The False Narrative of Gay Marriage

It Is Not Inevitable

You’ve heard it over and over: Gay “marriage” is inevitable. Well, at least that’s what its supporters want you to believe.

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Eric Metaxas

In his book, “The Black Swan,” Nicholas Nassim Taleb discussed what he calls the “narrative fallacy.” This refers to our “limited ability” to look at a sequence of facts “without weaving an explanation into them.”

While this tendency helps us make sense of the world around us, it can and often does mislead us. It creates a mistaken impression that we understand things better than we really do. And, it often causes us to view the facts in ways that are consistent with the narrative we ourselves have created.

Case in point: the recent news – or in this case, news blackout – out of Illinois.

A few weeks ago the state legislature took up the issue of same-sex marriage. The outcome was regarded as a foregone conclusion. Illinois is President Obama’s home state, and his party enjoys commanding majorities in both houses. Same-sex marriage enjoyed the support of both the governor and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The president had even personally lobbied state legislators.

Given all that, the vote in favor of gay “marriage” in Illinois was inevitable, right?

Well, no one bothered to tell the state’s African-American pastors. As Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage wrote in the National Review, the pastors “worked hard to reach and convince African-American legislators to stand tall for the truth of marriage.”

The pastors demanded that legislators acknowledge that marriage “is an institution created by God to bring men and women together for the benefit of children that can only be created through the union of men and women.”

Their efforts paid off: Illinois did not succumb to the “inevitable.” They defeated “gay-marriage advocates and their supporters in the legislature in the bluest of blue states.”

If you haven’t heard about this important victory, you’re not alone. Until we here at BreakPoint read Brown’s piece, we hadn’t heard about it, either. Not that the lack of media attention is any surprise, because on this issue I'm sorry to say, the mainstream media are cheerleaders and activists, not reporters.

That’s not only my opinion: a study by the Pew Research Center found that in the run-up to the Supreme Court’s rulings on same-sex “marriage,” “the news media coverage provided a strong sense of momentum towards legalizing same-sex marriage.” How strong? It said that “Stories with more statements supporting same-sex marriage outweighed those with more statements opposing it by … roughly 5-to-1.”

BP subscribeThat kind of coverage bears no resemblance to actual public opinion on the subject. Instead, it presents same-sex marriage as an idea whose time has come and those who insist otherwise as relics from a less-enlightened age.

What happened in Illinois cuts across the grain of this worldview and the narrative it produces. Instead of considering the possibility that the story they are telling is not true, the tellers of this story in the media completely ignore facts that contradict the narrative.

That doesn’t make their story any more true. There is nothing “inevitable” about the redefinition of marriage. While we face an uphill battle, what else is new?

In this battle, the Church matters. All of the Church. What happened in Illinois was the result of African American pastors taking the lead. In other states it may require the leadership of Latino ministers. What matters is that all of God’s people “stand tall for the truth of marriage.”

Please be sure to tune in to BreakPoint again this week, as John and I will share our thoughts on the Supreme Court’s upcoming decisions regarding marriage.

Further Reading and Information

BP-Takeaction_62513The False Narrative of Gay Marriage: It Is Not Inevitable - Next Steps

The open debate about marriage has been smothered and many are afraid to speak out. Can you stand up to the crowd, especially when our society is caught up in what Eric calls the "Inevitability Narrative" of the media? Perhaps you are asking:

1) Have I bought into the narrative?
2) Where and to whom can I speak out?
3) What can I say that will matter? How can I start?

We at BreakPoint encourage you to stand strong and prepare for the debate. Eric does a good job on the "inevitability" argument here. Consider this: The Roe-v-Wade decision in 1973 did not stop the abortion debate. In many ways, it opened it up on a grand scale. Whatever the courts decide about marriage, we are headed for a long-lasting, passionate debate. As to the question of where to speak, speak everywhere, especially to the church. That is what happened in Illinois.

What can you talk about? Amazingly, many in our generation do not understand either the historical or the biblical foundations for marriage. You can help here. Read some of the great resources we have listed below. We highly recommend the book: What is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense. Take every opportunity to educate. Realize that understanding the true nature of marriage not only affects marriage "redefinition," but also impacts divorce, cohabitation and all of the sexual mores in our society. It is a complete package. Where to begin? Why not use this conversation starter: "Did you hear the amazing thing that happened when Illinois tried to pass a Same Sex Marriage bill a few weeks ago?..."


What is Marriage?: Man and Woman: A Defense
Sherif Girgis, Ryan Anderson, Robert George | Encounter Books | December 2012

The Black Swan
Nassim Nicholas Taleb | Random House | 2007


Is Same-Sex Marriage Truly Inevitable?
Ben Booker | BreakPoint Blog | June 25, 2013

African-American Pastors in Democratic Illinois Show that Redefining Marriage Is Not Inevitable
Brian Brown | National Review | June 20, 2013

Pew Study Reveals 5–1 Bias for Same-Sex Marriage in Media Coverage
James McGlone and Claire McMullen | The Foundry (Heritage Foundation) | June 21, 2013

On Winning the Marriage Debate
Eric Teetsel | The Witherspoon Institute | June 24, 2013

Break the Spiral of Silence (Part I)
Chuck Colson | Two-Minute Warning | Nov. 2, 2011

Break the Spiral of Silence (Video Interview With Chuck Colson)

Chuck Colson | Colson Center You Tube Channel | Nov. 2, 2011

The Meaning of Marriage, Part 1
Robin Philips | ColsonCenter.org | April 29, 2013

The Meaning of Marriage, Part 2
Robin Philips | ColsonCenter.org | May 6, 2013

Justice Kennedy's 40,000 Children
Robert Oscar Lopez | Public Discourse, The Witherspoon Institute | May 2, 2013

National Organization for Marriage

Manhattan Declaration
Marriage Savers

The Ruth Institute


@John Stonestreet

Thanks for the excellent post on why Christians defending marriage is loving your neighbor not hating him. This is demonstrated by the experience of Black people over the last few generations.

Back in the 1960s, Black people listened to "experts" who said that tolerating fatherless homes would have no impact on our community. Despite warnings from Black leaders including Rev. Martin Luther King, many Black Christians fell for this lie in order to be "loving."

This proved to be a disaster that lead to fatherless Black households becoming the norm rather than the exception. The embrace of this sin has led to rampant crime, suicide, drug addiction, poverty, high school dropout rates, fornication, etc. Thus, many once vibrant Black neighborhoods became hell on Earth.

After learning this hard lesson, there is a renewed focus among Black people (pastors, community activists, etc.) on rebuilding the Black family. Naturally, supporting "gay marriage" runs counter to those efforts, which explains why otherwise liberal Black Democrats voted they way they did in Illinois.

Hence, White evangelicals should not feel guilty over defending marriage despite accusations of being "bigots" or worse. As Black Christians can tell you, abandoning God's design for the family for the sake "tolerance" ultimately proves bad for everyone and thus is not loving your neighbor.
Wow! I didn't even know about this, and I live here!
@John Stonestreet
Thanks for the response. It's interesting that it would be you and not Eric to respond to comments. You seem very engaged with readers on this site and should be commended for it.

Anyways I should make it clear to you and the other commenters that I in no way condone the homosexual lifestyle or their "love". My position on gay marriage stems from my believes that just because something is wrong does not necessarily make it big brother's business. If they want a piece of paper from the government it does not hurt me or you for them to get it.

Now the children argument is, at least at first glance, a far more valid one but at the same time it is also largely a moot one. The media loves to portray gay couples with kids, it is an attempt to legitimize them on the media's part, but the reality is not many lesbian couple ever have kids and far far fewer homosexual male couples do. There are many reasons for this beyond the more obvious one anyone who's had 5th grade health class should understand. Homosexuals by and large really don't want kids. A former coworker of mine who was gay used to always joke that one of his favorite parts of being gay was that he couldn't get his boyfriend pregnant.

Now certainly there are gay couple who have kids, but this is generally done through international adoptions or, more commonly, some sort of fertility treatment (artificial insemination, surrogate mothers, etc) so unless you intend to outlaw such procedures you're really doing nothing to stem the amount of children being raised by homosexual parents. Those gay couple who wanted kids were doing so when gay marriage was but a pipe dream to them and will continue to do so with or without gay marriage.

Now while I wouldn't be necessarily opposed to restrictions on gay couple's ability to adopt, the reality is homosexuals make up a very small amount of the population, and the ones who want kids are a very small amount of the gay population, so we're dealing with a statistically insignificant fraction of a fraction. Not nearly a large enough group of people to be the social plague we make them out to be. You want to look at the things that are harming children and destroying the family, look at the misandry of the family courts that drive men out of the picture, look at the welfare state, and above all look at the single moms. Those are the things destroying marriage, not the gays.

-The Bechtloff
@ The Bechtloff
As a Christian, as well as a member of the human race, I support traditional marriage, and I do not think that marriage should be redefined to include gays. This doesn't mean I, or supporters of traditional marriage hate gays, though it also doesn't mean there aren't some who do.

However, the Bible is very clear that marriage is between a man and a woman, and it's defined by God, not us. The Bible is also pretty clear that homosexuality is sin. Of course, people will object to that argument by saying things like, "What if I don't believe in your God?" The most honest answer I can give is that one day you will, whether you like it or not, and I can only hope before that you've made peace with him through Jesus.

What I want to point out, however, is this: As a Christian, I don't get to define what is sin and what isn't sin. The Bible declares homosexuality is sin. I cannot support gay marriage because homosexuality is sin, and so to declare gay marriage is equivalent to heterosexual marriage is a lie. However, I also believe that sex outside of the bounds of marriage, whether homosexual or heterosexual is a sin. That doesn't mean I hate heterosexual couples who are living together but not married.

Our society's idea about what marriage is has become quite broken. Nowadays, people say you should be able to marry who you love. But under that definition, what's to say polygamy isn't wrong? Or bestiality? It is the result of our rejection of the order set forth by our Creator. What we are observing today with the gay marriage debate, as well as other trends in our society, is simply our ever-increasing but futile effort to become masters of our own destinies (which is the essence of sin), which will only culminate with the return of Jesus. But until then there will be Christians who will stand for what's right according to God's word.

Please understand that in my saying this, I harbor no hatred of homosexuals. It's just that I don't believe we have a right to redefine things that have been defined by God himself. I realize my arguments here aren't at all satisfying to a post-modern, secular audience. I make them in an attempt to explain where so many Christians are coming from.
I'm in the "younger generation" and absolutely believe that gay marriage is harmful. It has nothing to do with trying to stop people from loving each other or "sin legislation." It all comes down to the kids.

In my generation, I know more people who are divorced or whose parents are divorced than not. I have seen the pain and the dysfunction that comes from that. In some cases, I actually agreed that the divorce was justified due to emotional abuse. However, the damage that it does to the kids is deep.

Kids need both their mom and their dad. My dad taught me things that my mom never could have taught me and vice versa.

I have dear friends who are gay. I wish the best for them and don't mind them having protections under the law in cases of illness or death. Gay marriage, however, opens up the floodgates for more children growing up in homosexual households.

Just as my generation and the generations following me resent the easy divorce culture and broken homes, how can we justify taking kids' moms or dads from them? It's rather like a pre-birth (or pre-adoption) divorce for the kids of a homosexual couple, but they won't even get the opportunity of seeing their mom or dad on weekends and holidays.
@ LuLu
First of all Civil Unions are allowed, but that is not enough for them. The problem lies with homosexuals not just looking for full social acceptance but for agreement that their sin filled lifestyle is not a sin filled lifestyle. Some homosexuals believe that they can overcome the rejection their own conscience is sending them by making their unions a marriage. This only applies to those who have not quenched their conscience already.

If we bend over and let the homosexuals take the Holy union of marriage between a man and women and turn it into something totally different. Then we are saying that sin is not sin.

Not to mention that it opens a whole Pandora’s box to legalizing every imaginable kind of union that is possible: men and boys, group marriage - multiple people all together, humans and animals, people and things, the living and the dead, etc. Is that what you want? If we allow homosexual marriage you cannot rationally or realistically stop the result of all these other options. Then it is welcome to Sodom and Gomorra.

To talk about how the Heterosexuals have messed up marriage because of the high divorce rate is a rabbit trail argument. I agree that divorce is a sin as well. But agreeing to that does not justify blessing the sin of homosexuality by making those unions marriage as well. Besides, homosexual marriage will just increase the divorce rate, so that won’t help.

We have not singled out homosexuals to persecute them. We no longer kill or imprison them; they have achieved rights to not be discriminated against in the work place. They have even created special protection under the law with hate crime legislation. They are free to form civil unions. It is homosexuals who have invaded the heterosexual world out to destroy the true meaning of marriage for their own selfish desire, which is to justify their unholy unions.

I have known and worked with gays. While I disagree with their life style I respect them as fellow human beings that God created. I don’t treat them any different than any other human I know, we are all imperfect.

Read the other articles Break Point presents to get a more complete point of view on this issue.
Lulu and the Bechtloff,

Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I wholeheartedly agree that much of the reaction to same-sex marriage and homosexuality in general has been motivated by fear rather than hope. I also agree that we have often wrongfully singled out this population as somehow more sinful than the other rampant expressions of sexual sin and brokenness all around us. We have been shortsighted, failing to realize that sexual brokenness of any kind is harmful to our neighbors and society. We have much ground to recover.

But from a place of love of Christ and neighbor, there are still very good reasons to resist massive social experiments like same-sex marriage.

First, as Christians we believe that things as sacred as marriage and sexuality were designed by God for humanity. These are not merely designs that apply to Christians. History testifies to the fact that societies that live together where sexuality is protected and governed by a stable institution like marriage are productive and prosperous. Two key sociologists of the last generation demonstrated this, both by doing massive research on every civilization (not just the West) of which we had record. Joseph Unwin, the British anthropologist, determined from his research that without exception cultures that allowed sexual "freedom" for 3 straight generations died. Pitirim Sorokin in his masterful Crisis of Our Age said basically the same thing. Essentially, they observed that sexual freedom (in the "free for all sense") led people to put immediate gratification over long-term thinking. In essence, they were constantly withdrawing from culture to meet their desires, but never investing back in for the common good. This way of living- as we can see also with massive debt - is unsustainable. Because Christians should live for the common good, we should care about marriage.

Second, vast amounts of more contemporary research show that children simply do best with a mom and dad. To ignore the unique contributions both genders bring to child-rearing would seem to be a very risky move. That would be another reason for Christians to care, much like Jesus commanded us to care about children (and the early church demonstrated that care so well).

Finally, God simply does not endorse every expression of love or attraction as legitimate. Sincerity is not the same as morality. That basic distinction has been lost in much of this debate.

There's more to say, but this comment is already too long. Ryan Anderson summarizes a great case in the lead article here, and shows why it should be more than just a matter of fear or hate: http://issuu.com/thecity/docs/the_city_summer_2013

And, Beschtloff, I have been looking carefully at the Exodus situation and have some phone calls scheduled to learn more from all sides before commenting. I'm personally connected with a few of the internal players and want to be wise, knowledgeable and loving if we choose to respond.

John Stonestreet
I agree with most all of what Lulu said, I still fail to see how the anti gay marriage movement is motivated by anything but hate and fear. At its core you're trying to stop someone from getting something not because it negatively effects you but because you don't want them to have it. It's petty.
And that is perhapes why you conservates will inevitably fail on this and why you've lost the young people on it. It takes so much more energy to hate and to hold people down than to just leave them be. And given how many real problems my generation is facing and will face down the line (the poor economy, the debt, the pointless wars, the likely eventual dollar collapse, an increasingly corrupt and out of control government) we just don't have the energy to pick fights with the gays.

-The Bechtloff
I am really confused as to why Christians believe Gay "marriage" which really has no bearing at all on the true meaning of marriage in the Biblical covenant sense, but more on a civil union of two people who love and commit to each other to have the same legal benefits accorded to spouses, is such a huge deal. In the beginning I objected strongly to the idea of "Adam & Steve" getting "married" but my argument wasn't strong or logical or even kind. It was rooted in fear. It took my children to make me see a different point of view. It doesn't surprise me that the church has lost so many of our youth. We come off as hypocrites to them. Where is the loving of our neighbor? Why can't we understand that the world is broken and that singling out a group of human beings for persecution is really disgraceful. This doesn't make "marriage" stronger just as allowing them to be legally "married" doesn't weaken Christian marriages. Do we really believe God doesn't know what's in our hearts? Just because someone else's sin is different from ours doesn't make us better, we all fall short of the glory of God. I have yet to have a single person explain to me rationally and thoughtfully why it is imperative that we not allow to people who love each other to form a union.
@ Gina
I may have just missed them, to be fair the main radio breakpoint commentaries that end up on the radio are what I mostly read here. Still it seems like it should have been bigger news than it was.

I was sad to hear it, I totally support things like Exodus. I wish we spent more time actually ministering to homosexuals rather than fighting political battles with them over pieces of paper from the government.

-The Bechtloff
We've covered the Exodus story more than once on this site (and in fact, plan to discuss it again soon -- possibly later today).
Given that conservatives have lost the younger generation on this issue, you said so yourself in the 'The kids are not alright' commentary from a couple weeks ago, I would say this seems like a rather minor victory.
While we're kinda on the subject, I gotta say I'm surprised neither you nor Mr. Stonestreet has talked about Exodus International's recent implosion. Seems odd how little I've heard about it, if not for twitter I don't know if I would have heard about it at all.
-The Bechtloff