One Christian Calls Out the Others for Being Hypocrites on the Gay Marriage Issue… Then Screws It All Up July 24, 2009

One Christian Calls Out the Others for Being Hypocrites on the Gay Marriage Issue… Then Screws It All Up

There’s an article in Christianity Today by senior managing editor Mark Galli called “Is the Gay Marriage Debate Over?”

It’s not too hard to pick apart much of what he says, beginning with the very first paragraph.

But he does make a very powerful statement to his fellow Christians, one that I rarely hear coming from the mouth (typing hands?) of an evangelical Christian:

We cannot very well argue for the sanctity of marriage as a crucial social institution while we blithely go about divorcing and approving of remarriage at a rate that destabilizes marriage. We cannot say that an institution, like the state, has a perfect right to insist on certain values and behavior from its citizens while we refuse to submit to denominational or local church authority. We cannot tell gay couples that marriage is about something much larger than self-fulfillment when we, like the rest of heterosexual culture, delay marriage until we can experience life, and delay having children until we can enjoy each other for a few years.

In short, we have been perfect hypocrites on this issue. Until we admit that, and take steps to amend our ways, our cries of alarm about gay marriage will echo off into oblivion.

And then, in typical conservative Christian fashion, he can’t possibly leave it at that… so he screws up the argument with the next paragraph:

This does not mean we should stop fighting initiatives that would legalize gay marriage. Gay marriage is simply a bad idea, whether one is religious or not. But it’s bad not only because of what it will do to the social fabric, but because of what it signals has already happened to our social fabric. We are a culture of radical individualists, and gay marriage does nothing but put an exclamation point on that fact. We should fight it, because it will only make a bad situation worse.

In other words, Christians and gays are both responsible for the downfall of our society… so let’s stop changing our Christian ways and continue denying gay people their right to be happy.

The article is another testament to the fact that Christians have no solid reasons to deny gay marriage other than their religiously-inspired homophobia.


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  • Thumpalumpacus

    I’ve said since the so-called Defense of Marriage Act passed: if they really want to defend marriage, outlaw divorce.

  • Lifer

    You don’t accept his logic that it’s “bad”? I thought it was a flawless argument.

  • Thumpalumpacus

    We are a culture of radical individualists….

    Which, incidentally, claims to be between eighty and eighty-five per cent Christian.

  • Siamang

    I don’t know… I think the first paragraph is entirely messed up as well.

    when we, like the rest of heterosexual culture, delay marriage until we can experience life, and delay having children until we can enjoy each other for a few years.

    What the HELL is wrong with THAT?? Are we nothing but baby-making machines?

    What the hell is wrong with delaying marriage and childbearing until you’re mature enough to enter into those challenges thoughtfully?

    My parents got married and had babies in their early twenties. They were divorced in two years, then went into new marriages, which lasted less than ten years. Then were divorced for awhile and got married a third time. And yes, these are religious people.

    Meanwhile my wife and I waited until 30 to marry, and until our late thirties to have a child. We’re still married, very happy, very much in love and will stay together as long as we live.

  • bill

    yeah that whole first part is just as flawed as the rest. it’s basically saying that in theory christians should be able to use the “sanctity of marriage” against gay marriage but in the current state of affairs concerning divorce (haha get it? affairs and divorce?) they have no place to argue against gay marriage using the “sanctity of marriage” defense. it’s in no way saying that gays deserve equal rights or anything different than the usual christian bs, just saying that people need to marry young and have shitloads of kids and never get divorced so they can provide a stronger argument for the “sanctity of marriage,” because you should derive no joy from life other than from service to god and breeding machines for god’s army.

  • Justin jm

    You don’t accept his logic that it’s “bad”? I thought it was a flawless argument.

    The Christianity Today author made several flat-out false assertions that he built the rest of the editorial upon, and also used the moralistic fallacy in arguing that marriage should be about children just because its always been that way.

    He then linked approvingly to an LA Times editorial which simply asserted that children have a “birthright” to be raised by their biological parents, failing to realize that that is not always in the child’s best interest.

    Also implicit in the argument is the idea that gay couples are unable to raise children as well as straight couples.

    Finally, I have to ask what is “individualistic” about marriage? Bachelorhood, now that’s more individualistic. Chasing tail until you’re 40+, drinking beer with the guys and never growing up. Or maybe I’ve been watching too many slacker movies.

  • Look, it’s really simple. If you allow or support gay marriage, you’re going to hell. How much more clear can I make it? It’s right in the Bible.

    PS, I am also allowed to own slaves from my neighbours. Are any of you Americans selling your daughters or sisters? I’ll pay top (Canadian) dollar.

    (obviously, the above is sarcasm)

  • Miko

    Interestingly enough, I agree completely with:

    We are a culture of radical individualists, and gay marriage… put[s] an exclamation point on that fact.

    The main difference is that I think that this is a good thing.

  • Dan W

    So what he’s saying is, heterosexual couples should get married early, when they are less likely to stay together, and this will somehow help them avoid getting divorced? What?

    And on top of that, Christians like him should continue trying to keep homosexual couples from marrying, because, somehow, gay marriage negatively effects straight marriages.

    None of that makes any sense whatsoever.

  • Christian 0, hypocrisy 1.

  • There is nothing sacred about anything that can be done by two drunk strangers at 3 AM in Vegas.

  • Stephen P

    He gets it wrong from the first sentence:

    … the time in history when marriage was a settled affair, when everyone agreed on what it was …

    When I see this sort of faux nostalgia I really wish I could go up to the perpetrator in person and say “Which time? Give me an actual year. Come on – name a single year when everyone agreed on what marriage was.”

  • planetspinz

    The flaw is thinking that the rights of LGBT Americans are based on the approval, agreement or acceptance of heterosupremacist tyrannical lynch mobs, like Christians who vote against equality for all Americans.

  • I’m definitely with Siamang on this.

    delay marriage until we can experience life

    so that we are mature enough to share our lives with another person and so that we are financially better able to cope in life.

    delay having children until we can enjoy each other for a few years

    Delay having children until you are ready to have children, emotional maturity, financial stability and time to prepare are great things for parents to have. Great for children too.

    Also marriages that aren’t going to work for whatever reason certainly don’t want to be complicated by pregnancy or children. People should be encouraged to wait rather than fulfilling the expectations of their churches and extended families.

  • There’s times when you strike a chord and it works, but then one keeps typing because they feel like leaving it at that will not appease his readership properly.

  • WCLPeter

    Siamang says:

    What the hell is wrong with delaying marriage and childbearing until you’re mature enough to enter into those challenges thoughtfully?

    Absolutley nothing. Raising children is a serious life long commitment, people should wait until they feel mature enough to make the commitment to raise a children.

    That being said, there are some things to consider. Recently the worlds oldest woman to give birth died, leaving her twin children orphans at 69. My local paper had a much better write up on it than the Yahoo article, so I’ll be working from memory here. Essentially, the article I read contained an additional interview with a few doctors who specialize in female fertility and the ethics surrounding it.

    The gist of the interview was that female fertility rates decline rapidly after age 25, while the rates of birth defects in children increase with the age of the mother just as rapidly. While I know wikipedia isn’t exactly 100% accurate at times, here’s the entry on Female Fertility.

    I certainly don’t agree with the homophobic ramblings of some ultra conservative Christians, however Mark Galli has unwittingly made a valid scientific point; if women want to have the healthiest babies possible, then statistically, they need to have them as soon as they possibly can.