Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Gay Marriage, Redux

World Magazine offers a take on gay marriage and mentions Doug Wilson and Andrew Sullivan ... Blessings and Cursings

Wilson is interesting because he is Wilson. He has a beef with World in that he believes the mag misrepresented his views. I think he's right. Read his rebuttal here.

Sullivan is a horse of a completely different color. He is a homosexual ... and a Catholic ... and a conservative (moderate?). I'm not sure if it is necessarily in that order. He is a thoughtful person with a very interesting blog of his own. Let's start with his take on the institution of marriage ... from the World article.

Andrew Sullivan, a homosexual Catholic, has offered a more serious case for gay marriage. He recognizes that the homosexual subculture is promiscuous and, in many ways, pathological. Marriage is a civilizing institution, he argues, which channels sex in a positive and socially constructive way, the establishment of the family. If some people are, as Mr. Sullivan believes, naturally attracted to members of the same sex, they should be encouraged to form monogamous and permanent relationships. Religiously, bringing homosexuals into the institution of marriage preserves a moral order. The church can thus continue to teach that sex outside of marriage is immoral.

Sounds reasonable enough, but it doesn't quite get there, does it? Sullivan's own faith should answer this question. First, God ordained marriage between a man and a woman and set forth a very specific relationship between the two. Second, a Christian marriage is a mysterious image of the relationship between Christ and His church. It is much more that a social arrangement designed for the common good, it is a real-world picture of an eternal truth. God doesn't give us permission to redefine it as it suits us. Third, homosexuality is sin. Perhaps World misrepresented Sullivan as well ... I don't know.

Wilson sets things right thusly ...

Arguing that the abomination of legalized homosexual marriage is a curse from the hand of God, and arguing that it is something that we should legalize are two completely different arguments, representing two completely different worldviews. This is not a difficult distinction. As a prophet of God Jeremiah argued that the Babylonian invasion was a judgment of God, and that the Israelites should simply take it as being from His hand, and use the time as an occasion for repentance. And in that repentance they were to look for deliverance. This hardly made Jeremiah a colonel in the Babylonian Tank Corps.

Inability to grasp this kind of simple distinction is a demonstration of the kind of thing that happens when evangelical Christians allow themselves to be suckered into big tent Republican politics, which I believe began happening to World some time ago. You cannot do that kind of thing -- adopting the kind of political strategy that World has, and accepting the kind of puff-political advertisements that World accepts -- and keep your prophetic voice.