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7 Responses to “Graphic Novel (pt. 8)”

  1. Josh Glaser says:

    Mike, I’ve not read Murray’s book but I’m intrigued by the idea of the four “founding virtues” and how the devaluing of marriage and religion is leading to an unraveling of the American experiment.

    It’s in this context you address the question of gay marriage. You also write, “The stakes in this debate are literally whether the American experiment in self-government will go forward.”

    My question is: Are you saying that history suggests homosexuality (or specifically for us today, gay marriage) is unique in its impact on the devolving of marriage and religion?

    Some Christian activists certainly seem to think so and frequently sound to me like they are villifying this one area, while remaining conspicuously silent (which you are not) on other strikes against the foundational virtue of marriage. Then there’s Robert Gagnon, who takes a more wholistic scholarly approach and concludes likewise that homosexuality is more grievous than other departures from heterosexual marriage.

    For many years now (before reading Gagnon), I’ve pushed against this view, for two primary reasons: First, for those who discover they have same-sex attractions and who do not distinguish these attractions from their core identity, any suggestion that homosexuality is “worse than” simply hurts tremendously and frequently sends them seeking community outside orthodox Christianity. And second, those who do not personally deal with homosexuality can too easily miss their own broken sexuality and the opportunity for Christ to restore it.

    All this to say, I’ve held the view that if life-long heterosexual marriage is a foundational virtue needed for the American experiment to succeed, than all that blurrs it ought to be treated the same–divorce, adultery, pornography, sex outside of marriage, etc. But as I’ve read a bit more of Gagnon, and today as you highlight gay marriage alone in this piece, I’m wondering if I’ve missed something, and I’d be interested in your thoughts.

    Josh Glaser

  2. Josh Glaser says:

    Clarification/correction: I don’t read Gagnon to be saying that homosexuality is worse than ALL other departures from heterosexual marriage, but some.

  3. Mark Elson says:

    Mike you sound like you are argueing for the importance of worldview? I say this because you refer to religion being propigated as personal rather than institutional. Institutions function by way of a certain worldview.

    I think this concept of religion being person by way of spiritual comfort to the individual is something Christianity has bought into from secular thinking, your whole point is its not a Christian idea.

    Thanks Milke

  4. Mike Metzger says:


    I gotta learn to be a bit more clear! Just kidding. The Christian tradition is binding because it is institutional as well as personal. By definition, institutions define reality and establish boundaries. Marriage defined as heterosexual – one man and one woman – established boundaries that are presently being overturned. One of my points is that too few Christians see marriage as an institution but rather as more of a personal relationship with their spouse – just as they primarily see the faith as a personal relationship with Jesus. It is – but it’s a whole lot more than simply that.

    The key is distinguishing between the virtue of being an individual and the vice of individualism. God created us as individuals. Individualism exalts personal preference and choice beyond what is virtuous.

    Josh – you haven’t missed anything that I can notice. You are correct that we are unwise to single out homosexuality as the only vice to be fixed. Divorce blurs the picture as well, as you note. This is why the stakes are high regarding how we define marriage. If the definition is evolving, America’s Great Experiment is essentially over. Our experiment requires a binding religion, not a religion where everyone is set loose to define marriage, the gospel, “me and Jesus,” etc as they please.

  5. Tom Nesler says:

    I think the link that connects divorce and homosexuality is the inability of people to break through to real intimacy. We are becoming more isolated as a society.

    Gays claim to be loving individuals, yet I have read that many if not most gays and lesbians were molested or unloved as children. Their idea of marriage is a framework to allow free sex without penalties.

    People who are straight often think the same way but they find that physical intimacy does not overcome their inability for real emotional and spritual intimacy. It takes several “trys” at marriage to finally amture enough that they can develop the intimacy they need.

    Finally, if we become more isolated and unable to communicate, then our temptations to be dishonest and lazy increase.

  6. Josh Glaser says:

    Thanks, Mike.

  7. “Graphic Novel pt. 8″ « Dialogo de Derek says:

    […] Graphic Novel part 8 […]

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