Recently, Dr. Peter Scaer, an associate professor at Concordia Theological Seminary, a fundamentalist Lutheran Church-Missouri-Synod institution in Fort Wayne, Indiana, took to the opinion page of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette to demonstrate his Bible-driven view of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Scaer wrote:
The First Amendment guarantees our rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion. Yet, college campuses have implemented speech codes and created “safe spaces” to protect people from opinions they find disagreeable. Corporations have followed suit, as have governmental agencies. Increasingly, differences of opinion are labeled “hate speech,” thus ending reasonable debate.
Now the Indiana legislature, through Senate Bill 100, is on the verge of weaponizing this politically correct movement by giving protected-class status to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. People with differing worldviews can coexist as neighbors who care for one another. This, sadly, is not where the politicized LGBT movement is leading. Brendan Eich, former CEO of Mozilla Firefox, was stripped of his position simply for supporting a traditional marriage amendment. Kelvin Cochran, an African-American fire chief, lost his job for writing a book on marriage. ESPN commentator Craig James was fired for expressing his views on traditional morality. Government agencies and corporate America have grown inhospitable to people of faith.
I believe in marriage equality, but I hold to the definition of marriage that has itself defined civilization. Every child has a reasonable right to a father and a mother.
Parents are equal but not interchangeable. Not every couple has a child, but every child has a biological mom and dad, and for that there is marriage. While some disagree, this position is based on reason and love.
Meanwhile, as our society moves from same-sex marriage to legalized polygamy, polyamory, temporary, open and even incestual marriage, we do well to encourage public discourse. Together, we need to ask, “What is marriage?”
Our opponents seem to think that marriage is a societal construct, something we can change as we please. But any type of marriage that purposefully deprives a child of a mom or dad is unjust.
SB 100 is called a compromise by offering certain protections for churches and religious institutions. There are two basic problems to this approach.
First, SB 100 turns our inalienable rights into privileges and exemptions. Second, rights belong not simply to groups, but to individuals. The free exercise of religion is more than the freedom of worship; it is the right of every single person to live according to his conscience.
While Scaer doesn’t directly mention the Bible (he is much too smart for that), make no mistake about it, it is, for Scaer and his fellow Missouri-Synod Lutherans, God’s infallible word that has the final say on human sexuality. The Lutheran Church-Missouri-Synod (LCMS) denomination officially espouses Evangelical beliefs such as creationism and Bible inerrancy. Missouri-Synod Lutherans vehemently reject homosexuality and same-sex marriage, considering both to be sinful rejections of God’s version of Masters’ and Johnson’s book on human sexuality (see LCMS position papers on human sexuality).
This post is designed to briefly show that Fundamentalism is not only the domain of Baptists and Evangelicals. Every Christian sect has a wing-nut division.
For further information on Indiana Senate Bill 100, please read Who’s protected — and who’s not — in Indiana’s LGBT, religious rights bill, a November 18, 2015 Indy Star article.