Tag Archives: Gay Rights

How would the Democrats’ “Equality Act” affect Christians and conservatives?

21 states have SOGI anti-discrimination laws
21 states have SOGI anti-discrimination laws

I’m following this Equality Act legislation as it moves through the House of Representatives. The bill would prohibit individuals and businesses from discriminating by sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). These SOGI laws already exist at the state level, in places where Christians are being sued and coerced to affirm and celebrate gay rights.

Here is a good article from The Stream, explaining 7 ways that the law would affect you:

  1. It would penalize Americans who don’t affirm new sexual norms or gender ideology.
  2. It would compel speech.
  3. It could shut down charities.
  4. It would allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports.
  5. It could be used to coerce medical professionals.
  6. It could lead to more parents losing custody of their children.
  7. It would enable sexual assault.

Let’s take a quick look at some examples of these changes already in progress.

I’m not covering #1, because everyone knows about the case against the Washington state florist, and the case against the Colorado baker and the case against the New Mexico wedding photographers.

For #2, here’s an example:

Virginia high school teacher Peter Vlaming lost his job for something he did not say.

A county school board voted unanimously to fire the veteran teacher over the objections of his students after he refused to comply with administrators’ orders to use masculine pronouns in referring to a female student who identifies as transgender.

If this goes national, I could get into the same sort of trouble at work for misgendering a co-worker or a customer.

For #3, I’d already heard about how foster parent and adoption agencies in some SOGI anti-discrimination states shut down because they couldn’t place children in traditional-marriage homes.

Here’s a different example:

In Anchorage, Alaska, a biological male born Timothy Paul Coyle goes by the name of Samantha Amanda Coyle. On two occasions, Coyle tried to gain access to the city’s Downtown Soup Kitchen Hope Center, a shelter for homeless, abused, and trafficked women.

In one attempt, authorities said, Coyle was inebriated and had gotten into a fight with a staffer at another shelter, so Hope Center staff paid Coyle’s fare to the emergency room to receive medical attention. Coyle sued the center for “gender identity discrimination.”

If thise goes national, you can expect that any social services organization would be charged with discrimination for any attempt to separate out men from women in bathrooms, showers, sleeping ares, etc.

For #4, we know already that biological males are identifying as women, and now biological women are unable to compete with them to win any prizes.

Here’s an example of #5, where medical professionals can be coerced to perform sex-change surgeries:

Under state sexual orientation and gender identity laws, individuals who identify as transgender have sued Catholic hospitals in California and New Jersey for declining to perform hysterectomies on otherwise healthy women who wanted to pursue gender transition.

For #6, I’ve blogged recently about how Canada allows the government to seize children from parents who disagree with gay rights and transgender transitioning.

But it happens in the USA, too:

In Ohio, a judge removed a biological girl from her parents’ custody after they declined to help her “transition” to male with testosterone supplements.

After the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s Transgender Health Clinic recommended these treatments for the girl’s gender dysphoria, the parents wanted to pursue counseling instead. Then the county’s family services agency charged the parents with abuse and neglect, and the judge terminated their custody.

Similar cases are proceeding through the courts with children as young as 6 years old.

And for number #7, I’ve blogged before about sexual assaults in bathrooms and other places by transgender women (biological men).

Here’s an example:

A complaint under investigation by federal education officials alleges that a boy who identifies as “gender fluid” at Oakhurst Elementary School in Decatur, Georgia, sexually assaulted Pascha Thomas’ 5-year-old daughter in a girls’ restroom. The boy had access to the girls’ restroom because of Decatur City Schools’ transgender restroom policy.

School authorities refused to change the policy even after Thomas reported the assault. Eventually, she decided to remove her daughter from school for the girl’s emotional well-being and physical safety.

As in all the examples mentioned, if the Equality Act became law, like the Democrats want it to, then any of these things could happen to you, if you decline to celebrate or participate in the gay agenda.

Although the Constitution lays out rights, those rights don’t matter to Democrats, your exercise of those rights makes people engaged in LGBT lifestyles feel unhappy. Their unhappy feelings trump your Constitution rights. At least that’s the case if the Democrats pass their bills, and appoint their judges to the courts.

Canadian court rules that parents can’t prevent children from obtaining hormone replacement therapy

Canada Election 2015: Socialists in red, Communists in Orange, Conservatives in blue
Canada Election 2015: Socialists in red, Communists in Orange, Conservatives in blue

Yesterday, I blogged about how progressive politicians and public school administrators allied in order to promote gay activist policies to young children in the state of Ontario, in Canada. I also mentioned how their child sex education curriculum was designed by a convicted pedophile. But they’re not the only state pushing gay activism against the parents who pay their salaries.

The Federalist first reported on the story in the last week of February:

Clark* first found out that his 12-year-old daughter Maxine was being treated as a boy by her school when he saw her new name in her class’s grade seven yearbook. “Quinn” was the new name her counselor had helped her pick out, and Maxine’s school district in Delta, British Columbia, Canada, had decided that “Quinn” should be treated, for all intents and purposes, as a boy.

The district apparently felt justified in leaving Maxine’s father completely out of the loop. Maxine’s school district was operating by the BC Ministry of Education’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Policy, according to which Clark had no right to know his daughter’s “preferred sex, gender, or name” at school.

Keep in mind that the policies of schools in Canada are often developed in conjunction with gay rights groups, who are consulted first, so that the schools can avoid costly “discrimination” lawsuits from gay rights lawyers later on.

More:

Maxine’s counselors at school … referred Maxine and her mother, Sarah, to a “Dr.” Wallace Wong — a psychologist and LGBT activist who predictably decided that Maxine should be referred to a children’s hospital for testosterone injections when she was only 13. Not to be outdone, the children’s hospital asked Maxine’s parents for permission to begin injecting Maxine with testosterone on her very first visit. Clark said no and refused to sign.

From the middle of August until October, the hospital worked Clark over, trying to get his consent. When he finally refused, the hospital dropped a bombshell threat: simply put, they declared that they didn’t need Clark’s or Sarah’s permission for that matter. In a letter mailed December 1, 2018, Dr. Brenden Hursh informed Clark that they would begin treatment on Maxine in two weeks, without Clark’s consent. BC Children’s Hospital believed Maxine was a “mature minor,” who could receive treatment against the wishes of both her parents, according to section 17 of the BC Infants Act.

Well, as you can see, the school teachers, school administrators, courts and hospital doctors (all taxpayer-funded actors), are anxious to get started on “treating” the child with drugs. Only the parent is in the way. I guess he thinks that he should be trusted to raise his own child as he sees fit, rather than to just pay the salaries of these public sector agents and then let them decide for him.

In Canada, people are seen as competent enough to earn money, but not competent enough to spend their money as they see fit. A (large) portion of taxpayer’s income is taken from them in the form of mandatory taxes, and it is then given to teachers, education bureaucrats, hospital administrators and courts in order to regulate their choices to be more in line with progressive values.

So what did the courts decide?

Here is the latest from The Federalist in the first week of March:

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada ordered that a 14-year-old girl receive testosterone injections without parental consent. The court also declared that if either of her parents referred to her using female pronouns or addressed her by her birth name, they would be considered guilty of family violence.

As previously reported, Maxine* was encouraged by her school counselor in BC’s Delta School District to identify as a boy while in seventh grade. When Maxine was 13 years old, Dr. Brenden Hursh and his colleagues at BC Children’s Hospital decided that Maxine should begin taking testosterone injections in order to develop a more masculine appearance.

Keep in mind that because the money for health care is extracted from taxpayers before they choose their medical treatment, taxpayers have no right to decide what treatments they will and will not get. It’s the politicians and the hospital administrators who decide. This is what single-payer health care means. You pay your income to the government, and the government decides whether you will be treated, when you will be treated, and even what treatments are appropriate for you. And if you disagree with that, there is no opt-out, except to leave the country. Although they might interpret your disapproval of their decision-making on parenting issues as a “mental illness”, and prescribe you with appropriate treatments for that – e.g. – confining you to a mental institution where your rebellion against the rule of bureaucrats can receive the proper medical attention.

As I noted in yesterday’s post about gay rights in Canada, some Canadian states have passed laws to allow the government to seize children from parents who refuse to respect the will of government bureaucrats.

The Daily Caller explains:

Ontario passed a law Thursday that gives the government the right to take away children from families that don’t accept their kid’s chosen “gender identity.”

Parents who oppose or criticize the LGBT agenda will be considered potential “child abusers” and may have their children taken away by the state, according to the new bill. If the parents are ruled to be abusers by failing to wholeheartedly support their child’s gender choice, that child “can be removed from that environment and placed into protection where the abuse stops.”

[…]The old law allowed parents to “direct the child’s education and religious upbringing” but now says a parent must influence a child’s education and upbringing “in accordance with the child’s or young person’s creed, community identity and cultural identity.”

That bill passed 63-23. So you can imagine what sort of sympathy you could expect from Canadians as a whole if you dissented from this law.

Canadian elementary schools vote to promote gay activism during Gay Pride month

Kathleen Wynne and Justin Trudeau
Ontario governor Kathleen Wynne and Canada’s president Justin Trudeau

The Daily Wire reports on the latest gay rights story from Canada:

Every elementary school in Ontario, Canada, will be forced to fly the gay pride flag for at least one week in June, which is Pride Month in the province.

[…]”The rainbow flag, symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, will fly in front of all public elementary schools for at least one week during Pride Month in June,” reported Windsor Star.

Greater Essex County District School Board vice chairman Julia Burgess, who introduced the motion, said the flag will let students know that “we have their back.”

Julia’s motion to force all elementary schools to promote the gay activist agenda was supported by 9 out of 10 school board trustees.

The lone dissenter was swiftly shut down by by chairwoman Jessica Sartori:

Linda Qin, the sole trustee to question the mandate explained that the flag might confuse such young children, particularly with concern to gender identity.

[…]Qin was told her time was up, according to Windsor Star, and was cut off by chairwoman Jessica Sartori.

“Who wouldn’t be proud to fly that flag?” an emotional Sartori asked, who said she flies the gay pride flag at her home.

It’s important to note that not only will there be no opt-out for schools, but there is also no opt-out for parents. Parents have to pay mandatory taxes for the salaries of public school teachers and administrators like Julia and Jessica.

Julia and Jessica didn’t do difficult STEM degrees in college. And when they graduated, they couldn’t find jobs programming software in the private sector. Since they needed something to do, being proper feminists, they decided to spend their days pushing their progressive values onto other people’s children, at taxpayer expense. It sure beats getting married and having to raise children of your own under the leadership of a provider husband. The public schools of every country are filled with women like Julia and Jessica, who think that their feelings-based method of evaluating religion and morality should be pushed onto everyone else’s children.

Daily Wire notes that this is not the only school district doing this:

As noted by LifeSiteNews, Peel District School Board similarly voted in May to fly the gay pride flag. “The board was lobbied by Pride Employee Resource Group (PERG) and heard emotional appeals in favor of raising the flag from parents of ‘gender-creative’ children and homosexual parents in a May meeting packed with LGBT activists wearing pink,” reported the outlet.

What will happen to parents who oppose having their children indoctrinated by radical leftists, at their own expense? Well, the province of Ontario thinks that dissent from their agenda is “child abuse”, so they will seize the children of those parents.

The Daily Caller explains:

Ontario passed a law Thursday that gives the government the right to take away children from families that don’t accept their kid’s chosen “gender identity.”

Parents who oppose or criticize the LGBT agenda will be considered potential “child abusers” and may have their children taken away by the state, according to the new bill. If the parents are ruled to be abusers by failing to wholeheartedly support their child’s gender choice, that child “can be removed from that environment and placed into protection where the abuse stops.”

[…]The old law allowed parents to “direct the child’s education and religious upbringing” but now says a parent must influence a child’s education and upbringing “in accordance with the child’s or young person’s creed, community identity and cultural identity.”

It passed 63-23.

I think it’s important to remember who is behind all of the recent education policies in Ontario. His name is Ben Levin. Remember him?

Life Site News reports.

Excerpt:

Ben Levin, the man who “appeared to have it all,” was today sentenced to three years in prison for three child pornography offences.

[…]A member of Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne’s transition team, Levin was deputy minister of education in 2009 when he and then-minister of education Wynne developed the “equity and inclusive education strategy,” part of which was the 2010 radical sex-ed curriculum shelved by then-Premier Dalton McGuinty after parental backlash. The 2015 sex-ed curriculum is virtually the same as the 2010 version.

[…]The curriculum, to be rolled out this September, prematurely sexualizes children by introducing homosexuality in Grade 3, masturbation in Grade 6, and oral and anal sex in Grade 7.

[…]Levin himself claimed in a 2010 interview: “I was the deputy minister of education. In that role, I was the chief civil servant. I was responsible for the operation of the Ministry of Education and everything that they do; I was brought in to implement the new education policy.”

[…]Levin pled guilty on March 3, 2015, to three of an original seven child pornography related charges.

McArthur related how in 2010, Levin created a profile on an “alternative sexual lifestyle networking site” frequenting chat-rooms on “incest” and “teens.” He subsequently “came to the attention of three undercover officers.”

In the course of sex-chats with these officers, Levin “wrote a story detailing the violent sexual abuse of a child” and “counseled another officer, posing as a young mother, to sadistically sexually assault her eight-year-old daughter.”

[…]He “collected child pornography over two years.

[…]Levin also had a list of about 1,750 online contacts with whom he communicated on “subversive sexual interests,” primarily “sexual contact between parents and children.”

In his sex-chats, Levin “normalized the subject of the sexual touching of children.”

[…]The “sadistic overtones to the counseling adds a disturbing dimension to the offence,” McArthur stated, noting that psychiatrist Dr. Julian Gojer testified that Levin had a “pedophiliac interest in children” which was “intense” for three to four years. Gojer stated Levin “had sadistic impulses that seemed interwoven with his pedophilic interest” and “was on the extreme end of the sadomasochistic spectrum as it relates to the sexual abuse of children.”

I don’t think that it is a stretch to say that his views on sexuality and children reflect the broader views of Canadian progressives as a whole, and their allies in the public schools. The difference is that he just got caught.

What makes these Ontario liberals any different than the Democrat liberals we have in America? Nothing. They’re the same ideas as American Democrats hold to, but Canada is just further along at implementing them.

Two Christian women threatened with jail time for refusing to celebrate LGBT events

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

Is it safe to live as a Bible-believing Christian in America? We all know that you can live comfortably as a “Christian” by just behaving in compliance with whatever the secular left tells you. But what happens to you if you take the Bible seriously on moral issues? Is it easy to live consistently with the Bible in America?

Consider this article from Daily Wire:

Two female Christian artists in Arizona who refuse to make custom-art for same sex weddings could actually be jailed for sticking to their religious beliefs.

Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski , who own Brush & Nib Studio, make custom artwork using painting, calligraphy and handlettering. They filed suit against the city of Phoenix, as a Phoenix city ordinance threatens them with up to six months and/or a fine of $2,500 each day they refuse to make the artwork. First the women filed in state court to overturn the ordinance, but lost in a court of appeals, prompting them to appeal to the state’s Supreme Court, which said on November 20 it would hear the case.

There’s a video about the case from Fox News:

In other news, Christian baker Jack Phillips is STILL in trouble with the secular left fascists in Colorado. Although he won his case at the Supreme Court, the LGBT activists and their allies in the state government are still going after him to punish him for his Christian beliefs.

The Federalist had a really, really good article about it:

On June 26, 2017, the day the Supreme Court agreed to hear Phillips’ case, Autumn Scardina, a transgender attorney and activist, called Masterpiece Cakeshop and asked Phillips to design a custom cake with a blue exterior and a pink interior to symbolize a transition from male to female. Phillips politely turned Scardina down. “I was stunned,” the lawyer risibly claimed in her complaint to the Civil Rights Commission.

Scardina, of course, didn’t accidentally ask the most famous Christian baker in the nation to make a “transition” cake. Scardina is leading a crusade against Phillips. In one call, Scardina allegedly asked for “an image of Satan smoking marijuana.” In another, members of “the Church of Satan” asked for “a three-tiered white cake” with a “large figure of Satan, licking a nine inch black Dildo.” “I would like the dildo to be an actual working model that can be turned on before we unveil the cake,” went the request. You can just sense the sanctimonious smugness of people who think this sort of thing is edgy.

In any event, the state of Colorado has allied itself with such activists, formally determining that there was probable cause that Phillips had indeed discriminated against Scardina based on “gender identity.” Of course the baker’s refusal to make dildo and pentagram cakes only proves that Phillips isn’t specifically antagonistic to the newly consecrated belief in malleable “gender identity,” but that he’s shown a consistent adherence to his less malleable Christian values.

It’s those values that upset Scardina and members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Though they can’t say it explicitly, most progressives are fine with discrimination against religious groups. In their hierarchy of moral concerns, free expression isn’t nearly as concerning as the hurt feelings of an aggrieved gay couple. And Colorado is again complicit in another attack on the Constitution. Until SCOTUS comes down with a ruling that explicitly protects religious liberty from state-sponsored attacks on faith, they’ll keep trying.

But it goes well beyond those legal concerns. Activists — including the civil rights commission — are trying to destroy a man for thought crimes. This state-sponsored harassment isn’t only about Phillip’s modest business in Lakewood, Colorado, although that’s surely part of it. It’s a warning to all those with unpopular opinions to stay in line.

I’ve found myself thinking about how to live in a world where every day you get up to go to work, your livelihood is threatened by secular left fascists who want to use the government as a weapon to destroy your basic God-given human rights. And the only answers I can come up with to this are 1) avoid putting my children into public schools run by the secular left, and 2) retire as early as possible so that I don’t have to deal with the coming generation of social justice warriors in an office setting.

First, I need to avoid dealing with the secular left in public schools (my future children) or the workplace. This is because a lot of legal problems start when the secular left finds out what Christian parents are teaching their children. The easiest way to not deal with public schools is to not get married, unless you marry a woman who has carefully made pro-marriage decisions with her education, career and finances. Decisions designed to keep her future children out of the public schools. It’s very rare to find a young, unmarried Christian woman who has made correct decisions to protect her future family from the secular left, though. Thanks to the uncritical acceptance of radical feminism in the church – right under the noses of traditional conservative male pastors – most don’t want to homeschool and they haven’t made the right choices in education,career and finances to help their future husband afford homeschooling and/or private schools, anyway.

How about the workplace? Well, it’s fine for now if, for example, you live in a red state and you’re in the private sector and you’re working in a STEM field. But there’s a generation of unstable social justice warriors coming through the assembly line of government schools, and they’re going to hit the workplace shortly. I don’t want to be there when they finally arrive. The easiest way to get out of the workplace early is to have enough money saved so that you can retire early. But this is getting harder to do. In our culture, we’re always hearing that “good people” only have one acceptable way to vote: for higher taxes, more unskilled immigration and more government spending. This is the case even in conservative churches. Just last month, my Southern Baptist pastor told our Bible study that “Jesus was a refugee”, which is in keeping with the Democrat talking points of open borders leftists like Russell Moore. The more we vote for government to be the “solution” to people’s bad choices, the higher taxes will go, and the more exposed Christians are going to be to troubles in the workplace.

Well, I probably track these religious liberty stories more than most. And I worry about it more than most, too. I am more prepared than most to avoid having my conscience violated by the secular left. But I don’t see things getting better. There just isn’t any seriousness among Christians to hold the line on Biblical teachings and values. We’ve long ago dumped the masculine aspects of Christianity – uncomfortable theological truths and politically incorrect moral rules – for a more feminine focus on non-judgmentalism, feelings, self-esteem, universalism, etc. In the church today, you’re unlikely to win an argument about a moral issue by citing the Bible and then supporting your claim with peer-reviewed evidence. Instead, the church decided that the highest authority is to conform to the demands of people whose best argument is “agree with me, or I’ll commit suicide due to bad feelings!” That apparently has a lot of weight in the feminized church today. But not with me.

Matthew Vines and Michael Brown debate homosexuality and the Bible on Moody radio

The audio of the Matthew Vines vs Michael Brown debate is streamed here on the Moody site.

Details:

Can you be gay and Christian? Matthew Vines says you can and he’s created a viral video and best-selling book defending his view. This Saturday on Up for Debate, Vines joins host Julie Roys to debate author and leading evangelical apologist, Dr. Michael Brown. Is gay monogamy an option for Christians? Is it unloving to reject gay marriage? Listen and join the discussion this Saturday at 8 a.m. Central Time on Up for Debate!

Summary key: Julie Roys (JR), Matthew Vines (MV), Michael Brown (MB)

Summary:

Opening speeches:

  • JR: Why should Christians be open to reinterpreting the Bible on homosexuality?
  • MV: Consider the lives and testimonies of gay Christians. Here is my personal story.
  • MV: According to the Bible, a person with same-sex attractions would have to embrace lifelong celibacy. I refuse to do that.
  • MV: There are 6 passages in the Bible that are relevant to the goodness of homosexuality. All are negative.
  • MV: None of these passages address gay relationships that are “long-term” and “faithful” that are based on “commitment” and “love”.
  • JR: You say that it is “damaging” for Christians to disagree with you views, is that true?
  • MV: Yes. One of my friends declared his homosexuality and he did not feel safe to come home. He felt pain because Christians disagreed with him.
  • MV: You cannot ask a person with same-sex attractions to be celibate, it causes too much harm to ask gays to abstain from sexual relationships.
  • JR: Respond to Matthew.
  • MB: The Bible only permits heterosexual sexuality and in every case condemns homosexual acts.
  • MB: Matthew is taking his sexual preferences and activities as given, and reinterpreting the Bible to fit it.
  • MB: Genesis talks about women being made to help men, and to fulfill God’s commandment to procreate and fill the Earth.
  • MB: The Bible speaks about the complementarity of the sexes when talking about how two become one in marriage.
  • MB: I am very sensitive to the stories of people who are gay who experience discrimination as “gay Christians”.
  • MB: You can feel sad for people who have two conflicting commitments, but that doesn’t mean we should redefine what the Bible says.
  • JR: Stop talking, we have a break.

JR takes a caller for the next topic:

  • Caller 1: I had same-sex attractions and I was able to change my sexuality.
  • JR: Matthew, respond to that.
  • MV: Alan Chambers of Exodus International says that 99.9% of people he worked with had not changed their gay orientation.
  • MV: Lifelong celibacy is not acceptable to gays, so the Bible must be reinterpreted to suit gays.
  • MB: Matthew thinks that God himself did not understand the concept of sexual orientation and inadvertently hurt gays because of his lack of knowledge.
  • MB: There is a solution in the Bible for people who cannot be celibate, and that solution is heterosexual marriage
  • MB: If a person is only attracted to pre-teen girls, do we then have to re-write the Bible to affirm that so they won’t be “harmed”?
  • MB: Alan Chambers was speaking for his own group, and his statement does not account for the fact that thousands of people DO change.
  • JR: What about the Jones/Yarhouse study that found that 38% of reparative therapy subjects were successful in changing or chastity?
  • MV: (no response to the question)
  • MV: (to Brown) do you accept that the Bible forces gays to live out lifelong celibacy

Another break, then Brown replies:

  • MB: Yes. But change is possible.
  • MV: Do you know of any Christian who acknowledged that this was the consequence of the Bible’s teaching for gays?
  • MB: Paul’s explanation that the options for ALL Christians are 1) celibacy or 2) heterosexual marriage. For 2000 years.
  • MV: Paul (in Romans 1) is talking about people who are not “long-term”, “faithful” gay relationships.
  • MV: Paul was not aware of “long-term”, “faithful” gay relationships at the time he wrote his prohibitions in Romans 1.
  • JR: How do you know that fixed sexual orientation is true? And that the Biblical authors would written different things if they knew?
  • JR: Are there any references in the first century to “long-term”, “faithful” gay relationships?
  • MB: Yes, in my book I quote prominent historian N. T. Wright who documents that those relationships were known.
  • MB: Matthew’s view requires that God did not know about sexual orientation when ordaining the Bible’s content.
  • MB: Leviticus 18 is for all people, for all time. This was not just for the Jews, this was for everyone.
  • MV: I am not saying that Paul was wrong because he was ignorant.
  • MV: Paul was writing in a context where “long-term”, “faithful” gay relationships were unknown.
  • MV: NT Wright does not cite first century texts, he cites a problematic 4th century text.
  • MV: Absence of 1st-century references to “long-term”, “faithful” gay relationships means that God did not intend to prohibit them.
  • MB: Whenever the Bible speaks about homosexuality, it is opposed to it – Old Testament and New Testament.

Another break, then the conclusion:

  • JR: Respond to the Leviticus prohibition, which prohibits homosexuality for everyone, for all time.
  • MV: It is a universal prohibition on male same-sex intercourse, but it does not apply to Christians.
  • MV: For example, Leviticus prohibits sex during a woman’s menstrual period. And Christians are not bound by that.
  • MV: What is the reason for this prohibition of male-male sex in Leviticus? It’s not affirm the complementarity of the sexual act.
  • MV: The Bible prohibits male-male sex because it is written for a patriarchal culture.
  • MV: In a patriarchal culture, women are viewed as inferior. That’s why the Bible prohibits a man from taking the woman’s role in sex.
  • MB: The prohibition in Leviticus is a universal prohibition against male-male sex, applicable in all times and places.
  • MB: Homosexual sex is a violation of the divine order.
  • MB: We can see already the consequences of normalizing this: gay marriage, and supports for polygamy and polyamory.
  • MV: So the earliest reference there is to a “long-term”, “faithful” gay relationship is a 4th century text.
  • MV: But that gay relationship is not like modern gay relationships.

I have a few comments about Vines’ points below.

My comments:

Even heterosexuals who have not married are called upon to embrace lifelong celibacy. I am in my early 40s and am a virgin because I have not married. I wouldn’t seek to reinrepret the Bible to allow premarital sex just because what I am doing is difficult. I would rather just do what the Bible says than reinterpret it to suit me. And it’s just as hard for me to be chaste as it would be for him to be. In short, it’s a character issue. He takes his right to recreational sex as non-negotiable, and reinterprets the Bible to suit. I take the Bible as non-negotiable, and comply with it regardless of whether it seems to make me less happy. With respect to the purposes of God for me in this world, my happiness is expendable. If I don’t find someone to marry, I’m going to be “afflicted” with the lifelong celibacy that Vines seems to think is torture, but let me tell you – God is happy with the contributions I am making for him, and if I have to be chaste through my whole life, I am 100% fine with that. I serve the King. And not the reverse.

Notice that he talks about “long-term” but not permanent relationships, and “faithful” but not exclusive. This is important because the statistics show that gay relationships (depending on whether it is female-female or male-male) are prone to instability and/or infidelity. I just blogged on that recently, with reference to the published research on the subject. Vines is talking about a situation that does not obtain in the real world – according to the data. Gay relationships do not normally value permanence and exclusivity in the way that opposite-sex marriage relationships do, especially where the couple regularly attends church. The divorce rate and infidelity rate for religious couples is far below the rates for gay couples, depending on the sexes involved. Vines is committed to the idea that marriage is about feelings, e.g. – “love”, but that’s not the public purpose of marriage. Marriage is not about love, it’s about complementarity of the sexes and providing for the needs of children. We have published studies like this one showing that there are negative impacts to children who are raised by gay couples, which dovetails with studies showing that children need a mother and that children need a father. We should not normalize any relationship that exposes children to harm. We should prefer to inconvenience adults than to harm children.

Matthew Vines made an argument that Christians have to stop saying that homosexuality is wrong, because it makes gay people feel excluded. I wrote previously about the argument that gay activists use where they say “if you don’t agree with me and celebrate me and affirm me, then I’ll commit suicide”. In that post, I quoted a prominent gay activist who made exactly that argument. I don’t find the threats to self-destruction to be a convincing argument for the truth of the view that gay marriage being the same as heterosexual marriage. In fact, this is confirmed by a recent study which showed that features of gay relationships themselves, and not social disapproval, is to blame for high rates of suicide in the gay community.

Vines seems to want to argue that the context in which the Bible authors were writing did not allow them to address the problem of gays in “long-term”, “faithful” relationships. Well, we have already seen that statistically speaking, those relationships are in the minority. One British study mentioned in the post I linked to above found that only 25% of gay couples were intact after 8 years. The number is 82% for heterosexual marriages, and that doesn’t filter by couples who abstain from premarital sex and who attend church regularly. If you add those two criteria, the number is going to be well above 82% in my opinion. Studies show that premarital chastity and church attendance vastly improve the stability and quality of marriages.

In addition, Vines is trying to argue that 1) the Bible authors were not aware of “long-term”, “faithful” gay relationships and 2) their failure to explicitly disqualify these “long-term”, “stable” gay sexual relationships means that the Bible actually condones them. A friend of mine pointed out that this is a textbook case of the argument from silence, where someone asserts that because something is not explicitly condemned, then it must be OK. Carried through to its logical end, that would mean that things like identity theft are OK, because they are not mentioned explicitly. Brown asserted that there was a blanket prohibition on homosexual acts. He is arguing from what we know. Vines says that “long-term”, “faithful” homosexual relationships are not mentioned, and are therefore OK. He is arguing from what we don’t know. And he is trying to reverse the burden of proof so that he doesn’t have to show evidence for his view. Brown wouldn’t take the bait. The fact of the matter is that no one for the last 2000 years of church history have taken Vines’ view. Every single Christian before Vines, who were closer to Jesus’ teachings than Vines, understood the verses that Brown cited to be providing a blanket prohibition on homosexual sex acts. If Vines wants to claim that the Bible condones what he wants it to condone, he has to produce some positive evidence from the text or from church history or church fathers. He has nothing to support his case that could convince anyone that this is what Christians have believed, and ought to believe.

Finally, if you are looking for another debate, I blogged about a debate between Michael Brown and Eric Smaw. There’s a video and summaries of the opening speeches in that post.