Note, by the way, that I have made the title of this post read "his rights" rather than "its rights" (or "it's rights", as in the below sign). Preborn children have definitive gender from very early on in their development and should not be referred to in the neuter, as if they were nothing more than a table, a weed, or a clump of cells.
The short answer to this question is:
Yes, we will still fight for the equal protection of the human rights of a human being at whatever stage of his/her life and development, no matter the opposition to the respecting of those human rights, no matter the behavior and preferences of that person or the behavior and preferences we believe we foresee.Now for the more extended analysis of the question and explanation of our answer.
We have discussed the issue of human rights at length here already, and so I must insist that anyone looking for detailed explanation first read through what has been said before.
With that as a foundation, let us ask: To what rights are these questions referring?
The challenger is trying to impale the abolitionist on the horns of a dilemma, since the abolitionist also has a commitment to the ethics of Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus' ethics are the very foundation and reason for which we do what we do in standing up for the right of the preborn child not to be murdered in his mother's womb.
Yet those very same ethics clearly mandate the moral reprehensibility of homosexual behavior and the moral uprightness of monogamous, committed heterosexual marriage. So if one is to be consistently Jesus-centric in one's ethics, one has to affirm both the preborn child's right not to be murdered in the womb and Jesus' definition of marriage.
The dilemma comes to light when:
- the interlocutor suggests that the preborn child is born with an innate homosexual orientation, much like one is born with a certain ethnicity, hair color, and gender.
- the interlocutor imports into the conversation the idea that marriage is a right, and as such should be extended to any two persons, regardless of gender.
- There is no scientific consensus over whether a "gay gene" exists that controls one's sexual orientation, despite many homosexual activists' claims that such does exist.
- Even if a "gay gene" does exist, this makes absolutely no difference to the moral justifiability of actually engaging in homosexual behavior. We are all born into sin and some temptations seem more attractive to us than others.
If I have a hot temper and someone makes me really angry, does that justify my violating someone else's rights in murdering them?
If I have a predilection toward alcoholism such that I am much more easily addicted than someone else, am I not guilty if I indeed become an alcoholic?
If I have an innate lust for power and for sex, am I justified in raping a woman?
The answer is, of course, no. The answer is: Let us repent of our sin, all our sin, and ask Jesus to transform us.
Yes, it is unpleasant, especially when the sin is so closely cherished, but we have to realise that sin is an enemy and wants to destroy us, and we are slaves to it unless freed by Jesus.
Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
In other words, just because you think you were born that way, or even just because you were born that way, has nothing to do with the justifiability of your actions. That is a separate question.
- Consider carefully whether this parallel is a good idea to make. Human history is full of large-scale atrocities and tensions between people based on their ethnic differences. These persecutions were between people groups based on violent intolerance of their ontology, their essence.
Homosexuality is characterised by behavior.
So let's bring this back to the dilemma. One can be "oriented" toward a certain action, but does that automatically give someone the right to carry out that action?
No, it does not.
- About behavior - we believe that since all humans are made in the image of God they have the ability to choose in a given situation whether they will engage in a certain behavior. Thus, a person undergoing a temptation to perform a homosexual act is not an automaton, a robot that is controlled by his desires. Just because one desires to do something, that does not mean s/he has no choice in the matter. To deny this leads to all sorts of absurdities. The entire field of psychology and criminal justice would be completely divested of any meaning, for it would negate all notions of responsibility and ability to change.
Thus we abolitionists hold homosexuals in higher regard than those who would implicitly deny that they have the ability not to robotically do whatever their glands tell them to.
In response to #2:
- From the perspective of biblical theology, it's doubtful whether marriage is a right in the same sense that life is a right. That is, God has commanded all humans not to murder other humans, and has laid out parameters under which taking human life is permissible. God has not commanded everyone to get married.
- God has also specifically explained the definition of marriage in the Scripture, and attempts to shoehorn homosexual marriage therein are completely indefensible.
- From the perspective of the US Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights, etc, it is also questionable whether marriage is a right in the same sense that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are.
- Homosexuals currently possess the same legal permissions with respect to marriage that heterosexuals do. That is - they may marry:
--one human person
--at a time
--of legal age (or with parents' permission)
--of the opposite sex
--with mutual consent
The presence of mutual attraction, love, sexual desire, etc, are irrelevant to the question in all cases of all marriages.
Why, based on a simple behavioral preference, should the law be changed, especially one related to something so fundamental to society as the family unit? Perhaps I should pursue a change in law that would rewards me for carrying out my from-birth predilection to be a drunk. And maybe I like to drive. So maybe I can get the drunk-driving law annulled by my efforts towards "equality".
Someone may object:
But drunk driving i) is dangerous and ii) hurts people and iii) it's foolish to change the law just based on your desire to carry out your own weird tendencies!
A few responses:
i. Indeed, but who are you to judge my chosen lifestyle! Seriously, who are you?
ii. Homosexual behavior is dangerous as well. And it hurts people - the average life expectancy of a homosexual is vastly shorter than a heterosexual. It's just the way it is, and it's because homosexual sex is harmful. It involves activity using a part of the body that is designed for something completely different, and that part of the body just happens to be the canal for eliminating poisonous waste, which is easily introduced into the body if it is damaged by, say, sexual contact.
iii. Quite so. So let's just leave it the way it is.
- Since we're changing the definition of marriage, why not remove the 'with mutual consent' part of it too? What reasonable answer will we have for someone who sues to get married in a few years to someone who doesn't consent, or to something that can't give consent, and they accuse you of consent-centrism if you refuse? You want to change one part of that, the opposite gender part. For what reason could you say that the other parts are off-limits for --ahem-- extension?
- If we change the law for you, we have no plausible denial when someone asks to marry:
-a dead person
-a 3-year old
especially if they accuse you of bigoted consent-centrism.
- If we change the law for homosexuals, we have no plausible denial when someone asks to marry 4 people at once. All consenting adults. Maybe we should change the law for that, too, no? What would be the argument against: since we changed it to give homosexuals a super-right, why we shouldn't change it for anyone else?
The right to marry someone of the opposite sex does not exist, and we challenge proponents of gay marriage to bring forth their evidence, their argument, that this alleged right is not in fact completely imaginary.
Let me suggest a thought experiment. A fair and honest judge is presented with two criminals for sentencing:
1) A man planned and carried out a cold-blooded murder of another man. The evidence is overwhelming against him, and the jury deliberated for less than one hour before finding him guilty.
2) A man planned and carried out a cold-blooded murder of a homosexual man. Investigators found all sorts of paraphernalia in the accused's apartment relating to how much he hated "queers". The evidence is overwhelming against him, and the jury deliberated for less than one hour before finding him guilty.
What shall his sentence be?
Whatever it shall be, it must be a very serious sentence, and it should be the same for each. Hating homosexuals is not a crime. The right not to be hated does not exist.
Yes. If a 'gay' fetus were being threatened with abortion, we would fight to save that life. God brings good out of the evil in all of our hearts, and He has transformed us into people who will joyfully struggle to the end that all human life be respected as created in the image of our great and holy God. Sinners of all kinds are called to the Cross of Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11:
Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
(Please leave any comments at the post at the AHA site.)