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Life Issues

There is no honour or prestige in being labelled as a "conspiracy theorist" - and I suspect that, in the eyes of some who read this article, I will be thus labelled. So be it. However, I need to record a disturbing aspect of the current social debate regarding same-sex marriage.

My concern is best identified by the term,"the thin edge of the wedge". In other words, if same-sex marriage is legislated in our land, might this be the thin edge of the wedge that then makes possible the acceptance of some other relationship or activity that, at this point in time, would not be countenanced by our society?

Before you award me with the 'conspiracy theorist' medal, let me remind you what happened with another social debate that raged (and, for some people, still does) until it became 'legalised'.

I refer to the issue of abortion.

Here is an issue that still stirs the passions of many, many people.  The arguments of the pro-abortionists that received the most publicity included statements like,

"What if the foetus is the result of rape or incest?"

"What if the mother's life is at stake if she goes full term?"

"What if the foetus is badly deformed and will not live beyond birth?"

Even those who were passionate pro-life advocates could not dismiss such questions lightly. In due course the pro-choice party prevailed and abortion became legalised. And the thin edge of the wedge prevailed and abortion became commonplace.

Some time back I was distressed to read that of the many thousands of abortions performed in our country each year, only  7% fitted into the category of rape, incest, the mother's well-being or deformity. 93% were performed for reasons of economics or convenience. Despite the many assurances given by politicians that safeguards would be put in place, the wholesale abuse of this legislation continues to this very day.

I have the same misgivings about euthanasia - abortion at the other end of life. Like you, I know of cases where the kind of suffering being experienced by the dying person tugs at our hearts as we long for them to be released from their diseased-ridden body which has become like a hell-hole of a prison. Faced with such suffering a position that opposes euthanasia seems indefensible.

There will always be those exceptional situations that will be presented as arguments in favour of terminating the life of the sufferer. My concern has to do with the exceptional cases being made the basis for the general principles. Which brings me back to my "thin edge of the wedge" concern when it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage.

What if the legalisation of such a relationship then opens a door to something else?

Recently one of the leading Churchmen in our community publicly stated that he saw the possibility of polygamy emerging on the social agenda if same-sex marriage became legalised. (He obviously believes in the thin edge of the wedge principle).

Why not? If two same-gender people could marry on the basis that they love each other and have their relationship recognised as a marriage, why shouldn't a man (or woman) who loved two or three or more women (or men) be permitted to marry them. Their argument is no less persuasive than that for same-sex marriage.

So when and where do we draw the line so far as community standards are concerned and say, "That's it! No further!"And who will draw that line? The number of abortions in our land surprise all of us (and stun many of us). Euthanasia is gaining traction.

I fear there are a few surprises awaiting us not too far down the track. Maybe same-sex marriage will also produce some surprises that we didn't anticipate when an unsuspecting society persuaded their political leaders (followers?) to vote in favour of this, yet another "thin edge of the wedge".

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