Is Gay Marriage a Moral Issue or a Civil Liberties Issue? - Pt. 2

Part 2 of a 4 part series. Part 1 can be read here.

The battle for the family is heating up with one of the most important issues that could cause a huge tipping point in culture-the redefining of marriage by the Supreme Court. In this 4 part series we are raising the question of whether the gay marriage issue is a civil issue or a moral issue. In this segment we will discuss how our nation got to this place of even having to wrestle with such an issue of gay marriage.

How we got here
Playboy magazine ushered in a sexual revolution when the first issue came off the press in 1953. A new "anything goes" mind-set about sex was introduced. This sexual revolution gained more and more acceptance in the sixties and seventies during the Woodstock generation and the Vietnam War. More and more people began living together, and premarital sex was no longer considered taboo but actually an accepted practice. Dysfunction in families began to grow as the numbers of divorces rose, unrestrained sexual liberties were expressed, and fathers abandoned their families, opening the door to sexual identities being confused.

As a result, near the turn of the century we began to see the gay lifestyle become legitimized in mainstream culture through two of the major mountains-arts and entertainment and media. When actress Ellen DeGeneres kissed another woman on a national television sitcom in 1997, it became a tipping point in culture. This led to more open expression of gay-themed movies, including the recent Brokeback Mountain, featuring two gay cowboys, and the 2008 movie Milk, which honored the gay rights movement and one of its pioneers in an attempt legitimize gay rights as the civil rights movement did for civil rights.

Even kids were not immune to the new onslaught of the gay agenda, when in October of 2007 the major character in the Harry Potter books and movies, Albus Dumbledore, master wizard and headmaster of Hogwarts, was revealed to be gay.

This is how the frog in the kettle gets hotter and hotter, until one day we wake up and realize we have totally lost the culture. Deception has taken root and become mainstream in the gay movement, convincing even churchgoers that maybe people are actually born gay. The estimated three percent of the population is now dictating what the 97 percent should accept. This reveals the power of the media and arts and entertainment to shift public opinion by a small percentage of people operating at the top of these cultural channels.

There have been several tipping points in American society that are landmarks where our frog felt the heat go up several degrees.

In 1963, prayer in schools was ruled unconstitutional. This became a major tipping point in our nation. God made sure we knew it was this activity that began a decline in the moral fiber of our nation, as there is a very distinct declining curve that can be graphed off major societal ills that began to be evidenced since 1963.

Since 1963:

  • Premarital sex increased 500 percent.
  • Unwed pregnancy was up 400 percent.
  • Sexually transmitted disease was up 200 percent.
  • Suicides were up 400 percent.
  • SAT scores dropped 90 points from 1963–1980 (lowest in the
  • industrialized world).
  • Single-parent families were up 140 percent.
  • Violent crime was up 500 percent.

The Baby Boomer generation has not done a very good job during our spiritual watch over the nation. Ten years after prayer was banned in school, conservative
Christians lost one of the most important battles when abortion was legalized in 1973, as the result of the famous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case.

It's now hard to tell the difference
Influence in culture is only possible when those who want to exert influence have a message and a life that others see and desire. This is the nature of a truly transformed life. Unfortunately, there is evidence that Christianity in America has lost its power and its influence at the foundation level. UnChristian authors David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons conducted extensive research to determine our influence on culture. Their findings are disturbing.

"In virtually every study we conduct, representing thousands of interviews every year, born-again Christians fail to display much attitudinal or behavioral evidence of transformed lives. For instance, based on a study released in 2007, we found that most of the lifestyle activities of born-again Christians were statistically equivalent to those of non-born-again. When asked to identify their activities over the last thirty days, born-again believers were just as likely to bet or gamble, to visit a pornographic website, to take something that did not belong to them, to consult a medium or psychic, to physically fight or abuse someone, to have consumed enough alcohol to be considered legally drunk, to have used an illegal, nonprescription drug, to have said something to someone that was not true, to have gotten back at someone for something he or he did, and to have said mean things behind another person's back. No difference."

These findings are a contrast to what took place during the Roman Empire.
We know that during that time, Christians took care of the terminally ill at the risk of their own lives and were such a testimony to the love and power of Christ in a life that they drew people into faith by their very different lifestyle. Constantine proclaimed Rome the Holy Roman Empire, not for political reasons, but merely stating the obvious that was being demonstrated by the people. Christians transformed culture by the way they lived.

We are called to model what Christ taught. If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (I John 4:20).

In our next segment we will discuss the role of the failure of marriage in how our nation got to this place of having to deal with the gay marriage issue and what is needed to reverse the trend.

Os Hillman is the author of the 9 to 5 Window and Faith and Work: What every pastor and church leader should know.

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