First off, don’t equate gay marriage with tsunamis

I’ve never heard of John Stonestreet but he has an article up on Christianheadlines.com to advertise his new book titled Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage.

Like a tsunami, so-called gay marriage has swept aside just about every obstacle in its path, creating a very different cultural landscape than even seemed possible a few decades ago—or even a few years ago! According to David Von Drehle in Time magazine, the swift embrace of same-sex marriage is nothing short of a “seismic shift” of American culture, one “as rapid and unpredictable as any turn in public opinion.”

And that, folks, might still be an understatement.

No, no… I think what that is is hyperbole: “the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech.” (via)

The Bolton Council of Mosques quoted some statistics from the Tsunami Evaluation Coalition for the tsunami that swept over the Indian ocean on Boxing day, 2004. I’ll pick out a few.

275,000 people were killed in fourteen countries across two continents, with the last two fatalities being swept out to sea in South Africa, more than twelve hours after the earthquake.

40,000 to 45,000 more women than men were killed in the tsunami.

141,000 houses were destroyed, which accounts for 47.9 percent of the total damage (BRR & World Bank, 2005)

A 1,200km section of the earth’s crust shifted beneath the Indian ocean and the earthquake released stored energy equivalent to over more than 23,000 Hiroshima bombs.

Until thousands of people lose their lives and the planet itself is irrevocably altered by the sheer power of two men or two women in love, you can’t really equate gay marriage with tsunamis or earthquakes.

Back to Stonestreet:

It was the eminent sociologist David Popenoe who said that no civilization ever survived after its family life deteriorated. But if you don’t believe him, listen to G.K. Chesterton, and I quote: “This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.”

Popenoe wrote a piece called “The Decline of Fatherhood” which appeared in the Wilson Quarterly. The Sept/Oct 1996 issue of Utne Reader picked it up, which is where I found it. He makes some good points about parenting and stability for children. There are stats galore around to illustrate how single mothers fare financially and how that affects everything in terms of the well being, education and futures of kids who are most likely living in poverty and aren’t expected to get out from under that in any easy way. It’s really long but worth the read.

In terms of G. K. Chesterton,

this was the man who wrote a book called The Everlasting Man, which led a young atheist named C.S. Lewis to become a Christian. This was the man who wrote a novel called The Napoleon of Notting Hill, which inspired Michael Collins to lead a movement for Irish Independence. This was the man who wrote an essay in the Illustrated London News that inspired Mohandas Gandhi to lead a movement to end British colonial rule in India.

Suffice it to say, he was instrumental in a lot of major changes in society as we know it. His quoted opinion doesn’t prove our civilization will definitely fall just because homosexuals want to marry each other, though. There are so many factors that keep a civilization prospering and so many factors with the potential to wipe it out. It’s very unlike that roadside bombs or Ebola, for example, give a damn who’s married with kids.

Back to Stonestreet:

Sean and I also look at the issue culturally. Same-sex marriage isn’t the start of the problem; it’s the fruit of a long-going sexual revolution.

The ground that has shifted is not just moral ground; it’s worldview ground. We’re not just seeing a moral slide toward more and more sexual immorality; we’ve undergone a complete shift in the way we understand the human person.

Gay marriage is a major change. No doubt about that. But watch out for the notion of moral and immoral behaviour. The more we learn about ourselves and other species on this planet, we soon learn that life-long monogamy is very rare everywhere. Morality is on a sliding scale depending on the culture and the practices of a society at any particular time. Slavery often gets brought up at this point; it’s been considered a moral right of people to own other people in America’s past and there are still places in the world thinking this way. It’s morally right in Uganda to kill gays. It’s morally right to stone and rape women in some countries. It all comes down to culture and all comes down to how people are willing to judge certain behaviours, often based on whatever holy writ or charasmatic leader currently holds sway.

Same-sex relationships can be found in parts of the animal kingdom as well. A National Geographic article goes into some detail about that and how same-sex bonding can be very beneficial within a group anyway, even though the pairing isn’t leading directly to offspring. Scientific American has also explored the issue.

So long as enough babies are born to offset the effects of same-sex pairs, it’s a non-issue, frankly. And many same sex couples want to and are willing to raise children. These children would be getting all the benefits of double income and home stability. They’d be getting the positive attention, love and education that will make them profitable members of society down the road.

I think I’ve gone on long enough. Any thoughts you wish to share?

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