affirming of the gay lifestyle seem like they are willing to give a free pass for the sexual desires of gay people while at the same time being willing to put restrictions on the desires of heterosexual people, particularly students. And maybe I haven’t been able to have the right conversations with the right persons. Maybe there are youth workers out there who say “So you’re gay…here’s what the Bible says about lust.” But I’ve never heard that. It seems the liberal arm of Christianity is so eager to affirm this lifestyle that those who are affirming of an alternate lifestyle simply affirm it as is without any guidance. I do believe this is a sin in God’s eyes and I do believe Christians are called to love all people. But it frustrates me to see gay kids get a pass while the straight kid has to beat himself up because he’s struggling with porn. I may be on a tangent, but I think it lends itself to your topic. Thanks you, again.

    • Thanks for your comments, Jason. I appreciate your perspective and I know that what you are seeing is not uncommon. I think you are exactly right about the motivation that drives this contradictory approach to sexuality- namely the desire to affirm gay youth. What I have found is that those “open and affirming” denominations rightly see that worth of all people. Undeniably, Christ has ascribed worth to all of us in that He died for each of us. So I understand their desire to draw in a population that has, in some venues, been ostracized. The hypocritical stance (of encouraging sexual purity in one group and not the other) a symptom of wrong doctrine. The gospel of Scripture comes to us and affirms our worth, and our preciousness to God. It also affirms that our race, gender, and age are marks of the divine in our life. But other than that, the Gospel is one of transformation. And ALL of our emotions, dreams, appetites, character traits, physical skills, mental giftings, etc., will necessarily be laid at the feet of Christ as we say to Him, “You have given me everything. I give you everything too. By the power of Your Spirit, make me into someone who is more like You.” By nature or nurture, if we have a predisposition for a certain behavior (gluttony, lust, same-sex attraction, greed, laziness, explosive anger, passive-aggressiveness) it must be subjected to His Lordship. There is no biblical way around it. Anyone who says otherwise is peddling a false gospel.

      • You write well and you argue well and you have a definite agenda, but I am not convinced you are following God’s directive.

        I know I have said it before but I say it again – sexuality is not a behaviour. You have casually thrown same sex attraction into a list of sins resembling the seven deadly sins. You seem to have unknowingly or purposely changed the intent of the churches teaching on these sins. The desire for food is not sin, our appetite for food is “good” (as far as it can be in a broken world) but sin leads us to gluttony. Rest and recreation is “good” but sin leads us to laziness. Our desires are not inherently wrong but can be affected by sin and turned into greed. Our sexuality is “good” (as far as it can be in a broken world) but the problem of sin leads to lust. Our sexuality is something that is given to us as a good gift of God. You have casually changed sexuallity into “same sex attraction” as if it is a choice or preference like “I enjoy vanilla to neopollitan icecream. We live in a broken world – all of creation is affected. In a perfect world a Lion will sleep with a lamb – yet a Lions appetite is “good” and mirrors the majesty of our creator. In a perfect world we would be vegetarians yet my appetite for meat still qualifies me to accept the statement that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. You have unjustly treated Gay people entirely differently to us and listed their sexuality as a sin. In this imperfect world we have people who are born Gay – which is not how it would be in Eden – yet their desires are “good” and they too are fearfully and wonderfully made.

        I do agree with some of your comments about Gay people raising children but the issue is not as clear cut as we would like. For instance there are many heterosexual couples who don’t and won’t have children – it is not all about breeding. Heterosexual couples who can’t have children but want to – create multiple embryo’s and artificially place one in the womb the “spares” are destroyed. Heterosexual couples are just as dysfunctional and 50% provide little security for children in the divorce courts. etc etc.

        Disagreeing is more complicated for a group of Christians. One party is seen as wrong, as you said it “peddling a false gospel”. You do not realize the power of your words, you are proclaiming me as an “anti-christ”, you are hurting people who are wonderfully and fearfully made. Your arguments in your post are great if your intent is to strengthen the opinions of those who already agree with you but are not compassionate towards the ones Christ would want us to be. The hurt and marginalized. As loving as your tone is, it is hurtful.

        • Tapman, I see what you are saying. You are right, the sentence above should read “By nature or nurture, if we have a predisposition for a certain behavior (gluttony, lust, HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR (not same-sex attraction), greed, laziness, explosive anger, passive-aggressiveness) it must be subjected to His Lordship.” I absolutely mis-spoke. Thank you for pointing out the error.

          I have been explicit throughout my blog that same-sex attraction is seldom a preference or choice.

          “You have unjustly treated Gay people entirely differently to us and listed their sexuality as a sin.” Please give me a reference from scripture where homosexual unions or homosexual practice is affirmed by God.

          The blog post above aids in answering the question “What is marriage?” While not every married couple has children, one historical factor in the definition of marriage- and indeed the state’s only legitimate interest in marriage- is in creating an environment that is beneficial for producing and rearing children. If marriage was only about affirming one’s romantic partner, the state could rightly get out of the marriage business.

          Yes, just having heterosexual parents doesn’t make for a healthy home life. But two genders are some of the most basic building blocks for wholeness in a child’s life. Without both a mother and father, the child will be cheated out of something that rightfully belongs to them.

          • “You have unjustly treated Gay people entirely differently to us and listed their sexuality as a sin.” Please give me a reference from scripture where homosexual unions or homosexual practice is affirmed by God.

            The reason I say unjustly is because of the different way that you treated homosexuality to other sin – like gluttony and pride etc. If we say that their sexuality is distorted by the fall then we are treating them differently to ourselves and that is unjust.

            You have asked me to give you a scriptural reference – I am not the one making cruel judgements – I think you need to be justifying your stance. Isolated verses in scripture that sort of fit the picture is not really good enough.

            arsenokoitais refers to slave traders who deal in male sex slave. It was never translated as homosexual until the english edition of the KJ Version in 1946. Prior to that it was translated as *abusers of themselves with mankind* and was commonly thought to refer to masturbation

            Romans 1 clearly refers to male and female temple sex slaves and the prohibition is against sexual acts based idolatrous worship. To suggest that Paul is referring to couples in loving committed relationships in this verse requires one to completely ignore the literal and cultural context.

            Sodom and Gomorrah has nothing to do with homsexual relationships but is about the well ascribed and documented ancient practice of male rape for the purposes of humiliation.

            The Levitical prohibitions are the clearest so if you want to base your opinions on those be my guest.

            The Bible was written for the express purpose of pointing us to Christ. It is not a scientific manual – it is attrocious if you look there for human rights. According to Leviticus if I was raped (if I was female) I would have to marry and live with my attacker.

            Jesus sums up the law with Love God and Love your neighbour. The bible is not an excuse to abandon common sense. The reason you don’t see any affirmation in the bible is because you choose not too. I do not read what you do. This is where we part.

            As far as homosexual parenting goes, I can see where you are coming from and I haven’t thought all of this stuff through yet – but I do not want to base my opinions on inbuilt prejudices.

          • Tapman, in several posts I have confessed that I stumble and struggle with pride, exaggeration (lying), selfishness, etc. There are areas of my sexuality that must come under Christ’s lordship as well. Like the New Testament authors, I am not exalting homosexual practice above other sins but rather I list homosexual practice among other sins that separate one from God.

            If the homosexual acts in Romans 1 clearly refer to “prohibition is against sexual acts based idolatrous worship” then by that interpretation all of the following behaviors would also be sanctioned by God- as long as it was not part of idolatrous pagan worship and took place within a “loving committed relationship”:

            “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death,they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

            There are innumerable references to God encouraging marriage between a man and woman and sex within that union. I hear you explaining away references to homosexual practice that have been understood within orthodoxy for centuries as being sin. If your interpretation is correct, then you should be able to give me a reference from scripture where homosexual unions or homosexual practice is affirmed by God.

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