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The Graduate’s selective morality

Published: Aug 22, 2017

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Dear Editor,


In long-winded discussions one can easily forget the core issue being discussed. I think this is what happened to The Graduate in his public discussion with me on civil unions and homosexual marriage. He seems to have forgotten the core issue. Please allow me space to remind The Graduate of the core issue and to point further to his selective morality.

The Graduate writes: “The core of the argument was (is) that marriage and civil unions are legal constructs, and any application for relief must be settled by the judiciary, not the clergy.” This is yet another example of The Graduate’s less than faithful response to what I actually wrote. I’ve never proposed that the clergy settle anything pertaining to marriage and civil unions. And frankly, I don’t know anyone who has.

From the very outset, this was the core issue: If marriage is to be redefined in The Bahamas, who should determine its redefinition? In that regard, I asked these specific questions: “Should it be determined by a majority of our 39 members of Parliament? Should it be determined by our courts? Or should it be decided by voters in a referendum?”

I then stated the following: “For something as far reaching as the redefinition of marriage, I believe the best option is for voters to decide, not elected politicians or appointed judges.”

The Graduate believes the courts should be allowed to redefine marriage to extend it to homosexuals. He is entitled to that view. Again, I disagree. I believe we should settle the issue in a referendum, as was done in Ireland. Ireland is the only country to approve homosexual marriage by the voters. In all other countries where homosexual marriage is legal, it was imposed on them by elected politicians or appointed judges.

The Graduate writes: “The state presently allows marriage between a man and a woman who are not related, and who are not already in connubial habitation with someone else. Justifiably, it rules out incest and polygamists.” Justifiably? I ask The Graduate: Other than the fact that incest and polygamy are immoral, what is the justification for ruling out such marriages (especially bearing in mind that you support homosexual marriage, which is also immoral)? Please tell us.

As one who believes the Bible is God’s word, I believe in biblical marriage. Biblical marriage is an exclusive marital union comprised of two persons (the number requirement), one person must be a man and the other a woman (the gender requirement), and the parties must not be related by blood (the blood requirement). Any marriage configuration that violates any of these requirements is not a biblical marriage. It is an immoral marriage.

Currently in The Bahamas, civil marriage is exactly the same as biblical marriage: It consists of the same number requirement (two persons), the same gender requirement (one person must be a man and the other a woman), and the same blood requirement (the parties must not be related by blood). This is not the case in some other countries, like the United States, where the requirements of biblical marriage and civil marriage are no longer the same.

The Graduate believes that civil marriage in The Bahamas should cease to mirror biblical marriage. In particular, he opposes the gender requirement and believes it should be expanded to allow a man to marry a man and a woman to marry a woman.

On the other hand, there are people who wish to change the number requirement. They wish to enter into marriage contracts with multiple consenting adults (polygamy), and they believe it is unfair not to allow them to pursue their happiness in polygamous marriage in the same way that The Graduate is advocating for homosexuals to pursue their happiness in homosexual marriage. But The Graduate opposes polygamous marriage.

Then there are those who wish to change the blood requirement. They wish to enter into marriage contracts with blood relatives (all consenting adults, of course). In the case of heterosexual incestuous marriage, they are aware of the possibility of having children with birth defects. Therefore, they propose the requirement that one or both parties are sterilized before a marriage license can be issued for a heterosexual incestuous marriage. Birth defects are not a problem for homosexual incestuous marriage because such unions can’t produce children. But even though none of these proposed incestuous marriages can produce children, The Graduate still opposes them all. And those wishing to change the blood requirement, just as The Graduate wishes to change the gender requirement, believe he is being unfair and undemocratic.

Now why is this? How is The Graduate able to support changing one requirement of civil marriage (the gender requirement), while at the same time opposing any change to the other two (the number and blood requirements)? Simple. The Graduate engages in selective morality. He selectively supports one form of immoral marriage (homosexual) while selectively opposing other forms of immoral marriages (polygamous and incestuous). And The Graduate is unable to provide any coherent argument for supporting one form of immoral marriage while opposing two other immoral forms. So he resorts to ad hominem responses.

The Graduate berates me for supporting our current definition of civil marriage that excludes all persons who do not wish to enter an exclusive marital union with one person of the opposite sex, and to whom they are not related by blood. Yet he fails to see that he is likewise supporting a new definition of marriage that will continue to prohibit some of these same currently excluded persons from marrying. I’m forced to wonder if The Graduate does not see his inconsistency, or if he simply refuses to admit it.

If we in The Bahamas change one requirement of civil marriage (the gender requirement) to expand it to one group of currently excluded persons (homosexuals) then true civil marriage equality dictates that we should change the other requirements (the number and blood requirements) to expand it to other groups of excluded persons as well (like polygamists and incestuous persons). But The Graduate opposes this. He invokes selective morality against some. And he still accuses me of being “like a theocrat living in a country like Iran rather than someone committed to democracy”.

The unvarnished truth is that once civil marriage is no longer fixed between a man and a woman, it begins to float into whatever immoral configurations consenting adults choose and states allow. And what you do for one excluded group (e.g., homosexuals), you should, in fairness, do for other excluded groups (e.g., polygamists and incestuous persons). The history of the redefinition of marriage around the world bears this out: What you do for one, you will eventually do for all. And the result is a quagmire of immoral civil marriages.

I pray to God that we in The Bahamas will not go down into the abyss of immoral civil marriages, and I will use my voice and my vote to do all that I can to prevent it. And I encourage all those who believe in biblical marriage to do the same.


– Pastor Cedric Moss

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