Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Are same-sex unions the same as heterosexual married unions?

I’ve written before about the differences between same-sex unions and opposite sex married couples.

Here’s a post from Canon and Culture on the same topic by social scientist Glenn Stanton.

He finds two differences.

First, instability:

[T]he research is strong and numerous enough that a recent and very provocative Atlantic cover story on what straights could learn from gay marriage couldn’t ignore it. Liza Mundy, the article’s author, doesn’t appear to have a conservative bone in her body, yet she is fair and straight-up honest with the research on the nature of committed same-sex relationships.

[...]Mundy explains that studies have found “higher dissolution rates among same-sex couples” in Scandinavia – one of the world’s most gay-friendly cultures — than married heterosexual couples. This study, published in Demography, found that even though same-sex couples enter their legal unions at older ages — a marker related to greater relational stability – male same-sex marriages break up at twice the rate of heterosexual marriages.  And the break-up rate for lesbians? A stunning 77% higher  than the same-sex male unions! When controlling for possible confounding factors, the “risk of divorce for female partnerships actually is more than twice than that for male unions.”

[...]A study of two generations of British couples (one born 1958, the other 1970) in same-sex cohabiting, opposite-sex cohabiting and opposite-sex marriage relationships found the same-sex relationships dramatically more likely to break up than the opposite-sex cohabiting and married relationships.

According to that British study, only 25% of same-sex co-habitating couples are intact after  8 years. The stability number for married couples after 8 years is 82%. That’s a big difference.

But there’s more:

Other studies – conducted by celebrated lesbian scholars – find notable instability in lesbian homes, even those with children. The current National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) found “a significant difference” in family dissolution rates when comparing lesbian with mother/father headed families, 56% and 36% respectively. (p. 1201)

Another research study by two celebrated gay-friendly scholars, highlights a major comparative study between hetero and lesbian homes where, in the 5-year period of the study, 6 of the 14 lesbian mother-headed homes had broken up compared to only 5 of the 38 mom/dad headed homes. (p. 11) These scholars creatively explains that this stability imbalance is likely due to the “high standards lesbians bring to their intimate unions…” (p.12)

Ever heard of lesbian bed death?

And Mundy points something else predictable in lesbian relationships. In fact, its consistency has earned it a name in the LGBT community: lesbian bed death. Seriously.  This is the truth that sexual interest and frequency in many long-term lesbian relationships tends to decline considerably and even die over the years.

Usually, in relationships, men tend to be the ones who want more frequent sex. What happens when you have no aggressors and two gatekeepers? Lesbian bed death.

Next up, something common in male homosexual relationships: infidelity.

Stanton writes:

A noted 2010 study on non-monogamy in long-term gay relationships by two gay-affirming scholars — the Couples Study — observes in their report’s first sentence: “…non-monogamous relationships are very common in the gay community…” Their data showed that of the non-monogamous, long-term couples in their study, 42 percent made an arrangement for outside-sexual relationships within the first three months of the relationship’s beginning and by the end of the first year, that number increased to 49 percent. At the seventh anniversary mark, an additional 24 percent of gay couples adopted such agreements. So such agreements are increasingly made as these relationships grow longer.

The Atlantic piece is notes this as well; explaining that after the AIDS crisis, “gay male couples are more monogamous than they used to be, but not nearly to the same degree as other kinds of couples.” One study Mundy cites asked those in various relationships whether they had any agreed-upon rules permitting extra-curricular activities. The differences were astonishing. Only 4% of male/female couples had them compared to 40% of gay men in legally recognized unions and 49% in long-term cohabiting unions.

Another widely respected investigation, found that only a third of gay couples had monogamous agreements and truly honored them with no outside sex. In fact, it found that in the openly nonmonogamous gay relationships, the frequency of extra-dyadic sex from its start ranged from 2 to a whopping 2,500 separate incidents. The median was a remarkable 41.5 extracurricular incidents since the relationship’s beginning. Frequency in the last year was startling was well, ranging from 0 to 350 occurrences of outside sex, with a median of 8 incidences in the last twelve months. Even those who pledged true monogamy, the range was from 1 to 63 “slip-ups” with a median of 5. Five “slip-ups” are not slip-ups. The corresponding numbers for men in heterosexual marriages are microscopic in comparison.

So what does all this mean?

It means that if you are interested in a definition of marriage that involves stability and marital fidelity, then you shouldn’t be in favor of legalizing gay marriage. When you open up the term marriage to include relationships that seem to be very unstable and/or very unfaithful, you change the definition of marriage. Marriage means life-long married love. If we just turn around and call any association of adults “marriage”, then we are losing the distinctiveness of marriage in the process. Think about it. We did the same thing in the previous redefinition of marriage (no-fault divorce) which attacked the permanence of marriage. Marriage has a specific meaning and we should not be redefining it every few years for the benefit of selfish adults.

Filed under: Polemics, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lightning round: Ryan T. Anderson answers several questions about marriage

John Stonestreet interviews marriage defender Ryan T. Anderson: (Source: The Colson Center)

Questions:

  • Don’t gay couples have a right to express their love in marriage like everyone else?
  • How would legalizing gay marriage hurt your marriage?
  • Marriage is already in such bad shape, how could it hurt marriage to allow more people to marry?
  • Aren’t natural marriage proponents on the “wrong side of history”?

Every word counts in this concise primer on defending marriage. Blink, and you’ll miss pure gold.

You can watch Ryan debate gay marriage at Arizona State University right here.

Filed under: Videos, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Christian business Hobby Lobby defies Obamacare abortion mandate

In the United States, Christian taxpayers are already forced to subsidize the murder of unborn children by supporting Planned Parenthood through taxes. Planned Parenthood is a major donor to the Democrat Party. In addition, Obamacare contains a provision that forces businesses to provide certain abortion-causing drugs to their employees. Failure to comply with this pro-abortion agenda will result in massive fines – over a million dollars per year for Hobby Lobby.

Breitbart reports on how Christians are being forced into civil disobedience.

Excerpt:

Now that Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has denied Hobby Lobby’s application for an emergency injunction protecting them from Obamacare’s HHS Mandate on abortion and birth control, Hobby Lobby has decided to defy the federal government to remain true to their religious beliefs, at enormous risk and financial cost.

Hobby Lobby is wholly owned and controlled by the Green family, who are evangelical Christians. The Greens are committed to running their business in accordance with their Christian faith, believing that God wants them to conduct their professional business in accordance with the family’s understanding of the Bible. Hobby Lobby’s mission statement includes, “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company … consistent with Biblical principles.”

The HHS Mandate goes into effect for Hobby Lobby on Jan. 1, 2013. The Greens correctly understand that some of the drugs the HHS Mandate requires them to cover at no cost in their healthcare plans cause abortions.

Today Hobby Lobby announced that they will not comply with this mandate to become complicit in abortion, which the Greens believe ends an innocent human life. Given Hobby Lobby’s size (it has 572 stores employing more than 13,000 people), by violating the HHS Mandate, it will be subject to over $1.3 million in fines per day. That means over $40 million in fines in January alone. If their case takes another ten months to get before the Supreme Court—which would be the earliest it could get there under the normal order of business—the company would incur almost a half-billion dollars in fines.

[...]The HHS Mandate is a gross violation of the religious beliefs of the Green family. The issue before the courts here is whether the Greens religious-liberty rights include running their secular, for-profit business consistent with their religious beliefs. In other words, is religious liberty just what you do in church on a Sunday morning, or does it include what you do during the week at your job?

I wrote before about my reasons for thinking that Barack Obama is not a Christian. Not only is he pro-abortion, but also pro-gay-marriage. He also doesn’t believe in Hell, which is one of the most common things that Jesus taught about. All of that is interesting, but now Obama is moving beyond that to punish Bible-believing Christians for publicly acting out their faith in public. Atheism is fine, but now he is headed into fascism: using the power of the state to coerce others to accept that their religious and moral views are false.

That is why I find it pretty interesting that so many people who call themselves Christians voted for someone who persecutes Christians for taking  the Bible seriously. I think that this is a pretty good signal that not everyone who claims to be a Christian really is a Christian.

A Christian is someone who accepts the truth claims of the Bible and accepts the moral authority of the Bible in defining what is good and evil for individuals and for society as a whole.

A Democrat is someone who affirms and promotes:

  • abortion, gay marriage, persecuting Bible-believing Christians, premarital sex, fatherlessness
  • poverty, unemployment, greed, envy,  covetousness, intergenerational theft, crime (by criminalizing and banning self-defense)
  • causing wars through a weak foreign policy and supporting evil dictators in places like Iran, Syria and Egypt

It does not seem to me that Christianity and Democrat policies are compatible.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Barack Obama’s religion: a closer look at his religious beliefs

Barack Obama claims to be a Christian in public. But is he really a Christian? Well there are at least two ways to look at this question. One way is to look at what Obama does, and see if it matches up with what Christians are supposed to do, and what they have done. Another way is to look at what Obama says, and see if it matches up with what the Bible says, and what the early Church believed.

What are Christians supposed to do?

There are a lot of places I could look to see whether or not Obama’s actions are the actions of a Christian, but I will just choose one: abortion. If you want to know what Christians believe about abortion, you need to go back to the very earliest followers of Jesus. At that time, the Roman authorities believed not only in abortion but also infanticide. The earliest Christians opposed not only infanticide, but also abortion.

Let’s see:

Extrabiblical Jewish Literature

The noncanonical Jewish wisdom literature further clarifies first-century Judaism’s view of abortion. For example, the Sentences of Pseudo-Phocylides 184–186 (c. 50 B.C.–A.D. 50) says that “a woman should not destroy the unborn in her belly, nor after its birth throw it before the dogs and vultures as a prey.” Included among those who do evil in the apocalyptic Sibylline Oracles were women who “aborted what they carried in the womb” (2.281–282). Similarly, the apocryphal book 1 Enoch (2nd or 1st century B.C.) declares that an evil angel taught humans how to “smash the embryo in the womb” (69.12). Finally, the first-century Jewish historian Josephus wrote that “the law orders all the offspring to be brought up, and forbids women either to cause abortion or to make away with the fetus” (Against Apion 2.202).

Contrast these injunctions with the barbarism of Roman culture. Cicero (106–43 B.C.) records that according to the Twelve Tables of Roman Law, “deformed infants shall be killed” (De Legibus 3.8). Plutarch (c. a.d. 46–120) spoke of those who he said “offered up their own children, and those who had no children would buy little ones from poor people and cut their throats as if they were so many lambs or young birds; meanwhile the mother stood by without a tear or moan” (Moralia 2.171D).

Early Christian Literature

Against the bleak backdrop of Roman culture, the Hebrew “sanctity of human life” ethic provided the moral framework for early Christian condemnation of abortion and infanticide. For instance, the Didache 2.2 (c. A.D. 85–110) commands, “thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born.” Another noncanonical early Christian text, the Letter of Barnabas 19.5 (c. A.D. 130), said: “You shall not abort a child nor, again, commit infanticide.” There are numerous other examples of Christian condemnation of both infanticide and abortion. In fact, some biblical scholars have argued that the silence of the NT on abortion per se is due to the fact that it was simply assumed to be beyond the pale of early Christian practice. Nevertheless, Luke (a physician) points to fetal personhood when he observes that the unborn John the Baptist “leaped for joy” in his mother’s womb when Elizabeth came into the presence of Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus at the time (Luke 1:44).

More than merely condemning abortion and infanticide, however, early Christians provided alternatives by rescuing and adopting children who were abandoned. For instance, Callistus (d. c. A.D. 223) provided refuge to abandoned children by placing them in Christian homes, and Benignus of Dijon (3rd century) offered nourishment and protection to abandoned children, including some with disabilities caused by unsuccessful abortions.

What does Obama believe? Not only is Barack Obama the most pro-abortion President ever, but he also has voted for infanticide several times and he opposed the ban on partial birth abortions.

Excerpt:

BAIPA [The Born Alive Infant Protection Act] (both the federal and Illinois state versions) on the other hand, was introduced to insure that babies who survive attempted abortions are provided the same medical care and sustenance as any other infant born alive. BAIPA was introduced after evidence was presented that babies born alive after unsuccessful abortions were simply discarded in utility closets without food, care, or medical treatment until they died.

As both Andy and I pointed out last night (and numerous times before), state senator Obama fought against the Illinois version of BAIPA that was identical in all material respects to the federal version. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama claimed that he voted against the Illinois BAIPA because it failed to contain a “neutrality clause” making it clear that the bill did not affect the right to an abortion. This is false. Documents obtained by National Right to Life show that the Illinois BAIPA did, in fact, contain a neutrality clause identical to the federal version.

As noted yesterday, not one U.S. senator voted against  BAIPA. Even NARAL didn’t oppose it. At the time of the vote, CNN reported that NARAL’s spokesman said the following:

We, in fact, did not oppose the bill. There is a clear legal difference between a fetus in utero versus a child that’s born. And when a child is born, they deserve every protection that the country can provide. (Emphasis added).

The logical import of Obama’s vote against BAIPA is that he disagrees, i.e., once a baby has been targeted for abortion it thereafter has no inherent right to the food, comfort, and medical care provided to other babies born alive. Indeed, during Illinois state senate deliberations on BAIPA, Obama stated that one of his objections was that the bill was “designed to burden the original decision of the woman and the physician to induce labor and perform an abortion.” Apparently, once the decision to abort has been made, a child is doomed even if born alive.

And of course we now know that Barack Obama supports redefining marriage so that marriage will mean two men or two women. He opposes the traditional view of marriage: one man and one woman, having children and then raising them. Barack Obama’s view directly contradicts the Bible’s teaching on marriage not to mention the words of Jesus himself. It seems to me that Obama’s actions on these issues don’t line up with what Christians have always believed on crucial issues like protecting children and defending marriage.

What are Christians supposed to say?

In order to be a Christian, you must accept that all people everywhere are in rebellion against God, and that Jesus is God stepping into history, and that there is no reconciliation with God apart from an explicit belief in Jesus’ deity, and the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Namely, that his death was a payment for each person’s rebellion against God. Christians also believe that a person must accept that those who do not know Jesus and believe in what he did will not go to Heaven, but will be separated from God for eternity in a place called Hell.

Let’s look at what the Bible says.

Acts 4:8-12:

8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!

9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed,

10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

11Jesus is

   “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’

 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

John 14:1-6:(Jesus speaking)

1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.

2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

4You know the way to the place where I am going.”

 5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Philippians 2:5-11:

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!

9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Romans 10:1-4:

1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.

2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.

3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.

4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

And in Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” I could go on, but that should be enough. Christians do not think that these teachings are mere opinions – we think they are facts. We think they are true and binding and knowable.

To be believe in Jesus means to believe that he is who he says he is – God stepping in history, giving his own life up in order to take the punishment that each person deserves who rebels against God. And we all rebel against God, according to the Bible.

Now let’s take a look at what Obama says. Pay attention to whether he thinks that what he is saying are his own opinions or whether they are facts.

Excerpt:

Falsani: 
What do you believe?

OBAMA: 
[...]I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people. That there are values that transcend race or culture, that move us forward, and there’s an obligation for all of us individually as well as collectively to take responsibility to make those values lived.

And:

Falsani: Do you believe in heaven?

OBAMA:
 Do I believe in the harps and clouds and wings?

Falsani: A place spiritually you go to after you die?

OBAMA:
 What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded. I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.

When I tuck in my daughters at night and I feel like I’ve been a good father to them, and I see in them that I am transferring values that I got from my mother and that they’re kind people and that they’re honest people, and they’re curious people, that’s a little piece of heaven.

Falsani: What is sin?

OBAMA:
 Being out of alignment with my values.

Falsani: What happens if you have sin in your life?

OBAMA:
 I think it’s the same thing as the question about heaven. In the same way that if I’m true to myself and my faith that that is its own reward, when I’m not true to it, it’s its own punishment.

And:

OBAMA:
 [...]This is something that I’m sure I’d have serious debates with my fellow Christians about. I think that the difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and proselytize. There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re going to hell.

Falsani: You don’t believe that?

OBAMA:
 I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell.

Again, not only did Jesus mention Hell constantly, but the earliest Christians believed in a literal, eternal Hell. Obama doesn’t get to override Jesus, the Bible and the early church and substitute his own religion, and his own standard of sin and salvation. What I find annoying is that he apparently cannot reconcile God’s goodness with the existence of Hell. That’s like Apologetics 101. You would have to know nothing at all about Christianity to say what he said. You would have had to avoided reading anything that answers any questions about Christianity – because that question is easy.

To me what Obama expressed there in his answers was religious pluralism, radical subjectivism, postmodern relativism, and universalism. In no way shape or form are those beliefs consistent with what the Bible teaches. Not even close – this is not even disputable. To be a Christian, you have to believe that there are objective truths about God, independent of different people’s opinions. And that these truths are knowable, through reason, science, history and revelation in the Bible. Only atheists think that religion is non-cognitive subjective wish-fulfillment meant to make people feel good and have community, etc. If you think religion is like picking a flavor of ice cream instead of picking a prescription drug for an illness, then you’re not a Christian. Period.

So in both cases, when you look at what Obama says and what Obama does, it’s very clear that he is not a Christian by any stretch of the imagination. There is a lot more to being a Christian than just calling yourself one. You have to act the way that Christians are supposed to act – the way they always acted since the beginning of Christianity. And you have to believe the basic things that Christians are supposed to believe. Things that are clearly taught in multiple books of the new Testament and things that were believed by the earliest followers of Jesus, right up to the present day. If I had to guess what Obama really believes, I would speculate that he inclines toward atheism, or agnosticism at best.

UPDATE: Barack Obama denies that Jesus is the unique son of God at the 2012 Easter Prayer Breakfast.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lay Christians less likely than pastors to hold to exclusive salvation

J Warner Wallace of Please Convince Me tweeted this alarming news on Friday.

Excerpt:

Nearly eight in 10 Protestant pastors strongly disagree that eternal life can be obtained through religions other than Christianity in a new survey.

The survey, conducted by LifeWay Research, of 1,000 Protestant pastors asked respondents for their reaction to the statement, “If a person is sincerely seeking God, he/she can obtain eternal life through religions other than Christianity.” A full 77 percent of pastors strongly disagreed while 7 percent somewhat disagreed. Another 7 percent somewhat agreed, 5 percent strongly agreed and 3 percent were not sure.

[...]Pastors’ beliefs regarding the exclusivity of Christianity differ from those of their parishioners, according to a new study conducted for the upcoming book “Transformational Discipleship” by Eric Geiger, Michael Kelly and Philip Nation. When presented with the same statement, just 48 percent of adults who attend a Protestant church once a month or more disagreed strongly and 9 percent disagreed somewhat. A total of 26 percent agreed, including 13 percent who agreed strongly and 13 percent who agreed somewhat. Sixteen percent indicated that they neither agreed nor disagreed.

“One fact is clear: pastors are less universalistic than their church members,” Stetzer said. “A few heads nodding or an occasional ‘Amen’ does not indicate everyone believes Christianity is the only way. Church leaders will never know where their congregation stands unless they ask.”

According to the survey of pastors, those in large cities are more likely to believe that other religions lead to eternal life than their counterparts in other settings. Eleven percent of pastors in large cities strongly agreed. In comparison, 4 percent of pastors in small cities, 4 percent in the suburbs and 3 percent in rural areas feel the same.

Pastors identifying themselves as evangelical are less universalistic than those self-identifying as mainline. Compared with mainline pastors, evangelicals are:

  • Less likely to strongly agree that other religions can lead to eternal life (evangelical pastors, 2 percent; mainline pastors, 11 percent).
  • More likely to strongly disagree (85 percent to 57 percent).

I’ve written about how people who do not think that Christianity is true are more likely to think that religion is really about happy feelings, community and being a good person, especially when confronted by nice people doing nice things in other religions. The further a person gets from truth and apologetics, the more likely their theology is going to degrade into people-pleasing. That’s why apologetics is so important.

It’s much easier to say to a person “you are not saved” when you know enough to ask them “did the universe have a beginning?” and “was Jesus crucified?”. When they answer no to both questions, you take the religion question out of the realm of community, happiness and good deeds, and put it in the realm of truth. It is much easier to see why God would separate away from someone who doesn’t care enough about HIM (not other people, but HIM) that they would spend the time to study cosmology and history, etc. in order to form true beliefs.

As an evangelical Christian, it’s easy for me to believe that non-Christians will not be saved. I ask them questions, I find that they have beliefs that are obviously false. Then, when I propose that they do some studying, they tell me they won’t because religion is about being happy and being liked by your family and friends. When you understand salvation as being about truth, it’s very easy to understand why refusing to study religion to see what is and isn’t true isn’t just another flavor of ice cream – it’s sinful. It’s rebelling against God. It’s telling God “I don’t value you enough to know if you are really there and what you are really like”. And God isn’t obligated to spend eternity with people who don’t want him and who don’t want to know him.

People like Rob Bell and Brian Maclaren and Dan Barker start their drift away from orthodoxy by caring more about the people around them than the Person above them. A relationship with God is not the same as happy feelings and popularity. A relationship with God is work and being unpopular. That’s everywhere in the Bible, too. Followers of Judaism and Christianity are always taking the heat for sticking up for God. Nobody likes them except God. They perform for an audience of One, and they don’t care whether anyone approves or not. We need to get that back in the church. We need to get apologetics back in the church. Nobody feels guilty about telling someone who thinks that eating chocolate will prevent cavities. That’s what evangelism is – you tell the truth, graciously. If people get offended, that’s no reason to change your message.

I wrote a post before showing how to falsify a religion using science or history. We need to be comfortable doing that.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wintery Tweets

Click to see recent visitors

  Visitors Online Now

Page views since 1/30/09

  • 4,299,231 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,019 other followers

Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,019 other followers

%d bloggers like this: