Saturday, November 8, 2008

Prop Hate?

Many people, including many Hollywood stars, are angry about Tuesday’s vote in California in favor of Proposition 8, banning “gay marriage”. I’ve seen it called, in numerous places, “Prop H8” or “Prop Hate”. But the assumption that to be against “gay marriage” stems from hate is neither fair or accurate, any more than the assumption is fair or accurate that President-elect Obama is the Antichrist or the precursor of the Antichrist because he is pro-choice. People on both sides of such hot-button issues are prone to demonize each other and this is always a mistake. Christians, especially, are forbidden by their Lord to judge their fellow man. That means we can call an action right or wrong, but we cannot always see the motive(s) behind an action. It is therefore presumptuous of us to think we know someone else’s heart.

The idea that to oppose “gay marriage” is a function of hatred stems from the matter having been framed as a civil rights issue. Obviously, anyone who would deny another human being his civil (or human) rights is promoting hatred. (Well, that may not so obvious; if we were to brainstorm for a few minutes, we could probably come up with half a dozen humane, loving reasons for doing that temporarily in bizarre circumstances.)

The idea that "gay marriage" is an issue of civil rights, in turn, only works if we accept the view gays and lesbians are promoting so vigorously (and often, so ruthlessly), namely, that their condition is perfectly normal.

Here I’d like us to pause to make a distinction between natural and normal. Some things, like chickenpox and conjoined twins, are natural phenomena, but they are aberrations of nature; they are not normal. Homosexuality may be like that; even if one concedes that it may be natural, it is hard to find any intellectually respectable argument for its being normal, especially when a mere glance at human anatomy rather conclusively demonstrates the opposite.

Homosexuality is a condition in which a person cannot relate normally either to the same sex or to the opposite.

Viewed this way, homosexuality simply is not a civil rights issue; it is a handicap. And if you love a person, you do not reinforce his handicap in any way. You do not affirm his dysfunction as functional. You do not give a drink to an alcoholic, even if he begs for it, even if he curses you and calls you names for not giving it to him. If you do, that might be guilt or a show of broadmindedness or it may even be an attempt at love; but whatever it is, it is misguided. It isn’t any wise way to love.

Should we love homosexuals? Of course. Should we acknowledge that they should and do have human and civil rights? Of course. But no matter what they say, we do gays and lesbians no favor to categorize their handicap as normal. And we won’t be doing society any favor, either. We can protect all the legitimate rights of homosexuals without pretending to them or to ourselves that their relationships are the same as marriage.

Now you can agree or disagree about whether homosexuality is normal and whether, therefore, it is properly a civil rights issue. My only point is, even if you support "gay marriage," it is a mistake to suppose oppposition to it necessarily involves hatred. No doubt it sometimes does, and when that happens, it is of course reprehensible. But from my point of view, and I submit from the Christian point of view, to oppose "gay marriage" is a thoroughly loving thing to do, in fact, the loving thing to do.

P.S.) You can read more about Propositions 8 and 4 from an Orthodox point of view here. And you can find out the real (political, not medical) circumstances here, of the removal of homosexuality from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).


Grace said...

The argument that gays are biologically inferior and need to somehow be protected from themselves reeks of Social Darwinism and, to me, is somewhat more frightening than run-of-the-mill homophobia. I admit to not reading the links yet though.

I will see you in 2 days to honor our favorite veteran!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Jim, I'm deleting your comment, as the charge can easily be traced to a certain individual. But if you can prove what you say, or even if you cannot but have any significant evidence, it needs to be made known to His Beatitude.

Grace, I didn't say they are biologically inferior. Biologically, they appear to be indistinguishable from heterosexuals. I think the disorder is emotional/sexual. They don't need protecting from themselves, but they don't need their disorder "validated", either.

It'll be very, very good to see you and Aaron (and baby boy) Thursday! So glad you are coming.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

For Jim,

Oops, I forgot to say one thing and need to amend another.

What bishops' report? Do you know of a link to it, so I can read it?

I said you ought to make known whatever you know for a fact, but I need to modify that. It only needs to be disclosed to His Beatitude if we're talking about practicing (non-celibate) homosexuals OR if we're talking about someone who already has that reputation.

We don't keep such people in Christ's priesthood, even though, as you probably know, a repentant and celibate homosexual can be as good a Christian as anyone else, or better; s/he can even be a saint.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Now that, dear Anonymous, is an example of what hateful means. I'm deleting your comment.