Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Unfair labels and sloppy language

Babble on.

'Social conservatives' get a bad name because of idiots like this who appropriate the moniker:

At the funeral of gay murder victim Matthew Shepard, they held up signs reading "No Fags in Heaven" and "God Hates Fags." According to their Web site, they have staged "20,000" protests across the nation and around the world in the last decade. They believe that "God's hatred is one of His holy attributes." They are the congregants of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas.

But that's not the whole story, as the more shrill and extreme liberal activists would have you believe. The same-sex marriage debate - heck, the social conservative movement in Canada in general - needs more voices like Chris Taylor.

Chris quite rightly takes me to task for my sloppy language - I should have qualified the term 'so-cons' with an adjective such as 'radical' - and lays out a faith-based position, supported by scripture, that isn't often heard in the uncivilized screaming match we charitably refer to as the same-sex marriage 'debate'.

I take the scriptural injunctions against homosexuality as personal direction. In other words, if I ever had any sexual attraction toward the same sex, I would be prohibited from consummating it. And since I cannot have sex outside marriage, that rules out same-sex marriage as well. For me. For notional non-religious gay neighbours, it would be a different story. I have no desire to deprive them of the physical aspect of their relationship. It's none of my business, and as far as I can tell none of the biblical injunctions against it have the state as their intended audience. The notional gay neighbours will answer to God for their own spiritual condition, and I have no desire nor scriptural basis for policing it.

Yes, God's design for marriage appears to be one man and one woman. Christians embrace this concept whole-heartedly, as we should. I'm not entirely convinced why anyone else who is not Christian should abide by that, though. Quote Leviticus all you want. That book concerns priestly duties, and ordinances for sacrifices and ceremonially purifying oneself. I know there are specific commands against homosexuality. Again, directives for individuals, most particularly the Levite priesthood of the Israelites -- hence the name Leviticus. Sorry to you radically Orthodox Jewish GLBTs descended from Aaron or Levi -- no priesthood for you. And no crustaceans either.

Now you may say that this is not truly a socially conservative argument, and I would disagree. I am socially conservative within appropriate bounds -- my own life, and the lives of those I have direct responsibility for. I believe that Christians should behave according to Christian standards of morality and ethics. I have no illusions about whether my fellow citizens (albeit non-Christians) should do likewise.

To those who would tar all social conservatives as knuckle-dragging bigots, I point to this gentleman - in the truest sense of the word - and ask you to reconsider your own prejudices.

Babble off.


At 6:17 p.m., Blogger Chris Taylor said...

First, thanks for the link and the kind words. =) Hopefully my correction was not offensive; I meant it well -- and not just to you!

I wouldn't even call those Westboro Baptist Church demonstrators "social conservatives". If there is a word for them, it is simple: lunatics. They have no concept of the Cross and the supreme sacrifice Jesus made for all of humanity.

The example they obviously overlooked is John VIII 1-11. It can be summarized in the well-known phrase "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

At 6:28 p.m., Blogger Timmy the G said...

Chris is absolutely right about the Westboro people - their beliefs have little to do with Christianity.

Quick question, though: do you know anyone, really, who considers ALL social conservatives to be knuckle draggers, Damian?

At 8:14 p.m., Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

For some reason, Timmy, the letters "W" and "K" come to mind.

At 10:34 p.m., Blogger Michael said...

If I had more time than I know what to do with, I would look into the group that organized this. Get names, numbers. Look into previous activism etc. For some reason I would not put it past the left to stage this kind of stuff solely to give the right a bad name. Conservatives are usually too polite to protest anything, let alone do it this way. I bet there is a scandalous story here.

At 11:57 a.m., Blogger Timmy the G said...

Yikes! Damn that Kinsella.

All right, you got me on that one, Damian. But do you know any NORMAL people who think that way? :)

At 12:02 p.m., Blogger Timmy the G said...

"Conservative are usually to polite to protest in this way."

(Picks up jaw.)

Anyway, the Westboro Baptist Church cranks and the Phelps family in general are infamous, Michael, and are condemned by liberal and conservative folks alike. They are nutcases who, as Damian quite correctly observes, unfairly blacken the name of all social conservatives.

At 10:35 p.m., Blogger David Wozney said...

Do you believe Queen Elizabeth II, "Defender of the Faith", will enact legislation that is contrary to the Christian faith?

According to the Christian faith, marriage is honourable in all (Hebrews 13:4) whereas homosexual relationships (Romans 1:26-27) are not honourable.

Also, "he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please [his] wife" and "she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please [her] husband" (1 Corinthians 7:33-34).

The Lawful Definition of Marriage in Canada

At 12:09 p.m., Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

Sure, David, why not? First, as Pogge mentioned when you made exactly the same comment at his site, hers is a ceremonial role in Canadian gov't.

Second, "Defender of the Faith" was a title bestowed by the Pope on Henry XIII for his persecution of early Protestants, if I recall correctly. Not only did Henry then proceed to split the church even further with his unwitting establishment of a new denomination (Anglican), his monarchial heirs also had the nerve to keep the title!

While your comment has offered me the opportunity to talk about an interesting tidbit of history, it's inconsequential to the issue at hand.


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