Ben Carson was on the radio show of evangelical writer Eric Metaxas last week. Liberals weren’t listening to it live, for sure, but they did find out about it.
Carson and Metaxas simply took the pro-gay marriage argument and followed its logic. If marriage can’t be limited in law to one man and one woman for a litany of social, biological, ethical, religious, and cultural reasons, how can it be limited to just two people, whether they’re male or female? Why not polygamy or group marriages? If complementarity doesn’t matter, by what principle can you limit marriage to two people?
Of course, upon hearing this after some intern somewhere dug up the audio, the lefty outlets like MSNBC, TPM, and Mediaite were aghast and went straight to their keyboards.
Here’s what Carson and Metaxas said (starts around 28:50):
METAXAS: There are two things I want to cover in this segment: gay marriage and ISIS. We could do two hours on each of those subjects, but some brief thoughts on gay marriage, if you would.
CARSON: Which are polar opposites, by the way.
METAXAS: You can talk about that, please.
CARSON: ISIS people kill them.
METAXAS: That’s just their culture, we need to respect their culture. You know, killing is a cultural thing.
CARSON: Right. As far as gay marriage is concerned, I just kinda resolve that issue by asking one question. I’m a very reasonable and tolerant person, and I have nothing against gay people whatsoever. and I would like for them to answer is what position can a person like me take who has nothing against gay people, but who believes in the traditional biblical definition of marriage, that is acceptable to them? I’ve yet to hear a clear answer on that.
METAXAS: Well, the reason for that, of course, is when somebody is winning, they want to push us as far as they can. And so there are many gays out there who have tremendous integrity and they understand that people’s religious freedoms are being abrogated, and they’ve said as much, a number of them. Andrew Sullivan has said as much; he’s been for gay marriage for years, but he understands that it’s gone too far. But I suspect that the people in the politically correct vanguard are not interested in ceding one millimeter if they can. So it’s kind of an interesting moment in the culture.
CARSON: The other thing you have to recognize – and this is a very important issue – is if you change the definition of marriage for one group, what defense do you have for the next group that comes along and wants it changed? Can you say, ‘Oh no, we’re just changing it this one time. It’ll be this way forever.’ Well, how is that fair? I mean, it doesn’t make any sense.
METAXAS: Well, no, there’s no logic to it. If you say it’s gotta be between a man and a woman or a man and a man or a woman and a woman, the obvious next question is, ‘Excuse me, why two? Where do you get the idea that it’s got to be two? That is very repressive. Who do you think you are and where did you get that from?’
CARSON: Exactly. That’s the natural next question. And on it goes from there. And effectively what it does is it takes away from tradition of family that we’ve known for thousands of years. But also, it negates an important part of the word of God. If you can do that with one part of the word of God, you can do it with the rest of it too. Toss the whole thing in the garbage.
METAXAS: Yeah, well obviously a lot of people don’t believe in the word of God and they don’t think it is the word of God, and that’s where things get a little complicated. But I do think that we’re at a crisis point in the culture when you cannot see the fundamental value of the nuclear family – that’s been the strength of the country. Tocqueville writes about that. I mean, it’s just an amazing thing that it’s been the backbone of the country. So even if you choose not to live that traditional life, you have to understand that this has been a profound strength and bulwark to the entire civilization, to the entire culture in which we live. But we live in a culture where people don’t – they don’t necessarily know that that’s true, because they haven’t seen clarity of what does a world without it look like.
CARSON: Well, you don’t have to be very observant to notice that we’re moving in the wrong direction. Virtually all the polling indicates that the majority, the vast majority of Americans believe that to be the case.
Thomas Valentine is a researcher for APIA and a junior at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.