May 8, 2009
I just read an article entitled, “8 Same-sex Couples Tie the Knot At Church,” on the front page of the May 4th Quad City Times. I was stunned by the story’s oblique and subjective tone.
I find it amazing that an article covering one of the most controversial topics on the American cultural landscape featured not so much as a single dissenting voice. For example, no one was afforded the opportunity to respond to one person’s glowing praise for the “wedding” service, praises that were rooted in the fact that “It feels right.” Almighty God has already responded to that sentiment, however, in Proverbs 14:12: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
It was equally disconcerting to find no alternative viewpoint offered to the quote, “This (ceremony) makes it (the homosexual relationship) legal in everyone else’s eyes.” Marriage, as God’s institution, is governed ultimately by God’s law. Counterfeits like adultery, unmarried couples co-habitating, fornication and same-sex “marriage” are anything but legal in God’s eyes. His Word is clear in 1st Corinthians 6:9-10: “Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
With breathtaking disregard for objectivity, the reporter wrote that “The criticisms about such unions weren’t heard because ‘love’ was the theme of the day.” Implicit within that statement is the writer’s highly subjective personal opinion that anyone who has reservations about same-sex marriage could only be motivated by hatred. It seems the scribe can’t conceive of a same-sex marriage opponent who is motivated not by hatred but by, say, loving concern for the spiritual welfare of homosexuals, or by a desire to genuinely live out his or her own reverence for God, His Word, and His sacred institution of marriage. The quote reveals the author’s belief that refusing to embrace or celebrate same-sex marriage must constitute hate. I submit that to refuse to embrace and celebrate something (like same-sex marriage) does not constitute hate necessarily; however, the activist tone of the reportage is tantamount to narrow-minded prejudice against we who would dare express our reservations or criticism, regardless of what our motives might or might not be.
Incidentally, I would not be so disingenuous as to deny that some who are currently engaged in the ongoing conversation about marriage are merely rancorous. I would only suggest that this is seen on both ends of this debate. For every Tim Hardaway, there is a Perez Hilton. The death threats, incendiary rhetoric and assaultive behavior that followed the passage of Proposition 8 in California most certainly have their counterpart in the tactics of white supremacists who actively call for violence against homosexuals. The discourse on marriage can and should be kept reasonable, civil, and fair; but doing so need not require the suppression or vilification of opposing viewpoints, nor should it necessitate the sacrifice of truth. Yet sadly, that’s exactly what this news story does.
As disappointed as I was that so many truths were excluded from the story, I was most grieved by the outright falsehood that was included. A minister was quoted as saying, “The Bible never addresses same-gender relationships as we know them today.” This explosively inaccurate statement was published without challenge, question, or response. Allow me: Perhaps the Reverend has somehow missed the words of God the Son, Jesus Christ, who said in Mark 10:6-8, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”’ This minister exemplifies the truth of an old theologian’s adage: “Scripture is like a prisoner of war – if one is willing to torture it long enough, one can make it say almost anything.” I shudder to imagine what kind of exegetical gymnastics this clergyman must have resorted to in order to reach such a specious conclusion, but taking liberties with God’s Word is an all-too convenient refuge for those who refuse to be convicted by God’s Word.
It should surprise no one, of course, that the purveyors of such distortions have followers. In 2nd Timothy 4:3-4, God Himself warned us this day would come: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” What should be surprising, though, is that a newspaper which purports to be a dispassionate source of accurate, comprehensive reporting does not confine articles like the one in question to the opinions page. If it belongs anywhere at all, it belongs there.
In fairness, I wanted to observe future reporting on this topic. Perhaps the absence of alternative points-of-view was merely due to an isolated editorial oversight. I didn’t have to wait long to find out. The next day’s edition on Tuesday contained another story, this one bearing the headline, “Out-of-State Same-sex Couples Wed in Iowa.” To my dismay, this story also provided not so much as a single, tiny shred of balance – none whatsoever. In fact, the second article’s author seemed positively giddy over the fact that the out-of-staters had spent some money locally while they were here.
What does this tell us? I fear that one of two things has happened: The best case scenario is that the Times has assumed that the Iowa State Supreme Court ruling in Varnum v. Brien not only legalized same-sex marriages, but somehow it also “won over” the millions of us whose deep personal convictions compel us to oppose this practice, thus magically resolving the once-contentious debate forever. This, of course, could only indicate that the editors are dangerously naive. On the other hand, the worst case scenario is that the editors are aware that the debate remains a vigorous one, but they’ve simply decided that it’s their duty to “enlighten” those of us who remain opposed to homosexual “marriage.” This, of course, could only indicate that they have abandoned journalism in favor of activism for — and fealty to — those who are orchestrating the redefinition of matrimony.
I believe people will eventually catch on; when and if that happens, a bleak future of irrelevance and obsolescence most certainly awaits newspapers like The Quad City Times.