Designed to be Married

May 26, 2012

In a recent article on CNN Albert Mohler responds to complaints that conservative Christians have an unwarranted focus on homosexuality. He aptly parses the difference between the laws that governed ancient Israelite society and the principles that govern the lives of Christians, and provides a solid basis for Christians to maintain strong opposition to normalizing homosexual behavior.

What I find lacking in Mohler’s argument as well as most Christian’s discussion of homosexuality is the fact that human sexuality is firmly rooted in our design. In Scripture our sexuality doesn’t emanate from Old Testament law or even the teachings of Jesus, but in our very natures. Christians find this in Genesis 1 commanding the first humans to “be fruitful and multiply” and also in the description of a monogamous life-long marriage in Genesis 2 that pronounces that a man “be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” This is the understanding of marriage that was later reiterated by Jesus.

As it turns out the Christian argument for the preeminence of heterosexual relationships transects the secular one. There is no doubt about the importance of the reproductive aspect of heterosexual relationship, from the aspect of maintaining the human species. Marriage however is equally important in this respect. As I have noted elsewhere the long term relationship between men and women who parent children together has physiological impacts on adults and children which facilitate the investment necessary to raise a child.

And on a societal level a healthy nuclear family is perhaps the greatest indicator of success in one’s life in terms of education, employment and later relationships. The income and education gaps in our society often fall along the lines of marriage success.

And the failure of the traditional family has notably pernicious effects. As Steven Pinker details in his recent book on the history of violence The Better Angels of Our Nature, the Free Love and anti-authority 60’s had a dramatic impact on the American family, and a corresponding dramatic increase in violence in the following decades. A diminished commitment to the marriages and families had a decivilizing impact. In many ways this explains why older adults oppose gay marriage in higher numbers than younger do. These people were the free-loving hippies of yesteryear – and they remember the damage such social experimentation did to our society.

In his letter to the Romans Paul employed the argument from design when he described what happens when we move away from the purposes of marriage for which we are created:

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Romans 1:26-27

In this sense law and morality are merely descriptions of our ‘natural functions’. The laws in Scripture governing sexuality then aren’t arbitrary at all but flow from understanding the behaviors that allow for human flourishing. Thus we can no more confer marriage on homosexuals than we can confer the ability to breastfeed on men. And attempts to pretend men can breastfeed would be as harmful to child rearing as ignoring the importance of traditional marriage was in the 60s – or today.

So while there is certainly warrant for a Christian to oppose homosexual behaviors and the idea of homosexual marriage from Scripture, we also have an appeal to nature and to the benefits of supporting monogamous, committed heterosexual relationships as a basis for healthy parenting and human flourishing, an idea which is well supported by data and history.


Observations

January 5, 2011

The disingenuousness of the Secular Left is best seen in the fact that they are up in arms about a single homosexual threatened with imprisonment in Africa, but completely indifferent to the deaths of hundreds of Christians in Muslim countries.

That is of course because they aren’t actually concerned with bigotry, but with advancing a political agenda.


Another Attack on Liberty by the Gay Agenda

July 16, 2010

I have chronicled elsewhere how the growth of the gay lobby diminishes the basic liberties of others. Now, in addition to attacks on freedom of speech, religious practice and association, the homosexual agenda is beginning to diminish academic freedoms.

This last week, Kenneth Howell, an adjunct Professor in the religion Dept. at the University of Illinois, was fired from his job. His horrible crime? Teaching the subject of his class. The Illinois News-Gazette gives the details:

Kenneth Howell was told after the spring semester ended that he would no longer be teaching in the UI’s Department of Religion. The decision came after a student complained about a discussion of homosexuality in the class in which Howell taught that the Catholic Church believes homosexual acts are morally wrong.

Howell has been an adjunct lecturer in the department for nine years, during which he taught two courses, Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought. He was also director of the Institute of Catholic Thought, part of St. John’s Catholic Newman Center on campus and the Catholic Diocese of Peoria. Funding for his salary came from the Institute of Catholic Thought.

One of his lectures in the introductory class on Catholicism focuses on the application of natural law theory to a social issue. In early May, Howell wrote a lengthy e-mail to his students, in preparation for an exam, in which he discusses how the theory of utilitarianism and natural law theory would judge the morality of homosexual acts.

The student complaint came in a May 13 e-mail to Robert McKim, head of the religion department. The author of the e-mail said he was writing on behalf of a friend – a student in Howell’s class, who wanted to remain anonymous. The e-mail complained about Howell’s statements about homosexuality, which the student called “hate speech.”

“Teaching a student about the tenets of a religion is one thing,” the student wrote in the e-mail. “Declaring that homosexual acts violate the natural laws of man is another. The courses at this institution should be geared to contribute to the public discourse and promote independent thought; not limit one’s worldview and ostracize people of a certain sexual orientation.”

So a professor in a religion department at a public University teaching about Catholic doctrine teaches about Catholic doctrine, and loses his job. And all it took for him to be fired was for a gay student to be upset about him teaching the subject of the class.

This is yet another example of how in the name of ‘independent thought’ and the encouragement of ‘public discourse’, the gay agenda represses both. They have in the most Orwellian fashion undermined the basic beliefs and freedoms of the university in the name of tolerance.

It continues to become increasingly clear that those who are advancing the power of the homosexual lobby do so to the detriment of others basic freedoms – and no one who is interested in maintaining those freedoms should do anything to help this group become more powerful.



Is the Homosexual Agenda Fascistic?

June 29, 2010

As they pursue their agenda, the homosexual lobby attempts to frame itself as advancing fundamental freedoms. They liken themselves to civil rights advocates that came before – those that pursued greater freedom and fundamental rights for racial minorities and for women. To the degree that they can do this, they find great sympathy amongst the American electorate who are ever interested in advancing such freedoms as indicated by our 200+ year history.

But the question has to be asked, does the homosexual agenda actually advance freedom? Two recent events suggest the opposite.

The first takes place in my home state of Minnesota at the Twin Cities ‘Pride’ festival in Minneapolis’ Loring Park, which is a yearly gay celebration event. For the past ten years, Brian Johnson has passed out Bibles at the event, partly in protest of the event. He was even allowed to have a vendor booth there – until last year. This year he sought to continue to pass out Bibles and literature in the public park during the event – and the event organizers then sought a restraining order to keep him from doing so. A US District Court Judge then ruled in favor of the protestor and he was allowed to express himself at this public venue.

In attempting to restrict the rights of Brian Johnson, the Gay Pride Event organizers were actually being consistent with the effects of laws in place elsewhere that presumably protect homosexual rights, as has been noted before on this blog. Already in certain places in Europe one can be arrested for expressing criticism of the homosexual lifestyle or homosexual behavior. This demonstrates how, unlike other civil rights groups, the homosexual lobby seeks not only to prevent obvious discrimination, but they also want require acceptance of their behaviors, affirmation of their lifestyles, and a state sanction of their point of view. As much as this is true they seek to limit the religious and free expression rights of other. But in a recent Supreme Court decision they go even farther.

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled along these lines in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, a case where a Christian student group was uniquely denied recognition at a University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. They were denied access because they failed to comply with the college’s view of homosexuality by not allowing those who advocated a, “sexually immoral lifestyle” from having membership in the organization. Notice that the criteria made no specific mention of homosexuality or sexual orientation – merely that the choice of advocating certain lifestyles deemed immoral by their Christian faith (which would include adultery and sex outside of marriage) was contrary to the purposes of the organization.

It is notable that certain Christian beliefs would be contrary to the tenets of a gay advocacy group as well, and for such a group to exclude Christians who didn’t agree with the purpose would be exactly the same. Just as avowed Republicans could be excluded from a student Democrat group, or an avowed capitalist from the Young Communist League. Diversity on campus derives not from forcing every group to admit members who oppose the primary purpose of a group, but from allowing all sorts of groups to advocate on behalf of their own beliefs and interests. Forcing a Jewish organization to accept Neo-Nazi’s or a feminist group to be taken over by men is not to enhance ‘diversity’ but to subdue the messages and purposes of those groups. In the same way the policy of Hasting’s Law College abrogates the fundamental rights of CLS to express and advocate on behalf of a particular point of view – which incidentally is exactly the precedent held by previous Supreme Court rulings like Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. Both these decisions affirmed the right to association and its importance in preserving our 1st amendment rights.

In a matter of a few years we have gone from recognizing this freedom to completely rescinding it with CLS v Martinez. The primary reason we have done so is because of the influence of the homosexual lobby and its political agenda, which is consistently antagonistic to the rights of others. In fact, other than Islam, the most repressive force in Western societies is political correctness which is consists in large part of advancing the gay agenda. As Justice Alito brilliantly observes:

I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that today’s decision is a serious setback for freedom of expression in this country. Our First Amendment reflects a “profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, 270 (1964). Even if the United States is the only Nation that shares this commitment to the same extent, I would not change our law to conform to the international norm. I fear that the Court’s decision marks a turn in that direction. Even those who find CLS’s views objectionable should be concerned about the way the group has been treated—by Hastings, the Court of Appeals, and now this Court. I can only hope that this decision will turn out to be an aberration.

This decision will only be an aberration to the degree that the American electorate rejects the homosexual agenda – otherwise we can expect that our rights will continue to be reduced in the name of political correctness.