David Blankenhorn has recently amended his posture on the whole issue. Some conservative Calvinists find much with which to resonate in Blankenhorn’s outlook, but also worry that a public intellectual ought not to resign himself like this.
Point well taken. But I’d like to highlight what resonates.
Perhaps speaking for those of us who believe that the institution of the family is the cornerstone of society, that the sexual revolutions of the twentieth century have done more harm than good (which isn’t to say all bad either), but that homosexuality shouldn’t enjoy the sanction and solemnization of holy matrimony yet are also just as bothered by the political efforts to marginalize a particular class of sinners, Blankenhorn writes:
I had hoped that the gay marriage debate would be mostly about marriage’s relationship to parenthood. But it hasn’t been. Or perhaps it’s fairer to say that I and others have made that argument, and that we have largely failed to persuade. In the mind of today’s public, gay marriage is almost entirely about accepting lesbians and gay men as equal citizens. And to my deep regret, much of the opposition to gay marriage seems to stem, at least in part, from an underlying anti-gay animus. To me, a Southerner by birth whose formative moral experience was the civil rights movement, this fact is profoundly disturbing.
Again, Tuininga’s point is well taken. There is a sense in which Blankenhorn simply appeals to sentiment and is thin on argument. This doesn’t really satisfy the intuition that marriage is an institution entitled to formal and legal definition and affirmation, which, seems to demand that anything else doesn’t rise to such a high standard and ought not to be formally and legally affirmed. Still, there is something to be said for highlighting Blankenhorn’s instincts here. At the very least, it is worth taking pause and giving serious attention to what the rankled debate has done for cultural cohesion, no matter what side of the debate one is on. It may also be worth contemplating what the national debate has done for Christian-to-homosexual relationships. By and large, Christians tend to be categorized as those sympathetic with marginalization. But do believers understand that were they to show some serious concern for the problems of aligning with a mere desire to outcast that their concern for preserving the institution of marriage might be better heard? But even more than that, do believers, in their temporal quest to marginalize a particular class of sinners, ever take stock of what damage may be done to their eternal calling to draw every class of sinner into the fold? Could abstaining from certain votes go some distance in being obedient to Christ’s command to be fishers of men, even married ones?