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On the “Official Blog of Benjamin L. Corey,” Corey, who describes himself as a former Fundamentalist, claims that Dan Haseltine of the musical group Jars of Clay was only asking questions about “Gay” marriage and should not have been attacked.
I’m aware of Jars of Clay but have never heard any of the group’s songs. I understand that the group has a large following and what anybody in the group says on any subject is going to be commented on.
During a panel discussion that he participated in while in Australia, Haseltine said some things about same-sex marriage that caught the attention of a number of Christians. The following Twitter comment got him in deep trouble: “I don’t particularly care about Scripture’s stance on what is ‘wrong.’ I care more about how it says we should treat people.” That’s a very radical in-your-face declaration. A better way to say it would have been, “I care what Scripture says about what’s right and wrong, but we need to be equally concerned with how it says we should treat people.”
After a lot of criticism, Haseltine wrote the following on his blog:
In the heat of discussion, I communicated poorly and thus unintentionally wrote that I did not care about what scripture said. Thus, the tsunami hit. It was picked up by bloggers and written into editorials before I could blink. And rightly so, people were shocked and offended by my statement dismissing the value of scripture. I got it. And possibly, I got what that combination of statements warranted for response. I should’ve chosen my words more wisely.
True enough. If you are interested in this topic (and you should be), I recommend that you read Haseltine’s full response. He deserves a further hearing.
I’m all about asking questions. I realize that there are many Christians that don’t like it when fellow Christians ask penetrating questions. I have friends that I would never go to about a theological question.
What bothers me about Haseltine’s questioning is that this is stuff that should have been settled for him years ago. I find that many Christians aren’t practiced in critical thinking. Theology and biblical content is more like a script they’re reading than a body of knowledge that they’ve allowed to percolate.
This bit of questioning by Haseltine is a good example of what I’m talking about:
I’m trying to make sense of the conservative argument. But it doesn’t hold up to basic scrutiny. Feels akin to women’s suffrage. Is the argument born of isolated application of scripture or is it combined with the knowledge born of friendship with someone who is gay? I just don’t see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ?? Anyone?
Critical thinking takes practice. It’s not something that people stumble upon. If you are not doing it all the time, you lose the ability to think critically. It’s like anything. The more you do something, the better you get at it.
Since Mr. Haseltine has asked a few questions, let me try to supply a few answers:
The “negative effect” is the redefinition of marriage. Why even debate marriage in a religious context if the unforeseen pragmatic approach is going to be taken? If there is no God, there is no marriage. Since God exists, and He has defined marriage, I can’t see the perplexity in the argument that there may not be any societal harm. Who gets to define harm?
We’ve already seen the beginning of the slippery slope of redefining marriage. In Massachusetts, there has been a marriage trifecta—three women claim they are wife, wife, and wife.
The “throuple” marriage is not official, but what legal argument can be given in opposition if “negative effect” is in the eye of the beholder? The gate to the slippery slope has opened. In the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case, Justice Scalia said that the Supreme Court majority had created “a massive disruption of the current social order” by striking down the Texas law that barred sodomy. He wrote:
State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity . . . every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision.
There were many who dismissed the slippery slope argument. Consider Jon Stewart’s dismissal of the slippery slope argument made by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC):
I mean if gay people can get married, why can’t three people get married, or ten people, or anybody to anything.
The long-term consequences could be devastating as with all violations of God’s laws applying to moral conduct. Do we have to wait to see if there will be a societal breakdown before we outlaw something, especially when there are very clear prohibitions in the Bible? By the time we find out if there are negative consequences, it may be too late—as it was for Rome.
God gives us laws to protect us from future negative consequences that we may not be able to see. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
To Haseltine, homosexual marriage is “akin to women’s suffrage.” I don’t see the comparison since what type of sex people engage in has never been a criterion for voting. Haseltine’s line of reasoning seems to assume that homosexuality is a third sex. Those in the homosexual movement have tried to make the case that homosexual rights and marriage are identical to the struggles that blacks went through.
There are many black people that would disagree. Being black is not a behavior. Same-sex sexuality is. Same-sex sexuality is an identifiable sexual act. When has a sexual act ever been given precedence in law until same-sex sexuality was adjudicated by the courts?
In 99.9 percent of cases, it’s easy to identify a black or female person. The only way anybody would know a person engaged in same-sex acts would be to tell people or “act gay,” but even that wouldn’t keep them from voting.
There is no discrimination regarding laws against same-sex sexuality since the prohibition applies to everybody.
Too many Christians have lost their moral compass. They have been intimidated by calls for tolerance for any lifestyle choice no matter how civilization-killing it may be.