May 30, 2024

Gays, Books, Tolerance and Equality

Joe Windish says that he’s got to give Focus on the Family credit for their demonstration of public high school library’s intolerance for Christian literature – credit for doing something wrong:

As a gay man, I don’t want tolerance. I want “equality and justice for all.”

Their stunt is a good one. But it’s time to call the question. As we’ll see in the upcoming elections, the larger society no longer agrees with them.

Props to Joe for coming right out and saying the issue is personal for him.  For me it’s something less.  No one close to me is gay; therefore, my interest is primarily in helping ensure that our local school has a clean, healthy set of books for the teens in the community to read.

The phrase Joe’s taken liberty with (pun intended) is “liberty and justice for all”, something quite different.  Straight or gay, liberty is not at issue in the U.S.  Joe and others are free to do exactly as they please and it suits me fine that they do so.

However, the fact that they have their preferences sexually does not create a right for gays to alter the traditional definition of marriage.  Neither does it allow them to dictate terms to public schools about what books are to be allowed to be on the shelves.

While it is certainly true that some Christian books may “make ‘gays’ feel inferior” – different or disliked would probably be better word choices – the reverse is just as true:  books that glorify homosexuality, espouse its acceptability, or promote its propagation are distinctly offensive to Christians (as well as Muslims and others).

The word, being mightier than the sword, cuts both ways.  True tolerance would allow for the expression of conflicting opinions and standards in the public square.  Truth is we’re really not that mature as a society and one result is that marginal sub-cultures such as gays and immigrants are given preference to traditional Americans and their values.

Specifically with regard to gay “persecution”, Joe also says:

Focus on the Family sees homosexuality as a disease infecting society and it is their God given duty to cleanse society of that disease. They will use any means necessary to demonize and exclude those of us who are gay.

That statement may or may not be true.  I am no expert on FotF or its perception of its duties, so I can’t contradict him.  Instead I’ll respond as if he’d made that claim about my own beliefs.

I don’t think that homosexuality is a disease; rather, it’s an effect of vastly complex bio-chemical reactions and resulting emotions that we haven’t come close to understanding yet.  Some gays undoubtedly make their orientation as a matter of choice while others feel compelled in that direction.  What of it?

Whether by nature, nuture, gene, or environment isn’t of immediate importance.  What matters is that encouraging growth in the number of gay Americans is not desirable.  If you’re gay, fine.  But it’s foolish to insist that Christians accept an expansion of your sub-culture’s numbers and influence over society.  While not a disease, the effects of homosexuality may, in some ways, prove to be similar insofar as its practice, by its very nature, necessarily reduces birth rates and increases social dissonance.  Christians and other traditionalistic groups necessarily oppose such an expansion.

But using “any means necessary”?  Hardly.  No one credible – and no one who’s a true Christian – has the slightest interest in creating homosexual ghettoes, sewing stars on the jackets of gay Americans, or initiating a gay neo-holocaust. 

Standing firmly behind the current and historical definition of marriage is indeed discriminatory – in favor of male/female unions, the only combination that can possibly lead to the continuation of the American culture. 

(Discrimination, it should be understood, is a good thing.  Choosing between a good book and a bad one, for instance, is inherently discriminatory.  We discriminate in every facet of our lives – always have and always will.  It didn’t become a crime until undue preference was given to the fringes of society in recent decades.  But the practice of discrimination, of being discriminating, in other words, is a good and powerful thing when used wisely.  It’s time to restore the meaning of the word.)

In this context discrimination means supporting and protecting traditional American and Christian values, sometimes at the expense of those coming from the margins of society.

Christians and non-Christians alike should love and respect gays in our society and never cause them harm.  But that does not mean that we must condone or emulate their ways.  Nor can it ever mean that in any free society, for we are free to disagree, with anything, for reasons of our own choosing.

Specifically regarding literature made available to minors on public property, Christians, Muslims, et al, will never accept of pro-gay material being on the shelves.  Joe may be correct in his assessment of this election cycle’s effect on whether it happens anyway.  But even a government mandate backed by laws and, ultimately, guns does not acceptance make.  And it never will.

The most democratic approach and the one most in keeping with American idealism would be putting “What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality” on the same shelf as “The Case for Christ” and letting the facts speak for themselves.  But it’s unlikely that the social tensions involved would accept this compromise to take place.


Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

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