Shifting Views: Moral Absolutes or Political Debate?

I don’t normally pull my family into my blog posts, but I’m proud of my dad for how he recently spoke up, in a reasonable and wise manner, in an article for our local paper when many conservative (political and religious) are apparently becoming more and more unwilling to do so.

Dialogue dies when one side quits speaking. Don’t abandon civil discourse on ANY issue. Even if you never win a debate or convert someone to your way of thinking, the art of agreeing to disagree is becoming a lost art, and that’s a shame.

Here’s an excerpt of the article for which my dad was willing to be interviewed:

“Bill Mason, pastor of Morris Hill Baptist Church, said he opposes same-sex marriage, but the issue has become so politically charged it’s difficult to debate rationally.

“It really has become a political issue. It’s not a church issue anymore; it’s been taken out of that realm,” Mason said.

He said opinions are changing because people are approaching same-sex marriage as a civil rights question instead of a religious or moral one.

But, he said, the pendulum of tolerance has swung in the other direction, and reasonable people who are against gay marriage are drowned out by extreme anti-gay views.

“The other problem is, people are afraid to say anything against it. … It’s a complicated issue, and I think the church has been betrayed by these hatemongers. I think it’s still a sin,” Mason said. “The tolerance issue has got to go both ways. And sometimes it doesn’t.

Members of several religious and social groups contacted by the Times Free Press on Friday and Saturday said they were opposed to same-sex marriage but declined to comment for this article.”

For the entire article, go here.

What do you think? Are views on same-sex marriage changing because the debate has shifted realms, from religious to political? How can the issue still be addressed from a moral perspective with both truth AND love?

4 thoughts on “Shifting Views: Moral Absolutes or Political Debate?

  1. I think freedom of speech is wonderful, so I also think it’s great when people speak up about their opinions.
    I am not going to sit here and give all the reasons everyone’s heard a zillion and three times to defend gay marriage. What I would like to point out is that: whether homosexuality is a sin or not, does that mean Christians should impose their beliefs on the entire U.S.A.?
    It’s not really a question of whether God thinks it’s O.K. or not. It’s a question of: Are we going to let ALL American citizens have their unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
    In my opinion, the answer should be yes.
    The U.S.A. is NOT a Theocracy. If it were, then conservatives would probably rejoice.
    But, just as God gives people a CHOICE – the freedom to choose – whether to follow His commands or not, the U.S.A. ought to give people a choice as well.
    [There are arguments that the Bible doesn’t actually address a monogamous, long-term, committed homosexual relationship as sinful, but that’s another sermon for another day.]

    In other words, is getting drunk a sin in the Bible? yes.
    Is divorce [unless a result of abuse or adultery] a sin in the Bible? yes.
    Is being overweight a sin in the Bible? yes.
    Are being prideful, arrogant, excessively rich, judgmental, cruel, or gossiping sins in the Bible? yes.
    Is having sex outside of marriage a sin in the Bible? yes.

    Are any of those sins illegal? No. So why are we picking and choosing which of God’s laws we should force on non-Christians? Why are we acting as though there is a hierarchy of sins and homosexuality is number one?
    I honestly think most of this argument is based off of fear and failure to seriously consider others’ points of view.
    Less than 100 years ago, women couldn’t even vote in the U.S.A.
    Around 60 years ago, black people and white people were segregated.
    The Bible was used to support these injustices as well.
    I think we should learn from history.

    • All very good points, which is why I believe Christians need to be VERY careful in pointing out this one sin and shallowly and lazily saying it should remain illegal because God says so.

      Covenant marriage and civil union are two separate entities anyway, and, looking at divorce rates in the church, we quit practicing covenant heterosexual unions decades ago.

      As for the Bible not addressing monogamous homosexual relationships as sin, it’s wise to leave that one alone. God is the perfect teacher and trainer, not a legalist. As our Creator, He taught and trained the one ideal manner in which He intended sexuality to be practiced; it’s us legalistic humans who desire someone to tell us every little thing that’s wrong so we can walk as close to sin and self-satisfaction as possible.

      I’ve learned over the years, in my attempt to the preach that sermon, both to myself and others, that if you preach self-justification of your own desires, you’ll never convince your soul to believe yourself over the Holy Spirit if He lives in you. His love will patiently win you over if you seek Him more than you seek a loophole for your desires.

      Interesting points you’ve brought up, for sure. Most important is the fact that America is not a theocracy; so I suppose the next question would be, where (if at all) do religions have a voice in democracy? Would there even be civil law without a moral law that appears (biblically and anthropologically) engrained into the hearts of humanity?

  2. Those are tough questions. They’re the same questions I’m still looking for answers to. What do you think about them?

    • Honestly, I’m not sure. I thought out loud about it in a blog a few weeks ago, the idea of separating covenant, religious marriages and civil unions, but I’m still rolling around the thoughts. Lots of implications, lots of biblical “contradictions” if someone thinks shallowly about the issues, so I’m still thinking through it all. Definitely a good conversation to have!

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