It’s become the cultural motif that Christianity and individual rights are at loggerheads, highlighted most recently by the unsuccessful efforts of homosexual advocates to procure the ability to marry others of the same sex over the protestations of the religious right.
The roles have been cast. Christians are the mustachioed sneering anti-individual rights fundamentalists while the advocates for gay marriage are the bright eyed heroes of the piece.
Of course, the logical fallacy here is that Christianity is actually the cornerstone of all the rights we enjoy as Americans. Without Christianity there are no rights.
But we’ve all watched the stories on gay marriage simply dither along the well worn treads of past stories on issues like abortion. According to the media framework, Christians seek to limit individual rights of women and gays while liberal secularists who proclaim a live-and-let-live attitude seek to expand rights.
Case in point – John Meacham, Editor of Newsweek, wrote recently that the religious right is on the wrong side of history.
“History and demographics are on the side of those who favor inclusion over exclusion. (As it has been with reform in America from the Founding forward.)”
I wonder if he believes in the Christian conservative’s efforts to expand human rights to babies who have yet to exit the womb. Probably not. Exclusion is probably just fine for Meacham when it comes to abortion. I guess, history switches sides sometimes.
Now, when it comes to the issue of gay marriage, Christians are not attempting to limit individual rights. Christians are actually battling for the preservation of marriage as an institution. Gay marriage will certainly lead to poly amorous marriage. And Christians understand that if marriage comes to mean something different to everyone, it will soon mean nothing to anyone.
Christianity is not anti-rights, it is the source of all the rights we enjoy. Let’s remember that the expansion of human rights to slaves was essentially a Christian enterprise. In America, it was the mainly Christian abolitionists who spoke out against the institution of slavery.
Christians do not seek to limit rights; we seek to preserve and expand human rights to the unborn, the fragile, the disabled and the elderly. We resist this modern compulsion of hyper secularism because we know that without God as our foundation, all rights become negotiable, alienable and inevitably exclusionary.