Wrong Side of History?

You’re probably aware that the Supreme Court is hearing cases on the constitutionality of laws defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. You’ve probably also heard talking heads insist that public opinion has shifted, that same-sex marriage is inevitable, and 50 years from now everyone will wonder what the big deal was.  

This is for those of you who may be a bit unsettled by all of it. You’re not crazy.  The world may be going mad, but not for the first time. In the words of the apostle Paul, “professing to be wise they became fools.” 

To better understand what’s going on, re-read the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. When the crowd is gathered and the emotions are highest, that is the moment at which the peer pressure is greatest.  Only the child, who was unaware of the peer pressure, had the courage to state the obvious. 

The path of least resistance is to go along to get along.  That’s why so many people choose it. But you just can’t make yourself do it.  It isn’t so much about being true to yourself as it is about being true to what is true.  You anchored yourself to the concept of truth, which means that not every idea is brilliant.  It isn’t that you have a personal vendetta against those that disagree, you just recognize that if nothing is true, then everything is true…which is completely unworkable. 

Over time, you came to be thankful for the fact that, by virtue of having an anchor, there were some places you couldn’t go and some ideas you couldn’t embrace.  It has actually saved you a lot of trouble. But now everyone is so angry about it.  

If you sympathize with this sentiment, let’s remind ourselves of why we have an anchor at all. 
We don’t make the rules.   Sure we can decide speed limits and tax rates, but with respect to the laws of the universe, we are subject, not lord.  We may not like them, but we cannot change them.  
We could pass a law banning gravity because it discriminates against wingless creatures, but the moment we launched ourselves off a building to celebrate our independence from it we would simply reinforce the limits of our legislative authority. 

Natural marriage flows from the laws of nature.  It is not a uniquely valuable relationship because people gathered in their caves eons ago and launched a campaign to stigmatize people attracted to the same sex. Marriage between a man and a woman is uniquely valuable because we are a gendered species.  It is a biological reality that every child has a mom and dad.  The fact that it is ideal for children to have both parents in their lives flows from nature, not from hatred of non-parents.  For those who are offended by this reality, their issue is not with you.

The ideas that parents are interchangeable will not survive because it cannot survive.  It cannot survive because it is inconsistent with reality.   Fathers cannot mother, and mothers cannot father.  
Truth is not concerned with or affected by our preferences.  I may find it inconvenient that I cannot eat only corn dogs and expect to be healthy. Even if I framed my body’s need for vitamins and minerals as discrimination and intolerance of my tongues orientation, and even if I convinced many to join my protest, my heart attack would not care.  Nor would it care that my intentions were good. My body was designed in a way that I cannot control or change.  It is in my best interest to accept it rather than fight it.  

For those of us who live life with an anchor, we have done so, in part, because we understand that we cannot trust our feelings.  They are, by definition, unreliable.  The ability to analyze what is true despite how we feel is part of what separates us from animals.  

The other thing about feelings…they go away.  Whether you’re motivated, joyful, or angry, no feeling lasts forever.  If your conclusions about what is true are determined by your feelings, your view of reality will constantly change.  This also explains why support for same-sex “marriage”, such as it is, cannot last.

Never mind the fact that nearly every poll ever taken has wildly overstated real support for redefining marriage, the fact that a fevered emotional climate with intense social pressure to conform or be ostracized was necessary to gain support for their position also guarantees its collapse. 
The cultural infatuation with everything gay will not last forever. When the emotional leverage is gone, they’ll have to argue for the benefits of a genderless world with interchangeable parents on the merits.

Good luck with that.

If you feel anxiety about all of this, please try to relax.  Don’t stop caring and don’t stop working. There is much pain to be averted by being as close to truth as possible, and each of us plays a critical role in that struggle.  But don’t ever be concerned that this battle is lost forever. 

The idea that 500 years from now, civilizations will see this as the moment in human history when everyone came together and realized you could do whatever you wanted with whomever you wanted and it didn’t matter so long as everyone consented and had good intentions is fantasy.  
We are not the first people to be asked to conform to intense social pressure, nor will we be the last.

But hopefully we will provide a great example to the next generation of grace under fire and the benefit of having an anchor.

You may be on the wrong side of the peer pressure, depending on the group you’re with or the channel you’re watching, but you’re not on the wrong side of history. 

Time obliterates the fictions of opinion and confirms the decisions of nature. ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero 


Posted by Cheryl on April 1, 2013
As soon those against homosexual "marriage" allowed those in favor to pose their fight in terms of fairness and equal rights, they were doomed. As I've told my children, they were never denied the right to marry; they could easily find someone of the opposite gender to marry if they really wanted to. But when they redefine marriage in their terms, where will it end? If someone wants to "marry" his child or his dog, will those who disagree be villified as "hating" him and "denying his rights?"
Posted by Emily on March 29, 2013
So you use the argument of "nature" and that "feelings don't matter" in order to support your fear of and discrimination against gay individuals. Good work claiming that you have the logical argument but not bothering to mention that 1) not all marriages result in children 2) not all married couples that have children gave birth to their own children 3) any RESPECTABLE journal article will tell you that a child will turn out fine if raised by two fathers or two mothers. The only issue such children encounter is bullying by other children when their family lifestyle is discovered. Good job perpetuating a harmful system in which gay people are far more likely to be homeless, commit suicide, etc. that straight people.
Posted by Janette Lemme' on March 28, 2013
So level headed and well stated! Thank you for putting this battle in perspective. It eases my depression over the whole often misguided discussion and helps me focus on fundamental truths. Bless you.
Posted by DW on March 28, 2013
Very well written, thank you for posting. Rare is the writing on this subject that is stated clearly, calmly, and rationally.
Posted by Philip Irvin on March 28, 2013
Regarding a culture and sexual relations, there are really only two paths; sexual restraint and sexual freedom. Under the sexual restraint path a woman will say that the only way you may have sex with her is if you enter into an exclusive, lifelong relationship and agree to provide for and nurture any progeny that the two of you produce. Under the sexual freedom case you are free to have sex with whoever and whatever you want to without any responsibility and (expletive deleted) those of the next generation. Which of these two results in the preservation of society?
Posted by Jewel Schloemer on March 28, 2013
Joseph, thank you for keeping up the good fight. I so appreciated reading your words of wisdom. You eloquently stated the truth. Blessings.
Posted by Carrie Earll on March 28, 2013
Well said Joseph. Truth spoken is heard by truth seekers but eventually truth wins out. I've posted this everywhere I can - thank you for this breath of fresh air in a long-running debate.
Posted by Lara Updike on March 27, 2013
Amazing piece Joseph!
Posted by Kenneth Crider on March 27, 2013
Prophesy from Almighty God Will Be Fulfilled.
Posted by Joseph Cristel on March 27, 2013
Excellent and thoughtful writing! Even though this is not a Theocracy yet it will soon be when the Lord Jesus returns.Physical and moral laws were established by him,not just for eternity,but for the here and now.We violate them at our own peril.There is only one side to be on and that is the side of Eternal Truth..HIS side. Come quickly Lord Jesus!
Posted by Ted DeVol on March 27, 2013
Amen. This gay marriage movement is nothing but a look at me freak show. Nothing more nothing less. If it's not, what next do we look forward to?
Posted by JR on March 27, 2013
Joseph - well written. But you know that we will never agree on this. Until your Lord shows himself and rules us all, legislatively, even, the point you are making is moot. It may be wrong in your Lord's eyes - but your Lord does not rule us all. We are not a Theocracy. Until that day comes, there should be ZERO legislation around who can/cannot be "married" and how that is recognized by the government. This is not social pressure. This is not, for many, the soup de jour - this is reality. Your church, your God can damn whomever it chooses and define whatever it wants - but the government should not be so quick to draw the line by limiting the freedoms and benefits that you and I enjoy everyday to those that have the same sexual orientation as you and I. Remember what our forefathers wrote in the constitution - "all men are created equal". There are no qualifiers around that. I applaud your fight to not "redefine" marriage, although it's been done numerous times, but let's put into perspective what the Supreme Court is actually doing, versus some cock-eyed alternate reality.
Posted by James Rossi on March 27, 2013
Your comment is piercing . Its really hard to love people with such depraved life stile. But we are called to love them But that doesn't mean where to support laws that are so sick and vile. Its so wrong that this supreme court is even having to here these cases . but we don't know are enemies unless there revealed. pray
Posted by Michael Scrimsher on March 27, 2013
Very well written, and persuasive, to the believer and non-believer alike. Good for you for telling it how it really is. Looks like a similar article called "Absolute Truth" - published by the LDS church president in the mid 70's.
Posted by MarkR on March 27, 2013
While I agree with everything you have said, the problem is all of modernity -- what makes modernity "modern," what is called by historians of ideas "the modern turn" -- is a denial of the fixity of nature itself. Bacon and Descartes, while quite different in many respects, were progenitors of this even more fundamental denial (which is actually rooted in Epicurean philosophy). Since the modern scientific project has, at least around the margins, succeeded quite well in de-naturing nature, the opponents of your natural law argument are not completely nuts when the say that current "natural" limits on (say) procreation being limited to a man and a woman are simply obstacles to be overcome in the centuries-old scientific project for the domination and complete control of nature. So, unfortunately those who seek defend the truth of traditional marriage have a much bigger cultural/intellectual problem than it first appears. The roots of modernity go DEEP, and the distortions brought about are profound. This is a surface battle -- admittedly an important one -- floating above a deep war that we're a long way from winning.
Posted by Josh Aaron on March 27, 2013
Thank you for writing this my friend. I really needed that. I often feel like mine is the only voice amongst my peers that is defending natural marriage and it can get a little heart-wrenching. I needed this at this time more than you know. Josh
Posted by Tim on March 27, 2013
This is a very good summary of this sad misunderstanding that has become so popular with a majority simply wanting to kind and allow these people "the pursuit of happiness." However, the one thing it lacked, that I find missing from almost any other argument against gay marriage is this: Homosexuality it a threat to society, period. Sodomy laws are simply the wisdom from previous centuries coming through as protection for society. These laws exist because of the destruction of society that homosexuality has caused in the past; not only at Sodom and Gomorrah, but look at how it infected and destroyed ancient Greece and the Roman Empire and many other societies. It would be one thing if these people just kept to themselves, but they don't. They recruit and militantly spread their vice. Left to themselves, most everyone is repelled by homosexuality. Anyone who gets swept into their web is first introduced to it by an encounter with a homosexual, and then begins to experiment. After overcoming their conscience and inhibitions, they decide they like this activity and adopt the livestyle, and probably become activists. So it spreads, especially with the young, and destroys the chance of more and more to ever have a family and children. Anyone who thinks this is limited to a small percentage who are "born with this orientation" simply has to look at what happened in the Catholic seminaries in the 70s and 80s to see how it spreads in closed groups. This is exactly what will happen in the coming years in the US Military, and what we will see across the US in the coming decades. I consider it a race to see what will cause the downfall of the US first: the spread of homosexuality or our country's financial crisis. Only a strong education campaign with clear presentations from historical cases of destruction by homosexuality will slow this insanity.
Posted by Linda Merker on March 27, 2013
I so respect the things I've seen that you've written. Thanks for such a clear, concise explanation.
Posted by D on March 27, 2013
remember Sodom and Gomorrah, if you did not learn from the past- you will see God's wrath.
Posted by Ed on March 27, 2013
Thanks for writing this, very encouraging and a great relief from the madness that is currently surrounding us. Yes, the emperor has no clothes, but it is sad to see people succumb to sloppy thinking (or none at all). I see the name callers and the champions of "tolerance" have already arrived here to comment. God bless them in this holy week. May they find healing and peace in the risen Lord.
Posted by DebKL on March 27, 2013
This perspective needs to be shared far and wide. Thanks for writing it, Mr. Backholm!
Posted by Kurt on March 27, 2013
Brilliant argument and well nuanced. I wish everyone in the United States, especially every Supreme Court justice, governor and U.S. congress person could read your words!
Posted by Rebecca on March 27, 2013
Very powerful with great analogies! Thank you for putting my feelings into words!
Posted by Chris on March 27, 2013
Thank you! Truth will always win. God bless you!
Posted by Vickie on March 27, 2013
Very well written and very encouraging. Thanks much!
Posted by Chris Hanson on March 27, 2013
I have been looking for a way to explain this to my children. Thanks. This will help a lot.
Posted by Linda on March 27, 2013
This is the best treatise I have seen on this subject!! WELL DONE!!
Posted by David Simonton on March 27, 2013
What a ridiculous drama queen you are.
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