Many years ago, in Ancient Greece, philosophers and poets (that is to say, artists) were in a constant battle. In fact, they often walked to an alternate route if they saw someone from the opposite ‘faction’ on that way. For the most part, this enmity has fallen out of favor these days. For one, I think singers and philosophers can peacefully coexist if both groups keep to their respective spheres. Now, there’s been trespassing on both sides, but this new fad with singers and artists in general is something that I cannot help but address.
I was annoyed way back when when Lady Gaga posted a video which I happened to come across, where she was, I think, addressing Congress or something in favor of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Now, I was completely for repealing it, but she did not make one good argument, rather it was all rhetoric and b.s. I have mentioned this is another post, but I find it very enraging when people 1) ‘argue’ for positions without offering proper arguments for them (“I want to repeal X, because I’m famous and I can sing, pretty please bend over for me.”) 2) speak outside of their field of expertise (being a celebrity/artist/singer/w.e. does not make you a guru nor give you perfect wisdom). Imagine how silly it would be if I, having absolutely no experience in music, were to start arguing that Macklemore needs to do this or that in order to make his product better. I think we’d all see the stupidity of that scenario.
Well, a similar thing has happened on reverse. I am picking Macklemore at this point in lieu of all the singers and artists who think it good to speak out and, by that act, exert their influence over their whole fandom without themselves understanding the issues at hand. Of course, it could be that some of them are doing it as a publicity stunt and I think that is even more lamentable, but I digress.
What often confuses me about people (in general) who are involved in the gay marriage debate is that they do not keep it strictly in civic and legal terms, but, instead, take the offensive into arguing against the Christian principles which many people accept in order to deny gay marriage. The question is then, not whether it is acceptable to make gay marriage legal, but whether it is consistent with Christian theology and morality to allow gay marriage. If that is what Macklemore and others want, then that is the issue we are going to argue.
I find it extremely amusing that, in the end of the video, they say “love is patient, love is kind…” (1 Corinthians 13:4), because it seems that Macklemore and the people around him do not understand that it is this same St. Paul, in the same letter, very clearly states that gay sex is not permissible (1 Cor. 6:9-10). It’s almost funny to think that people presume to make arguments (a stretch, I know) from the Bible, when most likely they have heard the one verse of Scripture they are going to use either in some sermon in passing or otherwise have googled for it, without bothering to read what is going on around that one particular verse.
That said, let’s go into proper arguments for why, under Christian morality, homosexual sex could never be permissible.
First of all, as mentioned above, St. Paul explicitly presents as revelation that anyone who has homosexual sex (and does not repent) cannot enter Heaven. Now if he was literally wrong in this case and he presented it as revelation, there are two options to explain this: 1) he did not know what he was doing, i.e. he was crazy, or 2) he knew exactly what he was doing, i.e. he is evil. It is quite easy to drop off the crazy idea, because someone who was crazy could not done what he did nor written what he has written. That said, if you think he were evil and the people who compiled the Canon of the New Testament were wrong about picking his letters to be included in the Canon, then what keeps us still sure that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were the right choices for Gospels? If they made a mistake once, why could they not make a mistake again in including one of those four Gospels instead of, say, the Gospel of Truth, or the Gospel of Judas, or the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, or the Gospel of Mary, and so on and so forth. Then, the question becomes not about homosexual sex, but about whether we know anything about Christ and, if not, whether anyone today is a Christian.
Second, within Christianity, marriage and sex in general is not seen as a means of recreation, but a means of procreation. This is the principle behind the Church’s stance against contraception. Because homosexual sex cannot be a means of procreation, it cannot be permissible.
Third, specifically about gay marriage,the Church is in disagreement in terms of parental imagery. One thing we often confuse in our minds is that we are not, in fact, the concrete entities to which God is being compared in the Bible, it is the other way around. That is to say, when God is called Father, it means that the earthly father is supposed to be a symbol and an image of the Father. In a similar way, our earthly mother is supposed to be an imagery of the Church. You can see how that could be a problem when two males adopt a child. As far as Christianity goes (and we may be able to treat the question in secular terms either, but this is not how Macklemore framed this debate), the ability for gay married couples to adopt and raise children would be a big problem.
That said, in the song, Macklemore talks about how some people think homosexual tendencies can be cured. I do not know whether it is possible for a person to wholly get past those tendencies, but I think people who argue that gay people need to be “cured” either don’t understand the issue or don’t understand human psychology. Even if homosexuality is a natural tendency, that does not mean that it is good. I have a natural tendency toward anger and pride, but I work (though admittedly not enough) to suppress those feelings. Of course, many people would agree that this would be the correct path to take against feelings of anger and pride, but if feelings have to do with sex, then they’re sacred? How silly. By definition, feelings are irrational. They must be judged by reason and only be allowed to become actions if they benefit the person (eating, for example is a very good feeling to hold on to). However, if, as any Christian would, you believe that sin damages your soul (and thereby your whole person and even the whole world) then it is a no-brainer to suppress those feelings.
Finally, a word to other people who oppose gay marriage. There are many out there who are preaching the Christian dogma as is, which, since last time I checked, included the separation of the sinner from the sin and hating the sin, not while, but because you love the sinner. Nonetheless, gay people are being treated as if they are guilty of a sin that is somehow special. I find that hypocritical and un-Christian. If you look at the quote from St. Paul (there are others, but 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 is the most direct), gay sex is condemned together with fornication, adultery, thievery, greed, drunkenness, etc. I do not know of one person today in the US who can say they have steered clear of all of these things, especially consider that in Matthew 5 Jesus says that if you have ever thought of adultery with someone else’s woman or fornication and the like, it is the same as if you had actually done it. If there is such a person, another response form the Gospels is indicative, specifically when Jesus tells the rich young man to give up everything and follow him. Long story short, if you think Christianity is comfortable, you are doing it wrong. Myself, I have more than one gay friend, which may sound very surprising to some people reading this post. They know my position and I respect the fact that they kindly decline to accept my views. After all, there is no forceful conversion into Christianity, they may choose not to obey the tenants of the faith. Of course, I pray that they will see the light of Christ sooner or later, but I am not going to stop being their friend or stop loving them simply because they are not Christian and neither should you, that also was ordained in the Bible.
For those who disagree with this last paragraph, I invite to offer me a Biblical argument (since I don’t think you can go anywhere in this direction with Tradition) to show where it says that it is not permissible to hate both the sin and the sinner in any other case, but that this case is somehow special. In the meantime, I would humbly advise them to pray for discernment in the choices they are making and, as a consequence, misrepresenting the Church. It goes back to what I was talking about in the beginning, namely, if you are not qualified to do something, wether that be to argue either for or against gay marriage, you should not do it, if only just to spare the side that you presumably support face when your arguments are refuted and your hypocrisy is revealed.