Sunday, February 27, 2011
Intimidation should not be tolerated by democratic society. LifeSiteNews.com, February 25, 2011, reported that,
• The city of Chicago ordered its police force not to enforce the law against a mob of homosexualist activists who disrupted Mass at the Holy Name Cathedral to protest “anti-gay bigots” who support the Church’s teaching on marriage. The Gay Liberation Network staged the rally on the eve of Valentine’s Day, shouting and chanting loudly as churchgoers entered to celebrate Sunday Mass. The demonstration’s primary target was Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who has spoken out in defense of traditional marriage between a man and a woman. Protesters had staged a similar disruption around the same time last year.
Gays believe that the church has taken a position that violates their civil and equal rights. Nevertheless, they are ready to violate the church’s rights to worship and to speak freely.
However, apart from this, do gays have a worthy cause? Do the laws restricting marriage to a heterosexual couple violate the concept of equal rights? There is no such thing as absolute equal rights. Every law discriminates against some form of behavior. Not everyone can drive. There is no absolute right. Certain criteria must be met. There is an age requirement, a driving test, sobriety must be maintained, and there are also circumstances where an individual can loose the right to drive. We even have seat-belt and cell phone laws, tax requirements and all sorts of standards that must be met before we can legally use our vehicle on the road.
Of course, this has little to do with marriage. Nevertheless, even in this intimate and very personal matter, there are laws governing sex between certain partners relative to age and familial affinity. There are laws against adultery, bigamy, and polygamy. Aren’t these laws also a violation of our “equal rights?” If so, why aren’t these also being discussed in the same context? Instead, public debate has degenerated into one-liners and personal assaults.
More specifically, there are laws that govern marriage, relative to factors of age, co-sanguinity, and legal availability. Legislation discriminates all the time. However, it doesn’t discriminate against dating or even our choice of a roommate. Consequently, a gay person can “marry” whomever they choose as long as they are willing to forego the legal sanction of an official marriage – the real issue. Ironically, the laws are now swinging in their favor, granting them many of the financial benefits of marriage, while denying them to roommates who are not sexually involved. Isn’t this to a violation of “equal rights?” Why should organism determine financial benefits? Is this equal rights?
Nevertheless, we are broadly committed to the concept of “equal rights,” a concept that is so closely associated with another concept – created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) – a concept that require us to treat everyone with dignity and respect.
But how do we treat everyone with dignity and respect? Does this concept require that we indulge everyone their whims and desires? Do we pat the heroin abuser on the back and say, “Well, you have an equal right to this if it’s your choice. After all, I have my coffee and ice cream.” No! Instead, we have to be concerned about their ultimate welfare and the welfare of society. It’s this consideration that coerces us to pass laws against driving at 100 miles an hour and drinking while driving.
Does this also pertain to gay marriage? I think so! It would be wrong to give public sanction to inherently self-destructive and socially destructive behaviors. Statistics uniformly reveal the self-destructive nature of homosexuality across a wide spectrum of considerations. For one thing, gay males live on the average of 20-24 years less than the average. This finding is coupled with elevated levels of depression, suicide and substance abuse.
If these findings are true, and we legislate in favor of seat-belts, perhaps also we should continue to legislate in favor of traditional marriage? Perhaps we need to resist the clamor for same-sex marriage until its personal and social viability can be clearly established?
However, the clamor is morphing into intimidation. Even more disturbing than the demonstration for “equal rights,” was the lack of police protection:
• While it was illegal for the protesters to disrupt a religious service, the Chicago City Council announced that police would not enforce the law in this instance - a move that NOM [National Organization for Marriage] castigated. “It’s outrageous that the city of Chicago stepped in and basically told police not to enforce a law for this one occasion,” said NOM president Brian Brown.
What does this represent? Are we enabling the Gay community to accelerate their campaign of intimidation, at the expense of reason and democratic processes? In a video made of the demonstration, one placard read, “It’s time to stop being nice to anti-gay bigots.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATtw38qqzDQ&feature=player_embedded
Although it might be appropriate for the church to fashion its own placard reading, “It’s time to stop being nice to bullies,” I’m glad that it hasn’t gone that far. Even in the midst of intimidation and sometimes violence, the church has to continue to show forth its one hope in God and to reject any means that He does not sanction. However, if the government refuses to defend our rights of free speech and assembly, this will become increasingly difficult.