After hearing bloggers, commentators, journalists and the like speak on how biggoted Miss California, Carrie Prejean, is because of her response to a question about same-sex marriage, I decided to look up the definition of marriage in the dictionary. I do have a Webster’s in my bookshelf here at home, but I decided to go the web-savy route and give you dictionary.com’s definition of marriage (Webster’s says the same thing):
the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
According to celebrity blogger and Miss America judge, Perez Hilton, “Miss USA should represent everyone.” That is a fair statement–Miss USA should be someone who represents the values of our country. But Hilton goes on to say that Miss Prejean’s “answer alienated millions of gay and lesbian Americans, their families and their supporters. She lost it because of that question. She was definitely the front-runner before that.”
Let’s say she gives an answer more suitable to Hilton’s liking, then who has she alienated? Probably many many more millions who in our country believe that marriage is a social institution designed for a man and a woman. Prejean simply gave the textbook, dictionary definition of marriage and she lost Miss USA because of it.
I don’t watch beauty pageants and in all honesty I think they promote many problems of their own, but I find it interesting that Miss California’s comments are being called “bigoted” and others are claiming that there is “no room for preference or belief when it comes to legally enforeable discrimination that is imposed on the entire population.”
. . . Really? No room for “belief”? That sounds more than a little hypocritical. Apparently there is room for the belief that people who define marriage as it has been defined for the vast majority of human history are bigots.
But the real question behind all this debate is the simple but all to often unanswered question, “What is marriage?” For thousands of years, marriage has been defined as a socially recognized union between a man and a woman. Webster and dictionary.com agree. Should we change this definition simply because so many gay people have desires to be married? Should we change it because they claim to have been born that way. To be quite honest, I have desires to leave restaurants sometimes without paying for my meal (I never do btw!) but would it be right for me to do so? I think all people are born with desires to lie, to twist the truth for their own selfish gains–they were born that way, so it must be right. Maybe we should lighten the sentences on thieves in the courtroom–they were born with desires to steal right?
You see where that sort of thinking leads? What is marriage? Who defines it? As soon as we start looking for answers to that question that depart from the framework of a holy creator God, the doors begin to swing open to all kinds of absurdities (i.e. why not recognize marriages between men and rocks, or why not recognize polygamy–certainly there are people out there with desires to marry more than one person). Throw out God and you might as well throw out the entire institution of marriage. I don’t think our country is ready to throw God out of the equation, the majority of people in our nation still believe in Webster’s definition, but this Miss California controversy is evidence that now, perhaps more than ever, we need to be asking the simple but all-too-important question, “What is marriage?”
***Disclaimer*** All that I said about gay marriage is obviously from the view point that God ordained marriage and therefore defines it. That does in no way mean that gay people are lesser people in any way. Christians must love gay people, share the gospel with them, and in no way should a Christian ever feel justified dehumanizing a gay person in any way. The age old cheesy Christian mantra is absolutely true–“hate the sin, love the sinner.”