Re: An interesting essay for evangelicals

Date: Mon Jan 20 2003 - 11:57:00 EST

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    In a message dated 1/19/03 12:13:29 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

    > From: John or Carol Burgeson <>
    > I am post this with the permission of the author. Yes, it is about the
    > "gay" issue again. It does not try to argue for a particular point of
    > view, however, but rather it discusses civil (and uncivil) ways to
    > conduct a discussion on what, to many, is a discomforting issue.
    > I commend it. It is written by an Englishman, so please allow for some
    > possibly unfamiliar phrasing and references.
    > John Burgeson
    > How to avoid the charge of homophobia
    > Evangelical Christians who are opposed to homosexual behaviour sometimes
    > complain that they find it impossible to express their moral objections
    > on this score without being accused of homophobia. To some extent the
    > complaint is probably justified. However, in many cases I suspect that
    > the charge of prejudice is one these Christians bring upon themselves,
    > either by the content of their opinions or the style in which they are
    > voiced. Let me offer, therefore, a few pieces of advice to any such
    > would-be moraliser.

    First of all, the charge of prejudice comes from the media and the Left and
    the complaint is unjustified.

    > Be sensitive Even if you are addressing the annual conference of
    > Reform or writing an article for the Church of England Newspaper, your
    > words will be heard further afield, not just by people who support your
    > opinions but by gay Christians who are included in your attack. Homosexuals
    > have been
    > victims of persecution for centuries. In particular, most gay Christians
    > have experienced discrimination of one kind or another from within the
    > Church. You are addressing, then, a community that has become habituated
    > to abuse and contempt. It is not surprising if they tend to assume that
    > all those who speak hostile words against homosexuality share the
    > homophobic prejudice to which they have grown accustomed.

    This is ridiculous. I have never known gay persons to be victims in or
    around a church(es), although I have seen the homosexuals blasphemously
    demonstrate outside and even profane the interiors of churches. They have
    written blasphemous plays and movies that are not sensitive to Christians.
    Where's the sensitivity?

    > This misunderstanding is all the more likely because many evangelical
    > Christians wish to interpret "homosexual" as a chosen lifestyle rather
    > than an innate identity. Gays themselves find it hard to believe that
    > anyone still clings to this culturally anachronistic perspective,
    > especially since it is so utterly incompatible with their own experience
    > of the homosexual condition.

    I am a member of the Human Behavior and Evolution soceity. There is NO proof
    that homosecxuylaioty is an innate condition. This is the language of the
    left, not of science. Note the author says, culturally anachronistic., He
    damn well knows, there's no proof that of ' the innateness' of homosexuality.
    In other words, he can't say scientifically anachronistic.

    > anti-gay polemic is often complicated
    > by an element of argument at
    > cross-purposes. The two sides do not share the same presuppositions, and
    > so inevitably end up accusing one another of being obtuse.

    What is anti-gay polemic?

    > If you really want to avoid this, you must remember that all
    > communication consists not in what is said, but in what is heard. Try
    > putting yourself in the shoes of a gay Christian and reflect on how they
    > are likely to understand your words.

    Try putting yourself in the shoes a white man trying to raise a son to be a
    husband and a father in a world of uncontrolled immigration, and societal and
    media hatred of 'angry white men'.

    Similar efforts have to be made

    > these days in commenting on many other sensitive areas. The police must
    > watch their language when they challenge afro-carribean youths in
    > Brixton. Businessmen have had to learn to speak with extra caution when
    > dealing with female staff. Some preachers have made efforts in the
    > direction of inclusive language. The vocabulary we choose, the jokes we
    > crack, the stereotypes we endorse - verbal carelessness of many kinds can
    > betray the presence of prejudice buried so deep in our vocabulary we do
    > not even recognise its offensive potential.

    Afro-Carribean youths who watch US media and learn that 'angry white men'
    have enslaved them for hundreds of years do not hesitate to shoot white
    policemen in the head with their own guns. Anybody hear of a 17 year old
    named Malvo? Let's be sensitive to his needs.

    > Of course, it is easy to disparage the appeal for more sensitivity in
    > this area as mere "political correctness". And, up to a point, such
    > impatience is understandable. Activists within racial minorities and
    > militant feminists have sometimes exploited the emotive overtones in words
    > like "racist" or
    > "sexist" in order to foster a culture of suspicion within their
    > respective communities. No doubt pro-gay campaigners have sometimes
    > unjustly smeared their opponents as homophobes in a similar way. However, a
    > little
    > pre-emptive tact is all that it takes to forestall such unjust
    > criticisms, if you really do wish to avoid them.

    Mere 'political correctness' is your willing relinquishing of freedom of
    speech. The New Left has smeared white reproducing males for many years now.
    How long will that go on until you realize that they need your sensitivity

    > Be rational Prejudice, by definition, is irrational. It feeds
    > on superstitious taboos, distorted caricatures and just plain ignorance.
    > All these factors contribute to homophobia. Most gay Christians find it
    > impossible to understand the reason for the Church's traditional
    > negativism towards the kind of relationships for which their hearts
    > yearn. They put it in the same category of embarrassing ecclesiastical
    > gaffes as witch-trials,
    > anti-semitism and the crusades. To them the current anti-gay movement
    > among evangelicals seems as ludicrously out-of-date as the flat-earth
    > society. It must reflect prejudice, they say, because it is so utterly
    > irrational. The way to avoid this charge is to make sure your opinions
    > are rigorously argued.
    > For instance, gays are often damned with the adjective "unnatural". They,
    > not unreasonably reply "unnatural for whom?" The potential for same-sex
    > covenant love to exceed heterosexual marriage in its capacity to generate
    > personal devotion and self-sacrifice is clearly attested in story of
    > David and Jonathan. Was their friendship "unnatural"? The Church replies
    > that by "unnatural" it does not mean homophile affection as such, but the
    > genital
    > acts to which such affection may lead. But again gays are perplexed
    > because there is nothing they do in the pursuit of sexual fulfillment
    > which cannot be found among heterosexuals. If the Church's real argument
    > is with oral and anal intercourse, why is it only gays who are being
    > targeted? And why are the many co-habiting gays who, for reasons of their
    > own, abstain from penetrative sex not exempted from the Church's
    > vilification?

    Who is the Church? Orthodox religious groups also rail against homosexuality.
    Aren't they homophobic? Not here. Not in the media. All Jews are descended
    from orthodox communities which have some of the highest birth rates in the
    world. If they allowed homosexuality those birth rates would go down. They
    don't. The birth rates of Christian Americans who have embraced
    homosexuality, abortion, and birth control have gone down and now we are told
    that only uncontrolled immigration can restore our population. By championing
    the causes of gays you are indirectly championing the high birth rates of
    orthodox Jewry while also championing the low birth rates of Christian
    Americans. Regardless of the language you use, gayness causes extinction
    (consumed by fire).

    > Again, homosexuals are often told their behaviour is "unbiblical" - to
    > which they reply "unbiblical according to whom?" That there are biblical
    > texts that have been traditionally understood to mean that all
    > expressions of
    > homosexuality are wrong is undeniable. But tradition has proven a
    > notoriously dangerous guide throughout church history. Responsible
    > biblical interpreters recognise that reason has an indispensable role to
    > play in distinguishing valid tradition from hallowed mistakes. No doubt
    > in areas of abstruse doctrine like the Trinity it may be sometimes
    > defensible to take refuge in "mystery". Truths of revelation may
    > sometimes appear counter-intuitive. However, that kind of concession to
    > irrationality is not sustainable in the area of ethics. Moral imperatives
    > are only cogent if they
    > are perceived to make sense.

    It makes sense that physical desire be conquered to be with God or the self
    is not denied. Since homosexuality has no reproductive function and you're
    raising the desire to physical sex to be on a par with reproductive marriage,
    you're saying a behavior that leads toward extinction is as sacred as a
    behavior that causes us to be fruitful and multiply. You can't have your
    cake and eat it too.

    > In that connection, Jesus himself countered the complexity of scribal
    > casuistry with his assurance that the whole of our moral duty could be
    > summed up in two great commandments: love God and love your neighbour.

    That's right, but if you love your neighbor, you don't lead him toward his
    own extinction. Did you ever notice how important genealogy is in the Bible?
    You have to reproduce over generations to amass one.

    > experience of gay Christians, however, is that committed homophile
    > relationships breach neither of these prime directives. They reason that
    > the biblical texts which appear to condemn homosexuality must, therefore,
    > reflect certain kinds of homosexual activity in the ancient world which
    > did contravene the twin laws of love. This could be either because they
    > were exploitative/abusive (contra the love of neighbour) or associated
    > with idolatry (contra the love of God). This interpretation of the texts
    > seems to them perfectly reasonable. Those who wish to insist that
    > homosexuality is "unbiblical" must demonstrate, therefore, what it is
    > about same-sex relationships that make them wrong. Posturing that does
    > not get beyond "the Bible says so" smacks of the crudest form of
    > fundamentalist obscurantism.

    You don't breed. The purpose of life is to live and to create more life. A
    population thhat pursues 100% gays is doomed. That would be the end of
    Biblical history.
    I'm sorry. I'm squarely behind reproducing couples.

    > Most important of all, if you are determined to insist that homosexuality
    > should be treated as a sin, you must provide some rational evidence of
    > the harm it does. All we are told in this connection is that it damages
    > "the
    > family". Gay Christians simply do not understand the logic of this
    > charge. Is the implication that thousands of young people would choose
    > homosexuality as an alternative to heterosexual marriage if the Church
    > rescinded its ban? The idea is patently ridiculous. What then is it about
    > homosexuality that is so dangerous that it must be eliminated from the
    > Church at all costs? If you do not want to be considered a homophobic
    > bigot you must at least make an effort to explain this rationally.

    There is no displute that gay behavior served to transfer AIDS to the larger
    population. That is rational evidence enough.
    I'll say it again. Gays don' t breed.

    > Be consistent Prejudice is invariably discriminatory. It is
    > selects a certain group of people as the object of its loathing and
    > ignores others. It seems to the gay community that in targeting them
    > evangelical Christians are displaying precisely this kind of selectivity.
    > They observe that a strong case can be made, both from tradition and
    > scripture, against usury, abortion and divorce. But evangelicals do not
    > seem to be mounting public campaigns to have bankers, gynaecologists and
    > divorcees excommunicated or excluded from public ministry. On the
    > contrary, a sweet reasonableness permits such individuals to continue in
    > fellowship. Why are gays singled out for the evangelical anathema?
    > Two answers are usually given to this:
    > The first is that homosexuality is a peculiarly serious crime. But, once
    > again, we must know why? More serious than the cruel burden of debt
    > inflicted on the poorest nations of the world? More serious than the
    > dismembering of unborn children? More serious than a direct challenge to
    > the word of Christ himself about the inviolability of the marriage bond?
    > The second answer is that the pro-homosexual lobby has been so brazen in
    > its flaunting of "gay rights" that evangelicals have been forced to take
    > counter-measures. Gays might have been allowed to stay in the closet, we
    > are assured, but they have insisted on public recognition and awoken the
    > sleeping dragon of moral outrage as a result.
    > But there is long history of Christian minorities campaigning for their
    > "rights". Protestants and Catholics both did so in the sixteenth century.
    > Anabaptists and quakers did so in the seventeenth century. Slaves did so
    > in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Women did so in the twentieth
    > century. In each case, the authority of the Bible and of tradition were
    > invoked and political power was deployed in order to prevent change. Yet
    > now
    > everybody recognises that these minorities had a just cause and should in
    > no way have yielded to the institutionalised intimidation that sought to
    > silence their protests. Is it not reasonable to believe that homosexuals
    > may be the latest in this catalogue of groups who have had to fight
    > prejudice to secure toleration? Since evangelicals have historically on
    > many occasions been numbered among those persecuted minorities
    > themselves, would it not be more consistent if they defended the "rights"
    > of gays rather than complaining about those brave individuals who have
    > "come out" in order to secure justice for their community?

    what community? What group. It's a behavior. Innateness has not been proven.
    They're also our sons and daughters, not a strange ethnic group, but
    defectors from our very own religios behaviores who weaken the reproductive
    mandate and denigrate the natural family strucutre sanctified in our religion.

    > Be humble It is always easier to identify arrogance in others than in
    > oneself. No doubt the strident assertions of some pro-gay activists lack
    > meekness, or even courtesy. Raised voices and immoderate words are all
    > too often symptoms of chronically inflated egos, and both the gay and
    > anti-gay lobbies certainly have their share of these.

    and so do pundits who comment on it.

    > However, there is more dangerous form of arrogance than simple
    > bigheadedness. Prejudice is particularly menacing when it is coupled to
    > an arrogant assertion of absolute certainty. Karl Popper in his seminal
    > study The Open Society demonstrated how small the gap is between "I am sure
    > I'm
    > right" and "Therefore, I must be obeyed". It was the absolute certainty
    > of fascism and communism that made them capable of genocide. It was the
    > absolute certainty of Muslim fundamentalism that led to the carnage of
    > September 11th. Christians too have been guilty of frightful acts of
    > tyranny and atrocity in the past. In fact, any creed that purports to
    > have access to
    > "Truth" can be subverted in this way.

    All of this characterization and name calling. Communism is still pretty
    certain of itself and the New Left supports the homosexual agenda. 9/11
    happened because we support Israeli genocide.

    Ah, he exposes himself. He is a moral relativist, unworthy to critique
    Christianity. I guess my creed cannot purport to have access to the "Truth."
    The truth should be what the BBC says or what CNN says or what the oped pages
    say or for that matter whhat anyone decides at any given moment.

    > Of course, the response of post-modernism has been to deny all claims to
    > absolute certainty by radically relativising the meaning of "Truth". But
    > evangelicals refuse to throw the baby out with the bathwater in that way;
    > and rightly so in my view. It is perfectly possible to witness to the
    > infallibility of Scripture without surrendering to authoritarianism, and
    > it is absolutely crucial at this juncture in the cultural history of the
    > West that we demonstrate that possibility to the watching world. Failure
    > to do so will result in evangelicalism being stigmatised along with the
    > Taliban; and again, rightly so.

    God is an authoritarian.

    > The only sense in which homosexuality can rightly be said to be a
    > "defining issue" for the Church today is that it crucially tests the
    > ability of Christians to eschew fundamentalist fanaticism and to hold the
    > divine Word of truth in humility.
    > Homophobic bigotry - or just conscientious objection?
    > To sum up then, if you would avoid the charge of homophobia you must
    > demonstrate:
    > the sensitivity that chooses tactful words;
    > the rationality that offers arguments rather than assertions;
    > the consistency that expresses equal indignation about other social
    > issues;
    > and, perhaps most important of all, the humility to admit that you
    > might be wrong.
    > You may complain that pro-gay speakers and writers do not show such
    > consideration to you. Instead your sincere moral convictions have been
    > denounced as homophobic bigotry. I acknowledge that this could be true.
    > But, however unfair the misrepresentation of your views, the situation is
    > not symmetric. Christian gays are not trying to eject you from the Church
    > or from ministry, you are trying to eject them.
    > In law a verdict of "Not Guilty" requires only the establishment of
    > "reasonable doubt". Even if you feel the case against gays has been
    > proved, there are other members of the jury who are less convinced. No
    > one wishes to
    > shut you up, but what you say and how you say it makes a huge difference.
    > Roy Clements

    It's in the structure. If we embrace homosexuality without closed breeding
    communities like the Jews have we hasten our own extinction which is what is
    happening. Any other argument is subservient to this one since this argument
    is a life and death argument.


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