Tomorrow the Irish people will head to the polls to decide whether to legalise gay marriage. Technically, they will vote on “marriage equality” – yes, that is the official description of the amendment that would be added to the Irish constitution. Neutral wording apparently went out of style around the same time as Christian values did in this country.
For a long time I was uncertain about whether to write this article. Not because I’m doubting my opinion in this issue, but because the last time I spoke out about it I ended up losing some friends here at university – or should I say, people I considered my friends. You may think “So what, they weren’t real friends”, and perhaps that’s true, but it still hurt a lot. It’s not just the fact that I lost my friends that bothers me, but that I hurt them badly enough for them to end our friendship. That was never my intention, and as much as I can think that they over-reacted, none the less they were undoubtedly hurt – and I hate hurting people.
However, I simply can’t be silent on this. Unfortunately, I cannot promise that this post won’t hurt anyone, and I’m fully prepared for the fact that I may end up losing more friends because of it, and there’s nothing to do about that. All I can say is that any hurt is completely unintentional and that this article is not meant to be an attack on any private individual (and that goes for all my articles, past and future).
With that being said, here are my thoughts on the upcoming referendum:
1) The LGBT movement chose confrontation over co-operation. I’ve always said that the LGBT movement is an immature political movement, something they’ve proven repeatedly over the course of this campaign. I’m not talking only about the immature campaign tactics (like tearing down posters for the No side), but about the goal itself: Gay marriage.
LGBT advocates are keen to point out that married couples enjoy as many as 160 benefits that civil partnerships do not grant, and also that while marriage is protected in the Irish constitution, civil partnerships are merely protected by normal laws that can be changed at any time. I can see why they would think this is a problem – but wouldn’t it then make more sense to fight for civil partnerships to truly become equal to marriage, rather than fighting for them to become marriage? The problem a lot of conservative Christians – me included – have with gay marriage is not that it grants legal recognition to gay relationships, but that it simply isn’t marriage as defined by the bible. Legal recognition is fine, but don’t steal our term.
Let’s face it: If this was any other term, involving any other religion, the Left would be up in arms screaming about “cultural appropriation” – like they do when white people rap.
Let me try to explain it this way: If I were to decide not to eat while the sun was up for one month every year, that’s perfectly fine and definitely within my rights as a citizen and human being. Now imagine I decided to call this practice “Ramadan”, but without following the muslim rules & rituals associated with Ramadan: I don’t convert to Islam, I don’t pray five times per day, nor do I pray the thanksgiving prayer muslims pray at the end of Ramadan etc.
How do you feel about that, dear tolerant left-winger? You’d probably argue that while I have the right to fast at the same time and with the same basic rules (no eating while the sun is up) as muslims, I should refrain from calling what I’m doing “Ramadan” since what I’m doing has no religious meaning to me and that term is sacred to muslims, and we should respect them by not appropriating their term. What I’m doing could perfectly well be described using non-religious terms, such as intermittent fasting.
And I would completely agree. Ramadan isn’t ramadan without the Islamic aspect of it – you can mimic it, but it’s just not the same. And that’s also how we Christians feel about marriage.
I’m sure some left-wingers are going to point out that it’s not the same, because muslims are a discriminated minority and racism (of which cultural appropriation is an expression) requires power + prejudice. To them I say: Have a look in the papers. Turn on your radio, go watch some TV. Look at which parties are campaigning for gay marriage (all of them), and which parties are campaigning against (none). You have power! You’re not some scrawny little underdog, as much as you like to tell that to yourself. You’re powerful. And also, you’re prejudiced. This is something you show time and time again when you demonise anyone who for any reason doesn’t support redefining marriage.
The truth is, the reason the LGBT movement went with “gay marriage” instead of just equal rights & recognition is that the vast majority of them hate Christianity and everything it stands for. They may want legal protection, but it’s not like “sticking it to the church” isn’t something they consider an added bonus. Therefore, instead of going for a route that would have been supported by virtually everyone (legal protection under a different term), they went with a confrontational route that has divided families, destroyed friendships, and overall left scars that will take long to heal. That’s not how a mature political movement acts.
2) There are legitimate reasons why people don’t take Christians seriously. Let’s face it: The LGBT movement’s hatred of Christianity is not without cause. The way that churches have treated and in many cases still treats LGBT people have been absolutely despicable. I’ve read countless of stories about christians disowning their gay children, even throwing them out on the streets. And let me tell you this… if you are a Christian who have done that, or would do that, then you are not my friend. I don’t care if you agree with me on every single issue, you are not my friend and you’re an embarrassment to my religion and ideology. In fact, if you would ever treat someone badly for being LGBT, you are not my friend. I was a victim of bullying for over a third of my childhood, I don’t wish it upon anyone, and I won’t be friends with bullies. Go ahead and unfriend me on facebook.
The churches’ past treatment of LGBT members is not the only reason they have a hard time being taken seriously in this debate. The truth is that until quite recently, most churches didn’t take marriage that seriously. I’ve talked about this before but it bears mentioning: Wife-beating, marital rape and forced marriages are all examples of things that defile the institution of marriage way more than gay marriage, and that churches in general either endorsed or turned a blind eye to. An outside observer could easily get the impression that Christians didn’t care about marriage until the gays wanted it.
Christians defending traditional marriage often make references to the welfare of children. I completely agree with that argument, but I have to admit it sounds less credible when so many churches – including the Catholic Church which is dominant in Ireland – have been caught committing and covering up sexual abuse against children. Irish (and other) Christians have to resolve to take a hard line on these things in the future (and I don’t mean “move the abuser to another parish”, I mean “You will never preach again”) if they are to ever regain their credibility as defenders of children’s rights.
That’s a lesson for the future. If churches are to be credible defenders of marriage, we have to stand up for marriage no matter who is attacking it, and whether the attack is political in nature or not.
3) Most LGBT activists are useful idiots. First, in case you’re unfamiliar with the term, a useful idiot is a person who is running another person (or groups) errands without realizing it. It is most commonly used to describe left-winged movements in Europe and America that defended communism in general and the Soviet Union in particular, not realizing the horrors that it was inflicting upon its citizens. Had they realized what Stalin etc were up to, they would most likely have condemned it – but they didn’t, and so unwittingly they ran the errands of some of the worst monsters of history.
Many conservatives worry about gay marriage creating a precedent that can later be used to legalise polygamous or even incestous marriage. While that does worry me to some extent, I believe a greater worry is that the family becomes irrelevant.
As we all know, the LGBT movement is rooted in the left. While supporters exist across the political spectrum, it’s always had a left-winged profile, and nowhere is the support as great as it is in the left-winged disciplines of academia – among anthropologists, sociologists, and the other disciplines that give social science a bad name. These also happen to be the only fields where marxism is still considered anything other than a tragic joke with a punchline that’s cost 100 million people their lives.
This is not a coincidence. Long before the LGBT movement came around, marxists advocated for the break-up of the family unit. Among other things the Soviet Union encouraged divorces, and severely restricted parents right to raise their children in a manner consistent with their beliefs. Of course, the break-up of the family ended up costing the Soviet Union dearly (gee, who could have predicted that? Except for every “intolerant” social conservative in the world), and some of these policies were later reversed. But, marxists never stopped believing in destroying the family. Children should be raised by the state, in accordance with state doctrine. And that’s where the LGBT agenda comes in: If you can make people believe that it doesn’t matter whether a child has a mother and a father, pretty soon you can make them believe that it doesn’t matter whether they have parents at all or whether they are raised entirely by state-appointed guardians, essentially brainwashed from birth.
Marxists have always been fans of “re-education”. Marxism holds the dubious honor of being the only ideology that requires humans to be brainwashed for the system to have any chance of working – regular humans can’t function under marxism, so they have to be redesigned (in the marxist school of thought, humans should bend according to the needs of the system, not the other way around). But re-educating adults is a real hassle – adults have a nasty tendency to think critically, and worse of all, fight back. It’s way more efficient to get them when they are young. And in order to get them when they are young, you first need to get the people who currently have them out of the way… that is, the parents.
And how do you remove the parents? In theory you could just shoot them I suppose, but no regime could survive a genocide on parents. Instead, you use propaganda to gradually undermine the public’s view of the importance of parents.
Now, notice that I said that most LGBT activists are useful idiots. Most of them are definitely not seeking to get rid of parental authority and break up the family unit, and I dare to say the vast majority of them have only a very basic understanding of marxism (like most people). But then, that’s what makes them useful idiots: Running other people’s (marxists) errands without even realizing it themselves.
Note that I am not suggesting that there is some sort of “conspiracy” going on here – it’s not exactly a new thing for a political group (in this case marxists) to lend their support to another group in the hope that it will indirectly further the goals of the group (Democrats suddenly switching sides on civil rights in the 1960’s is a good example). It’s not a conspiracy, it’s just politics at its worst.
4) The No campaign has been nothing but incompetent. The Yes side has had a lead since the very first day of the campaign. This lead is now rapidly narrowing, and I am confident that had the referendum been held three weeks from now the result would have been No – but it’s tomorrow, and while I think it will be relatively close (10-point gap rather than a 40-point gap like early in the campaign), I am feeling pessimistic about the prospects for victory.
This is entirely the fault of the No campaign, that only lately began to talk about issues such as right to surrogacy being associated with gay marriage, and adoption agencies not being allowed to prioritise heterosexual couples if gay marriage is passed (a plurality of Irish are skeptical of gay adoption, so that’s a card they should have played from Day 1).
Instead, I have seriously seen leaflets reminding people of what the bible says about gay marriage. That’s very relevant to me as an active Christian, but I dare to say that anyone who can be convinced by bible verses is already voting No. Too many people in the No campaign have wasted time preaching to the choir, when they should have been thinking of how to explain the importance of marriage to someone who isn’t a regular churchgoer. Belatedly they seem to have realized this, but I fear that it’s too little too late.
I realize some people are going to accuse me of being homophobic, because in their worldview, it is impossible to oppose gay marriage without hating homosexuals.
Just for the record, here is what I believe: I believe that God loves everyone, no matter their sexuality. I also believe that God has a unique plan – a calling, if you want to be more formal – for each individual. We all have strenghts and weaknesses, and we all face temptations. It seems to me – though obviously I can’t prove this scientifically – that the people with the most potential are the ones that face the toughest temptations. I believe that resisting temptations builds character, and I believe that God allows those with the most potential to receive the worst temptations so that they will have a chance to develop the character they need to fulfill their potential and live according to the plan that God has for them. And make no mistake; being a homosexual means facing worse temptations than most people on a daily basis.
I don’t oppose homosexuality because I have a “phobia” or because I hate gay people. Quite the opposite: I believe that people on the LGBT spectrum are amazing individuals with amazing potential, and it saddens me to see them wasting their time living in sin. I respect their right to do so, but I can’t help but to feel that it’s a shame.
You may think that my faith is misguided, that’s up to you. Just please accept that I am basing my opposition on this faith, and not on hatred of anyone, gay or straight. Thank you for reading.