WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS REFERENCES TO BEHAVIORS THAT READERS MAY FIND OBJECTIONABLE AND OFFENSIVE. DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has received considerable grief and accusations of bigotry for asserting–and standing by his assertion–that expanding the definition of marriage could serve as the beginning of a pathway that could lead to further expansions of marriage to include any number of possible combinations. If marriage between a man and a man or a woman and a woman is okay, why not between one man and two women? Or one woman and three men? Why not between a human and an animal? Or between an adult and a child? Many who support homosexual marriage have blasted Senator Santorum for his position, and have also accused him of both using such statements in an attempt to scare people and of being ignorant and disconnected from reality. However, I am not ashamed to say that I agree with Senator Santorum, and I think that there is ample evidence to support his position.
Until 1973 homosexuality was considered a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association. Look out how far America has moved in the ensuring 39 years: homosexuality is regularly depicted on television and in movies, homosexual marriage is now legal in several states and the District of Columbia, and homosexuality is widely portrayed to be a biological predisposition. In other words, homosexuals are “born that way” the argument goes. Furthermore, those who most adamantly support homosexual marriage have called it the Civil Rights Issue of Our Day! Please do not misunderstand me when I say, in response, “That’s ridiculous.” The color of someone’s skin is, without a doubt, something that person is born with, and it is not anything that a person can change (with the possible exception of through expensive and dangerous surgical procedures or drugs). Alan Keyes once said, referring to the old habit of calling African-Americans people of “the colored persuasion,” that “persuasion has nothing to do with it.” Even if one were to grant that homosexuality is an innate, even a genetic, characteristic (which I do not), someone can choose not to engage in homosexual behavior. A person cannot choose to change the color of his or her skin. Accordingly, to suggest that people who choose to engage in homosexual behavior should receive the same legal rights and protections as people who do not choose to do so, and that not allowing them these rights is tantamount to denying equal rights and equal protection to African-Americans or others on the basis of their skin color is absurd.
But the issue for which Senator Santorum has received the strongest attacks is not his opposition to gay marriage (after all, that position hardly makes him unique) but his insistence that granting homosexual marriage could lead to a further expansion of what marriage includes. I must ask, with the Senator, why would it not? Once homosexuality is widely accepted (if it isn’t already), why would we not think that polygamy will be next? Or pedophilia? Or bestiality? After all, it has been only 39 years since homosexuality was considered a mental disorder, let alone morally wrong. It has not been all that long ago that homosexuality began to be portrayed on TV and film, and no it is difficult to find a show on network or cable television that does not include a gay or lesbian character. Remember, it was only 15 years ago that Ellen DeGeneres “came out of the closet.” Remember the uproar that caused?
The groundwork is already being laid for the polygamy. There are at least two “hit shows” that are centered around the very idea: HBO’s Big Love is a drama about a polygamist and his three wives. TLC’s Sister Wives is a reality show about a polygamist, his four wives and their sixteen combined children. (They get around laws banning polygamy by only one of the four marriages being a legal marriage). Why would we not think that as soon as homosexuals are allowed to marry that polygamists would not demand the same right? (And quite frankly, if we buy into the arguments used by the homosexual side of the argument, how could we justifiably refuse to grant the same right to polygamists?)
Sadly, polygamy is perhaps the least scary of the possible expansions of marriage that we find along the slippery slope. Pedophilia is defined as “sexual desire in an adult for a child.” Think that approval of that wouldn’t happen? Don’t be so fast. There is a non-profit organization in Maryland called B4U-ACT that has been speaking out on behalf of pedophiles since 2003. The group uses the less-offensive term “minor-attracted people.” They claim there are as many as 8 million men in the U.S. who are attracted to minors. (The December 17, 2011 issue of World discusses the groups efforts to revise the DSM-IV and remove any stigma associated with pedophilia). Homosexuality is now considered just another sexual orientation. Rarely now is it even referred to as an alternative lifestyle; it is just one lifestyle on the menu of options. So why would pedophilia not become just one more option? There have been scholarly articles suggesting that adult-minor sexual activity is not only not necessarily wrong, but is even healthy, provided that both parties are consenting participants.
If homosexuality is okay, then polygamy becomes okay, and even pedophilia eventually becomes okay, why wouldn’t bestiality be okay too? If one person is genetically predisposed to sexual attraction to members of the same sex, another needs multiple partners, and still others are naturally attracted to minors, who could tell someone that they cannot be sexually attracted to animals? I am not going to explore this argument in any further detail because I am sure you get the idea: once we cross the line, where do we draw the new line? Better yet, how can we draw a new line?
John MacArthur has written this: “If we teach our children not to walk where it is slippery, we will minimize their opportunity to fall.” Good advice for parents (and others working with children). Good advice for our nation, too–if we don’t want to fall, lets not walk where it’s slippery!