Next month the people of the state of North Carolina will have the opportunity to vote on a Constitutional amendment that will define marriage as between a man and a woman. This issue is exposing cultural fault lines in North Carolina and dividing what is commonly known as a “red state.”
In this post and the next I will offer two arguments: one will be the Christian case against allowing the state to recognize same sex unions/marriages; the other will be the Christian case for allowing the state to recognize such unions.
Notice the phrasing these two sentences. I will in neither case be arguing that Christian churches should recognize or solemnize unions between two people of the same sex. I am of the conviction that a Biblical case cannot be made for expanding the definition of marriage beyond the marriage of a man and a woman. We may argue about the evolution of the meaning of marriage or the rights enjoyed by the husband and wife, but what cannot be argued is that marriage has ever included more than one person of the same sex–in polygamy, for example, a husband has multiple wives, but those wives have a single husband (not a husband and a series of wives).
Nor will I be discussing the specific language of the proposed amendment. Several voices have made the case have been made that the language of the proposed amendment is overly broad and will reach beyond the actual intent of the drafters (to adversely affect existing domestic violence laws). This is worth considering, but not in these two posts.
Monday I will post a Christian case in favor of state recognition of gay marriage, and on Tuesday I will post a Christian case opposing such state recognition. Notice that I have used the qualifier “Christian.” I am writing as a Christian minister and as a Christian voter. I believe my calling as both is to think Christianly on a topic as significant as the ordering of our society. While I may touch on issues like the purpose or nature of the law, my chief concern is to root my comments in the tradition of the Church’s reflection on Scripture.
I invite your civil comments and interactions around these two posts and the issue in general. Any incivil comments will be moderated and removed from the blog. Thanks for playing nicely!
Note: I will try to link to appropriate articles or posts either in my own posts or in a separate post providing resources for a Christian discussion of this issue.