Thinking Christian

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My Goals In the Same-Sex “Marriage” Debate

Posted on Jan 7, 2013 by Tom Gilson

I think I ought to be open about what I’m trying to accomplish in the same-sex “marriage” (SSM) debate.

There are essentially three groups of people: those who are convinced SSM is wrong/impossible, those who think it is a great idea, and those who are potentially persuadable either way.

For the first group, I hope to offer encouragement, and to equip them to be more effective in presenting their position, especially with the persuadable. See also below for a further goal of mine.

The third group includes the rising generation. I hope to persuade them, or to equip their parents, churches, etc. to be able to show them that SSM is wrong and/or impossible, so therefore it’s reasonable, humane, civil, and right to oppose SSM.

I think it’s unlikely anything I say will persuade many in the second group, those who think SSM is a really marvelous idea. My goal with you who are in that group is that you would discover again what it means to treat the rest of us as humans. It is a modest goal. You speak of our hatred and bigotry, as you see it; I hope to help you reflect on yours. You will see much of that in action in the previously linked series as well as in two recent discussions here.

In my series on treating one another as humans I have devoted considerable space to urging Christians to do the same with homosexuals and homosexual advocates; for it is our calling in Christ to love one another, and we have not always done that well.

Those are my simple goals in these discussions.

13 Responses to “ My Goals In the Same-Sex “Marriage” Debate ”

  1. anon says:

    Are the second and third groups swapped? I’d expect it to be more reasonable to hope to persuade the persuadable group, and less reasonable to persuade those that already think SSM is a great idea. (Then again, maybe it’s a subtle claim that those who can be persuaded either way are lukewarm and, through apathy, are not treating the rest of us as human?)

  2. Tom Gilson says:

    Thanks for catching that error! I’ve edited the blog post to correct it.

  3. Bryan says:

    As a former conservative Christian, I know where you’re coming from. So I don’t think ill of you.

  4. Crude says:

    As a former conservative Christian, I know where you’re coming from. So I don’t think ill of you.

    Considering what you’ve said about this debate – no, I strongly suspect you don’t know where Tom, or many others who oppose SSM, are coming from. It sounds more like you had a pretty terrible understanding of Christianity generally and the SSM issue specifically, and assume that everyone else must make those mistakes. Thankfully, that’s not the case.

    Hopefully you’ll learn something. Even more hopefully, you’ll be able to admit you were wrong in your thoughts about SSM and Christianity.

  5. Earl Morton says:

    I think you need to check the fifth and sixth paragraphs again. Your pronouns seem to jump back and forth between second and third person, so it’s hard to follow who you’re referring to. Also, there is an extra “that” at the end of the sixth paragraph. I don’t mean to be critical; I just want to understand what you’re saying.

  6. Tom Gilson says:

    I really did mix up my edits there. Thanks for flagging me on it. It’s fixed now.

  7. Callisto says:

    So are you saying that whatever stand we have on same-sex marriage depends on our religion? That if you’re Christian (if you’re really Christian), you’re suppose to be opposed to SSM? I just want to clarify that. Thanks! And, by the way, I like how you wrote this. It was very clear and I was really enlightened. Thanks for that, too!

  8. Tom Gilson says:

    No, Callisto, I said what I said, not what you say I said.

    I cordially invite you to re-read the blog post, which is where you will find what I said.

  9. anon says:

    I don’t really think SSM is a marvelous idea. I don’t think it’s wrong, either. And I’m not on the persuadable side. I think it’s normal–people marry the person they want to be with forever.I don’t think gay people should be deprived from that right just because they’re gay. But, you know, that’s just my opinion. And I respect everyone’s opinion.

  10. Callisto says:

    It was a question. I didn’t dictate that you said that. And I asked that question for the sake of argument and clarification. It wasn’t some sort of attempt to attack you personally. So can you at least try to reply to comments without being so defensive? thanks.

  11. Tom Gilson says:

    You’re right, Callisto, I reacted badly and it was wrong. I have had a couple of really difficult days in the past two weeks. Besides that, I got confused as to which discussion thread you were commenting on, since there have been a few of them going on at once, which also contributed to my reacting as I did.

    So please accept my apologies. Sometimes I just do wrong things and need to request forgiveness.

    I’ll be back in a bit with an answer to your question.

  12. Tom Gilson says:

    I do not think that religion solely dictates SSM thinking. That is, there are plenty of great reasons to support marriage between a man and a woman, reasons that can be grasped with no dependence whatsoever on the Christian Scriptures. Now of course it’s true that Christians know of reasons from Scripture too. But the argument against SSM can go forward quite strongly without bringing that other information.

    I suggest you peruse my previous posts on this topic, and these in particular:

    my review of What is Marriage? and the series, SSM, Reason, and the Religious Divide.

    Thanks for asking, and please accept my apologies again.

  13. Anna says:

    Same sex marriage goes against scripture. It is God who is against it. Christians are scripturally obliged to “tolerate” customs, beliefs, laws, and behaviors of those who may disagree with their Bible based beliefs. However,tolerance and acceptance are two completely different words. While we “tolerate” these behaviors that does not mean we accept or consider them appropriate for the God fearing Christian. Since Christians are to be “no part of the world” we do not in any way prohibit others from living their lives as outlined in man’s laws. The first century Christians did not invovle themselves in the politics of their day. The looked to God’s Kingdom as their future hope and were commissioned to preach THIS message to all humans.

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