Is Joe Biden Partly Right About Gay Marriage?

Vice President Joe Biden
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden attends a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Guatemala City, June 20, 2014. (Reuters/Pakal Koban)

Vice President Joe Biden, like numerous other liberal politicians, has jumped on the bandwagon of having an "evolving" stance on gay marriage.

According to Biden, culture and social tradition shouldn't factor into the gay marriage debate.

"I don't care what your culture is. Inhumanity is inhumanity is inhumanity. Prejudice is prejudice is prejudice," a recent AP report quotes Biden as telling guests of the Naval Observatory's vice presidential mansion. 

While Biden is wrong in claiming that gay marriage bans are "inhumanity" and "prejudice," he incidentally makes one point Christians should agree with—the issue of gay marriage isn't bound to a single culture or tradition.

Among conservatives and Republicans still holding their ground on social issues, one of the weakest arguments I've seen against gay marriage is this: heterosexual marriage is tradition, so we should fight for it.

But if the tradition-based argument becomes the sum of our entire position, Biden is correct in saying that it doesn't hold water.

Heterosexual, monogamous marriage has never been a matter of mere social convention. Though it has become such over the ages, its identity is inextricably bound up in—brace yourself—God's created order. 

I am no expert in world religions, but I do not know of any other holy book that explicitly outlines the origin, definition, and purpose of marriage in such a way as the Bible does. 

Throughout cultures worldwide, marriage is an assumed part of human identity, the nucleus of all family structure—but only Genesis gives a plausible, historical explanation for its design.

The fact that heterosexual, monogamous marriage has more or less persisted throughout human history without interruption should count as evidence in the Bible's favor, showing it is the original, true religion of historical fact.

(In much the same way, virtually all major cultures have flood legends, which lack the fullness and historical framing of the Genesis flood, serving as evidence in favor of the Noah account.)

It seems to me that at times—say, when John McCain is grilled on gay marriage by Ellen DeGeneres—that the mainstream GOP is at times unsure why it still opposes gay marriage. Thus, arguments from tradition, biology, childrearing, and statistics take center stage. 

But if you dismiss God's authoritative mandate as the underpinning of marriage, then Joe Biden is right; marriage is an illusion subject to change with culture and time.

What Biden is wrong about is that human freedoms and proclivities trump the sovereign decree of God.

The definition of marriage is not chiefly an issue of tradition, anatomy or preference. It is an issue of the lordship of Christ. And the fundamental motivation underlying the entire LGBT movement is that human sexual desires are exalted above the reign of Christ over every square inch of this universe.

Unless we Christians can successfully show that the institution of marriage is subject to divine authority—along with the institutions of the family, government and the church—our voice will be swept away in an "evolving" culture.


Alex Kocman is an associate editor and writer for Christian Life News and Charisma News with a background in biblical studies. You can follow him on Twitter via @ajkocman


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