Moral Freedom

The following is a response to: The Real Issue (that no one wants to talk about)

To argue that the real issue for homosexual detractors is personal revulsion is an important concern, but it is not the real issue for Christian opposition to homosexuality. Personal revulsion may be related to the health risks involved with oral and anal sex. But let’s not go there. Christians ought to be opposed because God is opposed, at least that is the traditional view.

It is also true that Christians have been way too unChristian in their attitudes and responses, but that’s a matter of not being faithful to Scripture, not a matter of the interpretation of Scripture. The heart of the issue is that homosexuality is not a human norm, and it cannot be because human population would suffer. Human beings are hardwired to imitate norms, and to ostracize what is not normal. Such practice provides cultural stability and longevity, right or wrong. Norms are very important. And homosexuality is fundamentally opposed to norms .

From Wikipedia we read, “Queer is by definition whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant. There is nothing in particular to which it necessarily refers. It is an identity without an essence. ‘Queer’ then, demarcates not a positivity but a positionality vis-à-vis the normative.”

Yet, outrage ought not to be the Christian response, except in the case of sexual abuse. And too often such abuse is at the root of homosexual behavior. Regardless, outrage in inappropriate. People are not so outraged with alcoholics or other substance abusers. Nor should we be in the case of homosexuality.

The practice of homosexuality ought not to be illegal because it is a moral issue, not a legal issue. And we get into trouble when we try to make all immorality illegal. Such an effort ends in totalitarianism.

Unfortunately, for the past hundred or so years there has been an effort to do just this, and its origin is in the Evangelical churches. It began with the temperance movement following the Second Great Awakening, as renewed Christians began applying their new-found Evangelical morality to society. We still see much evidence that this movement is alive and well today in the effort to ban smoking, consuming too much soda pop and other foods, etc. There is much moral confusion today, and it often manifests as Phariseeism–the effort to codify morality into law. Christians ought to know better!

However, that said, it does not mean that we must simply abandon all morality in order to defeat the spirit of Phariseeism. Heaven forbid! Rather, because homosexuality is a moral issue, its practice must not be illegal. It’s a matter of freedom! But at the same time, it should not be illegal to identify homosexuality as immoral because it criminalizes the discussion of morality in society. The vast majority of humanity over the vast majority of history have believed homosexuality to be immoral. And even if this position is ultimately wrong, it must not be illegal to believe it, and to say so publicly. It’s a matter of freedom!

Just as the early Christians who came to America to practice religious freedom ended up in a very short time being the very people who forbade religious freedom in the early colonies, so the newly found homosexual movement has moved to reduce the freedom of dissenters to their movement from public discussion of their views. The effort to codify homosexuality into law is of the very same spirit of Phariseeism that continually haunts humanity.

It haunted the early church, it haunted the early American colonies, and it still haunts us today in many forms. And it is deadly because it shuts down moral discussion, which is the engine of human maturity. Public discussion of morality is a matter of freedom! It ought not to be illegal to practice homosexuality, nor should it be illegal to identify it as sinful.

Lots and lots of things that people love are sinful. The Bible testifies to the fact that people love sin. We shouldn’t be surprised, unless we are unfamiliar with the Bible.

Leave a Reply