Defending Marriage in America

Below you can read BK's article looking at the way orthodox Christians are being attacked through the use of straw man arguments by those who support issues like gay rights, abortion, euthanasia, embriotic stem cell research, etc. While this is, as I noted in my comment on that article, not new, it is both more broad based in its target (Evangelical and orthodox Catholics are now labelled as "fundamentalists", for example, though such a term carries little meaning for Catholics, and represents only one branch of Evangelicalism) increasingly strident and even angry in its content. Perhaps the reason for this increasing level of attacks comes from the recent push for what is commonly called Gay Marriage (or Same Sex Marriage, hereafter referred to as SSM). This issue first came to the attention of most American's with the 2002 court decision in Massachusetts to legalize SSM, and even more broadly with a number of state referendums on the question (all of whom passed, overwhelmingly rejecting SSM wherever the question was put) in 2004.

Here in Canada SSM became the law of the land, first by court fiat, and later by a huge legislative reversal by the Liberal government (from its 1999 official position where it voted in Parliament to protect traditional marriage) to make SSM legal. The speed with which this happened (the first court decision came in 2001, and the law was changed by the spring of 2004) caught supporters of traditional marriage totally by surprise, and off guard. Though efforts were mounted to oppose this radical change in the understanding of the meaning and purpose of marriage, they were too little, and too late.

Efforts in the United States, by contrast, seem be moving much quicker, and with greater unity and political force. As noted above, referendum were placed on the ballots of 11 states in 2004, and received overwhelming support, even in traditionally liberal states like Oregon. And now we have organizations like the Religious Coalition for Marriage boasting support from Episopalian (!), Baptist, Catholic, Jewish (!!), Orthodox, Evangelical, and Lutheran leaders. Even traditionally liberal friendly individuals, like Cardinal Mahoney of Los Angelas (of pro-immigration and Rainbow Sash fame), have signed on to the cause. No wonder liberals like Sullivan are alarmed. But to call all of these individuals Fundamentalists goes beyond anything one might have ever imagined even a couple of years ago. Rabbis as Fundamentalists? Cardinal Mahoney? The Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America? The Primate of The Orthodox Church in America? One is left to wonder who is not a fundamentalist if we must include all of these individuals on the list. What's an open-minded, liberal, tolerant secularist to do?

What indeed.



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