What Will Happen If America Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage? – Program 6
|By: JJohanna Michaelson, Dave Hunt; ©2004|
|If we were talking just about you and your partner, perhaps we could say there’s no harm. But there are implications to gay marriage that reach far beyond the gay couple themselves.|
Does Gay Marriage Threaten Your Family?
Today, on the John Ankerberg Show, the truth about same-sex marriage.
We are witnessing a cultural revolution concerning marriage that, if successful, will have repercussions for our children, our grandchildren, for married couples, and our freedom of religion. Those advocating we legalize same-sex marriage are promoting at least five false assumptions about marriage and children:
First, children do not need a loving mother. In same-sex marriage between two men, the assumption is that children will not be harmed in their development if they never experience a woman’s love. Women are unnecessary. But scientific studies show this assumption is false.
Second, children have no need of a loving father. In a same-sex marriage between two lesbians, they assume men contribute nothing of value to the development of boys and girls. This assumption is also unsupported by scientific studies.
Third, marriage between two men or two women is beneficial to their health and happiness. This is false. Studies show that, on average, gay marriages do not last very long; that both gay men and lesbian women have a much higher incidence of psychiatric disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, suicide and higher incidences of infidelity.
Fourth, that homosexuals are born gay. No scientific study has demonstrated this.
Fifth, that homosexuals can’t change their sexual orientation. This is false. Both lesbians and gays can change their sexual orientation.
If same-sex marriage is legalized in America, this action will eventually rob us of our religious freedoms. What has happened in Sweden, Canada, France and the Netherlands will happen here. That is, no one will be able to counsel or write against the negative effects of gay marriage, preach sermons or publicly state that it is morally wrong.
To explain how harmful same-sex marriage can be to people in our culture and why natural marriage between one man and one woman is so important, my guests are:
Glenn T. Stanton, Director of Social Research and Cultural Affairs, and Senior Analyst for Marriage and Sexuality at Focus on the Family. He is author of the new book, Marriage on Trial: The Case Against Same-Sex Marriage.
Also Dr. Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, IL. He is the author of The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage: Six Things You Need to Know About What’s Really at Stake.
We invite you to join us.
- Ankerberg: Welcome. We’re talking about the truth about same-sex marriages. We have two guests with us: Dr. Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Moody Memorial Church, in Chicago, IL; and Glenn Stanton, from Focus on the Family. And we’re talking about the questions that gays would ask us in response to some of the things that we have been talking about in this series.
- And Glenn, let me start with one: How does someone’s gay marriage threaten your family?
- Stanton: Every time I debate this issue publicly, my opponent asks me that question. “How will my gay marriage, my gay relationship, hurt your family?” And my answer to that is real simple: If we were just talking about you and your partner, then no real harm. But what we are talking about is you asking all of us to dramatically and radically change our own definition of marriage so that husband and wife, mother and father do not matter. And that’s where it harms my family: your same-sex family, whether lesbian or gay, will teach my little boy and my little girl that they, as gendered beings, male or female, do not matter for the family, and that their mother and father do not matter for the family. And I will never allow anybody to teach my children that lesson.
- Ankerberg: But aren’t you condemning a whole group of people that are sexual, just not in the way that you are, to never being in a relationship, never being married?
- Stanton: Nobody is keeping those people from entering a relationship. We’re just simply trying to keep them from re-defining marriage and the family for all of us. And that’s really what this issue comes down to. Are we going to allow a small group of people to radically and permanently redefine marriage for all of us?
- Ankerberg: Does it matter how we define marriage?
- Stanton: Absolutely. Because marriage is the social institution that celebrates humanity, bringing male and female together, and proclaiming that male and female matter. Whereas the same-sex family says that male and female do not matter; that they’re simply replaceable, and that all we have are just people. It really does deconstruct humanity at a very deep and profound level by telling us male and female don’t matter. And there is no society anywhere in the history of the world that has ever taken that view of humanity and we can’t start now.
- Ankerberg: People say, but haven’t a lot of other cultures had same-sex marriages as part of their culture?
- Stanton: Not at all. There’s not one single human civilization that has tolerated, as a social institution, homosexual marriage. You spin a globe, stab your finger down in any inhabited land mass, go there at any time in history—now or in the past—and you’ll find that they do marriage as a permanent relationship between men and women. The diversity that we see there is division of labor, and number of spouses; but it’s always about men and women, bringing men and women together.
- Ankerberg: Erwin, some people would say, listen, I am a lesbian, I am gay, and the fact is, I believe that God permits it, and I have the smile of God on my life. What do you say to those people?
- Lutzer: Well, first of all let me say that, if a person says “I’m Christian and gay”, unfortunately, they are not taking the New Testament seriously, because the New Testament calls us to holiness [e.g., 1 Pet. 1:15-16]. We’ve already learned in this series that homosexual relationships are really the antithesis of holiness. So, if anything, that lesbian person should say, “I’m willing to live celibate, I’m willing to live without a relationship.” But to be in a relationship and to be displeasing to God is very, very serious.
- And as we pointed out, not only do we have God’s Book on this issue, but also, the book of nature, and of the unnaturalness that takes place as a result of it. And we’ve talked about the consequences of that. So we need to be able to lovingly tell people, life is tough, but there are a lot of heterosexual singles out there too, who would like to be married, who aren’t for various reasons; and therefore, singleness needs to be affirmed. And in our churches, it needs to be affirmed. Not everybody has to be married. Not everybody is called to marriage.
- Ankerberg: How many people in our society are homosexual?
- Stanton: Really, the research shows us that it’s a very small population. It’s certainly not ten percent, as we hear over and over and over again. The best scientific research shows us that it’s anywhere from 1% to maybe 2.5-3%. Very, very small population.
- Ankerberg: What causes homosexuality?
- Stanton: It’s not genetic. We don’t know of any academic study or any court in the world that has ever declared homosexuality, or found homosexuality, rooted in nature or rooted in genetics. It’s really rooted in environmental causes: psychological, familial, relationships with parents, things like that. It’s a complex thing and can’t just be rooted down to one thing.
- Ankerberg: When you hear people that come on the different talk programs on television, and they are advocating same-sex marriage, and they say the statement that “homosexuality is caused by our genes” or, “biology shows that it’s determined”. Okay? What do you say to those people?
- Stanton: Well, they have to understand the research and they have to understand the facts. We have statements from researchers, the supposed researchers themselves, who have established these things where they say things like, “You know what? One thing our study did not find, was a genetic determination for homosexuality and we’re not sure if we’ll ever be able to find that.” It’s not from wont of trying. These researchers have tried to find a genetic cause, and they just haven’t been able to. Primarily, because it’s not there.
- Ankerberg: Talk a little bit about Joseph Nicolosi and what he is doing on the secular side of the tracks, in terms of counseling.
- Stanton: He is a wonderful man doing very brave work. And what he is doing is reaching out to people who are struggling with unwanted feelings of homosexuality. And he takes them through a therapeutic model that helps them come to terms with what is at work within them.
- And largely, what it is, is coming to terms with the significant male role model in your life, your father, and understanding how that relationship was missing; and how the homosexual person, male, seeks to find connectedness with other males. And often times that becomes sexualized because of what they are missing with their father. And it’s uncanny to talk with the people that are in homosexuality and to find out, time and time and time again, that it’s a disconnected relationship with their father.
- And then the other side will bring up these people who go “No, I had a wonderful relationship with my father.” You know what, if you dig deep, you find that it wasn’t so great, and it wasn’t what is ought to be.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. I remember talking with Joe [Nicolosi] one time, and he said, you know, when you’re a guy, a little guy, growing up, you form a circle with your little friends. You’ve got the fort, you’ve got the guys, and you’re playing war games and you’re together. And unfortunately, there are some little guys that aren’t a part of the group and they get forced out. And it can be pretty tough. But the guys that are there, they bond together as males, and so that when they get to the age where the hormones are flowing, the mystery are the girls. And all of a sudden the attraction goes that way. But, for the guy that was ostracized, the person that didn’t have that male bonding, either with a father, a brother, an uncle, or with the guys in his group, he’s odd man out and he feels more comfortable with the girls, and the guys become the mystery when the hormones start rolling.
- Stanton: The key word there is “otherness.” For healthy, heterosexual males, female becomes “other.” You know, there’s this strange world of femininity. And for girls, it’s the strange world of men. And that becomes sexualized, and we want to investigate that. But you’re absolutely right, for the young boy who’s not healthfully connected to the world of men, the world of men becomes the “other.” You’re more comfortable with girls. And that becomes sexualized, and we see that time and time again. And it really is uncanny how it flows its way through the experience of so many people.
- Ankerberg: And the very reasons, the causes of homosexuality; a father can be loving, but he’s never home, he’s always on the job. Ok? It’s interesting to hear Joe Nicolosi talk about the fact that, hey, some of these guys did have a loving father, the father was just never there!
- Stanton: Right, right.
- Ankerberg: You actually have to show up and be with your kid, and it matters. Talk a little bit about that.
- Stanton: Right, it matters deeply. Kids need mothers and fathers. And the mothers and fathers need to be there. That’s what the divorce experiment taught us. We were told to believe that mothers and fathers can divorce and love their children from a distance. You know what, it didn’t work out. When Mom and Dad split up, it’s the end of the child’s world. And children need to have their mother and father there, involved in their lives on a daily basis. Two loving parents just can’t do it; it needs to be Mom and Dad; and Mom and Dad imputing into the child’s life on a loving, daily basis.
- Ankerberg: Alright, we’re going to take a break and when we come back, we’re going to talk about more questions that gays ask us. But we’re also going to talk about, the church ought to get involved and if we don’t, we might lose our religious freedom and the consequences that are coming up. We also need to talk about how this affects politics and we’ll talk about it all when we come right back.
- Ankerberg: We’re back, we’re talking about the battle over same-sex marriages that’s going on in our country. And let’s talk about what the most famous lesbian mother said on television to Diane Sawyer about her own son, which highlights this whole area that we’re talking about.
- Stanton: Yes, it’s very, very instructive. Of course, you’re speaking of Rosie O’Donnell. She has a little boy named Parker. Parker’s a young boy. And in the interview with Diane Sawyer, Diane Sawyer asked, “Rosie, does your little boy ever ask about his Dad?”
- Rosie said, “Of course he does; he’s a six year old boy.”
- She said, “Well, what does he ask?”
- “He asks ‘Where’s my Daddy?’”
- And Diane Sawyer, just riveted, said, “Well, what do you tell him?”
- And Rosie said this: “I tell him that I’m the kind of Mommy who wants another Mommy. And if you want me as a Mommy, then you’re not going to be able to have a Daddy.” Essentially, that’s what she said, in effect.
- We have to understand that what this woman is telling this little boy is, “I’m sorry, Parker, you want a Daddy, but you can’t have a Daddy, because I have certain needs. And you’re going to have to forego your needs to meet my needs.” And that’s what every single same-sex family does is, it intentionally denies children their mother or their father for the only reason: to satisfy adult desire.
- And Parker did not get his desire for a Daddy because Rosie inadvertently enrolled him in a Christian day school where they indoctrinated him. He knows that he’s different that his Mom, and that he doesn’t have a parent that’s like him. And every little boy needs that, and every little girl needs that.
- Ankerberg: But some people say, “Hey that’s tough. Okay, the fact is that we’re going to change that, and the fact is; you only need two loving lesbians or you only need two loving gay men. It really doesn’t make any difference.”
- Stanton: Get this: Two women wrote a book called The Lesbian Parenting Book; and I quote it in my book, and they recognize in there, they’re two lesbian Moms; they are both doctors. “It will interesting to see,” they said, “whether boys raised in lesbian homes develop a more healthy masculinity or a less healthy masculinity than boys raised in mother-and-father homes.” Do you get that? “It will be interesting to see”! Basically what they have done, they have subjected children to the status of lab rats in this experiment. That is never a compassionate thing to do. We cannot do that. We know that children need mothers and fathers, and it’s cruel to intentionally deny them that.
- Ankerberg: Erwin, some people say, “Look, my Pastor, in our church, he says we can ordain homosexuals, and we can be involved in homosexuality, and God still loves us.” What do you say to those people?
- Lutzer: Well, first of all, let me say that there are those who would like to take the Scriptures and bend them to make them fit. We don’t have time on this show, but it could be easily proven that that’s wrong-headed, you just can’t do it.
- Not only do we have the Scriptures, but, of course, we also have natural law that we’ve talked about on other shows. So that’s not the direction to go. In fact, speaking of pastors, I would like to challenge them to lead the parade on this, to speak on the topic of homosexuality. I did it at the Moody Church and it was very, very enthusiastically received.
- Ankerberg: In fact, you got a standing ovation.
- Lutzer: Really! And the reason is not because we, as pastors, should begin in the book of Leviticus and preach condemnation. We have to make sure that it is mingled with hope and realism. And we need to understand that there are homosexuals and lesbians that are there in our congregations…
- Ankerberg: Looking for help…
- Lutzer: …and we need to be sensitive to them. They’re looking for hope; they’re looking for help. And let’s not identify them with the radicals whose agenda we oppose.
- The most loving thing that we can do is to speak out on the topic of same-sex marriages and explain why it’s not only something that God is displeased with, but it’s best for our culture. And dare I say it, it’s even best for the gays and lesbians, because if we affirm [same-sex] marriage, we’re only confirming them in a lifestyle that ultimately is destructive.
- Now, when it comes to God, you know, you asked the question, “pleasing God.” We know that it is displeasing to God, nothing could be clearer than that. Of course, so is homosexuality; yes, but so is adultery, so is pornography.
- So we say to people everywhere that we have a God who, through Jesus Christ, has come to redeem us, come to offer us forgiveness. But there is no getting around it, there’s no getting around it: that homosexuality is contrary to the Designers’ Manual. This is not the way it’s supposed to be. And down deep inside, I have not yet met a homosexual who’s talked to me who has disagreed with that.
- Ankerberg: People do not understand what the Gospel is. They don’t understand what justification by faith is, so therefore, they don’t really believe that God can forgive them. They think they’ve got to do something to clean up their act. Would you explain what justification by faith is, and how it applies to those that are sinners in our audience?
- Lutzer: Those who are sinners in our audience, John?
- Ankerberg: That’s all of us.
- Lutzer: I’d say all of us, including you, including Glenn, including me.
- Ankerberg: That’s right.
- Lutzer: The good news is this: God says that, if you accept Jesus as Savior—and in a moment, I’ll explain what that means—God says, “I will take His [Jesus’] righteousness and credit it to your account as if it is yours.”
- So, the real issue is not the greatness of our sin. It’s not as if God finds it more difficult to save some sinners—because they’re really terrible—than He does other sins—because they’re less terrible. The issue is the wonder of the righteousness credited to our account. So that if we receive Christ as Savior, God says, “I will receive you as if you are Jesus.”
- You know, I am often asked, “How perfect do you have to be to get to heaven?” Most people say, “Well, I hope not tooperfect because then I won’t make it.” And I like to startle people by saying, “Unless you’re as perfect as God, don’t even think about it because you’re not going to make it” [1 Pet. 1:15-16]. So then, when they begin to understand that they have a problem, you say, “the way in which we become as perfect as God, is to have Christ’s righteousness and perfection credited to our account.”
- Do I have time, John, for a quick illustration of this?
- Ankerberg: Please do.
- Lutzer: Let’s suppose that I have two books here. This book is The Life and Times…, we’ll take Roger, you know, who is that homosexual who had 1,500 relationships; the prostitute.
- Ankerberg: Right.
- Lutzer: Let’s say that this book represents: The Life and Times of Roger. We look in it, the book is ugly, it’s got all kinds of sordid details. Over here is another book that says, The Life and Times of Jesus Christ. It’s a beautiful book. It is a book of righteousness, of holiness. Even God adores it. What God says is, “Roger, give Me your book.” So, Roger receives Christ, God takes the book, and then He says, “I’m going to tear the pages out, and then I’m going to tear the pages out of Jesus Christ’s book and shove them in between your covers.”
- So then we look at this new book that says The Life and Times of Roger. We begin to look at it; it is a book of holiness, of beauty, of purity; and that’s The Life and Times of Roger. And Roger is in heaven today, by the way—eventually he died of AIDS—because of the righteousness of Christ.
- What does it mean to receive Christ? First, we come as we are. People don’t have to clean up their homosexual act. You don’t have to say, “Well, God only accepts heterosexuals.” No, I’m sorry, He accepts…—No, I’m not sorry, as a matter of fact, I’m glad—that He accepts everybody who comes just as we are, like that famous song, “Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me.”
- Secondly, we believe, and have come to believe through the Scriptures, that Jesus alone is qualified to be a Savior. There are other gurus and prophets, but no savior out there who is actually able to save people from their sins. Nobody else has the righteousness that He has.
- And so we come, and we transfer our trust to Him and we say, “Jesus, be my savior, I receive You as my sin bearer, as my substitute.” “And as many as received him, to them he gives the power to become the children of God, even to those who believe on his name” [John 1:12]. This is a message of hope and joy, and a thrilling message that we can give to a very, very broken world, whether heterosexual or homosexual.
- Ankerberg: Terrific, terrific. Some people say the President’s playing politics with the Constitution. Unscramble that for us.
- Stanton: Well, yeah, that somehow he’s brought this issue of the Federal Marriage Amendment up around election time, so he can play to his base. If that were true, then he would have had to have orchestrated the Massachusetts decision, which really forced same-sex marriage upon all of us. It was the Massachusetts Supreme Court that set the timing for this, when they ruled last November that same-sex marriage was a fundamental, Constitutional right. We did not dream up the need for a Federal Marriage Amendment out of nothing. We are reacting to what they are pushing upon us. And the American people are supporting the idea of a Federal Marriage Amendment, because they know that marriage has to be protected constitutionally, because that’s the only thing that will keep these activist judges from forcing a radical new definition of family among all of us.
- Ankerberg: Erwin, you said the church must speak. What can they do?
- Lutzer: First of all, they need to strengthen their families; all of us need to. Secondly, we need to affirm singleness. There are important ramifications there. What we need to do is step to the plate in terms of adoption. You know, whether we’re critical of Rosie O’Donnell adopting a child, there are children out there that need parents, and they should have a mother and a father; and the church needs to speak to that.
- We need people who are educated. Thank God for this show, John, because, it’s going to help a lot of people out there know why we should be opposed to same-sex marriage. We should be involved politically. Your vote counts; of course, as a pastor, I do not take sides in the political debates that we have in these countries, as such, but this is moral debate.
- Could I say that this a watershed issue. We’re talking about our children and our grandchildren. And so it is very important that people be involved. We have to let our Senate know—and the members of Congress on both sides—know how we feel about this, because there is a uprising from the American people. But unless God intervenes in this country, I’m afraid that we might lose this one; and if we do, it will be a significant fall downward.
- Ankerberg: Scripturally, what happens to nations that turn their back on God?
- Lutzer: What happens to them is, God raises up enemies to fight against them; and God does not come to their defense. You know there is a verse in Isaiah that just shocked me. The verse says this regarding God’s people, Israel. He says, “Because you have grieved my Holy Spirit, I will turn and become your enemy; and fight against you” [Isa. 63:10]. People say, “Well, can’t we depend in God to be with us in this controversy?” Perhaps; but then, perhaps not. Maybe God is going to say to us as a nation, “I will let you live with the fruit of your disobedience, not just about the homosexuals, but the heterosexuals, the breakup of marriage, the tolerance of pornography, etc…” all of which contributed to where we are.
- It is time for us to fast, to pray, to seek God, to organize prayer meetings, because unless God steps in, perhaps, I don’t want to be too pessimistic, but perhaps, we’ve lost this one.
- Ankerberg: You’ve heard what these men have had to say and I think that we’ve all benefited from it. Guys, I want to say, thank you for coming.
- I recommend their books highly, and there’s a lot more information that we haven’t covered that’s in their books. And I think that we need to pray that God would spare our nation, because the things that we are talking about are scary and it will affect all of us.
- Guys again, thank you for being with us.
- Stanton: Thank you for doing the show.
- Lutzer: You’re welcome.