As a white woman married to a black man, I am frustrated when the argument that ‘gay is the new black’ is used. I am also frustrated by the argument that says forbidding a loving relationship between two people of the same sex is as bad as forbidding a loving relationship between a man and a woman of different races. It is not the same thing. A man and a woman from different ethnic backgrounds still meet God’s criteria for marriage between one man and one woman, but a homosexual relationship (regardless of colour) does not. Furthermore, sexual behaviour is always a choice and the colour of your skin is not.
Hold on a minute…I didn’t choose to be gay, you might say. I may well concur with that, but all acts of a sexual nature are a choice and they are distinctly different from sexual desires.
Just because you have a particular sexual desire (heterosexual or homosexual or otherwise!) it does not follow that you have to act on it. You have a choice.
Think about it…if a man only experiences sexual desire for a particular married woman does he have the right to have her? Does he have no choice in the matter, because his sudden desire makes it legitimate and he can’t help himself? If she feels the same way, does that confirm that they are both right?
What about people who feel sexual desire towards parents or siblings? It may strike you as repulsive, but it does happen! The desire may come unbidden, but the law currently forbids the fulfilment of that desire. Most of us instinctively know that incest is a wrong desire, but did you know that according to the Virginia Christian Alliance, incest is a category that is rapidly growing in demand within the porn industry, and before you just dismiss this as just people being privately fascinated by taboos, let me tell you that incest is currently a hotly debated subject that is being discussed all over the internet as individuals are beginning to challenge whether the law should dictate to us who we can and cannot have sex with.
Let’s take this further to an area that is not currently in much dispute: If a person feels sexual desire towards a child should they pursue a sexual relationship with that child? After all, if they had a choice, they would not want to be attracted to a child. I think most of us would agree that whilst they might not have a choice in what they feel they do have a choice in what they do with such feelings.
Again, desires can range from the perfectly ordinary to the utterly bizarre…as a retired doctor decided to inform me during a dinner function! If ever there was a case of too much information that was it!
Regardless of sexual desire, people can live a life of total chastity if they want to. Ahhh, but wait…have I fallen into the trap of my own argument? If people want a life of chastity that’s their choice, right? If Heterosexuals want to live lives of sexual abstinence they can, and, by the same token, if they want to have sex they can. So why don’t homosexuals have this freedom to choose either way? Don’t they have the right to pursue fulfilment of their sexual desires if they want to?
The answer is simply no, they don’t.
The key to understanding what is right and wrong is not to appeal to what I want to do. If everyone has the right to fulfil his or her sexual desires we must follow this argument through to its logical conclusion. We would have to say that whatever their persuasion, wherever their sexual interest lies, all human beings have the right to satisfy their sexual appetites. So, if they want to view pornography, visit prostitutes, have group sex, homosexual sex, sex with children, commit adultery, have sex with their mother, sex with their school teacher, sex with their pet, sex with someone else’s pet…they should be allowed to do so!
Of course not!
Now I daresay that there will be some people who will pick and choose from the above list and claim that some of those ‘appetites’ are permissible, while others are not – but you can’t have it both ways. If you want to argue that people have the right to fulfil their sexual desires you must concede to all of those on the list and probably many more that I was either too naïve or too polite to write about!
Desire is not the qualifier here. It cannot be. So saying ‘I can’t help how I feel’ may well be true…but saying ‘I have a right to fulfil my every desire’ can only be true if we agree that everyone has that same right, no matter what the desire.
Let’s go another step further. If we pick and choose our morality what grounds do we do that on? Do we go for whatever is acceptable to the current society? I think most people would say yes. Peer pressure is alive and well, even amongst adults. Homosexuality today is accepted (even celebrated) in society but incest is not, therefore, by that logic, homosexuality is good and incest is bad. But what if we lived in a society that said ‘if you want to have sex with your parent, we can’t stop you – go ahead.’ How would you feel about that? The overwhelming majority of us would cry NO WAY! Because even the thought is repulsive, and to be honest, I don’t even like writing about it! However, culture changes and opinions change. What is acceptable to one culture is not necessarily acceptable to another, so is right and wrong dependent upon the majority vote? You need to make your mind up about this or society will make your mind up for you. Here is just one example of the direction we are currently travelling in. In a court in Australia, Judge Garry Neilson, claimed incest was no different to homosexuality, which was once regarded as criminal and “unnatural” but is now widely accepted. He argued that the only problem with incest was that sex between family members might lead to abnormalities in offspring but he claimed that this wasn’t something to be concerned about anymore because of the availability of contraception and abortion.
You might think Judge Neilson’s argument is extreme – but when I was reading the online comments that this article generated, I was quite surprised to find that most people appeared to agree with him, or were at least leaning towards agreeing with him.
Perhaps the argument that sounds the most convincing is the one that claims we can do whatever we want sexually provided that no one gets hurt. This means that violent sex, rape or sex with minors is not acceptable, but any other form of sex is permissible between consenting adults. After all, who are we to dictate to other people what they can and cannot do behind closed doors?
This sounds like a fair and rational argument, but the problem you now face is that you can’t uphold the ‘consenting adults’ morality without following it through to its conclusion – if the qualifier is adult consent, then anything that those consenting adults want to do is permissible, this includes, adultery, group sex, promiscuity, homosexuality, incest, all forms of prostitution and so on. Incidentally it also includes violent sex where someone’s life might be put at risk…because if both parties enjoy and consent to this then how can you say it is wrong?
In December 2010, University professor David Epstein from Columbia was charged with one count of incest because of his three-year, consensual affair with his adult daughter. In court his defence lawyer stated “It’s ok for homosexuals to do whatever they want in their own home. How is this so different?’
Maybe the best argument is one based on love. You can’t help who you fall in love with and sex is a natural expression of that love. Again this argument sounds plausible on paper, but you don’t have to prod it very hard before it falls apart.
In 2010 the Telegraph Newspaper ran an article about a 72 year old grandmother who had fallen in love with her 26 year old grandson. In the article she says, ‘…we don’t care. You can’t help who you fall for…for the first time in years I felt sexually alive…we can’t keep our hands off each other…’ And her grandson says, ‘I felt instant attraction towards her…my feelings were overwhelming.’
The difficulty we face in our society is that we want to have rules, but we want to be the rule makers. We do not want moral absolutes in our society, we want to be flexible and accommodating. However, the problem is that as we move away from God’s moral guidelines we find ourselves in something of a no-man’s land and suddenly, exhausted, we give up trying to enforce any rules and everything becomes permissible.
William Lane Craig, writes:
“In a world without God, who’s to say whose values are right and whose are wrong? There can be no objective right and wrong, only our culturally and personally relative, subjective judgments. Think of what that means! …For in a universe without God, good and evil do not exist—there is only the bare, valueless fact of existence, and there is no one to say you are right and I am wrong.” – William Lane Craig (from, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision)
Craig is right. You see, if we remove God as the one who makes the rules then what we do is draw in our own moral guidelines and gradually, as our guidelines are challenged, we rub them out and draw bigger ones. Eventually we have drawn and re-drawn and rubbed out so many lines that all we have is a mess and eventually reach the stage where we do away with guidelines all together.
When we move away from God we enter into a world where we make decisions on what feels good, or on the claim that we can’t help it, or that we are in love. But as we have seen, this is a shadowy path to follow and it opens the door to all sorts of other places that we would rather not go to.
A subject most people are not too comfortable with these days is the subject of ‘self control’. Suggesting to someone that they resist any particular urge will lead you into discussions about the dangers of suppressing natural tendencies, which society tells us is very bad for us and can lead to depression, mental illness, self-esteem issues and so on. Yet the bible tells us that our most basic natural urge, our most common tendency is the urge to commit sin and we must not only take control of sin, but put it to death!
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Colossians 3 : 5
This is not a popular teaching, but Jesus says
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me…’ Matthew 16:24
But the world is appalled by the words ‘deny yourself’. The world’s message is exactly the opposite: deny yourself nothing…if you want it, go for it, don’t let anyone stand in your way….’
In the article I referred to earlier about the 72 year old grandmother and her 26 year old grandson she said ‘we aren’t interested in anyone else’s opinion.’
This is the philosophy of our world today…do not judge me, do not tell me what to do, do not tell me what is right and what is wrong. I am not interested in your opinion.
A favourite verse of mine, which I taught to my children as they were growing up was this one found in Proverbs 25 : 28: A man without self control is like a city without walls. Without self control, without regard for God’s law and in rejecting His great wisdom as our very creator we open our society up to an avalanche of destruction, and perhaps we ourselves may not have to face the consequences of a world without sexual restraint, a world without self control and a world with no moral guidelines, but you can be sure that our children, and our children’s children will grow up in the world of our making, a city without walls.
© Bookworm October 2014.