Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Are Christians Inconsistent?

The Left is making a very fallacious argument today about the Chick-fil-A controversy, and (sadly) some conservatives are buying it. We’re told our case against same-sex marriage is bogus because we’re inconsistent. That is, because we do not oppose No Fault Divorce with the same fervor we oppose same-sex marriage, our case collapses.

I disagree. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that we are inconsistent. What follows—that same-sex marriage is permissible? The Left is making the dubious claim that not speaking against No Fault Divorce makes same-sex marriage justified. The logical conclusion, though, from this line of reasoning is that both SSM and NFD are wrong, not that both are OK. Secular people argue this way all the time. They try to find an inconsistency and then claim that everything is permissible.

An example of this faulty reasoning is justifying bad behavior for women (say, promiscuity) because men get a pass on that same bad beh
avior. But just because men do something immoral, doesn’t justify women doing the same immoral activity. Seems to me that the solution is to hold men to the same standard, rather than lowering standards for women.

Moreover, SSM and NFD are not parallel cases that demand equal responses. No-Fault Divorce does nothing to change the definition of marriage. Rather, it makes leaving a marriage easier—which is regrettable. Same-sex marriage, however, involves roughly six percent of the population forcing the rest of us to radically define marriage to suit it’s tastes. That demands a much stronger response.

Finally, conservatives aren’t inconsistent, only prudent. As Ramesh Ponnuru once said (paraphrase), there’s nothing wrong with preventing the growth of a new evil that you can stop (SSM) rather than fighting an entrenched one that you can’t (NFD).

Scott Klusendorf

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