The Way Liberace Used to Walk

In the previous post, the one where I mentioned that homosexual acts ought eventually to be prohibited by law, one commenter asked about my “constant hammering” on this issue. Why do I keep going on about it? Why don’t I write about sins my parishioners might actually be committing? Well, actually I do that too — one of my books was written for that express purpose. So that front is actually covered.

However, the central part of this question still needs to be answered. But before answering it, let me set the stage first.

Sodomy was a felony in all 50 states as recently as 1962, when I was nine-years-old. The establishment narrative — a very clever perversion of the Whig view of history, which was in its turn a perversion of postmillennialism — is that we are all of us gradually emerging from the dark woods of old-timey superstitions, and that these things take time. That gradual evolutionary emergence has us leaving behind the way we “used to be” and walking toward the higher mountain meadows of egalitarianism, where everything is bright and sunny, and the clouds are fluffy.

As a result of this narrative, we see a facile equation of “civil rights” for homosexuals with the actual expansion of civil rights for other minorities. “From Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall” is an illustration of this narrative in action. But prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 it wasn’t a felony to be black. It was perfectly fine to be black — it simply wasn’t fine to be black and doing the same things that whites were doing, like attending the same school.

I grew up in a segregated town, which meant that blacks were prohibited from attending the same school I went to, simply on the basis of the color of their skin. They were treated as different, and were thus excluded from being allowed to do the same things I was allowed to do (in this case, attend Germantown Elementary). Different people were not allowed to do the same thing. That is a crucial point, and I would plead with you to keep a weather eye on it.

Homosexual agitators argue that this is precisely their situation. They are different, and they are not allowed to do the same thing straights are allowed to do (e.g. marry). But this is so absurd that it is astonishing to me that the entire country has been able to debate this thing for years without getting a fit of the giggles.

If we are to treat men equally, this means that when one man marries a woman, a different man should be allowed to do the same thing — marry a woman also. You have different men doing the same thing. In the case of hetero and homosexual marriage, you have different men doing completely different things, and . . . here is the key point, the agitators insist that we all call it the same thing, under penalty of law.

They will go in an opposite direction, but if you point this out, you must be filled with hate. The body politic demands of us that we all say this particular set of quite distinct actions are precisely and exactly the same action. But whenever doublespeak is demanded of me, I start looking around for Big Brother. And well, look, here he is! Right on schedule!

As I hinted a moment ago, this is not simply a matter of dealing with a particular sexual vice. The reason for singling out sodomy for particular political attention right now is the homo-activists have made it their central political weapon. Other sins can still be addressed by pastors for what they are — sins. In the 1950’s, when a pastor was counseling a homosexual parishioner, he was doing what pastors now do when they have members with a porn problem, for example. He was trying to help someone with a personal struggle — and he was not having to deal simultaneously with a culture-wide insistence that this personal struggle be universally-recognized as a matter of personal pride instead of personal shame. At that time, sodomy had not yet been made into a flag for a movement.

Think about it. There are no Adultery Pride Marches. There are no Masturbation is Cool Stadium Rallies. There is no such thing as Secret Porn Stash Pride Day. Of course, since we live in absurd times, all this must be qualified with the word yet. So right now, as we speak, same sex couplings are being used by our ruling class in a completely different way than are these other sexual vices. We are experiencing a culture-wide full-court press on this subject. If there is a continuum between Selma and Stonewall, there the time is coming, and now is, when it will be just as unacceptable to say anywhere, including from the pulpit, that sodomy is an offense to God. Any minister who tries it will be treated the same way a minister today would be treated if he preached a sermon on race relations, using the phrase “colored people” throughout, and illustrated it with heart-warming video clips from Song of the South.

We are up against a very potent demand that we make our public demeanor toward homosexuals one that walks very gingerly, like a cat on hot bricks. I think it was Spurgeon who said that some ministers exegete a text the way a donkey eats a thistle, that is to say, very carefully. If you continue to believe, in the deepest recesses of your heart, that same sex activity is not exactly what God wants us doing, you currently have to express this sentiment, if you express it at all, by saying that you do not believe, at the end of the day, that same sex attractions are able to present us with an optimal opportunity for human thriving. You are not allowed to say, unless you are prepared to be a pariah, that sodomy is a very bad sin. Thanks for asking the question. “And kind of gross, if you think about it.” The zeitgeist is currently insisting that we mince our words the way Liberace used to walk.

So the reason I go on about this is that there are many ministers, in conservative, evangelical and Reformed circles, who are currently bending to these demands. But friends, the last thing we should do, when dealing with an angry mob on Lot’s front porch, is any bending of any kind.

Sodomy is therefore a political act, and those engaged in the movement know it. They have made no secret of it. So I don’t really feel bad for noticing this, and for refusing to go along with it. And in refusing to go along with it, I believe that such refusals should come as soon as you realize what road you are on, and not come when you balk at going the last half mile of it.

Incidentally, asking a woman to marry you, and to walk with you as you bring up children in the Lord together, is also a potent political act. But, in contrast to the sodomy revolution, it is a political act that actually bears fruit. More people who live that way should know about it. Somebody should tell them.

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Brian Jacobson
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Brian Jacobson

“…the last thing we should do, when dealing with an angry mob on Lot’s front porch, is any bending of any kind.”

I chuckled because it’s clever.

John
Guest
John

Androgyny is the end game. Christianity must be resolved to fight against “one-ism”–the idea that there are no sexes, no genders, no hierarchy in the family. Of course the genius behind satanic one-ism is that the government is actually in charge while everybody else is “equal”! True freedom, ironically, comes from kissing the hand of the Son, and paying homage to Him (Psalm 2). Let that be our prayer that God would use Christians to be salt and light in today’s time of swooning over ‘one-ness’ with the universe. But, to submit to Christ, that means letting go of ego,… Read more »

Eric the Red
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Eric the Red

Doug, your analysis is fine as far as it goes, but you’ve left out a fairly major detail, which is to explain WHY people who support gay marriage think that gay civil rights is analogous to Seneca Falls and Selma. Your analysis of homosexuality begins and ends with “it’s a sin”. And under that analysis, your conclusions do indeed follow your premises. If, however, you accept scientific discoveries that some people have a gay nature, just as most people have a heterosexual nature, that is given to them without them having any real say in the matter, then the question… Read more »

Rita
Guest

To Eric the Red—> just because it is in someone’s nature to do something does not mean they should be allowed to pursue it for their “happiness”. Some people scientist have found are born with the inclination to commit murderous acts, it fills whatever void they were born with. Does that mean we should let them pursue their perverted inclination to satisfy them or give them joy? No. We are all born in sin, heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, and guess what sin makes us “happy”. But it leads us to hell. Just because a particular sin makes you happy and… Read more »

Russ White
Guest

eric: Actually, you’re completely wrong… Any Christian of any conservative stripe will tell you, flat out, that we’re all born with a proclivity towards one sin or another. To say, “some folks are just born homosexual,” is to say, “original sin, and being born in sin, are figments of the Christian imagination, and should no longer count in any way towards structuring society.” So let’s grant your premise for a second, and say, “some people are just born that way.” Well, everyone is born a liar, so lying is okay. Everyone is born selfish, so selfishness is okay, as well.… Read more »

Josh R
Guest

Eric, It seems odd to me that the Homosexual Advocates are hyper-calvinist in their “I was born this way” rants. Most of them will argue “i wouldn’t choose this” The point of the Christian message is “God makes you a new creation, and you don’t have to continue being that which you do not wish to be” I do think that here is some hard-wiredness in the homosexual mind. A massive portion of them where molested as children. Many more where in abusive relationships. Hormones do program our mind. They do hard wire our habits. I think as Christians we… Read more »

bbrewer
Guest
bbrewer

Woe to the one who calls evil good.

hhtuck
Member
hhtuck

Yeah! Be more SCIENTIFIC you cruel monster!

Thanks,
Jay

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Pastor Wilson, I want to clarify. Do you believe that homosexual sex should not only be illegal in your future Christiandom, but should be illegal right now? And you still appear to be steadfastly avoiding the actual question I asked about what would heterosexual sins would be illegal in your future Christiandom. It’d only take a couple minutes you type out a yes or no to the items on my list, and any others you chose. And contrary to what you seem to imply, most Christians don’t seem to believe that masturbation and divorce are not sinful, and those who… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I should proofread before I send, now that there’s no edit function. Of course, I meant to say, “most Christians don’t seem to believe that masturbation and divorce are sinful”. An extra “would” crept in back there too.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

Eric the Red, There are two problems with your approach. First is the fact that you are insisting that our reading of scripture must be subordinate to “science.” You might recall that you are here dealing with people who have rejected Darwin and Lyell in favor of the divinely inspired Word of God. Yes, though it seems quaint, we really do believe it. The second issue is that your conclusion, “therefore we must accept homosexuality as totally normal and acceptable human behavior,” doesn’t necessarily follow from your premise, “homosexuality is innate.” A point Pastor Wilson has raised before is that… Read more »

David R
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David R

“If, however, you accept scientific discoveries that some people have a gay nature, just as most people have a heterosexual nature, that is given to them without them having any real say in the matter, then the question becomes whether there is a reason to keep people who are gay by nature from pursuing happiness in life just as heterosexuals are permitted to pursue happiness.” First, there are no scientific discoveries that people have a gay nature. Science has mapped the human genome and have yet to find a gay gene or any such indicator. They strive hard and have… Read more »

Natalie
Guest
Natalie

I have a comment for Eric the Red. You said “Your analysis of homosexuality begins and ends with “it’s a sin”. And under that analysis, your conclusions do indeed follow your premises.” I think that that is fair and astute. That is exactly the issue here. “If, however, you accept scientific discoveries that some people have a gay nature, just as most people have a heterosexual nature…” This is very clear, which I appreciate. There is still debate about whether homosexuality is “natural” or not, and those of us who believe it is wrong tend to side with “no,” as… Read more »

David
Guest
David

Eric, Your argument assumes from the beginning a view of human nature that is anti-Biblical. If the Bible is true, then people are no more born homosexuals than they are born gossips, or over eaters, or adulterers. Paul tells us in Romans 1 that male and female versions of homosexuality are “against nature”. The Greek is very clear. Paul does not say in Greek that these acts are against their nature, the person’s nature, but rather these acts are against human nature, the way in which man and woman were created to interact with one another from the beginning. These… Read more »

David
Guest
David

Eric, By the way, invoking the holy name of science is actually quite unscientific. Science has not identified a genotype or consistent anatomical variations that are even causally associated with homosexuality. But even if they did, how does this prove causation? Natural science (as opposed to the pseudo-disciplines of social science) are not even close to being equipped to answer questions of the will and volition. We know that there are males for example who are born with two Y chromosomes, and that this is associated with a higher incidence of rage and violent behavior. Does this prove that when… Read more »

Dan
Guest
Dan

Thank you, Jonathan. You said what I have felt for a long time. Those with little to be accused of have little reason to accuse. I left that lifestyle nearly twenty years ago and still Christians are, for the most part, rather unkind to me about it. Snarky little jokes about “bending” to the will of the crowd do nothing to alter my perception of Christ’s people, either. I know that homosexuality is a sin, but your unkindness in the face of it is as well.

Robert
Guest
Robert

I understand that the gays stopped looking foir a gay gene, not because it wasn’t there, but because someone pointed out that if such a gene were found, it could then be used as a screening tool for the abortion industry.

Would you say that if a man consciouly marries a woman that he knows can not bear him children and adoption is not financially feasable, is in some way shirking responsibility?

David B
Guest
David B

Is heterosexual sodomy bad or just homosexual sodomy? Please clarify.

Sori
Guest

A much needed article pastor Wilson. Thank you. It seems very strange to me that people like “Eric the Red” would bring such arguments here. Have those people heard of the Bible? God? Laws? Have those people considered that the pursuit of happiness might not be the chief end of man? Or, to put it better, that happiness is obtained only through a certain path, and that our being is utterly polluted by sin, so that we do not want (can’t) take that path without being regenerated? I mean, will I really break his whole worldview if I said that… Read more »

Nelson Montz
Guest
Nelson Montz

At least, someone is speaking from the pulpit: maybe, time to speak on other things, such as rape, incest and “numb love” within the Christian community. The Bible depicts the story of Man, and there’s not too much new under the sun- only wrinkles. I have ceased worrying about this human condition; believe God has it figured out, and there could be surprises for us all. Sure, I have seen advances perpetrated on myself. Anywhere, from the old Fags within the theatre community; to a married man, who made advances in a small town newspaper in Indiana; to just a… Read more »

Jo Shmo
Guest
Jo Shmo

Please, more people bash on Eric in an effort to win brownie points with Doug Wilson. I am sick of prententious intellectuals like you.

Jimmy
Guest
Jimmy

Pastor Wilson, I think the comparison of counseling a homosexual with a porn addict needs a little tweaking. I’m guessing that when a pastor is counseling someone who has a problem with adultery, or porn, or lying, or stealing, or gambling, or any number of other sins, sexual or not, that pastor probably has some insider knowledge of that particular sin. But for a lot of heteros, homosexuality is not just sinful, it’s *gross*, as you pointed out. This fact, I think, plays a big part in how heteros respond to it. They tend to go easier on the adulterer… Read more »

Andrew Lohr
Member

I hear Jonathan. Yeah, God created Adam and Eve, different and complementary; if He’d created Adam and Steve, Darwin would never have evolved. (Christians tell same-sex couplings “Repent!”; Darwin says “Drop dead.” We pay “gays” the compliment of saying they’re falling far short of their highest potential; Darwin says they’ll never improve.) A strong “gay” gene would not breed. But fornication outside marriage and across marital lines is far more common than sodomy, including in most churches. Even when the main business is calling for repentance on some “gay” point, isn’t it generally a good idea to put this species… Read more »

Joe Rigney
Guest
Joe Rigney

Jonathan, I think your question is legitimate, and while Doug can speak for himself, I think this post at least begins to hint at an answer: http://dougwilson.wpengine.com/s29-culture-and-politics/c87-politics/spooky-almost.html Here’s the key principle: “[T]here is a difference between sins and crimes. It is a radical difference. Abortion should be against the law because God said to Moses on Sinai that we were not permitted to murder, and because He assigned civil penalties to violations of this law. Racial prejudice in the private sphere should not be against the law. God never assigned a civil penalty to it.” Based on that principle, I’d… Read more »

Joel
Guest
Joel

Jonathon et al,

the charge “x is sinful” is not refuted by simply pointed at somebody else. “But look, Susie is being wicked in the kitchen!” No doubt. But what’s that got to do with this sin right here?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I was really surprised that my comment got nothing but kind responses. I would still like to hear from Pastor Wilson on the question, or really any of the other Reformed Christians who look forward to Pastor Wilson’s vision of a future Christiandom which bans sodomy and expels or executes homosexuals. Maybe all the really attacking people got too distracted attacking Eric the Red. You all do realize that he’s not a Christian, that he’s not likely to be convincing any Reformed Christians on any of these points, that he’s not going to be convinced by any of those attacks,… Read more »

Rick Davis
Guest
Rick Davis

Jonathan, This is from an old Credenda/Agenda issue. Pastor Wilson is specifically addressing the question of how pornography would be dealt with in Christendom, but I think it also touches on your question as well: “Imagine a prosecuting attorney living at the time of Moses. And suppose some hard-core pornographers were brought in to him. According to biblical law , how would they be charged? With a biblical approach, the pornography would not be the crime, it would be the evidence of the crime. To illustrate, suppose some young teenagers went on a spree, breaking into shops and stealing things.… Read more »

Rick Davis
Guest
Rick Davis

I posted too soon. If I had read a couple paragraphs on in the article, Doug makes the point himself: ” To continue the illustration, imagine a society in which Christians insisted that we crack down on burglar movies, but resisted any attempts to punish thieves. The situation would be odd, at the very least. Why do we resist punishing what God requires punishment for, and insist on punishments found nowhere in Scripture? The lesson should be applied to pornography. In biblical law, numerous sexual relationships are prohibited, with civil penalties attached . When pornography is made and distributed, it… Read more »

Kirby L. Wallace
Guest

“But friends, the last thing we should do, when dealing with an angry mob on Lot’s front porch, is any bending of any kind.”

I see what you did there…. ;-)

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Okay, so adultery and sodomy would also be illegal? Maybe divorce and premarital sex too? What else? Masturbation? Lust? Sex with a woman during her menstral cycle? And what are the penalties?

Kirby L. Wallace
Guest

Eric the Red: “… If, however, you accept scientific discoveries that some people have a gay nature, just as most people have a heterosexual nature, that is given to them without them having any real say in the matter, then the question becomes whether there is a reason to keep people who are gay by nature from pursuing happiness in life just as heterosexuals are permitted to pursue happiness…” It’s not SOME people that have a “gay nature”. ALL people do. Just as all people also have theiving, murdering, lying nature. But God restrains our evil nature. Homosexuals are not… Read more »

David
Guest
David

Jonathan, Where in the Bible do you see the civil magistrate given permission by God to judge the heart (lust), or to penalize masturbation? Whether sex with a woman during her cycle should be a punishable offense, at least at one time it was God’s command that people not due this, under penalty of law (ceremonial law, that is). And yes, adultery should be against the law. You know why? Because God said so. The law is useful for restraining unlawful activities in society (I. Timothy 1:8-11). Apparently, the “smarter” alternative leads to….all the great, terrific things we have today!… Read more »

Will
Guest
Will

I posted this question on the previous post but… would a Christian future need more civil laws? The bible seems to say the opposite. “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them… Read more »

Debbie Beck
Guest
Debbie Beck

Why is this entitled “The Way Liberace Used to Walk”?

Nick
Guest

There was no state in the Garden of Eden to issue a marriage “license” to Adam and Eve. Marriage and the proper conduct of physical union in marriage was a direct ordinance of God. If the state contradicts what God has decreed, it is sin. However, it is just as much a sin if the state tries to license and place man’s stamp of approval on God’s Word, as if God needs man’s approval. The solution to diminishing and eliminating homosexuality is not found in depending upon some vain hope of sanctifying the godless state; it’s found in the preaching… Read more »

Eric the Red
Guest
Eric the Red

1. I never said there was a gay gene, I said science points to some people having a gay nature. Genetics may have something to do with it, but there is also evidence that the chemicals to which a fetus is exposed in the womb play a role. There is evidence that regardless of what causes homosexuality, a child’s sexual orientation is firmly in place by early childhood. 2. The difference between having a nature that is gay, versus having a nature that is gossipy, murderous, violent, alcoholic, or any of the other sins listed is that all that other… Read more »

Rick Davis
Guest
Rick Davis

Appealing to Authority is not a fallacy. Most of the beliefs we hold as human beings are based on an authority of some sort. Very little of our beliefs are based on direct experience or deduction. Appealing to a Faulty Authority is a fallacy. If the Bible is a valid authority then it is appropriate to appeal to it.

Jane
Member

“Why is this entitled “The Way Liberace Used to Walk”?”

Read the article. Wilson’s usual M.O. on this blog is to pull a rather odd phrasing out of his article as the title, so that you have to carefully read the whole thing to see why he used it. It doesn’t necessarily summarize the point the way headlines or titles usually do, it just sparks curiosity.

Thursday
Guest
Thursday

all that other stuff causes harm Again I’d advise everybody to read Jon Haidt’s The Righteous Mind. Not everybody things the end all and be all of morality is harm and fairness. In fact, even some moderns have had trouble defending their own systems. Here’s J.S. Mill trying, in vain, to save utilitarianism from itself: “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the… Read more »

Daniel Smith
Guest

My home country (Australia) has well and truly joined the walk. From next month, when ever a citizen fills out a government form and they have to choose their gender – we now have three options, Male, Female or X. The church here no longer has a response to this kind of thing.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

David says: “Where in the Bible do you see the civil magistrate given permission by God to judge the heart (lust), or to penalize masturbation?” Where in the Bible do you see the civil magistrate given permission by God to impose a theocracy of Christiandom? I already know that Pastor Wilson reads the Bible is a quite different manner than I do. The manner in which he reads it forces him to write entire books defending Southern slavery. I think that his reading is not how God intends us to read it, and I think that his defenses of Southern… Read more »

Jane
Member

” I never said there was a gay gene, I said science points to some people having a gay nature. ”

“Appeals to the Bible are simply the logical fallacy of appeal to authority.’

How does point 3 not undermine point 1? Or did you do the research yourself?

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

In light of the gay marriage issue in our culture what do you think of this statement?

“Power to regulate personal relationships in any way, including marriage and “gay marriage”, should never be given to the government unless the government is church government or God.”

Iohannes
Guest
Iohannes

Jonathan,

Where, besides explicitly Christian standards, should a Christian look to judge whether or not the state has the power or duty to punish something? Another way to think of this is, when Paul says the state has the power to punish evildoers in Romans 13, how can we know what Paul means by “evildoers” and by “punish”?

Cordially in Christ,
Iohannes

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

This is from an Atheist but it seem to make sense “In sum: the state should get out of marriage. If it remains in existence and monopolizes the legal system, it should enforce any contractual aspects of regimes entered into by consenting adults. What they call it is irrelevant. Ideally it would be unlabeled and private society would figure out naming conventions. But the state should not be allowed to hamper the rights of non-standard couples just because it insists on decreeing what is and what is not “marriage.” If the state insists on regulating unions and giving it the… Read more »

melody
Member
melody

Eric the Red says, ” Appeals to the Bible are simply the logical fallacy of appeal to authority.”, and thus he chooses to appeal to the authority of ‘Science’. What did I miss?

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: “Jesus didn’t command the state to do anything. He also didn’t “give permission” for what any future Christian or secular state could or couldn’t do. Instead, he told followers of God what they should or shouldn’t do. I believe that those declarations to Christians apply to all parts of our lives, and that it is a false modern viewpoint to try to separate our life into categories where we act like Christians in some spheres and then can drop those same commands in other spheres.” “Where in the Bible do you see the civil magistrate given permission by… Read more »

Eric the Red
Guest
Eric the Red

Jane, and Melody, what you are missing is that an appeal to authority is only a fallacy if authority forms the basis of the argument — I’m right because I’m an authority. That, however, is not how science works. Yes, someone with a Ph.D. in biology knows more about biology than I do, and I’m therefore inclined to take his word for it, but I’m not required to take his word for it. If I want to go to the trouble of replicating all of his data for myself, I can do it. That’s not true of an appeal to… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Eric the Red wrote: “I never said there was a gay gene, I said science points to some people having a gay nature.” Science pertains to measurable data. I’ll probably regret asking, but what units are used to measure “gay nature” in the lab? Does a nature fit in a test tube, or is it a diagnosis rendered by a licensed psychologist? Eric the Red also wrote: “Yes, someone with a Ph.D. in biology knows more about biology than I do, and I’m therefore inclined to take his word for it, but I’m not required to take his word for… Read more »