By Rev. Mark H. Creech (L.H.D.)
Most of the people that know me well are aware that before becoming executive director of the Christian Action League, I served six different churches over a twenty year pastoral tenure.
Being the candidate for pastor of six churches taught me a lot about the way people can communicate one thing to you, but it really means something else.
For instance, when I heard the previous pastor of one church that was considering whether to issue to me a call say, “They just need a good leader who will go in there and love them,” I later discovered what he really meant was the congregation was on the verge of a major split.
When a member of the pastoral search committee of another church said to me, “Our church just needs an injection of new life,” I later found out that what she really meant was the Senior Adult Sunday School Class constituted about 90 percent of the church’s membership.
When a member of another church that I candidated for said to me, “We don’t want a pastor who is a dictator,” I soon determined that what he really meant was a certain faction of the church was ruling the roost and I had better not challenge them or I might have to find myself a new job.”
When upon accepting a call to a certain church, certain persons in the leadership said to me, “We know you’re the man for the job,” I later realized that they actually meant was, “We’re glad you’re on the job now so we can spend more time down at the beach or up in the mountains, fishing, golfing, and doing other recreational activities.”
You know, when it comes to the Marriage Protection Amendment that is to be voted on in May, some people argue, “We just want gays and lesbians to have the same rights to marriage alongside of heterosexuals.” But what they really mean is, “We intend to redefine marriage and that redefinition will supplant traditional marriage as the sole definition of the institution.”
Homosexual activists Michelangelo Signorile once said that same-sex marriage is “a chance to wholly transform the definition of family in American culture.” It will “usher in a sea of change,” he said.
The stakes in this debate are two competing definitions of marriage. One definition, advocated by same-sex marriage activists would define marriage as the union of any two people regardless of gender, with the law treating the parties’ genders as irrelevant to the meaning of marriage. The other definition contained in the proposed constitutional amendment and reflective of North Carolina’s current law, as well as the collective understanding of virtually every nation throughout recorded history, is that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
Make no mistake. A new redefined version of marriage as a genderless institution would be the only legally recognized definition of marriage in the state. Such a radical change will result in a myriad of societal conflicts that the government, with its broad enforcement powers, will ultimately be forced to resolve. Citizens, small businesses and religious organizations whose own beliefs, traditions and moral teachings are at odds with the new definition of marriage will likely find themselves subjected to legal consequences if they don’t act according to the new legal orthodoxy.
Sometimes when people say one thing, they really mean something else.