Not long ago I did a show on laying out the facts and debunking the nonsensical myths about what is most often referred to as “gay marriage”. I prefer referring to it by the more realistically descriptive phrase; “equal marriage rights for all Americans.”
While those who oppose equal rights are comprised of people from various demographic groups, the leading category of people opposing equal rights (by far) is, ironically, Christians.
Because I am about to say some uncomplimentary things about a certain type of Christian, I will begin as I usually do by reminding you – in this case, Christians – that my words are directed at those exhibiting the conduct described in this article, not all Christians. If the shoe fits, then you earned it. If it doesn’t, good on you!
I’m not going to re-hash the points covered in the show because it’s available for you to watch at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq-39iefjVs. However, for your convenience I am providing a 1 minute and 40 second clip from that show that is directly applicable to what I am addressing in this article. It can be seen at http://archives.davechampionshow.com/Championtv_gaymythsclip.mp4.
I entitled this article “Fragile Faith” because apparently there are some Christians whose beliefs are held so tenuously that they simply cannot expose themselves to facts that may contradict what they have been told to believe.
On the other hand, I suppose the same behavior could be equally well explained if the Christian was so arrogant – or stupid – as to believe that once he has a particular understanding of something (allegedly) from the Bible, then there simply can be no information, of any kind, from any source, no matter how valid, that could possibly alter that Christian’s (false) understanding of the Word.
Possibly there is a third explanation, though I think it less likely. It is that the Christian has built his emotional stability – his “self image” – upon certain things he believes to be so, and anything that might prove these emotionally important beliefs false, thus pushing him outside his chosen comfort zone, simply will not be permitted. The difference between this characterization, and the first one, is that the first one fears that his faith will be damaged. In this one it is not as much about faith as it is simply an unwillingness to change – even if the facts dictate that change is called for.
I will leave you to determine which is the most likely scenario.
As you can see from the three possible characterizations, this is not strictly about Christians. These points are just as applicable to Jews, Muslims, Hindus…or atheists.
If these kinds of people exist within virtually all demographic groups, why am I using Christians as the example? For a couple of reasons. First, the situation I am soon to describe came to pass in a discussion about equal marriage rights for all Americans. Second, the man who conducted himself in the manner I am about to describe is a self-professed Christian and will let you know that at the drop of a hat. Third, as I stated earlier it is the Christian community (though not all Christians) that is leading the resistance against equal rights.
My fourth reason is a bit more complex. There is old adage, oft repeated, that “God is love”. I would posit there is another more fundamental reality; that “God is truth”. If it is true that “God is truth”, then those who profess to be God’s followers should be those who are most committed to seeking truth. Therefore, to close one’s self off from facts and information is to show that one is not a follower of God, but rather a follower of whatever you may believe is the opposite of God. (Most Christians would likely describe that as “evil” or “Satan”.) I should also remark that this is true no matter what the person’s motives are (the 3 characterizations discussed above), for refusing to look at facts. It remains the opposite of seeking God.
So, with the framework laid out, I will now get to the occurrence that spawned this article.
The discussion began because of an on-line post (mine) excoriating a Christian band for demanding that the lead guitarist/lead singer change his pro equal rights position or leave the band. A gentleman who is known to me, and who is of course a professed Christian, made a continuing effort to defend the Christian band members.
I have a very clear view of this matter. It is not applicable solely to the gay marriage question, but to all bigotry. It goes like this: “Any time you attempt to justify denying any minority the same rights you enjoy, you’re a hypocritical piece of shit and if you died tomorrow the world would be a better place.” Given that is my paradigm, when someone defends pieces of shit there is always some ridiculous fabricated immoral untruth the person is trying to support.
It didn’t take long for this gentleman to play the card I knew was behind him defending immoral reprobates who were punishing a good man who was standing for equal rights and against bigotry. Of course, in reality, he wasn’t defending the band members at all. He was defending a “ridiculous fabricated immoral untruth”. And what was the “ridiculous fabricated immoral untruth” he was defending? It was that the Bible declares homosexuality to be a sin.
So…when he finally unzipped his zipper and showed me what he had, what did I do? Did I explain that the vast majority of Christians take Leviticus 18:22 out of context and that it is actually in reference to homosexual acts with the male priests in the temple of Ba’al (and other polytheistic gentile cultures in proximity to the Hebrews)? No. Since that is not what Christians are taught in Sunday School, most Christians refuse to believe it (despite it being reality).
Did I tell him that Leviticus was the law given to the Hebrews and not the gentiles, thus making it wholly inapplicable to anyone who is not Jewish? No. And for the same reason; if it ain’t taught in Sunday School, Christians won’t believe it. Whether it is the truth is completely irrelevant to them.
Did I remind him (if he even knows) that once the “New Covenant” was ushered in that the “Old Covenant” is no longer operative? No. The Christian herd says “homosexuality is a sin”. He can’t be expected to cut himself away from the herd by using his rational faculties. God forbid!
Did I tell him that in Galatians Paul makes the point that Leviticus is the law of slaves? Nope. He’d simply justify his position by making up some bullshit like “Paul didn’t mean verse 18:22.” Of course Paul didn’t say that but this fellow would have to make it up in order to continue to hold onto his fantasy.
Having listed all the things I DIDN’T say, what did I say? Well, I did something really terrible. I informed him that he was mistaken and suggested that he watch the show wherein I discuss the matter so that he could get the facts. I sure am heavy handed, aren’t I?
On-line discussions have the benefit that they can be left and returned to later. Later in the evening I noticed he appeared to still be anchored on that same fallacious point. (He wasn’t saying it directly, but absent a reliance on “homosexuality is a sin” he would have sounded even more ridiculous than he did.)
I asked if he had watched the show. He told me he had not. I asked him to watch it before we continued with the discussion. He refused. I asked why he was refusing. He replied that he knew what the Bible said about homosexuality so there was no reason to watch it. I reminded him that in my view his position was based on incomplete information and an absence of pivotal facts. I indicated that I would not be willing to waste my time continuing with the discussion if he willfully refused to examine the available evidence. He adamantly refused to watch the show.
So…apparently “knowing” God’s Word means excluding facts that are inconvenient to one’s declared position. That’s pretty pathetic. And it does not bode well for Christians.
Many Christians today feel they are being muzzled and/or marginalized in American society. Let me ask you a question. If, for the sake of argument, we presume that a significant percentage of Christians act like the fellow I’ve describe in this article, why wouldn’t people want to marginalize Christians? And if Christians act like this fellow, do Christians imagine it engenders respect for Christianity?
How many Christians act like this fellow? I don’t know. But I will tell you it seems like the percentage is growing. Twenty year ago I would have said this fellow was the exception. Today I see him as the rule.
I will close with two points.
Not only did this “Christian” fellow close himself off from facts, and the learning that facts can impart, (thus moving himself away from God in my view), but he also apparently picks and chooses the parts of the Word he wants to follow.
Earlier I stated the position that “God is truth”. Without knowledge how can one discern what is true? Well, the Bible speaks to that. Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” I guess this fellow closed himself off from that info too!
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free…it expects what never was and will never be.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
A nation is made of people, so what Jefferson is really saying is that if people want to be ignorant and free they are expecting what never was and will never be. (When you have enough people and the proper circumstances, you end up with a nation.)
Some Christians claim that America is going downhill because the people are turning away from God. That statement is almost always used to imply that everyone except Christians are responsible for America’s decline. If “God is truth” and “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” are eternal truths, then I would posit that there are some Christians contributing to America’s decline by rejecting knowledge, which makes truth difficult to discern, which means such Christians are actually turning away from God – no matter what they would like others to believe.