Glenn Beck comes out in favor of gay marriage

In the video below, Glenn Beck takes an effectively pro-gay marriage position. To put a fine point on it, Glenn Beck tells his audience that while it’s okay to be personally opposed to gay marriage, conservatives shouldn’t oppose gay marriage as a matter of public policy. In other words, he believes that gay marriage should be legal.

Later in the conversation, he gives his rationale. After citing his “biblical” convictions about marriage, he tells listeners that they need to remember that they are “libertarian constitutionalists first.” I disagree. Christians ought to be Christians first. That doesn’t mean that we ignore the Constitution. But it does mean that our view of the common good and of public policy should be decisively shaped by what God has revealed. And God is not silent about what marriage is. That’s not to say that Christians are holding a winning hand in the debate over public policy and gay marriage. We aren’t. It is to say that we don’t trim our sails on what ought to be just because the winds of change are blowing against us. Some battles are worth fighting even if you know you’re going to lose.

Beck also miscalculates what the implications of legal gay marriage will be for Christians. He acts as if there are no religious liberty issues at stake in marriage law. He couldn’t be more wrong. On this point, I can’t say it any better than Rod Dreher has. Commenting on Beck’s remarks, Dreher writes:

[Beck’s] idea that churches (and Orthodox synagogues, and mosques) are going to be untouched by SSM is fantasy. Marriage law affects a myriad of other laws, and there is an unavoidable encroachment on religious liberty. This will be sorted out in the courts, but the real and serious and consequential conflicts do not disappear because one declares them non-existent.

This idea that the government should not be involved in marriage is wholly unrealistic; our entire society, including much of our legal framework, is built around the concept of marriage. For example, if the government did not recognize marriage (in whatever form), the constitutional protection spouses have against being compelled to testify in court against their spouses would be meaningless.

Whatever the flaws in Beck’s argument and vision, I think it’s highly significant because it shows that this is the route through which the populist right will come to embrace same-sex marriage. If conservatives are going to accept SSM, they ought to at least understand the full meaning, and the implications, of what they are accepting. Beck either does not see it, or will not see it. Don’t know which. But he is useful to the pro-SSM cause.

(HT: Andrew Walker)

4 Responses to Glenn Beck comes out in favor of gay marriage

  1. Paula Cullen December 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Not surprisingly, Beck is wrong. This is where you end up without a proper biblical understanding of evil. Evil often has delayed consequences. Just because it doesn’t hurt me (or society, at large) TODAY, doesn’t mean it won’t kill me tomorrow. The Constitution by itself is inadequate for understanding that.

  2. Patrick Owen December 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    While many Christians love to hold hands with Mormons, it is good to remember that Mormons are Mormons, not Christians. Their doctrines swing with their prophets and they have had a lot of push back over their overt support of California Prop 8 – so the “prophet” is now telling them to play nice with the Sodomites. (Anybody else remember their reversal on black folks in the 1970’s)

  3. Evan Humenski December 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Christians will either have theonomy or autonomy, but we can’t have it both ways.

  4. josephhearne December 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    Thank You for this article. I really appreciate it. Also, I in no way am saying I disagree with anything that you have said. The only thing I am commenting on is the wording revolving around the line where he said “you are libertarian constitutionalists first”. I don’t think when he made that statement, he was saying “you are a libertarian constitutionalist first” before you are a Christian (as the paragraph in this article slightly suggests). The entire spoken line was “we need libertarians and people on the right to understand you are libertarian constitutionalists first, you’re not a republican, you are a constitutionalist”. If I am misunderstanding what he said at that one point, my apologies.

    That being said, there are good points made in this. People are so easily swayed these days by the idea of Mormons as Christians and the idea that their doctrines line up with that of what the Bible teaches. So if they are easily swayed by the idea of commonality in faith, they are quick to line up with beliefs of those individuals, without really questioning what is being said. The true tactic of Christ followers is to put on the armor, understand that Satan doesn’t always use violence and terror (but he uses the more subtle things like deception and confusion), and question everything they are told and compare it with the Word so that in the end they can stand firm on His Word, but also know WHY they believe what they believe.

    Thanks for this post.

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