Comparing homosexuality and paedophilia!!
One of the more obnoxious forms of homophobia over the years has been the confusion in many minds of homosexuality and paedophilia. The response of many church leaders to an admission of being same sex attracted is to ban the person from any involvement in youth work. This tendency is one of many mistakes that the ignorant have made in an attempt to avoid criticism, and is wholly unacceptable; indeed in the present climate of confusion, the model of a single person working out their celibate lifestyle would be helpful to any members of a youth group struggling with the issue.
However the result of this pastoral abomination is that it has become unacceptable to even mention the two issue within the same context. As a result the insight into the gay issue that paedophilia brings are lost, to the benefit of the liberal cause. Let me repeat – at the risk of getting boring – that drawing the parallel is not intended to suggest that a homosexual person is more likely to be guilty of child abuse, and it is very wrong to make any such assumption. However the two issue do illuminate each other.
Both homosexuality, paedophilia and heterosexuality constitute ‘sexual orientations’ in the strict sense; they are labels for the sexual preference that most individuals experience. That is a fact, in the same way that blue, green and brown are labels for the eye colours of humans. History reveals that the church led the delegitimation of the homosexuality in the Roman Empire, an attitude which Western European culture inherited, though in the past 50 years that delegitimation has been substantially reversed. Paedophilia experienced a similar rejection, but one that has not been reversed.
Modern ethics tries to draw a sharp distinction between the two, on the basis that paedophilic behaviour is always damaging to the child, but a sexualised gay relationship is not. This claim is held as a matter of faith, and those challenging it are seldom welcome in polite company. Yet from a Christian perspective – where we seek to obey what God commands and not merely conform to what the current fashion is – such a basis for decision making is not acceptable. Jesus’ condemnation of the remarriage of divorcees as adultery exemplifies this; that much of the modern church is unwilling to obey his command on the matter merely evidences the same attitude in another area.
So what has this exercise shown us? Getting through the minefield allows us to challenge the widespread piece of ‘theology’ such as this:
‘[Gays] are simply human beings, with every possible mixture of good and bad, who happen to be (as it were) differently wired as regards sexuality. The most recent statistic I’ve read says that roughly 10% of the human population is homosexual. I cannot believe that God made 10% of his human children gay and now hates them for it–or wants the other 90% to hate them. it doesn’t make sense. Is God so sex-obsessed that he (or she!) judges humans primarily on sexual behavior, and not on things like kindness, generosity, creativity, or any other positive quality?’
There are of course two mistakes here – the assumption that the deeply flawed position of Westboro Baptist represents mainstream Christian belief that ‘God hates gays’. It’s sad that there are a few still at that place – and I deeply regret their attitude. However the mainstream attitude is that a temptation to homosexual activity is a temptation to do wrong – not any worse than any other temptation.
is my extended discussion of the matter.
The second is that the point that this article is attempting to show; the claim that God made gay people gay offers any legitimacy to claims that they are free to have a sexualised relationship. The existence of people whom ‘God made paedophiles’ makes this problematic. The argument therefore comes down to WHY certain relationships are legitimate and others aren’t; the attempt to short circuit the process by this appeal is flawed.
Let me repeat again that I’m not trying to tar the gay community with the paedophile tag. This is an unfair allegation, and they have every right to object if such a connection is made. But we do have the right to challenge those who want to try to use a theological argument to add to their justification of gay relationships when it simply won’t fly. Yes, of course there are others, and I’m NOT trying to claim that this destroys the pro-gay position. I’m just trying to nail one of the arguments that is commonly thrown around. That it has taken over 800 words to do so is a measure of the sensitivity of the matter. But nail it we should.
For those wanting a fuller discussion of the issue of homosexuality and the church, Ed Shaw’s book
‘The Plausibility Problem’, written by a Church of England minister who is himself ‘Same Sex Attracted’ – a term he prefers over ‘gay’ for reasons that he explains in the book – is an excellent challenge to the prevailing ‘missteps’ that have led to the present confusion.