David Becomes Goliath after Obergefell

Everyone loves a winner, or at least fears the taint of a loser, and so post-Obergefell v. Hodges, popular support for same-sex “marriage” is already moving from a court imposed edict to majority popular support. But like slavery after Dred Scott v. Sandford, or abortion after Roe v. Wade, a bad decision from SCOTUS does not mean the issue is settled. In fact, there is a self-correcting tendency within all free and decent people, irresistibly drawn toward the true north of natural law. People long for the truth and sooner or later the lie is exposed.

The question for us is what will our role be in helping bring about the Kingdom of God on this issue? We enjoy our peaceful, prosperous lives, and we’d like to continue on unmolested, and so we hope things will just take care of themselves. But we all know in our guts that the holiday from history has come to an end.  The fight has arrived.

SSM made spectacular gains in the court of public opinion because couples seeking SSM were people with faces, while defenders of traditional marriage were at best the faceless voice of reason making an abstract argument.  We lost. That phase is over. Now there can be an inversion in the cast of characters.

Among unchurched millennials most would be roughly familiar with the biblical account of David and Goliath. It is the ultimate example of audacity, innovation and heroism, catapulting David from obscurity to fame. All of these themes resonate deeply with Americans, and these were the core themes employed in the construction of the pro SSM narrative. Now that SSM is the law, LGBTQ culture will try to maintain the image of the brave David facing the giant Goliath. They will run for as long as they can on stories of oppression and the little guy taking on the system, but these stories will become less convincing as people feel more and more constricted by the new pro LGBTQ orthodoxy. Already a strong counter-narrative is emerging in which traditionalists have faces, are oppressed and are the new David to the LGBTQ Goliath. In fact, the transition is inevitable, and is found within the original story.

As our culture has become less biblically literate, far fewer twenty-somethings would be familiar with the more complex narrative of David and Bathsheba. David had become king. But rather than undertaking the hard work of governing and defending his people, David was luxuriating on the roof of his palace. David looked upon the forbidden; the wife of another, the beautiful Bathsheba bathing. He lusted after her, seduced her, conceived a child with her, and then tried to trick Uriah into sleeping with his wife, so that he might think David’s child was his own. When this failed, David conspired to have the virtuous Uriah killed.

David had moved from weakness and obscurity to power and fame and he was corrupted. David became the predator; he became Goliath.

But these facts remained hidden both from the public eye and from David’s suppressed conscience. The depths of David’s own depravity only became apparent to him through seeing a grave injustice imposed upon another, depicted in the parable told to David by the prophet Nathan. Nathan tells the story of a rich man and a poor man. The rich man had flocks beyond number and the poor man had but one little lamb which he raised as if it were his own child. The rich man threw a feast for a traveler, but rather than take from among his own flocks, took the lamb of the poor man. Hearing this, David said to Nathan, “Who is the man, surely he must die?” Nathan replied: “You are the man.”

The parable told by Nathan only loosely correlates with the injustice of David seducing Bathsheba and murdering Uriah, but the power of Nathan’s parable with David was not rooted in its symmetry with his unjust actions rather its symmetry with who David thought that he was. In his own mind David was primarily the hero who had slain Goliath. In his own mind and in truth, David was a good man, and his actions against Bathsheba, the child they conceived, and Uriah, were deformities of character which disfigured the true David. The injustice of Nathan’s parable provoked the righteousness in David’s true self and thereby exposed the hidden depravity of his own actions. David suddenly sees himself wearing the villainous mask of Goliath and repents.

In the drama which is to unfold and reveal the malice of the SSM movement, we must be the persecuted, in a modern parallel to the parable which Nathan told David, because what we represent, as the advocates of tradition, holds the key to unveiling our moment’s blindness to the truth about SSM.

The psychological origins of homosexuality and the psychological origins of our broader cultural hostility to the ontology of sex, have the same root; a crisis in our relationship with our parents and therefore a crisis in our understanding of our origin and nature.

Male homosexuality is caused by the absence of a father figure as mentor and the over-compensation of the mother figure who cultivates a feminine world view in which maleness is the mysterious other. Female homosexuality is caused by a conscious and/or subconscious rejection of betrayed male-female love, and the post-liberationist impossibility of creating a world within a world which is marriage between a man and a woman. As a substitute it creates a sorority of forlorn sterility. Our culture as a whole is deeply estranged from both our fathers and our mothers, the source from which we should find the greatest security, but from whom instead we have endured the greatest threat. Though homosexuality has been around for a long time, the above cited causes have never been more acute, and are directly related to abortion.

Every child born since the legalization of abortion has a profound existential crisis. Every child born since the legalization of abortion could have been killed, and therefore is merely a contingent good, dependent upon the good will of its mother for its very life. We are not absolute goods, created in the image of God; we are merely the result of a choice, we are a construct of our parents’ will. We have all grown up within the shadow of a core insecurity which has alienated us from a sense of continuity with our parents and generations past. As a generation cut off from its past, our response to the fragments of natural law teachings coming from our parents’ generation is confusion and hostility.

The LGBTQ movement is as much an acting out of the existential crisis of the children who were not aborted but could have been, as getting married and having a family is an acting out of natural law. But in the swirl of things this is difficult to see. As the philosophical prince of darkness, Friedrich Nietzsche, famously said, “the owl of Minerva flies at dusk,” meaning understanding will only be possible after the events have sorted themselves out. History will unfold as it will unfold, truth will reveal itself as it will reveal itself, and we must bravely make ourselves available to play our assigned roles, even if they are roles we dread.

Nathan spoke to the good and decent core of David, aroused his sense of righteousness and then held up a mirror for David. The good and decent core of America will be aroused by the persecution of defenders of life and defenders of marriage. Our persecution is absolutely necessary for the awakening of this core decency.

Recently, my family and I were on Show The Truth in Kingston and Ottawa. STT is like many groups in the states who bring the truth of abortion to the public through graphic signs. We were at a busy downtown intersection with lots of pedestrian traffic and lots of intense conversations with passersby about abortion and the appropriateness of what we were doing. A big part of our witness is bearing the wrath of the public. People are perplexed by our willingness to take the heat. Anyway, a young man tore one of our signs from the hands of a young woman, threw it to the ground and pushed her. A passerby from across the street sprinted over to the defense of the young woman. He pushed the angry man away and told him that we have a right to be here. Once the crisis was past, he stayed and talked. He said that he was pro choice but that he defended our right to free speech. As he talked, he continued to look at the sign, and over the course of a few minutes he became more open to protecting the lives of unborn babies from abortion. His core decency was aroused when he saw the pro lifer being attacked. He acted, motivated by that core decency, and his actions opened him up to a deeper reflection on abortion. The same thing is going to happen with SSM.

Already there have been a number of cases in which individuals have been persecuted for their defense of traditional marriage or their unwillingness to compromise their principles by cooperating with the farce of SSM. Ray Nothstine of The Christian Post reports on Thomas Banks, a contract engineer with Ford Motor Company who was dismissed from his job for comments critical of homosexuality in the company’s comment box when Ford decided to rebrand itself as a more LGBT friendly company. Columnist Mitch Albom pointed out the obvious on his radio show when he asked: “If you don’t want people to complain about something, why are you having a comment section?” The Liberty Institute wrote on their website: “While this story is appalling, it is not isolated. Cases like this are now catching the attention of news outlets—and stirring the indignation of Americans everywhere.”

Our current situation will conscript many of us to join the ranks of Banks and others. As Christians we have no choice but to speak up and we will be persecuted. But the big test will be the response of the Church. The Church must meet the enemy on this. She must not hide, she must not negotiate. Prudentially, she must know that it simply will not work. But spiritually, she must see that our only hope is to become David and fearlessly run towards the giant and trust that as with David, God will guide her hand.

Editor’s note: The image above titled “The Prophet Nathan rebukes King David” was painted by Eugène Siberdt (1851-1931).

Joe Bissonnette

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Joe Bissonnette teaches religion and philosophy at Assumption College School in Brantford, Ontario where he lives with his wife and their seven children. He has written for Catholic Insight, The Human Life Review, The Interim, The Catholic Register and The Toronto Star.

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