August 11th, 2009 by Frank Turek

Editor’s Note: Originally published on TownHall.com, used with permission. Frank Turek is a speaker and author, and a leading Christian apologist. Learn more at his website www.CrossExamined.org

As our great country accelerates its slide into economic and moral Hell, be careful whom you blame. The present boldness of liberals and timidity of conservatives are only the secondary causes. Much of the blame can be placed at the foot of the church.

When I say the church, I don’t mean an institution like the Roman Catholic church, but the entire body of believers—those from all denominations who believe that the Bible is true, that people are sinners, that God sent the perfect God-man, Jesus Christ, to redeem us from our sins, and that we are charged with spreading that message and reforming society.

Believers are God’s ambassadors here on earth, called to be salt and light in the world and to the world. When we follow our calling, individuals are transformed and societies with them. Our country is failing because too many believers have abandoned this calling.

They began abandoning it in earnest in the 1920’s. That’s when an anti-intellectual movement called fundamentalism led believers to separate from society rather than reform it, and to bifurcate life into two separate spheres—the sacred and secular. Reason was given up for emotionalism, and only activities that directly saved souls were deemed sacred. Everything else was considered secular. Careers in clergy and missions were glorified at the expense of everything else. That led too many believers to leave public education, the media, law, and politics in the hands of the unbelievers. Is it any wonder why those areas of our culture now seem so Godless? Take the influence of God out, and that’s what you get.

Secularizing public education has been the key to our nation’s moral demise. Once public education went secular, the rest of society eventually did, especially when the products of that system became our leaders. As Abraham Lincoln once observed, “The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.”

The philosophy of the schoolroom is atheistic. The question of God’s existence—the most important question regarding how we should live—is not studied or debated in our public schools. Atheism is just assumed to be true and with it moral relativism. That’s a major reason why immorality dominates our schools and why our kids know more about political correctness than truth. It’s also why we have a new generation of voters more enamored with “hope and change” than defending our changeless rights from an overreaching government. G. K. Chesterton’s observation about Russia has come true here, “Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.”

How did this happen? In the early 1960’s, the Supreme Court, consisting of newly trained secularists, banned devotional Bible reading in our schools (apparently, for the 180 years before that, people just didn’t understand the Constitution!). That decision, and several others, has stifled virtually any mention of God or the Bible in our public schools. In effect, the most influential book in the history of the world is ignored in our educational system. What kind of a quality education is that? It’s certainly not what the folks who settled this land had in mind for public education. In fact, the first public school in the new world began as a result of the “Old Deluder Satan Law.” That 1647 Massachusetts law established the school to teach kids how to read the Bible so that old deluder Satan could not deceive them.

Likewise, most of our first universities were established to teach and propagate a complete Christian worldview. Harvard’s charter read, “Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning.”

The founders of Harvard knew that all truth is God’s truth. There is no bifurcation between the sacred and the secular. According to the Bible, every vocation, every discipline, and every person is sacred. Nothing is secular. In sharp contrast, those running our country now say that everything is secular. That’s a long way from our founding.

“So what?” you say. “Who cares about morality and God?”

That’s exactly the problem: Who does care? When the church separates from society, it takes its moral influence with it. But respect for the moral principles upon which out nation was founded—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—is essential to its survival. Our founders knew this.

Following the Constitutional convention, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government he and his fellow founding fathers created for the nation. Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Franklin knew that freedom must always be defended; that the unalienable rights for which our founding fathers pledged “their lives, fortunes and sacred honor,” were never secure unless an informed electorate held their representatives accountable to uphold those moral rights.

Recognizing that only a religious and moral people will maintain a good government, George Washington declared in his farewell address, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports.” His successor, John Adams, wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” In other words, even the best Constitution cannot prevent immoral people or politicians from destroying a nation. That’s why the church cannot abandon its calling. But it has.

So if you’re a believer who is upset that life is not being protected; that marriage is being subverted; that judges routinely usurp your will; that our immigration laws are being ignored; that radical laws are passed but never read; that mentioning God in school (unless he’s Allah) results in lawsuits; that school curriculums promote political correctness and sexual deviance as students fail at basic academics; that unimaginable debt is being piled on your children while leftist organizations like Planned Parenthood and ACORN receive your tax dollars; and that your religion and free speech rights are about to be eroded by “hate” crimes legislation that can punish you for quoting the Bible; then go look in the mirror and take your share of the blame because we have not obeyed our calling.

Then start over. Reengage at every level of society. Treat every job and every person as sacred. Be a beacon for Christ and truth in whatever you do and wherever you are. There is hope if you act. After all, we believe in redemption.

Posted in Culture Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

June 19th, 2009 by Frank Turek

Editor’s Note: Originally published on TownHall.com, used with permission. Frank Turek is a speaker and author, and a leading Christian apologist. Learn more at his website www.CrossExamined.org

My friend David has a knack for cutting through the smokescreens people throw up when they’re trying to avoid making commitments, be they commitments to God or to other people. Last week, with one comment, he blew away all the smoke that a young agnostic was hiding behind. It was a demonstration of tremendous insight, and it required some courage to say.

For several weeks David was teaching through a series on Christian apologetics, which involves providing evidence for the truth of Christianity. In addition to the biblical mandate to provide such evidence, David thought it would be wise to do so because 75 percent of Christian youth stop attending church after age 18. Many of them abandon the church because they’re bombarded by secularism in college and they’ve never been taught any of the sound evidence that supports Christianity.

Last week, after David finished a presentation refuting the “new atheists”—Dawkins, Hitchens and the like—a young man approached him and said, “I once was a Christian, but now I’m an agnostic, and I don’t think you should be doing what you’re doing.”

“What do you mean?” David asked.

“I don’t think you should be giving arguments against atheists,” the young man said. “Jesus told us to love, and it’s not loving what you’re doing.”

David said, “No, that’s not right. Jesus came with both love and tuth. Love without truth is a swampy, borderless mess. Truth is necessary. In fact, it’s unloving to keep truth from people, especially if that truth has eternal consequences.”

David was absolutely right. In fact, if you look at Matthew chapter 23, Jesus was more like a drill sergeant than he was like Mister Rogers.

But the young man would have none of it. Without acknowledging David’s point, he immediately brought up another objection to Christianity. David succinctly answered that one too, but again the kid seemed uninterested. He fired a couple of more objections at David, who began to suspect something else was up—something I’ve noticed as well.

I’ve found that the machine-gun-objection approach is common among many skeptics and liberals. They throw objection after objection at believers and conservatives but never pause long enough to listen to the answers. It doesn’t matter that you’ve just answered their question with an undeniable fact—they’ve already left that topic and are rattling off another objection on another topic as if you hadn’t said a word. They don’t really seem interested in finding answers but in finding reasons to make themselves feel better about what they want to believe.

After all, a skeptic of one set of beliefs is actually a true believer in another set of beliefs.

David recognized that’s exactly what was happening in his conversation. So after the kid fired off another objection, David decided to end the charade and cut right to the heart. He said, “You’re raising all of these objections because you’re sleeping with your girlfriend. Am I right?”

All the blood drained from the kid’s face. He was caught. He just stood there speechless. He was rejecting God because he didn’t like God’s morality, and he was disguising it with alleged intellectual objections.

This young man wasn’t the first atheist or agnostic to admit that his desire to follow his own agenda was keeping him out of the Kingdom. In the first chapter of his letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul revealed this tendency we humans have to “suppress the truth” about God in order to follow our own desires. In other words, unbelief is more motivated by the heart than the head. Some prominent atheists have admitted this.

Atheist Julian Huxley, grandson of “Darwin’s Bulldog” Thomas Huxley, famously said many years ago that the reason he and many of his contemporaries “accepted Darwinism even without proof, is because we didn‘t want God to interfere with our sexual mores.”

Professor Thomas Nagel of NYU more recently wrote, “It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that. My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time.”

Certainly the new atheists such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins have problems with cosmic authority. Hitchens refuses to live under the “tyranny of a divine dictatorship.” Dawkins calls the God of the Bible a “malevolent bully” (among other things) and admits that he is “hostile to religion.”

It’s not that Hitchens and Dawkins offer any serious examination and rebuttal of the evidence for God. They misunderstand and dismiss hundreds of pages of metaphysical argumentation from Aristotle, Aquinas and others and fail to answer the modern arguments from the beginning and design of the universe. (Dawkins explanation for the extreme design of the universe is “luck.”)

Instead, as any honest reader of their books will see, Hitchens and Dawkins are outraged at the very thought of God. Even their titles scream out contempt (god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything and The God Delusion). They don’t seem to realize that their moral outrage presupposes an objective moral standard that exists only if God exists. Objective morality—as well as the immaterial laws of reason and science—cannot exist in the materialist universe they attempt to defend.

In effect, they have to borrow from a theistic worldview in order to argue against it. They have to sit in God’s lap to slap his face.

While both men are very good writers, Hitchens and Dawkins are short on evidence and long on attitude. As I mentioned in our debate, you can sum up Christopher’s attitude in one sentence: “There is no God, and I hate him.”

Despite this, God’s attitude as evidenced by the sacrifice of Christ is: There are atheists, and I love them.

Posted in Philosophy & Science Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

June 9th, 2009 by M. French

School of Culture Engagmenet: FIRE School of Ministry

The School of Cultural Engagement consists of a total of 8 weeks of classes designed to inform and equip you in bringing transformation to your world. Come join us for an intensive time of learning about the state of affairs in the American church and society, and find out what you can do to affect your culture through the gospel!

Website: http://www.fire-school.org/acCulturalSchool.aspx

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=185747405275

NOTE: These classes will not be available online, but can be purchased on CD through FIRE School of Ministry following the event.

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The following 6 classes will be held in the evenings and are free and open to the general public.

* June 15-18 – Only Genesis: The Basis to Interpret the Bible and Life (Taught by John C. Rankin)

Learn how the foundations for life and living are found in the book of Genesis from the founder and host of the Mars Hill Forum Series, where his goal is to provide freedom for the toughest questions of the Gospel to be posed in a hospitable and intellectually rigorous setting. Your perspectives will be dramatically changed by this course!

* June 22-25 – Reclaiming Godly Sexuality (Taught by Joe Dallas)

How is sexuality a discipleship issue? What are the physical, spiritual and emotional ramifications of stepping outside of Created Intent regarding human sexuality? Hear answers to these and other important questions from nationally recognized pastoral counselor Joe Dallas.

* June 29-July 2 – It’s Time to Rock the Boat (Taught by Michael L. Brown)

It is high time that we recover the message of Jesus and the apostles. Our compromised message has produced a compromised generation of believers, and only a return to the New Testament gospel, preached in the power of the Spirit, can turn the tide. Taught by the president of FIRE School of Ministry, this course will open your eyes and set your hearts ablaze for Jesus!

* July 6-9 – Cultural Apologetics (Taught by Frank Turek)

Surveys indicate that 80% of Christian young people fall away from the Lord within their first year in secular colleges, while nationally, less than 20% of born-again Christians hold to foundational biblical truths. This essential course, taught by leading apologist Frank Turek, will strengthen your faith, answer your questions, and equip you for effective witness.

* July 13-16 – Separation of Church and State (Taught by Joseph Infranco)

Christian students on campuses have been told they cannot publicly share their faith; atheists are taking legal action against the National Day of Prayer; the courts have decided that homosexual rights trump religious rights. This course, taught by senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund Joe Infranco, will give you an understanding of the real meaning of the separation of church and state.

* July 20-23 – Engaging Culture, Congress, and the Media (Taught by Patrick J. Mahoney)

How does the gospel intersect with culture? What is the church’s role in society? How can we take the gospel into the streets and into our communities? How can we influence Congress and the media? Pat Mahoney, who has been on the front lines of cultural engagement for more than twenty-five years, will provoke you to godly action and inspire you to rise up and change your world in the life and power of the Spirit.

Hours:
Mon 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Tue 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Wed 6:30pm – 9:00pm
Thu 7pm – 9:30pm

Location:
FIRE School of Ministry
4323 Concord Pkwy S.
Concord, NC 28027

Posted in Culture, News Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

April 23rd, 2009 by Frank Turek

Editor’s Note: Originally published on TownHall.com, used with permission. Frank Turek is a speaker and author, and a leading Christian apologist. Learn more at his website www.CrossExamined.org

I like to strike up conversations with people I meet while traveling. Last Tuesday, on the way back to San Francisco airport, I asked the driver where he was from. “Jordan,” he replied.

In an effort to make a connection, I mentioned that I haven’t gotten to Jordan, but I went to Iran in 2006 and served in Saudi Arabia with the Navy twenty years ago.

“What do you do?” he asked.

“I’m a writer and a speaker. I co-authored a book defending the truth of Christianity called I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.”

“I’m a Christian too,” he said. Then, just as we were pulling into the terminal, he asked, “What do you think about the Iraq war?”

With less than 90 seconds left in the ride, I quickly said, “I think it was the least bad choice we had. Saddam used WMD, invaded Kuwait, and then violated 17 straight UN resolutions and the cease fire. What other choice did we have in a post 9-11 world?”

He didn’t answer the question. Instead, he claimed that Iraq had nothing to with 9-11, and that we just should have gone after the bad guys in Afghanistan. He then said, “Jesus told us to love our enemies.”

Leaving the issue of 9-11 aside, was his inference correct? In light of what Jesus said about loving our enemies, should Christians be pacifists?

I don’t think so. In fact, sometimes the use of force is not only justified, it can be a dereliction of duty not to use force.

First, “loving your enemies,” like “turn the other cheek,” is a command for individuals in personal relationships. It is not a command for governments or for individuals put in grave bodily harm. As individuals we should pray for our enemies and “turn the other cheek” instead of returning insult for insult. Such behavior demonstrates supernatural love aimed at securing the offender’s conversion to Christ. But those commands do not mean that we have no right to personal self defense, nor do they mean that a nation shouldn’t protect its people from other hostile nations.

With regard to self defense, not only does the Old Testament affirm the right to self defense (Ex. 22:2), Jesus himself told his disciples to sell their cloak and buy a sword (Luke 22:36). Jesus later told Peter “put your sword away” so Christ’s sacrifice would go forward and the scriptures would be fulfilled (Mt. 26:54). But the very fact that Jesus told Peter and the other disciples to buy a sword shows that its use for personal protection is appropriate. (By the way, Jesus never condoned the use of the sword as a means of religious conversion. It’s impossible anyway. Genuine conversion, by definition, is freely accepted. It cannot be coerced.)

With regard to war, the New Testament does not order newly baptized soldiers to get out of the military. Instead, John the Baptist told them not to abuse their power and to be content with their pay (Luke 3:14). Soldiers are needed because, as Paul pointed out in Romans 13, governments have a God-given responsibility to use “the sword” to protect their people from harm. In fact, Paul himself accepted military protection when he was in danger (Acts 22:25f), and Jesus affirmed the right of governments to impose capital punishment, saying that such a right was given by God (Jn. 19:11).

Second, “love your enemies” cannot mean that all use of force is prohibited because such an interpretation would contradict the passages just cited and result in absurd conclusions. It would be absurd to say that “love your enemies” means “allow them to kill your family.” How would that be loving to your family?

It would be absurd to say that “love your enemies” prohibits all wars. What about the war against Hitler? Not justified? Please. How would that be loving to the Jews or the countries overrun? (Notice that even my driver friend isn’t against all wars. He thinks that the war in Afghanistan is justified. But if “love your enemies” meant you could never use force, then how can Afghanistan be justified?)

With such an absurd interpretation, we couldn’t even have police protection, a court system, or prisons. Why believe that police can use force but not Armies? There’s not much of a difference. Police use force to protect people from enemies inside a country. Armies use force to protect people from enemies outside a country.

Without the proper use of force, we’d have anarchy, and innocent people would be hurt or killed. That’s why complete pacifism is not only unbiblical, it is a dereliction of duty. Individuals have a responsibility to protect themselves and their families from harm, and governments have a similar responsibility to protect their citizens.

Christians can and should, of course, oppose specific wars that don’t meet what theologians call “just-war theory.” As I mentioned in my last column, I believe the Iraq war is just. But I didn’t get enough time with my driver friend to hear his complete case against the Iraq war. Maybe he knows something I don’t, but it didn’t seem so.

One thing is for certain: Christians contradict scripture and common sense when they say no war or use of force can ever be justified. As terrible as it is, War is sometimes the least bad choice available. In other words, it’s not that Christians are for war; it’s that we’re against the alternative—the oppression and death of the innocent. And in a fallen world like this, sometimes the use of force is necessary to protect the innocent. Without it, we wouldn’t even be able to love our friends.

Posted in Scripture Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

April 9th, 2009 by M. French

Gay marriage is now legal in Vermont. According to the Burlington Free Press:

The Legislature voted Tuesday to override Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto of a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The vote was 23-5 to override in the state Senate and 100-49 to override in the House. Under Vermont law, two-thirds of each chamber had to vote for override.

The Guardian published the following regarding the Vermont decision, and what to expect in the near future:

Vermont is important because it is the first legislature to pass such a bill. Legal marriage for gays in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa was the result of court rulings. The Vermont bill cannot be overruled by its governor and the first gay marriages are scheduled for September.

Wolfson said: “Legislatures in several states are considering bills now and we are hoping to see movement in several of them over the next few months.”

The next is likely to be New Hampshire, whose house of representatives has voted in favour and the bill has now gone to its senate. In Maine, the state legislature is scheduled to begin committee hearings later this month. In New York and New Jersey, both their governors have promised to sign any bills passed by their legislatures.

Wolfson, who founded his organisation in 2003, sees the California ruling as a turning point. “California was a wake-up call. People realised that we had been too complacent.”

Other states laying the groundwork for bills in favour of same-sex marriages include Illinois, Washington state, Maryland and Rhode Island

In a time when state governments should be doing everything they can to strengthen natural marriage, again and again they are choosing to alter its very definition. The effects of these changes will become more and more evident over time. As stated by Frank Turek, “International surveys show that same-sex marriage and the erosion of traditional marriage tend to go together. Traditional marriage is weakest and illegitimacy strongest wherever same-sex marriage is legal. ” Is the erosion of natural marriage and the strengthening of illegitimacy really in the best interest of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and now Vermont?

Posted in Law & Politics, News Tagged with: , , , , ,

January 16th, 2009 by Frank Turek

Editor’s Note: Originally published on TownHall.com, used with permission. Frank Turek is a speaker and author, and a leading Christian apologist. Learn more at his website www.CrossExamined.org

When I debated atheist Christopher Hitchens recently, one of the eight arguments I offered for God’s existence was the creation of this supremely fine-tuned universe out of nothing.  I spoke of the five main lines of scientific evidence—denoted by the acronym SURGE—that point to the definite beginning of the space-time continuum. They are: The Second Law of Thermodynamics, the Expanding Universe, the Radiation Afterglow from the Big Bang Explosion, the Great galaxy seeds in the Radiation Afterglow, and Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.

While I don’t have space to unpack this evidence here (see I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist), it all points to the fact that the universe began from literally nothing physical or temporal.  Once there was no time, no space, and no matter and then it all banged into existence out of nothing with great precision.

The evidence led astronomer Dr. Robert Jastrow—who until his recent death was the director of the Mount Wilson observatory once led by Edwin Hubble—to author a book called God and the Astronomers. Despite revealing in the first line of chapter 1 that he was personally agnostic about ‘religious matters,” Jastrow reviewed some of the SURGE evidence and concluded,  “Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.”

In an interview, Jastrow went even further, admitting that “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover. . . . That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”

Jastrow was not alone in evoking the supernatural to explain the beginning. Athough he found it personally “repugnant,” General Relativity expert Arthur Eddington admitted the same when he said, “The beginning seems to present insuperable difficulties unless we agree to look on it as frankly supernatural.”

Now why would scientists such as Jastrow and Eddington admit, despite their personal misgivings, that there are “supernatural” forces at work? Why couldn’t natural forces have produced the universe? Because there was no nature and there were no natural forces ontologically prior to the Big Bang—nature itself was created at the Big Bang. That means the cause of the universe must be something beyond nature—something we would call supernatural.  It also means that the supernatural cause of the universe must at least be:

·         spaceless because it created space

·         timeless because it created time

·         immaterial because it created matter

·         powerful because it created out of nothing

·         intelligent because the creation event and the universe was precisely designed

·         personal because it made a choice to convert a state of nothing into something (impersonal forces don’t make choices).

Those are the same attributes of the God of the Bible (which is one reason I believe in a the God of the Bible and not a god of mythology like Zeus).

I mentioned in the debate that other scientists who made Big-Bang-related discoveries also conclude that the evidence is consistent with the Biblical account. Robert Wilson—co-discoverer of the Radiation Afterglow, which won him a Noble Prize in Physics— observed, “Certainly there was something that set it off. Certainly, if you’re religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match with Genesis.”  George Smoot—co-discoverer of the Great Galaxy Seeds which won him a Nobel Prize as well—echoed Wilson’s assessment by saying, “There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the Big Bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”

How did Hitchens respond to this evidence?  Predictably, he said that I was “speculating”—that no one can get behind the Big Bang event.  I say “predictably” because that’s exactly the response Dr. Jastrow said is common for atheists who have their own religion—the religion of science.

Jastrow wrote, “There is a kind of religion in science . . . every effect must have its cause; there is no First Cause. . . . This religious faith of the scientist is violated by the discovery that the world had a beginning under conditions in which the known laws of physics are not valid, and as a product of forces or circumstances we cannot discover. When that happens, the scientist has lost control. If he really examined the implications, he would be traumatized. As usual when faced with trauma, the mind reacts by ignoring the implications—in science this is known as “refusing to speculate.”

Hitchens admits the evidence but ignores its implications in order to blindly maintain his own religious faith (watch the entire debate at CrossExamined.org here).  How is it speculation to say that since all space, time, and matter were created that the cause must be spaceless, timeless and immaterial?  That’s not speculation, but following the evidence where it leads.

Dr. Jastrow, despite his agnosticism, told us where the evidence leads.  He ended his book this way:  “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

Posted in Philosophy & Science Tagged with: , , , , , ,

December 18th, 2008 by Frank Turek

Editor’s Note: Originally published on TownHall.com, used with permission. Frank Turek is a speaker and author, and a leading Christian apologist. Learn more at his website www.CrossExamined.org

Why not legalize same-sex marriage?  Who could it possibly hurt?  Children and the rest of society. That’s the conclusion of David Blankenhorn, who is anything but an anti-gay “bigot.” He is a life-long, pro-gay, liberal democrat who disagrees with the Bible’s prohibitions against homosexual behavior. Despite this, Blankenhorn makes a powerful case against Same-Sex marriage in his book, The Future of Marriage.

He writes, “Across history and cultures . . . marriage’s single most fundamental idea is that every child needs a mother and a father. Changing marriage to accommodate same-sex couples would nullify this principle in culture and in law.”

How so?

The law is a great teacher, and same sex marriage will teach future generations that marriage is not about children but about coupling. When marriage becomes nothing more than coupling, fewer people will get married to have children.

So what?

People will still have children, of course, but many more of them out-of wedlock. That’s a disaster for everyone. Children will be hurt because illegitimate parents (there are no illegitimate children) often never form a family, and those that “shack up” break up at a rate two to three times that of married parents. Society will be hurt because illegitimacy starts a chain of negative effects that fall like dominoes—illegitimacy leads to poverty, crime, and higher welfare costs which lead to bigger government, higher taxes, and a slower economy.

Are these just the hysterical cries of an alarmist?  No. We can see the connection between same-sex marriage and illegitimacy in Scandinavian countries. Norway, for example, has had de-facto same-sex marriage since the early nineties. In Nordland, the most liberal county of Norway, where they fly “gay” rainbow flags over their churches, out-of-wedlock births have soared—more than 80 percent of women giving birth for the first time, and nearly 70 percent of all children, are born out of wedlock! Across all of Norway, illegitimacy rose from 39 percent to 50 percent in the first decade of same-sex marriage.

Anthropologist Stanley Kurtz writes, “When we look at Nordland and Nord-Troendelag — the Vermont and Massachusetts of Norway — we are peering as far as we can into the future of marriage in a world where gay marriage is almost totally accepted. What we see is a place where marriage itself has almost totally disappeared.” He asserts that “Scandinavian gay marriage has driven home the message that marriage itself is outdated, and that virtually any family form, including out-of-wedlock parenthood, is acceptable.”

But it’s not just Norway. Blankenhorn reports this same trend in other countries.  International surveys show that same-sex marriage and the erosion of traditional marriage tend to go together. Traditional marriage is weakest and illegitimacy strongest wherever same-sex marriage is legal.

You might say, “Correlation doesn’t always indicate causation!”  Yes, but often it does. Is there any doubt that liberalizing marriage laws impacts society for the worse?  You need look no further than the last 40 years of no-fault divorce laws in the United States (family disintegration destroys lives and now costs tax payers $112 billion per year!).

No-fault divorce laws began in one state, California, and then spread to rest of the country. Those liberalized divorce laws helped change our attitudes and behaviors about the permanence of marriage.  There’s no question that liberalized marriage laws   will help change our attitudes and behaviors about the purpose of marriage. The law is a great teacher, and if same-sex marriage advocates have their way, children will be expelled from the lesson on marriage.

This leads Blankenhorn to assert, “One can believe in same-sex marriage. One can believe that every child deserves a mother and a father.  One cannot believe both.”

Blankenhorn is amazed how indifferent homosexual activists are about the negative effects of same-sex marriage on children.  Many of them, he documents, say that marriage isn’t about children.

Well, if marriage isn’t about children, what institution is about children?   And if we’re going to redefine marriage into mere coupling, then why should the state endorse same-sex marriage at all?

Contrary to what homosexual activists assume, the state doesn’t endorse marriage because people have feelings for one another. The state endorses marriage primarily because of what marriage does for children and in turn society. Society gets no benefit by redefining marriage to include homosexual relationships, only harm as the connection to illegitimacy shows. But the very future of children and a civilized society depends on stable marriages between men and women. That’s why, regardless of what you think about homosexuality, the two types of relationships should never be legally equated.

That conclusion has nothing to do with bigotry and everything to do with what’s best for children and society.  Just ask pro-gay, liberal democrat David Blankenhorn.

Posted in Law & Politics Tagged with: , , , , ,

December 10th, 2008 by Frank Turek

Editor’s Note: Originally published on TownHall.com,  used with permission.  Frank Turek is a speaker and author, and a leading Christian apologist.  Learn more at his website www.CrossExamined.org

 
After the passage of Prop 8 in California, homosexuals are still howling that they don’t have “equal rights.”  Hopefully, the California Supreme Court will respect the equal rights of voters by affirming Prop 8 because the howls of homosexuals are false.  The truth is every person in America already has equal marriage rights!

We’re all playing by the same rules—we all have the same right to marry any non-related adult of the opposite sex. Those rules do not deny anyone “equal protection of the laws” because the qualifications to enter a marriage apply equally to everyone—every adult person has the same right to marry.

Homosexuals want the court to believe that because of their sexual desires they are a special class of persons that is being discriminated against. In other words, they think that sexual desires guarantee people special legal rights.

That’s a preposterous premise!  It would mean that men born with a desire for many women (i.e. most men) are having their rights violated because marriage laws provide no means for polygamy.  Likewise, it would mean that people desiring to marry their close relatives don’t have “equal rights” because our marriage laws have no provision for incest. And bisexuals could object because existing marriage laws don’t allow them to marry a man and a woman!

If desires alone guarantee someone special rights, why no special rights for pedophiles and gay bashers?  The answer is obvious—because desires, even if you were “born” with them, do not justify behavior, do not make anyone a special class, and should have no impact on our laws (see Born Gay or a Gay Basher: No Excuse).

Laws encourage good behavior or prevent bad behavior. Desires are irrelevant.  We enact all kinds of laws that conflict with people’s desires.  In fact, that’s why we need them!  We wouldn’t need any laws if people always desired to do good, which is why James Madison wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

So there should be no legal class of “gay” or “straight,” just a legal class called “person.”  And it doesn’t matter whether persons desire sex with the same or opposite sex, or whether they desire sex with children, parents, or farm animals.  What matters is whether the behavior desired is something the law should prohibit, permit or promote. Those are the only three choices we have when it comes to making law.

We already permit homosexuals to pledge themselves to one another “till death do them part.” They can privately commit themselves to one another in every state, and in California domestic partnerships give them all the benefits of marriage. But that’s not enough for homosexual activists. They want homosexuality to be promoted and endorsed by getting the government to call it “marriage.” That way they can get the social approval they want and use the law as a club to beat homosexual values into our school children, businesses, and charities.

Sorry, but there is no “right” to have any sexual relationship officially called “marriage” and have it granted benefits by the state.  We have government-backed natural marriage because it benefits the country greatly, especially children, and because we voted for it!

Gay complaints of “discrimination” are bogus as well. Marriage laws do not discriminate against persons, they discriminate against behavior. That’s true of most laws. For example, the Thirteenth Amendment discriminates against the behavior of some businessmen who might like to improve their profits through slavery, but it does not discriminate against those businessmen as persons.  And the First Amendment’s freedom-of-religion protections discriminate against the behavior of some Muslims who want to impose Islam on the entire nation, but it does not discriminate against those Muslims as persons. Likewise, our marriage laws discriminate against the desired behaviors of homosexuals, polygamists, bigamists, adulterers, and the incestuous, but they do not discriminate against them as persons.

The nonsensical comparisons to interracial marriage don’t work either. Race is irrelevant to marriage while gender is essential to it. There is nothing wrong with interracial marriages because men and women are designed for one another and can procreate regardless of their racial background. But same-sex marriages can’t procreate or provide a mom and a dad to kids.  No law can change that or alleviate the documented health problems that result from same-sex couplings. So our marriage laws should be color blind but not gender blind.

Ironically, it’s not conservatives but homosexual activists who are acting like racists. Instead of asking the state to recognize the preexisting institution of marriage, homosexuals are asking the state to define marriage. That’s exactly what racists were trying to do to prevent interracial marriage. Racists wanted the state to define marriage as only between same-race couples, instead of having the state recognize what marriage already was—the union of a man and a woman regardless of their racial background. While racists and homosexuals may want to alter the legal definition of marriage, they can’t alter the laws of nature that helped lead to the recognition of legal marriage in the first place.

The bottom line is that we’re not discriminating against anyone with our current marriage laws.  Like most laws, we’re only discriminating for or against behavior that is good or bad for our country. So this debate really has nothing to do with equal rights, discrimination, hate or bigotry, but whether or not same-sex marriage would be good or bad for our country.  As I’ve shown in Gay Marriage: Even Liberals Know It’s Bad, the evidence clearly shows same-sex marriage would be detrimental to everyone which is why we should oppose it.

If the California Supreme Court overturns Proposition 8, the people who will be denied equal rights are the majority of Californians who voted for it.  The rights of more than six million voters will be denied by four judges who refuse to acknowledge a false and preposterous premise. Only democracy will be in the closet at that point.

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