Perversion is Not Christian

When it comes to forbidding homosexuality, the Church should just explain why it is shameful and what it keeps the homosexual from becoming. Some examples of arguments I think are good: Homosexuality destroys family life and robs parents of grandchildren and the community of its youth. Wealthy homosexuals acquiring children through surrogacy is going to lead to gross abuses (and already has); surrogacy is a more intense prostitution. These kinds of arguments are more persuasive than trying to prove that homosexuality is a choice.

Not Everything Unnatural is Chosen

There are plenty of churches, and institutions generally, that will show “care and concern” for homosexuals, i.e., that will respect homosexuality. There are even some places where what is queer is more highly valued than what is not queer. Nevertheless, broad swathes of American society—especially the Christian conservatives—still believe homosexuality is shameful and persist in calling it shameful. While it would seem an amicable separation between liberals and conservatives would be possible, there are organizations whose purpose is to persuade the conservatives that their tradition is wrong and that they ought to assimilate their views to the predominant culture.

One of these organizations is called Revoice. Ben Dunson shed light on their line of argument a few weeks ago. He sums up their position as follows:

Revoice has adopted the language of contemporary homosexual activism in asserting that homosexuality is an inborn, unchangeable inclination or orientation; it is an aspect of one’s identity that only becomes sinful if acted upon in the mind (lust) or with the body (sexual activity).

In other words, homosexuals cannot be blamed or shamed for their homosexuality, because it is not chosen. Celibate homosexuals can be as Christian as chaste heterosexuals. Does Revoice want perfect equality? The exact measure of respect they’re asking for is not relevant; it does not matter if they claim they aren’t demanding respect, or are only asking not to be excluded. “Clarifications” of this kind don’t change the essential point, namely, that homosexuality isn’t chosen and what isn’t chosen isn’t shameful, that there is no crime or sin where there is no choice. That is the main claim and it’s this claim I want to dispute.

The Conservative Argument Hitherto

Historically, the conservative line of argument has been, contrary to Revoice’s claims, that homosexuality is a choice. Conservatives have worked to show that what is “unnatural” is what is “chosen,” the assumption being that what is natural is what is inborn. Therefore, they claim that homosexuality is unnatural, therefore not inborn, therefore chosen, therefore a sin.

Churches can “discriminate” against unnatural things but not natural things because, so the thinking goes, churches cannot discriminate against what is not chosen. America’s “civil rights mindset” runs along these lines: whatever is not chosen cannot be held against a person.

Christians caught up in this way of thinking have worked very hard to prove that homosexuality (and other things) are chosen, i.e., not natural or inborn. These Christians agree with the civil rights mindset and believe it is a Christian mindset, or want to mold the Christian mindset to it.

The Problem

Revoice’s central premise—the civil rights mindset—should be rejected, namely, that what isn’t chosen isn’t shameful, and that there can be neither crime nor sin when there is no choice.

Conservatives have lost on this issue because they were unable to persuade others that homosexuality was a choice. Conservatives can learn a new way of proving homosexuality is a choice, make the old way actually persuasive, give up on the issue, or finally reject the civil rights premise in its entirety.

Consider the evidence against homosexuality being a choice. Homosexual sex is worse than heterosexual sex; indeed, most healthy people think it is gross. If a man is choosing homosexual sex, he is choosing poorly.

Wanting to have homosexual sex is not the same as wanting to rob a bank. Everyone can understand wanting to rob a bank. If you get away with robbing a bank, “you’ve gotten off scot-free” and with a large amount of cash. No healthy person thinks people having gay sex are getting away with something. The homosexual is more like a disordered man who eats dirt or his own hair, rather than a thief or even a murderer. As a result, people tend to view homosexuals as unfortunates and perverts.

A sane person would not willingly choose homosexual desire over heterosexual desire. Therefore, a person who chooses homosexual desire is to some extent insane, and to that extent, he is not capable of making a genuine choice.

Now, it will be argued, the homosexual made choices that brought this insanity upon him. This objection only pushes the essential point back a step because only an insane man would make choices that bring on insanity.

The truth of the matter is that homosexuality is both unnatural and unchosen, indeed, most unnatural things are unchosen. Christians do not need to prove that a perversion is “chosen” to prove that it is a perversion.

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