The Family: What it Means to America - Part 2
Romans 1:18-32, as noted in part 1 of this article, is a synopsis of the degradation of societies who deny the existence of God. Their regression from truth and high moral standards spirals them toward the depths of moral depravity in every conceivable arena—sexual immorality, violence, gossip, hatred, disobedience to authority, and a simple lack of loving concern.
While most societies have to endure some profligates who participate in these kinds of sins, when such becomes the norm for a society, there is major trouble, inviting the wrath of God (Romans 1:18). God, who still reigns over nations (Jeremiah 18:7-10; Acts 17:26; Romans 13:1-7), pronounces judgment on those who, as a culture, turn against Him (Ezekiel 14:13). It would seem even more trouble ensues when a society is so corrupt that all such immorality is enshrined into law.
Let American citizenry, especially Christians, be done with such talk of the government not being in the business of legislating morality. If the government does not legislate morality, then take off the books all laws against drug use, public drunkenness, and murder. In many areas, if the government does not legislate morality, it legislates immorality. This is the case in America where abortions have progressed from the first trimester to the second trimester to the third, and then to partially born and even out of the womb (many “born-alive protection” bills seek to protect babies who survive abortions from being left to die in the operating room, yet some politicians vehemently stand against these protections and thus in favor of this infanticide). What could one think of such a violent government, where the right to kill children is enshrined into law? It makes no difference that other nations do it, or that its practice has been around for centuries. It is “unloving” (Romans 1:31), “violent” (Romans 1:30), and an affront to everything that is holy. It deserves the righteous judgment of God (Romans 1:32), yet many Christians still approve of those who practice it (Romans 1:32).
The Romans’ passage, in the midst of a list concise in brevity, still spends considerable time on another anti-family issue that is ever becoming more enshrined in American law. Men and women accepting and seeking members of the same gender for sexual fulfillment, partnering, and rearing of children is thereby designated as one of the last stops toward the fullness of degradation. When God “gives up” on a people, this is the kind of behavior they aggressively purport.
Harold Voth knew it in 1978, when he observed,
Homosexuality is on the increase as could have been predicted. This condition is abnormal; the cause has been unequivocally traced to childhood experiences within the family and to the personalities of the parents and the nature of their relationship. One’s biology does not cause the condition. The increase in this form of psychopathology is directly related to the faulty psychological development of the child within his disturbed family. It is an ominous fact that the gay movement is having its way of life redefined as a simple variant of normal human sexuality and woven into the fabric of society. Dr. Abram Kardiner, a distinguished physician, psychoanalyst and anthropologist, notes that homosexuality reaches an epidemic level in societies in crises or in a state of collapse . . . The increasing component of psychopathology which has crept into the American character is causing our society to overimplement social legislation to such an extent that it is rapidly becoming a taboo, if not an outright crime, to acknowledge the difference between male and female. (Voth—emp. added)
This author knows not if Voth lived to see the social legislation of the last few years, including first the compromising implementation of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and then the further-pressing repeal of it. Was he witness to the repeal of anti-sodomy laws? Did he live to see a president endorse homosexual marriage? Will we live to see enshrinement of such into law?
This agenda of the homosexual community was no imagined figment of one zealot doctor. The plan was well-laid-out in the book, After the Ball, written, by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen in 1989. Their manifesto for homosexual acceptance in the community included a plan for desensitizing a heterosexually based society and silencing those who would not be converted to their beliefs. Labeling such traditionalists as “homohaters” and “intransigent,” their designs included advertising and celebrity endorsements to promulgate their doctrines.
Their deceptive, anti-logical approach was planned to be purposeful:
Moreover, we cannot disprove the validity of the Bible, or of other authoritative sources of moral judgment, nor even attempt to do so without arousing tremendous antagonism. For us to attempt to argue with homohaters is to risk carrying the argument onto their turf, which gives attention and, implicitly, credence to many of their basic assumptions. Thus, if we’re going to enter into arguments with them, we’d better have a strong emotional appeal in our back pocket (Kirk, Madsen 139-140).
The desensitization plan was as follows:
When you’re very different, and people hate you for it, this is what you do: first you get your foot in the door, by being as similar as possible; then, and only then—when your one little difference is finally accepted—can you start dragging in your other peculiarities, one by one. You hammer in the wedge narrow end first. As the saying goes, allow the camel’s nose beneath your tent, and his whole body will soon follow. (Kirk, Madsen 140).
Their plan outlines “propagandistic advertising” (Kirk, Madsen 147) to achieve their effect “without reference to fact, logic, or proof” (147). They are even so bold as to affirm, “But it makes no difference that the ads are lies” (154).
Aiming for acceptance by society, and property rights through marriage, they realize not everyone will be converted. Thus, they state, “Our primary objective regarding diehard homohaters of this sort is to cow and silence them as far as possible” (176).
Truth does not matter to those willing to rebel against God at the moral level. All they can think of is their end goals. Achievement of these verifies as legitimate, in their minds, whatever ends they have employed.
Going back and reading their objectives after twenty years of watching them unfold is quite chilling. The observers of the past two decades have witnessed the “coming out” of several stars, feature movies alleging the nobility of gay cowboys, and a media obsessed with crimes against homosexuals but saying nothing about the crimes by homosexuals against their straight neighbors and children (compare the case of Matthew Shepard and that of Jesse Dirkhising [Farah]).
This would be a good point to insert a clarification, reminder, and call. Christians will necessarily always object to the legal sanctioning of homosexuality. Christians will always need to preach it as sin. But, in the fight against evil, never forget that many, especially young ones, are taken in by a sin due to its temptation and are most definitely not part of a militant movement. They’re struggling with a behavior which can be overcome. They were not born that way, no matter how much worldly adults want them to so believe (see Miller, Harrub 2004). But they struggle. They deserve all the compassion of the Christ, and loving exposure to the saving gospel, that can, as it had in New Testament times, convert homosexuals into God-fearing, converted, washed, and sanctified saints (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Christians fight against a militant movement, not struggling individuals. And even in the fight, Christians must never resort to carnal weapons (2 Corinthians 10:4-5), but “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:19-21).
Still, the militant movement must be understood and met in the elective and legislative processes. The goals of this movement, if reflected accurately by Kirk and Madsen, include a society modeled after ancient Greece and other societies, where young boys at puberty were recruited by older men as male lovers. Lest the claim seem too outlandish, their quote follows:
The ancient Greek model seems to have worked something like this. As an attractive boy—of, say, sixteen or so—passed through puberty (which, for nutritional reasons, occurred much later in those days than it does now) into youth, his boyish looks would attract the attention of an older, presumably more mature and established, man—of, say, thirty or so. The adult—following the youth about, observing him at his work and play, and so forth—would form an estimation of whether the youth’s character were as attractive as his body and face. If it were not so, it would be dishonorable to favor the youth with further attentions. If it were so, the adult would begin to ‘court’ the youth, with conversation, presents, and the like, of whose meaning the youth would be readily aware. During this courtship, the youth would, in turn, form an estimation of the adult’s character, as to honesty, integrity, maturity, courage—in short, the age-old virtues we all (should) admire. Should the adult not come up to snuff, the youth would refuse his presents and send him packing. (Or not—but failure to do so would be a sign that the youth’s motivation was mercenary—a state of affairs tantamount, for the Greeks, to male prostitution, which was legally punishable.) If, however, the youth found the adult as worthy as the adult found him, he might agree to become the beloved (eromenos) of his adult lover (erastes)—an alliance partaking equally of the qualities of father-son, teacher-student, and big brother-little brother relationships…with the super added bond of explicitly sexual love. As with all relationships, that of the erastes and the eromenos entailed an understood exchange: . . .” the youth would share his beauty and enthusiasm, the adult his strength, security, and guidance—as well as more tangible assets, including training in arms, a position in the adult’s business, and so forth. From the point of view of the community, as well, this arrangement discharged a natural need—for homosexual gratification—in a manner advantageous to public character and morality” (Kirk, Madsen 367-368).
Similarly, it was understood that when the eromenos became a full-fledged man—and had absorbed all the (socially valuable) teaching that the erastes could impart—he would cease to be a lover, and would marry a woman and sire children. Neither his nor his former erastes’ marriage, however, would end their friendship, nor prevent either one of them from forming a fresh alliance, in turn, with a younger male . . . and so on. Something like this, suitably updated (that is, without the wife and kids), is what we tentatively recommend as a new ideal for gay men—a family structure of their own” (Kirk, Madsen 368)
Of course, those are the goals of Kirk and Madsen. The goals of everyone in the homosexual community would be too complex to incorporate here, but they have aggressively made it clear that these include legal marriage, adoption, and a host of other special protections. They base their desires on the fulfillment of these privileges in ancient societies (Kirk, Madsen 366). It never seems to occur to them that these societies, in accord with Scripture, ended up falling (Romans 1:18-32; Jeremiah 18:7-10). They cry for tolerance, but tolerance is their code word for endorsement. If they cannot achieve endorsement, their angry outbursts flare.
Preservation of the American Family
While, as earlier observed, it is axiomatic that legislation along these lines is either legislating morality or immorality, it is also true that morality cannot be forced upon free-will human beings. The first line of defense for Christians, therefore, is the preaching of the gospel. And the first course in preaching the gospel to a postmodern, post-Christian age is the defense of the existence of the God of the Bible.
This author had occasion to have correspondence with a recently out-of-the-closet homosexual. The conversations were always cordial. The avowed homosexual would persist in wanting to discuss the social aspects of fairness, pressing for the legislative enactment of rights. This author kept trying to steer the conversation in a different direction—past social recognition, prior to supposed scientific justification, and even before biblical arguments (for if one does not believe in the Bible, what good would these do?). The question of interest was this and only this for the primal point of that conversation: Is there a God?
The discussion must begin there. If there is a God, and it can be proven, then a lot of things follow. The Bible has no other explanation than to be His word. Being His word, that would authorize its morals and ethics as applicable to all men (cf. Acts 17:30-31). If the Bible is God’s word, then homosexual behavior is wrong (Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). If homosexual behavior is wrong, then God did not create people to be that way (what kind of God would condemn a practice, then create people with an irresistible urge toward it?). If God did not create anyone that way, then it follows that God would not approve of the antagonism toward His divine will and way that is imposed by man via legislation. It all hinges on whether there is a God. The old cliché is cliché for a reason: it is right. “If there is no God, nothing matters; if there is a God, nothing else matters.”
Christians wanting to save the American family do so first and foremost by preaching the gospel of Christ, beginning with the defense of the existence of God, then moving to the discussion of the Bible and culminating with the Deity of the authoritative (Matthew 28:18) Christ.
But, Christians can also do more. Christians, in view of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 22:21-22 (“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s…”), and by example of Paul’s political intercession (Acts 16:35-40), apparently on behalf of the Philippian brethren, can be involved politically and use their rights for the good of the cause of Christ. One should respect the governing authorities (Romans 13:1), but in a government ostensibly “of the people, by the people, and for the people” the people exercise their governing power with their votes. How, then, can Christians justify the approval (by their participation in the polls) of those who practice such sins (Romans 1:32), defend such sins, and legislate in favor of such sins? Such is not defensible under some imagined, individual separation of church from state. It is incomprehensible for the one who is a “partaker of Christ” (Hebrews 3:14).
Harold Voth made this rallying cry toward the end of his 1978 speech: “This means, above all, preventing the passage of laws which ignore the difference between a male and a female, and which undermine the security and stability of the family and the nation. Strong pioneer families created this country; strong families and strong leaders will save it” (Voth). This challenge is echoed in the following quote, attributed widely to James A. Garfield (1876):
Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. If the next centennial does not find us a great nation, it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.
Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty . . . of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers. (John Jay, First Chief Justice, in Price 49)
Of course, rare is it that New Testament Christians run for office. Even if they did and when they do, they would still not be perfect people. The point is that Christians exercise their rights for the prevailing of Christian principles and protections.
For that reason, it might not be overstatement to assert that the preservation of the American family begins with me. Will I be a defendant of the American tradition? Much more importantly, will I be a proponent of the biblical design? Will I be an evangelist of the gospel? Will I prepare myself to defend the existence of God?
Societal peace and eternal salvation hang in the balance.
Amato, Paul R., Alan Booth, David R. Johnson, and Stacy J. Rogers. Alone Together: How Marriage in America is Changing. Cambridge: Harvard, 2007.
Farah, Joseph. “Jesse Dirkhising’s Deliverance.” World Net Daily, 15 Nov. 1999. Web. 9 Sept. 2012. http://www.wnd.com/1999/11/1482/.
Kirk, Marshall and Hunter Madseon. After the Ball. New York: Doubleday, 1989.
Miller, Dave and Brad Harrub. “‘This is the Way God Made Me’—A Scientific Examination of Homosexuality and the ‘Gay Gene.’” Apologetics Press 2004. Web. 9 Sept. 2012. http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1388
Price, Scott Todd. In God We Trust: Why God Belongs in the Past, Present, and Future of the United States. Nashville: 21st Century Christian, 2004.
Voth, Harold M. “The Family and the Future of America.” Alabama Journal of Medical Sciences. Vol. 15, No. 3 (1978).