Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Frank Turek: is “equality” the issue in the same-sex marriage debate?

Here’s part one in a two-part series.

Excerpt:

Here is my thesisMarriage between a man and a woman is the foundation of civilized society and should be the only sexual relationship promoted by the government. That is the essence of the Marriage Protection Amendment, and its passage in no way violates anyone’s civil rights.

In order to see this, we need to ask, “For what primary purpose is the government involved in marriage at all?” It’s not because two people love one another or to make individuals “happy.” The main reason most governments promote the union of a man and woman exclusively is because only the committed union of a man and a woman perpetuates and stabilizes society. I’ll call this union “natural marriage” because of the natural biological compatibility of male and female bodies and to differentiate it from same-sex marriage.

Here are four ways natural marriage perpetuates and stabilizes society:

1. Natural Marriage procreates and provides the most stable, balanced and nurturing environment for children. While not every marriage results in children, the only marriages than can procreate are those between a man and a woman. And statistically, children and the country do best when kids are brought up in a biological two-parent home. Children from intact natural marriage homes are:

a. Seven times less likely to live in poverty

b. Six times less likely to commit suicide

c. Less than half as likely to commit crime

d. Less than half as likely to become pregnant out of wedlock

e. Develop better academically and socially

f. Are healthier physically and emotionally when they reach adulthood

This makes sense in light of the fact that men and women are different and parent differently—each sex brings unique abilities and role modeling that aids in child development. While single parents do amazing work, every child starts with and deserves a mother and a father. If you deny this, then which parent is dispensable?

2. Natural Marriage civilizes men and focuses them on productive pursuits such as procreating and caring for their family. Studies invariably show that marriage reduces crime. (How many married men do you know who roam neighborhoods in street gangs?) Civilization requires civilized men, and natural marriage does that well.

3. Natural Marriage protects women from being used and abandoned by uncommitted men. Women often postpone or give up their careers to have children, and Natural Marriage protects them and their children from deadbeat dads.

4. Natural Marriage lowers social costs to government and thus taxpayers. One major reason for our soaring deficit is the breakdown of the two-parent family. When the family breaks down, government expenditures swell to deal with increased crime and poverty. Increased taxation also slows the economy. That’s one reason why you cannot bifurcate the social and financial issues. They are inescapably connected.

In short, when our natural marriages are strong, our society is strong. When they are weak, our society is weak. That means all in our society—even those who never get married—benefit immensely from government promotion of natural marriage.

He is promoting fusionism there, which is my view of economics. Social and fiscal issues are tightly coupled and mutually reinforcing.

Here’s part two of two.

Excerpt:

But why not promote both natural marriage and same sex marriage?

Several reasons, but I can only briefly mention three.

First, same-sex marriage would make the institution of marriage genderless. There would not be two forms of marriage—natural and same-sex—but marriage legally and culturally would become a genderless institution about merely coupling. In Massachusetts it’s Partner A and Partner B. In other words, same-sex marriage divorces children from marriage. The law is a great teacher, and same-sex marriage teaches that marriage is about adult desires, not the needs of children. Marriage should be more about what children need than what adults want. If marriage isn’t about the needs of children, then what institution is about children and the next generation? So homosexuality really isn’t the issue here—making marriage genderless and childless is.

Second, since natural marriage and same-sex marriage are different behaviors with different outcomes they should not be equated legally. To see this, consider two questions.

Question 1: What would be the benefits to society if everyone lived faithfully in natural marriage? It would benefit everyone in society because it would result in a massive reduction in poverty, crime, child abuse, welfare, and government spending.

Question 2: What would be the benefits to society if everyone lived faithfully in same-sex marriage? It would be the end of society itself.

Now, I am not suggesting that a law would fully achieve either, but only to point out that natural and same-sex marriage should not be legally or culturally equated. The truth is homosexual and heterosexual relationships are not the same, can never be the same, and will never yield the same benefits to individuals or society. We hurt everyone, especially children, by pretending otherwise.

Finally, as jurisdictions with same-sex marriage show us, people lose their freedoms of speech, association, religion and even parenting due to the imposition of same-sex marriage. InMassachusetts, for example, parents now have no right to even know when their kids as young as kindergarten are being taught about homosexuality, much less opt out of it; business owners must now provide benefits to same-sex couples, and they can be fined for declining to provide services at homosexual weddings; Catholic charities were forced to close and leave Massachusetts and Washington D.C. because both governments mandated that all adoption agencies had to provide children to homosexuals. So much for freedom of religion! And in Canada, same-sex marriage has led to such a chilling restriction on speech, that my speech here today could get me fined or jailed if given there.

If you like what Frank Turek had to say there, just keep in mind that he’s written a book about the issue.

And I just have to throw in a quick quote from another case in favor of natural marriage by Ryan T. Anderson (one of the famous Gang of Three who wrote that fabulous new book on marriage).

Excerpt:

Government recognizes marriage because it is an institution that benefits society in a way that no other relationship does. Marriage is society’s least restrictive means to ensure the well-being of children. State recognition of marriage protects children by encouraging men and women to commit to each other and take responsibility for their children. While respecting everyone’s liberty, government rightly recognizes, protects, and promotes marriage as the ideal institution for childbearing and childrearing.

Redefining marriage would further distance marriage from the needs of children. It would deny as a matter of policy the ideal that a child needs a mom and a dad. We know that children tend to do best when raised by a mother and a father. The confusion resulting from further delinking childbearing from marriage would force the state to intervene more often in family life and cause welfare programs to grow even more.

In recent years marriage has been weakened by a revisionist view that is more about adults’ desires than children’s needs. Redefining marriage represents the culmination of this revisionism: Emotional intensity would be the only thing left to set marriage apart from other kinds of relationships. Redefining marriage would put a new principle into the law—that marriage is whatever emotional bond the government says it is.

Redefining marriage to abandon the norm of male-female sexual complementarity would also make other essential characteristics—such as monogamy, exclusivity, and permanency—optional. But marriage can’t do the work that society needs it to do if these norms are further weakened. All Americans, especially conservatives who care about thriving civil society capable of limiting the state, should be alarmed.

Redefining marriage is a direct and demonstrated threat to religious freedom that marginalizes those who affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman. We have already seen this in neighboring Canada and right here in places such as Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.

I keep hearing people talk about tolerance, tolerance, tolerance. But I don’t think they understand the purpose of marriage. If they did, they would see that we need what marriage provides, and that we need to promote it. The marriage issue is not a buffet where you pick what you like.

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Frank Turek and Wayne Grudem think you should go vote today!

EVERYONE  PLEASE GO VOTE TODAY! (NOVEMBER 6th, 2012)

Here’s Frank Turek’s post on Jesus, Christians and politics on the Cross Examined blog.

Excerpt:

I often hear Christians claiming that we ought to just “preach the Gospel” and not get involved in politics.  This is not only a false dilemma; it’s stupid (how’s that for direct?).   If you think “preaching the Gospel” is important like I do, then you ought to think that politics is important too.  Why?  Because politics and law affects your ability to preach the Gospel! If you don’t think so, go to some of the countries I’ve visited—Iran, Saudi Arabia, China.  You can’t legally “preach the Gospel” in those countries—or practice other aspects of your religion freely—because politically they’ve ruled it out.

It’s already happening here. There are several examples where religious freedoms are being usurped by homosexual orthodoxy. This summer a Christian student was removed from Eastern Michigan University’s (a public school) counseling program because, due to her religious convictions, she would not affirm homosexuality to potential clients.  A judge agreed (a similar case is pending in Georgia).  In Massachusetts, Catholic charities closed their adoption agency rather than give children to homosexual couples as the state mandated.  In Ohio, University of Toledo HR Director Crystal Dixon was fired for writing a letter to the editor in her local newspaper that disagreed with homosexual practice.

More violations of religious liberty are on the way from the people currently in charge.  Lesbian activist Chai Feldbaum, who is a recess appointment by President Obama to the EEOC, recently said regarding the inevitable conflict between homosexuality and religious liberty, “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.” So much for tolerance.  The people who say they’re fighting for tolerance are the most intolerant, totalitarian people in politics.

Getting involved in politics is necessary if for no other reason to protect your religious liberty, and the liberties of us all.  So if you’re a Christian, follow the example of Christ—call out hypocrites and fools, and vote them out on Tuesday!

Religious liberty is my top priority and my core value. You can’t preach the gospel without religious liberty – so don’t just stand there and watch it slip away! Get out there and vote! The right to evangelize and discuss Christianity in public is already under attack in places like Canada and the UK! Don’t think that it can’t happen here – it can! Today is the day that you defend the gospel by defending your right to even talk about the gospel in public without having to worry that someone will censor or sue you for offending them. Get out there and vote for your liberty!

Wayne Grudem also encourages you to vote

Should Christian beliefs impact politics?

Do pastors have the right to speak from the pulpit about political, social or cultural issues?

What about the so-called “separation of church and state”?

You can find out more about Grudem’s new book here – it’s a 50+ page excerpt from the book! I’ve got my copy! And you can listen to podcasts from his Sunday School class here.

Frank Pastore thinks that politics flows from theological convictions

Frank Pastore has a Christian radio show on KKLA in Los Angeles.

Here is his post on Crosswalk.com about Christians and politics – specifically, he is responding to critics who say that he should not talk so much about politics on his Christian radio show, and that he should especially not argue about politics.

Excerpt:

Perhaps many Christians believe these things because they don’t understand politics is really an exercise of theology applied—one way we love our neighbors as ourselves. Our political and social policies should grow out of our theology, not vice versa. We are not to reverse engineer our theology based upon our political and social agendas. Our faith is foundational to everything else. For Christians, theology creates and shapes our approach to politics; for non-Christians, politics creates and shapes their approach to theology—or at least their worldview.

A Christian becomes too political when their politics is no longer rooted in their theology, when their faith becomes merely peripheral and unnecessary to their political agenda, rather than the one thing that is fundamental and essential.

How we vote to spend our tax dollars, what economic and social policies we hope to advance through votes for particular candidates, and what domestic and foreign policies we hope our government advances—these things are the applications of the values rooted in our Christian worldview.

Just as how I choose to invest my time and treasure is the best expression of whether I’m living out my Christian values, so too what the government spends money on and what policy preferences it pursues is the best expression of our true American values.

The best way for me to love my neighbor is through those things I choose to do personally. The second best way is through votes for candidates who support policies that I believe will promote the common good. Thus, I am political because I am loving, and I am loving because I am Christian. Therefore, I should argue—albeit in a God-glorifying manner—about politics.

Get out there and vote, people! And make all your friends and family vote, too!

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Frank Turek interviews William Lane Craig about Christian apologetics and debate

This interview is getting good reviews on Facebook. I would say it is a must-see, because it will change your view of what we should be emphasizing as Christians. Please watch the lecture and then mail this post to all of your friends – we need to be challenged by this man William Lane Craig.

(H/T BirdieUpon)

This interview occured after William Lane Craig’s debate tour of the UK, and they talk a lot about it. I think the lesson for us is that apologetics is the best evangelistic tool that Christians have, and people really do show up by the thousands to see these debates. Maybe we should do more of them? And maybe we should be encouraging young people to follow Craig’s path and become solid philosophers and debaters? And are we going to take seriously the duty to sponsor events like this? We have to ask ourselves these tough questions, and be practical and effective about defending God’s honor when it’s called into question. Having a relationship with God is not just about us getting what we want. There are things that we need to be doing to hold up our end of the relationship. Hard things. Self-sacrificial things. Things that we may not like at all. Things that work.

In Intellectual Neutral

Here’s an article that I think might be appropriate for this interview.

Excerpt:

You may see, perhaps for the first time in your life, that here is a need in your life and as a result resolve to become intellectually engaged as a Christian. This is a momentous decision. It is a step that is desperately needed in the lives of millions of American Christians today. No one has issued the challenge to become intellectually engaged more forcefully than did Charles Malik, in his inaugural address at the dedication of the Billy Graham Center on this campus. He emphasized that we as Christians face two tasks in our evangelism: saving the soul and saving the mind, that is to say, not only converting people spiritually, but converting them intellectually as well. And the Church, he said, is lagging dangerously behind with regard to this second task. Listen to what he says:

I must be frank with you: the greatest danger confronting American evangelical Christianity is the danger of anti-intellectualism. The mind in its greatest and deepest reaches is not cared for enough. But intellectual nurture cannot take place apart from profound immersion for a period of years in the history of thought and the spirit. People who are in a hurry to get out of the university and start earning money or serving the church or preaching the gospel have no idea of the infinite value of spending years of leisure conversing with the greatest minds and souls of the past, ripening and sharpening and enlarging their powers of thinking. The result is that the arena of creative thinking is vacated and abdicated to the enemy. Who among evangelicals can stand up to the great secular scholars on their own terms of scholarship? Who among evangelical scholars is quoted as a normative source by the greatest secular authorities on history or philosophy or psychology or sociology or politics? Does the evangelical mode of thinking have the slightest chance of becoming the dominant mode in the great universities of Europe and America that stamp our entire civilization with their spirit and ideas? For the sake of greater effectiveness in witnessing to Jesus Christ, as well as for their own sakes, evangelicals cannot afford to keep on living on the periphery of responsible intellectual existence.

These words hit like a hammer. Evangelicals really have been living on the periphery of responsible intellectual existence. The average Christian doesn’t realize that there is an intellectual war going on in the universities and the professional journals and the scholarly societies. Christianity is being attacked from all sides as irrational or bigoted, and millions of students, our future generation of leaders, have absorbed this viewpoint.

This is a war which we cannot afford to lose. As J. Gresham Machen warned in his article, “Christianity and Culture” in the Princeton Theological Review of 1913, on the even of the Fundamentalist Controversy, if we lose this intellectual war, then our evangelism will be immeasurably more difficult in the next generation. He wrote,

False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel. We may preach with all the fervor of a reformer and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here and there, if we permit the whole collective thought of the nation to be controlled by ideas which prevent Christianity from being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion. Under such circumstances, what God desires us to do is to destroy the obstacle at its root.

You can get the video and audio from a later version of this talk from Apologetics 315. I was present in the Wheaton College chapel when he gave the talk I excerpted above. It was moving.

We need a three part approach. We need to be intellectually engaged ourselves. We need to be intentional about marrying well and raising up young people who are intellectually engaged. And we need to study hard subjects so we can be good earners, and support the right kinds of operations. We can’t just do whatever makes us feel good, willy-nilly, and then hope that things will work out – we have to work at this.

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Bank of America fires Dr. Frank Turek for his religious and political views

Dr. Mike Adams explains how Bank of America discriminates against Christians and conservatives.

Excerpt:

In late May of this year Dr. Turek was hired to present at a meeting of your Global Business Management & Analysis Team within Global Wealth and Investment Management. The title of his presentation was called “Why Can’t You Be Normal Just Like Me?” The presentation helps participants adapt to diverse personalities to improve productivity and relationships—the essence of inclusion and diversity. The meeting was scheduled to take place at your Merrill Lynch facility in Pennington, New Jersey on June 17.

Three days before the event Dr. Turek was abruptly fired by an HR representative. Why? She explained that someone Googled his name and discovered that he had written Correct, Not Politically Correct: How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone. Marriage was not the topic of his presentation, nor has it ever been in all his years of working with the bank. Moreover, as his book reveals (although no one at the Bank is likely to have read it), Dr. Turek treats all people with respect, whether he agrees with them politically or not. Nevertheless, in the name of “inclusion” and “diversity,” he was immediately excluded for his political and religious viewpoint. Mr. Moynihan, please answer this question: Do you have to have certain political or religious views to work at Bank of America?

I know you cannot really believe that free speech and religion rights vanish when one works with Bank of America. I know that you cannot believe that all political conservatives, Jews, Christians, Mormons and Muslims should be fired for their deeply held beliefs. But that is how the Bank of America policy of “inclusion” was applied to Dr. Turek. He was fired because of his personal political and religious beliefs—beliefs that are undoubtedly shared by thousands of your very large and diverse workforce. Or is it really diverse?

Dr. Turek was previously fired by the HR people at Cisco Systems for the same reason. Cisco is another company that either silences or fires Christians for their views. No free speech is allowed if it offends certain groups. Bank of America also supports illegal immigration.

How would same-sex marriage affect your life?

BONUS: Frank Turek explains how to talk about the same-sex marriage issue without sounding like a jerk.

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Frank Turek asks: how would same-sex marriage affect society?

His latest post from Cross-Examined  explores the consequences of legalizing same-sex marriage on children and society.

Excerpt:

The law is a great teacher, and same sex marriage will teach future generations that marriage is not about children but about coupling. When marriage becomes nothing more than coupling, fewer people will get married to have children.

So what? People will still have children, of course, but many more of them out-of wedlock. That’s a disaster for everyone. Children will be hurt because illegitimate parents (there are no illegitimate children) often never form a family, and those that “shack up” break up at a rate two to three times that of married parents. Society will be hurt because illegitimacy starts a chain of negative effects that fall like dominoes—illegitimacy leads to poverty, crime, and higher welfare costs which lead to bigger government, higher taxes, and a slower economy.

Are these just the hysterical cries of an alarmist? No. We can see the connection between same-sex marriage and illegitimacy in Scandinavian countries. Norway, for example, has had de-facto same-sex marriage since the early nineties. In Nordland,the most liberal county of Norway, where they fly “gay” rainbow flags over their churches, out-of-wedlock births have soared—more than 80percent of women giving birth for the first time, and nearly 70 percent of allchildren, are born out of wedlock! Across all of Norway, illegitimacy rose from 39 percent to 50 percent in the first decade of same-sex marriage.

Anthropologist Stanley Kurtz writes,“When we look at Nordland and Nord-Troendelag — the Vermont and Massachusetts of Norway — we are peering as far as we can into the future of marriage in a world where gay marriage is almost totally accepted. What we see is a place where marriage itself has almost totally disappeared.” He asserts that “Scandinavian gay marriage has driven home the message that marriage itself is outdated, and that virtually any family form, including out-of-wedlock parenthood, is acceptable.” But it’s not just Norway. Blankenhorn reports this same trend in other countries. International surveys show that same-sex marriage and the erosion of traditional marriage tend to go together. Traditional marriage is weakest and illegitimacy strongest wherever same-sex marriage is legal. 

You might say, “Correlation doesn’t always indicate causation!” Yes, but often it does. Is there any doubt that liberalizing marriage laws impacts society for the worse? You need look no further than the last 40 years of no-fault divorce laws in the United States (family disintegration destroys lives and now costs taxpayers $112 billion per year!).

No-fault divorce laws began in one state, California, and then spread to rest of the country. Those liberalized divorce laws helped change our attitudes and behaviors about the permanence of marriage. There’s no question that liberalized marriage laws will help change our attitudes and behaviors about the purpose of marriage. The law is a great teacher, and if same-sex marriage advocates have their way, children will be expelled from the lesson on marriage.

These are things that Christians need to know to intelligently discuss same-sex marriage. Most of his facts are things that I’ve blogged about before, but it helps to have it all in one place. The only concern I have is that you cannot even talk about the issue using facts any more – because you get shut down.

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