In light of the conversation regarding San Antonio's proposed amendment to its anti-discrimination ordinance, there are some throwing around the phrases "hateful" and "bigot" to describe those of us who hold biblical views of marriage and human sexuality. I'd like to repost some comments of mine from an earlier conversation that arose when Chick-fil-a president, Dan Cathy spoke out on the subject. I hope it helps bring some understanding...
In the aftermath of Dan Cathy’s comments in support of the biblical definition of a family and the massive groundswell of support that his company, Chick-fil-A, experienced on August 1st, the terms “bigot” and “hateful” are being thrown around like ketchup on waffle fries. One thoughtful, enlightened individual referred to the supporting crowds lined up outside a Chick-fil-A as bigots, and wondered why they left their white hoods at home. I was one of those people and I don’t have a white hood. No, this person doesn’t know anything about me except that he suspects I may disagree with him. Therefore I am a dangerous, hateful, clan member. I want to challenge those of us who support a biblical ideal of marriage and family not to take the bait. Don’t allow the ad hominem attacks (attacking your challenger and calling them names rather than analyzing and addressing their position) to distract from the real issues at the core of this debate and the real people impacted.
For many of us, there is definitely a religious aspect to the conversation. The bible clearly lists homosexuality among the sins that God wants us to be free from (See Romans 1:21-27 and 1 Cor. 6:9 for examples). So how we view God, creation, truth, the bible, mankind, and morality greatly informs our views of marriage and family. However, at a more basic level, this really comes down to how we view sexual behavior. A great number of us consider equating sexual behavior or appetites with race or nationality (like being white, black, Hispanic, or Jewish) as simply offensive. We all know that there are lots of sexual appetites that we don’t condone or validate with marriage status. Why not? If homosexual tendencies are a genetic inevitability, then why not every other sexual desire? It seems fairly well established that sexual appetites can change or be influenced by developmental factors. There are sexual addictions that we deem harmful and that we help people overcome. Suffice to say, there are a lot of questions to be answered before we equate sexual urges and choices with race and skin color. You see…we simply have a different view of sexuality and of marriage. We don’t hate people who disagree with us…we just disagree.
A very large number of people in this country believe that sex is a gift from God for the procreation of the human race. We believe that it is designed to be enjoyed by a man and a woman who have committed to one another in marriage so that the children who result from the union have a family to be raised in, where they can have the love and support of both parents and role models of male and female adulthood. (I understand that this stems from my religious views, but it also seems to be reinforced by anatomy and sociology.) We believe that, while there are other types of families that experience God’s blessing, this union is the cornerstone of civilization, and it always has been. We also believe that anything less than the biblical ideal of sexuality eventually causes hurt to the people involved and the community around them.
It is very important to understand that, while I obviously can’t speak for everyone who shares my views, I think I am very safe in saying that, we don’t hate those who disagree with us! In fact, we want the very best that God intended for all of us. We believe that acting according to God’s design is a key to the joyful and fulfilling expression of our sexuality. You may disagree. In fairness, you may even think we are deluded and totally wrong! But you can’t say that we are hateful for sharing what we believe to be a gift for everyone. In fact, if we really believe these things, how cruel would we have to be to not share our message?
It is truly sad that, while these views are widely held by many people, and have been since the beginning, the things I just wrote are considered dangerous and hateful. We can’t even really have a discussion about this without being called bigots, Nazis, and haters. This seems wrong…especially for people who claim to hold tolerance as a virtue.
We’re not hateful…we just disagree.