One of the oddities of human nature is how two people can see the same thing, but not see the same thing. They are looking at the same thing, but they react to it very differently. For instance:
My friend Alan Jacobs, a traditional sort of Anglican Christian, wrote this the day after the Obergefell ruling:
Perhaps I am soft on sin, or otherwise deficient in serious Christian formation — actually, it’s certain that I am — but in any case I could not help being moved by many of the scenes yesterday of gay people getting married, even right here in Texas. I hope that many American gays and lesbians choose marriage over promiscuity, and I hope those who marry stay married, and flourish.I know what he’s saying. I felt that too.
So, I think part of the reason I got a lump in my throat on Friday as I was scrolling through news feeds and seeing gay friends’ pictures pop up on Facebook and Twitter is because I know that for so many of these people, the alternative to their current jubilation has been a gulf of loneliness and marginalization.
When some of us traditionalist Christians were moved by the pictures we saw of gay couples, or moved by the real-life visits with our gay friends, the day of the SCOTUS ruling, I think this is part of what we were feeling. We were wanting our friends not to be lonely and alienated from love, and we were wanting them to keep hoping and searching for Love Himself.
His post includes the above picture, to illustrate his point. But in a very real sense, he and I aren't seeing the same picture.
I see a man around 70-years-old, in a business suit, exiting the courthouse, clutching red roses and a civil marriage certificate, followed by his elderly homosexual partner.
The man appears to have an expression of emotional fulfillment. And you know what?–that's pathetic!
He is moved, but I am not. No lump in the throat for me. Why?
Yes, it means a lot to him. And that's the problem. It means too much to him.
This is not about getting married. Even before the SCOTUS ruling, it was legal for homosexuals to marry. Civil marriage was already legal in some states. And there are liberal denominations which already marry them.
No. This is about social acceptance. This is about their desperate need to have the approval of total strangers. Have the approval of the church. Have the approval of faceless government bureaucrats.
Well, that's so immature. Why would you want the approval of total strangers? Why is that important to you?
Normal, emotionally well-adjusted adults don't need the approval of strangers. There's a small circle of people whose opinion they care about. Family and close friends. And in a professional setting, the respect of their peers and colleagues.
But for homosexuals, they can't be happy unless everyone affirms them. Unless everyone validates their lifestyle.
That's emotionally stunted. That's a textbook case of arrested development.
It's like a kindergartner who wants the teacher to give him a pat on the head–only in this case it's a 70-year-old queen. To be psychologically adult is, among other things, to outgrow the need for anonymous, ubiquitous approval. You care about the opinion of people who care about you.
The very fact that so many homosexuals have a childish emotional need for universal affirmation reflects something deeply deficient in their social formation.