By Michael Shannon:
The biggest problem Christians and conservatives have in making the case for marriage to the younger generation is we don’t speak the same language, and I’m not referring to the number of ‘likes’ inserted into each sentence that replace thought. Our frame of reference has only a tangential connection with that of the younger generation.
The default authority for Christians when explaining their opposition to homosexual marriage is the Bible. But it’s not for the generation born after 1980. The Washington Times reports, “More Americans are doubting the infallibility of the Bible, treating it as a guidebook rather than the actual words of God, according to a survey released Wednesday.”
This belief (no pun intended) puts that generation in agreement with Episcopalians, Methodists and Unitarians who also don’t understand what the big deal is when Rev. Adam and his wife, Steve shake hands with the faithful as they leave the sanctuary on Sunday.
This finding was part of a survey conducted on behalf of the American Bible Society. In the Times its president, Roy Peterson explained, “I think young people have always questioned their parents, questioned the church…Today the skeptics are saying, ‘It’s just like any other piece of literature, and it’s no different from that.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that when a Christian references the Bible, the youngster counters with, “You may like the Bible, but I’m partial to the Epic of Gilgamesh. However, if there was a modern language translation, the Egyptian Book of the Dead also has some value for those who want to increase their spirituality quotient.”
This declining interest is an indication there’s a real chance the Bible may lose it’s spot as the perennial number one best–seller, although this is not sufficient cause for Ellen to hope her bio will take its place.
The importance of the Bible for moral instruction has also declined. In 2013 almost a third of respondents “blamed a lack of Bible reading as the problem” behind a decline in American morals. This year it’s only 26 percent, but that decrease may be explained by the corresponding number of Americans who purchased 70” TVs in the intervening months.
So how does one explain opposition to homosexual marriage in terms the young can grasp? How does one put in context the aggressive demand that Christians conform to an unprecedented definition of marriage that didn’t exist even 25 years ago and flies in the face of all of human history?
How can they relate to our rejection of this absurd definition of marriage that completely upends an accepted way of life in the interest of pleasing an intolerant minority and its cheering section.
There are essentially no sexual taboos today, so approaching the problem from a Biblical angle is like expressing your opposition to the healing power of crystals by using the Physicians Desk Reference, when your audience hasn’t read either one.
Fortunately in today’s brave new culture food taboos have replaced sex taboos and it is here Christians can make our case in a way that duplicates the situation we encountered with homosexual marriage and is simultaneously understandable by the younger generation.
My analogy works regardless of whether you’re locked in debate with a smug and superior homosexual marriage supporter or you’re simply answering a question from one of those ‘love and let love’ types unable to understand why we feel so strongly about the issue.
The demand that Christians completely redefine marriage and accept a radical new definition that institutionalizes and affirms a form sexual practice the Bible specifically forbids, is the exact equivalent of pork lovers demanding that vegan restaurants serve bacon.
If America’s homosexuals can demand “marriage equality” then bacon lovers can demand “flavor equality.”
A vegan’s unconstitutional exclusion of bacon is simply elevating personal preference over a fundamental human right to have food that tastes good. And even diners who aren’t eating bacon because of an irrational fear of being attacked by their heart, can still feel the pain and humiliation of being ostracized.
Just try wearing an Arkansas Razorbacks’ Hog Head hat into your nearest Busboys & Poets restaurant if you want to see how a real second–class citizen is treated by kale bigots.
And who says vegans get to define what qualifies to be labeled as “vegan?” Flavor is flavor, people. Just as we’ve been told “love is love.” You may like the slimy feel and hay–infusion aftertaste of tofu, but I like the crunch of crispy, fried bacon and how can that be so wrong?
One doesn’t choose to love bacon any more than one chooses whom to love. It’s fried into my DNA.
I should be able to go into Sweet & Natural bakery and ask them to whomp up a delicious quiche Lorraine and not get a bunch of sanctimonious static about beliefs, animal rights and cholesterol.
Who are these Pharisees to tell me I can’t eat pork?
And the same goes for the photographer who refused to document my family’s annual fall hog butchering reunion and hoe down. If she/he (I think the photographer was undergoing some sort of transformation) is open for business to the public, then the photographer should not be allowed to discriminate based on unscientific belief and superstition. Go down that path and the next stop is Montgomery and Bull Connor.
Separate but equal is inherently unequal. If Western Sizzlin’ can offer food for vegans then its only fair that Arugula ‘R We be forced to offer a BLT.
© Copyright by Michael Shannon, 2014. All rights reserved.