Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gay Marriage Opponents are Bigots

It’s no secret that the religion fueled, hot button issue of the day is gay marriage. Like it's religion-fueled issue of abortion, gay marriage one of those nasty debates where generalized accusations fly based solely on one’s stance. Gay marriage supporters are endorsing immoral behavior. Gay marriage opponents are bigots on the wrong side of history. Both sides not only deny the accusations, but frame them in such a way that they no longer makes sense. I’ll argue that only one side of the issue has internally consistency.

Gay marriage supporters deny the claims by refuting the authoritative worth and/or truth of the bible, which is the only possible reason homosexual behavior can be seen as immoral. This makes me happy on a few levels. Since the America is pretty evenly divided on the morality of homosexuality, that means roughly half the population refute the authoritative worth and/or truth of the bible. Considering how many people belong to Bible-centric religions in the US, this means that most of them aren’t nearly as sold on their faith as survey data shows. They are my favorite kind of Christians--those that are Christian in name only. The most secular gay marriage supports make the accusations against them nonsensical in their warranted rejection of “sin” as a concept.

The opponents of gay marriage originally pushed that homosexuality was a choice, but this argument didn't hold up. First, there was a problem calling the majority of those who are an authority on homosexuality, gays themselves, liars. Second, there was a problem that if homosexuality is a choice, then so should heterosexuality be a choice. The straight opponents refused to accept this. Now, opponents deny claims of bigotry with their “hate the sin, not the sinner” rhetoric. Denying a person rights and branding them immoral for who they fundamentally are is the definition of bigotry, but focusing their intolerance on the one action that separates the gays from the breeders (that is, homosexual sex) is a loophole in the bigotry label--at least in their eyes.

This loophole is many things, but internally consistent isn’t one of them. Since the only way to see gay sex as immoral is by appealing to Abrahamic religious traditions, then we should measure their entire argument by the same standard. The bible repeatedly states that sins of the heart and mind are just as damning as sinful actions. Hell, it’s even in the commandments. Thou shalt not covet is an entirely separate command from thou shalt not steal. When using the bible as their guide, the unavoidable and internal homosexual attraction is just as sinful as the active and external homosexual sex act. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that gay marriage opponents are, in fact, bigots.


  1. I am definitely on the side of equal rights for different sexual orientations, but allow me to play the unusual role of "God's advocate" here in rebuttal:

    The “hate the sin, not the sinner” philosophy isn't just rhetoric, it's what we are commanded to do. Even Jesus hung out with sinners despite hating their sins. That philosophy does not brand homosexuals as immoral, just homosexual acts. There is a difference. Consider that in the heterosexual world, you may find another man's wife to be attractive. Simply thinking that she is good looking is not sinful at all. Likewise, for a person of homosexual orientation, simply identifying someone of the same sex as being attractive is not sinful.

    Like many others, you have mistakenly considered mere passing thoughts as sins in the eyes of God, but that is not the case. The commandment is about coveting, i.e. to wish for with eagerness or to enviously desire possession of. You can appreciate attractive people without coveting them. Likewise, Jesus compared lusting after another man's wife as being the same as committing adultery; lusting meaning not just simple thoughts of noting her attractiveness, but rather strongly desiring her, imagining yourself with her, obsessing over her, etc.

    You may not have the choice of who you find attractive, but you do have the choice of how you treat that attraction. Do you foster that desire and obsess about it? Do you carry that desire to some form of action? Or do you simply note the attraction and move on? Sin interferes with a relationship with God, so the point is to get the message out that, while the attraction is not inherently sinful, how you choose to follow up on that attraction may be sinful, and therefore may keep you from developing a full relationship with God.

    That's about the best form I've heard the argument on the other side of the fence. There are still moral problems with it, like why would a perfectly good God give an extra "burden" of homosexual attraction to some and not to all. That can somewhat be countered with the fact that nobody is really born "equal" in all aspects.

    1. I've heard similar before, but the bit were it says "you may find another man's wife to be attractive" doesn't quite cover it. I get the impression that people don't stop at "he/she's pretty" thoughts--they go to lustful thoughts pretty quick. I may be projecting, but that's what I thought--if not now, at least in my single teenage years. Envy and lust are biblical sins that are weighted as heavily as the acts of theft and rape in the minds of the vast majority Christians I've debated with. Granted, I usually debate the crazies, but they are the outspoken ones regarding gay marriage and that's what I'm addressing here.

      Thanks for the challenge, I don't want a bunch of yes men readers, but you are WRONG! :-)

      After watching the news about possible gay football players I debated me wife on the subject. I said gays should have their own locker room for the same reason men and women have separate locker rooms. She compared that to "separate but equal" restrooms for blacks. While there was no good reason for blacks to be separated outside of racism, I see a pragmatic reason for separate rooms of nakedness for people who are potentially attracted to others in the same room of nakedness. Then she told me women's locker rooms have a privacy area, it blew my mind. I don't know of men's locker rooms with such an area unless you count stalls. We settled on saying mens locker rooms should also have privacy areas.

    2. That's an interesting discussion you had with your wife. I didn't know that about women's locker rooms either! Fascinating, and disappointing. ;-)

      "...they go to lustful thoughts pretty quick..."
      "Envy and lust are biblical sins that are weighted as heavily as the acts of theft and rape..."

      Indeed, and for the few that hold this non-bigoted (or at least less-bigoted) view, they would completely agree with you because that is the point. Under that philosophy, a sin is a sin is a sin to God. It all flies under the same banner of "for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Homosexual acts aren't any better, or any worse, sins than stealing your neighbor's ladder, or disrespecting your parents, etc.. The point is that it is all bad, and all of these sins are capable of impeding a relationship with God.

      I think that the difference with homosexual acts, to these less bigoted Christians, is that they see society saying it's OK for these sins, and even celebrating them. Just imagine an Adulterer's Pride Parade or a Wall-Street Swindler's Pride Parade led by Madoff. So they feel that they need to counter these cultural forces which are encouraging sins and thereby hindering Salvation for thousands upon thousands of people.

      But in fairness to your position, and in my experience, there are far too few Christians who have this egalitarian perspective of the "sin" of homosexual acts. I'd say the majority I've run into are closer to the way you describe them.

  2. Good article and good summation of the issue. I would also like to add that I enjoyed your comment conversation with TWF. It seems to me that people will excuse all sorts of behavior/ideas, in this bigotry, if they think their religion tells them to do so. As I have said before, and I know you agree. Religious bigotry is still bigotry. Just because the bible says something is wrong does not mean that a) it is wrong or b) it can be used to justify something like bigotry today.