Kevin DeYoung: Another Case of Christian Bigotry

Another Response to ‘Five Reasons Christians Should Continue to Oppose Gay Marriage’

I this post mostly complete last night.  Before editing it, I decided to take a break and read some of my favorite blogs.  I went to The Friendly Atheist and saw that Hemant Mehta had already written a piece on this.  Hemant also did a great job in vocalizing some of the criticisms that I had written.  Damn you Hemant!  (Not to hell or anything, that would be silly).  In all seriousness, Hemant wrote a great piece which you should read and can do so here.  That said I have gone back and reworked my post.  I hope you enjoy it.

For those of you not familiar with the above article it appeared on the Christian Post website Saturday.  You can read it here.  The Article is written by Kevin DeYoung.  It is worth looking at DeYoung’s ‘five reasons’ one at a time.

Reason 1: Every time the issue of gay marriage has been put to a vote by the people, the people have voted to uphold traditional marriage. 

DeYoung’s statement while correct is misleading.  It is misleading in that it does not point out that the majority of States that have voted on the issue are in the South/Midwest and are heavily influenced by the Christian Right and the Republican Party.  It is the Red States that have largely voted to “uphold traditional marriage”.  I have written in too many blog posts to source here that if we remove religion from the equation there is nothing left but unabashed bigotry to oppose same-sex marriage.  If we take religion out of the equation, this becomes a non-issue.  People who are opposing same-sex equality do not view themselves as bigots.  Why would they when they are being brainwashed that ‘god’ is opposed to homosexuality?  Religion is their excuse and their reason for not finding their views bigoted.  Religion cannot be used as an excuse.  Religious Bigotry is still bigotry.

Hemant makes a great point here.  He writes, “As if civil rights should be up for a vote…”  He is correct in pointing that out.  One fact that has mentioned many times over the past week is that the black community in this country is largely opposed to same-sex marriage.  They should reflect on Hemant’s observation.  If we waited for civil rights for blacks, the truth is, I am fairly sure that segregation would still exist in parts of this country…the same parts that are largely opposed to homosexuality.

Reason 2: The promotion and legal recognition of homosexual unions is not in the interest of the common good. That may sound benighted, if not bigoted. But we must say it in love: codifying the indistinguishability of gender will not make for the “peace of the city.” It rubs against the grain of the universe, and when you rub against the grain of divine design you’re bound to get splinters.

This is the worst argument to oppose same-sex marriage that is out there in my opinion.  I have to yet to hear one—not one—reason that I would accept as logical that illustrates how same-sex marriage is bad for the common good.  I have found that when people couch their statements with the idea of, “I don’t meant to sound _____” they usually are being “______” or in this case bigoted.  The second problem with this statement is the whole “divine design” and “against the grain” thing.  This assumes much.  First, it assumes that there is some “divine design”—there is no such thing, sorry to disappoint.  Second, it assumes that homosexuality is a choice.  Both of these concepts reject modern science.  Until people realize that homosexuality is not a choice there will be a fight over same-sex marriage.  This is a concept that will be difficult to spread.  There is much resistance to science and there are many people who do not want to hear the facts of this matter.

I do have a question in response to this argument.  If Christians believe that we spawn from “divine design” do not homosexuals also spawn from “divine design”?  This question can be applied to the truth of homosexuality (born that way) or to the fiction (it is a choice) —either way god is responsible.  Save me the free will argument.  If god is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and benevolent then he was well aware of the choices available to us, in fact he created the smorgasbord of choices, and in the end he is responsible.  Christians cannot have it both ways.  They cannot claim that homosexuality “goes against the grain” then give god credit for everything.  It is a foolish argument.

Reason 3: Marriage is not simply the term we use to describe those relationships most precious to us. The word means something and has meant something throughout history.

This position is a traditional argument for people who have no real argument and a lack of historical knowledge.  DeYoung is just plain wrong here.  Marriage is a term we use to describe relationships.  He is also incorrect in what he is implying its meaning is.  If we look at the history of marriage we learn that its definition has changed quite a bit.  The biblical meaning is nothing more than an economic arrangement—a meaning that still exists in parts of the world today.  Hemant writes, “It used to be allowed only between people of the same skin color. It used to be (and in some places still is) decided by the parents and not the people getting married.”  Well said Hemant.  The fact of the matter is that there is NO traditional definition of marriage, it has been a constantly evolving institution…its evolution is not yet complete.

Today, in the West, we can argue that marriage is about love and nothing more.  I believe that homosexuals looking to get married love each other.  DeYoung also writes:

 “So marriage itself is oriented to and fulfilled by the bearing, rearing, and education of children… Where that element is not present (at the level of sheer design and function, even if not always in fulfillment), marriage is not a reality.”

This comes perilously close to invalidating heterosexual couples who choose not to have children.  It is also purely Christian and semantic nonsense.  When will religion understand that human beings have purposes other than procreation…that in fact, we could use with a whole lot less procreation?

Reason 4: Allowing for the legalization of gay marriage further normalizes what was until very recently, and still should be, considered deviant behavior.

This is nothing more than DeYoung’s opinion.  Society once felt that way, but societies evolve.  Hemant, points out correctly, that homosexuality is no longer seen as a mental disorder.  There is nothing to prove that homosexuality is deviant.  In fact there is quite a bit of evidence from the animal kingdom that it is quite normal.  DeYoung also argues that our tolerance of it, allows for bad behavior:

“Who knows how many stupid sinful things I’ve been kept from doing because I knew my peers and my community would deem it shameful.”

Well, Mr. DeYoung, this just provides further evidence for two things.  First, that you are an immoral person who only does right because of what others think of you.  Second, moral truths do not come from god or the bible, but from our peers/society…I wonder if you realize how secular you sound.

Reason 5: We are naive if we think a laissez faire compromise would be enjoyed by all if only the conservative Christians would stop being so dogmatic. The next step after giving up the marriage fight is not a happy millennium of everyone everywhere doing marriage in his own way. The step after surrender is conquest. I’m not suggesting heterosexuals would no longer be able to get married. What I am suggesting is that the cultural pressure will not stop with allowing for some “marriages” to be homosexual. It will keep mounting until all accept and finally celebrate that homosexuality is one of Diversity’s great gifts….

Ahh yes, no Christian argument is complete without idle speculation and fear-mongering.  This argument has no basis in fact.  Hemant and I agree that the fact of the matter is that no one really cares if people are less dogmatic about homosexuality—do what you want in your church.  What matters is that dogma cannot be used to curtail the rights of others.

The idea of conquest is typical Christian fear mongering and has no foundation in fact.  It is also pure bigotry.  The idea that celebrating homosexuality as “one of diversity’s great gifts” as a bad thing should be viewed as nothing more than hate speech.

In short, DeYoung’s entire article is an example of poor logic, bigotry, and uneducated Christianity.  There is an article today in the New York Times (read it here) that points out that Christians are divided on the issue of homosexuality.  That in fact, there are many denominations that have embraced Obama’s stance last week.  This is encouraging and also typical.

It is typical in the sense that the bible can be used to justify anything.  The bible has been on both sides of most social issues.  Look at slavery.  The bible was the main source of justification for slavery.  It was also a major source of inspiration for abolitionists who cited the “golden rule” and other teachings of Jesus.  This is the problem with religion in general.  People need to come to grips with the fact that it is fiction.  The religious, from the same branch (Christianity) cannot even agree on what the hell they are supposed to do—let alone all of the different religions coming to a consensus.  Religion is a fiction.  It serves no purpose other than the retardation of society growth in all areas, science, social justice, education, etc.

People need to realize that there is a religious cabal in this country that is desperately trying to create a Christian Theocracy.  They are not interested in civil rights or science.  They are interested in running a biblical State.  They purposefully keep their flocks in the dark…haven’t you ever wondered why the arguments that theologians put forth are not preached from the pulpit?  Many Christians have little clue what the bible, their dogma, doctrine, and theology really state.  It is time we recognize that it is all fiction.  We need to move past religion if we are to create a truly free society—with liberty and justice for all.

Thanks for Reading.  I look forward to your comments.

—-RB

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5 thoughts on “Kevin DeYoung: Another Case of Christian Bigotry

  1. Loren Miller from Bedford, OH, United States

    If homosexuality so "rubs against the grain of the universe," then gays shouldn't even exist! Yet they do, and despite all the castigation from those who would presume to be rubbing themselves with the grain (or maybe just rubbing themselves [tich!]), all the gays and Lesbians and bisexuals and transgenders want to do is to live their lives responsibly and have access to the same civil rights and conventions that everyone else has. The issue of RIGHTS should have no religious component in its consideration. The only parameter which should have any impact or merit is EQUITY. If, indeed, all men and women ARE created equal in the sight of the law, then the law should treat all men and women equally.

    There was a quote that I recently discovered which speaks brilliantly to this issue, and it deserves mention here:

    Respect for the rights of others is peace.
    – Benito Juárez

    Reply
    1. reasonbeing from Rochester, MN, United States Post author

      Great comment Loren. I really struggle to understand how many moderate theists can be against the idea of equality for homosexuals…I mean the type of people who would be ashamed to be called racist—because they find racism as appalling as you or I do. It really is sad to see what religion can do…

      Reply
  2. matt greenberg from Norristown, PA, United States

    “So marriage itself is oriented to and fulfilled by the bearing, rearing, and education of children…"

    my mother (65 years old) just got married last fall. her husband emailed me "the basic focus of marriage is for procreation". um, i didn't know post-menapausal women could have babies. i guess you learn something new everyday.

    as for the issue of public referendum, i think Corey Booker said it best: "I shudder to think what would have happened if the civil rights gains, heroically established by courageous lawmakers in the 1960s, were instead conveniently left up to popular votes in our 50 states".

    Reply
  3. Guest from Ames, IA, United States

    Kevin's a smart guy, but he grew up in a cultural bubble (Western Michigan). I knew him in college, he was the same then. I always consider his opinions to be like someone whose parents only allowed them to eat at McDonalds (imagine that poor kid), and decided that McDonalds was the only acceptable restaurant in town (without venturing out into Burger King, Wendy's, or heaven forbid a non-franchised restaurant). Then, based on only knowing that one restaurant, he decides to tell people day after day that "McDonalds is the best and only restaurant you can go to for a good meal." The only people that heed his opinions are similar people, who grew up only on "McDonalds" and never moved out of the bubble. It's clear to me that either he is unaware of the depth of the opposing arguments, or worse, he is setting up "straw man" to misconstrue the arguments against his position.

    Reply

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