Why Christians Can’t Have a Meaningful Debate About Homosexuality
Many conservative Christians do not adhere to these verses [Lev 19:18 and Mt 22:39]. If they did then gays would have the same rights as heterosexuals to lawfully join in union. It is because of American Christians hatred of homosexuality that gays cannot legally bond in most states. Some Christian parents have been known to disown their children who happen to be homosexual. (source)
Mark (proprietor of Proud Atheists) has demonstrated the reason that Christians can’t have a meaningful debate with social liberals over homosexuality. We consider, with good reason, homosexuality to be a grave sin. However, calling it that causes the other side to immediately label us “homophobes,” “bigots,” or other nice names.
It is because we love our neighbors that we try to communicate that homosexuality is a sin. If we didn’t care about our neighbor’s eternal fate, then we’d just shut up and allow homosexual marriage to take place.
Mark is doing serious violence to the definition of love by making his initial claim. He’s saying that if we loved our neighbors, then we’d leave them be to express their individuality. But that’s absolutely absurd.
If my neighbor asserted his individuality by playing with matches and lighter fluid and I didn’t stop him, one could hardly make a case for me being “loving.” If another neighbor asserted his individuality by keeping 14 year old girls for sex slaves before killing them, I would hardly be called “loving” if I allowed him to continue unabated. If another neighbor decided that gambling and drinking were more important than his wife and kids, I would not be considered “loving” if I didn’t try to reason with him and show him that he’s losing his family and ruining his future.
The radio station K-Love once ran a spot where several criminals who had committed crimes of increasing severity appeared before a judge. Each time, the judge said to the offender that he was forgiven, and he could go free to sin no more–never once punishing him. The end of the spot asked, “Do you consider this judge loving?”
Of course not. We might describe that judge as apathetic, but not loving. Same as my behavior in the three hypothetical examples above.
Returning to the homosexuality example, since we consider it to be a grave sin, we would be apathetic if we allowed people to walk in it unabated. It would be no different than if we failed to denounce murder. Where we are failing to communicate is that society doesn’t think that there is anything wrong with homosexuality.
Rather than listen to what we’re trying to communicate about homosexuality, however, we are simply labeled bigots or homophobes. Emotionally loaded terms. There is no meaningful debate after that.
Daniel just did the exact same thing over at Unreasonable Faith: he’s not considering that homosexuality is a sin, or that Christians should speak against it like any other sin. He’s just calling the pastor a bigot. No argument. Just name calling.