By Laurie Higgins, Director of IFI's DSA
With the recent victories for proponents of “same-sex marriage”—an oxymoron if there was ever one—the question has arisen regarding whether traditionalists are fighting a losing battle. Although the question is perhaps an interesting topic for dorm debates, blog battles and pundits, it’s ultimately of little interest to me. The momentum or majority voices often have no relevance to truth and therefore no relevance to my beliefs.
I’m neither a prophet nor a prognosticator. I have no idea if these recent losses for marriage and truth will lead to more losses. And I’m not sure which cultural force serves the pernicious goal of legitimating homosexuality more effectively: activist courts; the mainstream media; pro-homosexual activist organizations with coffers full of money; public education; acquiescent churches; or the cowardice of people of faith.
I do know that with an activist, ideologically driven entertainment industry—ever the source of wisdom and truth—producing image after image of homosexuals, the propagandizing effect is significant. The mainstream media primarily depict homosexuals as trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent—veritable simulacra of human perfection. The mainstream media rarely explore the possibility that perhaps homosexuals, like the rest of us, are fallen humans who yield to perverse impulses, which is not an extreme view, but is rather the cross-cultural, historical view of homosexuality.
It’s entirely possible that the sheep-like masses who often uncritically follow after trends will be influenced by these recent decisions. The masses were certainly shaped by the 1973 Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion. When Roe v. Wade was decided, most Americans opposed abortion. During the ensuing decades, however, the view of most Americans shifted. It shifted not solely because of the decision, but also because of the spate of propaganda put forth from the maws of organizations like Planned Parenthood and from the entertainment industry.
In Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman wrote that a television-based culture has certain “biases” that cultivate in modern man particular ways of knowing. Contemporary society largely rejects objectivity and logic as reliable arbiters of knowledge and truth. Now, subjectivism, relativism, image, and emotional gratification rule the day. Therefore, the images produced and emotions elicited by our predominantly liberal entertainment industry, which unfortunately includes the “news” media, will likely continue to make cultural headway.
There is only one state in which the people made the decision to change marital laws. In every other state, it was an activist judiciary that chose to overrule the will of the people. The “news” media trumpet these unhallowed decisions with the fervor of true disciples, rarely mentioning that in twenty-nine states, in which the people were allowed to decide, they passed constitutional amendments that define marriage as between one man and one woman.
Homosexual men and women acknowledge that they are attracted to members of their own sex only. In so doing, they are acknowledging that there is something fundamentally different between men and women. If there is something fundamentally different between men and women, there is something fundamentally different between a union composed of two men or two women, and a union composed of two different and complementary partners. Societies throughout history have recognized that heterosexual unions contribute something essential to the healthy functioning of society that homosexual unions do not.
If more people understood the reason that the government is involved with marriage at all, perhaps fewer would be deceived by the pervasive cultural deceits being advanced. The government does not care about who loves whom. The government cares about the preservation of society. If marriage were centrally or solely about sanctioning love, the government would have no interest in it.
The state is concerned about what best serves the needs of the state. What best serves the needs of the state are the health and welfare of future generations. And what best serves the health and welfare of future generations is for children to be raised and nurtured by the biological parents who produce them. The government and the people the government represents see marriage as centrally about connecting children to their biological parents. By endorsing and supporting the type of relationship into which children may be born, the state protects and preserves itself.
If the misguided notion that marriage is centrally about love were to be widely accepted, then there would be no logical reason to prohibit polygamous or incestuous unions. But, accepting the truth of this claim requires that people follow the logic of an argument to its bitter end—something which society is increasingly losing its capacity and willingness to do.
The majority voice in England during the many years that William Wilberforce fought tenaciously to end the evil practice of slavery had little relevance to either truth or Wilberforce’s tenacity.
The vox populi on racial issues during the early and middle years of the 20th Century had no relevance to truth or the actions of civil rights leaders.
The widespread cultural endorsement of pre-natal extermination has no relevance to truth and no impact on the willingness of pro-life heroes to continue to fight for the protection of the unborn.
Similarly, the recent foolish, destructive decisions in Iowa, Vermont, and Maine to begin issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples, and the impact these decisions may have on other activist judges or Americans in general, is irrelevant to either truth or my actions.
But, will the recent decisions regarding same-sex faux marriages influence other people?
They will influence those people who refuse to read deeply and think critically on the issue. They will influence those people who succumb to their own desire to be liked and their own fear of being speciously called “haters.” And they will influence Jews, Muslims, and Christians who ignore the orthodox, historical teachings of their own faith traditions.