The Log Cabin Republicans agree with conservative principles on most every issue but one—homosexual marriage. It was this particular belief that got them disinvited from the Western Conservative Summit:
The Western Conservative Summit, a gathering of some of the most influential newsmakers on the right, created a firestorm this week when it uninvited a gay GOP group to set up a table at the Denver event. . . .
The summit is sponsored by Colorado Christian University in Lakewood and its think tank, the Centennial Institute. Summit chairman and institute director John Andrews said Wednesday that the Log Cabin Republicans “advocate contrary to our agenda and our core beliefs.”
“The Log Cabin Republicans exist to redefine the family,” he said. “Log Cabin Republicans think gay marriage should be the law of the land, and Colorado Christian University doesn’t believe it should be.”
That raises some important questions, however. How much disagreement will be allowed within the Republican party? Some in the conservative movement have chosen to make opposition to homosexual marriage an integral part of the Republican platform. Christian conservatives in particular have nearly singled out homosexual marriage as the one issue on which they absolutely will not compromise.
Log Cabin Republicans think this singling out is unfair and hypocritical. In some ways, I agree with them. I don’t believe homosexual marriage should be legal, but mostly that’s because I don’t think it’s possible. (You can’t plug a plug into a plug, after all.)
But I think the Republican party and Christian Republicans in particular have become myopic on this particular issue. There are two sides to law-breaking in the Bible. You have sin and you have crime. There are some things that are sins but not crimes. Coveting, for instance, is a sin but not a crime. It is wrong, but the civil government has no biblical jurisdiction to punish it. Theft, the criminal outworking of covetousness, is a crime and a sin. It is the church’s jurisdiction to address sin. It is the State’s jurisdiction to address crime.
If you look at it biblically, homosexuality, adultery, and murder are all in the same civil category. Same-sex attraction, like covetousness, might be a sin, but it is no crime. Homosexual marriage, on the other hand, lands squarely in the civil realm. And the civil government has a responsibility to reject it, in my opinion.
But that’s just it: that’s my opinion. I have other opinions as well. For instance, I believe that unjust wars and abortion are murder. I think divorce for any reason but infidelity or desertion is an effective legalization of adultery. Many within the church disagree with me. And, honestly, that’s fine.
But would Colorado Christian University silence my opinion merely because they disagreed with me on abortion, unjust wars, or adultery? That’s the question. These other issues are as important, if not more important, than the red herring issue of homosexual marriage.
Yet I don’t see hawkish Republicans being denied a voice when they reject the traditional Christian just war theory. I don’t see mainstream Republicans silenced because they make exceptions for certain kinds of abortion. I don’t see Republicans who have remarried after unbiblical divorces, or who have been unfaithful to their spouses, being dismissed from public forums. Are not all of these issues just as central to a biblical understanding of the law, society, and family?
Yes, they are. But we have singled out the homosexual issue. Homosexuality, more than any of these other equally divisive issues, makes most Christians feel especially uncomfortable. So be it. But let’s not shut down a dialogue simply because we are uncomfortable.
The Western Conservative Summit has a right to invite or disinvite anyone they choose. But I think they should have let the Log Cabin Republicans speak. Just as much as we are willing to listen to differing views on these other important issues, I think we should speak and listen on this issue as well, and try to grow together.