Homosexuality Archives

The (Cultural) Freedom of Speech

(This is part of the script of the latest episode of my podcast, "Consider This!")

What is it that they say about conservatives? They’re haters, they’re whatever-phobes, they’re intolerant of people who are different than they are. Then what to make of this story.

Over 5 years ago, some guy – we’ll call him Bubba – gave $1000 to a political cause. He gave his personal money, not on behalf of anyone else. A bit of free political speech in action.

Fast forward to today, and Bubba was the target of a campaign to push him out of his job because someone found out about this contribution. Bubba gave in to the pressure, and resigned.

If Bubba had given money to the Sierra Club to save the whales, or to Planned Parenthood to provide free abortions, and this had happened to him, the Left in this country would be outraged. But because Bubba, whose real name is Brendan Eich, former CEO of Mozilla, gave to California’s Proposition 8, the effort to keep marriage between one man and one woman, the otherwise First-Amendment-loving Left are mum, as well as being the ones who did the pushing.

I have said it a number of times before, and I need to say it again. The Progressive element in this country is all about Constitutional rights, right up to the point when those rights are used against their pet political causes. Then the hate, intolerance, and phobias that they accuse others of come quickly to the surface. A clearer case of projection – accusing others of what you yourself harbor – is not easily found.

And consider this. At the time of his donation, Brendan felt the same way about the issue as President Obama, Vice President Biden, and, as it turned out, 60% of California voters. Five short years later, he’s being punished for it by the real Thought Police. There are no allegations that he mistreated, maligned, or otherwise caused harm to any homosexuals in his company. One’s views on this topic have no connection whatsoever with the business of Mozilla; most notably the Firefox web browser. This is completely, 100% a “thought crime”.

It’s the progressive Left that likes to proclaim that it is more tolerant, that is more free-thinking, right up to the point where you disagree with them. Beyond that point, they want to dictate what you can and can’t think, culturally if not legally, and sometimes even legally; just ask Hobby Lobby, or proprietors that don’t wish to participate in same-sex weddings. No, you must toe the line of the tolerant, free-thinkers. Is anyone noticing the irony here, where “mutual respect” only works one way?

“If you like your beliefs, you can keep your beliefs. To yourself. If you don’t, you can’t keep your job.”

    The American Psychiatric Association has bowed to pressure again.

    A shocking announcement made by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in its latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders caused an uproar among pro-family organizations and many others, as the APA states it now classifies pedophilia as a sexual orientation or preference instead of a disorder.

    The APA is either becoming less about psychiatry and more about political correctness, or it’s too easily pushed around by interest groups. It’s classification of homosexuality as a “sexual orientation” gave a huge boost to mainstreaming of that behavior. Now what?

    Update: New information. The American Family Association was right, that “sexual orientation” was used referring to pedphila. However, the American Psychiatric Association now says that was a mistake.

    In response to media calls, including queries from Charisma News, the APA admitted there was an error in the DSM and announced plans to correct its manual to make it clear that it does not classify pedophilia as a sexual orientation.

      Same-sex marriage got a gentle nudge from the Supreme Court in the recent ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act. But, as much as it seems that it’ll be a state-by-state issue, a court ruling in late July suggests that same-sex marriage anywhere may mean same-sex marriage everywhere. A federal judge in Ohio ordered state officials to recognize the marriage of two men who were married in Maryland, for the purposes of listing on the death certificate of one that he was married to the other.

      Yeah, it’s just a blank on a form being filled in, but if it stands, it would be a legal precedent that could easily be built upon. So here’s the question for same-sex marriage proponents. Do you really believe this should be decided by each state, or should it be handed down from the federal government? If the former, you should be against this judge’s action. If the latter, you should be letting us all know. My guess is that if people knew that proponents are looking to force this on all states, there would be quite the backlash. And so, in the meantime, it’s not spoken of much in polite company. After all, if you think the federal government shouldn’t define marriage via DOMA, then it shouldn’t define marriage, period.

      And the people of Ohio would get to choose how to deal with this situation themselves.

        The Supreme Court "Proposition 8" Ruling

        The Prop 8 ruling was perhaps more troubling than even DOMA. The Supremes decided, cutting across ideological lines interestingly, that the people of California had no standing to bring their own challenge against the ruling of a judge that Prop 8, which created a state constitutional amendment defining marriage, was unconstitutional. Here’s a graphic I found that describes the problem the best.

        While I’m against true direct democracy (the ol’ “two lions and a sheep voting on dinner” analogy), the proposition feature of California law has a high enough bar to clear to get something on the ballot to safeguard that. But now the people’s will can be simply ignored, with the ruling of a single judge, and we, the people, have no standing to challenge it at the Supreme Court. Wow.

          The Supreme Court DOMA Ruling

          In the recent spate of rulings from the Supremes were two that dealt with same-sex marriage; the Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA), and California’s Proposition 8. I’ll look at Prop 8 tomorrow.

          The portion of the DOMA law that was ruled against is a provision that denies benefits to legally-married gay couples. Gay couples, under federal law, will now be considered “married.” The DOMA vote was 5-4, with Justice Kennedy writing for himself and the liberals on the court. He wrote that DOMA is a violation of, “basic due process and equal protection principles applicable to the federal government.” Very interestingly, he also pointed out that DOMA infringed on states’ rights to define marriage.

          Having just written about the Voting Rights Act yesterday, let me just say that that last observation is almost humorous coming from the liberal justices. The same people who said that 50-year-old data is sacrosanct in one ruling, said, in another ruling released the same day, that the definition of marriage, which has been defined for millennia, is just a states’ rights issue. The duplicity and blind partisanship is simply breathtaking.

          In one respect, I agree with the DOMA ruling, regarding the idea that the federal government doesn’t need to be in the business of defining marriage. Now, I don’t thinks states should do that either, but it sets a precedent, that marriage is decided at the ballot box. It isn’t. And besides, regarding federal involvement, it’s the states that give out marriage licenses, not DC. So from that angle, it does make sense. Sort of.

          The problem is, some states have decided to insert government into marriage like it has never been before. Glenn Reynolds, one of the most popular bloggers out there, the Instapundit, has been voicing his support for the repeal of DOMA by saying that government should get completely out of marriage. But as I have said before, when the government defines marriage, it is completely in the issue. Politics and PR will now define marriage. It didn’t need formal definition before, because it was almost universally agreed that it was one man and one woman. Cultures and religions, outside of government, defined marriage. All the state did was sanction what had already been decided. Basically, now that states decide what marriage is, the logical end of this is that marriage will mean what anyone wants it to mean, which means it will be meaningless. Since states were redefining an already well-defined term, it fell to the federal government to bring a little order and common sense to this chaos. I didn’t like it, but didn’t see any other good way out of it.

            Study Shows the Sun Rose Today

            (This is one of the segments of the most recent episode of my podcast, “Consider This!”)

            The NY Times recently reported on a study that, I imagine, came as a shock to most of the Times’ readership. “News organizations are far more likely to present a supportive view of same-sex marriage than an antagonistic view, according to a content study by the Pew Research Center to be released on Monday.” The Pew study also noted that the views of the public at large, contrary to the news reporting, are evenly divided.

            For conservatives, this is like a study showing that the sun rose this morning, or the Pope is actually Catholic. But this paranoia about news coverage does, in fact, prove the adage that it’s not paranoia because, if you have the unapproved viewpoint, they really are out to get you.

              Live and Let Live?

              (This is one of the segments of the most recent episode of my podcast, "Consider This!")

              From the state of Colorado comes this news story, showing just how intolerant this country has become.

              A neo-Nazi couple is pursuing a discrimination complaint against a Colorado bakery, saying the business refused them a Swastika wedding cake to honor their ceremony, and alleging that the owners have a history of turning away white-supremacist couples.

              Would you support the bakery in their refusal? Certainly, neo-Nazis don’t agree with our civil rights laws, so based on a civil rights objection, should a bakery be allowed to refuse to make a cake glorifying the Third Reich?

              As you may have guessed, I’ve modified this news story slightly to make a point. This is really a story about a same sex couple, from Massachusetts, suing a baker in Colorado. Religious freedom is the first of the freedoms guaranteed in the first amendment, even before speech. And yet folks exercising that freedom are not given the same deference as someone who might discriminate based on something that the Constitution doesn’t specifically protect.

              Could a baker refuse to decorate a cake with text featuring the N-word, or any other word that we usually identify by its first letter? If they could, what about the customer’s freedom of speech? Does it override the baker’s freedom? I don’t believe this would even be an issue, or if it was, the ACLU might even be on the side of a baker not wanting to display a Swastika or an obscene word on their product. As it is, the ACLU is supporting the out-of-state same-sex couple, because a religious objection doesn’t make the cut.

              Nor does it for a florist from Washington, nor a photographer from New Mexico. Same-sex marriage is not a case of “live and let live”. It requires others to validate it, regardless of any objection buttressed by the Constitution.

                Can Boy Scouts Ban … Alcoholics?

                Here’s a report about the controversy a private club has found itself embroiled in.

                The Boy Scouts of America will get no reprieve from controversy after a contentious vote to accept alcoholic boys as Scouts.

                Dismayed conservatives are already looking at alternative youth groups as they predict a mass exodus from the BSA. Alcoholics-rights supporters vowed Friday to maintain pressure on the Scouts to end the still-in-place ban on alcoholic adults serving as leaders.

                "They’re not on our good list yet," said Paul Guequierre of the Human Rights Campaign, a national alcoholic -rights group. He said the HRC, in its annual rankings of corporate policies on workplace fairness, would deduct points from companies that donate to the Boy Scouts until the ban on alcoholic adults is lifted.

                Now, you may be wondering why you didn’t hear about this particular scandal, and the reason is it hasn’t happened. I just took a news article and replaced every mention of the word “gay” with the word “alcoholic”. All of a sudden, it sounds absolutely nuts, doesn’t it? Should the Scouts be allowed to discriminate against alcoholics? Set aside for the moment that the drinking age is such that it would exclude boys in the Scouts age range, would the Scouts come under fire for not allowing boys who are what you might call “practicing alcoholics” into its ranks? Would any human rights group fault them for having a ban on alcoholic adults as Scout leaders?

                The plain fact is, no, they wouldn’t. The official policy of the Boy Scouts of America is that alcohol is not permitted “at encampments or activities on property owned and/or operated by the Boy Scouts of America, or at any activity involving participation of youth members.” Certainly a troop leader showing up drunk wouldn’t be tolerated. They’ve made that rule, and no one (that I know of) is coming down on them for it.

                And yet the Human Rights Campaign and others have been pressuring the Scouts to set aside their ban on homosexual boys in Scouting. Why? Well, because they’re born that way, as our culture keeps reminding us, so to discriminate against them is unfair and bigoted, right? And yet, there is research that shows conclusively that alcoholism is, in part, genetic as well. In fact, there is more evidence of that than there is evidence of homosexuality having a genetic component. It’s being studied, but right now, nothing is at all conclusive, unlike the way the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism describe the genetic link.

                If they’re born that way, and if being born that way means no one can discriminate against that trait for any reason, well, is that a Pandora’s box you really want to open?

                At its core, the ban on gay Scouts was partly a moral stance, with the Scout Oath including a phrase about being morally straight. It was also partly an issue of general sexuality. Would you want your boy sharing tent with a girl? Or, more generally, with someone who may be sexually attracted to him? Consider this.

                And while the Scouts have lifted the ban on gay Scouts, they’ve kept it for Scout leaders. The HRC doesn’t like that, either. Let’s think about this. Those priests that got accused of molesting boys can now trade out their collar for a khaki shirt and become a Scoutmaster. What would the HRC think about that?

                  Overcoming Such Unanimity

                  Ben DeBono is one of the co-hosts of a podcast I listen to, "The Sci-Fi Christian".  I have the distinction of having named their alien mascot, "Theo".

                  Ben is a recent convert to Catholicism, while I am a  long-time Protestant. And yet there are commonalties that people tend to ignore too often. He highlighted one of those commonalities in a recent Facebook post.

                  Here’s a thought experiment for Christians arguing for biblical support of homosexuality and/or homosexuall [sic] marriage:

                  On the subject of homosexuality theologians as diverse as the Apostle Paul, Augustine, Aquinas, Martin Luther and every other major pre-20th century Christian thinker stand in complete agreement. Such unanimity is all but unprecedented in the tradition. Even a doctrine as fundamental as the Trinity has greater diversity of thought than homosexuality.

                  Regardless of how you view the authority of tradition, doesn’t such complete agreement deserve to be acknowledged and taken seriously? If you say yes, how can you justify the near complete lack of engagement with the tradition by those arguing for an understanding of Christianity that is pro-homosexuality? Wouldn’t such a drastic change on this issue demand a lengthy and complete engagement with the tradition?

                  If you say no, how do you justify the implicit claim that your interpretive abilities are superior to 2,000 years of unanimous teaching on this issue – Protestant, Catholic and otherwise?

                  Ben shows that, over the millennia, smart Christian guys from all over the spectrum, have been unified on this topic. I made a similar point 2 years ago when I noted that the Bible speak of homosexuality 100% negatively, and of marriage 100% heterosexually. I said essentially the same thing, "Ignore all of that collected wisdom at your peril."

                  The religious Left has been accepting homosexuality as a "non-sin" over the past 40 years, and same-sex marriage as blessed just for the past 10 years or so. Relatively speaking, however, this is nothing compared to the unanimity of the faith for the last 2,000 years. If one is going to throw out 2 millennia of doctrine, you had better have a good argument that a) this is really what the Bible says and b) the other guys were wrong. Yelling "Equality!" is not such an argument.

                    Jim Wallis "Evolves". Again.

                    Just as our President supposedly "evolved" on the issue of same-sex marriage, Rev. Jim Wallis, head of the liberal Sojourners group, has done the same thing. After saying that marriage shouldn’t be redefined, now that the culture apparently want to change it, now he’s fine with it.

                    Michael Brown, author and radio talk-show host, wrote an article for Charisma News that calls Wallis on the carpet for this change. (Emphasis his.)

                    Rev. Wallis, you told us in 2008 that “the sacrament of marriage” should not be changed and that “marriage is all through the Bible, and it’s not gender-neutral.” Now, in 2013, you want to redefine marriage and make it gender-neutral. In doing so, you have betrayed the Word of God and the people of God.

                    To be candid, sir, I’m not surprised by your theological flip-flop—just pained and distressed by it, since your name is still associated with evangelical Christianity in America and you are a prominent church leader.

                    This is not just an issue of going against what Brown (and I) believes the Bible says, but it’s yet another case of Wallis saying one thing and doing another. Brown offers up many examples.

                    In the past, you raised some valid criticisms about the “religious right” and its deep solidarity with the Republican Party, but then you joined yourself to the religious left and the Democratic Party, even campaigning for Democratic candidates. So much for taking a kingdom-of-God position that transcends partisan politics and challenges the political establishment.

                    To be sure, you have rightly challenged us to consider the poor and the oppressed, pointing to the hundreds of Scriptures that call us to “social justice.” But then you have turned around and applauded Communist dictatorships that championed oppression and tyranny.

                    When it comes to Christian integrity, you disappointed us when you received funding from pro-abortion, pro-atheism billionaire George Soros and when you allowed the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the world’s largest gay activist organization, to take out paid advertising in your Sojourners magazine, even though the HRC would love to silence all religious opposition to homosexual practice.

                    It is true that in 2008, you expressed having “mixed feelings” about the HRC ads, stating that you “probably wouldn’t do it again.” But today, the HRC celebrates your defection from biblical values, announcing in headline news, “Leading Evangelical Christian Voice Announces Support For Marriage Equality.”

                    Rev. Wallis, you have brought reproach to the name of Jesus, to the Word of God and to evangelical Christianity.

                    But the height of the hypocrisy is that Wallis seems to be making his moral decisions based on the culture, not based on Christ.

                    Worst of all, you have reversed your earlier position on what the Bible clearly says about marriage based largely on where “the country is going.”

                    What? Jim Wallis, the critic of the religious establishment; Jim Wallis, the counter-cultural revolutionary; Jim Wallis, the advocate of a Jesus who changes the world rather than conforms to it. You, sir, are now willing to redefine one of the most foundational and sacred human institutions, the institution of marriage, based on where the country is going? Isn’t that the path to spiritual and moral suicide?

                    Read the whole thing. (Hey, you’ve read most of it already.)

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