“Al Mohler’s ‘erotic liberty’ is an offensive misnomer for LGBT rights,” Brian Pellot writes for Religion News Service.
Yes it is. That offensiveness is deliberate. Mohler is describing a group of people as less than human, and he has chosen to do so in a way that he can be sure they will understand that is what he intends to say.
Also deliberate is the fact that Mohler’s “erotic liberty” is a misnomer. It is a phrase designed to mislead. It is, to be blunt, a lie — a rhetorical flourish intentionally crafted to misdirect, to misinform and to deceive.
Mohler is a culture warrior whose goal is to win a culture war, and the purpose of this dishonest, reductionist, hateful phrase is to win. If Mohler’s tribe is gonna win, then language that cares about accuracy, honesty, truth, fairness, justice, love, etc., is a luxury he cannot afford.
Mohler’s “erotic liberty vs. religious liberty” formula is designed to reduce LGBT people to something less than people. In using this formula, Mohler is doing exactly what Panti Bliss described in her recent Ted Talk:
What they really don’t like is anal sex. Sodomy. Buggery. And they assume that that is all we do. They feverishly imagine that we spend all day jumping around buggering each other. I mean they obsess on it. And, in fact, what they actually do is reduce us down to this one sex act, whether or not we do it at all. Because we are not regular people with the same hopes and aspirations and ambitions and feelings as everyone else. We are simply walking sex acts.
That reduction and distortion is the purpose of Mohler’s nasty “erotic liberty” slur. He is refusing to acknowledge the humanity of other human beings. He is unwilling to speak of them as anything more than “walking sex acts.”
And he is trying to make his followers see nothing but “walking sex acts” when they look at those other human beings. He is trying to make sure that they never see those human beings as human beings — as children of God, created in God’s image.
Consider how Mohler’s binary “erotic liberty vs. religious liberty” is crafted to reinforce this reductive, dehumanizing dismissal of their humanity. He is suggesting that we humans have religion, but they — those sub-human walking sex acts — do not. They are incapable of religion, only of “eroticism.”
As Pellot writes:
Mohler often uses grand and ambiguous phrases (“the new sexual revolution,” “the moral revolution,” etc.), but now he’s gone a step further, putting a deliberately misleading phrase in direct opposition to his notion of religious liberty.
It’s a clever move. Replacing “LGBT rights” with “erotic liberty” reduces the myriad of LGBT experiences and issues to what he presumably sees as a matter of sexual promiscuity, depravity and perversion, something many of Mohler’s followers will agree is bad, wrong, unnatural. It dehumanizes a community seeking civil rights into a gaygle of sexual beasts.
I suppose it is “clever.” Or, rather, it would be clever if this were a world in which the difference between true and false didn’t matter. Or a world in which there was no God.
But by trumpeting this nasty, dishonest “erotic liberty” garbage, Al Mohler is clearly demonstrating that he does not think the difference between true and false matters in this world. Or perhaps he is demonstrating that he does not fear a just or a loving God.
Al Mohler insists that he has “a high view” of the “authority of scripture.” He insists that he believes the Bible is infallible and inerrant. He insists that every word of it is the Word of God — sacred, non-negotiable and binding.
But that Bible is full of stuff like this:
Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
If you believe that is an inerrant and infallible statement of truth then you cannot go around slurring and slandering people by reducing them to walking sex acts. You cannot go around denying their humanity by pretending that they are nothing but “erotic” animals, accusing them of being sub-humans incapable of the religious aspirations that humans like yourself display. You cannot bear false witness against your neighbors with such malicious, deliberate glee.
So for the love of God, Richard Albert Mohler Jr., if you really believe in that Bible you’re always talking about, then knock it off with this “erotic liberty” bullshit. Repent.