By Spencer D Gear
bmag is a Brisbane freebie newspaper-magazine style publication delivered to Brisbane households once a month. It can be accessed online HERE.
Spencer Howson is a breakfast presenter on radio, ABC 612 Brisbane. He used to write a regular column for bmag. Since my email letter of 11 July 2012 to Spencer Howson, a bmag contributor, was not published on 24 July 2012, p. 16, ‘Your say on marriage’, here I publish what I wrote to him on 11 July 2012 (his email was, email@example.com):
Your ‘Marriage shake-up‘ article (bmag, 10 July 2012) was your secular, religious, relativistic, politically correct (PC) promotion to accommodate the homosexual community. Yours is as religious a perspective as any in Australia. There is no philosophy, religion or worldview that is not devoted to some divinity – the object of its highest desire and deepest commitment. You may not call it ‘divinity’ but this pinnacle of desire and depth of commitment is the essence of the ‘divine’ (even though you define it differently).
Your use of projection triggers gives away your presuppositions (bold emphasis ahead). These projection triggers included,
(1) ‘I’ve never considered our marriage has anything to do with God’.
(2) Your marriage to Nikki was ‘a religion-free declaration of love and commitment’.
(3) ‘Nikki and I would have chosen a Civil Marriage’.
(4) ‘What do you think of my idea of having Church Marriage and Civil Marriage?’
Yours is a religion of autonomous reason – but it is as religious as any Christian’s view in Australia. [Here I add dot points that I did not include in the letter.] His presuppositions include:
- Marriage has nothing to do with God.
- A God-less marriage is religion-free.
- Marriage is a declaration of love and commitment with no reference to God.
- A Civil Marriage is preferred if you want it to be religion-free.
This is a pluralistic, relativistic religion that has considerable negative ramifications. How come? When the polyamory, polyandry, polygamy and marriage to children PC groups come along promoting their views, you have no rational basis to reject such religious perspectives. Yours is a slippery slope argument, Spencer, and you are standing at its pinnacle.
You are conning yourself by claiming yours is a non-religious perspective and your PC view should be considered or promoted. Having Church Marriage and Civil Marriage – your religious perspective – is a BIG compromise of the integrity of marriage.
By the way, your view of the church as ‘membership of a club – and that’s what church is’, is a country mile from the reality of the church being and functioning as the body of Christ (Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:27). If your knowledge of marriage is as far-off as your understanding of the church, our society is in deep trouble if it pursues your religious views.
Why is the church so adamant about marriage being between a man and a woman? In spite of your alternate religious values, from the beginning of time the Judeo-Christian Almighty God has declared that this is the foundation of marriage: ‘That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24). The foundation of a stable and just society is marriage of a man and a woman. [The following was not in my email to Spencer Howson.]
Jesus Christ supported the Genesis 2:24 passage when he was teaching about divorce:
He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt 19:4-6 ESV)
I add Karl Barth’s comment:
There is no man who does not have his own god or gods as the object of his highest desire and trust, or as the basis of his deepest loyalty and commitment. There is no one who is not to this extent also a theologian. There is, moreover, no religion, no philosophy, no world view that is not dedicated to some such divinity. Every world view … presupposes a divinity interpreted in one way or another and worshiped to some degree, whether wholeheartedly or superficially. There is no philosophy that is not to some extent also theology. Not only does this fact apply to philosophers who desire to affirm—or who, at least, are ready to admit—that divinity, in a positive sense, is the essence of truth and power of some kind of highest principle; but the same truth is valid even for thinkers denying such a divinity, for such a denial would in practice merely consist in transferring an identical dignity and function to another object. Such an alternative object might be “nature,” creativity, or an unconscious and amorphous will to life. It might be “reason,” progress, or even a redeeming nothingness into which man would be destined to disappear. Even such apparently “godless” ideologies are theologies (Barth 1963:3-4).
Barth, K 1963. Evangelical Theology: An Introduction. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
Copyright © 2012 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 29 October 2015.