March 26, 2012
I know many will dismiss this column as a “religious” intrusion into political and legal affairs, a typical response for our day, but since most columns I've read are devoid of any consideration of the divine in regard to the gay marriage issue, I thought it important to balance the issue by invoking the one reality usually omitted in such discussions, God.
After all, civil rights, at least of the historic kind with Martin Luther King Jr. at the helm, emerged from the very source that most modern civil rights activists conveniently ignore. King, in fact, believed in a transcendent, absolute, and personal God and and that this same Judeo-Christian God was foundational to his efforts. So much a part of his thinking was this reality, that even his classification of “just” and “unjust” laws were determined by the same. “A just law,” he said, “is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a man-made code that is out of harmony with the moral law,” In other words, the justness of any human law is directly proportional to its compliance with the transcendent and unchanging law of God. Conversely, any law that clashed with the objective law of God was, in MLK’s mind, unjust and untranslatable into any “civil rights” as he perceived them.
If alive today, and consistent, I am confident that King would refer to the original and divine intent of marriage, as noted in Scripture, and see it as a union between a man and woman worthy of the greatest protection. He would refer to the creation of Adam and Eve and then fast forward to Jesus' confirmation of this divine paradigm found in Mark 10:1-9.
King had no problem holding culture's feet to the fire of Scripture when he wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” because, as I understood the acclaimed document, he really believed what he wrote and what he wrote was that morality, generally, and “just law,” particularly, sprouted from the pages of Scripture itself with every expectation that legislation should logically follow. Conversely, then, without consideration of God's law, no logical basis for anything either civil or right exists.
Hence, I have a valid reason for thinking that King would consider any defense of marriage a worthy cause, and would consider the defeat of “Amendment One” equivalent to an organized theological revolt. It maligns both God, his Christ and the most basic institution of society, marriage, making mockery of the Divine and natural norm for the sexes – the very marital model that Jesus espoused, endorsed, and, with his physical resurrection, authenticated.
I believe he would see this contemporary and favorable slant toward gay marriage as the intentional rejection of the Judeo-Christian basis from which his movement grew, and if consistent, see this rebellion against the divine standard as Francis Schaeffer saw it, as an "Obliteration of the distinction between man and woman...as complementary partners.” Intending, in fact, that “all of God's creation is to be fought against..." (The God Who Is There 37).
It doesn't really surprise me that such realities are ignored in the debate on gay marriage. After all, pulling a page from King's civil rights play book, particularly one that includes the Bible, would inevitably make “Amendment One” sound very much like the right thing to do that it is.