Volume 13, Issue 5: Anvil
Lee Irons, a well-known Reformed writer and thinker (OPC), has done it now. He has posted on
his church's web site an article by his wife calling for "civil same-sex marriage." Not only so, but this
is trumpeted as a "conservative Christian case" for same. And herein lies a warning.
Richard Weaver taught us years ago that ideas have consequences. If this is right, and we think it
is, it follows that pesky ideas have pesky consequences. The pesky idea in this instance is the
factory-direct two-kingdom muddle that frequently attends all amillennial attempts at cultural relevance.
The muddle could have been kept at its normal muddle level if she had argued that "of
course homosexuality is vile and abominable, but there are these two kingdoms out there, so what is a
poor pastor's wife to do?" And that is what I thought she was going to do, staying safe and close to
the shore. In part she does do this, and her basic argument at least has the virtue of being
understandable. If we do not support the rights of homosexuals in a pluralistic society, then how can we ask
for Christians to have any rights in that same pluralistic society? But note the givengotta have
that pluralistic society. The Great Commission does not apply to America, and so we have to make
our peace with the idols.
At the same time, the article is shot through with phrases that indicate she is more than a little
sympathetic with the homosexual line. For example, she assumes throughout the possibility of "committed and
sexually responsible relationships" in homosexual marriages, and she is more than a little impatient with the
standard biblical responses to homosexuality.
But the really breathtaking thing about the article is the thundering naivete, and despite the show
of learning, she is shilling for a position, and not really following an argument. For example, in responding to
the slippery slope argument against legal homosexual marriage, she says, "People who like having sex with
family members or dumb animals are making perverse sexual choices. By contrast the vast majority of
homosexuals did not choose to be homosexual." I see. Incest and bestiality are flatly
out, no matter how pluralistic our society gets. Why? They are "perverse sexual choices." Okay. But who says? By what standard? Other basic
questions come to mind, but not to her mind apparently.
I am very sorry to be put in the position of having to show rudeness to a lady. But Mrs. Irons wants to be
a Christian writer and thinker, and she is not up to the task. And if she can't stand the heat, she should get
back in the kitchen.
The Thrill of Crisis
You must know someone who thrives on personal crises. They suck it in like a drownee, it makes them glow a
bit more, and they secretly wish they could be attached to it intravenously. Whenever things calm down a bit,
they turn despondent, depressed, watch reality TV. If the drought goes on for more than a day, they start to
manufacture problems on until something bigger comes along.
This is all a brilliant cover for laziness. Crises give us permission to set aside hard responsibilities,
especially the boring ones. It's easier to live as a martyr than an ant.
Politicians love crises for the same reasons. Everyone pays attention. People do what you say. They pay
anything, just to make the crisis go away. The trick, of course, for politicians is to make the crisis last as long
Even good, decent politicians slip into this without blinking. Politicians don't actually create anything to
sell but their own power. So if they get the chance to do what they loveprotect with powerthey jump at
One doesn't have to question the justice of the current war to realize that it's the perfect war for
politicians. The targets are elusive and scattered. They can show up in any country, and in a flash they can sneak in our
back door. They have no borders or headquarters. "This could take years." And a planet of money.
Non-Christians especially like a crisis because it supplies suffering and resentment that might add up to
a meaningful life. The Left can get all pious and weepy; the Right can get high on just causes and civil
unitarianism. It raises everyone out of tedious responsibilities; it permits transcendence of the mundane. It's what
people love who don't embrace the permeating glories of Trinity and Incarnation. It's for people who want the thrill
of magic and supernatural awe but can't squeeze it out of cosmic accident.
As I write, I hear in the background that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says it intends to
create mandatory universal rules for the nation's electricity markets. Somebody's bound to be drowning
somewhere. Quickly, give us an air pump to suck. Necessity is the prostitute of crisis.