Saturday, June 28, 2008
This weekend will see Gay Pride parades held all over the world, in an attempt by those who choose and/or support this lifestyle to persuade the rest of us that it's 'normal', 'natural' and 'mainstream'.
They're lying, of course.
By dictionary definition (look up normal and abnormal, natural and unnatural for yourself) homosexuality is neither normal nor natural. It's clearly abnormal and unnatural. As for being 'mainstream', when most studies indicate that homosexuals form anywhere from 2% to 7% of the population (usually nearer the lower end of that proportion), it's clearly anything but, given that 93% to 98% of the population aren't involved.
I've had an unusually large exposure to homosexuality in my work as a prison chaplain. As you can imagine, it's rampant behind bars, largely due to the absence of any alternative. Oddly enough, many of those indulging in homosexual conduct in prison will adamantly deny that they're homosexuals. They regard their actions as a temporary substitute, and expect to revert to full heterosexuality as soon as they're released.
It's hard to preach Gospel values about this sort of thing in that environment. Most of the inmates fear neither God nor the Devil, and aren't accustomed to reining in their impulses or desires for any reason. I found that humor worked best. I used to point out to them: "The rectum and the anus are the outlet pipes for the body's sewage system. They are not the Tunnel of Love!" They usually laughed raucously, but got the point, and from there I could go on to talk about Biblical morality with greater ease.
I'm frankly irritated and annoyed by the in-your-face approach of gay activists and those who organize such parades. They're free to choose their own sexual orientation, just as I'm free to choose mine. What they do in the privacy of their own homes and bedrooms is their business. When they try to take it out of the bedroom and thrust it under my nose, they needn't be surprised if that organ gets out of joint.
My first encounter with militant gaydom occurred in San Francisco in 1996. I was on my first visit to the USA, doing a church mission tour. I'd just arrived in Sodom-by-the-Bay, and was walking around that Saturday morning, quite unaware that it was Gay Pride weekend. I was wearing my clergy 'uniform', with a clerical collar, so I was easily identified as a clergyman.
I was promptly stopped in my tracks and surrounded by a bunch of militant gays, all challenging me loudly (and rudely) about the 'intolerance' of the Christian Church in not recognizing homosexuality as a legitimate form of sexual expression. Being the shy, retiring sort that I am, I wasn't slow to answer them, pointing out that they had the same freedom of choice that I had. If they wanted to be sexually active as gays, they could be; if they wanted to be Christian, they could be; but simple Biblical morality made it clear that it was one or the other - not both. I wasn't prepared to reinterpret the Bible to conform to their expectations.
This didn't please them, as you can imagine. One of them looked me up and down, clearly thinking I was from the UK, due to my colonial accent. He sniffed disdainfully, "You bloody Brits! If I said 'oral sex', you wouldn't know what I was talking about!"
I couldn't resist. In a dry, deadpan voice, adopting my best Oxford accent, I replied, "My dear chap, why do you think the British invented the 'stiff upper lip'?"
There was a moment's stunned silence, then an explosion of laughter from the gay activists (and everyone else standing nearby). My questioner nodded, still laughing, and said, "OK, Preach, you win that one!" They turned away to look for easier meat.
The episode rankled, though, despite its humorous ending. Just who did these idiots think they were, trying to lay out their sexuality on the sidewalk for all to see? What happened to privacy, decency and common courtesy? They'd clearly never heard of such values. As for expecting those of us who espouse traditional Christian beliefs and morality to adapt our outlook so as to condone their lifestyle, forget it!
When I was active as a pastor, I always preached about the need to respect the right of others to choose for themselves, but also emphasized that this did not give them the right to impose their choices on us. Provided they extended to us the same right to choose that they demanded for themselves, that was fine. The moment they started to insist that we endorse and/or support their choices, despite the diametric opposition between our respective moral foundations, all bets were off.
I wish gay activists would learn this lesson. They'd get a lot more respect, and a much more reasonable audience, if they were less arrogant and confrontational, and more respectful of the fact that there are relatively few people who share their sexuality and/or support it. Shoving it in others' faces isn't likely to change their opinions.