Christianity,  Culture

Gay marriage hailed as “wholesome” in graham cracker ad

The video above is a Honey Maid Graham Cracker commercial that features a pro-gay marriage message. I guess I missed this one when it came out last April, so it is entirely possible that many of you have already seen it. In many ways, it is unremarkable. Those of us who hold to natural marriage are in the minority in this country. It was always only a matter of time before mainstream advertisements began to reflect the opinions of the majority. There’s nothing new about that. It would be unrealistic to expect anything less. Still, there are a number of items worth reflecting on in connection with this ad.

1. The ad is fundamentally untrue. It doesn’t matter how many times the ad connects the word “wholesome” with the image of a handsome gay couple. It doesn’t matter how much public opinion has shifted in favor of this view. The good, the right, and the true do not have their basis in pinterest-worthy images, in opinion polls, or in shifting public opinion. God defines the good, the right, and the true, and God has made clear His views on the matter. God has sanctified marriage—the covenant union of one man and one woman—as the one and only context for wholesome sex. Every other “sexual” bond outside of the covenant of marriage is sinful. To tell people otherwise is not loving, shuts them off from the gospel, and does not advance their best interest.

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” -Isaiah 5:20

2. The ad is making a fundamentally moral claim. Its implication is a redefinition of marriage centered upon love between consenting adults. When two people love each other—no matter what their sex—that love ought to be celebrated. Those who refuse to celebrate are in a state of moral regression and are being unloving. In other words, the pretty pictures and the declaration of “wholesome” are meant to isolate and marginalize those who refuse to see gay relationships as attractive and wholesome. In that context, to say what human civilization has always said about marriage will be treated as backward and intolerant. It will be treated as beyond the pale of what is allowable in the public square. And so in a variety of ways, majoritarian “tolerance” will become singularly intolerant of those who won’t go along with the new moral regime. That is why it will become more and more difficult for Christians to express disagreement with messages like this one. Such disagreement will be costly. For some, it has already proven to be costly.

“This I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” -John 15:17-19

3. The ad challenges Christians to think biblically about what “love” means. A follow-up video from Honey Maid makes much of the fact that most of their feedback on the ad has been positive. In essence, it says that “love” requires one to endorse gay unions. Christians need to realize that loving our gay neighbors cannot—indeed must not—involve lying to them about God’s truth. The apostle Paul teaches us that love always rejoices in the truth (1 Cor. 13:6). It refuses to shrink back from the confrontation that the truth sometimes brings.

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” -Proverbs 27:6
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” -Proverbs 27:5

Ads like this one are becoming a dime a dozen. We need not comment on all of them. But we should think about what God would have us to do in light of the new situation we find ourselves in. Our calling is really very simple. We must love God and love others—even when it’s difficult.


  • Andrew Alladin

    Of course we’ll never see the logical extension of “wholesome “gay marriage: An ad featuring three daddies or three mommies or one daddy and two mommies, etc. Come on, Honey Maid, the fight for Marriage Equality has been won decisively in all three branches of the federal government, state governments, and public opinion and popular culture. A bit late for the battle, eh? You should be pushing for the T in LGBT as well as for polyamourous love.

    Can advertising really change the biological reality that men and women are different, that the sexes are complementary, that mommies cannot be daddies and vice versa? If gay marriage is a good thing then all the research about the ill effects of single parent households is a bunch of lies. No more lectures on the relationship between fatherless households and crime, drug addiction, high school dropout rates, etc in the inner cities. Because children don’t need fathers. Two mommies are good enough – and logically, one mommy is sufficient. See how Gay marriage has just solved a decades long problem!

    • buddyglass

      Of course we’ll never see […] An ad featuring three daddies or three mommies or one daddy and two mommies, etc.

      Are you sure? Who’d have thought in 1964 we’d see television advertisements featuring same-sex couples a scant 50 years later? If/When polygamous and polyandrous families achieve the same level of social acceptance same-sex families currently enjoy then I suspect Honey Maid will start featuring them in its commercials too.

      the fight for Marriage Equality has been won decisively in all three branches of the federal government, state governments, and public opinion and popular culture.

      As of May 20 of this year only 44% of the population lived in a state where same-sex couples can marry. That’s using Human Rights Watch’s stats, which may be outdated. But if I were someone who was pushing for marriage equality I certainly wouldn’t declare victory yet.

      Can advertising really change the biological reality that men and women are different

      Of course it can’t. And I’ve no doubt the Honey Maid ad’s producers would agree with you.

      If gay marriage is a good thing then all the research about the ill effects of single parent households is a bunch of lies.

      This doesn’t follow. Same-sex marriage could represent a net positive even if the research concerning single-parent households were correct. I’m not saying it is a net positive, but if it isn’t then that fact doesn’t rest on the research with respect to single-parent households.

      About that research, though: it’s generally been misinterpreted.

      Children in single-parent households have worse outcomes because the traits that lead to single parenthood often contribute to bad parenting.

      • Andrew Alladin

        For decades we’ve been hearing about the detrimental effects of the breakup of the two-parent family [we can start with The Negro Family: The Case For National Action (Daniel Patrick Moynihan, 1965); or perhaps Dan Quayle Was Right (The Atlantic, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, 1993)]. All of this research and the hundreds of billions of dollars spent trying to ameliorate the ill-effects of family breakup is now invalidated by the recent discovery that children don’t need a mother and a father. Since two moms or two dads are okay, and since biological differences cannot be disposed of by “wholesome” advertising, then we really don’t need two moms or two dads. Only one is sufficient – and all that is necessary is someone else to help with the chores, homework, taking the kids to baseball or soccer practice, etc. This can be accomplished by hired help. The state can provide this role, of course. See how easy that was! I propose a bipartisan win-win plan as follows: Conservatives get to slash all funding for the programs designed to replace dads or moms, and liberals get to experiment with polyamorous parenting. How say you? Deal?

        • buddyglass

          The research focused on two-parent vs. single-parent and not same-sex vs. opposite-sex. Ergo the recent claim (false or not) that two-parent same-sex households are roughly equivalent to two-parent opposite-sex households doesn’t contradict the previous findings w.r.t. single-parent vs. two-parent.

          The research may also have incorrectly identified the lack of a second parent as the main cause of the poor outcomes and not a symptom of other factors that also lead to poor outcomes for children.

          For instance, maybe women who have have no prospects and/or who have poor judgement and impulse control are much, much more likely to become single parents and, in fact, having this kind of parent is what leads to the substandard outcomes and not “having only one parent” per se? Teasing out causation in studies of this kind is notoriously hard.

          If single parenthood is the main causative factor then we’d expect the children of widows and widowers who don’t remarry to be on par with all children who grow up in single-parent homes. But I’ll bet you a nickel they’re better off. Why? Because it isn’t “lacking one parent” that’s the biggest deal. The biggest deal is when your single parent happens to be poor and/or a bad parent.

    • Paul Reed

      Andrew, if gay marriage is wrong because children need a mommy and a daddy, then why should you be opposed to polygamy? As long as you have at least 1 man and 1 female in the marriage, why should you be bothered by a third person of either sex?

      • buddyglass

        Presumably because having both a father and mother present is necessary but not sufficient to create a healthy environment for children. I’m guessing Andrew sees polygamous marriages as obviously sinful and considers the obvious sexual sin to render them an unhealthy environment for children.

          • buddyglass

            Maybe, maybe not. He might oppose non-biblical remarriage on a theological level (“it’s sinful”) but not as a matter of policy. For instance, maybe he trusts the state to tell the difference between same-sex and opposite-sex marriages but not to navigate the subtleties of biblical vs. non-biblical remarriage. Also, for the state to recognize only “biblical” heterosexual marriages would be for it to base its policy on religious doctrine that is explicitly and specifically Christian. It’s harder to accuse the state of favoring a particular religion when it declines to recognize same-sex marriages because that policy can be viewed through a “cultural” lens and not one that is specifically religious.

            As far as children raised in un-biblical remarriages, again, he may reasonably regard them as different from polygamous ones. For one, un-biblical remarriages enjoy a much, much greater level of societal acceptance. The sheer stigma of having more than two parents might disadvantage kids raised in those environments. There’s also the matter of polygamous marriage being “obvious” to everyone involved whereas the non-biblical heterosexual remarriage might appear, to a child, to be no different from any other heterosexual marriage.

            He might also consider all of these (biblical marriage, non-biblical remarriage, polygamous marriage and same-sex marriage) to exist on a sort of spectrum of deviancy, with biblical marriage at the far left (“not deviant”), followed by non-biblical remarriage (“somewhat deviant”), then polygamous marriage and lastly same-sex marriage.

            I can’t really say since I’m not him.

  • buddyglass

    To me, the point seems to be that loving your kids is wholesome, with the sub-point that being a same-sex couple doesn’t automatically render the love shown to one’s children unwholesome.

  • Johnathan Youngs

    “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?” 1 Corinthians 5:12

    It’s good to remind believers about the Biblical definition of marriage and hold them to it. On the flip side, it doesn’t seem particularly productive to worry about an unbelieving snack company. Christ wasted no time telling Caesar what he should or should not do with his empire.

    We should, of course, influence the culture to the extent that we can do so in grace. However, our calling is not to turn a pagan culture around, especially since we know it’s not going to happen. Our calling is to spread the gospel.

  • James Bradshaw

    Every day, you read of heterosexual parents abusing and even killing their children. Having a specific set of genitals does not determine whether one will be a fit parent.

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