Am I intolerant if I believe gay marriage is wrong?

As I sat and listened to two college-age students discuss the outcome of the elections a few days ago, I was not surprised when I heard the conversation turn to Proposition 8.  (For those not in California, Proposition 8 was the gay marriage amendment that was on the ballot for the 2008 election.  Those who supported Prop. 8 were those who supported the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.  Those who were against the proposition were supporters of recognizing unions between same-sex partners as a legal marriage with all of the legal benefits.)  During the discussion of the two college girls, it became apparent to me that they were surprised and disappointed that Proposition 8 had passed (meaning that marriage in California would be defined as between a man and a woman).  They began to criticize those who voted for the measure as being “intolerant” and “bigots.”  They specifically mentioned that Evangelical Christians were to blame.

As an Evangelical Christian, I ask, “Am I intolerant because I believe gay marriage is wrong?”  I have always thought of myself as tolerant, but I did vote for Proposition 8.

Before you answer, consider the definition of “tolerance”.  Webster’s defines tolerance as the “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own.”  (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tolerance)

When I voted, I voted according to my belief that same-sex marriage is wrong.  I have a strong conviction that marriage is intended only for a man and a woman as defined biblically.  You may disagree.  You have the right to disagree.  Tolerance does not mean that we have to agree on everything.  It means that we must accept one another even if we do not agree.

Tolerance is a two-way street.  I may not like your beliefs, but I need to respect the fact that you are entitled to them.  You may not like what I believe, but you have to respect that I am entitled to my beliefs as well and can exercise those beliefs at the polls when given the opportunity.  When someone says a person does not have the right to vote according to what he or she believes to be true, that is intolerance.

So, is it fair for gay marriage supporters to cry “intolerance?”  Maybe they should exercise a little of the tolerance they preach.  You may think I am wrong about gay marriage.  That does not make me intolerant.  It only means I have a different view than you.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Gay Marriage, Worldview and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Am I intolerant if I believe gay marriage is wrong?

  1. Jesse says:

    Very well said! I second your assertion.

  2. Caleb says:

    very clear… as always. very good logic.

  3. Curtis says:

    It would be wrong to say that you are intolerant simply because you voted your values. I will agree with you on that one, and your reasoning is sound and bears repeating, because it’s an important distinction.

    My issue is that, in practically every case imaginable, when Christians vote their values, it tends to be on an exclusionary rather than an inclusionary basis. It’s always about what people can’t or shouldn’t do—what we shouldn’t accept—rather than what we should accept. This is probably why people might label Prop 8 supporters ‘intolerant,’ technically incorrect though it may be; because conservative value voting serves almost always to keep things legally as they have been in the past rather than moving forward. That is part of the definition of social conservatism in our country, and you don’t have to take it from me that Jesus Christ was no social conservative in his own time, for what that’s worth.

  4. Tim Farley says:

    Hi Curtis:

    You wrote: “conservative value voting serves almost always to keep things legally as they have been in the past rather than moving forward.”

    I think it is true that conservatives tend to keep things the way they are. Hence, the reason we are called conservatives. However, I think it is wrong to think that every change serves to move things forward. Do we not at times make changes / decisions that hurt rather than help?

    Also, not all Christians or even conservatives are against change. If you read my posts concerning the environment for example, you will see that there are many Christians who desire a change in this area.

    You also wrote: “you don’t have to take it from me that Jesus Christ was no social conservative in his own time, for what that’s worth.”

    That is very true. Jesus was a radical in his time. However, I am strongly convinced that he was against homosexuality and gay marriage.

  5. Jon_York says:

    This is a definition issue, not a toleration issue.

    It’s a definition. If one tries to change the definition …the meaning is lost; why? Because truth is INTOLERANT. Truth would not be truth with even a little lie mixed in.

    Truth = intolerance!

    The definition of marriage has transcended all cultures and religions down through time, since God placed our first parents in Eden.

    What is the purpose of marriage? It is to establish a strong family unit to MAKE BABIES in.

    Marriage is about the kids! If two like gendered deviants want to write up a legal document stating that they want to grow to be two old homosexuals together; they presently have every right. But it isn’t marriage-never will be.

    If they really want a name for it. The Bible calls it an abomination. There’s their name.

    If they want to raise kids in this deviant relationship then depriving the child of the mother or the father by having two mommies or by having two daddies then the relationship should be called “child abuse.”

  6. johnbisceglia says:

    No, you are intolerant, since YOUR church will not separate itself from my state.

    What most people fail to understand is WHY we want these 1,138 rights – Because cruel suffering
    happens when those 1,138 rights are NOT in place!

    So until we have what other Americans get doled out to them LIKE CANDY, more individuals are taking this to the Supreme Court, and will refuse taxation until equal. The I.R.S. are FOOLS if they think ALL LGBT Americans are tax-compliant considering the blatant discrimination against our beloved families.

  7. Tim Farley says:

    johnbisceglia:

    Unfortunately, what I think you are saying is that you have the right to cast your vote based upon your beliefs, but other groups do not. Who is being intolerant here? I think you need to stop using “intolerance” as your battle cry and start convincing me and others why gay marriage is a right.

  8. jonyork1958 says:

    *****johnbisceglia // December 5, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    No, you are intolerant, since YOUR church will not separate itself from my state.

    What most people fail to understand is WHY we want these 1,138 rights – Because cruel suffering
    happens when those 1,138 rights are NOT in place!

    So until we have what other Americans get doled out to them LIKE CANDY, more individuals are taking this to the Supreme Court, and will refuse taxation until equal. The I.R.S. are FOOLS if they think ALL LGBT Americans are tax-compliant considering the blatant discrimination against our beloved families.*****

    There are other forms of deviant sexual behavior. Our prisons are full of these deviants. How do you think you’re deviancy is any more legitimate than other forms? The rapist, or the necromancer, or the pedophile, or the one convicted of bestiality? Why don’t you include these in your quest for equality? Because it’s not about equality it’s about the assault on the foundation of society; the family unit! You want your deviancy to be first tolerated then endorsed. SICK!
    The good news is you don’t have to stay this way! There are support groups for those who have been delivered from this disorder. You can be set free!

    20 years ago or so this conversation would have been thought of as unthinkable, unspeakable! Do you think by destroying the definition of marriage you will strengthen families? It will not!

    Our church and other God fearing Americans are working with other patriots to pray for you and others seemingly stuck in self destructive “lifestyles” (sin). Will you let me pray for you?

    You can run from God but you can’t hide.

Comments are closed.