The Homosexuality Debate is Not a Debate

Justin Taylor has a post where he asks how Christians should respond to the gauntlet that faces them whenever they try to argue against homosexuality and for traditional sexual morality. He includes a lot of interesting links, including this one from Trevin Wax called “How I Wish the Homosexuality Debate Would Go,” in which he envisions a talk show where the Christian position comes out looking good, for once:

Host: But it appears to me that you and your church take a rather unloving position when it comes to gay people. Are homosexuals welcome to come to your church? 

Pastor: Of course. We believe that the gospel is a message relevant for every person on the planet, and we want everyone to hear the gospel and find salvation in Jesus Christ. So at our church, our arms are outstretched to people from every background, every race, every ethnicity and culture. We’re a place for all kinds of sinners and people with all kinds of problems. 

Host: But you said there, “We’re a place for sinners.” So you do believe that homosexuality is sinful, right? 

Pastor: Yes, I do. 

Host: So how do you reconcile the command to love all people with a position on homosexuality that some would say is radically intolerant? 

Pastor: (smiling) If you think my position on homosexuality is radical, just wait until you hear what else I believe! I believe that a teenage guy and girl who have sex in the backseat of a pick-up are sinning. The unmarried heterosexual couple living down the street from me is sinning. In fact, any sexual activity that takes place outside of the marriage covenant between a husband and wife is sinful. What’s more, Jesus takes this sexual ethic a step further and goes to the heart of the matter. That means that any time I even lust after someone else, I am sinning. Jesus’ radical view of sexuality shows all of us up as sexual sinners, and that’s why He came to die. Jesus died to save lustful, homo- and heterosexual sinners and transform our hearts and minds and behavior. Because He died for me, I owe Him my all. And as a follower of Jesus, I’m bound to what He says about sex and morality.

This is great in a daydreamy, Walter Mitty kind of way. Unfortunately, this interview would never happen in real life because a) Real cable news chat show hosts have a combination of ignorance of and contempt for Christianity that is far beyond Trevin Wax’s imaginary host, and b) No Christian spokesman who is capable of pulling off this kind rhetorical matador act would ever be allowed anywhere near a mainstream media TV camera. “We need the Christian take on a hot-button issue. Somebody call Joel Osteen or Pat Robertson!”

Because the homosexuality debate is not a “debate” at all. “Debate” implies that two parties are trying to use facts and reason to determine truth. Christians will only find themselves in this situation regarding homosexuality in very rare cases.

Much more often, homosexuals use disputes with Christians as a tool to gain political leverage. Gay rights activists aren’t trying to understand what Christians really believe. They’re trying to paint Christians as heartless, ignorant bigots and themselves as the put-upon minority in need of civil protection from aforementioned bigots.

It would be nice if we all could just get together peacefully and find out more about each other. Unfortunately, America’s political landscape right now is more like an Alinskyite power-grab and less like a freshman mixer.

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