This is an essay I don’t want to write. I’d much rather talk about Josh Hamilton’s four home runs, an historic event that is still making news in Texas and around baseball. Or the underwear bomb plot foiled by a CIA double-agent. But the same-sex marriage issue won’t go away. On Tuesday, North Carolina voters approved a state constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage and civil unions in their state. Yesterday a bill granting civil unions to same-sex couples failed to advance in Colorado’s legislature.
Then President Obama made his landmark declaration to ABC’s Robin Roberts: “It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” His statements mark the first time a U.S. president has publicly endorsed gay marriage.
What are his reasons? Mr. Obama knows aides “who are in incredibly committed monogamous same-sex relationships who are raising kids together.” He thought about members of our military “who are out there fighting on my behalf, and yet feel constrained . . . because they’re not able to commit themselves in a marriage.” And he believes that the Golden Rule requires him to support what he calls “same sex equality.”
Taking Scripture as my highest authority, I must respectfully disagree with the president’s position and logic. As I stated earlier this week, the Bible intends marriage to be between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24). Undoubtedly there are people in “committed monogamous same-sex relationships,” as Mr. Obama observed. But should we build our moral positions on unchanging truth or personal experience? Would his logic endorse committed polygamous relationships? What about adult-child or inter-family relationships? Once we change our laws on the basis of personal experience or preferences, where do we stop?
I am as grateful as the president for our military, but question whether unbiblical activity is more legitimate because it is practiced by soldiers or any other subset of our population. And given Paul’s opposition to homosexual activity, I wonder if the apostle would feel that the Golden Rule sanctions such behavior. If you were engaged in harmful behavior, would it be better for me to affirm you or warn you?
This essay is not an endorsement of any political candidate, and I hope it will be my last comment on gay marriage for a while. But I am convinced that a nation which wants to experience God’s best must live biblically. As I continue to intercede daily for our president (1 Timothy 2:1-4), I will pray for him to lead our nation according to God’s standards. And I will pray that I live the same way.