Arguing Against Homosexuality Based On Its “Yuck Factor” is Gross

Image- Marta Crowe via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

I love Thabiti Anyabwile. But I think he’s really, really wrong in his article “The Importance of Your Gag Reflex When Discussing Homosexuality and ‘Gay Marriage’.” You should go and read Anyabwile’s arguments, but if you have a bad case of the lazy, I’ll sum it up: his claim is that an effective way to combat the current toleration of homosexual sex is to describe it, and that will work because people naturally think that it’s gross. Anyabwile recalls an incident where gay marriage was discussed, and here’s what he wishes in hindsight he would have said:

I wish I had asked a question. In retrospect, after an appropriate moment to acknowledge the display of brilliance we’d just been treated to, I should have politely raised my hands and asked, “Do you mean to say we should all accept as normal and good one man inserting the part of his body intended to create life into the part of another man’s body meant to excrete waste?” And following the gag reflex, I should have then asked, “And do you mean to suggest that a man inserting his penus (sic) in another man’s anus is as ‘good’ and ‘loving’ as a husband and wife uniting with each other as God and nature designed it?”

There are at least three reasons why I’m glad that Pastor Anyabwile didn’t argue like this then, and why I hope he will not start it now.

First, appealing to the “yuck factor” is a bad way to go because there are thousands and thousands of people who have no “yuck factor” whatsoever when they watch lesbians or when they think about places that excrete waste. This underestimates how many people like to watch all kinds of sex acts, as is testified by the booming online industry for porn of all kinds. Additionally, “yuck” is horribly subjective. I get sick thinking about potatoes au gratin. I hate those things. You simply cannot count on the “yuck factor” to win the argument because some people really, really like what both he and I might think is terribly disgusting.

Second, vivid descriptions of sexual acts, including “hetero-normal” sex acts, are gross. I hope that Pastor Anyabwile never reads A Game of Thrones because heterosexual sex is described in such a way that it nearly completely discourages the practice. Besides, if we tried to get rid of behaviors by describing them, “deep kissing” would be the first thing to go. Our mouths are such nasty places that we have to brush them with minty toothbrushes twice a day and floss after meals. Next time you see a mouth breather you might think, “Someone might want to stick their tongue in that entrance for food. Yuck.”

Third, it’s a rude argument. Homosexuals think their sex is fun and beautiful, I’m sure. They enjoy it. They certainly aren’t going to be deterred by someone describing it in a most derogatory manner. I know it may be hard for Anyabwile to understand, but they really like having gay sex just like straight people like having straight sex. His comments would most likely be offensive, or just laughed off as juvenile.

I agree with Anyabwile that homosexual sex is sin. I also think pre-marital sex and adultery are sin. I even think that lusting after people is sin even if the desire isn’t acted on. But I do not think that making these acts sound “gross” is the way to get people to stop the behavior. (In some cases, such shaming would even be counter-productive to healthy “marriage bed” sex.) Rather, the Gospel of Christ is the first and only answer. The only way a person ever feels “yucky” over sin in the right way — the way that leads to healing and repentance — is when the Holy Spirit regenerates us.

At least in that, I know that Anyabwile and I are in total agreement.

About Brad Williams

Brad is the pastor of a Baptist church in a small town in Alabama. Brad has a lovely wife, two children, two dogs, a cat, a turtle, and five bee hives. Besides the incredible fact that he managed to persuade his wife to marry him, he is proud that he served six years in the Army National Guard, managed to graduate college with an English Lit. degree, graduate seminary, and finish the original Bard's Tale as a youngster by making maps on graph paper.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    I’m closer to agreeing with Thabiti than with you, although I think you do make a couple good points. I agree with you that most places aren’t appropriate for a graphic description of homosexual sex, particularly in the public square. Sex acts in general shouldn’t be discussed publicly. However, I’m not sure it wouldn’t have been appropriate for Thabiti to raise the issue at that particular closed-door meeting. I don’t think it’s irrelevant. It’s just inappropriate in most contexts.

    I understand your point that a gut feeling isn’t necessarily a good basis on which to build a moral argument. But I don’t think Thabiti was arguing that. He’s simply pointing out the role that natural law and the natural light can play in our thinking on these matters. I do think there’s a tendency for some Christians to shrink from speaking against homosexuality even as strongly as the Bible does. We’re worried about quoting a word like “abomination” because it’s going to alienate people. And yet, as Thabiti points out, Christians are already about as alienated from the public square as it’s going to get. People aren’t going to start running back to church just because we softened our language to say that homosexuality isn’t an abomination, just something we personally feel isn’t right. I believe Alan Chambers’ apology video speaks volumes about this. We all saw how far he was bending to try to bridge that gap, and the people in the room threw it back in his face. They mocked him because he still hesitated to affirm homosexual behavior as right, good and natural. They won’t accept anything less.

    If you’re trying to argue that homosexuality is morally no worse than any other sin, I don’t think that’s true either. I don’t even think all heterosexual sin is equally bad. Heterosexual fornication is bad, but loveless heterosexual fornication is worse. Loveless heterosexual fornication is bad, but heterosexual adultery is worse. And I’m not going to get into the “Well how do you compare heterosexual adultery with homosexual fornication” question, because that’s really apples and oranges, but I would say that if all else is equal, with the only difference being that the act is homosexual versus heterosexual, the homosexual sin is worse because it violates the natural order.

    I could quote Bible references and stuff to back that framework up, but bottom line is I think this might ultimately come down to how our theology of sin is formed.

  • Dan Allison

    The whole problem with “Christ and Pop Culture” is that while God’s enemies are parading precious nuns through the streets of Cairo as prisoners of war, you are writing about some TV show and some political issue that affects 2% of this planet’s affluent white Americans. Houston, we have a SERIOUS PROBLEM here, and it’s called prioritizing. I’d insist that you wake up, but the truth is, it’s already too late. How about a post on the theology of Calvin and Hobbes, or more on why Superman is Jesus but Captain America is only the Apostle Paul?

  • E. Stephen Burnett

    Dan, it sounds like you’re contending that all Christians must only ever have certain gifts or only ever focus on particular issues (e.g., the plights of persecuted Christians in other nations). Are you saying there is no place for Christians so gifted to explore issues like this one? Furthermore, this is actually the issue of most concern to Christians domestically, even above topics such as those I’ve covered, such as Man of Steel and Christ-figures.

    For Christians concerned about foreign and domestic policy, it absolutely matters how we communicate the truth about God’s love reflected in human marriages, and also graciously challenge those on our side.

    I can say this more boldly, perhaps because I’m the new guy: Christ and Pop Culture fills a need that the Church has, for serious Biblically based engagement with and discernment of all of culture, including right-wing Christian culture, and including politics (the governance of culture). If we do not critique, say, Anyabwile’s well-meant recommendation for “talking points” from a Biblical perspective, its only critics will be the folks you would call “God’s enemies.” For any Christian, discernment in all life areas — not just international issues — ought to be a high priority.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    Actually, Dan might have a bit of a point about the huge amounts of time spent analyzing video games and mediocre movies/TV shows for potential Christian themes. All that, I grant you, is more than a little kitschy. However, the issues covered in the post he chose to comment on here are actually desperately important to Western civilization.

    Some good ideas in there Dan, wrong place to post them.

  • http://www.christandpopculture.com/ Richard Clark

    haha Dan, you’re the best.

  • http://derekzrishmawy.com/ Derek Rishmawy

    So why do you waste your time reading us?

  • Brad Williams

    Dan,

    You make pop culture sound so trite! The problem is that things like Calvin and Hobbes or Superman or Captain America are popular for reasons that are important. Like the strangeness of youth, the desire to be or have real heroes, and the distinction between what is good and what is evil. These are universal and important themes being explored that make a difference in the world, not just to 2% of affluent white Americans. (As if those folks aren’t important anyway.)

  • Esther O’Reilly

    Yes, I detect a touch of snobbery in the “2% of affluent white Americans” line. Okay, more than a touch. Though I’d be interested to know a little more about what “tribe” Dan’s coming from religiously and politically. Possibly a radical Reformer type who views this site as too “yuppie?” He doesn’t seem like a religious right type, that’s a different breed, but he seems conservative in a way that comes back around to meet liberals as far as the despising of rich white people goes.

  • S. L. Whitesell

    Who lives in Houston? Is that city especially concerned with “our” status? Or did a line from a movie just show up in your thought process? I can’t imagine you wasting your time with such trifles. And yet… and yet, it seems to have triumphed over your prioritization.

    That’s why it’s important, at least to me.

  • wisdomhunter

    I have three thoughts on this…
    (1) Yes, reliance on the “gag reflex” or “yuck factor” is both weak and counter-productive. You might as well tell the porn addict that porn is “icky” or the idolater that Baal is ugly. It’s not going to reach them. Then again, only God’s quickening Spirit will reach the unregenerate man who is in rebellion with God.
    (2) That being said, from the Bible’s perspective, the language of “yuck” is used over and over again…things like the land vomiting out the inhabitants, calling things “abominations”, using fairly gross images (take Ezekiel 23:20 for example) is very Biblical. Beware of saying “those poor ignorant Fundies who offend people with such language! I’m better than that; I use respectful discourse ALWAYS and am VERY respectful and enlightened.” Be careful of that kind of pride; you can end up being apologetic for the Bible’s clear statements and soft-pedal God’s wrath against sin. You might wince at Thabiti’s comments, but are they really more offensive than the Bible itself?
    (3) Rarely discussed (at least it seems to me) are the long-term health effects of homosexual practices (in which heterosexuals also often indulge). The cultural assumption of “equality” and “fairness” are often trump cards in the conversation, and it’s considered gauche to consider that maybe no homosexual sex–including monogamous homosexual sex–is “safe” (at the same level of “safety” of monogamous heterosexual vaginal sex–which is to say not completely safe, but then again not as intrinsically damaging as certain other acts) . Even from a completely non-spiritual perspective (assuming that’s possible), I would think that it would be good to address those issues openly.

  • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

    Hi Brad –

    I’m a Christian who is gay. When someone tells me that “the parts don’t fit”, I usually respond “my parts fit with my husband’s just fine, thank you very much.”

    I think the “yuck” argument is unpersuasive for even more reasons than you cite.

    The biggest problem is that it tries to reduce human sexuality to a sex act. The human connection in a covenant relationship is much deeper and more profound than sexual intercourse (as most straight couples would attest). Arguing that people are unworthy of the blessings of a covenant relationship because the sex is icky betrays stunning ignorance of the human condition.

    Thanks for writing this.

    Best -
    Ford

  • Esther O’Reilly

    Ford, I was saddened to read this comment and would encourage you to reconsider the clarity of certain biblical texts on the issue of homosexuality. I’m afraid you’ve been deceived by self-styled “scholars” into thinking they’re not really addressing you. I hope you will return to the truth and give this part of yourself back to God some day.

  • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

    Esther – I’ll make a deal with you. I won’t judge whether or not you’ve given your whole self to God, and I’ll ask the same in return. Casting aspersions about my faith contributes nothing to the conversation.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    I’m not interested in a deal like that because I don’t mind whether you judge me or not. I believe in the exchange of ideas. You came in here offering a very strong opinion on whether homosexual behavior is compatible with Christianity. I’m giving you mine in return. My hope is that you will someday repent. I’m not looking for a long argument, I’m just concerned about your soul. I am casting aspersions on your faith, but I’m not doing it because it’s fun or because I think Christ had to work less hard to die for me than for you. I stand on what the Bible says about our need to surrender all sinful areas of our life to his lordship.

  • wisdomhunter

    Dan Allison:

    “The whole problem with CRITICIZING “Christ and Pop Culture” is that while God’s enemies are parading precious nuns through the streets of Cairo as prisoners of war, you are SPENDING TIME CRITICIZING OTHERS WHO ARE writing about some TV show and some political issue that affects 2% of this planet’s affluent white Americans. Houston, we have a SERIOUS PROBLEM here, and it’s called prioritizing. I’d insist that you wake up, but the truth is, it’s already too late. How about a post on the theology of Calvin and Hobbes, or more on why Superman is Jesus but Captain America is only the Apostle Paul?”
    Fixed it for you, friend. ;)

  • Andrew

    The truth is that all sex acts are disgusting unless they turn you on. Heck, forget “deep kissing”; little kids think kisses on the lips are gross!

  • Abe Rosenzweig

    For real. I mean, this “yuck factor” argument hinges on the notion that gay sex is gross while straight sex…isn’t? I mean, have you ever gone out on the street and looked at people? Do you want to think about them throwing down? I mean, if you want to try to argue against gay sex on the basis of it being gross, then both you and your partner better be someone that your interlocutor wants to picture naked. Because there’s just no way that two fine gay men–I’m talking like Greek god fine–are grosser than two busted-up heteros going to town on each other after a night out at Ruby Tuesday. “Well, at least tab A is going in to slot B, so I guess it’s a thing of beauty,” said nobody ever.

  • Tamist

    Uh… am I the only one thinking here that inserting a penis into a vagina is the same thing since vaginas excrete waste too… maybe someone needs to give that guy a biology lesson.

  • Tamist

    Just want to educate you on the fact that most homosexual male couples do not engage in anal sex. Maybe 30-40% do. The rest stick to oral sex. And since gay male couples make up like 3% of the population and not even all of that 3% do anal, it’s fairly safe to say that a significant majority of the “icky” anal sex going on is between straight couples. And as for lesbians, I think 99% of straight males would agree there is zero “ick” factor there.

  • Tamist

    Can you give me examples of long-term harmful health effects of engaging in homosexuality that are never a risk for people that engage in heterosexual sex? I can certainly give you examples of the long-term harmful health effects of denying homosexuals equality. There are MANY studies done that show that being intolerant of homosexuality increases suicide among gay and straight people alike. So yea.. if we’re worried about the mental health and well being of EVERYONE then we should start being more tolerant and accepting.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    Well, that makes everything better! FWIW, I’d imagine all the conservatives in this conversation would agree that oral sex is gross no matter who’s doing it. I certainly would.

  • BWF

    ALL the conservatives? Are you really sure you want to make that broad statement, especially when it’s concerning an action that is not all that controversial anymore?

  • Esther O’Reilly

    I said “in this conversation,” which is specific to this blog thread right here right now, and encompasses only a few people anyway since most of the people making noise here are liberals. You’re right, and I wouldn’t say “all conservatives” in the broadest sense because I know that’s not true (unfortunately).

  • Stuart Blessman

    Simultaneously sinner and saint.

  • Brad Williams

    I…am confused. Are we arguing now that when straight married folks have oral sex it is gross and sinful?

  • Elisabeth M

    Exchange of ideas is good. Debating is good, even when disagreements get heated. If you invite someone to critique your personal life, and they do, that’s fine. But you can’t assume the invitation is mutual.

    My problem with what you said is that you made it personal. Your hope that “[Ford] will someday repent” is not an observation about Christianity, hermeneutics or homosexuality; it’s a critique on this specific person’s life. A person whom you don’t actually know.

    There is a place to voice one’s concerns or hopes for someone; that place is in the context of relationship. You don’t have a relationship with Ford. He hasn’t invited you to dialogue with him about his soul. Until that door is opened, even the most sincere concern is unwelcome, abrasive and best left unsaid.

  • Tamist

    Isn’t the point of this article that all sex is gross if you think about it? Also I’m wondering if you think homosexual anal sex is any worse of a sin then heterosexual anal sex and if so why is it different (they are both the same “unnatural” act). And if not then why don’t you post a comment here about how we should try to prevent all anal sex, not just homosexual?

  • Esther O’Reilly

    My hope that Ford will repent follows directly from certain premises about Christianity, hermeneutics, and homosexuality. Any statement I make to the effect that homosexuality is a sin contains implicitly a hope that all who don’t recognize this fact will repent, whether they cry “Lord, Lord” or not. I’m sure the author of this article shares that hope as well. I think these things are objective, not subject to our personal whims.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    I would certainly stand by that claim, yes. It’s unnatural when homosexuals do it, it’s unnatural when straights do it too. It violates the natural order either way.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    I think I’m starting to see where I might have created some confusion. When I initially said “All else being equal,” I was thinking in broad terms, like “both fornication” or “both adultery.” I wasn’t even THINKING about a married straight couple performing the unnatural sex act. That’s a bizarre separate category of its own that my brain doesn’t naturally reach for, quite honestly.

    To answer your question, yes, I absolutely believe it’s a sin when straight married couples perform anal sex, and oral sex too (see my most recent comment on the latter). I’m alarmed at the number of supposedly conservative Christians who believe this is no big deal (Mark Driscoll, etc.) And I think there’s a connection to sodomy between men because the fact that it’s impossible for two men to perform the physically natural sex act is a clue to the larger moral realities of sex. When a straight couple mimics the unnatural act, they’re violating something physical and moral at the same time. However, I would still maintain that the moral violation is worse in the homosexual case, because any kind of sexual relations between two men is worse than sexual relations between a married heterosexual couple. That automatically makes it worse right from the get-go, even if the act is the same. Even though the nature of the act can be a clue to morality, we have to get outside the act for the whole moral story. If that makes any sense at all.

  • Tamist

    Not really. Doesn’t make much sense. Can you explain to me WHY it’s worse between two men? Without referring to it as “unnatural.” Both of these acts are unnatural according to you. And besides – I mean there are plenty of unnatural things in this world that are good – like medicine, cell phones, computers… artificial limbs for people that are missing a leg. Please explain to me who homosexuals harm – and why sodomy even between straight people is a sin. Again, please explain beyond just that it’s “unnatural.” That is not a reason for it to be a sin. WHO does it harm? What exactly are the negative effects?
    Note: I don’t think it is unnatural but I’m going with you here for a moment.
    Also it’s funny that you didn’t even THINK about straight couples having anal sex since that was… the entire point of my initial comment. There are WAY more numbers of straight couples doing it then gay couples.

  • karlkroger

    Thank you

  • Tamist

    Yep – that’s exactly what she’s arguing (see above). It’s just not as bad as when homosexuals do it for some reason. I’m not quite sure why yet.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    I made my very first comment (the one comparing hetero- to homo-sexual sin) before you made yours, so that’s why it hadn’t occurred to me at that time.

    I’m not sure how far we’re going to be able to carry this conversation since I don’t know whether you’d share my belief that there’s a God who created nature/the natural order. I believe God designed sex to be between a man and a woman, and He designed man and woman complementary in every way—mental, spiritual AND physical—to that end. That’s what the male/female organs are for—normal heterosexual sex. The mouth and the anus are quite clearly NOT designed for that purpose.

    There’s a big difference between taking fully functional parts of our body and using them in disgusting, unnatural ways vs. replacing a missing limb with an artificial one. A better analogy would be voluntarily undergoing some sort of weird bio-experiment to make an ear grow on your arm, or something like that. Obviously I don’t mean that everything artificial is morally wrong, or even has a moral value assigned to it. What I am saying is that we don’t necessarily have the right to do whatever we feel like doing with our bodies, and that includes abusing the natural purpose of our body parts in a sexual way. So when I say “unnatural” in this context, I mean something very specific.

  • Tamist

    Okay but I’ll ask again – if you think that some unnatural things are okay and other unnatural things are not, can you explain to me why sodomy falls into the not okay. How does it harm anyone?

  • ahermit

    There are also two false assumptions there; ie that all homosexuals engage in anal sex and that anal sex is more common among homosexuals than heteros.

    Neither is true.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    Well, I think any sin harms the person who commits it first and foremost, even aside from how it affects others. I could be a lonely, friendless person who decides to commit suicide, and even if I didn’t hurt anyone else by doing that, I would still be committing the sin of self-murder, because I didn’t commit a crime worthy of death. Or to give another example, suppose a married man has a prolonged affair with another woman which he carefully conceals from his wife. She never finds out about it, hence she isn’t hurt. The other woman is receiving sex and love, so she’s content as well. Is the man still sinning? I think so.

  • wisdomhunter

    As I indicated above, heterosexual couples also can and do indulge in the same practices, with the same risks. Your standard of “never a risk for people who engage in heterosexual sex” doesn’t address what I stated; it also implies that risks are either “always” or “never”. Risks are just that–risks. Some people may engage in risky behavior but never have ill effects; others may engage in risky behavior and will experience the negative effects. Risks are statistical in nature, not absolute.

    Here are some of the risks, associated with anal sex: http://www.webmd.com/sex/anal-sex-health-concerns

    Here are some of the risks associated with oral sex: http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/4-things-you-didnt-know-about-oral-sex

    As for risks associated with being “intolerant” and “unaccepting”: I have said nothing, NOTHING that would imply denying equality to gays. I said nothing about my position on SSM. For the record, I support SSM for the same reason I support the right for people to be idolaters, polygamists or do any number of other things that are against my religious beliefs. (I do find it ironic that many people I have had contact with accept SSM but reject polygamy, largely on the “ick” factor.)
    But I AM for, IN THE CHURCH, recognizing that God calls His people to Holiness. This does NOT mean which hunts to destroy people in the church who are gay, idolatrous, lustful, prideful or gluttonous; it means “speaking the truth in love”.

  • wisdomhunter

    Here are more links–one of the biggest concerns of either oral or anal sex (yes, risks for both gays and straights who indulge in these practices) is cancer:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20080115081647/http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_2X_What_are_the_risk_factors_for_Anal_Cancer_47.asp?sitearea

    http://www.fhcrc.org/en/news/releases/2004/07/analcancer.html

  • Ray Hooker

    Though I do agree with not stirring up the yuck factor as an argument, mostly because it is ineffective and may lead to unkindness. On the other hand watching two men kissing for most men or two women kissing for most women causes most people to say “gross”. We should never try to make people suppress these feelings in order to be tolerant. Yes we should be kind, but that doesn’t mean we should see it is as natural.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    Exactly. Just like a few people in the world are color-blind, but most seeing folks can tell the difference among the colors.

  • Ray Hooker

    Esther, The only comment is that in this case it is a bit more complicated. It is true that some seem to have same sex attraction from the earliest ages. It is wrong to blame the parents for example or simply tell them to “man up”, when they may have done nothing. OTOH it is possible to have other triggers and factors. It may even be temporary. The problem is that the science is not clear despite some posturing on all sides. The evidence does appear to contradict both the position that in all cases it is all nature or that it is all choice or experience.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    I agree. Wesley Hill, for example, says he was raised in a solid Christian home, never suffered abuse, etc., but simply found himself attracted to other men from a young age. But that’s certainly not always the case. Therapy works in some cases but not others. But in any case, the only biblical position is that the desire is disordered and must never be acted on.

  • Tamist

    Of course the argument about “never a risk for heterosexual behavior” is valid. You are trying to say that homosexuality is bad but heterosexuality is good, so therefore you must give evidence to show that homosexual behavior has more harmful effects then heterosexual behavior. So even IF the links you gave are true (I’m guessing some of them are full of cablooey and pseudo-science) then you must show me why the fact that heterosexuals have those risks as well is not important. If both homosexuals and heterosexuals can have negative effects from sex (which is true – anyone can get an STD and straight couples have WAY more anal sex that gay couples) then you need to give another reason why one is more harmful then the other.

    As for being intolerant – I’m glad that you support SSM. But not wanting to impose your intolerant and unaccepting opinions of a benign behavior on society does not make the opinion more tolerant. Sure it’s slightly better. But you are still being intolerant and preaching negatively toward a group of people. Social intolerance is just as bad as legal intolerance (okay maybe not AS bad – but it’s still very bad and can encourage violence against the minority you are being intolerant of, etc. There are many harmful effects of social intolerance).

  • Tamist

    Okay but that man is “sinning” (I hate that word) because he is doing something that could have harmful effects. I mean his wife COULD find out at any time and then she would be hurt so he is risking hurting her (and their kids). He is doing something that if people found out about would have a LOT of negative effects on his wife and family. He is taking a risk by doing something that would harm people if they heard about it. The fact that they haven’t heard about it YET is irrelevant. He made a commitment to his wife and he is now lying to her and breaking it. That is wrong.

    Who gets hurt when they find out you are gay? You need to provide facts and evidence of the harm of being gay. You can’t just say “it’s a sin therefore whoever commits it is harmed!” and think that will be enough. WHY is it a sin? HOW does it harm someone? Those are the bigger questions we must examine.

  • Abe Rosenzweig

    Quick! Imagine your parents conceiving you in their marriage bed! Imagine your father entering his lawfully-wedded wife’s vagina (that is, your mom’s vagina). Now: imagine him thrusting in and out of your mother, a bead of sweat dripping from his nose into your mother’s face. Now: imagine your father ejaculating semen into your mother’s vagina as he collapses in a sweaty heap upon your mother’s breasts (make sure you linger over your mom’s breasts in your mind). A bit of semen trickles from your mother’s flush vagina, but don’t worry! That one sacred sperm is gonna hit it’s mark and lead to you!

    Needless to say, you’re not gagging right now, because, hey, nothing yucky about mom and dad getting their thang on!

  • Esther O’Reilly

    “The fact that they haven’t heard about it YET is irrelevant. He made a commitment to his wife and he is now lying to her and breaking it. That is wrong.”

    Bingo. So why are you making that mental move to set aside whether or not the wife knows as irrelevant to the morality of the question? Isn’t it because you’re recognizing that there’s something fundamentally wrong about lying/breaking a commitment, even if technically nobody gets hurt? Let’s say that hypothetically nobody did get hurt in that situation. We would still look back and say he sinned (or in your lingo, did something wrong, though I find your distaste for the word “sin” somewhat amusing).

    Perhaps another example will help. Let’s take a case of benign slavery. Someone owns a slave, but he treats the slave really, really nicely. He never beats him, he doesn’t overwork him, he speaks kindly to him, he even invites him to the table with the rest of the family. In fact, the master treats the slave so kindly that the slave actually loves his master. What could possibly be wrong with this picture? Well, what’s wrong is that a man is a being, not property, and it’s never right to buy him and keep him enslaved no matter how nicely you treat him. The human body is sacred. You can’t buy and sell it like soap. That’s a violation of the image of God within the man.

    Similarly, Christians believe that sex is sacred. The primary purpose of sex is to glorify God. It is not ultimately about what I or my spouse can get out of it, and it’s not primarily created for our own pleasure (although God has made it pleasurable in order to encourage the production of children and bring a husband and wife closer in intimacy and love). So once we reduce sex to party time in the bedroom, we’ve lost sight of its purpose, and we’ve debased something that should be treated reverently, as a sacred gift. The body is God’s temple. For the same reason, we believe it’s sinful to ruin our bodies with alcohol or drug addiction, and we believe that’s a sin even if we are completely alone in the world with nobody else who will be affected by it.

    Now I do in fact think homosexuality has harmful effects that go beyond self-harm, but I think it’s better to begin here rhetorically because there might be a better chance of getting you to understand my position.

  • Tamist

    Cheating is wrong even if your spouse doesn’t know about it because it’s possible for them to hear about it and therefore they could get hurt. So you still RISK hurting someone even if they haven’t found out yet. You are still doing potential harm. But homosexuality has no potential harmful effects that are any different then heterosexuality, so they are morally equal (unless you can provide me with other evidence of harm?).

    Slavery is wrong even if the slave is treated relatively well because you are taking away their freedom and rights, so you are still hurting them even if you treat them with kindness.

    I can DEFINITELY understand how Christians can believe that sex is sacred and if you were to tell me that it is immoral to have sex without love, I would understand that position, even though I don’t agree with it. But homosexuals aren’t necessarily having sex for “party time.” They could be having sex as an expression of love, so they feel connected to each other on an instinctive level, the same way many heterosexuals do when they connect through sex. Expressing your love for someone through sex is beautiful and many people would argue it brings you closer to god, if you believe in him/her. Why does it matter what gender your partner is? Homosexual monogamy and love is right on par with heterosexual monogamy and love.

    I’m curious if you are against birth control of any kind. Do you think sex should ALWAYS be for making babies – since you say that is it’s primary purpose. Do you also think it is immoral for infertile and elderly couples to have sex?

  • wisdomhunter

    Tamist wrote:

     

    “Of course the argument about “never a risk for heterosexual behavior” is valid. You are trying to say that homosexuality is bad but heterosexuality is good, so therefore you must give evidence to show that homosexual behavior has more harmful effects then heterosexual behavior.”

     

    Let me be clear: my objection to homosexual behavior is not driven solely or even primarily by the health impact of such behavior. It is driven by my understanding of what God commands of His people. Even if there were zero ill effects–or even there were health benefits of the behavior–I would still believe it to be wrong. Indeed, there are some “high-risk behaviors” that I believe Christians are compelled to engage in. For example, it is a decidedly risky thing to be a Christian in Saudi Arabia. The healthy choice would be to leave, or to apostatize. But God may be calling someone to live there as a Christian, even though it could result in their violent death.

     

    Secondly, whether or not I have good, bad or indifferent motives for speaking about the health impact of homosexual behavior, it does not follow that what I bring up is false or faulty. It is merely ad hominium to say “you have a vested interest in saying what you’re saying, so it is therefore false.” It would be like me saying that a gay person’s exegesis of 1 Corinthians 6:9 was false merely because they had a vested interest in their interpretation. Their interpretation may well be faulty, but their motives do not make it false (or true).

     

    “So even IF the links you gave are true (I’m guessing some of them are full of cablooey and pseudo-science) then you must show me why the fact that heterosexuals have those risks as well is not important.”

     

    So you want to comment on these links without even reading them? Frankly, I don’t think this is very rational. And for the record, I don’t believe that WebMD is pseudo-science, or the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is some wacko website. To be immediately negatively prejudiced against data without even looking at it is not very logical. And to repeat myself, yes, heterosexuals who engage in this behavior are at equal risk.

     

    “If both homosexuals and heterosexuals can have negative effects from sex (which is true – anyone can get an STD and straight couples have WAY more anal sex that gay couples) then you need to give another reason why one is more harmful then the other.”

     

    I don’t think homosexual anal sex is more harmful than heterosexual anal sex; I never tried to argue it was. The risks associated with anal penetration, oral sex, anal-oral contact, etc. are the same for heterosexuals and for homosexuals. I would not recommend these activities for either heterosexuals or homosexuals. But while heterosexual couples may perform these acts (at equal risks as gay couples), same-sex couples CANNOT perform vaginal intercourse. And yes, vaginal intercourse has certain risks, but those risks are different in kind–and in many cases, in degree–to these other activities.

     

    “As for being intolerant – I’m glad that you support SSM. But not wanting to impose your intolerant and unaccepting opinions of a benign behavior on society does not make the opinion more tolerant. Sure it’s slightly better. But you are still being intolerant and preaching negatively toward a group of people. Social intolerance is just as bad as legal intolerance (okay maybe not AS bad – but it’s still very bad and can encourage violence against the minority you are being intolerant of, etc. There are many harmful effects of social intolerance).”

     

    Describe what you mean by “social intolerance”. I have many associates and friends who are not Christian–Muslim, Atheist, Jewish, Pagan, etc.–but regardless of how wrong I believe their religious beliefs to be, I am not going to disown them, shun them, discriminate against them–and certainly not try to pass laws against worshipping (or refraining from worshipping) as they see fit.

     

    Likewise, I have gay associates, acquaintances and friends. Regardless how I feel about their sexual activities, I get along fine with them.

     

    Now, if you think that everyone has to embrace everyone else’s choices and celebrate them, that is a view of ‘tolerance’ that seems extremely intolerant. It reminds me of the old saying: “I want nothing more than the respect and admiration of people whom I utterly despise.”

  • Esther O’Reilly

    No, the primary purpose of sex is to glorify God. If a couple is physically unable to have children, they can still glorify God by enjoying natural sex together. As for birth control, I don’t think it’s necessarily sinful in all circumstances. However, if you set out to get married and decide from the beginning that you just don’t want kids, at all, ever, that’s unquestionably a sin. There’s a big difference between something like that and using birth control for a season with the hope and expectation of having children when the time is right.

    If you believe in God as revealed in the Bible, you must accept that He’s prescribed a very narrow set of guidelines within which sex can be morally enjoyed: One man, one woman, for life. That’s the plan that was laid from the foundation of the world. Jesus rebukes the descent into polygamy we see in the OT when he says “It was not so in the beginning.” This is a reference to creation. Sex can’t glorify God if it’s breaking the rules He laid down for it. I do believe illicit sex without love is more sinful than illicit sex with love (once again, all else being equal), but love isn’t the only ingredient necessary to make sex morally permissible.

  • Tamist

    “Even if there were zero ill effects–or even there were health benefits of the behavior–I would still believe it to be wrong”

    Okay so then we are agreeing that you have no logic to your argument and nothing to support your opinion besides “god intended it this way”? That is the only reason why you think homosexuality is worse then heterosexuality?

    What I mean by “social intolerance” is going on a privately owned website anonymously and telling a group of people that they are ‘sinners’ or that they are doing something wrong despite the fact that you bring up no evidence as to why they are wrong. There are probably a ton of gay people reading this and when you say stuff like that you increase suicide rates so you are doing them tangible harm (and actually it increases suicide rates among straight people too). You are just being intolerant in a private, social setting, even if it is an anonymous internet one. You have every right to do so. You have every right to express a wrong and intolerant opinion, even if you are hurting people when you do.

    I’m glad that you have gay friends and treat them with respect. I hope you never say this stuff to THEM. I too, have bigoted and homophobic friends and I treat them with respect despite the fact that I have proof that when they express intolerant opinions they are doing harm to the world.

    “Now, if you think that everyone has to embrace everyone else’s choices and celebrate them, that is a view of ‘tolerance’ that seems extremely intolerant. It reminds me of the old saying: “I want nothing more than the respect and admiration of people whom I utterly despise.””

    I do not think everyone HAS to embrace everyone else’s choices but I do think if you want to be considered a good person that you should embrace choices that have no ill effects on anyone. I would never write a law saying you need to embrace everyone’s positive choices though, I would just encourage you to do so if you want to be a good person. Also – there is a difference between being intolerant of hate and being intolerant of something wonderful. You are being intolerant of love because it is different then the love you experience. I am being intolerant of your intolerance. The same way I would be intolerant of racism. Sometimes it’s good to be intolerant of something that harms society. It’s just that homosexuality doesn’t harm society. Homophobia DOES.

  • Tamist

    Any god that would tell two people of age in love that their love is wrong is no god in my opinion.

    If you want to convince me that homosexuality is wrong, then you’re going to have to provide evidence besides “a book written over a thousand years ago by people who managed to convince me it’s the word of god says so.”

    And to say that people who get married with no intention of having kids are “sinning” is extremely intolerant. What if one of them is handicap? What if they are living in poverty and can’t afford kids? What if they just don’t want kids? What is wrong with that? How does it harm anyone? Would you rather someone that doesn’t want to be a parent raise a child and resent them? Why would you express such negativity towards these people for what could possibly be the most responsible decision they can make? Can’t you see how that is making the world a worse off place because you are judging people for something that has nothing to do with you and doesn’t negatively impact ANYONE in the world? You are expressing hate and intolerance and THAT is one of the worst “sins” of all.

  • Thursday1

    I’m going to have to disagree:

    1. Saying we should ignore disgust when making judgments about gay sex (or really anything) creates a large theological problem in that it radically hives off aesthetics from the good, and from God, or else obliterates aesthetics altogether. You may not actually want to do that.

    2. The disgust at gay sex (or at least the disgust at being the penetrated party in anal sex) appears to be universal and spontaneous and has to be actively suppressed. Maybe it should be suppressed, but it is unlike the disgust at beef or pork in certain religious traditions (or au gratin potatoes by certain individuals), or the disgust at Jews or other ethnic groups in certain times and places, which is neither universal nor spontaneous, and has to be culturally conditioned.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    People living in poverty should consider waiting on marriage until at least one of them has an income that could be livable for more than two people. Or, use birth control and wait, though if money is a factor the expense of birth control might render waiting on marriage a more practical option.

    I don’t view “I just don’t want kids” as an acceptable objection. If you’re healthy and able to support a child, it’s selfish to get married with the expression intention of not starting a family. If you’re the sort of person who views parenthood with distaste, you have no business getting married in the first place.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    By the way, I think you yourself would not agree that love between any two people of age is okay. You were strongly condemning the actions of our hypothetical adulterous husband just a few comments ago. Are you not then saying that the love between him and the woman who isn’t his wife is wrong?

  • Tamist

    I condemn a husband for cheating on his wife sexually, not for having feelings for another woman. If he has fallen out of love with his wife and into love with another woman, then he should get a divorce asap and begin a relationship with the other woman. I do not condemn that at all. There is nothing wrong with his love though, there is only something wrong if he acts inappropriately because of it (like staying married while cheating).

  • Tamist

    That’s ridiculous. Not everyone wants kids. There really is nothing wrong with that. How does not having kids harm anyone? Why are you arbitrarily deciding how other people should live their lives?

  • Esther O’Reilly

    But if the man leaves his wife for that other woman, even when the woman to whom he committed his life is remaining faithful and loving towards him, how can it be right or moral for him to break that commitment? How is that fair to his wife, if you want to talk about fairness and justice? Is she not getting gypped in all this?

  • Esther O’Reilly

    Well, who else is going to populate the planet if not the current crop of adults? That is, assuming that re-populating the human race is something you view as a good. You’re probably going to reply that people are nothing special and the world would be better off without people anyway. If that’s the attitude you want to take, I really have nothing else to say to you.

  • Tamist

    Well the other option is for him to stay married to her and pretend he loves her, but that would be a lie. Either way she gets the short end of the stick. He’s doing her a favor by divorcing her now so she can find a person to be involved with that actually loves her. The sooner he does it the better. Of course divorce is never ideal, but remaining in a loveless marriage is not ideal either. It sucks that he fell out of love with her, but it happened so now he should act accordingly and do what’s best for everyone (which would mean being honest so everyone ends up in a relationship where they love the person and the person loves them back). Any other option is denying the reality of the situation.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    Wrong. That’s not the only other option. The right option is for him to repent, break off the relationship with the other woman, get right with God and man up to the responsibility he voluntarily took on at that altar. The vow was not “until I decide you’re not hot anymore, or at least not as hot as the other goyl.” The vow was “until death do us part.” All marriages go through rough spots. But the whole point of making a commitment is that you don’t bail when it’s not fun anymore. You stick it out. You pray, separately and together. You keep your promises. If you’re the one to blame, you take the blame and repent for it. That’s what true love looks like.

  • Tamist

    I guess we differ on this. That’s fine with me as long as you don’t make it illegal to get divorced. For me, when I get married I would prefer it to be for life, otherwise I wouldn’t get married. But if my husband was in love with another woman and not in love with me anymore I have enough self respect to get out of the marriage and be with someone that loves me and appreciates me. Sometimes that’s the better choice, even if it is unfortunate. I wonder if you think the woman should stay in the marriage if her husband was beating her (or the other way around)? Would getting a divorce in that case be wrong to you as well?

  • Esther O’Reilly

    Those situations are much tougher and murkier, but regardless of where I might ultimately come down on them, I think the fact that you don’t see a problem with a man coldly leaving a loving wife (or vice versa) is telling. I wonder that you can’t see the hypocrisy of a position like that in someone who positions herself as all about justice. As for the legality question, I don’t believe in no-fault divorce, if that’s what you’re asking.

  • Elisabeth M

    Yes, those premises do carry an implicit hope. I’m not saying you should try to hide that. Anyway, you couldn’t, because, as you said, it is implicit.

    But when you take this implicit thing and make it explicit – when you point it at another person and apply your beliefs directly to their life – at that point it’s no longer an academic conversation. At that point, it’s explicitly personal. By which I mean, you put them personally on the spot. That is a threatening move to make in any conversation. When debating a topic as intimate and often painful as this one, it comes off as judgemental and intrusive.

    In so doing, it evaporates any friendly distance from the conversation, and removes the space that’s necessary for an exchange of ideas. Basically you force the other person to make a choice – either try to defend their most intimate details to a perfect stranger, or leave the conversation gracefully. Ford chose Choice Number Two.

  • Tamist

    I do think that re-populating the human race is good, but that does not mean we should enslave people to make sure it happens. Forcing people to have children is slavery.

    Kids are super cute and most people are pretty paternal or maternal – or egotistical and just want a kid to remind them of themselves. So even if we allow those who do not want to have kids to be recognized in a marriage and let them live their lives how they want, there are still going to be a majority of the people that want kids. It’s like when people say that legalizing gay marriage is wrong because if everyone were gay the human race would end (actually – that’s not true because there’s always artificial insemination). But it’s insane to the think that legalizing gay marriage would turn more people gay. It might convince a few closet cases to come out of the closet, but it’s not going to TURN everyone gay and end the human race. In a similar sense, if a few people don’t want to have kids, our race will still go on.

    Also, our world is actually OVER populated right now in many parts so sometimes you are doing the world a favor by not having a kid.

  • Tamist

    I think it is telling that you think a situation where someone is being beaten is “murky.” There is nothing murky about that. If someone is beating you, you leave.

    I do see a problem with a man leaving the woman he married. It should definitely be avoided. But if he falls out of love with her and in love with someone else, then I think he would be doing her an injustice to stay and pretend. So if we want to do “justice” we have to be honest and get a divorce in this case.

    Why don’t you believe in no-fault divorce? Just because it’s not something you would do, doesn’t mean it’s not the right decision for other people. Why would you infringe on their rights in this way? You can argue about the morality of divorce and that’s fine, but it’s not fair for you to impose your morality on other people in this case.

  • Donalbain

    Really? Conservatives never engage in oral sex with their husbands and wives? Wow. You live and learn!

  • Esther O’Reilly

    That’s a pretty impressive logical leap you’re making—maybe 30 hidden premises there in between what I actually said and the conclusion that we need to make a law forbidding marriage between all couples who don’t want to have kids. I’m just going to draw the curtain of quiet charity over that one.

    Regarding children and over-population, some time you should listen to the Paul Simon song “Born at the Right Time.” He’s having the same conversation with himself that you and I are having. The conclusion, as echoed in the refrain, may interest you.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    I could make a great argument for separation, but I distinguish between divorce and separation. If the husband hasn’t sexually cheated on his wife, I’m undecided as to whether dissolving the marriage is the right choice. I would have a great deal of sympathy for her if she did. I said it was murkier because it’s not as obvious that the woman doesn’t have a right to divorce than that the adulterous man does. Once again, you use the word “pretend.” This is typical secularist language about “being true to oneself.” The Christian worldview recognizes that you’re creating a false dichotomy. The man should work to effect a CHANGE in himself, ideally by trusting in Christ but at a minimum recognizing what the moral choice is. It’s not about “pretending,” it’s about changing.

    No-fault divorce enables one spouse to up and leave whenever he or she feels like it even if the other one is trying to keep the marriage together. It’s as simple as that.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    That’s not what I said. I expressed the (apparently vain) hope that both of the conservatives participating in this blog thread recognized these acts as inappropriate. I’m well aware that there are many in the church, even on the conservative side, who don’t.

  • Tamist

    You are right. You didn’t actually say that you want to outlaw marriage for couples that don’t want kids or can’t have them. But you DID say in other places that you would like to legislate your morality (like you don’t think there should be no-fault divorce) so it was a logical conclusion I came to based on your previous arguments. That being said, if you DON’T want to outlaw marriage for people that don’t want or can’t have kids, then that’s really good to hear. I still think you are doing the world harm though by publicly judging these people and condemning their marriages. It is very intolerant and an expression of a judgmental person. Everyone is entitled to make their own life choices as long as they don’t harm anyone else and I’m not going to judge them for that.

    I looked up the Paul Simon song but I’m not quite sure what point you are trying to make with it. Could you explain it to me in your own words? The point I made was that the world is over populated in many areas right now so sometimes having a child is actually a selfish expression of being egotistical (you are so arrogant you want nothing more then to see your genetics, personality and physical appearance reflected in a younger version of yourself, even though it might do the world a lot more good if you adopted or had not children at all).

  • Esther O’Reilly

    Paul Simon’s liberal side (that’s you) is grumping about over-population. “The planet groans every time it registers another birth.” But when he sees a baby, his fundamental human instincts kick in:

    But down among the reeds and rushes
    A baby girl was found
    Her eyes as clear as centuries
    Her silky hair was brown…

    This little girl, like the boy in verse one, is “born at the right time,” because the birth of a child is a naturally wondrous thing regardless of the circumstances. While the utilitarians are yammering about how there are too many people on the planet, “too many holes in the crust of the earth,” the baby is here. How do you receive it? How do you respond? The ultimate message of the song is welcome. You welcome it.

    That’s the short version of a blog post in process that I just need to flesh out one of these days.

  • Tamist

    That is a great message. When a baby is born, we should always treat it with love, kindness and happiness that it is alive. But when you are deciding whether or not to use birth control or otherwise have kids after you get married, sometimes the more responsible and moral choice is to decide not to. That’s different from looking a newborn child in the face and saying “I wish you weren’t born because the earth is over populated.”

  • Tamist

    “I said it was murkier because it’s not as obvious that the woman doesn’t
    have a right to divorce than that the adulterous man does”

    My point is that it’s not murky at all. It’s not that it’s “not obvious that she doesn’t have the right to divorce.” It’s that it is VERY obvious that she SHOULD get out of there and divorce ASAP. This is not murky at all.

    “The man should work to effect a CHANGE in himself”

    If the man (or woman, whoever is the one that fell out of love) wants to try to work on the marriage and fall back in love, and is committed to doing so, then I wouldn’t blame the woman (or man that he/she fell out of love with) for staying with the person. But if the person that fell out of love doesn’t want to work on the marriage, I think a woman or man that tried to pressure their partner to stay married when they don’t want to has little respect for themself or the choices of the person they supposedly love.

    “No-fault divorce enables one spouse to up and leave whenever he or she feels like it even if the other one is trying to keep the marriage together. It’s as simple as that.”

    Yes I agree. It is a simple as that. If someone doesn’t want to be married anymore, they shouldn’t be. It may make them a jerk but they have every right to do so. You seem to be for making it a law that you can’t have no fault divorce but not for imposing your beliefs through other laws (such as not letting people who don’t want to have kids get married – which I think you said you don’t want to make the law), even though you think those are immoral too. What is your reason for wanting to legislate your morality in one case and not the other?

  • Esther O’Reilly

    But did you not say the world would be better off without that baby in the areas you deem “over-populated”? Your exact wording was that “it might do the world a lot more good” had the baby never been born.

    At any rate, I’m glad you agree with the message. I assume you’re pro-life then, unless you think the baby isn’t a baby until it’s born.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    Marriage is a legal institution as well as a sacred one, and that committed union of a man and a woman has proven to be the bedrock of society down through the ages. It is the only union which can produce children and the one best conducive to raising a family. Hence, the state has a vested interest in preserving that union from redefinition or capricious dissolution.

  • Brad Williams

    Esther, I’d be genuinely interested to see what Scriptural support you have for saying that oral sex between married couples is inappropriate and/or sinful. You’re not relying on the “yuck factor” alone, are you?

  • Tamist

    Actually pretty much everything you say here is false. Many societies had polygamy as one of the main sources of marriage, and others even allowed gay marriage. The whole one man one woman thing as the “only” marriage was pretty much invented with Christianity.

    Also one man one woman has not been proven the best way to raise a family, though a TWO parent household has had the best results from the studies that have been done so far – the gender is irrelevant though. When two men or two women in a monogamous long term relationship that never separate or get a divorce raise kids, the results are the same as an equivalent one man one woman monogamous relationship that never separates or get a divorce. So I would think that since your opinion is that marriage is the best way to raise kids, that you would be for gay marriage since gay people have kids all the time (you are never going to be able to stop them from having kids) and those kids would be better off if their parents were married and the family got all the legal benefits that could help them in life. Just want to make sure we’re on the same page here (after all this chain was originally about homosexuality). Even if you don’t agree with this on a spiritual level, you yourself have acknowledged that marriage is a legal institution so you can’t legally justify denying gay families these rights because of your faith since we have separation of church and state. Though if you are against it spiritually (as I’m guessing you are) I would fight for your church’s right to discriminate in who they choose to marry – because I believe n separation of church and state.

    Now – it’s separation and divorce that are not ideal for kids regardless of the gender of the parents. I definitely agree with that and think it’s good to encourage people with kids to stay together when possible. However, kids who watch their parents fight over and over again are significantly worse off then kids with divorced parents that set good examples of how to raise children together without fighting – and said divorced parents may also get into a new, healthier relationship that would be a good example for the kids. So in a scenario like this I think divorce is definitely the better choice for raising kids. The same would be true if one of the spouses was beating the wife or children. Divorce is a better option. Obviously the ideal of raising children committed to the person you started out raising them with would be ideal, but unfortunately shit happens and it doesn’t always work out that way. We have to make the best decision we can with what we’re given.

  • Tamist

    Yes I do think it could do the world harm if too many babies are born, but once a baby is born we shouldn’t treat it with disrespect, neglect or unkindness. That is my point. We should merely try to prevent too many babies from being born by using birth control or aborting them if (and ONLY if) the woman chooses too. But I would never force a woman to abort a baby, or even encourage her to. It is her decision 100% and I will play absolutely no part in that decision unless it is my body.

    So the answer is no – of course I am pro-choice. I would never insert myself legally into a situation that has nothing to do with me. I think your use of the word “baby” is irrelevant here. “Baby” can mean many different things so let’s be more specific about what you mean. I think what you are trying to ask is if I consider a fetus to be a human being or citizen of a country with full legal rights. The answer is no – I do not think that because I tend to try to avoid thinking things that aren’t true. A fetus by definition is not a human being or citizen of a country with full legal rights. However – I still think this conversation over what a fetus is, is irrelevant because whether or not the fetus has full legal rights has nothing to do with whether or not you can legally end it’s existence. Here’s what I mean – it would be immoral for the government to insert itself into a situation where you needed a kidney and I was the only person in the entire world that was a match for you. Let’s say that without the kidney you would SURELY die and if I gave you the kidney it would most likely have little effect on my life beyond the initially surgery. But let’s also say that I have no desire to save your life and undergo surgery. It would be immoral for the government to force me to have this kind of surgery and give you my kidney, even if not doing so would mean you DEFINITELY die. The government can’t force people to undergo medical conditions or surgeries that they don’t want to, regardless of whether or not another life is at stake. So even IF we considered a fetus to be a full human with full legal rights, that still does not mean you can legally force a woman to house the fetus for 9 months and give birth. It is her body and if she doesn’t want this medial condition then it is immoral and wrong for you to try to legally force her to give birth.

    Now – I would also argue that if the woman wants to terminate the pregnancy and it’s possible for the fetus to live outside the womb, the woman has absolutely no right to decide whether or not to end the life of the fetus. I would say NO ONE has that right and the doctors should try to keep the fetus alive just as they would anyone else in critical condition. But you still cannot force a person to carry a fetus to term just because you think it is immoral to abort. If you don’t like abortion, don’t get one. If you don’t want to donate a kidney that could save a dying person’s life, don’t. It’s your life so you have autonomy over your body. Stop trying to invade mine.

    Can we get back to homosexuality now? That was the point of this chain. I’m guessing not.

  • Esther O’Reilly

    Scripture doesn’t explicitly address every possible question a Christian might have about sex, or lots of other things for that matter. (Unless you’re going to go for the Song of Solomon thing too…) Should be common sense about what a body part’s natural purpose is and isn’t. In any case I really wasn’t intending to open up a long conversation about oral sex, if that’s okay. Trying to disentangle here, or at least begin to. Sorry I kicked off such a long back and forth.

  • Brad Williams

    The sex organs have more than one “natural” use. (It isn’t as if the penis is only for procreation and urination.) Sex is also for pleasure. Oral sex between husband and wife is neither harmful to the body nor contrary to one of the natural reasons God gifted us with sex: pleasure.

  • Guest

    How about just stop thinking about other people’s personal lives altogether?

  • Alice

    Yes, there are quite a few anti-gay people who think all LGBT people only care about sex and random hookups. I suspect they have to tell themselves this because no one would be cold-hearted enough to go around telling straight families, “I really hope you two get divorced someday! I’m praying your children will end up in broken homes, just as the Lord intended. Come on, you know you want to get divorced, so do it already!”

    Even if people cannot have empathy, a little politeness should not be too much to ask.

  • Alex Silva

    But wait, what other argument against homosexuality is there?
    -the bible says so
    -its gross
    -aids

    those are your options, which one of those is the best argument?


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