I like Mike Winger. I wouldn’t expect to like a Calvary Chapel youth pastor the way that I like Mike Winger, but I do. I came across his videos on YouTube while searching on the subject of Christian apologetics. Much of Mike’s content is fantastic. Mike has a series defending the Bible and demonstrating the fulfillment of biblical prophecies, and another series on types of Christ in the Old Testament. Mike also maintains a website called Bible Thinker where his content can also be accessed. I do have some disagreements with the conclusions that Mike reaches in some of his videos, but I appreciate Mike’s genuine concern for the truth and scholarly approach to complex subjects. Mike is a genuine Christian who is most deserving of the large following that he enjoys on YouTube and elsewhere.
I was listening to Mike’s series on homosexuality and I came across his answer to a pro-homosexual slogan. The basic premise of this argument is that those who oppose homosexual “marriage” are no different from the “racists” who opposed the legalization of interracial marriage in the 1960s. Mike points out that this is asserting that homosexual relationships are parallel to interracial relationships. Mike states that this is wrong because racism is a “bias based upon a non-difference or differences that are so trivial, like skin tone…that are so trivial as to be completely unimportant and unrelated to the conclusions of racism.” Mike then asserts that this “makes sense” and “we all agree on that.”
Mike contrasts this with gender differences which “are massive and give us really good reasons to think that there is a big difference between a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, and a man and a man. The most obvious one being [that] you can’t have children. Not because you’re infertile, you’re fertile…you’re just doing it wrong. You can’t have children like this. You’re not designed this way.” Mike continues by contrasting this with interracial couples who “certainly can [procreate], and do, and make the cutest babies we’ve ever seen.” Mike concludes by saying that “the purpose here to make this parallel is to try to get the world to see anyone who’s opposed to same-sex marriage or homosexual behavior as a racist. That’s the real goal here even though it’s not a parallel and it’s not philosophically sound to say it.” There are several things in Mike’s response that need to be unpacked.
I agree that there is not an exact equivalence between interracial marriage and homosexual “marriage,” but the two aren’t as unrelated as Mike would like us to believe. The most obvious similarity is that both miscegenation and homosexuality are non-normative behaviors. The vast majority of people form relationships with or marry members of the opposite sex but of the same racial and ethnic group, especially historically but even today. The second similarity is that both miscegenation and homosexuality were highly taboo in Western society until the sexual revolution in the 1960s. Finally, the same arguments that were foundational to the Supreme Court striking down laws that restricted interracial marriage were also explicitly used in striking down laws that defined marriage between a man and a woman.
There are several problems with Mike’s response to this pro-homosexual slogan. Mike attempts to differentiate racism, which he believes is genuinely wrong, from opposition to homosexuality and gay marriage. Mike argues that racists make distinctions regarding unimportant characteristics like skin color while opponents of homosexuality make valid distinctions based upon the important distinction of biological sex. But Mike fails to realize that the Left has successfully managed to make the differences between men and women appear just as trivial as the racial differences that Mike dismisses as being insignificant. Today many people actually believe that biological sex is a social construct that can be redefined at will and changed with a bit of cosmetic surgery. In a few years Mike’s response will be considered just as backward and outdated as those who opposed interracial marriage in the 1960s.
Mike seems to agree entirely with the premise of racial equality and interchangeability that is presupposed by the comparison of interracial marriage to gay marriage. Mike suggests that the races differ only in superficial characteristics like skin tone, and further demonstrates his approval of miscegenation by noting that mixed-race couples “make the cutest babies we’ve ever seen.” Mike is entirely wrong that racial differences are merely superficial. Race is a biological reality rooted in God’s intentional design and integral to His plan for maintaining separate and distinct nations. Mike’s argument is essentially the interfertility argument, which posits that interracial marriage ought to be considered moral because interracial couples can produce offspring while couples of the same sex cannot.
The lack of fertility between persons of the same sex is certainly a valid argument against the notion of gay marriage because one of the foundational purposes of marriage is procreation (Gen. 1:28, 9:7; Ps. 127:3-5, 128:3-6), but the mere fact of the ability of two people to procreate doesn’t necessarily make marriage between them moral, normative, or prudent. The interfertility of persons from different races distinguishes miscegenation from sodomy, but it is not in itself sufficient to establish the moral acceptability of interracial marriage due to this consideration alone.1 There are plenty of good arguments against interracial marriage that cannot be dismissed by simply labeling them as “racist.”
Mike correctly states that this slogan is a tactic that is used by the Left to smear opposition to homosexuality as implicitly racist, but he fails to identify and reject the underlying egalitarianism of this argument. At best Mike has demonstrated that interracial marriage is not equivalent to gay marriage, but this doesn’t address the real reason why this argument is so effective. The Left was successfully able to convince people that marriage to anyone should be able to marry anyone else without any external restrictions. Laws that proscribed marriage on the basis of race were the first to be overturned, but laws that defined marriage between a man and a woman have followed. There is no reason to believe that laws restricting age of consent or limiting marriage to two persons should be expected to last. The end game is that marriage will be redefined out of existence. Marriage must once again be re-established on the firm ground that built up Western civilization for so many generations. Marriage isn’t just a lifelong committed and exclusive sexual relationship between two adults of complementary sex organs, but a means of extending the family, clan, tribe, and nation for generations to come. This is why marriage is under attack in our post-Christian world, and this is what Christians need to understand if marriage is to be saved.
- Likewise the lack of fertility is not essential to contracting a valid marriage. It is not uncommon for a widower to marry a widow who is beyond childbearing years for the purpose of companionship. ↩