Month: February 2015

Are those who oppose gay marriage but accept divorce simply hypocrites?

Christian advocates of traditional marriage are often criticized for defending our faith’s definition of marriage while seemingly ignoring its teachings about divorce.   “Opponents of gay marriage say they are defending the institution of marriage, but if that were really true why aren’t they spending at least as much time and vigor attacking divorce?” wrote Austin Cline in the Huffington Post. It’s an exceedingly fair critique.Kirsten Powers took it further. In her USA Today column, she wrote that if people wanted to enshrine religious traditions governing marriage, then how about a law that “bans divorce except in the very narrow circumstances the Bible permits it.” “This would be a tough one for evangelicals, since their divorce rate is almost identical to that of atheists and agnostics,” Powers wrote. “This might explain why you don’t see evangelical leaders pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into campaigns to keep the government from providing divorce.”Powers and Cline are touching upon the admonition against being a hypocrite. “Why look at the speck in your brother’s eye while you miss the plank in your own,” Jesus asked (Matthew 7:3). Studies of divorce rates in America by religious affiliation are notoriously controversial, but according to a 2012 report by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, 36-percent of the general population had experienced divorce. The report then showed that 39-percent of Protestants and 28-percent of Catholics had been divorced. Other reports show similar numbers. So why do we Christians experience divorce as commonly as everyone else?…

It’s been a tough time for advocates of traditional marriage

Believers in traditional marriage have had a challenging few weeks down in Alabama. Not only have we witnessed the demise of our right to define marriage within the boundaries of our state, we’ve been called hateful bigots, told we’re on the wrong side of history and that the good among us will eventually evolve and abandon our prejudiced beliefs altogether. “Love Wins,” was a popular slogan seen outside courthouses and on Twitter feeds, implying that hate was on the other side. Some described Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore as “standing in the courthouse door,” linking our defense of traditional marriage to former Gov. George Wallace’s defense of segregation at the University of Alabama. Others predicted that in a decade we’ll all come around and call our current efforts “ancient history,” complaining when they’re mentioned, like we do about our state’s history of racism.All of those notions are wrong.First, our support of traditional marriage isn’t rooted in hatred. Quite the opposite. It’s rooted in our love of Christ and a desire for his will rather than our own.The resulting internal conflict isn’t easy. Personally, my own will would have me support gay marriage. On one hand, my conservative philosophy dictates that I should support most individual liberties as long as they’re not hurting anyone (it’s arguable that the infrequency of traditional marriage hurts everyone, but let’s set that aside for the moment). On the other hand, my heart tends to say “live and let live.” It’s also hurtful to be called…