Fool's GoldIowa for Freedom (founded by former governor candidate, Bob Vander Plaats) wants Iowans to vote no on the retention of three Supreme Court Justices who voted in Varnum v Brien to strike down Iowa’s version of the Defensive of Marriage Act. They are Marsha Ternus, Michael Streit, and David A Baker. Governor Chet Culver then ordered marriage licenses issued to same sex couples, just like Mitt Romney of Massachusetts did after a similar ruling in his state. Neither had the courage to stand against the overreaching actions of courts. This will likely end up at the United States Supreme Court and may result in some national move for a Constitutional Amendment or even cause a US Constitutional crisis. Every state that has had voter initiatives on this issue has come down on the side against “gay marriage”. As the battle rages, I believe there are four fundamental arguments we dare not abandon.

First, I believe some have waived the religious argument for marriage altogether. Argument from tradition is not a winner. Traditions can be changed. God is the author of marriage. He defines its boundaries. Marriage exists because God made it so at the beginning of creation: “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.” What is shocking about that passage is that not only did God himself invent and institute marriage between a man and wife, but he also mentions fathers and mothers from the very beginning, before they existed. This is the natural order. It’s not that a man and man should not be married – it is that they cannot be married. We can perform all kinds of ceremonies over the two of them and issue them a license and even uphold the act with a Supreme Court decision. It will not make it a marriage. It will simply make all of us more to blind to reality. Calling a dog’s tail a leg does not give the dog five legs.

We who oppose the efforts to institutionalize the perverse notion of two men or two women getting married are often asked how such a thing could possibly hurt our own marriages. It is true that a strong Christian marriage can withstand any outside interference. Any culture, however, suffers when counterfeit currency is accepted. “Gay Marriage” is a counterfeit. How can fake $20 bills affect me if I only use the real? Because in such a scenario, true money is debased or devalued. Likewise for marriage.

We will lose the argument if we don’t go back to first things. Utilitarian arguments are bound to fail us, as they have most assuredly done so for the unborn child. All the gory pictures, ultrasounds and offers of adoptive parents have failed to stem the tide of bloodshed because we have been afraid to mention God’s Name in debate. We have been afraid to call sin, sin.

Second, I believe it is grave error to accept the argument that marriage is only a religious institution. The family existed before the church and even before the state, but the welfare of children, the protection of property rights for couples, and other issues pertaining to the family require that the state recognize the God-given definitions of the family. Marriage is not just a private institution, it is a public one. Therefore, the duty to defend marriage lies upon the state. We must not waiver on this issue, either.

Third, we have failed to see that we have been hypocrites and that we ourselves have created this monstrous situation. Every act of adultery, fornication, pornography and unbiblical divorce shows contempt for God’s Law. Living together outside marriage is to ignore God’s law. The strange Westboro Baptist Church bunch are sometimes quick to say that God hates homosexuals, but we, too, conveniently forget that God hates divorce. God does in his grace sometimes deliver homosexuals, but the devastating results of divorce and remarriage cannot be undone even when forgiveness is given. Every time a Christian politician or public figures is caught up in a sexual scandal our credibility is weakened. Until we admit our own sins, we won’t get far arguing against the sins of others.

Nevertheless, there is still a difference between disobedience of an eternal law and whole-hearted denial that such a law exists. Unlawful behavior destroys lives; lawlessness destroys whole nations. Anarchy shall surely follow if we do not turn back to God. Even our own sins must not tempt to us to give in to those who would destroy the very notion of sin. Let God be true, and every man a liar.

Fourth, our arguments should be presuppositional. That is, because marriage is defined by God, we should not grant one inch of ground as to who has the authority to “change the definition of marriage”. No one does. Period. End of story. At most, fighting the battle in certain arenas should be seen as a tactic and nothing else. It is not the final say. For example, it is foolhardy to think that the people have some inherent right to vote on this issue. They do not. Do the people have the right to vote on whether certain people live or die? Do they have the right to vote on which of the Ten Commandments we get to keep? Vote on who is God? Nobody has these rights, not the people, not the courts, not the governor, not President Obama. It is settled law. Settled in heaven.

26 comments
  1. Rights of persons. SECTION 1. All men and women are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights–among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.

    Laws uniform. SEC. 6. All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.

    1. Every adult person in Iowa had the same ability to marry a person of the opposite sex, the General Assembly did not restrict anyone from doing this.

      The Iowa Supreme Court decided to manufacture a right that previously did not exist and certainly wasn’t inalienable so bringing up section 1 is ridiculous.

      1. Shane:

        A) Gay people exist. B) We are not immoral (if you wish to argue that we are, please do so with detailed emphasis on how the state of being homosexual fits with the definition of immorality). We form long-term, committed relationships that are perfectly legal and—in every manner other than opposing gender—EXACTLY the same as opposite gender relationships. Love, care, chores, taxes, arguments, reconciliations, families, friends, jobs, death, mourning, et al.

        Please explain why my relationship deserves less LEGAL recognition than a non-procreative opposite gender relationship.

        Please do so without implying (or outright stating) that I or any other homosexual is any less respectable or valuable to society than any randomly chosen heterosexual.

      2. ALI,

        It is questionable whether homosexuality is a state. It is simply a behavior driven by evil impulses, just as adultery or theft. It is immoral because it violates the law of God. God has created male and female for marriage. You definition avoids the sexual aspect of the relationship which is the primary source of the immorality. My brother and I have a committed relationship. I love him. If either of us gets in trouble, we help each other out. I would die for my brother (how much more committed can you get than that!). But we are not homosexuals. Nobody is forbidding any of the eleven things you listed.

        It deserves less legal recognition because you can’t get married. By definition.

        Nobody has stated as far as I know that you are “less valuable to society”. That has little to do with it. Nothing you said would apply any differently to any other deviant relationship: adultery, bestiality, pedophilia, incest, fornication.

      3. “Please explain why my relationship deserves less LEGAL recognition than a non-procreative opposite gender relationship.”

        1. It isn’t how we as a society has chosen to define marriage.
        2. It is contrary to natural law.
        3. Every marriage between a man and a woman is capable of giving any child they create or adopt a mother and a father. Every marriage between a man and a woman discourages either from creating fatherless children outside the marriage vow.

        Some thoughts off the top of my head. Regarding your view that you are not immoral… what is the basis for your morality? Because my foundation for what is right and what is wrong makes it pretty clear.

        Here may be a helpful post – http://caffeinatedthoughts.com/2009/08/hermeneutical-gymnastics-on-homosexuality/, http://caffeinatedthoughts.com/2008/11/faux-marriage/, http://caffeinatedthoughts.com/2008/12/natural-inclinations/ or http://caffeinatedthoughts.com/2008/11/legal-definitions-do-matter/

      4. Shane:

        1) Society has previously defined marriage in a lot of ways, including such variations as race-restriction, arranged marriages, child marriages (or significant variations on age restrictions), polyandrous or polygamous arrangements (granted, not in US society), political marriages, contract marriages (i.e. marriages with ‘term-limits’). What someone considering the ‘definition’ of marriage 200 years ago would be shocked by folks like Rush Limbaugh and his, what, FOUR marriages?

        2) “Natural Law” is a pretty silly thing to quote when you’re looking for a SINGLE definition of what is naturally “legal” and what is not. You may or may not believe in evolution (I happen to) and our closest “natural” relatives are the great apes, bonobos, chimps, etc.; they have quite lascivious sex lives (ask your local zookeeper). A wide variety of “higher life forms” (including chordates like mammals, birds, etc.) have homosexual relationships—or just homosexual physical pairings—of various durations, some even permanent. If you wish to argue “natural law” don’t restrict the idea of “natural” to strictly procreative relationships (whether just physical or otherwise) because nature has found a variety of ways to connect individuals into functional “families”.

        3) If your concern is merely that every child have a mother and father, then you should be fighting for mandatory, life-long marriage for all biological parents. This gets messy, say, when a man has a child outside of his marriage—but you could try to strictly outlaw that to prevent such men from having to legally have multiple wives if such dalliance happened. Similarly, you should be making single motherhood illegal—single mothers are ROBBING their children of the opportunity to have a father! You should require widows and widowers to remarry IMMEDIATELY so that their children are not impaired by the lack of the lost parent. Oh, and you should probably try to disappear all the research that shows children with same-sex parents actually do pretty darn well, thank you very much.

        Finally, you reinforce my point about what is immoral and what is not when you ask “what is the basis for your morality?” Morality is not as black and white as you would portray it. Your basis for what is “moral” would appear to be defined by selected verses from the Christian Bible. (If they were not “selected” you would be arguing the morality of things such as tattoos, shellfish, public stonings, and women speaking up in places of worship, to name just a few.) My morality is not based on YOUR religion, nor should it be required to be so based.

        As a person who BELIEVES that I AM “naturally” attracted to members of the same gender, I think it would be IMMORAL for anyone to hinder me from caring for—and being cared for by—my chosen mate. As for our relationship to the STATE, we pay our taxes, do our jobs, fulfill our roles as good friends and neighbors.

        You can argue the use of the word “marriage” until the cows come home, but to actively fight against our having ANY of the rights and securities that are provided, willy-nilly, to heterosexual couplings is hurtful to real couples who are just trying to live their lives the way they see fit.

      5. 1. You have mistaken kinds of marriages (adjectives) with marriage itself. We may not like divorce and remarriage but the definition of marriage is the same. Limbaugh was married and divorced, etc. I already conceded the point that many Christians have failed to demonstrate good marriages. Bad marriages are still marriages.

        2. I have two replies to the natural law argument from the standpoint. First, when a dog urinates on a tree does that set the example for how we ought to do it. Or when an animal eats her young, or a black widow kills her mate. Second, I find it amazing how angry people get when you compare homosexuality to bestiality yet resort to the notion that we are just animals living within instincts rather than moral creatures. If we were just animals there could be no argument against bestiality.

        3. You naturally attracted argument is weak. I might naturally be attracted to my neighbor’s wife. But it would not be immoral for someone to oppose me seducing her. Some people have a natural inclination towards money. This will not excuse their bank-robbing actions.

      6. 1. You have mistaken kinds of marriages (adjectives) with marriage itself. We may not like divorce and remarriage but the definition of marriage is the same. Limbaugh was married and divorced, etc. I already conceded the point that many Christians have failed to demonstrate good marriages. Bad marriages are still marriages.

        2. I have two replies to the natural law argument from the standpoint. First, when a dog urinates on a tree does that set the example for how we ought to do it. Or when an animal eats her young, or a black widow kills her mate. Second, I find it amazing how angry people get when you compare homosexuality to bestiality yet resort to the notion that we are just animals living within instincts rather than moral creatures. If we were just animals there could be no argument against bestiality.

        3. You naturally attracted argument is weak. I might naturally be attracted to my neighbor’s wife. But it would not be immoral for someone to oppose me seducing her. Some people have a natural inclination towards money. This will not excuse their bank-robbing actions.

      7. David: I responded to this comment right away after you made it, but my reply has not been approved yet, so I’ll summarize from memory—note that it may not be even close to the original response:

        1. The definition of marriage HAS changed throughout history, and “same-sex” is just another adjective to tack onto it. I know that all of my extended family considers me “married” to my husband.
        2. Which is it: Are we going to use the “natural law” argument to defend traditional marriage or not? If so, you open up the debate to some pretty crazy comparisons.
        3. You are throwing out examples (committing adultery, robbing a bank) that do not compare to a person’s innate sexual orientation. In Jr. High and High School, I always fell in love with other boys, not girls. That is an innate part of who I am as a person, and can hardly be called “unnatural” when it does, in fact, happen all the time in humans, who are in fact part of nature.

      8. 1. I disagree. Changing adjectives does not change the “what” of the noun. A dog with a cropped tail is still a dog. Nothing has changed. Poodles and Boston Terriers are just dogs. A polar bear and a grizzly are bears. But calling a Koala a Koala Bear does not make it a true bear. It may resemble a bear but it is not able to mate with a true bear. This is just an analogy used to illustrate, not intended to prove the truth of my argument, hence:

        2. My appeal is not really to natural law as my original post is evident.

        3. Your natural inclination is just as much evidence of the fall as any other sinful tendency. Pedophiles may have always wanted to touch children, that is no evidence it is correct.

      9. Not really great points, just indications that you are arguing from a point of inflexibility. YOU believe in a sinful “fall” of mankind, but I do not. You are trying to force ME (and others that share my beliefs) to live by YOUR beliefs. I am just trying to protect my rights. My marriage hurts you in no way; however, your trying to take away my marriage would harm me by taking away benefits and securities that I deserve (and that society happily awards to opposite sex couples regardless of their religious beliefs or their ability or desire to procreate).

        Furthermore, again you bring up pedophilia, which is a completely different thing than homosexuality; please, look up a credible article on the subject (and NOT something by the debunked Camerons). Pedophilia involves one party that is NOT a consenting adult, and includes a “victim” of any physical act. I am talking about relationships between consenting adults.

      10. “My marriage hurts you in no way”

        You aren’t married. But a counterfeit marriage hurts everyone. It is not just the procreation that is in view. Marriage is to paint a picture of Christ and His Church. If two men could marry it would imply that there is more than one Savior. There is not.

        “benefits and securities that I deserve (and that society happily awards to opposite sex couples regardless of their religious beliefs or their ability or desire to procreate).

        Who said you deserve them? That must mean that marriage has not been understood to be tied to religious beliefs or procreation but something more fundamental: God’s natural order revealed in His Word.

        I only bring up pedophilia and drunkeness and adultery because you keep implying that somehow your strong desires are evidence you should be allowed to do something. I am simply pointing out that desire has nothing to do with it. If you want to change your argument, feel free to do so, but I was addressing the logic that desire=rightness.

      11. Shane:

        1) Society has previously defined marriage in a lot of ways, including such variations as race-restriction, arranged marriages, child marriages (or significant variations on age restrictions), polyandrous or polygamous arrangements (granted, not in US society), political marriages, contract marriages (i.e. marriages with ‘term-limits’). What someone considering the ‘definition’ of marriage 200 years ago would be shocked by folks like Rush Limbaugh and his, what, FOUR marriages?

        2) “Natural Law” is a pretty silly thing to quote when you’re looking for a SINGLE definition of what is naturally “legal” and what is not. You may or may not believe in evolution (I happen to) and our closest “natural” relatives are the great apes, bonobos, chimps, etc.; they have quite lascivious sex lives (ask your local zookeeper). A wide variety of “higher life forms” (including chordates like mammals, birds, etc.) have homosexual relationships—or just homosexual physical pairings—of various durations, some even permanent. If you wish to argue “natural law” don’t restrict the idea of “natural” to strictly procreative relationships (whether just physical or otherwise) because nature has found a variety of ways to connect individuals into functional “families”.

        3) If your concern is merely that every child have a mother and father, then you should be fighting for mandatory, life-long marriage for all biological parents. This gets messy, say, when a man has a child outside of his marriage—but you could try to strictly outlaw that to prevent such men from having to legally have multiple wives if such dalliance happened. Similarly, you should be making single motherhood illegal—single mothers are ROBBING their children of the opportunity to have a father! You should require widows and widowers to remarry IMMEDIATELY so that their children are not impaired by the lack of the lost parent. Oh, and you should probably try to disappear all the research that shows children with same-sex parents actually do pretty darn well, thank you very much.

        Finally, you reinforce my point about what is immoral and what is not when you ask “what is the basis for your morality?” Morality is not as black and white as you would portray it. Your basis for what is “moral” would appear to be defined by selected verses from the Christian Bible. (If they were not “selected” you would be arguing the morality of things such as tattoos, shellfish, public stonings, and women speaking up in places of worship, to name just a few.) My morality is not based on YOUR religion, nor should it be required to be so based.

        As a person who BELIEVES that I AM “naturally” attracted to members of the same gender, I think it would be IMMORAL for anyone to hinder me from caring for—and being cared for by—my chosen mate. As for our relationship to the STATE, we pay our taxes, do our jobs, fulfill our roles as good friends and neighbors.

        You can argue the use of the word “marriage” until the cows come home, but to actively fight against our having ANY of the rights and securities that are provided, willy-nilly, to heterosexual couplings is hurtful to real couples who are just trying to live their lives the way they see fit.

      12. Shane:

        1) Society has previously defined marriage in a lot of ways, including such variations as race-restriction, arranged marriages, child marriages (or significant variations on age restrictions), polyandrous or polygamous arrangements (granted, not in US society), political marriages, contract marriages (i.e. marriages with ‘term-limits’). What someone considering the ‘definition’ of marriage 200 years ago would be shocked by folks like Rush Limbaugh and his, what, FOUR marriages?

        2) “Natural Law” is a pretty silly thing to quote when you’re looking for a SINGLE definition of what is naturally “legal” and what is not. You may or may not believe in evolution (I happen to) and our closest “natural” relatives are the great apes, bonobos, chimps, etc.; they have quite lascivious sex lives (ask your local zookeeper). A wide variety of “higher life forms” (including chordates like mammals, birds, etc.) have homosexual relationships—or just homosexual physical pairings—of various durations, some even permanent. If you wish to argue “natural law” don’t restrict the idea of “natural” to strictly procreative relationships (whether just physical or otherwise) because nature has found a variety of ways to connect individuals into functional “families”.

        3) If your concern is merely that every child have a mother and father, then you should be fighting for mandatory, life-long marriage for all biological parents. This gets messy, say, when a man has a child outside of his marriage—but you could try to strictly outlaw that to prevent such men from having to legally have multiple wives if such dalliance happened. Similarly, you should be making single motherhood illegal—single mothers are ROBBING their children of the opportunity to have a father! You should require widows and widowers to remarry IMMEDIATELY so that their children are not impaired by the lack of the lost parent. Oh, and you should probably try to disappear all the research that shows children with same-sex parents actually do pretty darn well, thank you very much.

        Finally, you reinforce my point about what is immoral and what is not when you ask “what is the basis for your morality?” Morality is not as black and white as you would portray it. Your basis for what is “moral” would appear to be defined by selected verses from the Christian Bible. (If they were not “selected” you would be arguing the morality of things such as tattoos, shellfish, public stonings, and women speaking up in places of worship, to name just a few.) My morality is not based on YOUR religion, nor should it be required to be so based.

        As a person who BELIEVES that I AM “naturally” attracted to members of the same gender, I think it would be IMMORAL for anyone to hinder me from caring for—and being cared for by—my chosen mate. As for our relationship to the STATE, we pay our taxes, do our jobs, fulfill our roles as good friends and neighbors.

        You can argue the use of the word “marriage” until the cows come home, but to actively fight against our having ANY of the rights and securities that are provided, willy-nilly, to heterosexual couplings is hurtful to real couples who are just trying to live their lives the way they see fit.

  2. Strange how a group calling itself Iowa for Freedom is upset about judges who gave Iowans the freedom to marry a same-sex partner if they so choose, based on the principles of the Iowa Constitution.

    Also, the Iowa and Massachusetts marriage decisions were based on state constitutional issues, so I don’t see these going to the Supreme Court of the United States as the writer suggests.

  3. Strange how a group calling itself Iowa for Freedom is upset about judges who gave Iowans the freedom to marry a same-sex partner if they so choose, based on the principles of the Iowa Constitution.

    Also, the Iowa and Massachusetts marriage decisions were based on state constitutional issues, so I don’t see these going to the Supreme Court of the United States as the writer suggests.

    1. It will go to the US Supreme Court because there will be states that will not accept the redefinition. Also, no one expects the homosexual lobby to be content until recognition is nationwide.

      The courts gave no one such freedom. Do you think the courts could give a person the right to be a dog? Please reread the post. Declarations of courts don’t make reality.

    2. Iowa and Massachusetts both require Attorney Generals who will actually be willing to appeal the decision. State Supreme Court decisions do get appealed to SCOTUS on occasion, it isn’t without precedent.

  4. Shane–

    I think there have to be federal constitution issues at play for a federal court to take a case; these marriage issues were decided in state court, with the exception of the recent decision in California on Proposition 8, which was filed (began) in federal court.

    As far as having a mother and a father, why don’t our laws automatically marry two people who create a child so that the can have a married father and mother? Why are married couples with children allowed to divorce, marry new partners, and start new families before the children in the first marriage are grown?

  5. I don’t give two cents care what arguments racists made in the past. Your accusation is spurious.

    I argued against all of those other sins, reread the post.

    If all you were arguing for was the right to visitation among friends you might get somewhere. As far as I know, you can leave your worldly goods to whomever you want.

    I compared homosexuality to other immoral sexual acts because they are immoral sexual acts, not to suggest that those who commit are not adults or human. Pedophilia is a crime precisely because the perpetrator is an adult. Bestiality is a crime because the perp is human.

    1. David, I am happy that we can have this conversation, and each show respect for the other’s position and without name-calling or trolling.

      Re: racism, I only point out that the EXACT arguments you made have been made in the past, and you should be aware of history. It was not an accusation of racism (anything but!) but was a learning moment for you, offered freely.

      As to immorality, you (and obviously many others) may hold the opinion that certain “acts” between consenting adults are “immoral”, but A) they are NOT illegal between consenting adults, and B) the very same “acts” are practiced by heterosexuals as well—technically, by more heterosexuals than there even ARE homosexuals, and C) many people DO NOT feel there is anything immoral about these “acts” between consenting adults.

      As for the term “deviant relationship”—my position remains that there are people who naturally fall in love with members of the same gender. There is nothing deviant about two such people forming a loving, caring, committed, and yes, proud relationship with each other.

  6. Whoa! State marriage licenses are to “paint a picture of Christ and His Church”? It’s not the state’s job to substantiate your beliefs; I’m sure you can do that quite well on your own. Would you deny marriage to non-Christians?

    1. I didn’t say marriage licenses paint the picture; marriages paint the picture. “Substantiates” is the wrong word. “Illustrates” is better. For example, the Bible teaches that children are to be raised by their parents and not the other way around. This pictures God’s Fatherly care for his children. If someone tried to change the definition of parent, I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest that to do so would be to oppose God’s natural order as revealed in Scripture. These things are as natural as the seven-day week, as ordained by God Himself.

      None of this means that marriage or parenting or the pattern of working and resting is only for Christians. The desire of some to overthrow God’s order is another sign of how far mankind has fallen.

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