THOMAS: Traditional Marriage and Conservatism are Married. And We’ll Never Divorce.


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Good evening, readers.

I would like to take a few moments to respond to a recent column by a fellow Rogue Review writer, Olivia Rondeau.

In her column, Olivia opined that Republicans and conservatives should not oppose gay marriage. She also stated her believe that homosexuality is not a matter of choice. I disagree with her assessment on both.

First, however, allow me to state that my disagreement does not stem from personal animosity between Olivia and I. Readers who interpret this as a personal attack are not only wrong, they are insulting the professionalism of both writers by assuming we are not capable of having a civilized disagreement.

Olivia’s belief that homosexuality is not a matter of choice is logically problematic. Of course, every person has a cross to carry, but everyone also has free will, and many people (including most recently gay conservative Milo Yiannopoulos) have discovered that, following extensive prayer and reflection, they are able to either set aside or even change their feelings. Many have also acknowledged that their sexuality was influenced by outside events in their lives, rather than formed by inherent nature.

Moreover, saying that gay people are who they are because something bad happened to them, and that they thereafter had no choice but to start pining for their own gender, is a bit insulting to that community.

Beyond that, however, should conservatives, as Olivia believes, stop opposing gay marriage?

To begin with, Olivia’s statement that “Trump, a Republican, was the first president to be pro-gay marriage throughout his campaign and presidential term” is factually incorrect.  What Trump actually said on that topic, in a famous 2016 interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” was that gay marriage is “[The] law.  It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean, it’s done.”

Acknowledging that the Supreme Court ruled on the issue, and conceding that the ruling may not change anytime soon, was a far cry from saying that gay marriage had his complete, total, and YUGE endorsement.  In addition, President Trump has stated that he is a Christian, and the Bible explicitly forbids homosexuality in both the New and Old Testaments.  Christ himself defined marriage as being between a man and a woman (He was citing Genesis) so there is not a lot of room for Christian debate on the matter. 

And that brings me back to my larger point – that conservatives should not support legalized gay marriage.

In my ideal world, the government wouldn’t be in the marriage “business” at all.  The marriage license I paid for in 2013 means nothing to me.  The religious ceremony in which my wife and I agreed to our union by the grace of God means everything.  And I am very uncomfortable with the idea of the government breaking up a private religious ceremony between consenting adults, regardless of their genders.  But for better or for worse (so to speak) the government does determine who can get married.  And that means it has made itself the arbiter of right and wrong when it comes to wedding bells. 

There isn’t really any way around that role so long as the government issues marriage licenses.  The government must draw the line somewhere – and it does.  It says that you can’t already be married to someone else, even if your current husband or wife has no problem with the second union.  It says that you have to be (with some exceptions) eighteen or older.  And those poor Greenpeace folks still aren’t allowed to marry a tree (which is not only discriminatory but unfair, as most of them can’t find anyone else).  

In other words, the question is not whether the government will set ethics guidelines for marriage, but where it will set those standards.  As a Christian, why should I surrender my views on that topic when doing so will mean that someone who disagrees with me will then decide my country’s moral values?

Moreover, conservatives cannot surrender their Christian views and remain politically relevant.  One of the strongest indicators of how someone will vote is how often they go to church.  Exit polls commonly show that people who attend church once or more per week vote overwhelmingly Republican, whereas people who attend church less often vote overwhelmingly for Democrats.  The conservative movement is fundamentally Christian, and I wouldn’t want to be a part of it if it wasn’t.  Conservatives would be fools to surrender God’s blessing in order to score diversity points.

Finally, Olivia’s column stated that: “Fortunately, traditional American values include the separation of church and state.”  The phrase “separation of Church and State” does not appear in the Constitution, and hardly any of the Constitution’s signers ever mentioned it.  The Constitution only forbids the government from doing what is done in England (establishing an official government-run church) not from attempting to establish a moral society (which many of our country’s founding fathers, especially Adams and Washington, spoke out passionately in favor of). 

Of course, I welcome gay Americans who want to vote for or support conservative candidates.  People can respectfully disagree and still work together.  Unlike Olivia, however, I don’t believe in keeping traditional Christian values out of government.  If that’s where the Republican Party is going, it’s just one more reason to be skeptical of their ability to carry the MAGA movement forward.

Read Olivia’s column here: Stop the Infighting; Gay Conservatives Make the GOP Bigger and Better

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