The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Proposition 8 and A “Gray” Moral Standard

with 2 comments

This past weekend, gay “right’s” supporters protested the constitutional ban of same-sex marriage in cities across America (for more information see ).  Knowing that these protests were planned to take place this past Saturday, I was personally interested in observing what the people participating in them would say as a means of justifying their actions.

After reading through several online articles that covered this weekend’s protests, there were three categories I believed their responses fit into:

1.      A Need for Equal Rights,

2.      A “Gray” Standard of Morality, and

3.      A Desire for the Exclusion of Religion in Political Discussions, and

Since I have addressed “A Need for Equal Rights” and “A Desire for the Exclusion of Religion in Political Discussions” elsewhere, I will spend my time with you this morning address “A ‘Gray’ Standard of Morality” (for the posts addressing the afore mentioned categories, see Settling the Issue: Same-Sex Marriage IS NOT a Civil Right and From Tolerance to Intolerance: How the Normalization of Same-Sex Marriage and Homosexuality Will Lead to the Suppression of Freedom).

A “Gray” Standard of Morality

Ever since I began reading and researching the institution of marriage and the arguments from supporters for same-sex marriage, I have been amused and frustrated over arguments of morality.  What I find amusing are the inherent contradictions that exist within their arguments in support for same-sex marriage. 

For instance, they desire the right to free speech and assembly, as well as equal participation in the Democratic process.  However, with the acceptance of same-sex marriage and homosexual behavior, they desire people and organizations with different opinions and beliefs to be silenced and excluded from this process and even forced to accept their behavior. 

Why do people have to accept the behavior of another as justifiable?  What makes them right and others wrong?  This last thought leads to my frustration.

Even though advocates for same-sex marriage call “Foul” on those who disagree with them about “Legislating your morality,” why can’t they see they are doing the same?

First, the notion that you can’t legislate morality is a half-truth.  R. J. Rushdoony rightfully observed:

Every law on the statute books of every civil government is either an example of enacted    morality or it is pro­cedural thereto. Our laws are all moral laws, representing a system of    morality…Laws against theft are commandments against stealing. Slander and libel laws, perjury laws, enact the moral requirement…Traffic laws are moral laws also: their purpose is to protect life and property (Can We Legislate Morality?).

People may disagree with the morality of certain laws, but this does not mitigate that laws are concerned with morality.  As alluded to above, laws are concerned with what is right and allowable to what is wrong and punishable.  In a general sense, this is exactly what morality is all about.  Consequently, we cannot have laws without moralities and those that say we can’t “legislate morality” are speaking half-truths with the knowledge that they themselves desire for their own morality to be legislated and accepted by all. 

Second, same-sex marriage supporters unwittingly embrace the absolute nature of morals even though they will reject this claim.  Let me briefly explain how they do this by considering two different examples from this past weekend’s protests. 

First, we read from Yahoo News about Karen Amico:

“Civil marriages are a civil right, and we’re going to keep fighting until we get the rights         we deserve as American citizens,” said Karen Amico, one of several hundred protesters         in Philadelphia, holding up a sign reading “Don’t Spread H8” (H8 stands for Hate 8) (Yahoo News).

The sign that Karen and several hundred other protestors proudly waved signs that inadvertently embrace the absolute nature of morals by calling California’s Proposition 8, Proposition Hate.  This is briefly how their signs accomplished this feat:

1.      Measurement is impossible without absolutes.  How can you know that something is hate unless you know that something is good?  By considering that the banishment of same-sex marriage is less than ideal for them, Karen acknowledged a Perfect standard that she attempted to measure her claim against.


2.      Moral disagreements demand objective standards.  Since Karen and others disagree with those of different opinions, she once again acknowledged the absoluteness of morals.  If this is not the case then both she and I are right in our beliefs.  Since this is not the case then our disagreement can only be rectified by an absolute moral standard (Norman Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics).

We can also consider the example provided by Sean Peterson.

In Manhattan, where some protesters were offering hula-hoop demonstrations, Sean      Petersen, 21, a musician from Brooklyn, called the vote “mean-spirited and divisive”         (Reuters).

Without repeating what I just said, can you see how Sean’s words would fit into the two points cited above?  How can something or someone be deemed as mean if you don’t have a Perfect standard of good to judge them by?  How can something be divisive unless there is a Perfect standard to judge what we can agree upon? 

Concluding Thoughts

I agree with C.S. Lewis and many others who posit that the existence of an absolute moral law necessitates the existence of a good Moral Law Giver (see Mere Christianity).  However, what standard do Karen and Sean point to in basing their claims?  Is their words unwittingly pointing to the existence of an absolute moral law and Moral Law Giver?  Or are their words and standards derived from themselves and community? 

If this latter thought holds to be true, then by do they as individuals and communities serve as the moral standard in legislating their behavior?  Why do they as individuals and communities serve as the standard that everyone else is to be judged by? 

In the end, individuals or communities CANNOT serve as the basis for judging the validity of laws.  Our country is one that was founded under God who serves as the external standard by which men and women’s “unalienable rights” are determined by. 

In order for us to make judgments, enact laws, measure standards of conduct, and rectify moral disagreements, we cannot succumb to the lies of secular humanism that espouse the removal of God and religion from political discourse.  If we were to give way to the removal of God, and those that look to Him as the Ultimate Standard of what is right and good and evil and bad, then issues of legality will be decided by the people with the most power, influence, and charisma. 


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Written by Jesse Wisnewski

November 17, 2008 at 4:02 pm

2 Responses

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  1. […] Proposition 8 and A “Gray” Moral Standard […]

  2. Jesse,
    Thanks for pointing out the futility of the argument, “It’s immoral to bring morality into politics!” It is a self-refuting argument.

    Those who say “you can’t impose your views on others” imposes on others the view that says views shouldn’t be imposed on others.

    Steve H.

    Stephen Halbrook

    November 25, 2008 at 11:28 pm

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