The Equality Smokescreen in the Marriage Debate

smoke screen: noun 1. a mass of dense smoke produced to conceal an area, vessel, or plane from the enemy. 2. something intended to disguise, conceal, or deceive; camouflage.

In times past when armies wanted to disguise their tactics to gain an advantage over the enemy, they would often resort to producing a cloud of smoke to hide their true intentions.

The same tactic is being used today in the battle for marriage.

The greatest cultural question of the early 21st century is whether the five thousand year definition of marriage will survive and thrive. Of the five major religious worldviews, four agree on the design and purpose of marriage. The only religion or worldview which rejects the premise that marriage is between a man and a woman is secularism. Because secularists or humanists believe there is no God or transcendent authority, man is free to be his own god and design his own standards of right and wrong.

In the past forty years of Western civilization where secularism has gained some ground, many time-tested moral codes are now under attack. Secularism wants it to be “okay” i.e. moral to fornicate (remember the “free love” of the sixties?), to commit adultery, and engage in homosexual acts. If you’re a consistent secularist, you’re also okay with pedophilia (if its “consensual,”), and even bestiality. In a secularist utopia, sex is a high priority god–and ones’ worship of it can take any form he chooses. Makes sense only if you accept the faulty premise that man is his own master.

Which brings us to the issue at hand. In a few days, on November 3, the states of both Maine and Washington will vote on various bills related to the definition of marriage. In Washington, Referendum 71 is a bill by the state legislature that expands the definition of domestic partnerships to include all the rights of married folks–the “Everything but Marriage” bill. It’s a massive legislative monstrosity that contains scores of pages because every time marriage is mentioned in our state regulations, Referendum 71 changes the statute to include domestic partnerships. Though these domestic partnerships include some seniors living together, they were basically designed to create moral legitimacy for homosexual acts.

That’s the true intent of Referendum 71–to change the five thousand year historical, two thousand year civilizational, and two hundred and twenty year American definition of sexual morality.

It’s all being done under the smokescreen of a very American and hallowed word–equality. Listen to the words of the Seattle Times, the Emerald City’s only remaining newspaper and strong advocate for the passage of Referendum 71.

In an October 24, 2009 lead story in the “NW Saturday” section called “Religion No Litmus Test on Ref 71,” the writers acknowledge that though 2000 years of history should have Christians voting to reject Referendum 71, there are “many believers [that] support the domestic partnership partnership law saying that the referendum is not about marriage, but about equality–which the Bible calls them to work toward.”

Quoting a liberal Episcopal bishop–from a dying denomination that is losing many churches and thousands of Christians over their anti-Christian position on homosexuality, the article goes on to say, “All Referendum 71 is trying to do is to give them (gay and lesbian couples) some of the equal protections that help them function as a committed couple in society. I’m for that.”  And quoting a leader in another diminishing church–the United Methodists–the case for equality is mentioned a third time: “Our faith community believes that all people deserve equal rights and protection under the law.”

Equality. Equal rights.

How can anybody be against such an apple pie American concept as equality?

But the argument of “equality” is a smokescreen that blurs our line of sight to the following piercing realities.

Let’s begin with the author of equality–God–whether your tradition is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Deist or Nature’s God. All major religions (except secularism) and their subsequent moral codes believe that God designed marriage and that only a man and a woman can marry, i.e. “join together” and become one. The Judeo-Christian model was confirmed by none other than Jesus Christ himself who said in Mark 10:6-9:

“From the beginning of creation God made them male and female. This is why a man must leave father and mother, and the two become one body. They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.”

God made them male and female. Sounds like wise, specific, intelligent design. Marriage is not about equal rights or equality. It’s about God’s design for human relationships, their nurture and their multiplication. God made men with a certain physical/emotional construct. He made women with a complimentary make-up (including plumbing). According to divine design and purpose, he wants them to join together in love and matrimony, produce and nurture children, and raise them up to perpetuate the human race.

That doesn’t sound narrow or complicated does it? It’s common sense. Noah Webster’s original 1828 Dictionary, written during a time of far greater intellectual achievement and moral sanity than today gives the following logical definition of God’s design for marriage: 

“The act of uniting a man and woman for life; wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity till death shall separate them. Marriage was instituted by God Himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children.”

There it is. That’s the entire definition–God joining a man and woman together by design, for life, to curb immoral behavior, to promote family happiness, and produce and take care of the kids.

For thousands of years we accepted that common sense explanation. In light of the truth about marriage’s design and social contract, we believed that:

  • Fornication (sex before wedlock) was hurtful. It’s sex without life commitment.
  • Adultery was scandalous. It’s sex without faithfulness.
  • Homosexuality was perverted. It’s unnatural sex outside of God’s natural design.
  • Pedophilia was destructive. It doesn’t protect children.
  • Bestiality was vile. It’s demeans man who is “made in God’s image.”

We believed those truths until a powerful and vocal minority of homosexual activists formed a plan to change the accepted definition of holy matrimony. They said “We want equal rights!”

But marriage was never about equality or equal rights. It’s exclusively concerned with God’s concept of social order and human happiness. God designed men to marry women–for many obvious reasons. Yet, even in the wonderful enterprise of marriage, which I’ve personally enjoyed for thirty-three years, there are some qualifications that limit equal access:

1. We are not to marry close relatives. (E.g. Leviticus 20:17-21). Even a man or woman can’t demand to marry anyone. God is smart enough to know that marrying close relatives and having children by them weakens rather than strengthens the gene pool. Every nation on earth has smart laws against incest and marrying close-of-kin.

2. Marriage is between one man and one woman. Polygamy was tolerated in ancient civilizations as an accommodation to the harsh realities of life. Due to extensive warfare when men died and there were more women than men, coupled with the inability of a woman to provide for themselves, polygamy was sometimes permitted. But it was never the ideal. Mark 10:6-9 is the pattern.

So marriage can never be argued from the standpoint of equality. If Referendum 71 is approved by the voters of the state of Washington on the basis of a false demand for “equality” from homosexuals, then here’s what will happen. If homosexuals have equal access to marriage, then so do adults and children, adults and animals, relatives with relatives, and any number of partners (two or three people saying they love each other and want to “marry”–or why not eight or ten?).

If this is a matter of equal access by all human beings, then lawsuits and alternative arrangements will fly in every direction–and true marriage and family life will eventually collapse. If we allow that to happen, we will have been stupid enough to throw away five thousand years of wisdom and social order to bow to sexual perversion and experimentation.

So when you hear that equality argument made by someone promoting homosexual liaison or any other living arrangement demanding a right to the marriage table, take a moment to peer deeply into the smoke and darkness to the true reality lurking in the background.

It’s really the hideous form of sexual confusion that you’re really looking at.

It’s looking for moral approval.

It wants to destroy you and your children.

Don’t be deceived.

Commit your own marriage plans to God’s wonderful design and vote to REJECT Referendum 71 and every other scheme to alter the God-given institution of marriage.





  1. Greg on October 28, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Good word Ron!!

  2. David on October 28, 2009 at 9:21 am

    As one of the "secularists" which this article condemns, I was expecting to either be incensed or saddened by the content of this post. I find that I'm neither; as with the majority of the religious rhetoric I've seen, this post relies exclusively on Biblical/spiritual language to make an argument against redefining marriage. This is all very well and good for convincing adherents of your faith to vote against the marriage amendment proposals, but at best it completely flies over the heads of secularists like myself who frankly don't care what the Bible has to say on the subject.

    What I'm desperately seeking is rational, dispassionate discourse that approaches this topic using language that I can understand and relate to. I want to hear the practical ramifications for both gay and straight families, I want to see statistics and figures on what the economic, social, and political impact such a radical change would make.

    I'm not trying to pick a fight or disrespect your religious beliefs. I just want someone to speak to me in a language I can understand, to not write me off as an untouchable simply because I'm 'secularist.' From a purely practical standpoint, if all of the 'secularists' like myself are simply dismissed and condemned, these 'social erosions' which you so revile will continue unchecked, if for no other reason than a lack of understanding.

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