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An Evangelical Fundamentalist’s view on gay marriage: faithful, not faith

March 1, 2013

The issue of gay marriage has become a hot button, politically correct laden problem. I am an evangelical and a fundamentalist, which means if I were to express views in opposition to gay marriage, in outsider’s eyes that must mean I’m a homophobe who hates all non-heterosexuals. This demagogy eliminates any genuine discussion that could be had on the topic. I have heard the same argument multiple times, “Why does the church care what happens in your bedroom? The church should stay out of marriage.” My reply is that the government needs to get out of marriage completely.

For thousands of years, marriages have been a function of both the state and religious institutions. This was because the head of government was also the head of the state religion. This is why the Queen of England was also known as the “defender of the faith.” She was literally the head of the Church of England (Anglican). When the United States was established, our founders desired to divorce religious life from the government. They accomplished this through the First Amendment’s provisions in regards to religion. However, there was a practical issue about the conduction of marriage. Marriage was a religious function, but it also is a function of the states. This is why ministers are able to marry; they act as agents of the state.

That would seem to point to marriage as a function of government. However, in modern/postmodern society that assumption would be false. Government was involved historically in marriage for a couple of reasons. First, so they could exert population control by knowing the married families of peasants. The government didn’t want an overpopulation of peasants or there may be an uprising. Second, even in Roman times, the sanctity of marriage was thought to help keep the nuclear family in place. So, in our modern day where the nuclear family is despised by postmodernism and the government shouldn’t be in charge of population control, why is the modern state involved in marriage?

On the other hand, marriage is a sacrament in many religions. Like ancient governments, the majority of religions have always valued the traditional nuclear family. When government begins talking about allowing gay marriage, it causes great concern. Will ministers be forced to perform homosexual marriages, and if they choose not to, will they be sued or jailed for hate crimes or discrimination? Many ministers in the United States believe this would be an infringement on the constitutional protection given in the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
My uncle, who is a homosexual, once told me that he didn’t believe it was fair for certain rights to be granted to married heterosexuals and not to homosexual couples. These rights are visitation rights in hospitals, coverage on health insurance and being able to file jointly on taxes. I believe there are remedies to all these issues that do not lead to homosexual marriages. However, it concerns me that the motivation for marriage seems to be because of legal benefits or making a political point. If I didn’t get any benefits from my marriage, I would still be married.

I believe marriage should be a commitment between couples to be faithful for life. I do not believe government has any role in marriage. Marriage still has a religious function, and it should be administered in a community of faith or non-faith. If homosexuals want to commit themselves in accordance with their religious beliefs, then literally there is nothing stopping them. If this push is for “benefits” or making people accept their lifestyles, then they are mistaken. This will not lead to religious acceptance of homosexuality and marriage stops being about a commitment to a loved one for life and it becomes about monetary gain.

Elisha French
Contributing Writer

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