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Gay Marriage:  Why Should Christians Care?
by Leslie Alexander
01 April 2004Pink Triangle

That gays should be denied the right to marry is hard to argue when the sexual lives of most married Americans, Christian or otherwise, look very much like the sexual lives of practicing homosexuals.

In the controversy surrounding gay marriage, Christians of all persuasions have risen up to protest what has been characterized as a mockery of traditional values.  Evangelicals and fundamentalists have led the opposition, followed closely by individual Catholics and the Church in Her official capacity.  That is all well and good.  But there is a hollowness to these objections that emasculates serious opposition.  In large part, true marriage was dead a long time ago.

In 1930, when Protestant acceptance of artificial birth control became widespread, the conviction was born that one could be a faithful Christian and also lock God out of the bedroom.  It became fashionable for Protestants to “claim Jesus as my Lord and Savior,” and then arrange for the pill prescription, prophylactic, tubal ligation or vasectomy after the second or third child.  Seemingly, there was no contradiction between one and the other.   The groundwork was thus laid for the fanciful illusion of a Christian life that has persisted to this day. 

Dissident Catholics soon followed.  For the first time, sexual sin ceased to be a deterrent to the reception of the sacraments. According to surveys, churchgoing Catholics in large numbers now practice artificial birth control in defiance of Church teaching.  In fact, there is only a negligible difference in the breakdown as compared to non-Catholic Christians who contracept.  Clearly, for the majority of self-described Christians in the United States, marital sex that has been reduced to the mere satisfaction of base desire is neither a hindrance nor an obstacle to a conspicuous profession of faith.

We are now faced with same-sex couples that seek the social, legal and moral legitimacy that marriage confers. And why shouldn’t they?  If the only requirement for a sanctioned marriage is sexual intimacy and the emotional connection that accompanies it, it is logical for gay couples to question why they are denied participation in our most basic human institution.  

And frankly, that gays should be denied the right to marry is hard to argue when the sexual lives of most married Americans, Christian or otherwise, look very much like the sexual lives of practicing homosexuals.  Serial marriage, rampant adultery and an anti-child mentality pervade the culture.   Most significant, when marriage is rendered sterile and devoid of life through contraception, marriage is just sex.  And sex becomes the origin and final end of marriage.   Why would homosexuals believe otherwise? 

Marriage is a sacrament instituted by Christ for the transmission of life and for the mutual sanctification of spouses. This is not news to those who understand.  But until the true purpose and transcendent role of marriage is unabashedly proclaimed from all Christian pulpits and from all Christian voices, those who object to homosexual marriage haven’t got a leg to stand on.  And maybe they shouldn’t win the argument.    

Leslie Alexander teaches high school English in Lafayette, Louisiana.  She worked in the White House correspondence office in 1990-1992.

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