By Michael E. Goings, Sr.
That which I have always feared has happened. In all sincerity, I knew it was coming before it came. When President Barack Obama recently stepped forth and announced his belief and acceptance of “gay marriage,” it became evident that his “evolving” perspective on the issue of men marrying men and women marrying women had finally crystallized. This evolution obviously began after President Obama’s first campaign for the Oval Office, for up until that time he had professed the belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. To make matters worse for people like me (an African-American with deeply rooted Judeo-Christian conviction, including the tenet that marriage was instituted by God and should only exist between a man and a woman), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP’s) Executive Board has now unanimously voted to endorse the “civil right” of men to marry men and women to marry women.
Inasmuch as I was already stunned by the President’s betrayal of the African-American community and his disregard for most churches’ historic doctrinal repudiation of homosexuality, I was completely floored by this action. Here was our most venerable and historically effective civil rights organization taking a most imprudent policy position. Like the President’s opinion, their decision has thrust perhaps millions of minorities (African-Americans, Hispanics, and others) into the painful posture of having to publicly grapple with this question, “Which is more important, loyalty to President Obama and the NAACP, or fidelity to core convictions and to God?”
I do not presume to speak officially for any certain group of people; I speak for myself, but I believe I voice the sentiments of many others who share this perspective of disagreement with the same-gender marriage. Because of the First Amendment, and/or at least in the name of “tolerance,” the politically correct rule of the day, I trust that I may express my views without having my words and thoughts automatically misconstrued as homophobic, intolerant, or hateful.
Nature or Nurture?
Perhaps at the very root of the controversy over homosexual marriage lies the question as to whether one’s sexual orientation results from nature or fromnurture. i.e., are some people born homosexual, or is it a choice and a learned mindset and behavior-set? After all, some surmise, if one is born with the inherent propensity to be “gay,” surely then he or she should have the legal right, even the moral right, to pursue this as a lifestyle. To the contrary, some (myself included) embrace the Judeo-Christian belief that one’s sexual orientation is the work of God through nature; it is defined by the chromosomal (DNA) and the physical make-up of every individual. Simply stated, in the beginning God made man, along with every animal species, male and female: He established a divine mandate for them to “be fruitful and multiply,” which can only be fulfilled through the union of a male and female. It is absolutely amazing that nature and true
science always concur with God and His inspired, inerrant, and infallible word. Although some in the scientific community have consistently tried to repudiate the absolute authority of the Scriptures, they have always failed. The lack of true scientific evidence, in spite of the unscientific “cooking of the books” and distortion of the facts, has greatly contributed to this failure. The inability to discover a “gay gene” by genetics, particularly those who favor the notion that some people could be born inherently homosexual, has placed them in the same league with the Darwinian evolutionists who are forever searching for the “missing link.” These people, motivated by humanism, conjecture, and theory, are doomed to a perpetually futile search because they have rejected the Word of God. Though they have professed themselves to be wise, sadly they are on a quixotic quest for the nonexistent.
As an adherent and student of the tenets of Christianity and the Holy Writ, I assert that there is no Biblical support for the idea that anyone was innately made to be homosexual. Let me be clear: I ardently oppose the maltreatment of any person (regardless of sexual orientation, gender, religion, social class, or any other distinction.) There is absolutely no excuse for depriving any person of human dignity, respect, and care, and we are not true followers of Christ if we do not love all people, at all times. However, it is because of love that I am constrained to tell the truth, to state what should be obvious: it is not possible through science or through theology to justify the claim that some people were born and made to be “gay.” Furthermore, it is in love that I caution my Christian brethren, many of whom seem to be tilting towards giving their support to same-gender marriage (due to President Obama’s and the NAACP’s declarations):
remember that whenever there is a presumed contradiction between science and Scripture “presumed” contradiction, because there never has been a genuine one-our first allegiance is to the Scripture.
The Folly and Presumption of a President.
“Great men are not always wise…” (Job 32:9)
Ever since President Obama openly expressed his “personal” belief in same-gender marriage I have pondered what would have motivated him to make such a politically volatile move. Was he pressured by his prominent, wealthy gay supporters? In light of his tell-tale maneuvering to annul the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the military, his refusal to uphold the “Defense of Marriage Act (D.O.M.A.),” and his hosting of a gay transgender, and transvestite party at the White House— this apparently was his agenda all along, despite what he professed during the 2008 Presidential campaign. Surely one of the spiritual leaders and counselors from whom Mr. Obama sought advice about this matter could/should have told him, “Mr. President, please do not turn your back on the millions of your supporters whose heartfelt convictions incline them to oppose same-gender marriage (especially in the African-American and Hispanic communities). In doing so,
you are showing not equal, but preferential treatment, to one “demographic” among your supporters, their wealth and prominence notwithstanding.” Surely some political pragmatist from within his ranks might have said, “You already have the endorsement of the homosexual electorate in the U.S., but by these actions you risk alienating multiple thousands of other citizens in your base unnecessarily.” Evidently, he chose to side with his gay supporters at the expense of risking the loss of much support from the black and Hispanic communities, but even others may be affected. The Muslim community, for which the president has an intense affinity, could be alienated by this issue, since Islam also forbids homosexuality; some Jewish supporters, as well, may be distanced.
This costly gesture by our President whom we love and for whom we pray, has forced me, and millions of other Christians, into a place of painful decision. It is a battle of ideas, where there can be but one winner. I agree with the Reverend Anthony Evans, a leader in the National Black Church Initiative (a coalition of 34,000 African-American and Latino churches), who asserted that the churches with which he is affiliated will “put their faith ahead of support for black leaders every single time.” I believe that both President Barack Obama and the NAACP will lose support among black churches and Christians who regard the Scriptures as the absolute authority for all areas and issues of life, because of their endorsement of same-sex marriage. Their implicit disrespect for the historic Judeo-Christian values of the African-American and Latino faith communities could produce a political disaster in 2012, and particularly so, if other devout Democrats and
Independents consider this issue most critical.
Gay Rights versus Civil Rights
The argument that gay rights and civil rights are akin, and therefore should receive the same support and acceptance, is not new. For some years, proponents of gay rights have attempted to put their contentions in the same league with the historic civil rights struggle that was waged by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Justice Thurgood Marshall, the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and other valiant individuals and institutions too numerous to name. This comparison to me is a desecration of legacy of this great movement and moment in history that changed the nation and the world for good. I was genetically predetermined by my Creator to be black and cannot, nor care to, alter that, as the following passage affirms: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?” (Jeremiah 13:23). The Civil Rights Movement was, and is, a struggle for Constitutional and inalienable rights that have been endowed by God. Again, I assert that
every individual citizen should equally share in the rights that our Constitution and Bill of Rights affords us, whether black or white, despite of sexual orientation. Nevertheless, same-gender marriage is clearly not a civil right due to: 1) It’s repudiation as unacceptable in virtually the entire world throughout history, 2) It’s basis in genetic nature being doubtful at best, and 3) It’s unquestionable classification as abhorrent by the one Book that the overwhelming majority of American professed to embrace as the Word of God, the Bible.
President Obama and the NAACP versus Moses, Jesus Christ, and Paul
The bottom line for all that I have dared to say in this commentary brings us to this one question: Who are you going to believe on the issue of gay marriage and the homosexual lifestyle? Will it be the President, the NAACP, Colin Powell, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton or Moses, Jesus Christ, and Paul? The President and his team have dared to reference Scripture, especially those passages that teach about love, in their argument. Like many in this debate, they have distorted and used the Bible out of context, which is indicative of apostasy and constitutes heresy. Instead, I conclude my presentation by allowing God to speak for Himself about the matter with the only absolute and infallible Voice He gave to man, His Word, annotated with its context:
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) (spoken by God in the Garden of Eden as He institutes marriage, joining the first man to the first woman, as husband and wife.)
“And he answered and said unto them, have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:4-6) spoken by Jesus Christ as He reiterates the Genesis premise of marriage, and explains the sanctity of the marital relationship.
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:13, written by Moses as God gives him the moral and civil code for the covenant nation of Israel.)
“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (Romans 24:-27, written by Paul the Apostle as he clarifies what happens to a culture that rejects the knowledge of God.)
“Know ye not that the unrighteousness shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11, written by Paul the Apostle as he explains to the Corinthian church that all sin is unacceptable in God’s sight, and that all have sinned, but that there is cleansing and transformation through Jesus Christ.)
“I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude 5-7, written by Jude the Apostle to show that the judgment that came upon the angels and the ancients, because of their moral impurity is an example to us, a warning from God)
Friends, Romans 3:4b is the solemn summation:
“let God be true, but every man a liar…”