4 years ago: Beyond belief

4 years ago: Beyond belief December 24, 2013

December 24, 2009, here on slacktivist: Beyond belief

And but so anyway, my point here is to explore the unenviable consequences of adopting this perspective of a “high view” of “the authority of scripture.” If one accepts that one’s reading of the Bible cannot be wrong and cannot be changed, and that this reading must triumph in any apparent conflict with reason and experience, then one must be willing to reject reason and experience whenever they stubbornly refuse to be reconciled to your interpretation.

When that is your predicament, then a statement like “I disapprove of homosexuality” will be inadequate. Disapproval, as Amanda noted, still acknowledges the existence, the reality of the thing of which you’re disapproving and it is that very existence that is irreconcilable and intolerable and which therefore must not be admitted or acknowledged. So mere disapproval won’t cut it.

What you’ll need, instead, is a way of expressing that disapproval that also conveys your refusal to accept the actuality of the unacceptable thing — a way of saying that the thing you’re disapproving of isn’t really even a thing at all. And this is what American evangelical Christians are stumbling to communicate with that awkward locution: “I don’t believe in homosexuality.”

That phrasing expresses more than disapproval. It says that the speaker has chosen to live in a world in which the fact of homosexuality is not accepted as a fact and therefore does not need to be accounted for.


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