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Being Against Gay Marriage Doesn’t Make You a Homophobe

Great article in The Atlantic by Brandon Ambrosino, a young gay man who supports same-sex marriage but rejects the idea that to oppose gay marriage makes a person anti-gay (i.e., a homophobe). An excerpt:

Disagreement is not the same thing as discrimination. Our language ought to reflect that distinction.

I would argue that an essential feature of the term “homophobia” must include personal animus or malice toward the gay community. Simply having reservations about gay marriage might be anti-gay marriage, but if the reservations are articulated in a respectful way, I see no reason to dismiss the person holding those reservations as anti-gay people. In other words, I think it’s quite possible for marriage-equality opponents to Continue Reading…

We Need New Methods in the Fight for Marriage

A great set of posts by Greg Forster (PhD, Yale University) on what he sees as key disadvantages in employing either natural law arguments or explicitely Christian/biblical defenses of marriage in today’s cultural landscape. In short, he sees both as unconvincing to those predisposed to endorse same-sex “marriage.”  Instead, he offers a new path forward. Excerpt:

We must speak the truth about sexuality and romance in the language of sexuality and romance. This can’t be a special, private sexual language for Christians that others will need to learn. It must be a language that speaks to people in terms of their everyday experiences and doesn’t presuppose that you need to be Christian before you can have a humane understanding of sexuality.

Continue Reading…

President Clinton Flips on DOMA

Want an indication of how quickly the cultural landscape has shifted on the issue of same-sex “marriage”? In a Washington Post op-ed today, President Clinton flipped on DOMA, arguing that the law he signed 17 years ago, opposed by only 81 of the 535 members of Congress, is in fact unconstitutional.  The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is one of two major marriage-related cases to be heard by the Supreme Court in the near future. The other has to do with the Proposition 8 law passed in the state of CA in 2008, and is scheduled for oral arguments later this month.  Emily Belz explains the significance of both cases. Excerpt:

The lead-up to the high court taking these two cases parallels the lead-up to the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion. At the state level in the decades before Roe, voters blocked referendum after referendum to legalize abortion by sizable majorities. But then the Supreme Court stepped in and overturned many state-level restrictions on abortion with one decision. Similarly, in the last decade, 38 states have passed traditional marriage laws, either by referendum or in legislatures. The Supreme Court could upend those laws with these cases.

One difference is that public opinion against same-sex “marriage” is weaker than it was against abortion at the time of Roe. In the last 15 years, opposition to gay marriage has dropped by 20 points according to the Pew Research Center, down to 43 percent this year. In 1972, a Gallup poll showed that 66 percent of Americans opposed elective abortions. The court, of course, enjoys ignoring public opinion in all of its cases.

The court will likely hear both cases in late March, according to court expert Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog.

Raising Kids in a Pornified Culture

Great post from Pastor Zach Nielsen on Raising Kids in a Pornified Culture. His points:

1. Aim to give our kids a huge view of God who is gloriously delightful. 

2. Teach them the gospel. Our kids are spring-loaded legalists.

3. Teach them that boundaries bring freedom and obedience is a blessing.

4. Talk to them sooner than later about sex and internet porn.

Continue Reading…

Why Are Conservatives Losing The Marriage Debate?

Rod Dreher quotes a young adult who supports gay marriage:

Your conception of marriage, the traditional one, is that a man and a woman get married for the purpose of procreation. Marriage isn’t really about romantic love in this conception, but rather a framework for the rearing of children. If we take for granted that this is what marriage is, then I don’t think it’s bigoted at all to not have gay marriage, so long as the coupling is respected.

The problem for people my age is this: your definition of marriage was displaced prior to our lifetime. I have no memory of when that definition was true. Virtually everyone under the age of 30 has lived their entire lives under a culture that believes marriage is an expression of romantic love between two people.

Continue Reading…

The Reality That Awaits Women in Combat

You’ve probably heard that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey signed an order rescinding the ban on women serving in combat units.  In today’s WSJ, Ryan Smith, former Marine infantry squad leader, describes the reality that awaits women in combat.  Fair warning: His account is gruesome at times, but his argument is probably one that very few have considered.

An excerpt:

I served in the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a Marine infantry squad leader. We rode into war crammed in the back of amphibious assault vehicles. They are designed to hold roughly 15 Marines snugly; due to maintenance issues, by the end of the invasion we had as many as 25 men stuffed into the back. Marines were forced to sit, in full gear, on each other’s laps and in contorted positions for hours on end. That was the least of our problems.

The invasion was a blitzkrieg. The goal was to move as fast to Baghdad as possible. The column would not stop for a lance corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, or even a company commander to go to the restroom. Sometimes we spent over 48 hours on the move without exiting the vehicles. We were forced to urinate in empty water bottles inches from our comrades.

Read the whole thing.

HT: Denny Burk

What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense

I’ve posted about this book before, but here’s an excellent 30-minute primer on it (followed by 30 minutes of Q&A), all delivered recently at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation. (You can also download the audio.)

HT: Owen Strachan via Justin Taylor

What Is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense

This should be an excellent and important book. It certainly couldn’t be more timely. The official description (which itself is superbly written):

Until yesterday, no society had seen marriage as anything other than a conjugal partner­ship: a male-female union. What Is Marriage? identifies and defends the reasons for this historic consensus and shows why redefining civil marriage is unnecessary, unreasonable, and contrary to the common good.

Originally published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, this book’s core argument quickly became the year’s most widely read essay on the most prominent scholarly network in the social sciences. Since then, it has been cited and debated by scholars and activists throughout the world as the most formidable defense of the tradition ever written. Now revamped, expanded, and vastly enhanced, What Is Marriage? stands poised to meet its moment as few books of this generation have.

Continue Reading…

Marriage and Income Inequality

Glenn Stanton makes some interesting observations about marriage and income inequality:

Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute makes important observations of how marital status is related to poverty in his important new book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, 1960–2010. In 1960, the poorly and moderately educated were only 10 percent less likely to be married than the 94 percent of college-educated Americans who were married. The comparison between the two groups largely held until 1978. Today, these two groups are separated by a 35 percent margin. According to a recent report from the Brookings Institute, the strong rate of marriage among the highly-educated, top-earning Americans has largely held constant and even seems to be increasing. But the bad news is that marriage is sinking dramatically among low and middle-class Americans, down from 84 percent to a minority of 48 percent today—a dramatic decline over the last 40 years, and no indicators hint at a slowing pace. The stark trend line leads Murray to lament, “Marriage has become the fault line dividing America’s classes.”

Read the whole thing. Stanton is the director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family and the author of The Ring Makes All the Difference: The Hidden Consequences of Cohabitation and the Strong Benefits of Marriage (Moody, 2011).

Pornography and the Hotel Industry

A leading Christian, Robert George, and a leading Muslim, Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, sent hotel industry executives a letter last week:

We write to ask you to stop offering pornographic movies in your company’s hotels. We make no proposal here to limit your legal freedom, nor do we threaten protests, boycotts, or anything of the sort. We simply ask you to do what is right as a matter of conscience.

We are, respectively, a Christian and a Muslim, but we appeal to you not on the basis of truths revealed in our scriptures but on the basis of a commitment that should be shared by all people of reason and goodwill: a commitment to human dignity and the common good. As teachers and as parents, we seek a society in which young people are encouraged to respect others and themselves—treating no one as an impersonal object or thing. We hope that you share our desire to build such a society.

It’s excellent and brief. Read the whole thing.

The Witherspoon Institute has also published The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers. More about that at this link.

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