Freedom over law

The following is a speech that was delivered before the R.I. House Judiciary Committee.

* * * *

While perhaps not obvious, the same-sex marriage debate is really the clashing of two American ideals – law and freedom.

We are a nation of laws. Our statehouse is an icon of that basic conviction. Without law, we end in chaos. And yet we also cherish freedom. For freedom our forbears shed blood. Freedom from restrictions that curtail or cheat us of life and all that makes it meaningful. “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” That is America.

Tragically, these ideals collide over sex. Sex is a beautiful, heaven-made gift. It should be embraced and celebrated. So why should the bed become a battleground? And for that matter, why should freedom and law be at odds?

Enter sin. Ill at ease with God’s good order, sin wistfully looks to greener pastures. So it leaps the fence – or breaks it down. Because of this radical human flaw, law must yield to freedom.

This explains the debate. Freedom over law. The Sexual Revolution of the 60s gave us ‘free love.’ No covenants, no number caps on partners. Not surprisingly, this ‘free love’ was too flimsy to hold people together. A fence was removed, and now we have no-fault divorce.

Unbounded freedom has only accelerated and sex is further devalued. Promiscuity is rampant even among our children. Shacking up is no longer a shock, but a norm – even a rite of passage. So why should anything be shocking any more – or, for that matter, forbidden?

Fellow citizens of Rhode Island, we are glutted with our freedoms. But let us beware – this binge is destined to end. There is a God in heaven who made human freedom, who made sex, and who also made laws regarding it. Marriage is between one man and one woman for life. All sexual behavior outside of those bounds, however possible, pleasurable, or consensual, remains with God unlawful. A civil body may sanction what He forbids. Yet when it does, it dares God. His verdict may offend us, yet He has spoken clearly on this point. “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Lev. 18:22).

We must wake up and come to our senses. We must return to the God who made us and our sexuality – and who out of infinite love sent His only-begotten Son to die for those who sought freedom over law.

Author: westportexperiment

I am a minister serving Presbyterian Reformed Church of Rhode Island, with strong interest in the history, theory, and contemporary application of parochial church extension.

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