CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

No Compromise

Aug 3, 2012

In many wars one side at least is not interested in a negotiated settlement. They are not into detente. They want total victory pure and simple. The Nazis were not interested in compromise but in total world domination. The Communists may have talked detente, but they wanted to take over the whole world.

The radical Muslims do not want peaceful coexistence, but a universal caliphate with everyone submitting to Allah. And the radical homosexual lobby is not at all interested in live and let live, with a bit of give and take. They want their agenda fully implemented with all opposition smashed.

Anyone reading my posts here will have numerous clear examples of this. The militants have declared war on faith, family and freedom, and they will not quit until they achieve complete hegemony in every sphere. They resent the very notion of compromise.

In my book Strained Relations: The Challenge of Homosexuality I document this quite carefully. And when the new third (expanded and revised) edition comes out there will be heaps more documentation on all this. They want to crush all opposition and be victorious altogether – they will not settle for anything less.

Now, are there lots of homosexuals who just want to be left alone and do their own thing in private? Yep, there sure are. If that was all we were up against, I would likely not even have spent twenty years writing my book. But unfortunately this is not the case.

There are plenty of militants who have stated categorically what they want and how they plan to achieve this. It is to these activists that I constantly am addressing my remarks. They in fact started this war, not my side. They declared that they wanted to destroy marriage and family, neutralise religion, and diminish freedoms everywhere in order to force-feed their radical agenda upon everyone else.

And as long as they declare war against all that I hold near and dear, I will keep resisting. That in part is why this website exists, and why I am willing to put up with the almost daily barrage of hate mail and the occasional death threats. Faith, family and freedom matter to me, and they are worth defending.

And in any such war where the other side has declared their intentions of total domination, talk of compromise is of course simply out of the question. Such talk is merely appeasement, and simply gives the other side more ammunition with which to finally knock us all off.

There can be no compromise here, and pro-family and pro-faith folks who think they can come up with some kind of deal here are kidding themselves big time. But these are not just my thoughts. Princeton University’s McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence Robert P. George has recently come out stating exactly the same thing.

On the homosexual marriage issue he rightly argues that we either stand for religious liberty, or homosexual marriage, but we simply cannot stand for both – one or the other must give way. His entire piece is well worth carefully reading, but let me offer some tantalising selections from it:

“In the name of ‘marriage equality’ and ‘non-discrimination,’ liberty—especially religious liberty and the liberty of conscience—and genuine equality are undermined. It was only yesterday, was it not, that we were being assured that the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex partnerships would have no impact on persons and institutions that hold to the traditional view of marriage as a conjugal union? Such persons and institutions would simply be untouched by the change. It won’t affect your marriage or your life, we were told, if the law recognizes Henry and Herman or Sally and Sheila as ‘married.’

“Those offering these assurances were also claiming that the redefinition of marriage would have no impact on the public understanding of marriage as a monogamous and sexually exclusive partnership. No one, they insisted, wanted to alter those traditional marital norms. On the contrary, the redefinition of marriage would promote and spread those norms more broadly.

“When some of us warned that all of this was nonsense, and pointed out the myriad ways that Catholics, Evangelicals, Mormons, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and others would be affected, and their opportunities and liberties restricted, the proponents of marriage redefinition accused us of ‘fearmongering.’ When we observed that reducing marriage to a merely emotional union (which is what happens when sexual reproductive complementarity is banished from the definition) removes all principled grounds for understanding marriage as a sexually exclusive and faithful union of two persons, and not an ‘open’ partnership or a relationship of three or more persons in a polyamorous sexual ensemble, we were charged with invalid slippery-slope reasoning. Remember?”

Just as I have done countless times now, he lists some of these very real cases of anti-religious bigotry and attacks on freedom. He then discusses what marriage is – and always has been – really all about: “Since most liberals and even some conservatives, it seems, apparently have no understanding at all of the conjugal conception of marriage as a one-flesh union—not even enough of a grasp to consciously consider and reject it—they uncritically conceive marriage as sexual-romantic domestic partnership, as if it just couldn’t possibly be anything else.

“This is despite the fact that the conjugal conception has historically been embodied in our marriage laws, and explains their content (not just the requirement of spousal sexual complementarity, but also rules concerning consummation and annulability, norms of monogamy and sexual exclusivity, and the pledge of permanence of commitment) in ways that the sexual-romantic domestic partnership conception simply cannot. Still, having adopted the sexual-romantic domestic partnership idea, and seeing no alternative possible conception of marriage, they assume—and it is just that, an assumption, and a gratuitous one—that no actual reason exists for regarding sexual reproductive complementarity as integral to marriage.

“After all, two men or two women can have a romantic interest in each other, live together in a sexual partnership, care for each other, and so forth. So why can’t they be married? Those who think otherwise, having no rational basis, discriminate invidiously. By the same token, if two men or two women can be married, why can’t three or more people, irrespective of sex, in polyamorous ‘triads,’ ‘quadrads,’ etc.? Since no reason supports the idea of marriage as a male-female union or a partnership of two persons and not more, the motive of those insisting on these other ‘traditional’ norms must also be a dark and irrational one.”

He goes on to note how any compromise here is doomed to failure: “The fundamental error made by some supporters of conjugal marriage was and is, I believe, to imagine that a grand bargain could be struck with their opponents: ‘We will accept the legal redefinition of marriage; you will respect our right to act on our consciences without penalty, discrimination, or civil disabilities of any type. Same-sex partners will get marriage licenses, but no one will be forced for any reason to recognize those marriages or suffer discrimination or disabilities for declining to recognize them.’

“There was never any hope of such a bargain being accepted. Perhaps parts of such a bargain would be accepted by liberal forces temporarily for strategic or tactical reasons, as part of the political project of getting marriage redefined; but guarantees of religious liberty and non-discrimination for people who cannot in conscience accept same-sex marriage could then be eroded and eventually removed. After all, ‘full equality’ requires that no quarter be given to the ‘bigots’ who want to engage in ‘discrimination’ (people with a “separate but equal” mindset) in the name of their retrograde religious beliefs. ‘Dignitarian’ harm must be opposed as resolutely as more palpable forms of harm.

“As legal scholar Robert Vischer has observed, ‘The tension between religious liberty and gay rights is a thorny problem that will continue to crop up in our policy debates for the foreseeable future. Dismissing religious liberty concerns as the progeny of a “separate but equal” mindset does not bode well for the future course of those debates.’

“But there is, in my opinion, no chance—no chance—of persuading champions of sexual liberation (and it should be clear by now that this is the cause they serve), that they should respect, or permit the law to respect, the conscience rights of those with whom they disagree. Look at it from their point of view: Why should we permit ‘full equality’ to be trumped by bigotry? Why should we respect religions and religious institutions that are ‘incubators of homophobia’? Bigotry, religiously based or not, must be smashed and eradicated. The law should certainly not give it recognition or lend it any standing or dignity.

“The lesson, it seems to me, for those of us who believe that the conjugal conception of marriage is true and good, and who wish to protect the rights of our faithful and of our institutions to honor that belief in carrying out their vocations and missions, is that there is no alternative to winning the battle in the public square over the legal definition of marriage. The ‘grand bargain’ is an illusion we should dismiss from our minds.”

Quite so. The distinguished Professor has much more of value to say in this very important article, so I encourage you to read the entire piece. When the other side says it wants to annihilate you, the smartest recourse is to actually believe what they say, and act accordingly.

www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/07/5884

[1587 words]

11 Responses to No Compromise

  • Dear Bill, I have read enough about the same sex marriage issue. The local Churches in Rocky are ignoring this issue at their peril. Thank you for your warnings.
    Regards, Franklin Wood

  • The problem is that we have already let the cat out of the bag by so many people endorsing no fault divorce and de facto relationships as being normal in any relationship. We allowed compromise to start and thus we need t go back get back to having marriage as a one man one woman partnership for life, since that will get us back to where we should be.

    Ian Nairn

  • For me the really big problem to overcome is that so many heterosexual marriages are falling apart and marriage is already in a weak position. Some grounds for divorce escalate from trivial matters such as bickering and pulling rank by either party which evolves into “Unreasonable behaviour”. Tragically some relationships breed violence or mental cruelty as one partner bullies the other, sometimes to death. People in relationships grow apart rather than grow towards each other. A meeting of minds is not present. Both partners are not finding enough space to grow mentally and creatively in a peaceful, low conflict environment. The quality of patience is absent. Familiarity breeds contempt. It takes the will of both partners to make a successful life partnership. If a man and a woman conceive a child or children then it is intelligent for both to be aware in advance of the adjustments that need to be made in their lives to give space to the new member of the family, to put aside your own needs while the baby depends on you for support to survive and to nurture the qualities of love and joy, like giving water to the thirsty. We should slow down and “come into the now” when tempers flare. This is the culmination of my wisdom on the matter which I know is limited and I take nothing for granted. I would like to hear more people sharing wisdom on what can be done to sustain a life partnership in marriage to provide stability for future generations.

    It seems to me that you must have reserves to be able to give, as opposed to the mean-spirited attitude of envy and grievance, bad-mouthing marriage if it hasn’t worked for you. I agree it would be foolish to cut any slack to anyone whose covert intention is set on a course to destroy marriage and family. They say “all is fair in love and war”and people at war will tell any lie if it will achieve their objective. We could start by giving our relationships a little more tender loving care and prizing the gold standard of marriage between a man and a woman more highly. It is a shame that the powers that be seem to think it best to let it all go down the gurgler.

    Rachel Smith, US

  • Hi Ian,

    I quite agree. But I think it goes a bit further than that. The Bible does not just define marriage as a one man one woman partnership for life. It is a particular type of partnership where the roles of both parties are clearly defined:

    “The husband is the head of the wife”. “Husbands must love their wives as their own bodies”. “Wives must obey their husbands”. “Husbands must treat their wives with gentleness as the weaker vessel” etc.

    A partnership between a man and a woman entered into on any other basis is not marriage as the Bible defines it, but unfortunately this describes many Christian ‘marriages’ today. It was Christians accepting the feminist lie of role equality many, many decades ago where compromise on and adulteration of marriage really began.

    Mansel Rogerson

  • Spot on, Ian.

    We need to return to pre-1930s thinking, where marriage was sacred, non-marriage was singleness, children were a blessing, and God was in charge of fecundity and family size.

    John Angelico

  • Dear Bill,

    I was surprised to read about a third version of you book, especially as I ordered it today. I was wondering; is the third edition too far away to wait for it? It would be such a shame if the third edition came out soon after I purchased the second one.
    Thanks!
    Ruben Baan (Holland)

  • Thanks Ruben
    It is not certain when the 3rd ed will be ready. It may in fact be some months yet. So go ahead with this, and if you like, you can later give me your address and I will make sure you also get the updated version. Bless you.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Recently, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron made the point that he believes strongly and passionately in same sex marriage. This was reported in the Daily Telegraph:

    ‘David Cameron made the comment, “I make that point not only as someone who believes in equality but as someone who believes passionately in marriage.”
    Mr Cameron gave an impassioned defence of marriage, saying that if it was “good enough” for heterosexual couples, it was appropriate for homosexual ones as well.
    He said: “I think marriage is a great institution………”
    “It’s something I feel passionately about and I think if it’s good enough for straight people like me, it’s good enough for everybody and that’s why we should have gay marriage and we will.”
    In remarks released by Downing Street late last night, the Prime Minister compared his opponents in the Church to the Conservative party “which for many, many years got itself on the wrong side of this argument”.
    He said: “It locked people out who were naturally Conservative from supporting it and so I think I can make that point to the Church, gently.”
    Mr Cameron said that the Church should not “be locking out people who are gay, or are bisexual or are transgender from being full members of that Church, because many people with deeply held Christian views, are also gay”.
    He added: “And just as the Conservative Party, as an institution, made a mistake in locking people out so I think the Churches can be in danger of doing the same thing.”……….
    “But he added: “The promise I can make you is that this coalition government is committed to both changing the law and also working to help change the culture and the Conservative party absolutely backs that. This is something … I personally feel very passionately about.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9425174/We-will-legalise-gay-marriage-by-2015-says-David-Cameron.html

    LETTER TO MR CAMERON
    Dear Prime Minister
    How do you think Conservatives would like you to have said, “If the Conservative Party is ‘good enough’ for Conservative members, it is appropriate for Labour, Liberal, BNP and Communist people as well. I think the Conservative Party is a great institution, since it helps people to commit themselves to new, relativistic, Conservative morals and values. It helps people to put aside demanding their individuality and think of the Big Society instead.

    “If holding Conservative values are good enough for me, they are good enough for everyone, and that is why we will allow labour, BNP and Marxists into the Conservative Party and into the Cabinet itself, and we will. The old, dinosaur Conservative party locked people out like them, who were potentially supportive of the New Conservative Party and I think I can make that point gently to the rest of the Conservative Party although, if that does not work, Conservative MPs and rank and file members can always be shut out, as I did to Phil Lardner, prospective Conservative candidate in the last election for holding politically-incorrect views [1]

    Whilst locking out people like Philip Larder from the Conservative Party, Christians from their churches,[2] Christian Lawyers from the Law Society, [3] the Conservative Party should not ‘be locking out such people who are Labour, BNP or Marxist from being full members of the Conservative cabinet, because many people with deeply held progressive, forward thinking, 21st century Conservative views, are also Labour, BNP and Marxist”?

    But there again, Mr Cameron, in similar vein, you could have also said,

    “If freedom to live in the community is good enough for the citizens of Britain, it is good enough for criminals behind bars. I think that having the liberty to choose to live however one wants is a great way to be, as long as it is consensual, enjoyable and supported by the National Health when things go belly-up. If such liberty is good enough for me, it is good enough for criminals, who choose to follow their own form of diversity, rather than conform to society’s medieval, repressive and constraining laws.

    “Our archaic laws, Constitution and the Queen’s Coronation Oath lock people out from society, like the criminal population, who are also great supporters of human rights, inclusion, diversity and equality. I repeat; our laws should not be locking out people who are in prison from being full members of society, because many people with deeply held views on licence, breaking down barriers and smashing down people’s front doors, living and let-live, not being judgemental and being tolerant of all behaviours and orientations are also criminals”.

    Hear, hear!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8105570/Prisoner-votes-killer-John-Hirst-celebrates-with-champagne-and-a-spliff.html

    But honestly, just in case Mr Cameron (and with the greatest of respect) you do not understand, homosexuals are all welcome to play their full part in a civilised society. No one is stopping them, just as long as they play rules and don’t try to force us to emulate their delusions, deceptions, denial, dissimulation, defiance, disobedience, disrespect, disdain, deviance, diversity, discrimination, dysfunction, disorder, distortion, depravity, decadence. degeneracy, debauchery, dehumanisation, despair, death wish, damnation, destruction and desire to dominate society.

    [1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/election-2010/7615125/Tory-candidate-Philip-Lardner-suspended-over-gay-comments.html
    [2] http://www.christianpost.com/news/british-mp-force-churches-to-perform-same-sex-unions-or-close-them-down-55371/
    [3] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9260335/Storm-as-Law-Society-bans-conference-debating-gay-marriage.html .

    David Skinner, UK

  • Isn’t it about time we started to rename our politicians?

    Eric Blood Ax
    Robert the Devil
    Dave the Barbarian
    Cameron the Destroyer
    Bercow Bonetooth
    Jack Roastcleave
    Harriet the Bloodeater
    Ben Baldknuckle II
    Ralph Chaos-cleave
    William Stoneskull
    Conor the Brickgelge
    Maria Roastlaw
    Teresa Barbarian Queen
    Wirtstump MP for Islington
    Chris Bonescream
    Fanny Ironmaul
    Boris Slackmash
    Reginald Baldpiles
    E’rrath Boneleg
    Rupert the Wulfrage
    Angela Hellhowl
    Thundarr the MP for Henley

    David Skinner, UK

  • C.S. Lewis said in the “The Four Loves”, speaking of a kind adultery, that was a “pure, sexless platonic love, where consummation never occurred, like that between Dante and Beatrice,” may yet be plain adultery, may involve breaking a wife’s heart, deceiving a husband, betraying a friend, polluting hospitality and deserting your children.”
    But in the book, “A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon Vanauken, with a forward by C.S. Lewis, even passionate erotic love between two married people who are hopelessly in love, a love that is totally self- absorbed and selfish, that has no room for any others, including children, but especially God, is idolatry. For the first and second commandments are that we are to love God with all our hearts and all our minds and to have no Gods beside him.
    The love between Ruth and Boaz seems strange to modern ears, where marriage is guided by more than the need to fulfil iridescent, romantic longings of the type portrayed in Thomas Hardy novels and almost all Hollywood movies- even Jane Austin novels. The love described in 1 Corinthians 13 is not the shallow self – absorbed thing that is described by British politicians like David Cameron, Gordon Brown and the witch, Lynne Featherstone.
    Consummation, the becoming one flesh is inextricably bound up with generating the generations, or where couples are past producing children, at least becoming one flesh with the rest of the extended family. “Blood is thicker than water.” Childless couples who become uncles and aunts or cousins, as with the case of Mordecai looking after Esther, have the moral responsibility of acting as surrogate parents.
    I am trying here to refute much modern Christian teaching that says that sex between a husband and wife can be separated out from producing children or becoming one flesh with the rest of the extended family. I believe the Roman Catholics are at least right on this point. The reproductive organs and whole plumbing system are designed to create new life, but in a way that transcends mere reproduction.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer was right when he said to his niece who was about to get married,
    ““God is guiding your marriage. Marriage is more than your love for each other. It has a higher dignity and power, for it is God’s holy ordinance, through which He wills to perpetuate the human race till the end of time. In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations, which God causes to come and to pass away to His glory, and calls into His kingdom. In your love you see only the heaven of your own happiness, but in marriage you are placed at a post of responsibility towards the world and mankind. Your love is your own private possession, but marriage is more that something personal – it is a status, an office. Just as it is the crown, and not merely the will to rule, that makes the king, so it is marriage, and not merely your love for each other, that joins you together in the sight of God and man. ……. As high as God is above man, so high are the sanctity the rights, and the promise of marriage above the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of love. It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.”

    David Skinner, UK

  • Thanks for letting David have his say Bill. Classy stuff.

    Terry Darmody

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