Another blogger recently ‘liked’ something that I posted. When that happens, I get an email from WordPress informing me of such, as well as an invite to check out his or her recent posts. Following one, I came across a well-written blog entry by TK asking “Why does it matter if sexuality is a choice?” TK’s sentiments echo those of many out there. I wish to respond to it, offering, perhaps, another point of view. Please be aware, this post clocks in nearly 50% longer than my typical approach, as I wanted to give these questions the attention they deserve.
The opening paragraph addresses “Most in the religious community say it (sexuality) is (a choice) and most in the scientific community say it’s not.” In the end, however, does it matter?
From a Biblical stand point, it does not. I believe we agree on that point. However, I would contend that, regardless, from God’s standpoint, it is still a sin. God calls certain actions sacred, and sex happens to be one of them. To remain pure, in God’s eyes, sex must be between a married man and woman.
What about the gay person who is naturally attracted to the same gender? Well, the Bible makes it clear that having those desires are not sinful. Jesus, himself, faced temptations of various types, but never sinned. However, acting on those temptations gets us into trouble.
The homosexual, therefore, faces a similar challenge and struggle that many heterosexual men do. By nature, most men find themselves attracted to good looking women of the opposite gender. God does not consider that attraction a sin. However, if he acts on that, outside of marriage, God condemns that as strongly as homosexual acts. To use myself as a great example, getting married did not kill my desire to want to ‘hook up’ with other women. However, my nature craves it. By God’s grace, I have to discipline myself to stay within His Will (and my wife’s!).
So, whether or not a homosexual’s attraction is natural, or somehow learned, is irrelevant.
TK continues, “We all have our own morals, but there’s a separation of church and state for a reason. We don’t get to impose our personal beliefs on other people.”
Well, that’s not necessarily true. First, in our country, the government defines what marriage is. And, we, the people, control the government by majority voting. Now, you can have an opinion that we should separate church and state, but the reality is that the two are joined at the hip when it comes to the institution of marriage. So, by law and logic, we do have the right to impact, and dictate, as Americans, how marriage works within our borders. For two centuries, that has been defined as a man and a woman. It has never been a man and three women (Despite numerous illegal polygamy groups), a man and a cousin or a man and an animal.
And, for those two centuries, two same sex people did not qualify, either.
There are numerous thrusts for that decision and its two centuries of unquestionable rule, including social and religious concerns. In a country where the majority of people believed in God of the Bible, they believed that God had the right to define sacred and profane. And, the Bible makes it pretty clear what qualifies as a sacred marriage. So, in a country where ‘majority rules,’ this topic was a no-brainer for the longest.
Now, in a post modern society where everything, including God’s existence, is questioned, the majority no longer cling to the notions of God, sacred or profane. Support for the Biblical model of marriage decline, allowing other views to take center stage. Appealing mostly through emotionalism (“Who are we to tell these people they cannot love each other?”), gay marriage increases in popularity. As it becomes a majority viewpoint, it becomes law of the land.
From a personal stand point, I would remind people that while we run our country by “Majority Rules,” such an approach is horrible for actually determining right and wrong. Using history as a guide, we see way too many instances where the majority (and vocal minority) made decisions that we now see are completely wrong (Slavery, anyone?) Each of us should search hard for truth (I prefer a factual, logical approach myself) and vote along those lines, rather than listening to the majority, or even the heart, which tends to change with the winds… Regardless, we have the right, and responsibility, to attempt to impact certain types of morality through legislation. As long as marriage remains a government institution, it qualifies.
TK asks, “If two consenting adults, regardless of their gender, want to engage in a sexual activity, they are affecting no one else’s rights. So why should there be a law against it?”
I do not know of many people fighting to make (or support) laws against homosexual activity, par se. You will find few laws on the books against it now, and those few have nearly no enforcement. That has not changed in quite some time. The debate most engage in revolves around homesexual marriage. Gay couples want same rights as heterosexual couples. I honestly feel that asking “Why do people try to support laws outlawing gay marriage” would be more accurate.
I would respond that the family is the fundamental unit in a country. Multiple families in close proximity form a community. Communities form cities. Cities form states. And our 50 states make a nation. When you change the definition of a family, you change the way that nation looks… just as if you changed the structure of cells in a person. For example, since the institution of marriage is a governmental one, if you change that definition, you also change what the government teaches in our schools, to our children. And, by extension, changed what my children are taught about relationships and marriage…which, by my faith system, is incredibly sacred. So, yes, you are impacting my rights, and, more importantly, how my children and their future generations are taught by the system. And that’s just one example. Change this one, fundamental thread, and you change the tapestry, so to speak.
A bit later, TK asks, “Why is it all about sex? We forget that relationships are so much more than sex. They mean so much more.”
First, I would point out that, just earlier, we were discussing marriage. Most of the debating going on in the country has to do with that, as, I pointed out above, impacts people profoundly.
When it comes to the act of sex, itself, the Bible makes it clear that it should be shared only between a husband and wife. To God, sex is not just an act…it’s the consummation of the passion, love and relationship between two people. He designed it to be sacred, holy and wondrous, all at once. To do just that, He laid out parameters. After all, if one has sex with just any friend, it loses much of its purpose…the passion becomes a lot less meaningful.
So what about two, same sex people, dedicated to each other in such a relationship?
God permits them to enjoy many of the benefits of friendship a married couple might. We see plenty of stories of brothers and sisters in Christ (such as Jonathan and David), who had very close friendships. Yet, God draws the line at sexual exchanges (and, by extensions, ‘exchanging lusts,’ which covers a broad array of sexual activity, not just traditional definitions of sex). He never explains exactly why, in the Bible, so I will not hazard guesses on a public blog. God simply makes it clear that He does not allow it.
Just like he doesn’t allow a married man to follow his natural lusts and have any sexual passions (or lusts) towards a beautiful co-worker who is not his wife, God does not allow two, same sex friends to exchange sexual passions. In God’s eyes, all such sinful actions lead to death. And this answers another question TK asks, “Why does it seem like people obsess over the act?” Simply put, in terms of morality for conservatives and Bible believers, same sex friendships (even close ones) are not wrong. In fact, they can glorify God when they follow His ways. Same sex acts, however, fall outside His design. God feels so strongly about this, that aside from judgement seen in the Old Testament, numerous warnings (along with dire messages about adultery, fornication, etc), litter the epistle writings.
Finally, I would like to end by addressing the opening quote, “Okay, maybe God can judge, but no human walking on earth is God.”
The Bible makes it clear that we are not to judge the hearts of man. We cannot look at someone’s life and determine whether they go to Hell. That’s clearly God’s call.
However, the Bible also makes it clear that we WILL be judges, and judge in areas that he sees fit. The Bible also says that He puts the governments into place to judge our actions and keep order. We are to obey them and follow their judgments. So, it is wrong to simply assert that we, as humans, cannot and should never judge. Jesus even went so far as to show us how tough love and judgment works in a church…and may even involve kicking a brother out with the hopes of saving him from sin. So, please, consider that we ARE called to judge on matters of morality but we are called to do so in love to our fellow man and God. Unfortunately, hate motivates a LOT of judgement passed in our society today.