Brad Torgersen nails the gay marriage issue

Author Brad Torgersen absolutely nails the gay marriage issue in his latest blog post.  Here’s an excerpt.

If the base fear of religious conservatives is that gays and lesbians are “destroying” marriage, how can gays and lesbians destroy a thing which America’s straight couples have been actively destroying for a century?

Think about it. And let’s be brutally honest.

Rampant divorce.
Rampant infidelity.
Rampant abuse of spouses and children.

I don’t think those are the legacy of a people who collectively believe marriage to be sacred.

If I feel anything on the issue of marriage, I feel that marriage (by Americans) has been thrown into the mud and trampled upon. We did that. All of us. And now that gays and lesbians have picked it up out of the mud and said, “We would like to have this wonderful thing,” religious conservatives want to snatch it away and yell, “You can’t have that, it’s our most favorite thing ever!”

Oh really? Then why have we been treating marriage like garbage for so many decades? Because we have. As a society. With our collective actions, we decided marriage wasn’t important anymore. Long, long before the issue of gay marriage got to the Supreme Court.

And now that marriage is important to somebody — gays and lesbians — we try to keep it away from them?

I can’t wrap my brain around that. Too much cognitive dissonance.

. . .

As I have loved you, love one another. That’s the Christ-like ideal. I think we express it best by tending to the gardens in our own back yards. And I don’t mean literal gardens. I mean spiritual and emotional gardens. Many of which are neglected and overgrown with the weeds of bitterness, rancor, resentment, and worse. I’ve got a garden like that. And I suspect, so do many of the people reading this. We all have to be responsible for our own gardens. And I don’t say that because I think my garden is perfect. Nope. I go to church every Sunday — yes, even when I am thousands of miles away from home — to be reminded of the fact that my garden is choked with weeds. And that weeding is a never-ending chore that I can’t escape. At least not if I want to be serious about my beliefs as a Christian.

. . .

Go back to gardening in your own back yard — daily — and you get the good stuff. It might not seem like it has a macro impact. But if everybody is a back-yard gardener, and everybody works at it, there will be a macro effect. That’s something I’ve always taken away from my scripture reading and other spiritual pondering. The idea that each of us individually doing small works of kindness, love, and forgiveness, can add up to a huge net dividend for the society as a whole.

This includes marriage. Do we want to put our money where our mouths are? How much time and energy are we devoting to our families and our homes? Shouting about marriage in the macro sense, while neglecting or abusing marriage on a personal level, is pointless. We prove we care about marriage when we put our wives and our husbands and our children first. Not last. First. And again, it doesn’t matter what the government does (or doesn’t do) about it. This is between us, and the Lord. He will judge us. Not the government. Not society. Not activists. God. How willing would any of us be to go before God right this minute, and give an account of our stewardship of our relationships with our spouses and our families? How much gardening have we done in that respect? Are we prepared to get called on the carpet? Do our choices and our actions live up to our rhetoric, as “defenders” of the “sacred institution” of marriage? Have we made it sacred every day? Do we show our wives and our husbands and our families forgiveness, compassion, love, and support?

Because that’s where my mind goes. And I think I am way too occupied trying to tend to my own garden — Weeds! Damned weeds, everywhere! — to get overly concerned with peering over the fence at somebody else’s.

There’s much more at the link.  It’s not often I do this, but I have to endorse every word.  Go read the whole thing.  It’s worth your time.

Thanks, Brad.



  1. Why has it been abandoned? Because it's the goal of the left to destroy marriage, because when you destroy the independent family unit, the women must turn to state support in order to raise children in any semblance of reasonable conditions. The vast majority of them do not have the skills and ability to both parent well AND work hard enough to keep the basic needs supplied. Neither do most men. Kids demand a LOT of input to raise well, and not just money. It takes time. Make people dependent on the government teat, and they'll do whatever it asks, because they live in fear of that supply line going away. It's that push to provide more than a working spouse can that leads to deficit spending, borrowing from future (i.e., non-current) voters. Debt and the destruction of the family and moral decay all walk hand-in-hand.

  2. Direct hit! I think I have to agree with this wholeheartedly, and I think it applies to everyone who wants to be a good person, not just those that want to be Christians.

  3. Gotta agree with Roy on this one. There may be weeds in my garden, but I tend to it to the best of my ability. As does my wife. 31 years should serve as an example to someone.

    The saddest part about this whole thing is that having gained the right to have the state call their union a marriage, most who focused on this as a cause of troubles will still find that peace eludes them.

  4. @ Roy at 7.55 PM and Anonymous at 8:10 PM:

    I think what Brad's implying is what was so succinctly stated by Edmund Burke:

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

    A large majority of the American public were opposed – at least in theory, according to their declared religious affiliations – to a great many moral evils that have become prevalent in our society. Many of them talked a great deal about their growing influence; but far too few of them actually did anything about stopping them. Examples are legion. To name but one, Nancy Pelosi is nominally Catholic, but that hasn't stopped her voting in favor of a great many things antithetical to Church teaching. That sin hasn't stopped her receiving the sacraments of her Church, and it hasn't stopped many Catholic voters from supporting her. Both should have happened. Neither did. Q.E.D.

    In that sense, yes, I think Christians do share a collective burden of guilt concerning the present situation. Those individuals who did everything in their power to work against it do not, of course, share that guilt.

  5. This is kind of silly. You're conflating all sorts of groups into the "conservatives" bucket. There's certainly a lot of people who thought, currently think, and will continue to think that marriage is sacred. None of those people were for no-fault divorce, abusing their spouses, children or anyone else, and are still opposed to "gay marriage."
    To imply that anyone opposed to "gay marriage" is also guilty of throwing marriage down in the mud is painting with a pretty wide brush…
    And, on the flip-side, just because some gay folks may think marriage is sacred, and want to partake of marriage for that reason isn't to say that all "gay marriage" supporters are of that belief.
    Remember: the very POINT of federalism was to let people live in different ways, because we would never all agree on everything. The true failure is trying to enforce one-size-fits-all on everyone. We'd all be much better off if not everything had to be decided at the 100% Nationwide level, but could agree to disagree on a State-by-State basis — with or without rancour.

  6. Peter, I don't necessarily disagree with you, and I certainly don't mean to beat you up over this, but you and Brad have completely lost perspective when you say that *all* of us "did that".

    Now, Brad had some good points in his essay, and if he had said "a lot of us", or even "most of us", I wouldn't have disagreed. But he said "All of us" did that. Sorry, but I had no part in it. My wife and I will be celebrating our 30 year anniversary this October. Our marriage is stronger now than it was in 1985, and there are millions more just like us. So no. "All of us" did NOT "throw into the mud and trample upon" marriage. And here's something else. I have 6 siblings and all but one of them have never been divorced. Two have been married longer than I have.

    One last thing and then I will go away. I would like to remind you that Nancy Pelosi is a member of congress from a particular district in San Fransisco. I live over 2000 miles from that district and have *zero* influence over her election – and neither do you. (…nor her partaking of the sacraments for that matter.)

  7. One of my issues is that this decided a matter of inheritance and financial obligations on sentiment.

    I have a very strong desire to make agreements about my own employment outside of the restrictions of labor law.

    If society may be reordered to satisfy one person's upset feelings, why not for me? Because I know I have strongly held emotional positions whose 'remedy' would be substantially more burdensome and cause greater problems.

    Bob the fool

  8. Let's face it; which groups first started the "Free Love" revolution? They were mostly centered around Hollywood and the left. A lot of Christian Church Administrations sadly bowed under the onslaught of media pressure and the desire for popularity,or were taken over by the left, and turned a blind eye to "shacking up" and messing around. Can't be judging, you know. A lot of children are now being "raised" by the state as a result. One church actually made a honorless priest, who abandoned his family to live in a homosexual relationship, a bishop. Their national prelate said that she knew more than Paul (of Greek and Roman times!) about homosexuality. They lost a tremendous number of their members. Our society has been under an attack on our morals for a considerable time. Because the government, the media, and professional clerics betray their people, doesn't mean the people have trashed marriage. The homosexual activists don't just want follow their desires, they want to be honored for them, want to make it available to your children, create more victims, and want anyone who disagrees punished. In this they have been successful.

  9. I have to agree that the attack on marriage started long ago. We Christians didn't preach against adultery and abuse enough. Now we are reaping what we sowed. It is time to draw lines that are not political.

  10. Brad makes some excellent points about the importance of living like we mean it when we say that marriage is sacred. But it's not either-or, it's both-and. Just because we haven't solved all the problems with marriage, doesn't mean that redefining it will have no further negative effects.

    To cite a single example: Religious freedom is again in the crosshairs.

    I agree with Roy, too broad a brush. Spouse and I have been married over 20 years, and have had serious struggles. Some times were so hard, so painful, that I wished for death. But, not being a secularist, I persisted, prayed, worked, loved to the best of my ability and better times did come along. Sorry — to someone who's been through what I have to be told that ALL of us are responsible for destroying marriage is much like you being told that as a native South African, you were ALL responsible for Apartheid.

    Plus the "reasoning" of this decision and the Obamacare one from the Court makes two decisions in a single week that show that the Court is moving decisively away from Rule of Law and toward Rule of Whatever Our Betters Decide is Best. Even if I thought it was a good outcome, this alone would give me pause.

    All that being said, it is quite true that our culture has sunk to the point where the only path to recovery is a return to virtue, which in turn requires a return to God, aka conversion of heart. And yes, my heart still needs conversion, every day.

  11. Peter, you make the huge mistake that everyone else is making about this issue: It's not about marriage. It never was.

    This whole thing is going to be used as a wedge issue to destroy churches here in the US. Watch what happens, as legal attack after legal attack is made on any church that dares to hold to its teachings, where they disallow gay marriage. If you read what the gay activists are saying, this is just step one. Step two will be the attacks, until no church which has these "anti-gay" teachings has its tax-exempt status, or its money. This is the plan–And, if you make the mistake that many made, of not reading Mein Kampf back when the Nazis were a gleam in Hitler's eyes, and thought "There's no way they can really mean that…", well… You're making a huge mistake.

  12. Brad makes some very good points, and I certainly agree with most of them. However, what concerns me is that liberals/homosexual community have shown that they are NOT gracious winners — they must destroy any opposition.

    Despite the claims over the past few days that no clergy would ever be forced to marry a homosexual couple, I'm counting the days until a suit is filed over that very thing. Remember, first we were told that no one would be forced to provide services for a homosexual wedding … just ask the bakers, photographers, and florists how that's turned out.

    Amusingly enough (or not), I have no problem with civil unions — I thought that was a reasonable way for homosexuals in a committed relationship to formalize their relationship. But, so many people were ambivalent about CUs that those were discarded as separate but equal, and they went for shock value: marriage.

  13. Ah yes, look at all these butthurt Christians, always preaching about how we should love our neighbour but heaven forbid you actually do it. Your teachings have been found no longer fit for purpose. Either stop calling gays morally bankrupt or find yourselves ousted. It's not an attack on the Churches, it's a counter-attack against the abuses of the churches committed against people who are gay.

  14. Peter, I'd like to add to the chorus of people who take exception to Torgerson's "blame the victim" argument. The same forces that engineered this Supreme Court decision have engineered decades of assault on moral sexual behavior. This wasn't a natural and general social trend, it was a social trend forced on many of us against our will by people who managed to get control of the entertainment industry, the news industry, and the educational establishment when we were too naive to think of taking over a country like that. Even so, many of us have managed to avoid fornication and divorce and even, yes, beating our family members (which, frankly is a straw man that Torgerson threw in just because he couldn't find an example of a cultural trend that damages marriages and isn't celebrated by the cultural forces that brought us gay marriage).

    Others of us have failed in these areas because we are imperfect and because we live in a society that excuses and encourages such behavior. For those of us who have damaged our own lives in this way but do not justify it or encourage others to do it, we are victims too. Neither you nor Torgerson has any business saying that *we* are responsible for the decline of marriage–we are in fact the *victims* of the decline of marriage. A decline that has been deliberately orchestrated. And gay marriage is just one more move in this orchestrated campaign to destroy families.

    Torgerson's argument amounts to nothing more than "if you ever fell into temptation you don't have any business complaining about something that will make things even worse." This is not exactly a Christian view.

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