Tim Dunkin
July 21, 2011
Homosexual "marriage" is not a natural right
By Tim Dunkin

One of the fundamental truths about the founding tenets of this nation is that our ordering principles — the basis of our laws, our conception of rights, the purposes to which government is supposed to obtain — are built upon the acknowledgement of and respect for natural law. Natural law presupposes that there are absolute standards of right and wrong, and carries with it the necessary understanding that this natural law, far from being the product of random happenstance or social consensus, is instead instituted by the Divine authority of a Creator God who formed the world in which we live, and who ordered its function along certain design that operate at all times. The analog to this in human civilization is that if a society is to be in accord with natural law and its Creator, then society must recognize and order itself along lines that are in accord with the character and nature of the Creator and the "design features" He has inserted into His handiwork, and which are further accessible through the reasoned and reasonable revelation that He has given to us, specifically in the Judeo-Christian scriptures.

This nation was indubitably founded upon such an understanding. It is apparent in the very Declaration of our independence from Great Britain, in which it was declared that our separation from England and our taking our place among the nations of the world as an independent and equal participant were in accord with the laws of nature and of nature's God. The further declaration, framed as a proposition of fact, that all men are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights further demonstrates that even at the inception of this nation, respect for the order established by God was foundational to what our nation's political and social system were intended to be.

Some have erroneous tried to argue that Jefferson's phrase "nature and nature's God" is deistic, that the God he had in mind was of the "wind it up, let it go, and forget about it" variety, and that revelation from a rational, reasonable God who instituted the laws of nature was out of the question. This is a silly argument. A deistic God would not be concerned about the just ordering of government among men, or the maintenance of their unalienable rights, if He were retired from the scene and not concerning Himself with the affairs of men, as Deism generally maintains. No, Jefferson's conception of God, while not always orthodox, was not deistic, and his arguments in the Declaration are similarly not so. Instead, Jefferson and the other Founders well knew that God had ordered both a natural world that operated under physical laws accessible to man's intellect, as well as a spiritual basis for man, his nature, and the nature of his societies that also operate under "common sense" rules, affirmed in written revelation, that help to draw distinctions between things like "justice or tyranny," "prosperity or poverty," and "freedom or slavery."

The sense of unalienable rights that our Founders had, and which they affirmed and reiterated in our Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, was based upon this natural law conception.

For instance, the right of a person to defend his or herself from harm is both naturally reasonable and affirmed in the revelation God has given to us. It is simply "common sense" that a human being should have the right to protect their own person and family from harm. Such protection is inherent in their unalienable, God-given right to life. It would be unreasonable to try to restrain someone from protecting himself from a criminal or some other mortal or bodily threat. The Scripture, given by the same God who established the natural order of the world, likewise affirms this right to self-protection (Exodus 22:2, Luke 22:36).

Another example would be the right to be secure in one's property and possessions. It is, again, simply common sense to suppose that somebody who has invested their own time, their own sweat and effort, into creating or improving or earning the money to buy something should then be free to use and dispose of it as they see fit. That property becomes an extension of them, since their own efforts were translated into it. Revelation equally bears this out with the Scriptural prohibitions against theft, extortion, fraud, and even the demand for restitution should you damage somebody else's property (Exodus 20:15, 22:1; Leviticus 19:13, Deuteronomy 19:14, Romans 13:9, Ephesians 4:28, etc.) Scripture, given by a reasonable God (and, in fact, a God who gets to determine what is and is not "reasonable"), affirms that what seems like common sense to us is in fact also the rational will of this Creator.

Our 8th amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment affirm both natural law and revelation in that, while there may be crimes that are rightly punishable by the death penalty, even in that the punishments of torture and the sadism that often goes with it are not to have a role in punishing crimes committed by people who still yet bear the image of God upon them. Even the vilest criminal still bears the stamp, however marred by sin, of his Creator — and that is to be respected. A man is not an animal, and is not to be treated like one.

And so on. When we affirm that our nation was founded upon a Judeo-Christian basis, this is necessarily true, because that is the only tradition which really and truly concerns itself with the tenets of natural law. Eastern religions do not do so, because they reject the personal Creator, subsuming His work into a pantheistic or panentheistic morass. Islam does not do so — Allah is an arbitrary and capricious god whose actions do not follow any self-imposed standards of holiness, and therefore the societies in which Islam rules are arbitrary and capricious in their ordering and nature. Radically secular, humanist societies reject natural law for the subjective rule of man — and have shown that when man becomes the measure of all things, man becomes a monster. Only in the Judeo-Christian tradition has there been the respect for the individual that comes with viewing each of us as beings made in the image of a rational God who gave us rational minds to understand and do His will by the various means which He has used to reveal it. It is only in nations where that tradition has been influential and pervasive that we have seen concepts such as "freedom," "individualism," "the rule of law," and "ordered liberty" take root as integral parts of the culture of the people.

As our society has drifted from these founding bases, however, we have seen a differing view of "rights" begin to take root. The "long march" of the Left through our institutions has resulted in social chaos, largely because the concept of natural rights is being replaced by the subjective concept of rights as originating from the consensus of society. Ultimately based upon the "general will," a political idea developed by Diderot and expanded by Rousseau, the belief of those who understand rights to exist by social consensus is that these rights are not inherent to human beings by any natural law, but exist only because they are expedient to society as a whole. The natural corollary to that is that something that becomes "inexpedient" to society can cease being a right, and when society decides to "expand" its conception of "rights" to something not previously considered as such, then it becomes a right. "Social justice" becomes the expression of liberty, and "positive liberty" (the idea that you have a right TO certain things such as, for instance, health care or affordable housing) replaces natural law as the means by which society is to be ordered.

Because "social rights" theorists and believers want society's ideas about rights to be malleable so as to fit the proclivities of those who take control, they completely reject the notion of natural rights originating from a Creator God who established absolutes of right and wrong, and Who did so prior to the institution of governments and societies. For the Left, government — the "theoretical" expression of the "general will" of the people, even though in practice this is never the case (how many of those "people's republics" actually were built upon what "the people" wanted?) — becomes the giver and taker of rights. Unfortunately, there are even some on the Right, especially among the more stridently secularist versions of libertarianism, who also reject the natural rights idea and replace it with a belief that rights are granted within and only by society, though these do not take the idea to the extremes that the Left does. One example of this would be Robert Bork, who rejects natural rights as a basis for unalienable liberties.

It is from this angle, then, that we find the institution of marriage under attack by the radical homosexual agenda and its purveyors. For nearly a decade, the homosexualist movement has been at work foisting off their agenda onto a largely unwilling populace. Their efforts to codify homosexual marriage via the ballot box have been defeated in numerous states, including Blue states like California and Maine. They have waged campaigns of violence and intimidation against their political opponents. Until New York earlier this month, the only success they had in enforcing their version of marriage was by using sympathetic judges to impose it on states that had already rejected it. Even in New York, one questions whether the crossover Republicans who switched their votes at the eleventh hour were really representing the wishes of their constituents back home, or were instead representing the interests of the leftist "ruling class" types who use money and power to intimidate politicians into toeing their line. Now, even our erstwhile "pro-marriage" President, who told us that he was against homosexual marriage (even though we all knew he wasn't) has come out in favor of repealing the Defense of Marriage Act.

Some effort has been made by the homosexual lobby to find a "natural" basis for their perversion. There has been the often-remarked-but-never-seen "gay gene" hypothesis which continues to be floated in public discourse, despite having zero scientific backing whatsoever. Attempts have been made to find physiological difference between homosexuals and heterosexuals, but once these were peer-reviewed by actual science, no differences could be maintained. So, the default position is to simply argue that because society is "evolving" (perhaps "degrading" would be a more accurate term), we need to evolve with it and recognize that homosexuals should have a right to marry each other.

No. Natural law is natural law, not subject to change by human "ingenuity." Trying to do so will merely result in chaos and destruction.

Homosexual marriage is not a natural right. It cannot be, first of all, for the simple fact that it is not natural. It is "common sense" that men and women would engage in sexual relationships with each other. The regulation of these relationships within the bonds of marriage is established by the revelation of Scripture, and is affirmed by the reasonableness of the natural order. When the passions of mankind are constrained within an institution that directs these passions into positive, constructive ends — building a home, raising and providing for a family, training up the next generation — and away from negative, destructive ends — wildcatting around, no financial or emotional stability, disorder caused by sexual competition and jealousy — then stable social systems can be maintained, along with all the good things like education, prosperity, technology, and the rest that come about as a result of social stability. To see this in action, just look at the differences within our own nation. Which tends to produce more stable and productive citizens who contribute to our society in a positive way — the stereotypical "nuclear families" where there is a father and mother in the home, raising the children with love and discipline, or the situation we see in our urban areas where the large majority of children being born do not even know who their fathers are, and who grow up wild and uncontrolled except by an increasingly heavy-handed criminal justice system? The answer is obvious.

So, marriage is a right because it is natural. Society benefits when men and women bond monogamously to raise children and devote themselves to each other. The obvious naturalness of heterosexual marriage is even testified to by the simple facts of anatomy. Men and women can procreate. Men and men, or women and women, cannot. If you take fifty men and fifty women, drop them on a desert isle, and come back a hundred years later, you will find thousands of their descendants filling the land. If you take one hundred homosexual men or one hundred lesbians and do the same, you will come back and find nobody there, because they all died of old age and had no means of reproducing themselves. Heterosexual marriage fits the natural and Scriptural order. Homosexual "marriage" does not.

Homosexual marriage is also not a natural right because it is intrinsically not "right." Nobody has the right to harm others. Yet, homosexuality is a harmful behavior. It is obviously harmful to its practitioners — the clinical evidence for all manner of psychological and physical problems created by acting on homosexual impulses is well established. Homosexuality is destructive to self because it uses the human body in ways that it simple was not intended to be used by nature and nature's God. Homosexuality is also, however, more likely to be harmful to others who do not practice it. Let's not forget that the threat to our blood supply presented by AIDS largely exists because of the tendency within the homosexual community to practice unsafe, unprotected sex with multiple partners (one study reported up to 53 different partners a year, on average). Despite the cries of outrage that usually accompany when pointed out, homosexuals are statistically much more likely to be involved in pedophilia and child abuse. Historically, some of the most violent societies, both internally and externally, were also practitioners of adult male homosexuality, especially. Simply put, it is a lifestyle choice that lends itself to violence, degradation, disease, selfishness, and exploitation. As a result, those who practice it may not only harm themselves, but are more likely to also harm others. One does not have the right to that. Yet, if a homosexual keeps his degradation to himself, then it remains only his business and the business of those he participates with consensually — as I've said before elsewhere, freedom includes the right to do things that harm yourself so long as you don't harm someone else in the process.

However, when we're talking about marriage, we're talking about a God-ordained and socially beneficial institution that serves to corral in mankind's destructive tendencies to the degree that it is respected and held sacrosanct. That makes it more than just a private act between two people. That makes it of social interest, as well. And therefore, we have the prerogative to choose not to allow homosexuals to abuse this institution that fills the natural order. Some might argue to the contrary that homosexual marriage is no worse an abuse of marriage than are the many ways in which heterosexuals have degraded the institution. That's no argument for homosexual marriage, however. If Britney Spears and those like her make a mockery of marriage by treating it flippantly and getting a divorce 48 hours after a sham marriage, then the answer is not to allow homosexuals to also mock marriage. The answer is to delete the various methods available, such as no-fault divorce and the like, that serve to denigrate it. If nothing else, people will realize that they need to exercise a little personal responsibility to maintain a marriage they now can't nullify at the drop of a hat.

The homosexual movement cannot claim to simply be asking for freedom, given the way they have conducted themselves over the past decade. They've stalked, vandalized property, and physically assaulted people who disagree with their agenda. They've threatened to come after people who contributed to pro-marriage groups. They've used unelected judges to impose their agenda onto states and localities that wouldn't go along with it by the usual democratic methods. They've used these same judges to overturn the will of the people numerous times after the people voted "the wrong way." They've have used and are using the courts to overturn the private property and freedom of association rights of private business owners, such as the staunchly Catholic owners of the Wildflower Inn in Vermont, who are being sued by the ACLU on behalf of a couple of lesbians for whom the inn refused to rent space to for a "wedding." So much for those "freedom of conscience" clauses that the lefties are always assuring us will be included in the next pro-homosexual agenda legislation, eh? This isn't the first time that homosexuals have used the courts to force unwilling business owners to cater to their proclivities, either.

Sorry, but you can't do all this, and still claim to simply be "wanting freedom." No. You're forcing your agenda down everybody else's throats — and everybody else has a right to push back on it.

In summary, homosexual marriage, along with a great many other things that the Left has and continued to try to impose onto us, cannot be considered a "right" under the system of natural law that our Founders believed in and based this nation upon. This is, of course, why the Left has made such a concerted effort to remove that underpinning, by attacking the Judeo-Christian heritage of this nation, and by trying to shift us over to a social justice/positive rights/subjective social rights framework. If this nation is to return to what it was and become what it should be, then the homosexual agenda, like the rest of the broader revolutionary socialist agenda, must be fought, defeated, and thrown back.

© Tim Dunkin

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


Tim Dunkin

Tim Dunkin is a pharmaceutical chemist by day, and a freelance author by night, writing about a wide range of topics on religion and politics. He is the author of an online book about Islam entitled Ten Myths About Islam, and is the founder and editor of Conservative Underground, a bi-weekly email newsletter focusing on foundational conservative worldview and philosophy. He is a born-again Christian, and a member of a local, New Testament Baptist church in North Carolina. He can be contacted at tqcincinnatus@yahoo.com. All emails may be monitored by the NSA for quality assurance purposes.

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Tim Dunkin: Click here

Latest articles