Blog Archive


Come Reason's Apologetics Notes blog will highlight various news stories or current events and seek to explore them from a thoughtful Christian perspective. Less formal and shorter than the Web site articles, we hope to give readers points to reflect on concerning topics of the day.

Powered by Blogger.
Showing posts with label online. Show all posts
Showing posts with label online. Show all posts

Sunday, June 28, 2015

How to Debate Same-Sex Marriage After SCOTUS

This afternoon, I had a mini debate on Twitter with a gentleman about same-sex marriage. I wanted to reproduce it because it was a good and respectful dialogue; these are the kinds of conversations that help clarify Christian beliefs and positions to those who may not be familiar with all the reasons why so many are deeply concerned about the SCOTUS decision to redefine marriage.

To set up the conversation, I had tweeted an article entitled, Labeling peaceful proponents of traditional marriage “religious extremists” is as misleading as it is mean-spirited. That lead to Chip's first comment:
ChipSalonna: Labeling it "traditional marriage" is as funny as it is misleading.

Comereason: No. Marriage has been traditionally recognized as one thing for all of human civilization...
However, I use the term natural marriage because there a biological component involved as well.

ChipSalonna: Riiiight. Ever hear of Mormons? Or Muslims? Or Solomon?

Comereason: Yes, I have. So?
Can I ask you a question? How many wives did a Mormon or a Muslim or Solomon need to take before he was considered married?

ChipSalonna: After the first wife, how many more wives did a Mormon or Muslim have to take before they weren't considered married anymore?

Comereason: You make my point. The reference to traditional marriage is not a reference to NUMBER, but to the TYPE of union. 1 man, 1 woman..
2,000 years of western civilization is enough to claim something is tradition(al). Still, natural marriage a better descriptor.

ChipSalonna: So, you're ok with polygamy/polyamory? I find it hard to imagine that's true but I can't wait to see where this goes.

Comereason: No, I'm not Ok with it. It is a deviant form of marriage, a distortion of the ideal. But it is a kind of marriage.

ChipSalonna: "Deviant". But "traditional". At least polygamy has THAT going for it.

Comereason: None of this is relevant to whether the union of two people of the same sex should be called a marriage.

ChipSalonna: See my other tweet w/link to Wikipedia.

Comereason: It's easy to Google things and Wikipedia is notoriously inept at being factual in hot button issues.
For example, Rome had marriage laws spelled out in the patria potestas, but those laws did not apply in same sex issues.
I agree that Greece, China, and even parts of India today have homosexual relationships. No one called it marriage, though.

ChipSalonna: As you wish. We call it "marriage" now.

Comereason: Do you have a Social Security number?

ChipSalonna: Rhetorical. What's your point?

Comereason: How many Social Security numbers should each person in the U.S. have?

ChipSalonna: [Waiting...]

Comereason: The IRS reports that there are many thousands of people who are issued multiple SS#'s. It doesn't make any of those NOT a SS#.
Further, you SHOULD only have ONE. But they are all real SS#s. What you are trying to argue is that because there have been...
...multiple SS#s in the past, its OK to call a driver's license a SS#. Both are identification, both issued by the govt.
There are so many similarities, who cares about the little differences?

ChipSalonna: I get the point with your analogy. And I've already accepted that you view 1MnW as "deviant" but "traditional". The *big*...
...difference is that we're talking people &their feelings & freedoms, not numbers or pieces of paper. I assume that...
...ultimately you view SSM as bad b/c God says so. So, here's a hypothetical for you. If God came to you and said "Hey,...
...Lenny, the Bible had a few mistakes with the homo stuff. It's really ok for them to get married." Would you continue to...
...make the "secular" arguments you're making now?

Comereason: You're absolutely right that this isn't about pieces of paper but about people. We can agree on that.
My argument isn't just procedural. I'm concerned about the people involved. Do you know why Govt got involved w/marriage at all?
Or (to be more specific) why they continue to be involved?

ChipSalonna: I'll come back to your question. But would you abandon your arguments given God's "retraction"?

Comereason: Actually, the Bible really doesn't say anything about same sex unions. If we were discussing a purely civil contract...
...such as CA's civil unions, I wouldn't be fighting it--and I didn't when it was passed. Marriage is different, though.

ChipSalonna: So, you consider your arguments to be *purely* secular? You don't trace any anti-SSM thoughts back to God? Truly curious here.

Comereason: No. I believe all truth is God's truth and he designed the world to run a certain way. We get a clearer picture from the Bible.
But I believe I have arguments that can be accepted even if one doesn't hold to the Bible as a moral principle....
... Marriage has a consistent basis across all cultures and all faiths. Thus I can offer secular arguments.

ChipSalonna: Ok, so in my hypothetical, if God "clarified" the issue, you'd have to say your secular arguments were somehow wrong. Yes?
(Not a trap. Just getting a clear picture.)

Comereason: I don't doubt your sincerity. I'm just trying to understand. I have a hard time seeing how that would be possible, though...
Human beings are created in a specific way. God would be saying something that argues against his created order.
The only institution that all of humanity has recognized as proper to creating and rearing children is the family. That's it.
The primary reason Govt gets involved is for the welfare of the child. That's why deadbeat dad laws are on the books....
The Govt recognizes marriages because it then knows who he responsible parents are for the child, unless otherwise stated.

ChipSalonna: Except that you said biblical teaching isn't clear on the marriage issue.

Comereason: I said God didn't explicitly say "no same sex unions." The Bible is clear on sexual activity between those of the same sex.

ChipSalonna: So, it seems to matter little (from a secular point of view) whether we're talking about civil unions, marriage or shacking up.

Comereason: I don't gamble and I don't drink but I'm not pressing for prohibition.
I don't condone shacking up, but there should be no law against it.
There's a difference between tolerating an action and changing the definition of an existing institution.

ChipSalonna: I meant civil unions, marriage or shacking up w.r.t SSC.

Comereason: Right. All of those are in a different category from marriage.
But it hurts kids. It takes two people to create them, yet they're denied the right to have even a chance at a mom & dad.

ChipSalonna: Gotta run. It's been fun. I'm sure we can have Round 2 later.

Comereason: I really appreciate the respectful tone, Chip! That's why I'm willing to converse. Thanks for that.

I want to again thank Chip Salonna for his respect and genuine sincerity in trying to at least understand my positon. he is to be complimented for being a gentleman.

Friday, November 02, 2012

In Online Dialogues, Asking Questions Is Crucial!

Yesterday, I tweeted a link to a story about two British banks pulling their support from the pro-homosexual group Stonewall's annual awards dinner because one of the "awards" they are presenting is the bigot award, in which they deride people that oppose the homosexual political agenda. My original tweet was:

Asking questions as an effective apologetics tool

British pro-homosexual group creates "bigot" award, despite objections from sponsors. So who's being bigoted now?

One response I received was from Adam Preston, who on his Twitter page describes himself as "atheist. bibliophile. interested in military history, secularism, evolutionary psychology, LGBT rights. member of Labour Party & National Secular Society."  Below is our entire exchange.  I think this is helpful in showing why asking questions can play a key role in discussions with others.

@adam_preston: Calling a bigot a bigot is not bigoted.

@comereason: What're the essential attributes of a bigot? People throw these terms around too much without clearly knowing what they mean.

@adam_preston: I'd say wanting to deny equal rights to LGBT people because of your religion constitutes bigotry

@comereason: That's not what I asked. What are the necessary conditions to be labeled a bigot in any sense? Don't deflect the issue.

@adam_preston: Inflexibile intolerance and prejudice towards a group of people. I think that applies to most vocal anti-equalmarriage people

@comereason: By using prejudice you beg the question. Regardless, I am intolerant of serial killers. Is that bigotry?

@adam_preston: Was expecting that response. Although usually it's paedophiles, not serial killers. Intolerance of serial killers is RATIONAL

@comereason: So if the intolerance against a person is rational, it is not bigotry. Is that your view?

@adam_preston: In the sense that intolerance of child abusers & serial killers is not bigotry, while racism and sexism are, yes.

@comereason: Can you tell me why racism or sexism is irrational while the others aren't? What makes one belief rational and another isn't?

@adam_preston: Child abuse and murder are clearly harmful to individuals and society. How is equality harmful and how are gays dangerous?

@comereason: Is physical harm the only basis for rational intolerance? Can I be intolerant of cheaters or drunks if they harm no one else?

@adam_preston: Intolerance of them would be wrong, yes. Believing it's wrong to CHEAT is one thing. Intolerance of all who have is different

@comereason: I completely agree!! Being intolerant of the actions of cheating is different than being bigoted against the cheaters.

After my last statement Adam didn't respond again.  I think he could see the implication of his position that one can be against a behavior and not be considered a bigot, even if that behavior doesn't cause direct harm to another. This is exactly the position that Christians have taken for a while now.
Do I think the above exchange has changed Adam's mind and he will stop labeling those who are for traditional marriage bigots?  No, I don't.  But it may help clarify the issue in the minds of others reading the exchange and it does allow me to hold Adam to his own standard if he confronts me again.
Come Reason brandmark Convincing Christianity
An invaluable addition to the realm of Christian apologetics

Mary Jo Sharp:

"Lenny Esposito's work at Come Reason Ministries is an invaluable addition to the realm of Christian apologetics. He is as knowledgeable as he is gracious. I highly recommend booking Lenny as a speaker for your next conference or workshop!"
Check out more X