Thursday, April 4, 2013

Do We Still Have the Right to Believe that Homosexual Behavior is Sinful?

What is going through the minds of Christians concerning the same-sex marriage debate?  I suspect many might be thinking this way:

1. God's word says homosexual behavior is wrong. I still believe that.

2. But the same-sex marriage debate is really just a social/political debate.  It's really not about whether homosexual behavior is right or wrong. It's about the freedom to believe and do what you want.

3. If homosexual people want to believe that their behavior is okay, no one should force them to believe otherwise. They should have the same rights as other people. 

This seems to be very logical thinking.  But you should take a closer look at the statement #2. Is this really "just a social/political debate"? Read the following paragraphs from columnist Maureen Dowd with special attention to the last sentence:

Max Mutchnick, who created and wrote “Will & Grace” with David Kohan, is worried as well. His landmark show came up as a cultural marker during the court proceedings challenging Prop 8. When I was in California covering that trial in 2010, I spent time in Los Angeles with Max, his husband, Erik Hyman, an entertainment lawyer, and their bewitching twin daughters born through a surrogate, Evan and Rose. (In an amazing biological feat, both men fertilized the eggs, so that one daughter looks like Erik and one like Max.)

Erik told me then that taking vows in front of a rabbi and their families (two weeks before Prop 8 passed) made him feel different. “Now that I’m actually married,” he said, “it drives me completely crazy when the other side talks about ‘the sanctity of marriage.’ I’m committed to my spouse. We’re faithful to each other. We’re raising twin girls together. It’s deeply offensive to hear someone say that what we’re doing is robbing them of the ‘sanctity’ of what they’re doing, as though my very existence is unholy.” (New York Times, April3, 2013)
What America is debating right now is not just rights (who gets whose pension, who gets to visit whom in the hospital, or who gets to create their own customized children, etc.), ultimately the debate is about what people will be allowed to believe.  I think Erik Hyman and many other want it to be illegal to believe that his lifestyle is unholy.  
I'm sure it is deeply offensive for Erik to hear me agreeing to statement #1 above. But that's the way it is. Americans have always respected the right of people to believe. But that is what is really changing.  Can I still say out loud that homosexual behavior is unholy?  Can I avoid having my children taught that homosexual behavior is holy and acceptable to God?  Can I avoid business transactions with people who hold to beliefs and practices that I find offensive?  Do we really have the right to believe that homosexual behavior is sinful?

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