Surprise surprise, our favorite pastor, Doug Wilson, has blogged about Sunday’s shooting in Orlando. After discussing whether the dead are in hell (they are) and whether their sin was worse than anyone else’s (it wasn’t, because abortion), he gets down to what he sees as the root of the issue:
No, no, they will say. It is all connected. Evangelical opposition to homosexuality and opposition to COEXIST religiosity both contribute to a climate of rejection, exclusion, and division, which in turn helps create a climate of fear. We have to eliminate all such expressions from our public discourse because it actually contributes (eventually!) to tragedies such as this. In other words, they put their heads down and soldier through a long chain of subtle reasoning in order to get some of the blame onto the Christians, and with their heads down like that, they are able to overlook various Islamic outrages against homosexuals. The finest example of this most recently was PayPal’s official disapproval of North Carolina’s traditional bathroom policy, and all while doing business merrily in countries that execute homosexuals. This level of inconsistency is only possible if something else is going on, if another game entirely is being played.
The fundamental war here is on the remnants of our Christian civilization, and it would be good if Christians could eventually come to grips with that fact. Homosexual activists and jihadis do hate one another, and they know it. Sometimes that hatred breaks out, as it did here. But taking the averages, they both hate the vestiges of Christian culture more than they hate one another. They are not allies, but they are co-belligerents, and their shared task is to deal with the Christianity first.
It will be a fine day when the Christians start thinking of the Christianity first.
Notice how skillfully Wilson distances what happened in Orlando from homophobia and thus from Christianity. Wilson says that what’s really going on is that both “homosexual activists” and jihadis ate “the vestiges of Christian culture” and are thus co-belligernats fighting Christianity. How does what happened in Orlando fit with this interpretation. It doesn’t. Wilson explains it by stating that “homosexual activists and jihadis do hate one another” and that “sometimes that hatred breaks out, as it did here.” Because somehow this goes both ways? I’m sorry, but I somehow missed all of the atrocities committed by homosexual activists (if we must call them that) against Muslims. I’ve also missed LGBT activists and allies’ attacks on Christianity.
Let’s untangle this, shall we?
As I see it, both Christianity and Islam have a history of homophobia (though of course, even this history is not entirely one-dimensional). Both groups today have created a profoundly negative climate for LGBT individuals. LGBT activists have fought back, seeking laws to protect their basic human rights. At the same time, some LGBT Christians and LGBT Muslims have been fighting from within to make their faiths more inclusive. To my knowledge, LGBT activists have not sought to eliminate Christianity or Islam, merely to (a) reform them from within or (b) separate church and state so as to protect everyone’s rights. In other words, LGBT activists have been fighting for space, and for acceptance, not to wipe anyone out. The same cannot be said in reverse, unfortunately, and there is the rub.But Wilson doesn’t see it that way. I’ve written a lot about the Christian persecution complex, and that is exactly what is raising its ugly head. Wilson believes that it is not LGBT individuals who are persecuted, but rather Christians. In fact, he believes that there is an overarching game going on here at a cosmic level in which Christians are the targets. Both LGBT activists and Muslims number among Christianity’s many persecutors. LGBT activists, Wilson believes, are striking at Christians’ freedom to practice their religion in accordance with their conscience (i.e. their right to discriminate against gay people in business), while Muslims are striking at their freedoms writ large through acts of terrorism. How to explain this attack, then? Wilson suggests that LGBT activists and Muslims are “co-belligerants” fighting Christianity, but that they also hate each other and that that sometimes spills over.
As I’ve noted, Wilson’s interpretation of events completely ignores homophobia. Completely. In fact, he suggests that while their ultimate emery os Christianity, Muslims and LGBT activists also hate each other and that that hatred “sometimes breaks out,” suggesting that the violence goes both ways. But why? Wilson offers no explanation. He also leaves aside the reality that his interpretations of his own religion’s teachings on LGBT issues are little different from those of extremist Islam. While there are certainly differences, there is a fundamental constant from the perspective of LGBT individuals—both religions teach that homosexuality is deviant, sinful, and perverted. Both religions have holy texts that condemn homosexuality and call for the execution of gay people.
What happened in Orlando is incidental, Wilson suggests, indeed almost accidental. The true victim here is the biblical Christian, beset on all sides by enemies sworn to destroy it, Islam and LGBT activists, co-belligerants in a greater war on Christianity. Can we pause for a moment to remember that Wilson has written that the death penalty may be an appropriate punishment for homosexuality in some circumstances? Or that this is the same man has called homosexuality a cultural curse? But no, it’s Christians who are the real victims here.
Fifty people lay dead in a gay club in Orlando, but then in Wilson’s eyes, those dead are his enemy, an enemy bound to destroy him. Won’t anyone think of the Christians, he queries as he finishes his piece. Reading Wilson’s words would be easier if I didn’t know how many conservative evangelical and reformed Christians, even those in my own circles, follow him and admire his writing.
This is the world LGBT individuals in this country wake up to every single day.