Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Why Christian Culture is Good for Homosexuals

Bruce Bawer is a homosexual who wrote one of the first books warning of the possible take-over of Europe by Islam, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within (Anchor, 2007) and Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom (Anchor, 2010). It is ironic that he is raising the alarm about Islam given that he moved from the US to Europe because it was supposedly more tolerant!

In a recent blog post entitled, "I’ve Become an Enemy of the People for Speaking the Truth About Islam," he writes:

When it comes to the right to speak one’s mind about Islam, the record of the last few years makes it clear which direction the West is moving in. In France and Italy, Oriana Fallaci is put on trial for disparaging Islam. In Canada, Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant are hauled before “human rights commission” tribunals for criticizing Islam in print. In Australia, an Islamic organization sues two pastors for “vilification of Muslims.” In Britain, a Daily Telegraph columnist is arrested on charges of hate speech for having written negatively about Islam, and the Archbishop of Canterbury proposes that Parliament pass stronger laws against such speech acts. And in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, the head of the Freedom Party, which performed so well in the June 9 general elections that Wilders may end up in the governing coalition, still faces trial for having made a film about the Koranic foundations of terrorism.

Then there’s Norway, where I live, and where the last few days have seen yet another dark development. By way of background, permit me to begin by quoting myself. On pages 230-31 of my book Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom I sum up the more alarming aspects of Norway’s Discrimination Law, passed in 2005:

It forbids “harassment on the grounds of ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, skin color, language, religion, or beliefs,” and, in turn, defines harassment as “actions, omissions, or utterances [my emphasis] that have the effect or are intended to have the effect of being insulting, intimidating, hostile, degrading, or humiliating.”

In other words, it’s illegal just to say certain things.

Defendants may be accused not only by the individuals whom they’ve supposedly offended but also by semiofficial organs such as the Anti-Racist Center and the Center against Ethnic Discrimination (both of which helped formulate the law, and both of which exist less to oppose real racism and discrimination than to oppose political incorrectness generally) or by the government’s Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud.

Which means that a handful of far-left organizations have been given enormous power to silence those they disagree with.

Violations of the law by individuals are punishable by fine; violations by individuals in concert with at least two other persons (such as a writer conspiring with an editor and publisher, perhaps?) can be punished by up to three years’ imprisonment — this in a country where murderers often get off with less. Moreover, the burden of proof is on the accused: you’re guilty until proven innocent.

And this in a supposedly free country.

Read the rest here.

It is true that Christianity regards homosexual behavior as sinful, just as Islam does. But Christianity also believes that all people are created in the image of God and have value just by virtue of being human. Therefore, Christianity makes room for tolerating many things that it regards as morally wrong and it allows for homosexuals to live without persecution.

Most of the confrontation currently going on between homosexual activists and Christian Churches is not about whether or not Christianity is willing to tolerate people whose lifestyle it disagrees with; rather, it is about homosexuals demanding that Christians change their religion and openly give approval to something they regard as abhorrent. If homosexuals would just leave Christians alone to worship and bring up their children according to their own religious views and if everyone agreed to tolerate the existence of those with whom they disagreed it would be possible for homosexuals to enjoy freedom and tolerance in majority Christian countries as has been the case all along.

But if homosexuals join the hard Left in trying to eliminate Christianity, then all they are doing is tearing down the edifice upon which toleration and respect is built. Once the West is on its knees before Islam, does any thinking person doubt that homosexuals will experience persecution, the likes of which they have never experienced in Western history? At what period of history, pray tell, would a rational homosexual rather have lived in Muslim dominated countries rather than Christian dominated ones?

Homosexuals would be better off, in terms of their rational self-interest, to stop aiding attempts to promote multiculturalism, political correctness and the marginalization of Christianity in the West. A Christianity which respects its traditions and Scriptures enough to maintain its traditional moral stance on sexuality is an alive tradition that can provide a foundation for a relatively just society. But a Christianity that succumbs to political correctness, Marxism and multiculturalism (as well as Western self-hatred), can provide no bulwark against the Ayatollahs and Sharia law.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

My head was swimming by the end of this. You're actually suggesting that homosexuals would be better protected by a Christianity that views them as abominations and worthy of execution (since we're going by Scripture) than by a non-religious system of laws that recognizes equal rights for all people, regardless of the capricious whims of an invisible sky-genie?

And as far as the 'marginalization' of Christians goes, I suggest you look into a phenomenon known as 'regression to the mean'. When a group has an undue amount of influence, and the political scene shifts towards egalitarianism, that's not Christians being 'marginalized', that's restoring a balance.

If the claim that Christians just want to be left alone to practice their own beliefs was in any way bone out by reality, I'd be right there with you. However, legal gay marriage (for example) does not force you to stop practicing your beliefs, whereas making it illegal for me to marry my boyfriend forces me to follow your beliefs, as I have no other option.

Also "as has been the case all along" is a despicable lie. Suggesting that Christian countries are tolerant of homosexuality is like saying that the United States circa 1950 was a paragon of racial harmony.

There's just... so much wrong... in one place... it's amazing the internet hasn't collapsed in on itself.

Craig Carter said...

Christians have not executed homosexuals for a long time and only very rarely. For the vast majority of Christians, the OT penalties for many sins have not been implemented in secular societies since they were for the Israelite theocracy that ceased to exist after Christ.

No, homosexual activists are not willing to leave us Christians alone. The whole point of homosexual "marriage" is so that radicals can seize control of the education system and indoctrinate our Christian children in pro-homosexual behavior and beliefs. If all you wanted was to be left alone you could have that in a heartbeat. Most Christians would be more than willing to declare a truce. But no, it is your side that insists on total war. That this is done in the name of "tolerance" is laughable.

For you, apparently, society is not "tolerant of homosexuality" unless every last person is converted to your religious and ethical beliefs and gives overt approval to your behavior. Christians are quite willing to leave you alone to do whatever you like in the bedroom among consenting adults, but that is not enough. Homosexual activist are more intolerant than Christians.

But indoctrinating my children is not acceptable. I don't want them indoctrinated by Muslims or Atheists or Homosexuals or Moonies or anyone else. I want the freedom to practice my religion and live my life without being forced to conform to someone else's new and far out beliefs.

But go ahead and continue to tear down Christian civilization. If and when you finally succeed, you will likely end up living under Sharia Law. Then you will realize that the tolerance Christians were willing to offer was not so bad after all.

Anonymous said...

Yeah... for me 'tolerant of homosexuality' means the same thing as 'tolerant of women' or 'tolerant of black people' or even 'tolerant of religion'. All people are afforded equal rights and protections under the law. When one specific group of citizens, not having broken any laws, is told that they are not eligible to receive legal protections because of their membership in that group, that is rank discrimination. To suggest otherwise is special pleading for your particular worldview, not a rational argument whatsoever.

Paul of Tarsus (Romans 1:31) disagrees with your completely fabricated assertion that Christianity somehow abolishes the Old Testament strictures against homosexuality. You know Paul, right? The guy whose writings essentially founded the Christian church? Of course, none of this is to mention the myriad of "sodomy" laws that continue to this day in Christian countries. Christianity was in no way the reason such laws were overturned - it's why they were written in the first place.

"The whole point of homosexual "marriage" is so that radicals can seize control of the education system and indoctrinate our Christian children in pro-homosexual behavior and beliefs." [Citation Needed] - there, I fixed that for you.

But yeah, Spaghetti Monster forbid that your children be exposed to ideas other than their father's bigotry. They might *gasp, horror* develop their own ideas! Everyone knows that's where atheism comes from! No what we need is children to be completely walled off from critical thought, so that the status quo of systematic oppression and regular violence can continue unabated.

Anonymous said...

You want the freedom to not have to tolerate other ideas? Yeah... there's no such right enshrined in the Charter, Mr. Carter. Freedom of belief does not include your right to restrict others from expressing an opinion you don't like. It definitely doesn't preclude someone from "indoctrinating your children" by exposing them to what's happening in the parts of the world that aren't the inside of your house.

Which leaves you with your final, most risible argument: at least we're not as bad as Islam. First off, Canada is absolutely not a "Christian civilization". It's a handy fiction that only stands up to scrutiny if you don't bother to do any research into history (which, clearly, is your preferred modus operandi). Unfortunately for you, I actually was allowed to study things that weren't part of some patriarchal worldview, and know this myth to be demonstrably false. To then claim that the only possible alternative to a "Christian civilization" (which we already do not have) is a Muslim one, or that somehow Christianity is the bulwark holding back the Islamic tide, is the rankest form of arrogance. The only thing that Christianity is holding back is the progress of the human race.

Gordon Hackman said...

"Paul of Tarsus (Romans 1:31) disagrees with your completely fabricated assertion that Christianity somehow abolishes the Old Testament strictures against homosexuality."

This is a misrepresentation of what Dr. Carter said. He did not say, as you claim, that "Christianity somehow abolishes the Old Testament strictures against homosexuality." What he said was that "the OT penalties for many sins have not been implemented in secular societies since they were for the Israelite theocracy that ceased to exist after Christ."

One statement is about what is considered morally right or wrong, the other is about what the response should be to those practice moral wrong.

Anonymous said...

A fair criticism, if an inconsequential one. The point I was attempting to make is that there is nothing in scripture to suggest that Christianity is particularly tolerant of homosexuality - and by tolerant in this case I mean thinking that they are not abominations before God deserving of execution. The fact that Christians haven't executed homosexuals often (a claim I dispute, given that laws against 'buggery' carried death sentences in Christian England since the 16th century) is not a product of Christian thought, merely a lucky break for gay people.

Mr. Carter inadvertently stumbled across the source of that luck when he said 'secular society'. The philosophy of the Enlightenment, upon which our current moral system is based, grants people rights based on their humanity, not their faith. As a result, arguments could be and were made that a person who does an activity in the privacy of their home should be free to do so unless it harms someone. Being offended by dicks touching is not 'harm', nor is not being allowed to pass legislation to strip certain people of rights because you don't like it when their dicks touch.

Craig Carter said...

You labor under the delusion that the Enlightenment invented the idea of the secular. But that is myth. The idea of the secular was originated by St. Augustine in the 5th century and the doctrine of the Two Swords and the separation of Church and State was a pillar of Medieval Europe.

The Enlightenment followed the breakdown of Christian Europe and was the age of absolutism. Absolute monarchs were opposed by absolute, totalizing ideologies such as those of Marx and later the Fascists.

You have apparently been brainwashed by revolutionary ideology into seeing Christianity as the enemy of pluralism, tolerance and the secular, when in fact it is the very originator and guarantor of these things.

Anyway, your response is the one I thought I would get. I was hoping for serious, respectful dialogue but that is in short supply from your side.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected - I was not aware of the Two Kingdoms doctrine. That's an interesting read, and I'll have to look into it further.

I think I have been exactly as respectful of you as you have been of me (and definitely more respectful than your assertions merit). I think you're confusing disrespect of you personally with my refusal to capitulate to your wild, unfounded assertions about the "homosexual agenda" and your backwards arguments about how Christianity is somehow tolerant of gay rights based on religious hand-waving. I don't recognize any authority that your assertions have, especially not those that are based on scripture.

You have stated a number of things that simply are not true. Christianity has not been historically tolerant of gays, nor is it particularly tolerant today. Christians are not being persecuted or forced to drop their religious convictions - society is simply saying that your personal beliefs about right and wrong do not carry over to anyone else. You can continue to be as intolerant as you like in the privacy of your home, but once you do so in the public square there are consequences.

The central idea of your post, which is that Christian-dominated society is the best possible type of society, rather than one that recognizes the equal rights of all people, is philosophically and historically incorrect. Your arbitrary designation between Christian and Muslim bigotry is not an endorsement of Christianity - being the lesser of two evils doesn't make you "good", it just makes you less evil than the next more-evil thing.