July 8, 2011
The Surge in Sexuality Debates
President Obama had declared June as national “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month,” just in time for heated debates over same-sex marriage and similar issues.
1. Social Conservatives: New York Gay Marriage is Harbinger of Civilization's Decline
By far, the most important event—symbolically and substantively—in June was the extension of marriage to same-sex couples in New York. Social conservatives were not reticent in expressing their concern. CBN's Pat Robertson compared the America to Sodom, warning that God may withdraw his favor for the United States because of laws like the New York marriage law.
“In history there’s never been a civilization ever in history that has embraced homosexuality and turned away from traditional fidelity, traditional marriage, traditional child-rearing, and has survived,” Robertson said. “It’s not a pretty world we live in right now, and we need all of God’s help we can get. And I don’t think we are not exactly setting ourselves up for His favor.”
Breakpoints's Chuck Colson said the redefinition of marriage would lead to “social pathologies of every sort.”
“Redefining marriage and family is precisely what the same-sex 'marriage' debate is all about … If same-sex 'marriage' advocates are successful in spite of their meager support, make no mistake, [social] pathologies will only grow, just like I've seen in prisons for 35 years,” Colson said.
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said the New York law was the result of political arm-twisting and possible vote buying.
"Enormous political coercion has resulted in a profound failure of moral courage in the New York Senate. A clear majority of the people of New York oppose counterfeit 'marriage,' but Gov. Cuomo and anti-family lawmakers have shown that their allegiance is to a small but vocal minority seeking to redefine marriage and family,” Perkins said.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said the greatest concern was the lack of a residency requirement. Couples do not need to live in New York to receive a marriage license. Land said this would mean that same-sex marriage throughout the country.
“This is probably the biggest challenge to traditional marriage that we've seen. New York, what happens in New York matters. Probably even more than what happens in California when it comes to the culture. Particularly since there is no residency requirement to get married,” Land said. “I guarantee you this action by the New York State Assembly and Cuomo has already signed it will bring same-sex marriage to a house near you."
Land's warning echoes his concern with same-sex marriage became legal in Iowa two years ago, when he said Iowa would become “the Las Vegas of same-sex 'marriage' for America.”
“And you know those folks won’t be resettling in the Hawkeye State, but will be heading back home–perhaps to your state,” Land said.
2. Al Mohler Targeted for “Appearing to Pander to the Homosexual Lobby”
Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, responded to a question during the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting on comments he made to the Christian Science Monitor. Mohler was quoted as saying that Christians had practiced a “form of homophobia” by not being truthful about the nature of sexuality. Mohler said it was wrong to say that sexuality is only a choice.
“We have said to people that homosexuality is just a choice. It’s clear that it’s more than a choice. That doesn’t mean it’s any less sinful, but it does mean it’s not something people can just turn on and turn off. We are not a gospel people unless we understand that only the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ gives a homosexual person any hope of release from homosexuality,” Mohler said.
The American Family Associations' Bryan Fischer said Mohler “appeared to pander to the homosexual lobby.”
“Evidently, according to Rev. Mohler, if you don’t believe gays are born that way, you’re either a homophobe or right next to it,” Fischer said. “He did not elaborate on exactly what he meant by 'more than a choice,' but what else could it mean but that he’s urging SBC’ers to accept the bogus claim that homosexuality is innate and that people can be homosexual from birth.”
Brian McLaren called the comments by Fischer and others “vitriolic.” McLaren wrote an open letter to Mohler. He empathized with being accused of pandering. He also thanked Mohler for his stand.
“On behalf of my gay family members and friends who face real homophobia from far too many churches far too often … often within Evangelical churches more than anywhere else, thank you for taking a risk and saying some things that needed to be said,” McLaren said.
The Wall Street Journal published a piece by Mohler today where he says, “We have often spoken about homosexuality in ways that are crude and simplistic.”
3. Comments by Michele Bachmann's Husband Raises Questions
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (Minn.) has been deflecting questions on what she thinks about homosexuality—not same-sex marriage but her understanding of the nature of homosexuality.
In the radio interview, Marcus Bachmann discussed how parents should react to teens and children who are questioning their sexuality.
"We have to understand: Barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps," Marcus Bachmann said.
It is not clear who he was referring to with “barbarians,” though most media outlets have interpreted him as referring to all homosexuals as barbarians. Regardless, the comment is bringing attention to his wife.
“I am running for the presidency of the United States,” Michele Bachmann said to questions about whether she thinks homosexuality is a choice. “I am not running to be anyone’s judge.”