After all the words I have written about same-sex attraction and same-sex marriage, I thought it would be useful to create a list of truths to summarize the subject:
Truth #1: Same-sex sex—more specifically: same-sex sexual intimacy in any form—is morally wrong.
Truth #2: Although we should love and support each individual, we cannot celebrate or be happy about a same-sex union because, due to truth #1, we will always want them to split up.
Truth #3: The gay rights movement* is an expression of religious tyranny. At its heart is the demand that everyone must agree that same-sex sex is not a sin. Any who refuse to conform are smeared as bigots and are expected to be shunned.
Truth #4: We are not gay. We are not straight. Those labels are false and misleading. People are flexible and attraction is malleable.
Truth #5: Any man living today, had he been raised in ancient Greece or Rome, would most likely have been attracted to other men. Yes, I'm talking about you. Stop thinking that you're different. You're not. You are far more influenced by your generation than you realize. This applies to everyone, men and women. Please reread truth #4.
Truth #6: Due to the promotion of same-sex marriage, the celebration of same-sex couples, and the decline of the stigma against same-sex sex, there are youth today who will decide they are gay who would not have made that decision had they been raised in a different generation. Please reread truths #4 and 5.
Truth #7: The percentage of our society that calls themselves gay, lesbian, or bisexual (less than 3% based on a recent CDC survey) is not magically locked in place. Please reread truths #4 through 6.
Truth #8: Most people live how most people live, and how most people live varies with each generation. Please reread truths #4 through 7.
Truth #9: The problem with slippery slope arguments is that, at the top, you don't believe you'll ever reach the bottom and then, at the bottom, you no longer care. Please reread truths #4 through 8.
Truth #10: This is a battle of principles, not people. Everyone is our potential ally, and we should think of them as such.
Truth #11: If your definition of success is having your same-sex attraction go away completely, then you are setting yourself up to fail. Success is having the strength to reject improper desires even if they never fully leave us.
Truth #12: Attraction doesn't matter. Our choices are what matter. Attraction doesn't define us unless we choose to let it define us. It is therefore not the attraction that defines us but the choice.
Truth #13: The civil rights movement and the gay rights movement* are fundamentally different. The civil rights movement was about what people are. The gay rights movement is about what people choose to do.
Truth #14: Neither love nor any other emotion can justify immoral actions.
Truth #15: Same-sex attraction is completely unnecessary. Were it to vanish from everyone tonight, we wouldn't miss it tomorrow. Same-sex marriage is likewise completely unnecessary. In the absence of same-sex attraction, same-sex marriage would never have even been considered. Is it wanted by some? Yes. Is it needed by society? No.
Truth #16: We are men and women. That is the only meaningful separation that exists within the human race. Any individual physical divergence that defies this separation should be considered like other physical defects and met with compassion. Any individual mental divergence that defies this separation should be considered a rejection of reality and should be treated with counseling rather than body mutilation.
Truth #17: Any society that fails to prefer man-woman couples over other combinations is suicidal. Nature itself constantly testifies in favor of this truth, and any society that rejects it will eventually receive a Darwin Award.
Truth #18: The judicial activism in favor of same-sex marriage hinges on the false idea that people should be grouped as gay or straight. After society rejects this separation, all judicial rulings in favor of same-sex marriage will be viewed as illegitimate as the Dred Scott ruling.
Truth #19: The arguments being made in favor of same-sex marriage apply to other existing restrictions on marriage partners as well. The only difference is a lack of social pressure on behalf of those changes. The increase in support for same-sex marriage is therefore not a result of our society logically deciding it's the right thing to do; it's a result of our society being bullied into supporting it.
Truth #20: If sexual orientation were defined solely as sexual attraction, it would cause no conflicts with religion; however, sexual orientation is usually interpreted as including behavior, and the rightness or wrongness of behavior is the realm of religion. It is therefore impossible to simultaneously not discriminate against sexual orientation and against religion because the demand that we not discriminate against sexual behavior is itself a religious dictate. Please reread truths #1 through 3.
For further discussion of these truths, refer to my posts on the subject:
On Identity: Attraction is something that you feel, not something that you are. If you oppose same-sex marriage, then identifying others based on attraction is like shooting yourself in the foot.
On Intellectualism: Reason will always win in a fair fight. Unfortunately, it's rarely ever a fair fight.
On Perspective: Does it seem like the world is burning down? Well, so what? Get up on your feet and go do something useful.
On Words: If a young man told you, "I'm gay," would you understand what he meant? Are you sure? We need better words, more accurate words—words that describe choices, not attractions.
And to see these truths demonstrated through story, read my fiction on the subject:
The Unneeded Panic Room provides an explanation for why same-sex marriage should be opposed. This story also offers a criticism of the same-sex marriage movement and its inherent need to portray all opponents as bigots.
The River Is Always Waiting is a novel about a man who struggles against an unwanted attraction. The goal of this book is to allow you, the reader, to clearly see the difference between the man and the attraction and to understand the choice that is present. This novel is challenging and at times uncomfortable but, I hope, effective.
The Equality Remedy is a short satire. Accused of heterosexism, Mother Nature is taken to court where the demand is made that the man-woman process of procreation be abolished in favor of a more egalitarian approach.
And now, some thoughts about feeling powerless
I understand that ongoing events have left many feeling powerless. In state after state, we have expressed our will regarding marriage through our votes. And now in state after state, judicial activism is mangling the law, stripping away our ability to govern ourselves. When the law is nothing more than what five out of nine judges in royal robes decree it to be, we have no law. And this is not a problem that one individual person can solve, so it's natural to feel powerless, to feel discouraged, to want to bury our heads in the sand and to just ignore the whole topic.
But that is a mistake. Yes, we might not be able to change the course of society, but we can still have an impact on those around us. Sometime in the future, someone close to you is going to realize they feel same-sex attraction. Perhaps a child or a grandchild, a niece or a nephew, perhaps a family friend, perhaps a youth at your church. They are going to realize they feel same-sex attraction and then ... and then ... what? How do you want them to react? Do you want them to think, "This must mean I'm gay. This must mean I need to live my life a certain way, a way that is different from how I was taught to live." Is that what you want them to think? Or do you want them to think, "That's a normal thing to feel. It means nothing. I should just reject it the same way I reject all my other improper desires."
Which of those reactions do you want them to have? Now, consider this: Which of those reactions are your thoughts and words encouraging in others?
Read through the list of truths again. Do you understand what I'm trying to tell you? Shut out the noise, shut out the social pressure, and think. Do you understand? Yes, there is little you yourself can do to halt the corruption seeping through our judiciary, but there is much you can do to mitigate the damage caused by that corruption. Let me give you two ideas.
First, be diligent in separating attraction from action. Using labels like "gay" or "homosexual" to describe people is misleading because in one moment those labels refer to an attraction, which is not a choice, and then in the next they refer to an action, which is a choice. Don't allow that confusion to cloud the issue. When someone uses those labels, ask them what they mean. Are they talking about attraction? Are they talking about action? Remember, we might not choose our attractions, but action is a choice—and not all choices are right.
Second, you must stand firm against the magical thinking of the gay rights movement. (And to prevent any attraction vs action confusion, let's be clear: the "gay rights" movement is seeking acceptance of chosen actions, not just unchosen attractions.) The changes advocated by the gay rights movement are meeting less and less resistance because of the foolish belief that we all just magically emerge in a predetermined and permanent sexual state. According to this belief, it doesn't matter how much we change the traditions or expectations of society because the same people are going to decide they are gay no matter what we do because ... magic.
Can't you see how ridiculous that is? We're turning the whole world upside down and we expect it to have no effect? What other attribute do we assume is so impervious to outside influence? Of course these changes will have an effect. Please read truths #4 through 9 again.
The best way to understand this is to see the possibility within yourself. Much of what you assume is you is more a product of your generation. The reason you're not racist is not because you're better or wiser than people in earlier centuries. The reason you're not racist is because you're living in the 21st century and this generation, your generation, knows better. It's not you. It's your generation. Think. Understand. Can't you see? We're not just changing traditions or beliefs—we're changing ourselves.
So what are you going to do about it? You can't change the world, but what can you change? Who can you influence? How can you reduce the confusion and error all around you? Do something. Don't just give up. Don't just bury your head in the sand and hope it will all go away. Do something.
* Update: I would replace the words "gay rights movement" with "same-sex movement" were I writing this today. The term "gay rights" is misleading, and I strongly discourage its use. It does not accurately describe what the conflict is actually about. [May 16, 2015]
topic: sexual identity