There was a Tweet around midnight, linking to an open letter to the President from one Joe Carter, in a blog of Touchstone, a magazine with which I’ve had an on again, off again relationship over the years:
This is something that, you know, we’ve talked about over the years and she, you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do. And that is that, in the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids and that’s what motivates me as president and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better I’ll be as a as a dad and a husband and hopefully the better I’ll be as president.”
Here’s Carter’s response:
[Y]our implying that Jesus supports same-sex marriage—and there really is no other way to interpret your statement—is nothing short of blasphemous.
No, Mr. President, Jesus does not support same-sex marriage. Even a liberal Christian like you should not be able to make such an historically and theologically absurd claim with a straight face. The history of Christian thought on sexual ethics from the time of the stoning of Stephen to the Stonewall riots has been consistent that engaging in homosexual behavior is strictly and clearly prohibited by God’s Word.
Be it duly noted that we have no law against blasphemy (unlike, say, “treason”), but the word is still emotionally loaded, especially in the context of Touchstone (for reasons I’ll not go into). Carter links to a less conclusory blog by Denny Burk, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, that ticks off four reasons why Obama’s rationale is deficient.
In the early comboxes, “Brian” somebody aptly alludes to Islamdom (where blasphemy still tends to be taken quite seriously):
It’s one thing to say you would enjoy going to a pig roast. It’s quite another to say that the Muslim prophet Muhammed sanctions pig roasts.
I am, I fear, so inured to the pervasive transgressivism of modern pop culture, and have such low expectations for intelligent comment coming from the pews of liberal Protestantism (or from the Oval Office generally), that blasphemy like this, if blasphemy it be, is almost inaudible to me. So I thank Carter and Burk for amplifying it.
A young Priest in the Orthodox Christian Church blogged this yesterday, reacting to the North Carolina SSM referendum:
In a world where everyone knows he’s a sinner and is actively working to repent, one can never have much ground to assume that one’s fellow sinners are “hateful,” etc. But in a world where I am perfect and right, of course anyone who disagrees with me is “hateful.”
When my gay friend asked me whether I was required to hate her, I told her no. She asked me why. I told her it’s because, even though I see homosexual activity (though not identity) as sinful, I believed my own sins were far worse than hers. It’s true. I really do. And I am (by choice) bound by my faith commitments to believe that, to see myself as the “chief of sinners.” I confess that every time I am about to engage in the most central act of my faith—receiving Holy Communion.
I blogged last week about Fr. Thomas Hopko’s Speaking the Truth in Love podcast episode, titled Radical Monogamy. Same-sex marriage was not his focus, but he doesn’t live in a cave, either, so he noted in passing, correctly, that marriage other than between a man and a woman is nonsensical in the Christian tradition.
Nothing in the Golden Rule requires me to be an enabler of someone else’s deviation from God’s will, as I would want to be rebuked (lovingly, of course) if I deviated therefrom in sexual or other matters.
Nothing in the Golden Rule, or in the American political desiderata of equality, requires that government treat alike acts, persons or relationships that are materially different. I remain proud of the basic thrust of Indiana Court of Appeals decision in Morrison v. Sadler:
[W]e believe the proper analysis under the Indiana Constitution’s Equal Privileges and Immunities Clause is whether recognizing same-sex marriage would further the State of Indiana’s interest in “responsible procreation,” not whether such recognition would harm that interest. The Baker court’s emphasis on the fact that many same-sex couples are having children through adoption and assisted reproduction, which fact we do not dispute, fails to take into account the highly significant difference in the way in which opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples become parents. This difference, inherent to each class, forms the rational basis for distinguishing between opposite-sex and same-sex couples under the Indiana Constitution.
I feel the wind rising, and it’s in my face, not at my back. But I see that as a sign of the pervasive insanity of the age, about which I have blogged so pervasively that I’ll not even attempt to summarize. I take comfort in one of my morning prayers:
Whatsoever tidings I may receive during the day, do Thou teach me to accept tranquilly, in the firm conviction that all eventualities fulfill Thy Holy Will.
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