I’ve been seeing a story floating around recently on Facebook. Apparently, there’s a young girl who reconnected with her mostly absent father. After doing so, they discovered a mutual sexual attraction which they chose to pursue. They will eventually move to a state where incest is legal and marry.
The common reaction to this is that it’s “just gross” or it’s “wrong.” I’m not seeing anyone bold enough to affirm it, even among a crowd who is quick to affirm other kinds of non-traditional sexual relationships. Thus far, any possible approval is only held in timid silence. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve had a number of on-line debates on the issue of homosexuality. Mostly, these amount to unpacking the defenses of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, or just dealing with the ad hominem attacks against us “bigots” who are “obsessed” with this issue. However, I was recently challenged to make my own general argument against homosexuality, which I’d like to do now. I don’t presume that I will change any minds, especially given how personally invested some are in this issue in a way that transcends reason, but I’d at least like to demonstrate the reasonability of believing heterosexuality to be the norm and design for human beings.
The argument is pretty simple and straightforward, and almost so obvious it hardly needs to be spelled out. It’s why society has accepted it these long centuries, children intuitively understand it, and it takes a good dose of liberal reeducation to eclipse it. I believe it to be the foundational point of departure in the justification of homosexuality as a normal, moral, socially acceptable lifestyle.
Jesus is a real authoritative guy. Apparently, even what He didn’t say carries weight and defines the moral standards for some people. In support of homosexuality, I often hear that “Jesus never spoke against homosexuality.” Let’s assume that those who say this are not just trying to stop the conversation and let’s unpack it.
What’s the argument?
My first thought is, “so what?” What’s really the argument here? Whenever people make general claims like this I think it’s helpful to break it down into what’s know as a syllogism. Since the point of those who use this argument is clearly to affirm homosexuality in some way, then I think the syllogism must be something like the following.
- Anything Jesus did not speak against is morally permissible
- Jesus did not speak against homosexuality
- Therefore, homosexuality is morally permissible
Apparently, there’s yet another business in the news that has refused to allow their goods or services to be involved in a same-sex wedding. This time it’s an Indianapolis bakery. In commenting on this story, a Facebook friend of mine, who is a liberal pastor, said the following: “I’ll be sure to tell all my Indiana friends not to patronize these misguided bigots.”
More power to him.
It’s a wonderful society we have that allows us to express our displeasure as consumers and gives us alternate choices. The free market affords us these liberties (imagine if this bakery were a state-sponsored monopoly with “homophobic” operators and the same-sex couple had no more choice about using them than the employees did about providing services). Unfortunately, some wish to support freedom only for those of a like mind.
One of the chief tactics in the advocacy of same-sex marriage legalization is to point out the supposed parallel with interracial marriage bans. I recently had two separate exchanges on the topic and this argument was the centerpiece of the discussion. The argument is basically that discriminating based upon racial preference is really no different than discriminating based upon gender preference, and since we all now agree that interracial marriage is morally acceptable and should be legal, then there is really no moral or legal precedent for denying same-sex marriage.
Perhaps the argument has merit, but it depends upon the premise that race and gender are categorically the same – that two people of the same sex are socially and functionally the same as a man and woman of different races. I’d like to show now that this is a false premise, and that the parallel between race and gender is only superficial and ignores the profound categorical difference between the two.
The late Professor James Rachels was a secular philosopher who dealt with moral issues like animal rights, euthanasia, and Darwinian ethics. I once challenged someone to give me his best arguments in favor of homosexuality and he chose for me a collection of quotes from Rachels. Here are those quotes, along with my replies.
Is homosexuality a threat to society? No. “Apart from the nature of their sexual relationships, there is no difference between homosexuals and heterosexuals in their moral characters or in their contributions to society. The idea that homosexuals are somehow sinister characters proves to be a myth similar to the myth that black people are lazy or that Jews are avaricious.”
In a discussion comparing interracial marriage to same-sex marriage I was challenged with this question:
Please provide a rationale to explain why we should allow bi-racial couples to marry but not same-sex couples.
It is not in the interest of the State to grant privileges, special protections, or legitimacy to same-sex unions any more than for roommates or two sisters living together in retirement. The State only cares about marriage at all because family and reproduction are the foundation upon which the State continues to exist. Heterosexual, bi-racial couples are, by design, intrinsically able to participate in these thing. But same-sex unions are on the periphery of this institution, and cannot even counterfeit it unless they succeed in conscripting the services of the opposite sex (or the product of a heterosexual union). This is not to say that same-sex couples cannot form their own unions apart from the sanctioning of the state, or that they cannot lobby for whatever legal privileges they find attractive.
Read the rest of this entry
Since I seem to be having trouble getting my comments past the moderator, I’ll try posting them here instead.
The following is a reply to this post by Ken Jansen:
“Love the Sinner”…um…Yeah, Don’t Give Me That Crap
I appreciate that this phrase is seen as an annoying cliche (though any suggestion that homosexuality is not to be celebrated turns out to be a source of annoyance), but it actually does express something rational and meaningful to those who use it.
Your illustration of the color red fails to capture something very important to this discussion. Red is not a thing that has properties; red *is* a property. So, if you hate red, then that’s it, there’s nothing else about it to love. A somewhat better analogy would be a red shirt. One might say they love the shirt (its fabric, pattern, quality, etc.) but hate its red color — they like the thing, but dislike something about it.
Read the rest of this entry