PART 2 OF 2
July 2010 – Pro-family groups and others who defend traditional morality have battled the homosexual political movement for decades, especially as the cultural conflict over it intensified in the 1990s.
Yet more and more it seems that it is the gay activists who are winning that debate. Sympathetic Democrats control Congress and the White House, with both branches promising their full support for virtually the entire breadth of the homosexual agenda.
Legislation adding sexual orientation to federal hate crime laws has already passed; the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is set to come up before Congress again; and President Barack Obama has said he will ensure that homosexuals will be allowed to serve in the U.S. military.
Meanwhile, more and more corporations fully support gay causes. Hollywood gave its support to homosexual activists in the 1990s, as did many university and college campuses, and a growing number of public school districts are partnering with local and national homosexual groups in pushing a “gay is OK” message to students.
So why shouldn’t pro-family groups simply transfer their culture war troops to another theater – like abortion or euthanasia or stem cell research – where the outcome is still in doubt? Isn’t the cultural battle over homosexuality, well, over?
Shifting ground on gays
In Gallup’s 2008 Values and Beliefs poll, Americans were evenly split – 48% to 48% – over the issue of the morality of homosexual relations.
While this split indicates some ambivalence in the minds of the American people, the trends are clearly in the wrong direction if one is hoping for a return to a traditional view on the subject.
When Gallup asked whether or not homosexuality was an acceptable alternative lifestyle, a clear majority (57%-40%) said yes. And when Gallup asked whether or not homosexual relationships should be legal, a majority also answered affirmatively (55%-40%).
“Americans have shifted from frowning on homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle and being divided over whether it should be legal, to now supporting gay rights on both fronts,” Gallup said in a press release. “Americans have generally grown more supportive of gay rights since 2001, reaching record high support on most measures in 2007. …”
Only on the issue of same sex marriage does there appear to be clear opposition. By a 56%-40% margin, most people told Gallup that homosexual marriages should not be recognized by the law as valid.
Wherever voters have had their say – even in so-called “blue states” like California and Maine – efforts to legalize same sex marriage have been defeated. In fact, efforts by homosexual activists to get the matter on the ballot again for the 2010 election in California recently failed to attract enough signatures.
However, even on the subject of same-sex marriage, there are those who believe that the current will eventually shift in favor of gay activists.
On Larry King Live in May, for example, former first lady Laura Bush said, “You know, when couples are committed to each other and love each other then they ought to have the same sort of rights that everyone has. … I think we could [accept gay marriage]. I think it’s also a generational thing. … [Legalized same sex marriage] will come, I think.”
Cede no ground
Some people wonder why groups like AFA spend so much time on the subject of homosexuality. In fact, to the cursory glance, it might appear to be an obsession.
But the gay agenda is intrinsically linked to a secularist and “progressive” view of life, a view that spider-webs outward to touch everything from health care, to socialism, euthanasia and, yes, sex.
There is a simple reason why pro-family groups should cede no ground in the culture war. The arguments in favor of the gay agenda are the same ones in favor of unrestricted abortion, turning the U.S. into a European-style welfare state, and removing the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.
Are we going to be a nation founded on and directed by traditional morality, rooted in the Judeo-Christian worldview, or a secular state in which religion is kept in a closet and man becomes the supreme authority concerning what is right or wrong?
Will we be a people who believe in absolute truth, religious liberty as well as shared community values, or a nation in which postmodern relativism, hyper-individualism and unlimited self expression reign supreme? (See AFA Journal, 6/10.)
For those who would choose the former half of that equation rather than the latter, surrendering on the homosexual front of the culture war means allowing a secularized view of human nature, sexuality, marriage and family to triumph. To surrender those issues means the entire war, ultimately, is lost.
But how can pro-family groups fight against such overwhelming odds – especially since the stakes are so high?
There are clearly flashpoints in this theater of the culture war where it is worthwhile to keep fighting and to expect some degree of victory in the short-term. As already mentioned, for example, battling to keep the institution of marriage out of the hands of sexual radicals will probably remain productive.
There are other areas as well. No doubt fighting to limit the influence of gay activists in public schools is also advisable. Many parents still seem squeamish about telling little children that homosexuality is a good and natural thing.
Demonstrating how the advance of gay rights leads to a corresponding restriction of religious freedom will also help prevent a rout of traditional morality. For example, when an ENDA-style law was passed in Massachusetts, Catholic Charities of Boston was forced to shut down its 100-year-old adoption agency because it refused to place children with gay couples.
So, while gay activists continually frame the debate in terms of their own civil rights, showing how Christians and religious institutions have their rights trampled scours the gleam right off gay posturing as victims of discrimination.
These are short-term battles, however, and trends don’t lie. The moral beliefs of the majority of people in the U.S. are clearly moving in the wrong direction for traditionalists to hope that mere stop-gap measures will win the day.
This is because the gay movement has been built on the secular, postmodern foundation that has been in the process of being laid in America since the middle of the last century.
Postmodernism is a denial of absolute truth. In a postmodernist culture, the individual decides what is “true,” and no one is allowed to contradict those conclusions, especially if they’re politically corect. As a result of this new substructure, the nation has elevated the individual to a place of supreme importance.
So the Christian is put at a tremendous disadvantage. The grounds on which the biblical counter-arguments can be made on, say, the subject of normal human sexuality, have almost completely eroded in American culture. How do you defend “normal” when no one agrees that there is a “normal” to begin with?
As Psalm 11:3 says, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
If this postmodernist mush were solely the belief of gay activists, there would not be much of a battle. The problem, however, is that most straight Americans have also built their lives on the postmodern foundation. Straight Americans find it convenient to embrace the foundations of the gay movement because those same foundations allow everyone – including straights – to live their own individual lives in any way they want. Thus the reaction of many straight Americans is increasingly to protect the homosexual “house” – the gay agenda – because their own houses are built on the same foundation.
It will ultimately prove futile to attempt to strike down pro-homosexual arguments without addressing the foundations upon which those are built.
To use a different metaphor, how many of us would endlessly trim back the weed without pulling out the root?
The eternal gospel
The root grows – and the secular foundation of postmodernism is built – in the hearts of an unbelieving nation. The god of this world has blinded the minds of a growing number of people who are trapped in unbelief, not simply because the devil wants the homosexual movement to triumph, but so that an entire generation might not “see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
The solution, the apostle Paul says, is to preach Christ as Lord, that God might command that “light shall shine out of darkness” (vv. 5, 6).
Thus the church is left with the one instrument it was given at the beginning: the gospel. It is, in fact, our only hope.
The comprehension of the truths of God in matters of sexuality as well as everything else is the result of a regenerated heart. First Corinthians 2:14 says that “a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”
Here, however, the church must engage in some serious introspection. For the weakness of the Christian effort against the homosexual agenda lies in the simple, heart-breaking truth that much of the church has built its modern, American-style version of the faith on the same postmodern foundations as everyone else.
How can it be argued otherwise? Survey after survey reveals self-described Christians who don’t know what their faith teaches and don’t seem to care; who church hop as they try to find a church that caters to their individual tastes; who sull up and leave when the preacher declares the full counsel of God or when church leaders administer biblical discipline; or who declare themselves spiritual but not religious.
How can we criticize the homosexual community when much of the American church is overrun with divorce, fornication and worldliness?
Is it not the height of hypocrisy to try to tear down the homosexual activists’ constructions – built on faulty foundations – but gleefully leave our own?
The gospel is what America needs if there is any hope of long-term recovery. And many Christians need to be the first ones to hear the message.