Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Legislating Morality and SS Marriage

Many politicians have insisted that we can’t legislate morality – that we shouldn’t legislate against abortion, for example. However, the law that allowed legal abortions was a matter of legislating morality – no less so than any law that might criminalize or limit abortions! Even the statement that “we shouldn’t legislate against abortion” is a moral statement!

So the pols glibly repeat the same inanities: “Well, I’d never have an abortion, but it wouldn’t be right for me to pass a law forbidding others from aborting their babies.” Why not instead say, “I’d never kill my elderly parents, but it wouldn’t be right for me to pass a law forbidding others this privilege?” Absurd? Yes! But this is where this faulty reasoning leads!

Now the discredited pastor Ted Haggard has embraced this reasoning:

  • Ted Haggard, the megachurch leader whose dalliances with a male prostitute toppled him from his church in 2006, has now endorsed same-sex “marriage.”
  • “I don’t think the state has any role dictating or mandating” morality, he said. “Though we would oppose that in our churches, [same-sex weddings] should be allowed by the state.” 
Contrary to Haggard’s assertion, every law mandates morality – dictating what we can and can’t do. And every law has an underlying moral basis. Even the laws that merely regulate speed limits, legislate morality and have their underlying moral basis:

  1. Life should be preserved.
  2. We shouldn’t drive in ways that jeopardize others.
  3. Our laws should affect everyone equally, irrespective of their driving abilities.
While it is true that the way we think determines the way we live, it is also true that the way we live determines the way we think. It is therefore hard to condemn sin when we are proactively living sinfully. This creates internal dissonance, and this dissonance needs to be resolved. Without resolving it, we experience intense psychological conflict.

We can’t consistently point an accusing finger against an adulterer, if we too are unrepentant adulterers. In a revealing account (John 8:1-11), Jesus confronted a crowd of people demanding that He give the order to have an adulterous woman stoned. Instead, Jesus confronted them with their hypocrisy (It is likely that they too were adulterers), and they dropped their stones and wandered away.

I am not a prophet, but I predict that unless Haggard repents of his sinful thinking, that within a few years, he too will be sponsoring SS marriage in his church.

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