1 - INTRODUCTION
Marriage Reality is designed to equip and lead the reader to see same-sex marriage from the standpoint of conflicting worldviews. The individual citizen and the state must chose from two paradigms – “heterosexism” and “homosexism.” The wishful notion of a third Canadian compromise, a so-called “middle-of-the-road” worldview, is debunked. Redefining marriage is discovered to be an archetypal zero-sum social experiment with tragic disproportionality in the likely societal benefits versus costs. The principles and beliefs held by heterosexists and homosexists are clarified. Marriage Reality engages a very complex, multi-faceted, and threatening set of issues and portrays marriage in far reaching perspective. The inadequacy of the lone “rights-based” argument for homosexual access to marriage lies not in the claim to the right in itself, but in the absence of any measure of the wider social context in which redefining marriage becomes meaningful. Marriage Reality takes the issue of same-sex marriage beyond shallow rights-talk and examines the legislative decision from a deeper perspective – within the philosophical framework of what feminist Diana Alstad calls the “planetary battle” or “morality wars” over who has the right to decide what’s right?
1.1 - Author’s Inspiration for Researching and Writing on this Subject
The inspirational spark for this effort came in the form of a guest speaker evaluation, which my oldest daughter literally tossed into my lap one evening in December 2000. Then age sixteen, she had attended a guest speaker presentation on "sexual assault" at her High School. When she was asked in the guest speaker evaluation to "select one thing that struck you as most powerful and discuss how it affected you personally," she wrote: “The thing that struck me most 'powerfully' was that the speaker seemed to think that being gay was scientifically decided in your genes. I really disagree. It says in the Bible that being gay is a sin. So why would God allow people to be gay if he didn't make them that way?” The "gay gene" issue and the apparent attack on my daughter’s Christian values bothered me a lot. I felt that my daughter's and thus my family's "religious space" had been willfully invaded. Like a previously dormant immune system, now alerted, I found I had become animated in a quest for answers and explanations. Here was a clash of life beliefs, which I felt had to be addressed. I wrote to the High School seeking clarification on school curriculum and policy. A passage by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuals (NARTH), which describes the situation as I saw it, reads: “Every voice in the debate speaks from some sort of value system. There can be no 'neutral' answers to most social issues. The problem is, while claiming only to discourage scapegoating, gay-affirming programs do much more. In reality, they promote a particular worldview; complete with truth claims those students are expected to adopt. These programs promote the value systems of a particular social group and denigrate the views of another, while at the same time, distorting science.” <![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]>
In the months following, I determined that the School did not hold the view that homosexuality was genetic. According to the host teacher, "the guest speaker was only giving her personal beliefs." As shocking, the School Board could not show me in the curriculum where any guidance was given for instruction on homosexuality; nor would they respond to the following questions:
The 'homosexual orientation' or 'homosexual identity' does not itself cause medical problems; only typical homosexual behaviors can. What steps does XXXX School take to portray the health risks of a gay lifestyle?
During teaching on homosexuality, is any effort made to portray the heterosexual family unit as the optimum model for raising children?
Could you outline when formal teaching about homosexuality is given to students over their time with the Board of Education? What are the objectives of the education at each stage?
When teaching about homosexuality, is there any discussion on how this subject is viewed by Christians, Jews and students of other religions?
The School Board representative would only say that a new curriculum was under development. She could not speculate on its guidance for teaching about homosexuality. These events left me with a tremendous burden to research and articulate, in tangible (non-religious) language, what I knew by faith to be the truth. Two years into the research, the advent of same-sex marriage gave this burden its current focus.
1.2 - Nature and Extent of Research
The articles in this website are based on five years of focused research, four of which were devoted to the writing of Pivot of Civilization or Rivet of Life? Conflicting Worldviews and Same-Sex Marriage. The task has been partially one of understanding terminologies, unraveling rhetoric and exposing falsehood. Motivated in pursuit of the proverbial truth, the book and these articles are based upon research from well over a thousand sources. Robert and Katherine Baird describe the challenge in Homosexuality: Debating the Issues: “When gays speak about themselves, they are speaking one language; when most straight people speak about gays, they are speaking another...There’s only one way to get past the feeling of confusion: tireless, meticulous, dedication to study. You can’t learn a foreign language over night, and you can’t teach it by screaming it at people. You teach it word by word, until bit-by-bit they feel comfortable speaking it.”<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> This challenge of purposeful dedicated study is now extended to the reader. The subject of same-sex marriage cannot be reduced to a media sixty-second sound bite or to a one column newspaper editorial; therefore, this website makes no attempt to suppress the complexity of the issue. Considerable emphasis has been placed on addressing key historical and scientific facts. Testimonies and quotes are extensively used throughout to bring the wisdom of others to a broad array of collateral topics. Since portrayal of competing worldviews is a comprehensive task, a holistic approach has been taken; one in which the study ranges, from cosmology to ecology to psychology to theology to biology, and so forth as needed.
1.3 - About the Author
Carman Bradley surrendered his will to Jesus Christ during an evening windstorm at Kuwait City, 7 March 1997. This rebirth marked the end of an ambitious engineering career, breathing gracious life and peace into his marriage, family and person. Two years later, he founded an intercessory prayer ministry based in Calgary, which has since spread to the United States and the United Kingdom www.intercessorsanonymous.org. Seven years later, he authored Pivot of Civilization or Rivet of Life? Conflicting Worldviews and Same-Sex Marriage. The prayer ministry, the book and this website are motivated by a passion to witness for the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ. In Kuwait, he worked as Chief Engineer for the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission. Before this he commanded a Canadian Combat Engineer Regiment in peacekeeping operations in former Yugoslavia (Operation Harmony). His education includes Civil Engineering and Masters of War Studies degrees from Royal Military College, and a MBA from Queen's University, Kingston. He is presently teaching college-level business courses in Calgary. He is married with three daughters.
1.4 - Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Carman Bradley
Marriage Reality is an on-going review of the implications of same-sex marriage upon state governance, Canadian society, religious freedom and most important the Canadian traditional family. The interpretation and comments are those of the author. Marriage Reality has no editorial board.
Copyright notice: Marriage Reality text may be copied, printed, and re-transmitted by e-mail, provided that the copying, printing, or re-transmission is not for commercial purpose. Any copying, printing, re-transmission, distribution, or other use of any portion of Marriage Reality text of three paragraphs or more, must include the following credit line, in full, at the conclusion of the portion of Marriage Reality text that is used:
Copyright © 2005 Carman Bradley. Reprinted with permission. "Marriage Reality" is a publication found at www.marriagereality.org.
Portions of Marriage Reality text less than three paragraphs may appear in broadcast, print or other media, provided that proper citation is made.
Where an original source is cited in Marriage Reality text, both the primary reference and Marriage Reality reference shall be detailed.
Otherwise, Marriage Reality text may not be reproduced, in any form in broadcast or print media without express written permission. Permission may be obtained by application to: Marriage Reality, Suite 1335, 246 Stewart Green SW, Calgary AB, T3H 3C8. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> Robert M. Baird & M. Katherine Baird Ed., Homosexuality: Debating the Issues (Amherst New York: Prometheus Books, 1995), p.27.