The book that made C S Lewis a household name in England wasn’t the Chronicles of Narnia, it was a small book called The Screwtape Letters in which a senior tempter, Screwtape gave advice to his nephew, Wormwood to help damn the soul of an unnamed Englishman during the second World War. After numerous calls to resurrect Screwtape, Lewis eventually wrote a piece entitled Screwtape Offers A Toast; Lewis’ Diabolic alter-ego advises young devils, newly graduated and preparing (with proper trepidation) to “bring food or be food,” and explains why Hell is winning so many souls, and one of the reasons why is the phrase all American’s love: “I’m just as good as you are.”
Now don’t get Lewis, wrong, he is not arguing against democracy; through his discussion one can easily see that Lewis supports the early growth of the middleclass as a very good thing. Instead, Lewis is rather arguing that this phrase creates a false equality that operates not by building up the lower and middle classes, but rather by tearing down the accomplishments, education and training of others. “I’m just as good as you are” essentially states not that we have political equality at the ballot box, in our rights as citizens, or in our nature as humans, but rather that this is a statement about the choices we make. In short, “I’m just as good as you are” is to move away from any belief that one set of choices or lifestyles is better or worse than another.
Picture for a second two brothers; they both grew up in poor family with an alcoholic mother and an absent father. One becomes a Christian, and it deeply affects his life. He marries and stays married, works productively, has two children with her, and remains involved in their lives. The other brother goes a different route, he doesn’t always manage to stay employed, begins drinking and taking drugs, has several children out of wedlock to whom he is devoted when speaking with his parole officer, but otherwise knows very little about them. If we take this wrong spirited, “I’m just as good as you are,” we essentially diminish the admirable choices of the first brother to comfort the second—failing to realize in doing so that the second brother is no better off; he is still addicted, broke and spiritually destitute. If that second brother would sit and examine himself then there might be hope, but first he must realize his failure. The most important thing to understand about the gospel is that God delights in rehumanizing us from the dehumanization of our sinful nature.
This tells us a lot about Kim Davis, and same sex marriage. The goal of the Supreme Court in legalizing same-sex marriage is to say the homosexual married couple is just as good as the heterosexual couple. Let us leave off questions of taxation for a moment, the question of Social Security benefits, and the legitimate interests of government; let us not ask the jurisdictional question at the heart of my last column (on what grounds does the Supreme Court have the authority to make this decision). This is a religious judgment the court has made (otherwise they would have referred to this as a Civil Union to avoid the religious connotations of the word “Marriage”) declaring all types of unions as being equal. And this is why Kim Davis is being compared to Warren Wallace and other racists.
What Davis has apparently requested is that her name be taken off all licenses, something the judge has the authority to do, but has refused. Her name being placed on the license, she believes means she is consenting to the gay agenda’s statement “we’re just as good as you are, our lifestyle just as moral as yours;” and Davis has effectively replied, “no your choices are wrong, and your lifestyle is sinful.” In this, she is not measuring them according to her own measuring stick, she is simply repeating what our Creator has said. And she speaks this respectfully as someone who herself has found the mercy of God in recent years.
I believe this is why they will seek to destroy her. I believe this is why she was thrown in jail for contempt of court; in other jurisdictions, activist clerks and mayors illegally began providing marriage licenses to homosexual couples while it was clearly against the law, but there were no consequences for their violation of the rule of law. After all, both she and the former mayor of San Francisco were operating on the strength of their convictions but his breaking of the law was somehow meritorious.
The moment we say all lifestyles are the same, we effectively say, “there is no such thing as ethics.” When we say all lifestyles are the same, we say there is no need of a Savior; when we say all lifestyles are the same we remove the spurs that God would use us to bring us to Himself. At its heart, this is a Spiritual conflict and we should therefore remember that this is not ultimately a question of government, civil liberty or even “freedom of religion.” This is about spiritual warfare, and the fate of souls.
Screwtape would be proud.