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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Anti-Gay

We all know the term. "Anti-gay" refers to, obviously, being opposed to "gay". But the term is used all over the place and I'm not entirely sure that they mean it as simply that. For instance, it is a known fact that those who are opposed to redefining marriage from "the union of a man and a woman" to "some other unclear union" are "anti-gay". No other possibility. Except it is also true that there are those in the gay community opposed to just that. So they are "anti-gay"? Everyone knows that the belief that homosexual behavior is sin constitutes "anti-gay" and, oh, don't forget, homophobic (another odd and ill-defined term). On both of these I would beg to differ.

It is clear that there are those who are anti-gay. The guy that shot up the nightclub in Orlando qualified. People who commit hate crimes against people on the basis that they believe them to be gay qualify. The Westboro Baptist folk qualify. I'm just not sure that wishing to defend traditional marriage or believing that a particular behavior violates God's commands constitutes an opposition to those folk who find themselves sexually attracted to the same sex.

The dictionary definition of "anti-gay" is basically to be opposed to gays or gay rights. That's problematic on its own, given our loose definition of terms these days. You see, the concept of "gay rights" has expanded way beyond normal "rights". It has overrun the First Amendment protections of religious freedom and free speech. It has trampled the definition of marriage held by mankind since the beginning of time. It has even moved into the Orwellian world of thought police who will hunt you down and eliminate you -- if not actually, at least from public appearance -- for thinking anything remotely "negative" about anything remotely connected to "gay". Indeed, "gay" no longer is just those who have a same-sex attraction. It includes both genders (male homosexuals and female homosexuals), those who are attracted to both genders (bisexuals), and even the completely confused transgender who isn't clear on what gender they are so can't be sure if they're attracted to the same one or the opposite one. That is, if you oppose letting the guy who claims to feel like a girl into your daughter's locker room, you are "opposed to gay rights" and, by definition, "anti-gay".

I personally don't understand any of this. Let's say that Bill defined himself as "gay". Let's further say that Bill was also a serial killer. He believed it was his right to kill people. If you, under today's current perspective, were to say, "No, Bill, you don't have the right to kill people", would you rightly be classified as "anti-gay"? The obvious answer would be "No." Why? Because Bill does not have that right, and because opposing Bill's killing tendencies is not the same thing as hating people who have same-sex attraction. Most people can see this. So why is it that they can't see it in the other questions? We understand that 1) claiming to be "gay" does not constitute permission to do whatever you wish to do and 2) what we are permitted to do is the question we need to answer. So why is it that a person who says "God's Word calls this particular behavior sin" must necessarily be classified as "anti-gay", but a person who says, "God's Word says that killing another person is sin, so Bill would be committing sin if he did it" does not?

There is, of course, the whole problem of calling sin sin. Somewhere along the way it became hateful to point to some behavior and say, "Sin!" Oh, sure, that's not a product of our time. That was long ago. Maybe always has been. But if I point at a rattlesnake on which you're about to step and say, "Snake!", you're not going to complain that I'm evil, mean, or judgmental. If I post a sign -- "Bridge out" -- in front of a bridge that has collapsed, you won't complain that I'm cruel and hateful. But when someone warns that a particular behavior is opposed to God's commands and offers, "You need Jesus", now that is intolerant, judgmental, bigoted, and hateful. Why?

Rev. David Gushee is the Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University. He has written an article warning that "middle ground is disappearing" on whether or not you are for "LGBT equality". He tells us that everywhere in American life "discrimination against LGBT people" has been outlawed and abandoned with the sole exception of conservative religious communities. Gushee (as a Professor of Christian Ethics, no less) has worked hard to get those conservatives to drop their principles. But, he tells us, it won't be voluntary for much longer. He says, "If Hillary Clinton is elected president, making for 12 to 16 straight years of Democratic control of the White House, it is quite possible that by Supreme Court ruling and federal regulation any kind of discrimination against gay people will have the same legal rights and social acceptance as any kind of racial discrimination. Which is, none." Clearly "Reverend" Gushee thinks this is a good thing. Religious schools will lose accreditation and government dollars. Some will be required to change or close. Eventually no corner of American life will be free to think of homosexual behavior as sin. Expect fines and jail time for failure to comply. Loving the homosexual enough to warn him or her that they need Jesus will no longer be tolerated. Nor will adherence to biblical principles if they transgress certain societally sacrosanct values, like the right to choose whatever sexual behavior you wish without having anyone think badly of you. You will no longer be allowed to say, "I have nothing but love for all people including those who have same-sex attraction, but I believe that acting on that attraction is sin and hope that all sinners will come to Christ." If they can stop you from thinking it, they will.

There was a time when a segment of Christianity was "postmillenial" in their eschatology. They held that the kingdom of God was going to occur here on earth and they worked to bring it about. With enough prayer and obedience and civil involvement, they could bring back a theocracy. Through the 19th century they thrived, seeing in America the proof of the concept. World War I put a real clamp on their progress and World War II nearly killed it. Today "postmillenials" are rare. There was a time when American Christians believed in democracy. That is, they believed that if you were biblical and vocal enough, you could make the world a better place. Think of Falwell's "Moral Majority". If you just got the conservatives to vote, you could make secular America a moral America. I think (at least I hope) that the Supreme Court ruling that slashed "marriage" from its moorings and replaced it with "gay mirage" as the law of the land may have driven a stake into the heart of that false hope that democracy and government can be used to produce a moral society. Instead, we're finding that, instead of advancing biblical morality, conservative Christians -- those who believe God's Word -- themselves are vanishing. The so-called "rights" of the so-called "LGBT" bolstered by the so-called "anti-gay" epithet are wearing away at anything called "biblical Christianity". It is not an improvement, but it may wake up the few that remain to the realization that 1) there is a god of this world and 2) our hope is not in him or his followers. We have been warned.

6 comments:

Eternity Matters said...

Gushee is pretty creepy with his over-the-top reasoning to be just like the world. His "conversion" on the issue was as politically expedient as that of Obama, Jim Wallis, Campolo's and so many others. They just "happened" to switch sides when it profited them most. Convenient, that.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Gushee is another false believer seeking to drag more non-discerning people into his pit.

Stan said...

The word I hear is "By their fruits you will know them."

Marshall Art said...

It's not that democracy and government have failed to spread morality. It's that democracy and good government have been ignored and rejected. The downside to that is a likely uprising of those who no longer wish to have their ability to affect good gov't ignored. There's only so much that people will take, and regardless of Who is in charge, people will have a hard time allowing their children and grandchildren to be victimized by the bad choices of today. What else is likely when so many are willing to allow the worst because the lesser of two evils is also unacceptable?

Stan said...

You are saying, then, that democracy and government DOES have the ability to make a moral country, a country where people take care of each other and don't do evil? I prefer to not put my trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. (I, of course, didn't make that up -- Psa 146:3.)

David said...

Marshall, winning the moral political races isn't going to make a moral nation,a moral nation will make moral politicians. As a democracy, our leadership is a reflection of the majority, and the majority is immoral. Only by changing the people can we change the government. Voting for the lesser of two evils isn't going to change the direction of going toward evil, and in this case it's not even likely to slow it down.