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Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

How to Make a Valid Secular Case Against the Cultural Endorsement of Homosexual Behavior

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Robert Gagnon is a Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.  He is the author of “The Bible and Homosexual Practice:  Texts and Hermeneutics,” the co-author of “Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views,” and numerous scholarly articles.  On his website he provides a plethora of free articles and resources dealing with Scripture and homosexual behavior. 

From his database, I came across this helpful six-point summary on “How to make a valid secular case against cultural endorsement of homosexual beahvior.”  Here are his six points of emphasis: 

1) The nature argument. Marriage is not just about more intimacy. It is about merging with one’s sexual other half or counterpart, a complementary sexual other. Erotic desire for what one is as a sexual being is sexual narcissism or sexual self-deception: an attempt at completing oneself sexually through merger with a sexual same. Most people intuit something developmentally deficient about being erotically attracted to the body parts and essential gender that one shares in common with another. See my online discussion in “Why the Disagreement…?” pp. 30-46 here; and my published entry on “Homosexuality” in New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics (Intervarsity Press), 327-32.

2) Negative side effects. Attending homosexual practice is a disproportionately high rate of negative side effects as regards (a) health (sexually transmitted disease, mental health problems, and shortened life expectancy) and (b) relational dynamics (short term relationships, high numbers of sex partners). These problems are, in the first instance, attributable to the non-complementarity of homoerotic unions: the extremes of one’s sex are not moderated and gaps are not filled. Approving homosexual behavior will also contribute to the gender identity confusion of adolescents and, by virtue of denying any significance or value to male-female differences, will bring about the destruction of all gender norms and societal endorsement of transvestism and transgenderism. See The Bible and Homosexual Practice, 452-60, 471-85; more recently, my online “Immoralism, Homosexual Unhealth, and Scripture: Part II: Science” (here for pdf, here for html).

There are many proponents of same-sex marriage that argue for the moral good of homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage, correlating such behavior with a person’s gender and ethnicity.  Going as far as saying that “Gay is the New Black.”  Not only does Dr. Robert Gagnon address the negative side-effects associated with homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage, but the Family Research Council has collaborated many studies indicating the same-thing.  This information can be found in their pamphlet “Homosexuality is Not a Civil Right.” 

From multiple sources we observe that homosexual behavior is not “innocuous,” which is harmless in effect, like a person’s gender and ethnicity.  Studies show that homosexual behavior is associated with higher rates of promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and child sexual abuse.   

3) Increase of homosexuality. Cultural endorsement of, and incentives for, homosexual behavior will likely lead to a higher incidence of homosexuality in the population, affecting young people at higher rates. This means that more people will develop a higher risk for the problems discussed in 2 above. For documentation of this point, see The Bible and Homosexual Practice, 395-429; and now with updates, “Why the Disagreement…?” pp. 30-32, 120-25 here.

4) The intolerance of the homosexual agenda. Caving into the homosexual agenda will lead to the radical marginalization of those who oppose homosexual practice and, ultimately, the criminalization of opposition to homosexual behavior. Homosexual activism represents the greatest threat to civil and religious liberties for our children. At stake are such things as: mandatory indoctrination of our children in all school systems, public and accredited private, from kindergarten on, through convocations, skits, videos, workshops, and teacher instruction; loss of one’s job if one does not sign a statement saying that one “values sexual orientation differences”; mandatory workplace attendance of “Gay Pride” events and “Coming Out” celebrations; fines and even imprisonment for speaking out against homosexual practice, even in church services; having one’s children taken out of one’s own home for teaching “homophobic” ideas or, if one’s child professes a homoerotic proclivity, for “child abuse”; loss of accreditation of all Christian colleges and even seminaries that cannot prove “non-discrimination” in the hiring practices towards “gays and lesbians” or that permit any faculty to speak or publish in a manner critical of homosexual behavior per se; and refusal of colleges and universities to admit any students who do not sign statements affirming the value of homoerotic relationships. For documentation of these matters, see the book by Alan Sears and Craig Osten, The Homosexual Agenda. See also my documentation on pages 10-18 of my critique of David Balch.

Most of what has been said in this point has been discussed elsewhere on this blog.  For additional information refer to the following posts:

From Tolerance to Intolerance: How the Normalization of Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage Will Lead to the Suppression of Freedom

What to Expect from President-Elect Obama on Same-Sex Marriage and Homosexuality in 2009

Settling the Issue: Same-Sex Marriage IS NOT a Civil Right

5) The destruction of marriage. Granting civil union status or, worse, marriage to homosexual unions will ultimately weaken marriage for everyone. The introduction of same-sex registered partnerships in Scandinavia has coincided with a sharp rise in out-of-wedlock births. Granting gay marriage or its functional equivalent has not helped marriage in thesecountries; it has made marriage increasingly superfluous. When eroticism is perceived as merely “more intimacy” rather than as a means to a “one-flesh” reintegration with a sexual other into a sexual whole, when the only requisite for sexual unions is commitment and fidelity (and a truncated definition of commitment and fidelity at that), when “lifelong” becomes “long-term” and “long-term” is thought of as a 5-10 year-union, when even the concept of “serial monogamy” is called into question by the high incidence of “open relationships” among male homosexual unions, when sexual unions are once and for all severed in society’s perception from a commitment to have and raise children, and when society rejects as bigotry the notion that a mother and father are both needed for the optimal development of children–when all these elements are in place, consistent with the pro-homosexagenda, the general public will cease to value marriage as a special and even sacred institution. “The profanation of marriage”  will have gone full circle–both its secularization and debasement. Imagine society granting marriage licenses to any union that met the conditions of a committed friendship and ask yourself how long marriage can survive as an institution. See the links to point 2 above.

Yes, the rate of divorce has more than escalated in years past, but this does not necessitate that we redefine the whole institution.  I have argued elsewhere that legislation needs to be adopted in our country that recognizes marriage as between one man and one woman, that supports, strengthens, and protects this important institution – not redefine it (see Marriage: Its Foundational Importance and Marriage is Foundational for the Well-Being of Society).   

6) The normalization of all consensual sexual relationships, irrespective of number and degree of blood relatedness. The whole push to normalize homosexual relationships is predicated on the assumption that there are no structuralprerequisites to valid sexual relationships; that commitment and fidelity are sufficient criteria, unless society can prove harm to all participants, in all circumstances, and in scientifically measurable ways. Given such premises, there is no logically consistent reason why society should resist various forms of multiple-partner sexual unions, whether traditional polygyny, “threesomes,” or some other arrangement. Since the restriction of the number of sex partners at any one time to two persons is predicated on the existence of two distinct and complementary sexes as necessary and sufficient to produce a sexual whole, the elimination of such a premisemust result in the eventual elimination of a number requirement. It is not surprising that the recent Supreme Court decision that found a right to same-sex “sodomy” in the Constitution has sparked a lawsuit to validate polygamy; nor it is surprising that the ACLU has filed a brief on behalf of the polygamist, citing the sodomy ruling and insisting that the burden of proof is on the state to prove that polygamy is always harmful (for the record: It isn’t). Similarly, if consent, commitment, and fidelity are adequate for establishing a sexual union and, further, if the concept of too much structural sameness becomes irrelevant, then there is no reasonable basis for withholding public recognition of man-mother or adult brother-sister unions. One wonders, in the face of such an assault, how long resistance to adult-adolescent unions and, eventually, adult-child unions can be maintained. Note that I am not saying that by approving homosexual unions we may open the door to something worse: polygamy and incest. There are good grounds for arguing that homoerotic unions are worse for society than polygamy and adult consensual incest. Nevertheless, approving homosexual unions will, in the end, have the effect of discounting any concept of inherent structural incongruity as regards sexual unions. See my online discussion in “Why the Disagreement…?” pp. 35-45 here.

I hope that these six points in making a valid secular case against cultural endorsement of homosexual behavior have proven to be beneficial.  What I encourage you to do is copy and paste these different points when discussing these matters with others. 

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