Just as I was asking the question Eric Mataxas jumped into my newsfeed to provide an answer.
Mr. Metaxas is the bestselling author of the biography Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy. He is the radio host of “The Eric Metaxas Show” and co-host of “BreakPoint.”
Metaxas frames the question in personal terms, asking,
“How does gay ‘marriage’ hurt us?”
Then he provides his answer:
It means that those hostile to our beliefs will attempt to bend us to their will to force us to not only accept gay “marriage,” but to condone it as well.
That really seems to be it. The terrible danger gay marriage poses is that those who disagree with the practice will be forced
to not only accept gay ‘marriage’, but to condone it as well.
To prove his point, Mr. Metaxas directs the reader’s attention north of the border to Canada where apparently “religious freedom and free speech rights” are systematically being destroyed as a result of the marriage of same-gender couples.
As evidence Metaxas cites a case in Saskatchewan where
a homosexual man called a state marriage commissioner, wanting to “marry” his partner. The commissioner, an evangelical Christian, declined to conduct the ceremony for religious reasons. He simply referred the man to another commissioner.
But that was not enough for the gay couple. Even though they got their ceremony, they wanted to punish the Christian who had declined to conduct it. The case ended up in the courts. And the result? Those with religious objections to conducting such ceremonies now face the loss of their jobs.
The case dates back to 2011 when Saskatchewan’s highest court ruled that, as public servants, marriage commissioners are not free to refuse a legal publicly provided service on the grounds that it offends their religious sensibilities. The Commission argued that
to allow public officials to insert their personal morality when determining who should and who should not receive the benefit of law undermines human rights in Saskatchewan beyond the issue of same-sex marriages.
I imagine Mr. Mataxas might agree if he found himself needing a life-saving blood transfusion and a Jehovah’s Witness Emergency Room physician refused to provide the service on the grounds that it was contrary to his religious belief.
You and I must demonstrate love to our gay neighbors, of course, remembering that we are ultimately engaged in spiritual warfare. But we should boldly stand up when our rights as citizens and the demands of our conscience are threatened.
He does not clarify what he means by “spiritual warfare”, or who is the enemy in this battle, or even what the nature of the battle may be.
To stand up when your “conscience” is “threatened” means taking your stand and accepting the consequences. Freedom of “conscience” does not give anyone the right to do whatever they decide is right for them with impunity. Countries make laws. If citizens, particularly civil servants , decide their conscience makes it impossible for them to fulfill those laws, the courageous thing is to accept whatever the law determines should be the consequence.
If an isolated four-year-old case in Canada and an even more trivial dispute over a hall rental for a wedding reception are the most dire consequences Mataxas can dredge up to illustrate the dangers of gay marriage, he has done an excellent job of demonstrating that there is not much about which to be concerned in a same-gender couple pledging to remain faithful to one another for life.
In Canada same-gender couples have been legally able to marry for ten years. As far as I can see, there have been two observable consequences. Gay relationships overall have been stabilized. And many beautiful families have come into existence. I am not sure from which of these outcomes Mr. Mataxas seeks to protect the world.