There is one theme that pervades the discussion on gay marriage: “this debate is the same as the debate we had on skin color in the 1960s.” Memes fly around the internet comparing the two fights. One recently on my newsfeed showed a picture of an interracial couple from the 1950s and a gay couple from today side by side with a statement “both illegal marriages.” When Arizona tried to pass its “religious freedom bill” that would allow the religious to refuse service in some situations to homosexuals, the response was clear: ‘this is the new Jim Crowe’. As a result, Jan Brewer vetoed the bill (probably fearing looking like the new George Wallace).

But the comparison is a bad one. The two causes should not be compared. They are nothing alike. To compare them is not only confusing but insulting to anyone who hates racial discrimination.  

The comparison is wrong for one reason: Behavior is not skin color.

People often point to the idea that homosexual desire is innate. If it is innate, they argue, it is like skin color (something we cannot change) and therefore worthy of the same sort of civil protections. But is this true? A moment’s reflection shows the error of this thought. We are all born with a wide variety of innate impulses and desires (sexual and otherwise). Some of our innate desires and impulses are good and some are not. We all judge our desires and make decisions on when, how, and whether to act on them. These innate impulses are not behaviors. The fact that we have an innate desire/impulse in no way means that acting on that desire (behavior) must be accepted, licensed by the state, or endorsed by the public.

This concept is manifestly true based on the fact that we all regularly do not act on a whole host of our innate desires. We don’t because doing so would often be often be socially unacceptable (and sometimes illegal depending on which desire in which context). Only some behaviors are socially acceptable (depending on the culture, legal code, and situation). We all filter our innate desires and choose which behaviors are good and which are bad.

We cannot automatically assume that because a desire is innate the corresponding behavior must be accepted by all…..that is almost never true. Desire is not behavior. Behavior is not innate.

Very few behaviors are established as civil rights in our country and I have a hard time seeing why this one sexual behavior should be classified alongside skin color. 

The current debates (i.e. gay marriage, sodomy laws, and conscience laws and etc) are all about behavior. No one is discussing thought control. The innate desires are not being restricted – no, there are questions about behaviors. And such discussions are appropriate and good. There is nothing hateful when we determine to reject certain behaviors as bad (we all do that every day).  In fact, behaviors must be evaluated, judged as ethical or not, and rejected (or embraced) as part of living in a civil society.

There is fundamental difference between skin color and behavior. It seems obvious but our society continues to confuse the two. It is time this confusion ended. 



October 14, 2013

ImageWithout some sort of God, humanity, even if it lasts millions of years, will just be a spark in relation to the sea of dead time that preceded it and will follow it. There will be no one around to remember any of it. Whether we are loving or cruel, kind or mean, just or unjust, in the end would make no difference.

A Victory in Itself

October 8, 2013

“Sometimes standing against evil is more important than defeating it. The greatest of heroes stand because it is right to do so, not because they believe they will walk away with their lives. Such selfless courage is a victory in itself.” – N.D. Wilson

For those of you looking for the biblical case complementarianism (male headship, elders, and leaders in the church), these articles might be helpful:

Introduction to the Debate
Who believes what?
The meaning of headship
The meaning of submission
Analysis of Ephesians 5
Headship before or after the fall
Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:12
Analogy with Slavery
Analysis of 1 Corinthians 14
Was Junius a Female Apostle?
Should Women Serve as Elders?

The innitial news was that the Norway shooter was a conservative Christian fundamentalist. I knew immediately that this report was going to be proven wrong.

The truth is that the shooter, Anders Behring Breivik, was not a Christian. Nor was he conservative in the American sense of the word. He lists himself on profiles as ‘Conservative’ and ‘Christian’ but definitions matter.

Let’s start with politics. He was part of a neo-Nazi forum. Nazi’s may be right wing in Europe that is very socialist but in America Nazi’s are left wing. National Socialism is left of center in American politics. In America, the right wing opposes all forms of socialism.

Regarding the ‘Christianity’ part, there are two definitions of Christian. One is the nominal term. It is those inside the visible church. Those who somewhere along the line were baptized. But true Christianity also has a heart and Lordship conversion. When someone is truly a Christian, they lay their will down at the feet of Christ. Christ was against killing innocents. Christ laid his own life down for others. Christ would have died to save the victims of that murderer. If he was a Christian, he was a very very verrrrrry bad one who violated all of the basic tenants of Christianity by his action. He scoffed at God and did great harm to the cause of Christ.

Don’t be fooled by words that mean nothing. Understand definitions.

Update: He was a Freemason (incompatible with Christianity). And he was a fan of John Stuart Mills (a secularist). More evidence that this was not a “fundamentalist Christian” by any true sense of the word.

And here is more detail on the definition of “right wing”.

The riddles of God…

June 29, 2011

“…JOB WAS comfortless before the speech of Jehovah and is comforted after it. He has been told nothing, but he feels the terrible and tingling atmosphere of something which is too good to be told. The refusal of God to explain His design is itself a burning hint of His design. The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.” ~GK Chesterton, ‘Introduction to The Book of Job’

Why Memorize Scripture?

June 28, 2011