Whining about same-sex marriage is always in season in some circles. In three posts, I’d like to review three articles that I recently came across. Article 1 (this post) proposes a secret weapon for Christians to use against same-sex marriage. Article 2 runs down the secular reasons (that are mostly Christian reasons) why same-sex marriage gives society a one-way trip to bedlam. And article 3 provided me with new insights into how the various categories of homosexuality were viewed in the Ancient Near East, which provides new insights into what the Bible actually says about homosexuality.
The secret weapon in undercutting same-sex marriage
Article 1 is “The Importance of Your Gag Reflex When Discussing Homosexuality and ‘Gay Marriage’,” written in 2013 but still relevant, I’m guessing.
The author begins by acknowledging that Christians will be branded as hateful, first simply for being Christian and second for their desire to “speak the truth in love.”
Poor baby. Must be tough being Christian in America today.
The secret weapon against same-sex marriage is first to strip away euphemisms like gay or homosexual, he says:
We’ve actually stopped talking about the things that lie at the heart of the issue—sexual promiscuity of an abominable sort. I say “abominable” because that’s how God describes it in His word.
I don’t think that word means what you think it means. God describes eating shellfish as abominable. These are ritual abominations, not ones that actually cause any harm.
The Jewish ritual burdens (kosher food laws, circumcision, and other requirements made of Jews) were not put on the new gentile converts to Christianity. Prohibitions against homosexual activity in Leviticus 18 and 20 are mixed with other rules that Christians have abandoned. These rules come as a package, and Christians can’t now go back for a few old favorites that they’d like to revive.
Next he moves on to a somewhat explicit description of homosexual sex acts with the admitted goal of provoking a reaction of disgust. He concludes:
That sense of moral outrage you’re now likely feeling—either at the descriptions above or at me for writing them—that gut-wrenching, jaw-clenching, hand-over-your-mouth, “I feel dirty” moral outrage is the gag reflex. It’s what you quietly felt when you read “two men deep kissing” in the second paragraph. Your moral sensibilities have been provoked—and rightly so. That reflex triggered by an accurate description of homosexual behavior will be the beginning of the recovery of moral sense and sensibility when it comes to the so-called “gay marriage” debate.
If you’re disgusted at two men kissing, then don’t do it. If you were gay, you’d have a different response.
So two men kissing is offensive but a man and a woman aren’t? How about a male and female coworker kissing in the corner during a business meeting—would that be offensive or at least extremely inappropriate?And if, in the right situation, you’d enjoy watching a man and a woman kissing, let’s change it up. Now the woman is much heavier. Or much older. Or much uglier. How about now—is it just as enjoyable? (I’m seeing this from a straight male perspective because the author of this article was male.)
The author thinks that dropping our pretense of politeness and describing behavior accurately “will be the beginning of the recovery of moral sense and sensibility when it comes to the so-called ‘gay marriage’ debate.”
I see several problems here. First, the author thinks that he’s found in the gag reflex a reliable shortcut to God’s morality. He says, “Deep down we all—Christian and non-Christian, heterosexual and homosexual—know it’s wrong.” But do we? Different people have different turn-ons. If a man loves his wife and finds her sexy but you find her unattractive, so what? By extension, if a man loves another man, what concern is that of yours? The gag reflex is relative, and it makes no sense to say, “Well that grosses me out, so it must be immoral in an absolute way!”
Second, whatever sex act you don’t approve of, there are more straights doing it than homosexuals, simply because there are far more of them. If it pleases them, where’s the problem?
Third, it’s not homosexual sex that’s disgusting but sex itself. Imagine teaching a seven-year-old about how homosexual sex works. They’d be disgusted. Now imagine teaching how heterosexual sex works. They’d be disgusted. Sex is the issue, not homosexual sex.
Or, imagine meeting someone at a cocktail party and having them describe their last straight sexual encounter. It’s not that one kind of sex is pure and beautiful while the other is hurtful and filthy, it’s that sex has its place, and a public setting isn’t it.
(In the interest of openness, the author responded to feedback to this article. I didn’t find much worth responding to, but here it is, FYI. My focus in this post is the argument, not the author.)
I support Christians’ right to speak about their views on same-sex marriage, but they won’t stand up to scrutiny if they’re as weak as this.
Continue with “9 Arguments Christians Give Against Same-Sex Marriage” here.
If the Bible got the easiest moral question
that humanity has ever faced [slavery] wrong,
what are the odds that the Bible got something
as complicated as human sexuality wrong?
— Dan Savage
Image credit: Frederic halley2008, flickr, CC