Are Christians "forcing" their Christianity on homosexuals by opposing gay marriage? Are Christians "oppressing" homosexuals by trying to use the law to control them?
These are questions that should be answered, because many believe the answers to be "yes." I have known a number of Christians who have switched their view on this matter because they became convinced that to oppose gay marriage legally is to try to use the law to single-out and victimize a certain kind of sinner -homsexuals.
Before I get into this, I do want to say one thing. I do really think that conservative Christians, in general, have a massive obsession with the bad behavior of others. I think we become way too preoccupied with what so and so is doing, or what some group is doing, or what our government is allowing people to do now. I believe this is partly due to the fact that we live in a democracy, so we take the idea that we all have an influence in the shape of our nation, inject our zeal and concern for what is right, add in perhaps a tad of self-righteousness (depending on the person), and obsess about it a whole lot. I believe this attitude can turn people off and give a very distorted view of what Jesus and His Gospel are all about. That concerns me.
But, back to the initial questions. See, the problem I have with this kind of argumentation and line of questioning is that it makes assumptions about the motives of Christians who oppose gay marriage. It, first of all, assumes all Christians who oppose gay marriage have the same reasoning and motive. Is that fair? I don't think so.
Secondly, it bypasses anything Christians try to say and assumes that our motive is a sinister and oppressive one. Words such as "force" and "oppression" and "civil rights" are thrown out there to make it sound even worse. Truly, some who name the name of Christ probably do single-out homosexuals and want to control them, but is it really fair to broad-brush all of us? What if I said, "Oh, homosexuals just want to gain the right to marry other homosexuals because they hate Christians and want to rub it in our face and push us into obscurity?" That would be pretty unfair, don't you think? It would be unfair because I know, for a fact, that it is untrue.
And this is a problem, because this is used as a club to silence those who oppose gay marriage. That is the irony. I don't want to be guilty of the same error of generalization, but it is ironic because some use these kinds of assumptions as a way to attack those who oppose gay marriage. By making these assumptions and painting the opposition as intending to attack and harm and oppress them, they build support for their cause while shaming the opposition into silence. It is actually pretty clever. Attack the opposition by accusing them of attacking you and then playing victim. Label them. Shame them. Keep them quiet. Call them bad. Single them out and point your finger. Gee... isn't that exactly what we are being accused of? Hmmm...
True enough, many homosexuals have been victims, for sure. But to use that as a way to shame and silence opposition, in order to push forward your agenda...? That is an attack, that is hypocrisy, that is evil. That is using force to oppress the opposing side. It may not be physical force, but it is definitely a force -shame and accusation are powerful forces. In high-school it is called bullying. But in the public sphere of adult society, it is called "tolerance."