Challenge: So You’re Against Same-Sex Marriage Because It’s Sinful?

Posted: August 14, 2012 by Amy Hall in Do the Right Thing, Weekly Challenge

If you haven’t seen this chart on Facebook yet, you probably will. How will you, or how did you, respond? It saddens me because it shows that people aren’t aware of the arguments actually being made against same-sex marriage, and they have even less of an understanding of Christian theology. But they’re unaware of their lack of understanding on both counts because they’re getting all their information from the people they agree with.

But now, here you are! Your friend is asking you what you think, and you have an opportunity to answer. What do you say? Tactically, how would you go about responding to this? The difficult thing about a chart like this is that it expresses so many different objections that could be addressed. Your friends are unlikely to read an extremely long, detailed answer on Facebook, so how would you engage them on this topic in a productive way? What would you address first, knowing that you may not have a chance to answer everything?

Give us your ideas, and we’ll hear a response to this chart from Alan on Thursday.

Comments
  1. Adrian Urias says:

    Right, so there is a lot here, so, when asked the question at the very top, just say “No” that way you do not have to go through all those objections. I do not believe that because homosexuality is sinful, that homosexuals therefore ought not get married. I’m still against same-sex marriage, but that is not the reason why. I believe pre-marital sex is sinful, but I don’t conclude from that that a straight couple who has had sex should therefore not get married.

    And when they ask why I am against it, I simply tell them. It just isn’t applicable to same-sex couples, but nature or definition or whatever.. And then perhaps we can get into a fruitful discussion. Perhaps (but probably not).

    So basically, just hit it at the top of the graph, at the question, save yourself the work.

  2. If I only had a very short window to reply eg. a Facebook comment, I would say that I love the graphic work but that my belief that homosexuality is sinful is not the reason for me thinking that same-sex marriage shouldn’t be legalised. Therefore, I get to answer “no” to the first question, get to be re-included into civilised society and get to remove myself from this rhetorically redundant chart.

  3. Erik says:

    Amy’s right, there is a lot of information here, incorrect information at that, and a short quip won’t be able to effectively answer the varied challenges levied against Christians in this clever chart. And trying to respond in a forum like Facebook isn’t going to be effective because it will likely degenerate into name-calling and the spreading additional disinformation. Rather, I would toss out a few simple questions and an offer to anyone who is willing to seriously look at the truth behind this chart, to take the time to go through point by point and take the Bible for what it really says. I will say that whoever had the creativity to put this together has certainly done a good job of building up emotion and disarming unprepared Christians. Unfortunately serious issues like this can’t legitimately be fought out in a sound-bite arena. And, as I’ve seen with Christians around me, too many of our own are being taken in by these types of attacks, often because they simply don’t know how to respond. I mean, it sounds reasonable, right? I have to say I’m tempted to make up a similar graphic in response. But I don’t think that would help matters.

    Now, what questions to pose in response? It’s hard not to think of questions that sound a bit snarky considering the tone of this graphic, but here are some that come to mind:

    I can see why you’d be moved by what you read here, but I’m wondering, would you like to know what the Bible really has to say about it?

    Are you interested in hearing the truth, or just another quick-talking attack on my beliefs?

    Does the truth of what the Bible says about each of these issues really matter to you?

    Do you think that incorrect information, unnecessary hyperbole and name-calling are really the way to approach this discussion?

    Are you willing to take the time to go through each of these points, one by one, and seeing what the Bible really has to say about these issues?

    Do charts like this seem like a tolerant way to give consideration to my beliefs?

  4. Albert says:

    Yeah, I’m pretty much with the answer everyone else has already given. But if they pressed me further to answer some of the points, I would have to tell them that the person that made this chart really didn’t think through these comments but just recycled them from things they more than likely heard because not a single one of these is original or factual, except for the last argument on disgust.

    But what would be awesome to see is a concise list of arguments for each point. Anyone care to throw some out there?

    “Because Jesus said so!” Their response: “Not true, Jesus never uttered a word about same-sex marriage.”
    Our response? I would say that they are right. But Jesus did believe that the Law and the Prophets were really the Word of God and that he believed what was written in them. So because of that reason alone, Jesus would have accepted the fact that homosexuality is an abomination regardless if he himself ever condemned it verbally.
    And if they don’t like that response we could always as if they think Pedophilia is okay. And when they answer “Of course not!” We can respond with, “Why not, Jesus never uttered a word about pedophilia?”
    Perhaps they will then see the lack of thinking in that argument.

    Anyone care to take the others or add to this one?

  5. Wow, so many possibilities for discussion! I would probably start by asking, “Do you really think this is a fair representation of both sides of the issue? Personally, I think neither side looks good here. The ‘yes’ side, while it appears to be very enticing, is full of incorrect and incomplete statements. The ‘no’ side is much too simplistic. The ‘yes’ is demonized, while the ‘no’ is excused from scrutiny.”

  6. Sam Harper says:

    This chart is a nitpicker’s nightmare, so I’m just going to walk away.

  7. philwynk says:

    Wow, good grief, that chart is a hailstorm of ignorance. It’s wrong at every node! Where’d you get it?

    I particularly like the part that says “breeding clearly isn’t an issue anymore!” So I guess it’s alright if we depopulate the world? ‘Cause every political entity that has passed a law placing gay cohabitation under the same legal heading as “marriage” has a birth rate far below replacement level, and in about 50 years they will have passed the point where it will be possible statistically to reverse the direction of the population decline.

    Of course, it’s not correct to say that gay “marriage” is the cause of the birth rate decline. However, what is at the heart of that decline is a shift in thinking from marriage being for the perpetuation of the species to marriage being for “personal fulfillment.” Hedonism is killing the West; and the same hedonism is behind gay “marriage.” So I’m inclined to reject the entire system of thought. I’m not all that keen on the human race dying out.

  8. philwynk says:

    Just curious: what if my reasons for opposing letting gays call what they do together “marriage” are not specifically Bible-based? or is that not permitted?

  9. Dan Guinn says:

    Here’s the reply we (francisschaefferstudies.org) did on the graphic: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1COLSxtwcetyLA0piiL1_cctg-wXmokRGRFQ07NyDXbI

  10. jessica says:

    Thank you for bringing this up… I look forward to the artice thursday! I didn’t want to just start a fight or like you said a really long winded debate that people wont understand that are just based on facts instead of heart. The biggest problem with this whole discussion is the heart of it. People think its a hate thing and so offended when its brought up. As this proves they really don’t understand where we are coming from… thats why even tho I am for traditional marriage because of the entire ramifications of the way society will change without it… i refused to go to chik-filet or put signs up in my yard about it, because the people on the other side see that as hate… and even though that is not true I don’t think thats the kind of thing I should portray. While I will vote for it and try to make responses here and there, where it will be heard, I don’t think we should be trying to cause a fight or portraying something other then truth in love. By the way the person I saw post this is a christian :/

  11. David says:

    http://aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=5069

    (Skip to the 4:20 mark, he takes a while to get going).

    • jessica says:

      I only watched around the 6 min mark where he talks about Leviticus. It was a very good point that I forgot with all the propoganda… its not just one law we are trying to stick to from the old days… our whole law system is based on the majoirty of those points.

  12. Dawn says:

    Everyone else is on the same track as I am. It seems to me the best thing is to side-step it completely by using a non-biblical argument that the word “marriage” does not describe same-sex relationships. I can believe that same-sex sexual relations are sinful without that belief entering into my affirmation that one man and one woman in a long term monogamous relationship is the only kind of relationship that the word “marriage” describes.

    • jessica says:

      Everyone else keeps saying that, but really its just a politcal play to say that… most people don’t want same sex marriage to be normative and supported by government because of all the ramifications it would bring… leading to more encouragement and glorification of things that are sinful… to say something else just to side step it would be a lie imo

      • Dawn says:

        This graphic depends on someone using a biblical argument to condemn same sex marriage. That the argument is about morality. If that is not my argument, then I have no reason to engage with the graphic. If my argument against same sex marriage is not based on the morality of the behavior, but rather the natural order of things, then it is perfectly legitimate to say “This graphic doesn’t apply, therefore I have no reason to engage with it.” I could, but it would almost certainly be a pointless endeavor.

  13. J.R. Morales says:

    It seems to me that it’s based on a fallacy called “appeal to emotions.” It’s committed since answering “no” initially makes you a “part of civilized society.” It’s also committed when if you answer “yes” as answers which the chart offers no rebuttal for (Old/New Testament says so) – that makes you “sexist, chauvinistic…etc.”

    In other words, there’s no good reasons supporting same-sex marriage – it’s just an appeal to ridicule.

    That said, the chart is mostly based on misinformation. My takes, point by point:

    • “Jesus never said” ==> You’re right. He didn’t speak explicitly about same-sex relationships. He didn’t need to. He went – literally – to the HEART of the matter. He spoke out against ALL sexual sins, by pinning them on the heart.

    • “The Old Testament Says” ==> This is a basic categorical mistake with the laws. There’s different types of laws with different kinds of purpose. The ones that talk about everyday life (stuff to eat, things to wear, haircuts, etc) have to do with the Civil Laws that we don’t have to do. The moral laws (about fornication, murder, homosexuality, etc) have to do with the unchanging Character of God and we are still bound to them. WHY do we follow some laws and some not? I’ll leave you this link: http://theanswergirl.tumblr.com/post/8380149119/this-is-actually-one-of-my-favorites-to-refute

    • “The New Testament says” ==> The fact that Paul spoke against homosexuality and the fact that women shouldn’t teach in church are two separate things. One is, in fact, a sin… and it’s not the one about women.

    • “Adam and Steve” ==> Actually, Jesus restates that God made “man and woman” (Matthew 19:4-6), which could be a solid argument in the first point. In any case, it doesn’t matter the population. The purpose of marriage is to have children and maintain society.

    • “Bible vs marriage” ==> This is an AWESOME rebuttal to the different types of “unions” the Bible has ==> http://theanswergirl.tumblr.com/post/12509746906/marriage-whats-the-biblical-stance-clicking

    • “It’s disgusting.” ==> I actually agree that this is not a good reason to be against something. It’s not about personal preference, but about what is right and wrong, despite what anyone has to say about it.

    So, yeah. Homosexuality is sinful.

  14. I think the most important thing to look at here is the how the question is asked: “So you still think homosexuality is sinful? And therefore gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry?” The way the question is asked has the Christian defeated from the start because it forces you to defend the claim that same-sex marriage is a bad idea based on the fact that the Bible says it is sinful. All the critic has really done here is set up a series of straw man arguments (all of which are based on misinformation) that chase you away from the real issue which is why you actually think that same-sex marriage should not be endorsed by the government.

    I’d start my response by asking something like this, “Do you consider yourself a tolerant person? Are you willing to listen to my opinions even if they don’t reflect your own?” If the person says no, I have no desire to have a discussion with them, and if they say yes, it is going to be very difficult for them to criticize my position without looking like a bigot them self.

    Now I think we can knock down the entire challenge before we even begin by granting their premises. I’d say something like, “Okay, suppose I grant that everything in this chart is true. That’s not my position, but I’ll grant it for the sake of argument. What if I told you my beliefs about whether or not gays are allowed to marry have nothing to do with what I think the Bible says about it?” Provided he’s willing to hear me out, we’ve just side-stepped a major chase down rabbit trails and can stay focused on the real issue at hand: Should gays be allowed to marry?

    I have a lot to say on this subject but here’s my position in a few simple points:

    1. Gays are already allowed to marry. Absolutely nothing stops them from making lifelong commitments to one another and even holding ceremonies.

    2. What the homosexual community is really after here is the legal normalization of their behavior. If the government backs same-sex marriage, they believe society will be forced to look upon them with respect and honor, and I don’t think that is a demand they can justly make.

    3. Homosexuals cannot claim any sort of “basic right” to marriage anymore than heterosexuals can. The government has chosen to give these benefits to heterosexual marriages because it has a vested interest in their relationships, namely the proper rearing of the next generation.

    4. Studies have shown time and time again that the best situation possible for children is to have one mother and one father. Extreme cases such as abusive parents do nothing to diminish from this fact.

    There’s a lot more that could be said but that’s my position in a nutshell. For anyone interested, I just finished reading Frank Turek’s book “Correct, Not Politically Correct” which does an excellent job explaining the case against same-sex marriage in detail.

    Just to clarify, I do believe the Bible teaches that homosexuality is sinful and that the information in this chart is based off misinformation. However, seeing as the challenger is probably not a Christian, I don’t see the point of having that discussion with him. If he already rejects the Bible, clarifying it to him will not be helpful in a discussion that has little to nothing to do with it anyways.

  15. AngieS. says:

    A friend posted this on her FB page and my first response was, “Who do you say Jesus is?” And she never replied. But my response was going to include the following which literally comes from YOUR website or from the Enforcer:

    “Jesus is the Word. He’s God. God inspired every word of the Bible. So every word of the Bible is Jesus speaking – from Genesis to Revelation. The Old Testament passages and Paul’s writing on homosexuality are Jesus speaking. So the claim is just factually wrong: Jesus has spoken on the topic. If someone views Jesus as an authority, then they have to deal with all of the Bible’s teaching – not just the red letters.”

    Mark 7:19 Jesus declared all foods clean.

    “The mistake many people make about marriage in the OT is taking everything to be moral commands when much of the OT is reporting history. Never in any of the passages that report on the cultural marriage practices of the time are they approved of or communicated in a way that makes them examples. In fact, often the trouble that comes from the polygamous marriages can be taken as an example of what happens when we engage in cultural practices that break God’s law. About the only place in the OT where we have any textual reason to derive a moral practice about marriage is in the creation account because it’s the way God created it and said it was good. In the NT Jesus refers back to this saying it was so from the beginning – a man and woman. So people who try to use historical accounts as moral guidelines are just abusing the text.”

  16. To consider everyone hateful who disagrees with gay marriage, is such a twist of reality. No one should back down from their Biblical understanding. I like to turn the “hate” accusation around. It is not loving to encourage, endorse or approve of any behavior that one believes to be sinful, and therefore destructive. Ask: Do you like hypocrites? Me neither. If we, as Christians, are following the God of the Bible, revealed in Jesus Christ, we base our morality on what He deems to be correct behavior. I would ask, ‘Do you really think it is loving for me to encourage people to do something that I think will hurt or be destructive to them?The God of Christianity has informed us through his instruction manual, what is right and wrong, and our conscience (unless it’s been severed) So, the way I see it, those that are encouraging such behavior are actually the “hating” ones. They want for me to encourage, cheer and approve of relationships our God forbids. They want us to be hypocritical and actually cheer when there should be tears and sadness, as when anyone is involved in sin. All sin is destructive—it separates us from God and hurts us here on earth–or God wouldn’t say don’t do it. Satan has such a way of twisting to destroy, and of course that’s his mission! I would be a complete hypocrite, (and of course in the 70’s, and 80’s that was the biggest complaint about Christians!) if I go against the instruction manual that my God has supplied. See Romans in the N. T. Jesus is the one who taught the first disciples, and the Holy Spirit moved on the writers to bring God’s truth. Yes, there’s going to be a polarization on this (a sword as Jesus said would come–a division), and it begins with ideas. What makes this different than other sins, is this sin is glamorized, and they want us to call wrong, right. That’s not the case with most sins. I think Christians need not be intimidated by being accused of “hate”. Turn it around. That should stop that nonsense.

  17. Adrian Urias says:

    So a few comments have been made here ceding the point that Jesus didn’t say anything about homosexuality. I don’t think that is the right move to make. Jesus could have very well said something, but it was recorded. Why think that everything Jesus said and did was recorded in the Bible?

  18. Erik says:

    I’m amazed out how differently people are approaching this, and how effectively those different courses of thought could be used. I’m fairly new around this site, but I’m learning a lot by reading what you folks have to contribute. Keep up the good work. And to those that have posted links to additional information and videos, those have been very helpful too!

  19. Jesus certainly did speak directly about homosexuality, given that we Christians believe that the whole Bible is the Word of Jesus, not just the red letters.

  20. The Whyman says:

    I have noticed that those involved with the ‘homosexual agenda’ *very* often ask variations of the following question, thinking that it is a ‘silver bullet’ against marriage as God intended:

    “Jesus never condemned homosexuality,” or “What did Jesus say about homosexuality?”

    The idea being that since Jesus didn’t come right out and utter the words: “I Jesus condemn homosexuality”, then this is somehow proof that He approves if it, or at the very least didn’t think it was an issue.

    This is the ‘argumentum ex silentio’ logical fallacy -an argument from silence.

    Let us then be rational and employ a little deductive reasoning:

    Jesus also didn’t utter these words verbatim: “I, Jesus am the prophecised Messiah” or “I, Jesus proclaim that hypocrisy is bad” . The Bible doesn’t use words like ‘trinity’, ‘millenium’, ‘rapture’, ‘theocracy’ or ‘grandfather’ but the concepts are clearly there for those that read for themselves.

    It is baffling as to why the question is even asked since I am 100% positive that if you did a google search it would yield literally hundreds of thousands of results which corroborate what I’ve summarised here:

    ‘And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ “and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’” (Matthew 19:4)

    Here Jesus affirmed and confirmed that marriage as originally ordained by God at the beginning in Genesis was between one man and one woman.

    Furthermore, in a number of verses such as John 5:46-47 and John 16:12-15 that Jesus considered the ‘law of Moses’ (and indeed *all* of the Old Testament) to be true, (eg Matthew 5:17-19) and as such it logically follows that He would by necessity consider what the law said about homosexuality to be true also. (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Deuteronomy 23:17 etc)

    That should be sufficient to answer the question, but they should consider also New Testament verses such as Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and there is no escaping the conclusion that God never designed humanity to be homosexual in any way, shape or form.