Christian Defense (Not Defensive Christians)

In addressing the “pillars” of the argument in favor of same-sex marriage, I have discussed the contention that homosexuality is a genetically determined condition that is fixed and permanent.

However, before making the leap to societal recognition of a “right” to homosexual acts and institutions that support them, gay activists must somehow confront the reality that their goals are extremely offensive to most people of faith.

The Law of Moses condemned in strongest terms a man lying with a man as with a woman, and all religions that honor Moses as a prophet–Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Mormonism–have held homosexual acts to be sinful. Traditional Christian groups up to the present day, notably the Catholic Church and Evangelical Protestantism, have retained these core moral beliefs, which are rooted in the nature of man and woman and God’s plan for marriage.

Clearly, then, traditional Christianity stands squarely in the way of the gay rights movement and specifically of the push for same-sex marriage. Gay activists tend to take two contradictory approaches to this problem, depending on their own set of religious beliefs of lack thereof.

On the one hand, there are gay activists who make no bones about rejecting Jesus Christ. They have conducted a major campaign to link religious disapproval of homosexual behavior with violence against persons with same-sex attractions, equating it to racism and racial violence. Every chance they get they use inflammatory words such as discrimination, intolerance, bigotry, hate, and homophobia in referring to those who believe, on religious grounds, that homosexual acts are contrary to God’s law. Their implication is clear: Such religious zealots are the cause of anti-gay violence.

Of course, the fact is that those who commit acts of violence against persons with same-sex attractions are virtually never churchgoers. Christianity strongly condemns violence against persons with same-sex attractions.  In fact persons who engage in homosexual behavior are more likely to suffer violence from gay and lesbians than from others (a 1998 American Bar Association Journal article estimates the prevalence of domestic violence among homosexual couples themselves to be 25 to 33%).

In addition, “organized religion” is frequently presented as the oppressive majority, while the homosexual community casts itself in the role of oppressed minority, thus equating the “gay rights” movement to the civil rights movement or other more respectable and compelling causes. For a very recent example of this “victimhood” approach, see this article on the homosexual community’s attendance at an annual memorial service for Holocaust victims.

Other gay activists with some religious or even Christian sensibilities take another tack. They take the position that the Bible and enlightened Christian morality really doesn’t condemn homosexual activity on the part of homosexuals engaged in faithful, committed relationships. The biblical arguments they use are obviously flawed, but they are enough to appeal to more liberal church bodies who want to justify the behavior, a la Bishop Gene Robinson of the American Episcopal Church.

And even among churches and denominations that have held the line on the official teaching, we have seen the inroads of gay activists and dissenting theologians sowing seeds of doubt and confusion. One frequently hears, for example, that contrary to Church teaching (cf. Catechism, no. 2357), the sin of Sodom was not homosexual activity but inhospitality.

The following is from my July 5, 2007 post “Straight Talk.” It’s reprinted here as an illustration of what the Bible really does teach about homosexuality. Listen to these words of St. Paul:

“Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

First, note that there are actually two words in the Greek that are combined to form the word “homosexuals” in the above translation: malakoi (literally, “effeminate males who play the sexual role of females”) and arsenokoitai (literally, “males who take other males to bed”). Despite persistent attempts to relativize or explain away this passage, what St. Paul is saying here is beyond reasonable dispute, and it’s entirely consistent with other biblical passages on the subject and two millennia of Christian teaching.

Second, St. Paul is writing here to baptized Christians, some of whom used to engage in one or more of these serious sins. Even though they have now been washed, they are still prone to commit these sins and, if they want to inherit the kingdom, they must not return to such sinful ways.

So, those who engage in homosexual acts are expected to walk away from that lifestyle, and in fact people even in St. Paul’s time were apparently able to do it, with God’s grace. Surely it can be a long, difficult road that can at times involve relapse, but contrary to the modern line that some people are born that way and unable to restrain themselves, it is indeed possible and necessary to decisively turn away from such a lifestyle.

Finally, there are many sins listed in this passage. While we might not experience predominant same-sex attractions ourselves, we are inclined to a host of other sins, and for ourselves eliminating those sinful areas of our lives has to be the first priority.

Still, there is good reason to single out homosexuality for special mention. While many forms of immoral conduct are rampant today, they are nonetheless considered wrong and utterly to be avoided. We don’t celebrate “drunk driving month.” We’re not required to give our employees sensitivity training so that they can be more understanding of the internal conflicts of adulterers. When we condemn corporate crime we’re not called “greedophobes.” We don’t congratulate sneak thieves who “come out of the closet.”

When it comes to homosexuality, though, we are getting bullied and tricked into moving from decriminalization to societal recognition and institutional legitimacy. Conversely, however, committed Christians hold the key–not only when it comes to playing defense against social engineering, but even more when it comes to leading others to the fullness of life in Christ.

8 responses

  1. I am not certain if this is directly related to your series – which I am enjoying very much – but it seems difficult on the face of it (at first) to understand how a small (but growing) subset of the population that is >2% of the population enjoys such high visibility in the media, pop culture, and politics.

    I contend that persons engaged in homogenital sexual behaviors represent the penultimate in pansexualist consumerism, and that they are really standing on the shoulders of the “heterosexual sexual revolutionaries”…

    When a militantly same-sex attracted co-worker told another of my co-workers who works out, tans, uses a lot of “product” and dresses sharply “You are looking mighty gay” the heterosexual took it as high praise! It meant, after all, that he was very Queer-Eye chic & sexy – the implication was also that the sky could be the limit when it came to him “landing chics” because a highly developped sense of style and vanity and being well primped is a key to success in the world of conquest.

    Honestly, one really compelling factor for wide and popular support of this minority party that is seldome ever considered or addressed is “heterosexuals” who are committed to “sex as recreationg and entertainment” devoid of meaning or correlation to marriage or procreation… Well when it comes to offering a compelling reason why this sexual expression is wrong, they are largely without a leg to stand on. In the post-”Deep Throat” era, hetero-swingers can’t really argue that the nature of the homo-genital sex acts are bothersome to them – many would willingly engage in roughly the same if given the go ahead to explore anal and oral sex options with a female recreational partner.

    This may be a correlation worth exploring – namely the “Gay as icon of consumerism and non-genitive non marital sex”

  2. That’s an excellent point. While the gay activists have their own separate agenda, they are also part of an even larger movement, what we might call the “Sexual Left.” This movement draws upon historical figures like Margaret Sanger (Planned Parenthood) and Alfred Kinsey, and pushes a libertine agenda diametrically opposed to that of traditional Judeo-Christian sexual morality. Unfortunately, as I intimated in my earlier post on the “Barack-ing” point, in my opinion this movement has become largely identical to the Democrats’ domestic policy, despite their protests of religiosity.

    Also, even 1-2 percent of the population, when we’re talking hundreds of millions, is a substantial number. But that should encourage the tens of millions of Catholics in this country to make their voices heard in the public square, especially on issues such as pornography and homosexuality.

  3. On all points I am agreed with you in your response.

    You also caused me to recall my experience with three different men involved in Planned Parenthood in some capacity. Every one of the three was militantly homosexual. Why they should be so well concerned with a matter that will never pertain to their situation is true and telling food for thought.

  4. “Also, even 1-2 percent of the population, when we’re talking hundreds of millions, is a substantial number.”

    By way of a minor point I had almost forgotten to mention… As unhip and “outdated” as the charge of “recruitment” is (and to be certain, I don’t think gay orgs set up booths at career day) it is worth considering that in an increasingly pansexualist culture, the inhibitions that were far more universal once are breaking down.

    By way of example, one co-worker I had volunteered that he was a manly man of a man – “scoring chics” with no small amount of success he was of a heterosexual vibe in general, quick to note “all my porn is lesbian or straight” (Thanks, I didn’t ask!)

    Also quick to inform incoming gay coworkers that he was none too particular about who serviced him orally – to the glee of many it was good to know they had some opportunity there. In that scenario I guess everybody wins – like a true capitalist and democrat, he gave everybody a shot, and usually got what he wanted.

    So when it comes to the nature of recruitment I don’t think it can be dismissed in a certain respect: if sex is just “whatever is clever” and homogenital expression “meets a need” and “serves an end”.

    This is no small matter given the number of youth who are highly sexualized and starting young. With sex addictions appearing by the late teens among a demographic whose first exposure to porn is an average 11 years old (see the Flynn letter on Pornography) I believe the lack of inhibition and positive social re-enforcement of homogenital expression as another valid alternative is going to an increasingly large population of those caught up in the fray of the left’s sexual revolution in that particular camp.

  5. http://orientem.blogspot.com/2008/03/contra-contraception.html

    This is the link where I found the following quote which seemed so appropriate for this series:

    An instance of the sheep having to lead their shepherds — Canadian Catholics Ask Bishops to Retract Winnipeg Statement – Recomit to Humanae Vitae. From the letter:

    Once contraceptive sex was accepted in principle, it led the way to all of the other sexual abominations our country is currently experiencing, not the least of which is same-sex ‘marriage’ – which, at its core, is merely contraception in its final form. Contraception blurred the distinction between men and women by robbing women of their femininity and subverting their fertility. The psychological effects of this over 40 years came to fruition with the normalization of same-sex unions. A sterilized woman is, in one fundamental respect, another man.

  6. Sorry to interrupt the simplesinner/Leon love-in with some actual truth, but …

    “their goals are extremely offensive to most people of faith”

    Well, since our “goal” is equality before the law, I’d have to say something like, um, “Liar, liar, pants on fire”, etc. The largest Protestant denomination in Canada disagrees with you. As do the Quakers (!!!), the Unitarians, both the Reformed AND the Conservative branches of Judaism, and not a few Anglican dioceses, Methodists, Muslims, Hindhus, Buddhists, Jains, and – heck, I’ve even found Pentecostal congregations that are fine with God’s creation. And I haven’t mentioned the Metropolitan Community Churches. I’ve read that 85% (again, !!!) of Catholics disagree with their Church’s teachings on the subject.

    No wonder you are no longer believed.

  7. “The largest Protestant denomination in Canada disagrees with you.”

    I am not the least bit surprised – they have embraced sterility and been dying for years. I don’t forsee the existence of several denominations that Canada has now in the course of the next three decades. Visit an Anglican Church of Canada while you still can!

    But if we were not being selective in playing the numbers game, the largest church in the world disagrees with you – and you can throw in a good chunk of the non-Christian faithful. (Although I would like you to cite your source for your odd “85%” statistic!)

    If it is any consolation George, you can know and be sure that “your side” is winning and within the course of the next 15-30 years (if not sooner) the US will likely have it in some form or another… So don’t get too bent out of shape in Canada – you and yours are winning down here – the race just takes longer, but soon enough everyone will be married to everyone else.

  8. Hi George,

    I did limit my comment to religions that accept Moses as a prophet, which interestingly tends to be the major monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam).

    The “official” voice or teaching organ of the religions I cited consider homosexual activity immoral. For Christianity I am referring not only to the Pope and traditional Catholic teaching, but also the unequivocal teaching of the Bible for those who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church.

    I also noted that within the various religions there are those who are advocating change. From a purely theological perspective, they are on very shaky ground, and it’s clear what’s going on is an accommodation at the expense of doctrinal consistency.

    On the other hand, there are secularists who, despite the absence of any religious belief, oppose the so-called gay agenda.

    All that aside, the point I was making here is one that gay activists readily accept–that their primary opposition comes from those with strong religious sensibilities. In places where religious faith is lukewarm or non-existent, the gay agenda has an easier time. That’s undeniably true, but at the same time it’s a general, demographic statement fraught with exceptions.

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