A gay rights demonstration in Lincoln, NE (Source: Watchdog.org)
A gay rights demonstration in Lincoln, NE (Source: Watchdog.org)

Matthew Lee Anderson wrote a fabulous piece at Mere Orthodoxy on the religious liberty debate we are currently having in the context of the rise of the legal momentum that LGBT activists have seen. That debate devolved into a firestorm with the passage (and then weakening) of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The particular excerpt I want to point out makes an excellent case why evangelicals should have never stood for sodomy laws in the past.  I remember when the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ sodomy law and how I had Christian friends bemoan that fact.  I didn’t because my inclination was “why in the world would I want government to police the bedroom?  Why stop at sodomy if that’s the case?”

Anderson does a far better job articulating what I thought at the time (and still think when I see friends and pundits complain about that ruling):

Now, it is doubtlessly the case that conservatives have sometimes defended and promoted certain illiberal laws, like sodomy laws, which gay marriage supporters have effectively turned against us in support of their own cause. I am opposed to such laws, for a variety of reasons, but one of which is that by creating an overly legalized context for the preservation of sexual norms, they tacitly transfer authority for such maintenance to the government. This potentially creates a false confidence in the stability of such norms, and threatens to displace the first and primary defender of sexual norms, namely the Church, as well as the family itself and all the non-governmental spheres of civil society. While such laws once enjoyed wide support, they were also overly morally restrictive and intrusive. Such overreaches have proved enormously costly to our own position in the world since the gay community has effectively and powerfully used them to portray themselves (with some legitimacy) as a persecuted minority.

Exactly! It backfired.  One could also say that he who wields the sword could one day have the sword wielded against them when society pivots on a certain subject, like what we’re seeing today.  That doesn’t excuse the trampling of religious liberty, but it provides a convenient excuse for those doing it.

Be sure to read the rest of Anderson’s excellent piece.

HT: Amy Hall at Stand to Reason

4 comments
  1. This country was based on the separation of church and state. The Christian founders felt certain things like marriage were not sacraments and should therefore be handled by the state, not the church. Everyone, Christian and non-Christian should get married, and not be ex-communicated from a church if the church did not approve of the union. William Bradford mentioned that in his book “History of Plymouth Plantation.” Sodomy is against one of the commandments, the one about adultery. Before the 1970s we had strict adultery and divorce laws, as well as very strict laws against anything LGBT. The laws had to do with protecting women and children whether they were Christian or not. The Bible says marriage is between one man and one woman. Widows and orphans and unmarried women in Biblical days were treated badly in even sexual ways, and they still are. The attack on American law is an attack on families and true Christianity. That is what change is all about.

      1. Thank you. One of the Left Wing activists involved in overthrowing the good marital laws in California, and so the rest of the country, was Lenore Weitzman. She has been active as well in having sodomy accepted in the schools. She is part of a cabal of university professors “changing” our country. The Puritans and the founders who started this country would be having fits at the so called evangelicals of today. Here’s a quote from David Brainerd “Oh, how precious is time, and how it pains me to see it slide away, while I do so little to any good purpose. Oh, that God would make me more fruitful.” I have read some of your comments as well, and have enjoyed them!

  2. How do you oppose a curriculum that supports homosexual rights, if you believe that the law ought not forbid homosexual acts?

    On what basis could the courts consider adultery to be a factor in marital disputes, if it were not a crime?
    Do you support no-fault divorce laws?
    Do you buy into the argument that regulation of marriage is not a legitimate government function?

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