I'm now going to answer a comment I received to my gay marriage post, "Gay Marriage Fails in the Lone Star State ." The comment was from a man named Jason, and I feel that he raised some issues I should respond to.
First, I'd like to clear up an apparent misunderstanding that I certainly didn't intend anyone to come away with. In my post on gay marriage I stated that the most important reason I voted for Prop 2, which defines marriage in Texas as being only between one man and one woman, was that gay marriage violated the Judeo-Christian moral order on which the West, including America, has been based for 2000 years. I now see how easy it is for some people reading that to assume that I'm a Christian, but I'm not. I describe myself as a Christian sympathizer, a traditionalist, someone who is unchurched but not anti-church. The reason I don't call myself a Christian is that I don't feel myself to be "saved" as Christians would understand that term. However, I do believe most, if not all, of the fundamental doctrines of the historic Christian faith, and I believe in Biblical morality. That's why I wrote that my support for Prop 2 was primarily "Christian" in origin. I appologize for any confusion.
This idea that I am a Christian seemed to have captivated all of Jason's attention, because his response to my post dealt exclusively with that issue. As you might've guessed, Jason is a Christian, but he said he would've voted against Prop 2 if he still lived in Texas. He expressed the concern that Christians have an image as bigoted, intolerant people, and that Prop 2 would only add to that negative stereotype. Futhermore, Jason insisted that Christians are called to love people where they're at, bring them to Christ, then tell them to sin no more. He also said that while it's ok to oppose gay marriage on Christian principles, it's wrong to impose those principles on non-Christians. I understand all of Jason's concerns, but I think he's way off the mark in thinking that that was the gist of my post. Apparently, he didn't read the whole post because if he had, he would've had a better understanding of what I was trying to say.
Yes, I based my support for Prop 2 primarily on Christian principles, but not exclusively on Christian principles. Jason would've known that if he'd read the whole article. I also supported Prop 2 because of my dislike of the heavy-handed tactics gay rights activists use to advance their cause. In his comment, Jason claimed that Christians are viewed as "self-righteous, hypocritical, hostile, and full of rejection of anyone who is different"--that's exactly how I view gay rights activists! My voting for Prop 2 was a way of taking a stand against what I call gay Stalinism. The gay activist elite--GAE--is as intolerant of opposing views, and the people who hold them, as Christians are so often accused of being. In my post I clearly differentiated between the GAE and ordinary gays, opposing the former but having benign tolerance for the latter. I also differentiated between people and behaviour, pointing out that you can accept people while merely tolerating, or even actively opposing, their behaviour. I don't know how Jason missed that.
And as for Christians imposing their principles on non-Christians, Jason missed the mark again.
In theory, we can say that nobody should impose their principles/morals/beliefs on anyone else. But in the real world, all law is the imposition of somebody's principles/morals/beliefs on society. If you doubt that, ask yourself why some people are for gay marriage. What reasons did they have for voting against Prop 2? The answers to those questions will inevitably delve into the waters of principles/morals/beliefs. Anti-Prop 2 people might say, for instance, that everyone has the right to love whom they chose. But isn't that a principle/moral/belief? Jason's own reason for opposing Prop 2--that it violated the Christian duty to love and not judge--is itself not only rooted in principle, but principle that is religiously based. Therefore, voting against Prop 2, which Jason said he would've done, would've been hypocritical on his part because it would've meant imposing a Christian principle--judge not, lest ye be judged--on non-Christians, something Jason said Christians have no right to do!
Of course, Prop 2 was just a skirmish in the culture war, a war in which the real question isn't can we legislate morality, but whose morality will we legislate. As stated above, somebody's morals, principles, or beliefs are going to undergird the laws of the land. For millenia, Biblical morality was the foundation on which Western law stood. America, founded as it was by Western Christians, carried on that tradition. Now, rabidly anti-Christian forces are fighting ferociously to destroy that foundation and replace it with a fanatically secular one in which every hint of Biblical influence is stricken from the law and, indeed, from all public life. For these people, the public square is a temple of Godlessness, an anti-sacred space in which only the opinions of Man may hold sway. The legitimization of homosexuality is sort of a consecration of this temple, a bold declaration to the religious that they are not allowed there unless they shed their faith. Religious freedom? Sure, inside your church or home, but not in the public square, where God is verboten.
The simple truth is that all law is made in the image of some group's world view. Therefore, it is grossly unfair to condemn Christians for imposing their views on others when gay activists are doing the exact same thing. In fact, gay activists aren't just imposing their views on society, but are striving to censor their opponents by criminalizing criticism of their lifestyle as "hate speech". This is part of the gay, or should I say GAE, Stalinism I criticized in my post.
So, to reiterate, I supported Prop 2 because I believe in the Judeo-Christian moral order and because I vehemently oppose the Stalinist tactics of the GAE. The two reasons go together. I don't hate ordinary gays and I'm not trying to harm them. Some sincere Christians might feel that supporting Prop 2 is an act of unChristlike judgmentalism; I respect their opinion, but ask them to consider that they become guilty of judgmentalism when they criticize me. Lastly, I remind the liberal types that the establishment clause of the Constitution wasn't written to ban Christian participation in public life, nor to exclude religiously informed conscience/beliefs from the guarantee of free expression. Now, Jason, I hope you get it.