Is Opposing “Equal Rights” for Homosexuals a Hate Crime?
Once again I find myself responding to a comment with an article.
A wonderful plugin developer who goes by the name weefselkweekje left a comment on my post, Michael’s Comment: “Some guy said that God told him to tell you…” – Jason Responds, in which he suggested that my opposition (and Christian opposition in general) to “equal rights” for homosexuals is promoting hatred and should be labeled a hate crime.
This is my response.
As always I encourage participation in the discussion as long as you remain civil and respectful of others.
I came by here because you’re using a plugin that I wrote, but couldn’t help commenting.
Why is it that there’s so few gay activists writing long blog posts about why Christianity is wrong? It happens the other way around all the time. To me, conservative Christianity is at least as much a ‘lifestyle’ as the so-called gay one is. As you pointed out, there are lots of religions out there, and they can’t all be right. People leave and join churches every day, so I consider it a conscious decision. There’s lots of biological proof that being gay is not a conscious decision, but whether you accept this or not, the fact remains that these two group exist (among others).
The difference to me is that there’s no gay movement I know of who’s message is that being a Christian is wrong and should be frowned upon. All they want is equal rights. So do all the other groups in a society, and it is my belief that that is what a government should provide. It should protect every one of these groups. I’m not a Christian, but I do not mind if you are. I’m also not gay, but do not mind people who are (in fact, I have many gay friends). What I mind is when one group is not allowed to do things the others are, like getting married or adopt children. Or when one group protests the very existence of another. That to me is promoting hatred, and thus a ‘hate crime’.
You say there’s no point in believing in a God if you don’t believe he’s right. Considering how there are indeed more religions (including many Christian ones with a different standpoint about this particular issue), you’ll have to admit there’s a little arrogance in that?
From what I’ve read, I find the Bible to be a book promoting love, respect and tolerance, yet I find very few of these virtues in those groups in society who base their beliefs on it.
There are in fact plenty of gay activists (and others) who decry the stand most Christians take against the homosexual lifestyle. Your comparison between the “choices” of Christianity and homosexuality (assuming it’s a choice) is like comparing apples with oranges.
Religion is a fundamental aspect of civilization that dates back as far as we have historical evidence and is a part of every culture and community on the face of the planet. Homosexuality exists within a very small percentage of the population and has been condemned as morally wrong by many, if not most, religions. Sure, choosing a religion or a denomination of a religion such as Christianity is a choice, but making that choice hardly qualifies as a morally ambiguous decision. While most religions think other religions are wrong or are incorrect in their beliefs, they do not necessarily think their adherents are making immoral choices by following their religion unless that religion crosses certain boundaries (moral boundaries).
It is my belief that if homosexuals do not attempt to paint Christianity as wrong it is because those homosexuals are seeking the acceptance by the Christian community instead of its denouncement. If you look at the various laws and “rights” homosexuals are seeking to gain, they are more about forcing Christians and others to deem their behavior or lifestyle acceptable and are not about creating an equal playing field where homosexuals enjoy the same rights as everyone else.
The truth is, homosexuals already enjoy the same rights as every other American.
Homosexuals argue that homosexuality is in their genes and that they have no control over who they are. Christians, among others, tend to argue that homosexuality is a sin, a choice that can be overcome. They believe that homosexuality is a deeply immoral behavior that should not be encouraged. This isn’t about prejudice or intolerance. There is no scientific evidence currently available that proves that homosexuality is a genetic trait. There is just as much evidence that says the opposite. In fact, a principled and intelligent argument can be made against homosexuality that has nothing to do with ignorance, religion, prejudice, or hatred.
I made that argument in a previous post when I brought up the consideration of evolution. Those who believe homosexuality is a genetic trait run into problems when trying to explain how that trait could possibly be passed on offspring if procreation can only occur artificially. In the earliest days of the appearance of such a trait, the instinctive reaction of those affected would be to mate with members of the same sex which would produce no offspring to which the trait could be passed on. Even if some of these early humans were “bi-curious” the rate of procreation would likely be far too small to keep this trait in the gene pool.
The lack of credible scientific evidence to support the theory that homosexuality is a genetic trait is a huge problem for the gay community. However, even if such evidence were to exist it would likely only exist as a genetic predilection much like the supposed genetic predilection some have to gambling or alcoholism. As a society we do not encourage those traits even if we believe someone was born with such a predisposition because we believe those traits to be harmful to the individual as well as society.
You say that I and other Christians are promoting hatred by opposing “gay rights,” but we believe it to be exactly the opposite. It has nothing to do with hatred. Christians, true Christians, do not hate gay people any more than they hate alcoholics or liars or thieves or anyone else who sins. They believe homosexuality is a sin and they want, first, that the sin is recognized as such by the sinner so that he/she can repent and find salvation in Christ, and, second, that the sin does not adversely effect their (Christian) rights and freedoms.
Christians can make a sound argument on the immorality of homosexuality based on historical precedence, religious beliefs, natural law, and scientific documentation (or the lack thereof). Even if you think that I, and other Christians, are wrong, you cannot say that we are basing our argument on irrational or unreasoning prejudice like those who are prejudice against someone for something like their skin color. Our argument is a principled argument for which I am capable of giving good reasons for believing the way I do. This does not constitute a doctrine of hate in even the slightest sense of the word. To argue that we are propagating a message of hate is to deny that we have a valid argument and should have the freedom to make it. If anything, those who would silence Christian opposition to homosexuality are the ones who are attempting to deny freedoms.
This is not about equal rights. This is not even about us forcing our views on someone else. This is about the legitimacy for Christians to even hold a differing point of view. You are faulting us for our opinions and our religious beliefs because they do not meld with your own. By saying that our opinions should be labeled as a “hate crime” you are saying that we should not have the freedom to oppose something that we do not believe in. But in America it is the very freedom to speak your mind that separates us from so many other countries throughout history. So I ask you. Who is actually showing hate in all of this? The Christians who can make valid and reasonable arguments as to why homosexuality should not be given a class distinction or the homosexuals who seek to silence opposition to their agenda by ignoring our freedom of speech?
And I already know what the next argument from the homosexual community would be. They would say that although Christians might think that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural, it doesn’t give us the right to force our views on them. However, this isn’t really an argument that can be reasonably debated because as I pointed out in a previous article, in all laws the beliefs and principles of one group are always being imposed upon another group.
In America we all have the right to think and say whatever we wish, however, we do not have the freedom to do whatever we wish. Certain groups of people are always having their desires thwarted by laws. This does not deny them rights. They have the same rights you and I have. In the same manner, homosexuals have the same rights any other American has. I do not have the right to work anywhere I want or the right to live anywhere I want or the right to marry whoever I want. There are rules, laws, and moral restrictions on all of those things.
Homosexuals say they are being denied rights that heterosexuals have because they are not free to marry whoever they want. But heterosexuals are not free to marry whoever they want either. There are laws that would prevent me from marrying my daughter or my sister, two women, or even my first cousin. As a man, I have a right to marry any woman who is not already married and who is the correct distance from me in kinship. Laws based on moral objections prevent me from marrying those who do not fit the definition. Homosexuals have the same rights.
But a homosexual man might say he doesn’t want to marry someone kin to him, he wants to marry a man. Unfortunately, what he wants isn’t “equal” rights because he already has those. What he truly wants is a “special” right – an exception. He wants more than the same freedoms and rights than I have. I do not believe society has any obligation to provide him with any such right. Even if our society were open to providing “special rights” to certain groups those rights could only be determined by a majority who would undoubtedly have moral objections to the rights in question just as they would if I asked to have the “special right” to marry my sister.
Furthermore, opening up the possibility of “special rights” for special interest groups such as homosexuals would require us to open those same considerations for all special interest groups. As you might imagine, such a move would quickly and catastrophically overwhelm our government and our society with demands for “special rights” for every group imaginable – and if we took moral objections out of the equation we would have very little grounds on which to deny any such request.
I believe that as Americans, homosexuals should have the very same rights that every other American enjoys, however, I do not believe homosexuals should have any special standings under the law.
You are correct when you say that the Bible promotes love, respect, and tolerance. However, you are incorrect in implying that opposition to “equal rights” for homosexuals somehow violates these tenets.
As I mentioned, Christians believe homosexuals are sinning and are in need of salvation. Christians want mostly for homosexuals to find salvation through Christ. They also wish to prevent the open acceptance of homosexuality by society because of the implications such acceptance could have for the salvation of so many souls. The reasoning is that if more people accept homosexuality as normal and not as sin then even more people will be in danger of not finding salvation. This is completely in line with the message of love that the Bible teaches. In fact, it is the message that the Bible teaches – that we should wish for the salvation of all of mankind.
On the issue of tolerance – I think you have to be careful not to confuse tolerance with acceptance. Christians are tolerant of homosexuals as far as allowing them the freedom to live their lives the way they choose so long as it does not effect society as a whole or infringe upon Christian rights. Christians, however, do not accept the homosexual lifestyle as normal or unavoidable nor does the Bible teach them to do so. It is a fallacy to assume that Christians should roll over and never express their opinions on moral issues because the Bible teaches us to be understanding of the sinful nature of man.
I understand that not all of the people who claim to be Christian believe the same way. If it is arrogant to think that my form of Christianity that believes homosexuality is a sin is the correct one then I suppose I shall have to endure the label of arrogant. But at least I have reasons for believing what I do that are based on scripture and historical evidences. I have made logical and reasonable decisions to come to the conclusion that what I now believe is the truth.