To conclude this gay debate over gay marriage, I your Rent A Friend, am going to wrap up as any Rent A Friend should- with an overreaching analogy based on Star Wars. You’re Welcome.
A Long Time Ago, in a galaxy far, far away,
now on DVD and Blue Ray….
Young Anakin Skywalker had no father. He was raised by a single mother in a poor neighborhood. But he was different from other boys. He had feelings that were… different. One day he was taken from his mother by a man who won him in a bet.
You have to admit that’s unusual.
For many years he was raised in the Jedi temple. They taught him that his ‘dark’ feelings were wrong, and taught him to suppress them. They also taught him that a Jedi was not to have any romantic love, and that his desire for romance should similarly be shunned. For a long time he did, and all was well.
An Older Man and a Queen
During this time, Anakin got to know a man who was considerably older than he was- “Tadd” Palpatine. Tadd did not fear the dark side like the Jedi did. Anakin was interested in his point of view, but afraid to go against the establishment of the temple. At the same time, Anakin met a queen with a fabulous wardrobe who loved diplomacy but who wasn’t afraid to kill people with a blaster if she needed to. This queen stirred feelings in him that he had been taught were forbidden. Eventually he discovered that the queen had forbidden feelings for Anakin as well. This was clearly against the teachings of the temple, but he could not help his feelings. He began to live a secret double life with the queen he loved.
Anakin came more and more to question the wisdom of the temple. They seemed like a bunch of self-righteous, religious hypocrites, and after hiding his relationship from them for a few years, he grew to distrust them. They kept him from the person he loved, and they kept him from the power of the dark side (probably because they were jealous of his potential). Then one day he just said, “To Mustafar with all of this!” and he decided to fully embrace his lust for power and dark feelings and he became Darth Vadar. He embraced a lifestyle unlike any the temple had ever permitted, and finally he felt complete- balanced in a way. Then he killed a bunch of children and his wife. But, hey, everyone has a bad day now and then. If the temple hadn’t been so oppressive to his feelings, he might not have killed nearly as many of them. And in typical judgmental fashion, the temple sent his own friend to kill him, but in the end Vadar only lost a few limbs.
From a Certain Point of View…
Now, there isn’t a REAL morality here. The force is the dark and the light, so it’s not like Darth Vadar was going against the commands of a transcendent and Good God when he killed a bunch of children. He was expressing his feelings, and his feelings are just as valid as Yoda’s happy, tree-hugging feelings. Let’s face it- Yoda has cut off a few heads in his day as well. The point is, under the yin-yang of the force, Darth Vadar isn’t REALLY evil. He just seems evil if you take a Jedi-centric view of the universe. From Darth Vadar’s view, the Jedi are evil.
That said, I think we need to admit a few things. Both Anakin and Palpatine wound up a little uglier for their dark powers. There are certain risks to epidermal quality, eye color, and the respiratory system, as well as the risk of loss of limb once you embrace the dark side. Sith Lords tend to face unusually high interpersonal conflict/violent deaths, and unstable relationships where betrayal is sadly, inevitable. But just because turning to the dark side results in being a deformed murderer with unusual relationships doesn’t mean the Jedi were right to condemn it. If it makes them happy to turn to the dark side, then that’s their own choice. If an older man asks you to be his ‘apprentice’ and to go kill a bunch of monks and children, then you should be able to follow your heart and do what your lust for power drives you to do.
And let’s not hear any of this rhetoric about protecting the children from Sith Lords. As far as we know, Darth Maul didn’t kill ANY children, and it’s very offensive to assume that, just because he was a Sith full of the dark side, he would have. The point is, Anakin and Palpatine were two consenting adult men who chose to be in a “master and apprentice” relationship. That’s their business. Who does it hurt if it makes them happy? There’s no “wrong” way to use the force. The force is just THERE. Like gravity. Saying their use of the force is wrong is like saying they fall down wrong when they slip on bantha poodo. Besides, they were PROUD of their dark side lifestyle. The two of them could be found leading the Sith Pride Parade for many years.
This chapter of Anakin’s life wraps up with some changes to the government which, if you want to be picky, not everyone was in favor of. Palpatine had (thanks to a little ‘political pressure’) enough supporters in positions of power that the will of the people didn’t need to interfere with his desires for the legislation of his new chosen lifestyle. Just because the people didn’t want him to be an Emperor didn’t mean he couldn’t have the law changed. And so, Anakin lost his queen, but as Darth Vadar he was now “Apprentice” to an emperor. An emperor who wore a dress a lot and got very excited about having young, powerful men around him all the time. He’s been watching Anakin “with great interest” since he was a small boy, after all, and finally they were together.
Lessons from the Dark Side
If you have read the previous chapters of this debate, I think the metaphors should be obvious. For instance, if there was a God, then he would decide the right and the wrong ways to use the Force. He would explain the purpose for which the Force was created, and then direct us to use it accordingly. Furthermore, the temple would be justified in teaching against the dark side when they see how it results in charred skin, missing limbs, and dead padawans. The death toll is too high to ignore, and I think it’s obvious that it’s not good for marriages or other relationships. Your master is going to betray you, or your apprentice is going to toss you down an energy shaft. Sith relationships just aren’t healthy and happy ones. They don’t last.
The one metaphor which is new to my side of the debate is the legalization of the Emperor’s lifestyle against the will of the people due to people of influence. The fact is, in the United States the majority of states have had the chance to vote on the issue of legalizing homosexual marriage, and in EVERY state where it is put to the people, they vote AGAINST it. That homosexuals cannot marry is not the result of a religious minority forcing their morals on the populace, but the result of the majority of voters expressing their view democratically. Where Homosexual marriage has been legalized has been AGAINST the will of the people, or at least without the support of the majority, and has been overturned when the people have a say. When Obama pushed for legislation, it was not be because the majority of voters asked for it. More likely is that a significant number of financial contributors to Obama have been pro-homosexual organizations or homosexual individuals.
Galactic Empire of Wokeness
As the republic loses freedom because of this unwanted legislation, so shall Americans. In one of the eastern states where- without the consent of the people- homosexual marriage was legalized, a wedding photographer refused to photograph a wedding of two men. They sued him and it cost him thousands of dollars to NOT accept the chance to work. And once the federal government passes such laws, how long before churches, temples, and mosques are sued for refusing to marry homosexuals? Religious freedom is already in serious trouble. In many countries where homosexual marriage is supported by government, pastors and churches have faced fines and jail time for merely saying they do not support homosexuality and that the Bible clearly teaches that it, as a lifestyle, is sinful. Everything has a cost, and this will cost not just social norms, and not even just money, but it will cost freedoms. In places like Canada, France, and Australia, it has cost religious freedoms, and freedom of speech. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
What, then, is the answer for us all? The answer comes from Luke Skywalker. Luke comes to realize that Darth Vadar is not just some moral monster who needs to be destroyed, but is his own father. Out of the simple love of a boy for his father, Luke sees past the crimes and the moral choices and the machine he is wrapped in, and he sees the man underneath. He decides that the answer is not to destroy his father, nor to follow in his footsteps, but- out of love- to try and help him out of the dark side altogether. Yoda had told him, “Once you start down the dark path- FOREVER will it dominate your destiny.” Even Vadar tells Luke, “It is too late for me, Son.” Luke, however, refuses to accept that Anakin is just lost forever. He goes to Vadar in love. Vadar tries to turn it into a fight, but Luke tries his best to build a bridge between them. Ok, Luke loses his cool for a minute there, but ultimately Vadar sees that his son loves him, and in a moment of clarity, he leaves his dark side lifestyle and his “master.” Vadar is one again Anakin Skywalker, father of twins. Sadly, he dies soon after from the abuse suffered at the hands of his former “master,” but I think we all know he would have spent the rest of his days in jail had he lived.
Can You Pray The Gay Away?
This metaphor is about something you have probably only heard described through cynical, Christian hating films and adult cartoons, but it is a very real possibility: Liberation from homosexuality. As I have explained, Homosexual is NOT a species. No one need say of themselves or others, “Once you start down THAT path, FOREVER will is dominate your destiny.” Certainly it must be maintained that, when you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way- from your first cigarette to your last dying day, but the same is not necessarily true of homosexuals. If they desire to change, they can, and many have. Some live with the attraction all their lives but choose not to act on it, while others are given the grace to get past the lifestyle and the desires entirely. Some even wind up in happy, heterosexual marriages.
The big name in this movement of freedom from homosexuality- out of love for them as Luke loved Vadar- was Exodus International. If you can still find them, you can read stories of those who have left the homosexual lifestyle behind and see that people can change and leave the metaphorical dark side behind for something better. It’s not the weird, gay hating boot camp style thing you see in cynical comedy films. No one gets kidnapped and sent to brainwashing sessions. This is people reaching out in love to others to offer them freedom from an addiction. There are men who have thought, “I was born this way” and lived as homosexuals for many years, yet still come to discover that they don’t have to. Even after many years, many find they can leave it all behind and live a healthy, heterosexual life. The Gay Pride camp tends to be fairly close minded to this option- even openly hostile. But this group, Exodus International, and those like it, love men and women enough to say, “You can change if you want to, and we will help you every step of the way.”
Offering Counseling is like Pushing them into the Gas Chambers?
No doubt some of you are already throwing full wine bottles at your computer screen.
I worked for a newspaper once, and there was a group of psychologists nearby offering services for those who desired to leave the homosexual lifestyle. One of the writers on the staff referred to these doctors as “Nazis,” as if there is some connection to be made between offering therapy to those seeking to change their lives and murdering homosexuals by the hundreds as Hitler’s soldiers did in the 30’s. If you can see the connection, please explain it to me. Perhaps he thought of Weight Watchers and AA as terrorist organizations, but I digress.
All I’m saying is, some people do not have an open mind toward those wishing to change themselves from gay to strait as they do for those wishing to change from strait to gay. But I am sincere when I say that the Christian position is that of Luke to his father. It is a position of love for our kin. We want them to change because we know there is better for them. Leaving ANY sin behind is freedom, and this one is no exception. That’s why it was Christians that started AA.
Now, I know that we Christians have blown up a couple of space stations, and on occasion made crass and uncalled for jokes about who is “holding Vadar’s leash.” Let me end as I began- I am sorry that our position, while ultimately founded on love, has not always been expressed in love. And our position has not always been held by people who have the kind of love they should (which is their sin, and we desire them to change. Groups like Exodus International help the family members of homosexuals learn to reach out to them in love as well). Our position is ultimately founded on God’s decrees, which are founded on his nature, which is Love. Jesus says, “For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” What you need is not the right to marry, but freedom and eternal life.
In short, you need Jesus.
So, to Amanda, her friend Jonny, and all of my friends out there in cyberspace, I hope I have explained it all clearly. Why would anyone oppose the legalization of homosexual marriage? Not out of hate. And not because it is wrong for men to love other men. But out of obedience to God, for the defense of marriage, to uphold democracy and the will of the people, and, hard as this may be for some to believe, out of a love for our friends and family who are homosexuals. We don’t want to take anything good from them. We want them-our brothers and sisters- to be free of the attractions and addictions which keep them from God’s best for them. We want them to have love and sex the way their Creator intended- healthy, happy, and full of joy. We want them to have marriages the way He intended them- with purpose, passion, and a faithful commitment to one person for a lifetime. And most importantly, we want them to have a relationship with their heavenly father- our Creator God, through his Son Jesus Christ.
I realize this was a much longer answer than you expected from such a simple question, but I’ve always said, “If what you have to say can fit on a bumper sticker, then you don’t have anything to say at all.” As always, feel free to send me questions. I remain, your Rent A Friend.
Jesus Loves You.