The Premise of Discrimination
This post is a reaction to a Huffington Post article by David A Schwartz entitled “Acceptable Discrimination?“.
In this post, Mr. Schwartz makes the argument that those who support traditional marriage are of the same mindset as those who opposed interracial marriage. The assumption is that homosexuality, like skin color is determined at birth.
If this assumption is true, then discrimination on the basis of either skin color or sexual orientation is wrong. If one agrees with Mr. Schwartz’ premise that homosexuality is hard wired from birth, then it is understandable that one would think that support of traditional marriage is a form of discrimination.
The Reaction to the Premise
As Christians we have good reason to think that this assumption is false, but we need to understand that this is the underlying premise before we can have meaningful dialog with those who support homosexual marriage. Because of the volume of the declarations of those who insist that homosexuality is in the DNA, many have accepted this premise to be true without seeking to validate the claim or to examine its implications.
For those who do not accept the Bible as authoritative, or for those who are willing to explain away the clear teaching of Scripture on sexuality, it does little good to cite chapter and verse indicating that God condemns homosexuality.
This does not mean that we have to accept the premise or cease to speak the truth of Scripture, but it does mean that we need to be wise in doing so. Too often we use the Bible as a club to beat people into moral submission.
Perhaps rather than engaging the radical homosexual activists in dialog, with the vitriol that often goes both ways, a better way might be found. Those who actively pursue that lifestyle are unlikely to be persuaded that it is not part of God’s plan for humanity.
The Better Response
It seems to me that Jesus did not go around badgering people into accepting the fact that they needed a Savior. Instead, Jesus found those who already knew they were a mess and offered himself as the solution.
If we, the Church, turned down the volume on our condemnation and instead found a way to love those who have made what we understand to be poor choices, then we might be more effective in ministering to those caught up in same sex attraction.
We do not have to agree with Mr. Schwartz’ premise to acknowledge it and dialog with people who operate under that premise. If we believe that sin has both temporal and eternal consequences, perhaps the only thing we can do is to be available to help pick up the pieces when a life crashes.
Jesus gave us an example of this in the story of the loving father in Luke 15:11-32. The father loved the son enough to wait patiently for the son to make all his mistakes and come home. Rather than a lecture, the father gave the son a hug.
Perhaps we, as the church, need to dispense fewer lectures and more hugs.