By David Tulis
The effort in Chattanooga to make homosexual unions equal to the covenant of marriage draws its strength from below rather than above. Christianity defends marriage as the sole locus for the blessing of sexual relations. While Christianity may be the best defender of marriage, it is not an exclusive one. Under every religion in every land, marriage is part of the basic construct of society.
Yes, marriage is best represented and defended in a Christian context. But it is not the provenance of the church. Nor that of the state. Marriage is an inherent right of every man and woman, one that preceded church and state. It obtains to man in his condition in Adam before the fall. It is a universal right for a man to marry a woman, though God imposes requirements upon that holy union blessed by common grace.
Marriage is between man and woman, and brings innumerable benefits to participants and gives glory to God. Marriage reflects the created order and the way of salvation — the picture of Christ dying for the church, His bride, and living continually as her head. Marriage allows for the right use of sexual passion, channels it by covenant vows into the creation of family, and beyond that culture and industry. Without marriage, children are not born into estates and capital is not created. Without fidelity in marriage, as J.D. Unwin argued in a 1934 cultural history, productivity shrinks and cultures wither.
If marriage is the locus of legitimacy and is regulated by God for man’s good and God’s glory, what to make of sexual revolution that is marching through the institutions of culture, seeking to overturn godly order? The homosexual movement, with remarkable support from the media, wants to legitimize its mores in federal statute and city ordinances. Yesterday the U.S. senate passed a pro-gay statute imposing rules on employers and opening them to litigation on charges of discrimination. Many states already have laws favoring homosexuals and disfavoring a Christian or traditionalist perspective.
In Chattanooga a proposed ordinance says “domestic partners” of gays are eligible for taxpayer-funded benefits. Any of 2,700 city staffers qualify if “the city employee and the domestic partner have chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring.” The coupling of the ordinance with an anti-harassment rule serves the effort well by implying opponents are all about harassment of workplace colleagues. Marriage proponents, therefore, who defend an 8,000-year-old human liberty of marriage, need to be rejected because they uphold an old order long associated with bigotry, inhospitality, harshness and oppression.
But whence this ordinance? Marriage is defended from above in the 7th commandment (“Thou shalt not commit adultery”) and derives its sway over humankind from God’s creation. Homosexual relations and other forms of deviance derive their power from below.
Man finds himself in chaos
Sexual ecstasy has long been part of manmade religion, from the most ancient times to modern Sweden, where the first and last victim to be hunted down was morality. The appeal to homosexuality comes from below, from the underworld that defies God and his law and seeks to undermine Christendom. Homosexuality is prominent in every era of religious apostasy. In ancient Israel homosexuality entered the life of the people during temple worship and heterodox religious rites allowed by King Solomon and established by his successors. King Asa, a reformer who pleased God by changing course, repressed homosexuals and perverts who had come to typify a corrupt worship of God (1 Kings 15).
The revolution against family mores seeks to establish itself in primitivism, in a downward quest, in a conversion into a void below, a grasping for vitality that increases its vivacity equal to the violence with which it assaults God’s order of reality. The ecstasies in sexualized religious practices in ancient times sought personal renewal and cultural benefit.
Rushdoony, in a discussion of extremes, explains the fascination with new life from chaos.
Bestiality was a common practice in antiquity; it was, moreover, a religious practice. Pagan religions, with their belief in an evolution out of chaos, looked downward to chaos for religious vigor, power, and vitality, not upward. Strength was believed to lie downward, in contact with the “earth,” with man’s primitive past. As a result, religious renewal required acts of bestiality, and in Egypt, Canaan, and many other countries, such acts were national requirements for the social welfare of the people, and personal acts by persons seeking to revitalize their lives.
He goes on to explain:
If God is God, then man looks upward to God for regeneration, guidance and strength, and man conforms his life to the law-word of God. If chaos is ultimate and is the source of all things rather than God, then man must look downward to acts of chaos for his regeneration. This is exactly what man has done.
I don’t mean to imply an interest in bestiality by proponents of Chattanooga’s gay ordinance. But its proponents represent a revolution against Christian moral order. The vanguard of this revolution would be people in the line of the Marquis de Sade, whose revulsion with God’s order led him to masochism, bestiality and many other perversions whose uncleanness was his greatest delight. Sade explores the worst of it in 120 Days of Sodom, a book he wrote during an imprisonment in the Bastille.
The great breaches in the Christian moral order of the 20th century were made by writers such as Friedrich Nietsche (who conceives of the modern “super man” for whom a Christian moral order is but a lifeless shell) and Charles Darwin (who denies creation through the theory of evolution). Putting irregular human sexual relations into statute and ordinance books is a form of consolidation. The homosexual agenda presses earnestly into every corner of modern existence to create a holy conformity to its premises.
The suggestion of how homosexual theory draws its power from below is only part of what might be helpful in understanding developments in Chattanooga. Homosexualism does not intend to rest until Christianity is overturned, the church silenced, the individual with his “hateful” speech brought to the stocks, and its egalitarian ideas controlling. I hope to write further about the topic. I urge Christians to take seriously their civic role in protesting the ordinance before city council.
Please call city council to register your support for marriage.
Sources: R.J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law (Nutley, N.J.: The Craig Press, 1973).