"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," said Juliet in Shakespeare's famous work, Romeo and Juliet. The playwright makes the point that just changing the name of something doesn't change what it actually is.
It is true that communication is very important to all of us. Yet our language evolves and words or terms change in meaning from generation to generation, which can be confusing.
There was a time not too long ago when to be "cool" referred to the temperature, but today it means to be popular or the "in thing" to do. To be "square" once meant to be in line with the standard, but today it can mean someone who is dull and boring, someone who is not "with it" concerning the current fashions, styles or trends. In ages past, to "be stoned" meant to be executed by the throwing of rocks. Today, to be "stoned" is to be under the influence of an intoxicating drug.
There was a time when to be "gay" was to be happy and carefree. Today, that adjective has been repurposed through slang usage to mean someone, male or female, who is homosexual. The old usage is seldom used now because of the prevalence of the new use of the word. Pity, it was so useful before.
Remember when "marriage" or "matrimony" conveyed the obvious intent and meaning of the lifelong union of a man and woman. There was no possible way of misunderstanding this – until now. Several states in the USA have passed legislation recognizing the relationship between two men or two women as a "marriage" or in some cases a "civil union" with all the rights, privileges and obligations that are conveyed to a married couple. This has been done in spite of raging controversy and stiff opposition wherever it has been brought up.
The "gay rights" controversy has inspired movements to amend the Constitution of the United States and various states to define marriage. Funny, some things seem so obvious, until special interest groups come along and use the political process and the courts to gain their way, even though the majority of citizens are against it.
In these cases, even a rudimentary understanding of the human body and gender reveals that the parts don't fit in these same-sex relationships. Say what you will, even nature, so-called, shows this to be a perversion of the intended use of sexuality. It's not normal and it's not healthy – witness HIV and AIDS, which first spread widely in the homosexual community, and has spread far beyond into the general population in many countries, especially Africa. This frightful, debilitating disease is ravaging many parts of the world.
But, many of the advocates of this way of life are aggressively pressing forward with an agenda of forcing acceptance by the government on national, state and local levels. They strive to equate homosexuality with civil rights.
Students of the Bible, though saddened, are not surprised by these developments. You see, it was predicted centuries ago by the Apostle Paul, who, under inspiration of God, wrote many books of the New Testament. In Romans, the first chapter, Paul referred to those who reject God, and stated,
"Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality …" (Romans 1:24-29).
As Shakespeare, the consummate wordsmith, said centuries ago, changing the name of something does not change what it really is and certainly it does not make it right. God speed the day when these conditions can be changed and all mankind will understand the purpose of life and the way that leads to happiness and to eternal life.
You can get a glimpse of that future time by reading our inspiring, free booklet, The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like?