Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Who Started the Culture Wars?

Tom Gilson has an excellent post at First Things' Evangel blog entitled: "Gay Rights: Distortion and Aggression."

Clay Farris Naff asked in the Huffington Post last week, Do We Really Want America to Be a Christian Iran? It only takes a moment’s reflection on that question to realize Naff’s sense of proportion (like Tavis Smiley’s) is tilted. Many of his “facts” and his arguments are too. It’s about the Manhattan Declaration, from which he quotes,

No one has a civil right to have a non-marital relationship treated as a marriage. Marriage is an objective reality — a covenantal union of husband and wife — that it is the duty of the law to recognize and support for the sake of justice and the common good. If it fails to do so, genuine social harms follow. First, the religious liberty of those for whom this is a matter of conscience is jeopardized…

He responds,

What a pantload! This has all the moral suasion of a claim that to salve the conscience of Seventh Day Adventists we should outlaw donating blood.

To which my first response was, Wow. I won’t respond with the same scatology, because it’s not civil—not that his claim here doesn’t reek of stinky thinking. The rest of the article is likewise distorted, but I’ll let this snippet be representative of the whole.

After some clarifying of issues having to do with blood transfusions and the like, Gilson gets down to the real issue:

But Naff’s most egregious distortion (at least in this snippet) is the parallel he tries to draw between outlawing gay “marriage” and outlawing blood transfusions. To put an end to blood donations would take an aggressive legal and public relations campaign, to change existing laws and practices. Where’s the parallel? Are Christians doing anything remotely like that?

No, not Christians. Here we see the magnificently mixed-up success of the gay rights PR machine. They’ve maneuvered the public into believing we’re making some kind of assault on gay marriage. We’re doing no such thing. We couldn’t; it would be strictly impossible for us to do that. You see, “marriage” in same-sex context really belongs in quotes. Marriage is “a covenantal union of husband and wife.” There is no such thing as gay marriage. There never was. There’s nothing there for us to campaign against.

Really, Tom? Then why all the fuss? Why write it into this Declaration? Here’s why: a legal and social assault has indeed been launched. But we didn’t launch it: they did. They’re the ones campaigning to overturn historic laws, customs, and morality. They speak as if we’re the aggressors, when in reality they are. We’ve had to take up a defensive position, to protect an institution as old as recorded history. We didn’t pick this fight, the other side did.

Let me re-emphasize: there are those in Western culture who have mounted an offensive. It’s not the Christians who have taken the aggressive stance, though; it is the gay rights activists.

It pays to stay aware of what’s really going on. Regardless of what some PR machine may be trying to tell you.

That quote sums up so much of the issue: "They speak as if we're the aggressors, when in reality they are." That is the tactic of the Left. Being mostly amoral themselves, but knowing that we have moral qualms about many things, they try to use our own propensity to feel guilty about doing wrong against us by accusing us of things they do routinely but which we don't do because we don't want to do wrong.

If they know we hate racism, they accuse us of racism in order to get us on the defensive and split apart our unity. If they know we find it sinful and despicable to ignore the cries of poor people, they accuse us of being selfish and hard-hearted unless we adopt their totalitarian ideology or, at least become tolerant of it. They know we just want to live and let live, so they accuse us of wanting to oppress homosexuals so that they have an excuse to change laws and impose their own religious and moral views on our children.

Conservatives didn't start the culture wars and they are not the ones who want to impose an intolerant regime. We would settle for not turning America or Canada into a Homosexual Iran.

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