Daily Archives: March 16, 2010
Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Denver archdiocese has recently backed a decision by a local school to expel a child because his parents happen to be a lesbian couple. Jimmy Akin, a staunch defender of Catholic moral theology, naturally sides with the bishop on this and writes his defense here. Of course, good Catholics don’t argue with the bishop once the decision is made.
I’m not Catholic anymore, so I have the luxury of disagreeing, which of course I do. Vehemently.
It is the unfortunate tendency of those who claim to be Christians to treat homosexuality as some sort of super-sin. Cries of “I’m gay!” mean that the crier is immediately ostracized from the Christian community. As if same sex attraction is somehow unforgivable.
Men, haven’t you ever seen a fine specimen of maleness and wondered what it was that drew women to him? Maybe you started to find yourself attracted, too?
I know that women judge the attractiveness of other women, so I’m not even going to as that same rhetorical question for the females.
This type of thing is hardly earth-shaking, and I much doubt that it would be sinful. Perhaps that attraction gets carried to its extreme and then you find yourself experimenting. Then you find yourself liking the results of your dalliance. It could happen to anyone.
Maybe you’re one of those who never found anything attractive about the opposite sex and always gravitated to the same sex. Again, this is hardly earth-shaking. This kind of stuff happens.
Isn’t this how any sin happens? I fantasize about killing my annoying neighbor. The fantasies become more real, and suddenly the opportunity presents itself to make them come true. Next thing I know, I’m on trial because the police found my hairs and a few carpet fibers from my house on the body.
I’ve previously argued that homosexuality is sin, but not a super sin. There is no super-sin that God will not forgive save one. The tendency of the Christian to treat homosexuality as some sort of super-sin and ostracize its practitioners is one of the largest failings of the church to reach sinners badly in need of the grace offered to us through Jesus Christ.
And now, Archbishop Chaput and his defenders are continuing this grave error. By not admitting this child because of his parents’ homosexuality, they are missing a great opportunity to witness to this young man and to teach him that his moms’ behavior is wrong. He will now grow up being taught by example that homosexuality is right and will miss what may be the only opportunity the church may ever have to show him it is sin.
No kudos to Chaput. He is eliminating whatever Christian influence that this boy may have had in his life, and sending the message that we don’t want him because his parents are sinners. Whatever happened to “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28)? Or, better, Deuteronomy 24:16?
Many theists, myself included, argue that God is self-evident. There is much positive evidence all around us, in the form of creation itself, for the existence of God. The fact that the world operates on natural laws, the evidence for fine-tuning of the universe, and the very fact that there is something rather than nothing all point to the fact of God. Atheism is not a default position that one arrives at for lack of theistic evidence. It is a willful, moral decision that one makes, and then spends the rest of his natural life supressing the knowledge of God in rebellion.
Much of the published critiques of the New Atheism have focused on their arguments. But, Jim Speigel is changing that. In his new book, The Making of an Atheist, Speigel makes the case that I just alluded to: that atheism is a willful and moral choice to rebel against a self-evident God.
It makes me happy that an author has finally stopped critiquing atheism’s hollow and unconvincing arguments and attacked the reason why there are atheists at all.
I think that people need to hear some of these things. I think that more authors need to paint atheism as a moral choice. Or, more appropriately, a choice made because the person actually lacks morals to begin with. Rather than learning what is acceptable to God, the atheist desires to go his own way and make his own morals. I see this repeatedly in exchanges with atheists: “Why is homosexuality immoral?” “Rape isn’t a moral issue.” “Adultery is acceptable if both spouses are into it.” “What’s wrong with incest?” (All statements I’ve witnessed atheists making.)
I’ve generally noticed that a common thread runs through most “moral” reasoning that comes from atheists. Freedom to have sex with whomever one chooses, free of any restrictions. For example, the ongoing objection in this post on courting from Daniel Florien seems to be the fact that Mary and Ted will have no sexual contact, including kissing, until they are married. Why is that a bad thing, exactly?
I have two posts in the works related to the thesis of Speigel’s book. One is on the atheist penchant for redefining terms. When did “faith” start to mean belief despite evidence to the contrary? And another specifically relating to the utter decline of sexual morality in the atheistic community is on its way. Can you believe that many atheists think incest is perfectly all right given modern birth control?
Despite statements like that, atheists take exception to the portrayal of atheists as immoral. Now, where would anyone get the idea that atheists are immoral? Certainly those that don’t believe in God, monogamy, or prohibitions on incest are fine and upstanding pillars of morality.
Jim Speigel’s book should be very interesting indeed!