Albert Mohler on Homosexuals and Morality

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has a lengthy but fascinating article on the argument against “homosexual marriage” from a perspective outside of morality.  Importantly, he brings up an interesting discussion on the “revisionist” view of marriage which

is vitally important, even essential, to any conversation about marriage in our modern context, for it points far beyond the issue of same-sex marriage to the prior assaults on conjugal marriage brought by no-fault divorce and the replacement of personal responsibility with mere personal autonomy. Sadly, the revisionist view of marriage is embraced by millions of heterosexual couples, married and unmarried, but it is essential to the very idea of same-sex marriage.

He also notes what has been said here several times before (much to one or two people’s chagrin), and was first intimated by Justice Antonin Scalia: 

Back in 2003, Justice Anthony Kennedy…argued that moral opposition to homosexuality was not a rational basis for the establishment of a law.

In response, Justice Antonin Scalia argued that Kennedy had just eliminated any legal barrier to same-sex marriage. “If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is ‘no legitimate state interest’ for purposes of proscribing that conduct…what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising ‘the liberty protected by the Constitution?’”…

What, other than morality, sustains any laws restricting human sexual behavior?

The legislative debate over the prohibition of polygamy after the Civil War was explicitly moral. Sociological analysis did not drive that movement, morality did. What about all the other laws that restrict sexual acts? Are they also to be cast down by this logic?




  • OK.. lets assume for a moment that morality is a compelling state interest.

    WHICH morality?

  • @Donalbain
    That’s a bit like saying “let’s assume the sky is blue. Which sky?”

  • no. It isn’t. I can measure the wavelength of light to determine the colour of the sky. What would I measure to determine if it is moral for black people to marry white people, or for a man to marry another man?

  • @Donalbain
    Read it again. The question wasn’t which color; it was which sky. It’s not a perfect analogy, but the point is valid.

  • There is more than one morality. For instance, you hold to a different morality than I do. Which one should the courts use?

  • And there is also more than one sky. We are not the only planet in the universe.

  • @Donalbain

    there is also more than one sky…

    Is there? If we can’t agree upon the terminology, how can we actually carry on a discussion?

  • As usual. You refuse to answer a question.

  • @Donalbain
    On the contrary; you decline to acknowledge the complexity of the question. For example, the nice hardbound dictionary sitting in the library clearly says “sky” refers to the atmosphere over the Earth. Even Wikipedia agrees. Thus, contrary to your assertion, there is only one. That you may believe differently does not change the fact. You cannot have a reasonable discussion about “the sky” if you cannot agree upon what it even is.

    Similarly, morality is defined as the distinction between right and wrong. It is, by definition, absolute. (That’s why people sometimes qualify it by saying “relative morality;” if it was already relative, that would be redundant.)

    Finally, your question about “which morality” the courts should use is irrelevant. The Supreme Court’s apparent position was that morality itself — it doesn’t matter “whose” — was insufficient basis to uphold a law.

    If you want a question answered, you should ask a reasonable one.

  • I’m new to this forum, but I have to agree with Donalbain to a degree. I think, in fact, JD emphasizes his point by the assertion “You cannot have a reasonable discussion about “the sky” if you cannot agree upon what it even is.” Clearly the implication is that you also cannot have a reasonable discussion about “morality” if you cannot agree upon what it even is. In this specific case, people may define “morality” different as it applies to homosexuality. While I agree with JD that morality is absolute (i.e. that God has defined a morality for humans), I also see that different beliefs/worldviews vary on certain topics. One of the most pronounced is on this topic of homosexuality. If the court DID use “morality” as an argument against homosexual marriage, they would be implicitly supporting a certain set of beliefs. Do you think this goes against the separation of church and state?

  • As a secondary comment, I appreciate the reference to Dr. Mohler’s website. I would consider myself generally more politically liberal, but I really appreciate his analysis of the significance of current events to the Christian worldview… Thanks for posting!

  • @Brian
    It seems you mostly understood the point @Donalbain has ignored. Before two people can have a discussion about a topic, they need to understand what they mean by the words they use. Donalbain has yet to communicate what he believes morality to be.

    For the record, though, the court wasn’t basing its decision on morality necessarily; it was saying the US Congress had no authority to pass laws for “moral” reasons. Contrast that with this statement :

    Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.
    -President John Adams to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, 1798

  • I did communicate what morality is. You simply refused to publish the comment. I will repeat.

    Pronunciation: /məˈralɪti/

    Translate morality | into French | into German | into Italian | into Spanish
    Definition of morality
    noun (plural moralities)
    [mass noun]

    principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour:the matter boiled down to simple morality: innocent prisoners ought to be freed
    [count noun] a particular system of values and principles of conduct:a bourgeois morality

    So, the question is, which principles, or which particular system of value and principles would you want the Supreme Court to use?

  • @Donalbain
    You are still not reading what people write. Your question about the Supreme Court was addressed above. Your question is irrelevant because:

    The Supreme Court’s apparent position was that morality itself — it doesn’t matter “whose” — was insufficient basis to uphold a law.

    As to what principles upon which the US Congress should rely when making laws, the definition you quoted from the Oxford dictionary is useful: the principles of right and wrong. But if the Supreme Court finds morality is insufficient rational basis for upholding a law, then your question remains moot.