You are hereConservative Politics, Homosexual Marriage and The Bible
Conservative Politics, Homosexual Marriage and The Bible
by Mickey Denen
Theodore B. Olson, in the Jan 9, 2010 edition of Newsweek, explains why he is “attempting to persuade a federal court to invalidate California's Proposition 8—the voter-approved measure that overturned California's constitutional right to marry a person of the same sex.” The enter article may be read here: http://www.newsweek.com/id/229957.
He goes the great length to explain why same-sex marriage is an “American value” which ought to be defended and is a core right guaranteed by the United States Constitution. In the opening paragraphs he defines the presuppositions which create his worldview and ultimately lead to his conclusions. Olson says, “My answer to this seeming conundrum rests on a lifetime of exposure to persons of different backgrounds, histories, viewpoints, and intrinsic characteristics, and on my rejection of what I see as superficially appealing but ultimately false perceptions about our Constitution and its protection of equality and fundamental rights.” While these presuppositions and worldview are very appealing to contemporary American citizen, should this be the basis for truth and law in the United Sates?
Are Olson’s presuppositions, the correct ones for conservatives; for Christians? One of the powerful lessons we in the community of believers who embrace a view of fulfilled eschatology have learned and I would argue is a core presupposition of our attempts to understand how we should live in the restored presence of God is “the Bible can never mean to us what it never meant to the original inspired writer or informed original audience.” This presupposition leads us to our understanding of God’s Kingdom, salvation and resurrection from the dead. Is a form of this presupposition a legitimate approach to politics in the United States?
Is it legitimate for us to say the United Sates Constitution can never mean to us in 21st century what it did not meant the original authors? I submit for your consideration this is a legitimate and the correct approach to Law in the United States. This will be the foundational argument in this the article.
The preamble the United States Constitution sets out the foundational goals of this document. The Constitutions stated goals are “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence(1) , promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity(2) ” What did this mean to them? Some who only read the history of that time in a superficial way would argue the framers of the Constitution only intended these goals to be extended to rich, white, Christian men. They do this out of ignorance, bias or both. Olson rightly points out, “The dream that became America began with the revolutionary concept expressed in the Declaration of Independence in words that are among the most noble and elegant ever written: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’" So while no mention of “God” exist in the United Sates Constitution the basic presupposition for our laws was and ought to be those rights which are revealed by the Creator mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. Who is this Creator in the minds of the author and his audience? Certainly we may not assume Jefferson was an “orthodox Christian” of his time. He said, “I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature,” “I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.(3) ” and “I am an Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greek and Roman leave to us.(4) ” Yet the second quote, I submit, reveals what Creator he had in mind. When he used the term Creator he was thinking the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I would also submit the second quote revels who his contemporary audience understood this Creator to be this same God. Yet Olson continues to argue his position from his presuppositions and worldview. His only hint of consideration given to what the founding fathers of our nation would consider the source of our rights is to say, “Even those whose religious convictions preclude endorsement of what they may perceive as an unacceptable ‘lifestyle’ should recognize that disapproval should not warrant stigmatization and unequal treatment,” and “I understand, but reject, certain religious teachings that denounce homosexuality as morally wrong, illegitimate, or unnatural; and I take strong exception to those who argue that same-sex relationships should be discouraged by society and law.” This apparently is his trump card. He rejects the source of the rights that he desires to uphold. He has failed to make his argument by arbitrarily deciding to reject the source the founding fathers had in mind and elevating his worldview above the worldview of the founding fathers.
Olson appeals to science and history as the basis for the right for homosexuals to marry. Yet that same science proves that greater than 98% of cervical cancer can be prevented by a woman only having one sexual partner in a lifetime. Using Olson’s logic, since human history proves that woman only having one sexual partner for a lifetime is not pragmatic, we as a culture to ought to reject what science has proven. Olson’s work as a lawyer has clouded his mind to the difference between truth and a legal judgment.
I know I have not proven that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob thinks of homosexuality as an “unacceptable lifestyle” or “morally wrong.” That is beyond the scope of this article and may come in a later article. I agree with others who say that Christianity is the presupposition of intelligibility. I submit that the founding documents of this nation are based upon this same presupposition.
Olson has not made his case. He is inconsistent and arbitrary. We will see if the federal judges and ultimately the United States Supreme Court agree with my assessment.
1 The fact that the Constitution was penned and created by imperfect men is shown to be glaringly true by the preserved errors. For an explanation of these errors see: http://www.usconstitution.net/constmiss.html
2 The Constitution of the United States of America. 1998 (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
3 The arbitrary nature and poor logic of Jefferson’s statement is left to another discussion