“ Once we allow the State to refuse to recognize that children result from the male-female union, we grant the State more power to separate us from our children ”
Liberals generally under President Obama have sought to govern the country as they would a big city – installing policies which regulate to the nth degree the actions, property, and choices of Americans. But we are seeing here a different and more damaging strain of the left emerge in the latest stage of the culture war – one that seeks to govern the nation as if it were a college campus. In their childish view, society is a hermetically sealed environment totally controlled by authority, and when the assertion of traditionalism itself is nothing more than a giant trigger, rights to speech, association, religion are subject to permission.
In case you were wondering… A direct quote from the Editor-in-Chief of Buzzfeed, an ultra-liberal “news” service, explaining why he thinks there is only one side to the homosexual marriage debate —
I don’t really think there, I mean, I guess I don’t really think there was much of a controversy, or at least I didn’t see. There were like, I’ve been tweeting with three people today – Tim Carney and a guy named, just, I mean, but I’m not sure like three or four people make a controversy. But I think we have, we drafted and published a Standards Guide and an Ethics Guide several months ago, and I think we’ve been wrestling with something I’m sure you think about a lot, which is, although I think I probably come down somewhere a bit differently from you, which is you know, is it possible to, look, what is the tradition that used to be called kind of objective journalism, mainstream media journalism, the tradition the New York Times and the Washington Post come out of, which is the tradition I come out of? You know, how do you do that in a way that, you know, that’s honest with your readers? And I think you know, there’s always been, for a long time, been this debate both on the right and on the left saying come on, you guys, stop lying, don’t conceal your opinions. We know you have real opinions. And at the same time, of course, everyone has a set of implicit opinions about, you know, you don’t have to say, Hugh, that like you oppose racism and that you favor free speech. Those are obviously baked into your coverage, just as much as they’re baked into the New York Times’ coverage.
Apparently what we’re progressing towards is a sheer inability to think.
This is what it feels like to be a conservative Christian in America now. The person in the picture could be holding the sword of Allah. Or they could be forming their hand into the smiley fist of progressive tyranny. Or they could be holding the rainbow flag which they will use to beat you into submission. No matter, they all just want you to SHUT UP. A nation founded on Christian principles is now saying, “Christians are not welcome here.”
This is the modern definition of tolerance. This is the modern definition of truth. This is the modern definition of “love.”
Not so much.
No slippery slope to see here; move along now.
“ People who wonder whether the glass is half empty or half full are missing the point. The glass is refillable. ”
“ ....some people ... were not content with two sexes, but desired tens and twenties, a countless myriad of “identities,” all bearing swords and axes, intent on castrating the first two. To these I can only shake my head, for they seem to me like a sad man who plasters his house in posters of exotic locales, yet never dares to explore the cherry trees outside his cul-de-sac. They sought to be “hypersexual” or “pansexual” because they never quite understood what it meant to be “sexual.” ”
The polyamory crowd have a different solution to the boredom of midlife the first woman faces. Forget “cheating,” just don’t bother with a single partner in the first place. After all, what children need is stable relationships, not specific relationships, and what adults need is both the security of a family along with the ability to “spread their genes around.” The polyamorists are saying, “We want stability so we can grow as people, but we realize the way we were born, and realize how damaging it is to fight against the animal within.”
The “born this way” argument pervades out culture. Courts rule that photographers and bakers must participate in same sex weddings because the participants are “born this way” — to refuse is the equivalent of racism. People who post signs on their business wall promoting traditional marriage — even though they accept business for same sex weddings — are persecuted, forced to remove themselves from social media, because of their beliefs, which are called offensive.
Is there any limit to the “born this way argument? Consent seems to be the answer of the culture at large — although this is just a fig leaf for “what I know is right.” A nice illustration of this point is the current moral panic over what is called college rape culture. What’s the difference between rape and love? Consent. This is driven to the point of making laws that require any physical relationship be accompanied by verbal positive reinforcement throughout the encounter (or perhaps a signed consent form — something we used to call a marriage certificate). If there is no consent, we are supposed to suppress our natural desires, the animal within, and move to a higher standard.
The problem is the fig leaf of consent is rather thin — indeed, the little holes where the caterpillars have been eating through have been getting larger just recently. This confusion between what is rape and what isn’t on college campuses is one sign of the fuzziness of the edges of the leaf as it dries and fades. In the larger society, outside sexual mores, the situation is already much worse. The consent of the victims of the Baltimore riots wasn’t sought. The actions of the rioters, even without that consent, were widely justified on the grounds of social justice. How much longer this fig leaf can hold on is a matter of conjecture — but the story of Eve, and her progeny, doesn’t offer much hope.
Adam and Eve hide from one another after their sin; the immediate effect of bowing to the animal within is a broken relationship between husband and wife. Soon after, they are hiding from God; two relationships destroyed. The ground puts forth thorns rather than fruit; three relationships destroyed. Eve has children in pain; four relationships destroyed. In fact, the “born this way,” argument is acid to all relationships, no matter how much society tries to hang on to stability. No matter what fig leaf is chosen, it will always fall to the effects of “I was born this way.” Noah fell to the fruit of the vine, Saul to his pride in power, David to his lust, Peter to his desire for acceptance. Each of them could point back to God and say, with Eve, “God made me this way.” Each of them bowed to the animal nature within themselves, and each stands as an example of the results of choosing this path.
The choice before religious believers within civil society is stark. We stand on the precipice of not a small number of people saying, “I was born this way,” but an entire culture. There are two choices at hand.
The first is to try and patch up the holes in the fig leaf. In our current culture wars, this means to strengthen the power of “consent.” To argue that a Christian baker should not be forced to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding, even though the wedding itself might be okay because “they were born that way,” is to try and patch up the holes in the fig leaf. There is no hope down this path, only a delaying of despair.
The second is to tear the argument out by its roots.
Refuse the entire concept of “born that way,” and all it implies. A rational discussion in the face of homosexual activists is reasonable — a question of tolerance can be discussed and decided in a way that will not strike at the roots of reason itself. “Born that way,” is not a reasonable argument, however; it leaves no room for discourse nor tolerance.
Finding a hole through the defenses of the “born this way” argument, then, is crucial if Christianity is to be saved in much of the Western World. Some potential suggestions.
Begin by taking the argument to its logical conclusion. None of us are born full grown, able to talk, ride a bike, or reason. Should we all remain children? Or is there a time to grow up? And what can “growing up” mean other than learning not to be selfish, to delay gratification for future goals, and to learn how to treat other people with respect? To say, “I was born that way,” as an excuse for behavior of any type is a retreat to the infantile and immature.
The logic is facile: none of us were born Olympic champions; therefore Olympic champions should not exist. Or perhaps the Olympics should be canceled, because it’s just a celebration of genetics that cannot be denied anyway. To illustrate this point, consider the question of other sexual behaviors. If homosexuality is something people are born with a desire for, and suppressing that desire is evil, then what of every other sexual desire? Consent? Tear the fig leaf of consent off; it’s not covering anything, anyway. Consent will not oppose “born that way” in any effective way.
If the homosexual activist turns to the Scriptures for support, pull the Scriptural rug out from under their arguments. Homosexual activists claim the Scriptures don’t have anything to say about sexual relationships other than that they should not be undertaken without consent. They don’t seem to want to deal with Adam and Eve, the clear complimentarian nature of their relationship, and the command to “be fruitful and fill the Earth.” Polyamory activist point to Abraham, but not the rivalry between Esau and Isaac; to Jacob, but not to the selling of Joseph as a slave; to David, but not to Absalom. Open marriage advocates point to the importance of stable relationships, but not to the destruction wrought by David’s relationship with Bathsheba.
Finally, expose the unintended consequences. None of these groups, all reliant on the “born this way” argument, want to confront the absolute reversal of the entire civil rights movement their use of the argument represents. The entire point of the civil rights movement is the color of a person’s skin doesn’t impact the way they act or their moral fiber. Are we really prepared, as a society, to declare the racists “right after all?” The Christian community should withdraw from this prospect in utter horror.
The snake in the Garden might rightly say, “God made you this way, and God doesn’t make mistakes.” Certainly we can all claim to be “born this way.” But just because we are, should we bow before the animal nature within?
Or should we stand up and be men?
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