Mere Orthodoxy’s Matt Anderson explains why “an anti-liberal approach toward dissenting views is part of the DNA of the logic of the currentgay rights argument”:
Imagine, for a moment, that cultural conservatives are right that the family which begins within the union of a man and a woman is a morally unique institution, irreplacable in its role in society and inimitable in its shape by other voluntary associations of free adults, such as gay unions….
Then grant this simple premise: that humans are fundamentally and inescapably truth-telling beings, and that falsehoods require an elaborate and complex support structure if they are to take hold and endure for a long period of time. A child might believe that Santa Claus is real and get on with the world just fine. But as they grow older, the kinds of backflips, self-deceptions, and tricks they would have to go through in order to maintain such a belief would be dazzling.
Now, momentarily return to that peculiar and strange thought that same-sex sexual relationships, whatever other goods [they] have, lack particular features which make heterosexual relationships morally unique. Given human sexuality’s clear importance, and given humanity’s truth-telling nature, what kind of artifice would need to be in place to support and sustain such a deception within a society over a long period of time? What kind of intervention into the course of normal human affairs would a society have to undertake in order to obscure the morally relevant differences between those forms of sexual behavior that can generate children and those that cannot? What kind of construct would we have to build in order to maintain the premise that all consenting erotic associations are equal, that the union of the lives of two adults (even where children are introduced via the tragedy beneath adoption or through the artifice of technology) is of the same kind as those families where a man and a woman’s love and life together introduces a third member into the community who bears witness, within their very bodies, of the love of that mother and father for each other and for no one else in a way that removing children from their biological parentage necessarily diminishes? And once this structure is built, would it have the structural integrity to allow for meaningful and public dissent? Or would it be so fragile, because false, that it had to “stamp out” competing accounts of the world?
Erasing or obscuring the moral uniqueness of the traditional nuclear family unit—if there is one— would require, dare I say, both an extensive and elaborate artifice that attempted to reconfigure not simply the family, but all those institutions which the family has some bearing upon. Maintaining such a support would require the most powerful and influential institutions in American life, of which there are currently (by way of hypothesis) three: entertainment, business, and the government. And as long as those dominant institutions established such an outlook on the world, any remaining institutions would come under significant pressure to reform themselves accordingly.
This is a similar point to the one Frank Beckwith made when he likenedbansagainst interracial marriage to the endorsement of same-sex marriage—both require the intrusive force of law to maintain because neither reflects the truth about what marriage is, either denying sex is relevant or insisting race is.
Two years ago, I had the chance to debate an atheist professor at Weber State University in Utah on the best explanation for the existence of objective moral values. The writings of Bill Craig and Paul Copan have shaped a lot of my thinking in this area, as I'm sure you'll see below. In my opening argument, I made the case for God as the ontological foundation for objective morality. Then I raised five problems for an evolutionary view of ethics that make it an implausible alternative. Here are the problems I outlined in the debate:
(1) Evolution cannot account for moral values: Moral values do not fit in the ontology of naturalism. On a naturalistic view, our moral values are the result of biological evolution, purely for the purpose of survival and reproduction. But how would such a herd morality be binding and true?
Atheists recognize the unnatural fit. Philosopher of science Michael Ruse writes:
The position of the modern evolutionist...is that humans have an awareness of morality...because such an awareness is of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth.... Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate that when somebody says “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” they think they are referring above and beyond themselves.... Nevertheless...such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction...and any deeper meaning is illusory…. 
J.L. Mackie, one of the most prominent atheist philosophers of the 20th century, said this: “Moral properties constitute so odd a cluster of qualities and relations that they are most unlikely to have arisen in the ordinary course of events, without an all-powerful god to create them.” 
(2) Evolution cannot account for moral obligations: If humans are simply more developed animals, why think there are moral duties to which they are obligated? Male great white sharks are under no obligation to refrain from forcibly copulating with female great whites. Male lions are under no obligation to refrain from killing all the young lion cubs in a pride they have just taken over. Notice, we do NOT use moral terms to describe such behavior. We do not call the shark’s behavior “rape” and we do not call the lion’s behavior “infanticide.”
Natural science is a descriptive enterprise, only telling us what is the case, not what ought to be the case. For example, nature can describe what it is to be healthy, but it cannot generate a moral obligation to be healthy.
Prominent American philosopher Richard Taylor recognizes this problem for naturalism:
The idea of political or legal obligation is clear enough…. Similarly, the idea of an obligation higher than this, referred to as moral obligation, is clear enough, provided reference to some lawgiver higher…than those of the state is understood. In other words, our moral obligations can…be understood as those that are imposed by God…. But what if this higher-than-human lawgiver is no longer taken into account? Does the concept of moral obligation…still make sense? … The concept of moral obligation [is] unintelligible apart from the idea of God. 
On a naturalistic view, there is nothing to issue moral commands and there is no one to serve as the appropriate authority standing behind our moral obligations. As Taylor states, in the absence of God, the concept of moral obligations is incoherent.
(3) Evolution cannot adequately explain human value: On a naturalistic evolutionary scenario, human beings are nothing special. The universe comes into existence through the Big Bang and, through a blind process of chance and necessity, evolves all the way through to us. The same process that coughed up humans also coughed up bacteria. Thus, there is nothing intrinsically valuable about being human. Indeed, on this view, to think humans beings are special is to be guilty of speciesism, the view that one’s own species is somehow superior to other species.
Atheist Richard Dawkins offers a bleak assessment of human worth on an atheistic worldview:
In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, or any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference…. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. 
But what other result should we expect from valueless, cause-and-effect physical processes? There is no reason to think that an impersonal, valueless process could produce valuable, rights-bearing persons.
(4) Evolution cannot adequately explain moral accountability: If God does not exist, there is no basis for moral accountability. On naturalism, who or what imposes moral obligations upon us? And who or what would hold us to those obligations? In a purely material universe, there is no moral accountability. What difference would it make to disregard your moral obligations to whomever? In an atheistic universe, why would you ever set aside self-interest for self-sacrifice?
(5) Evolution cannot adequately explain human freedom: If we are the products of evolutionary forces, how did moral freedom and responsibility emerge? There is no reason to think, given our supposed materialistic and deterministic origins, that we have free will. Atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel states that there is “no room for agency in a world of neural impulses, chemical reactions, and bone and muscle movements”; naturalism strongly suggests that we are “helpless” and “not responsible” for our actions. 
Of course, if there is no free will, then no one is morally responsible for anything. Determinism puts an end to objective moral duties because on this worldview, we have no control over what we do. We are nothing more than puppets in a cause-and-effect universe.
 Michael Ruse, “Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics,” in The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge, 1989), pp. 262, 268-9.
 J. L. Mackie, The Miracle of Theism (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1982), 115-116.
 Richard Taylor, Ethics, Faith, and Reason (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1985), p. 83-84
 Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (New York: Basic Books, 1995), 132-133
 Thomas Nagel, The View from Nowhere (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 111, 113.
Based on Frank Bruni’s New York Times article “Bigotry, the Bible, and the Lessons of Indiana,” wherein he says “how easily” the “very traditions and texts that inform many Christians’ denunciation of same-sex relationships…can be [and are being] understood in a different way,” it sounds to me like the argument that may soon be taken up against our religious freedom will go something like this:
Some Christian churches endorse homosexuality and same-sex marriage, therefore homosexuality and same-sex marriage are compatible with Christianity. Therefore people who oppose homosexuality and same-sex marriage aren’t really motivated by their religion; they’re motivated by bigotry. And since their opposition doesn’t have its basis in religion (but only in bigotry), therefore we aren’t required to protect their “freedom” to teach and act in accordance with those beliefs.
To elites in his circles, Kingsfield continued, “at best religion is something consenting adult[s] should do behind closed doors. They don’t really understand that there’s a link between Sister Helen Prejean’s faith and the work she does on the death penalty. There’s a lot of looking down on flyover country, on middle America.
“The sad thing,” he said, “is that the old ways of aspiring to truth, seeing all knowledge as part of learning about the nature of reality, they don’t hold. It’s all about power. They’ve got cultural power, and think they should use it for good, but their idea of good is not anchored in anything. They’ve got a lot of power in courts and in politics and in education. Their job is to challenge people to think critically, but thinking critically means thinking like them. They really do think that they know so much more than anybody did before, and there is no point in listening to anybody else, because they have all the answers, and believe that they are good.”
Bruni enlists liberal Evangelical professor David Gushee in his crusade: “Conservative Christian religion is the last bulwark against full acceptance of L.G.B.T. people.”
So, having defined the enemy, the one thing standing between them and cultural hegemony, what do they propose to do? This (emphasis mine):
Creech and Mitchell Gold, a prominent furniture maker and gay philanthropist, founded an advocacy group, Faith in America, which aims to mitigate the damage done to L.G.B.T. people by what it calls “religion-based bigotry.”
Gold told me that church leaders must be made “to take homosexuality off the sin list.”
His commandment is worthy — and warranted.
Not “must be persuaded,” but “must be made.” Compelled. Forced. And not forced to change our behavior, but forced to change what we believe. Because You Must Approve.
And just how do Bruni and his militant Social Justice Warriors plan to force us to repudiate our beliefs? We are going to find out. Indiana and Arkansas showed that most Americans don’t much care about religious liberty — and in fact, people like Bruni and the newspaper he works for have contempt for it, at least when it is practiced by “conservative Christians.”
Our worship is now compelled and instructed, just as in days past. But we are not dealing with a state church, or at least not an established one. We are dealing with a cultural intelligentsia that offers us a grand bargain: we can give up our sexual ethics and be just fine, or we can hold onto them and be smashed into conformity. It’s really this stark: the Bible should be “rightly bowing”–Bruni’s actual phrase!–to secular rationalism. In other words, we have an authority, and it is not Scripture. It is the culture.
[S]egregationists felt justified by scripture too. They got over it; their churches got over it; so will yours.
It’s not that simple. The debate about race was very specific to America, modernity, the South. (Bans on interracial marriage were generally a white supremacist innovation, not an inheritance from Christendom or common law.) The slave owners and segregationists had scriptural arguments, certainly. But they were also up against one of the Bible’s major meta-narratives — from the Israelites in Egypt to Saint Paul’s “neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free.”
That’s not the case with sex and marriage. The only clear biblical meta-narrative is about male and female. Sex is an area of Jewish law that Jesus explicitly makes stricter. What we now call the “traditional” view of sexuality was a then-radical idea separating the early church from Roman culture, and it’s remained basic in every branch of Christianity until very recently. Jettisoning it requires repudiating scripture, history and tradition in a way the end of Jim Crow did not.
Memories Pizza didn’t blast out a news release. They didn’t contact the media, nor make a stink on Twitter or Facebook. They didn’t even post a sign in the window rejecting gay-wedding catering jobs. They merely answered questions from a novice reporter who strolled into their restaurant one day – who was sent on a mission by an irresponsible news organization.
7. Andrew Walker has an idea for how Christian bakeries could respond to governmental coercion in “A Note from Creator Cakes”:
So, we will serve same-sex wedding services. We will do so unhappily and with a bothered conscience. But if we must do so with a bothered conscience, we reserve the right as a condition of the marketplace to bother others' consciences as well. If we are coerced into baking for events we disagree with, we will return the favor and use the funds of those we disagree with to fund the organizations they disagree with. If you are unhappy with this new policy or it conflicts with your own convictions about marriage, we invite you to take your business elsewhere.
This week’s challenge is taken from a question Alan received:
If you take away same-sex marriage, you’ll take away stability from children of same-sex couples. So not only will you be discriminating against people wanting to marry, but you’ll also be hurting the next generation!
What do you think about this one? Does same-sex marriage bolster the institution of the family and protect children? If not, why not? Respond to this challenge in the comments below, then Alan will post his response on Thursday.