A variation of this “accomplice to murder” charge (and one that is becoming more common by the day) is that any opposition to homosexual practice or any suggestion that marriage means the union of a man and a woman will result in gay teen suicides. Gay activist Mitchell Gold made this explicit claim while on my radio show in January, making clear that voting for the marriage amendment in North Carolina on May 8th would send a discouraging message to these gay kids, leading some to commit suicide.
Gold said: “For a 14-year-old kid trying to understand their sexuality, to have an amendment in the public discourse in this big public discussion to have people saying gays are sinners and an abomination, that they are not entitled, that it’s not God’s plan to have it this way. . . . This is why kids jump off bridges. This is why kids hang themselves.” (Actually, the bill simply states, “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.”)
How should we respond to these charges? First, we should point out that gay kids do not simply kill themselves because they are told that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. In the vast majority of cases, gay teens kill themselves (like other teens do) because of deeper emotional and psychological problems, so we must do whatever we can to help them deal with the deeper issues in their lives. Without a doubt, each of these deaths is a terrible tragedy, but these kids must not be used as pawns to advance a social agenda, nor they should be told that their suicides are somehow expected or unavoidable.
Second, we should ask gay activists if anti-obesity campaigns are causing obese kids to commit suicide. If so, wouldn’t this make Michelle Obama complicit in the suicides of kids who were bullied because of their obesity? (In no way do I minimize the horrific tragedy of a teen suicide, whatever its cause. I simply want to expose the folly of the “accomplice to murder/suicide” accusation.)
Third, since evangelical Christians like Cameron and I are being criticized for our faith-based convictions, we need to stand up even more strongly for what we believe, proclaiming without shame that we have a message that saves people from suicide, depression, hopelessness, substance abuse, and a host of other things. (That message is called “the gospel,” which means “good news.”)
Let the gay voices of intolerance make the ludicrous claims that we are accomplices to murder and suicide. The truth is that we are ambassadors of life.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.