Sunday, September 6, 2009


The charge is often made that anyone who opposes same-sex marriage is homophobic. But this is silly for several reasons. First of all, the term "Homophobia" doesn't make any sense. A phobia is an irrational fear. The fear being spoken of is not the fear of homsexuals, which would be homosexualphobia but homophobia. Homophobia could mean one of two things. If we were to go with the Latin meaning of "homo" then homophobia would be fear of human beings. It would be entirely irrational to suppose that someone who was opposed to same-sex marriage was afraid of human beings. The better solution is to go with the Greek meaning of "homo." The Greek meaning is the same meaning we find in the word homosexual. In Greek "homo" means same. So a homosexual is someone who commits sexual acts with someone of the same gender. Obviously they are not people who simply commit sexual acts with other humans. But this still leaves us in the land of nonsense because then "homophobic" would refer to someone who was afraid of things that are the same. Perhaps a homophobic could be identified by the fact that he always wore two different sized and colored shoes. If we stretched this meaning into the same-sex marriage debate then the person promoting same-sex marriage could actually be homophobic because they are afraid of policies remaining the same.

Even if the term "homosexualphobia" were used to speak of those who oppose same-sex marriage the accusation would still be silly. Just because I don't think that people should be allowed to marry trees doesn't mean that I have an irrational fear of people who mate with trees. I don't suddenly become a phytosexualphobic and definitely not phytophobic. I oppose same-sex marriage because I believe that is dangerous both for those who are engaging in it and society as a whole. Traditionally marriage has been viewed primarily as an institution designed to protect children. Already, society has moved away from this position into viewing marriage as basically some sort of agreement to love the other person as long as they feel like it, without considering children at all. Children are generally best raised by their natural parents and society protects children by writing marriage and divorce laws and making it economically advantageous for the two natural parents to stay married. Just because someone believes that marriage should be understood primarily as an institution to protect children does not mean that they are homosexualphobic.

I believe that people who have homosexual inclinations should legally be completely free to marry within the same paramaters as heterosexuals are allowed to marry. If they want to marry someone of the opposite sex of legal age and other qualifications they should be completely free to do so. But they should not be given special privileges and allowed to marry someone of the same sex.

Laws in most states are already set up to give the same rights to homosexual partners as are given to married heterosexual partners. But this isn't enough for the advocates of same-sex marriage. It isn't hospital visits they are after but recognition and legitimization by society. They feel the burden of their sins and so they need society to tell them that they are okay. There is a much higher rate of mental illness and suicide among homosexuals than there is among heterosexuals. They need the affirmation. This can be seen even in the church-world where homosexual ministers are not content to be accepted as ministers in their respective denominations--they want to be celebrated for being homosexuals. They feel the burden of their sin upon them and they want affirmation from someone.

Although those who oppose homosexual ordination are often accused of doing so because of hate, nothing could be further from the truth. If I refuse to let my kids eat candy every day even though they really want to eat candy every day, it's because I love them. If I see someone destroying their life and their relationship with God because of some activity they are engaging in and I tell them to stop, it's because I love them. To give them affirmation would be to demonstrate hatred towards them.

Throughout my life I have gotten to know people who were homosexuals and they all shared something in common--they were all sexually abused as children. I'm sure that there are exceptions but I would guess that many who are engaging in homosexuals behavior were abused in one way or another when they were growing up. The loving way to speak to such people is to tell them how horrible the abuse that they suffered when they were growing up was and to urge them to stop destroying themselves with this sinful behavior and to turn in repentance to Christ. Christ died for people who have committed homosexual acts. I had one friend who was abused as a child and suffering from depression as an adult and a psychologist tried to convince my friend that he was a homosexual and that is why he was suffering from depression because he was repressing his homosexual desires. I praise God that my friend did not listen to this guy but I'm sure many have listened to people like this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think in the sentence below, you meant to type 'not be allowed' instead of 'allowed', right? Love Mom

But they should be given special privileges and allowed to marry someone of the same sex