One doesn’t have to study or think long about the current trends in our culture relative to the normalization of homosexuality before realizing that it’s a significant front… but only in a much larger battle. Whether intended or not—and for most homophiles I don’t believe it is—the disconnection of marriage, sex and gender from the gold-standard of Judeo-Christian scripture and tradition has made the equivalent of runaway inflation in the arena of human sexuality inevitable.
To paraphrase Yeats in his celebrated poem “The Second Coming,” once the center no longer holds and the voice of our Creator is lost, an incremental anarchy will be the inevitable result. (And a rough beast in now slouching towards Sodom and Gomorrah to be born.)
I believe we need a meme, a word or phrase, that better captures the bigger picture, the end-game of this third and final stage of the sexual revolution. “Homosexuality” doesn’t come close to describing what we’re up against. And it also carries with it an air of prejudice and hypocrisy because many if not most of the manifestations of this “rough beast” will be heterosexually inclined.
Paraphilia has been suggested. And it’s a apt term. But I suspect it’s too cold and clinical to catch on.
Allow me to recommend we use pomosexuality.
Pomosexual is a made-up word (as all words were at some point) that comes from combining an abbreviation of postmodern (“pomo”) with sexual. It was developed within the LGBTQ community to encompass the numerous categories of sexual and gender identities, orientations and appetites that have and are still emerging.
I believe it’s also a significant, even prophetic, word in that it represents a modern example of what happened when Jesus confronted the demoniac of Garasene and demanded that the evil spirits oppressing the man identify themselves. (Mark 5:1-9) With pomosexuality we have truth in advertising; an instance where the LGBTQ world is actually being honest about itself and the worldview/presupposition driving their movement.
So what does it actually mean?
Well, we first need to define postmodern. Briefly, postmodernism was a reaction (hence post) to modernism, the overtly (and overly) rationalistic and materialistic worldview that was born of the Enlightenment (so-called) and developed in and through the scientific and industrial revolutions. Where modernism sought certainties rooted in supposed objectivity and human reason, postmodernism insists that truth is relative and certainties ephemeral. Where modernism was concerned with drawing clear lines and categories, postmodernism is given to blurring those distinctions; constructing instead multiple subjectivities and exploring difference, plurality, textuality, and skepticism.
As Christians there are some things we can sympathize with in this counter-revolution. Modernity often sought—with some success culturally—to attack the idea of God and transcendent, Spirit-breathed truth. If it wasn’t something you could analyze in a lab, materialism insisted, it either wasn’t real or relevant.
Unfortunately Christians have done a so-so job filling the vacuum and the opportunity left by the collapse of modernity. Instead a radical relativism has flooded western culture; “a revolt in the direction of a pagan polytheism—multiple gods, multiple voices, multiple laws, and a general clamor out of which it is possible to select whatever suits one at the time.”**
The result, sexually speaking, is “the queer erotic reality beyond the boundaries of gender, separatism, and essentialist notions of sexual orientation.” (From the back cover of PoMoSexuals.) In other words: People have the right to be what they want as regards their gender identity and sexual orientation; to do anything they want and with anyone they want.
I remember well the national consternation that arose as the “gay rights” movement picked up steam in the early 1970s. Over the next decade America gradually got used to it…only to wake up one day and find that an “L” (for lesbian) had been added to the “G.” Then came the “B”, followed by a “T.” And now all kinds of other letters (“Q” for queer; “C” for curious; “P” for polyamorous; etc.) are being added to the bizarre alphabet soup that defines the bleeding edge of the sexual and gender frontiers.
Many people today, particularly social conservatives, throw their hands up in frustration at this evolving sexual landscape, asking where it all will end. It’s hard to shoot at such a fast-moving and changing target.
Allow me to suggest that instead of confusion and frustration, we see this eddy of “sexual soup” for what it is: a demon telling us its name. And that we then use this knowledge to take the next step biblically: square off against this dark force and cast it down in the name of the LORD.
The continuing addition of letters in this final chapter of the sexual revolution—accurately summed up in the phrase pomosexual movement—is actually a perfectly logical, even necessary, extrapolation from its root causes.
The ultimate root, of course–in this or any other departure from the divine order–is sin, our inborn penchant for self-referential morality: doing and then justifying whatever we want to do. (And sexual desires are among the most powerful and universal of all human appetites–of what “we want to do.”) Coupled with other dark forces, sin and its passions provide the baseline from which secondary causes emerge. Among them relative to pomosexuality are:
- 1. A prevailing postmodern worldview (as discussed above)
- 2. The explosive growth of the cult of the “sovereign self” that took place in the 20th Century
This cult was driven by all manner of forces, each interacting with the others so as to create a vast and powerful feedback loop. They include but are not limited to:
- — postmodern thought,
- — Western affluence and the enormous increase in personal leisure time,
- — a massive campaign of thought and behavior control waged by the public relations/advertising industries as they discovered how influential and lucrative it was to evoke/create the notion of the sovereign self…and then sell it things,
- — disenchantment with the establishment thinking that gave us two World Wars and Vietnam,
- — the sea-change that was the 60s, when “Do your thing”—with the emphasis on the “you”—became axiomatic,
- — the breakdown of the family and the general atomization of society,
- — creeping socialism: the growth of entitlement spending and entitlement thinking,
- — revolutions in technology and digital communications that gave multitudes access to their own car, phone, iPod, computer…and a seemingly infinite world of hard-core pornography,
- — a popular media industry (television, movies, music, magazine, books, video games, etc.) that absorbed the sovereign self motif and then explored, reiterated and milked it endlessly.
But perhaps the most important contributing factor of all was a Church that was far too compromised by all the above.
The stage was effectively set for multitudes “to begin to do what was right in their own eyes.” (Deut. 12:8; Judges 21:25; Pro. 12:5, 21:2)
- Enter now #3: The increase in the instances of physical, psychological and spiritual trauma impacting people’s families, sexual and gender identities and practices.
To adequately explore this last point would take a book, a big one. But in a nutshell the trauma was rooted in:
- — the breakdown of the family (whether through divorce, out-of-wedlock births or the dearth of responsible, godly parenting in technically “intact” families),
- — the explosion of pornography,
- — the increase in sexual abuse (and the laxity of the laws and penal sanctions dealing with it),
- — teasing, bullying and rejection on the part of one’s peers during early, key developmental periods for failing to conform to simplistic gender stereotypes,
- — the culture’s growing acceptance and then celebration of “diversity” regarding twisted sexual and gender identities—coupled with the popular lie that sexual orientation is inborn and immutable,
All of this and more came together to create, populate and legitimate the fabric of lies and deceptions that is the homosexual and now pomosexual subculture. And truth is its only cure.
The truth is that each of us was created by God to be both heterosexual and monogamous. Furthermore, God—being the infinitely creative, diversity-loving Tri-unity He is—fashioned each of us with unique temperaments, personalities, cognitive abilities and other aspects of our internal “wiring.” As a result, we each respond differently to the diverse situations and stimuli we encounter in our journey through life.***
Biologically, all of us are innately attracted to our gender opposites–gender being defined by our chromosomes and corroborated over 99.9% of the time by physiology (genitalia, hormone ratios, and hundreds of other gender-specific differences). But this congenital orientation towards heterosexuality—while varying in intensity from person to person—can be impacted by a broad range of negative external influences, the “trauma” mentioned above. (It’s important to keep in mind here the ultimate “trauma,” one’s that both external and internal: the baseline of man’s sinful nature.) Depending on their type, frequency, and magnitude, an individual, again contingent upon their disposition and internal wiring, can be pushed towards various deviant sexual practices specifically defined or alluded to by scripture. Some are volitional, connected to the choices we make. Others—particularly when we are young and vulnerable—are involuntary; are things that happen to us. (Initial sexual experiences, like viewing pornography or being molested, are also very important in this regard since they set a kind of bonding “norm” and exert enormous influence on the development of one’s sexual appetites.)
The final form these adaptations or coping mechanisms take depends again on the individual and their internal “wiring.” (People, and the reasons they do certain things, are, in other words, extremely complicated.) So, for example, one girl experiences trauma from being sexually abused by a male relative and for whatever reasons—grace, disposition, counter-balancing life experiences, counseling, etc.—maintains her inborn heterosexuality and gender identity and eventually gets married and lives a good, moral life. But another girl experiences the same trauma and later, while remaining “straight”, cannot maintain a relationship, moving from one man to the next (“P” for polyamorous). Another ends up embracing homosexuality (“L”), while another feels that she is really a man (“T”), while still another becomes asexual (“A”).
So calling it the LGBTQCP…XYZ Movement actually makes perfect sense. Each letter is just a sliver from the same shattered coin. In terms of our fallen natures in a fallen world, anyone can potentially “become” almost anything.
The big question we need to address as individuals and as a society is whether we want to hold and aspire to the standards defined by God, to the notion that His prescription for sexual and gender expression produces true and long-lasting happiness and health for both the individual and society. Or do we throw up our hands and simply bow to the idols of postmodernism and fallen, broken sexuality?
It has become painfully obvious which road the pomosexual movement has taken and is promoting.
I’ll close with three quick and illustrative examples of where this road is taking us:
One of the contributors to the fifteen essays that make up PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality is Riki Anne Wilchins. The book describes her as “a lesbian or bisexual, transsexual or transgender, man or woman living in Greenwich Village…Her hobbies include the Transsexual Menace, the Lesbian Avengers, and attacking false binaries.” (p.191) Depending on the homophile, there is the end-game–or the unintended consequence–in a nice little nutshell: a person who is a lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgendered man/woman–all at the same time. And the book is filled with similar, even stranger examples of gender and sexual chaos.
A more philosophical exploration of this same chaos can be seen in the life and work of Marco Vassi, another contributor to the book. Vassi was a prolific and internationally respected writer/chronicler of the bleeding edges of the sexual revolution. His Wikipedia entry states (emphases mine):
He was married three times, but was well-known for sexual, drug, and alternative-lifestyle experimentation. He viewed life as the theory and practice of liberation, an exploration of being sexual, that is an all-sexual being, bisexual, and homosexual. Marco Vassi coined the term metasex, which meant any sex outside the bounds of heterosexual marriage. He once wrote (in “Beyond Bisexuality”):
“When one transcends male-female dualism, eroticism becomes susceptible of a more subtle mathematical understanding. For each number, there is a different and unique quality of consciousness, and no one is intrinsically superior to any of the others.
The introduction of the metasexual paradigm is no less a shift in the history of our evolving understanding. The vast majority of the species has not seen past the conditioned strictures of the number *two.* And even those in the vanguard, having their orgies, still operate from the standpoint of a male-female dualism. The most sophisticated among them proclaim themselves bisexuals, not aware that this is the dead-end of that particular tunnel vision. The only way out is to go within to heal the internal split. A monad has no gender.”
This entry concludes with the chilling fact—an irony likely missed by his acolytes—that Vassi was unable to sustain a love relationship and died of AIDS, with only a former girlfriend to note his passing.
Both Wilchins and Vassi are intellectuals, members of the intelligentsia helping define and guide the pomosexual movement. Perhaps of greater interest and significance is the way their thinking has trickled down to the grass roots. Our third example is from one of the millions of web sites, blogs, YouTube videos and Facebook postings exploring and enlarging the boundaries of the sexual revolution; in this case a pomosexual female and musician whose music and writing reflects intelligence, talent and a classic postmodern sensibility. (The censoring is by me.)
Something about the human brain just loves to place people into neat little categories & boxes. Race. Hair color. Height. Place of origin. The gender you prefer to ****.
It’s been established that women who love women are lesbians, men who love men are gay, and women/men who love either gender are bisexual. Anyone involved in the gay community can surely tell you about how close-minded each group can be against anyone who doesn’t fit the description verbatim, despite the fact that close-mindedness & discrimination are the very things gay people are supposed to be fighting against…
They’d rather put me in the bisexual box, thinking this is where I rightfully belong since I take a **** to the **** & face every now & then.
Consider a woman who is married to a man…wait…that was actually born female (and she’s aware of the fact). Is she lesbian, due to the fact that she’s committed to a biological woman? Is she straight, because she’s married to a man? Is the FTM, who is visually & mentally masculine, straight or gay? Are they both bi? Another example would be the guy who doesn’t consider himself gay at all, but he finds pleasure in ***** other guys in the ***** sometimes…and just that activity alone. He is only interested in dating & marrying a woman, is only visually turned on by women. He doesn’t consider himself bi, but most straight people wouldn’t agree with him stating he is one of them.
In actuality, we can be considered Pomosexuals. Pomosexual (a real word) refers to a non-orientation, a dismissal of all labels, by which sexuality is viewed as a fluid experience, rather than a fixed point. This new view understands that love transcends gender, and that one’s identity is not defined by their gender or sexual orientation.****
Welcome to the end-game, the brave new world that is presently being fashioned all around us. Beyond labels. Beyond “the number *two*” and “false binaries.” Beyond good and evil. Man–or whatever name we should now call him/her/it now–is finally and completely free.
Free to embrace the chaos…and ultimately destruction.
* Kate Bornstein (author, playwright, performance artist, and gender theorist; born male, had sex-reassignment surgery, now identifies as neither a woman nor a man) on the back cover of PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality (Cleis Press; October 10, 1997)
** Douglas Wilson, Sermon: Pomosexuality (Psalm 115:4-8; 2 Cor. 3:16)
*** It should be noted that these experiences can then turn around and impact our internal “wiring.” I have interviewed several people who struggle with unwanted same-sex inclinations. A common theme is having experienced, often unwillingly, a homosexual act when they were young. This episode, often their first sexual encounter, had a profound impact on them akin to a type of “re-wiring”—as if they had been diverted to an exit ramp and now found themselves on a highway going in the opposite, and wrong, direction. Given the Bible’s admonition—and warning—in Proverbs 22:6, this should come as no surprise.
There are few things I enjoy more than God’s wisdom, love and sovereign grace shining into darkness…and then watching as unclean spirits fall all over themselves trying to run from the light. This phenomenon can manifest itself in any number of ways. Listening to NPR last night, I heard a textbook example of one of my favorites: When supposedly bright, educated people start sawing away on some rotten branch they’re upset about—not realizing that they’re sitting on the same branch. And that it’s a real long way to the ground.
Or as Fred, the foreman of a pipe-fitting crew I once worked on, would more colorfully put it: When people complain about finding a hair in a @#*! sandwich.
Here’s the hair: According to the NPR story, When States Can’t Control Violent Youth, Is Prison The Answer?, advocates for juvenile justice reform and LGBT youth in Connecticut are upset by a recent court decision to place a “16-year-old transgender girl” in an adult woman’s prison.
It’s not completely clear from the story if this teen was born a boy and is now self-identifying as a girl. One would assume so in that referring to the former him as a her is the politically-correct way to describe this type of thing now. (FYI for all you Neanderthals out there.) This would make his/her placement in a women’s prison (one would assume that he/she hasn’t had gender reassignment surgery yet, so his/her “package” would still be present and presumably operational) every bit as troubling as the opposite: that she/he is being placed among a bunch of older woman who could be in the mood for some jailbait. Unless they’re lesbians or she/he self-identifies as a lesbian man or a bisexual woman in a man’s body who really wants to be with another bisexual – man or woman – as long as they … wait, I think I may have lost the thread here. But you get my point.
Anyway, the court has placed “Jane Doe” in the adult prison because of “her” penchant for violent behavior.
Joette Katz, commissioner of the Department of Children and Families, has defended the decision: “She engaged in some of her typical — I hate to say typical — but some behaviors. Assaulting youth, grabbing hair, punching.” The final straw came last January when “she” assaulted a staff member at a Massachusetts facility for girls.
The progressives are up in arms because beyond whatever gender and sex issues may be involved, “her” incarceration is seen as an excessive and inhumane response that will only exacerbate Jane Doe’s problems, making “her” even more prone to violent behavior.
John Tuell, executive director of the RFK National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice, explained: “This step that was taken by Connecticut puts this youth at higher risk for continued failure. It would not be hard to argue that this was simply another factor that contributed to that downward spiral.”
Here’s the sandwich: What do the advocates for juvenile justice reform and LGBT youth see as the root cause of Jane Doe’s violent behavior? I quote:
“The girl has a long history of being sexually and physically abused. She has been in multiple residential programs since she was 9, and some of the abuse allegedly happened while she was in DCF care. Experts say this kind of trauma can make children violent.” (Emphasis mine)
So there we have it. It’s OK, even necessary, that we point out the connection between the type of abuse Doe experienced and “her” violent behavior. And furthermore, that we muster the full power of the state and the therapeutic industry—as well as taxpayers’ money—in an effort to treat and end it.
But we better be damn well sure we never, ever consider or mention that this same sexual abuse may be the cause of this poor child’s gender confusion.
Yeah, right. Professing to be wise…
Last year my hometown of Nashville experienced another flavor of this same type of insanity when a local, gay-identified teen killed himself. In death the poor kid found his fifteen minutes of Warholian fame as homophile spinmeisters promptly made him another causality of gay-bullying. I mean, come on–he was gay and he killed himself. What else could it be?
The problem was that there was little or no evidence he had been bullied. In fact, as is the case more and more in the era of Glee and Modern Family, his gayness gave him a certain cachet, particularly with girls, that more than made up for whatever trash talk he may have received from some idiot-punk. But there was plenty of evidence that he came from an extremely dysfunctional family: no father; an often absent, substance-abusing mother; being raised primarily by his grandmother, etc. To blame “homophobia” and not these negative family issues for his suicide—to say nothing of his sexual confusion—demonstrates just how irrational and agenda-driven this whole crazy LGBTQ thing has become.
The cultural landscape is strewn with examples of this type of cognitive dissonance. And I fear we have only seen the beginning as our nation more and more lifts up its collective fist to heaven’s throne and declares, “We will not have You rule over us!” (Psalm 2:1-3) A scoffing laughter (vs. 4,5) and a fearful expectation of judgment (Heb. 10:27) are the normal blowback.
“It is instructive to know that under the influence of seduction the child may become polymorphous-perverse and may be misled into all sorts of transgressions. This goes to show that it carries along the adaptation for them in its disposition…. it is absolutely impossible not to recognize in their uniform disposition for all perversions the universal and primitive human.” (Sigmund Freud, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, 1905)
A big part of my job involves studying, thinking and writing about people and cultural trends as they interface with the Gospel and the kingdom of God. Because issues related to sex — along with money, power/politics and religion — make up the vast majority of that interface, I have given a lot of time and attention to it over the years. From videos on the influence of pop culture to a variety of productions on abortion, issues relating to human sexuality have been common themes in my work.
Several years ago it became apparent to me that Western culture was entering a third – and what I believe will be the final – stage of the sexual revolution. Very broadly speaking, stage one involved radically untethering sexual activity from its procreative aspects and potential. Stage two untethered it from marriage as well as the consequences of engaging in non-marital sex: disease and unwanted pregnancy. Antibiotics and abortion seemed to promise the acolytes of the sexual revolution a form of absolution. The third and final stage? Untethering sex from gender and any remaining vestige of biblical morality. Nothing is any longer transcendently true. Everything becomes permitted.
And as the record of both scripture and history clearly demonstrate, once that genie is out of the bottle and the taboos lifted, there is ultimately no constraining them. Profound social consequences and an eventual “plowing under” are the inevitable result.
Glimpsing this trajectory, about four years ago I began to study the sea change in sexual mores in earnest. I have since read, traveled and interviewed people extensively and, more to the point, widely. It may come as a surprise to people who think that Christians are close-minded bigots, but a slight majority of my reading (100+ books and countless articles) and nearly half of my interviews have been on the pro-sexual revolution side of this issue.
Among the many conclusions I have reached — I trust as much on the basis of rational observation as the influence of my worldview and its presuppositions (hey, at least I admit to mine) — is that of all the “soft sciences,” psychology and psychiatry are among the least reliable as far as discovering truth and genuinely helping people. In fact, I would argue they are often doing more harm than good.
There are a number of reasons for this. The near infinite complexity of the human mind and heart and the reasons we do what we do and believe what we believe is a big one. Another is that many (most?) practitioners in these fields consider moral truth to be subjective and situational, a virtual guarantee that any rational enterprise is doomed. Relatedly, two of the most important – and egregious – reasons that aspects of the “mind sciences” have become so soft-headed are the degree to which they have been hijacked by materialistic presuppositions and sociopolitical agendas. The American Psychiatric Association’s decision to declassify homosexuality as a disorder in 1973 is perhaps the classic example of this, as a National Public Radio anniversary story on it inadvertently revealed.
When it comes to issues involving homosexuality, this frequent lack of intellectual rigor and integrity is often on full display. I could – and perhaps will one day – fill a good-sized book with examples: from studies that suggest that a child is no better off being raised by a mom and a dad (even biologically related parents) than by two moms or dads; that homosexuality is as normal and conducive to individual and societal flourishing as heterosexuality; that anyone who resists this normalization is homophobic; that things like absentee or abusive fathers or sexual molestation play no role in many people’s homo-erotic impulses; that homosexual orientations are innate, akin to race or left-handedness and are irreversible; that homosexuals aren’t interested into seducing/recruiting straight people into their lifestyle; that there is no agenda or slippery slope; etcetera.
But even a broken clock is right twice a day – and my reading of Sigmund Freud did uncover something with which I can more or less agree. Along with insisting that we are all born bisexual – and then either stay there or gravitate to heterosexuality (which he did suggest was optimal though not necessarily more normal (?!)) or homosexuality depending on how we transition through his sundry stages of development – Freud also claimed we come out of the womb polymorphously perverse. This means that as babies we can experience erotic (that’s right, we’re sexually charged from the get-go) satisfaction in all manner of ways and from all manner of sources.
Change “babies” to “adolescents and older” and for once Freud is on to something. As a result of the Fall, as a result of our innate thralldom to sin (Eph. 2:1-3), we are all capable, apart from the grace of God, of becoming slaves of any of the one-thousand-and-one libidinous fixations sin has invented. The potential for “polymorphous perversity” shadows all of us.
And this is precisely why our current monkeying with gender and sexual norms is so chilling. Sex is among of the most powerful forces and appetites a person can experience. It is the only thing that has the potential to create new human beings. The intense pleasures associated with it can release all manner of powerful compounds (dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline, serotonin) that can affect our brains as powerfully as a potent drug. Younger men think about it slightly more than they do eating, an appetite that unlike sex needs to be satisfied or we, as individuals, will die. (Without procreative sex a culture will eventually die.) And the social and epidemiological fall-out from misusing our sexual capacities can be as destructive in terms of lives lost, money spent and negative social consequences as any major war.
And this is precisely why our Creator was so specific in His commands as to how sex and gender identity were to understood, practiced and circumscribed. The mighty river of sexual energy has to be carefully channeled. It is to be leveed on the one side by rigorous attention to and protection of the image of God as reflected in the fundamental binary structure of man (Gen. 1:27). And it is to be banked on the other by its celebration within the marriage covenant* and corresponding protection by an absolute proscription outside of it.
And when the levee breaks…
* It is sad beyond words that I have to here state the obvious (so obvious to past generations that it would raise eyebrows to even mention this): marriage is a covenant relationship between one man and one woman for life.
In Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, the fascist government of Oceania and its enigmatic dictator Big Brother attempt to brainwash the masses to accept non sequiturs like “war is peace” and “ignorance is strength.” But in the real world such paradoxical memes inevitably lead to mindlessness – or madness – or are forced to eventually give way to the constraints of cognitive dissonance: the psychological stress that results from holding conflicting ideas or values simultaneously. Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies have shown that people are profoundly motivated, consciously or subconsciously, to achieve consonance – to reduce this conflict or dissonance – by eliminating or at least suppressing one of the conflicting ideas.
For individuals who find themselves experiencing erotic, same-sex desires for the first time – and let’s acknowledge that for most these feelings are involuntary – cognitive dissonance in the form of guilt or shame is very common. A good example of this was described by Robert Bauman, a conservative, pro-family Republican who served as a Congressman from 1973 until he lost re-election in 1980 following a scandal involving a sixteen-year-old male prostitute. In his 1986 autobiography, Baumann recalls the homosexual feelings that later began to emerge when, at the tender age of five, he was molested by a twelve-year-old neighbor, thus joining the hundreds of thousands of other victims of sexual abuse who would come to experience same-sex attractions.
“This was not a matter of chance attraction to a forbidden object. This was a frightening force from deep within my being, an involuntary reaction to the sight, smell and feel of other boys. I neither understood nor accepted it. And I came to hate myself because of the presence within me of this horrible weakness, this uncleanness of spirit over which I seemed to have no control.” Robert Bauman, The Gentlemen from Maryland: The Conscience of a Gay Conservative (New York: Morrow, 1986), p. 163
Homophiles (people who like (from Greek philos, love or like) or support the normalization of homosexuality) love to blame the negative feelings Baumann experienced on the projections and expectations of a “homophobic” culture. But studies show that even in the most “gay friendly” societies – like Holland and Denmark – the higher levels of psychological problems found among homosexuals are essentially the same as for those in less “enlightened” societies. The reason for this is that the dissonance, the guilt, is rooted in the individual’s conscience and not the culture. Because humans are created in the image of God and the binary, male-female unity is a vital aspect of that image (Gen. 1:27), each of us possesses a deep-down, “written on our heart” knowledge (Rom. 2:14-15) that homosexuality is abnormal and wrong. As a result, when a person first experiences homosexual desires, cognitive dissonance like Baumann described is the inevitable result.
The same-sex attracted person can reduce this dissonance by affirming their conscience and rejecting their homosexual feelings as wrong, refuse to act upon them – in other words embrace abstinence – and then seek help in dealing with the root causes of these inclinations in the hope of joining the many others who have transitioned into heterosexuality.
The other option is to embrace the homosexual identity and then set-out to muffle or, preferably, silence the conscience by convincing oneself that being “gay” really is okay.
The most common first step here is to enter the same-sex-attracted-feedback loop that is the “gay community.” This can be a LGBT club at school, a gay-pride march, an activist group, immersing oneself in gay-affirming pop culture (music, television and movies) or simply hanging out or hooking up with other same-sex attracted people.
And yet even with all this, the conscience can still nudge; dissonance can still rear its ugly head. And so the next step in eradicating any residual conflict comes through what psychologists call confirmation bias, the rejection of any and all evidence or testimony that dis-confirms, that negates, disapproves, questions or even simply ignores the validity of one’s position. And so every reminder – any suggestion from any source – that homosexuality isn’t every bit as natural, good, moral and conducive to individual and cultural flourishing as heterosexuality has to be eliminated.
A perfect example of confirmation bias can be seen in the work of homosexual activist Wayne Besen, founder of Truth Wins Out, a not-for-profit created to counter Focus on the Family’s now defunct Love Won Out’s ministry to people coming out of the homosexual lifestyle. Besen has been extremely vocal in insisting there’s virtually no such an animal as an “ex-gay,” making that assertion the virtual focus of his calling.
Now here’s an incredible thing: Oprah can do shows about women who lived as heterosexuals for decades and then one day embraced their inner sexual fluidity and jumped on the broad gay-way. But according to Besen and many other homophiles, the same thing can’t possibly happen in reverse. The thousands of people who have self-identified as homosexuals and lived the lifestyle – sometimes for years and even decades – and that are now happily married to an opposite-sex spouse or are celibate and waiting on one: a.) Were never really gay in the first place, or b.) Are living in denial, suppressing their true nature and desires, often out of what Besen describes as misplaced religious guilt.
Are you kidding me? Imagine an inebriation activist who insists that there’s no such thing as an ex-drunk because he and some other buddies couldn’t stay on the wagon or never really wanted to get on it. According to them, every alcoholic who is now sober was either never really a drunk or is now just living a lie.
This is all just confirmation bias on steroids.
And make no mistake about it, denying that there’s such a thing as an ex-homosexual is just the beginning. There are many in the homosexual community as well as the homophiles that support them who have been emboldened by the growing acceptance of gay marriage and other trends in the culture. The gloves are coming off as they are driven to eradicate every vestige of dissonance, any trace of mores, behavior, thought, tradition and public policy that in any way suggests or reminds people that heterosexuality is normal, God-ordained and morally or ontologically superior to homosexuality.
And that is precisely why the slippery slope exists…and gets steeper and steeper as we descend.
One of the things I most appreciated about Phil Robertson’s comments to the snoots at GQ was the manner in which he colorfully pointed out the anatomical absurdity of homosex. (WARNING: please read no further if you are a child, pietist, or are easily offended.) Like a red-neck version of Elijah (who may well have been considered a redneck himself circa 9th century BC) mocking the prophets of Baal and the potty habits of their pathetic god (1 Kings 18:27), the bearded one dared to compare the desirability of a certain female body part to its closest correspondent in males.
In so doing Robertson pushed back against one of the key strategies of the architects of the LGBTQ putsch: that is to take the “sex” out of “homosexuality” – to redefine it as a simple orientation (like being left-handed) and disconnect it as much as possible from what people actually do to each other in bed (or in a bathroom or the bushes). For proof of this simply read After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s – the seminal book by homosexual, and Harvard educated, activists Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen. See, for example, page 178:
“In the early stages of the campaign, the public should not be shocked and repelled by premature exposure to homosexual behavior itself. Instead, the imagery of sex per se should be downplayed, and the issue of gay rights reduced, as far as possible, to an abstract social question.” (Kirk, Marshall and Hunter Madsen, Ph.D., “Strategy: Persuasion, not invasion,” in After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s, Doubleday: New York, 1989, pg. 178.)
Christians and anyone else concerned about the normalization of homosexuality and other perversions of God’s design for gender and sexual behavior should shake off the shackles of newspeak and begin to graciously but firmly – using irony and shock where necessary – join Robertson in pushing back against this agenda. We need to make like Elijah and point out the absurdities inherent in the practice of homosex; how the wages of sin will not only surely be spiritual death, but can lead to physical sickness and death as well.
Three simple points I like to make, in order of increasing shock factor:
1. According to one peer-reviewed study done towards the end of the 20th century, the life expectancy for the average 20-year-old gay or bisexual man is 8 to 21 years less than his heterosexual counterpart. (See the International Journal of Epidemiology.) Here the authors actually condemn as “homophobic” anyone who dares to point to their research as evidence that homosexuality carries with it certain inherent health risks. And yet they in no way deny the statistical evidence their research has uncovered. (This is one of the best examples of “professing to be wise and remaining fools” I have ever stumbled upon.)
2. As part of my research on this subject, two years ago I attended the various “gay-pride” events that took place over four days in San Francisco. On Saturday I filmed and conducted interviews among the nearly 200,000 attendees of the now famous annual “Dyke March.” It began with a festival in Dolores Park. Like with any festival there was music, speeches and all manner of booths and vendors selling food, drinks, t-shirts, souvenirs and other wares. The most popular merchandise I saw? Dildos. Thousands upon thousands of them in every shape, size and color imaginable. The irony here should be obvious: you have women that don’t want men, that sexually prefer another woman instead. But what do they often bring with them to bed? A crude approximation of a male sex organ. Add to that the fact that it is quite common for one woman to be butch (a top) – to look, dress and behave in a mannish way – while their partner plays the femme (bottom), taking on the more stereotypical female role and identity. There are so many things intuitively, viscerally wrong with this sad pantomime one hardly knows where to begin. (I’m reminded here of the episode of Showtime’s The Real L Word where Cori and Kacy are trying to get pregnant using donated sperm. Instead of going to a clinic (literally too “clinical” for the young romantics) or relying on the old lesbian standby, a turkey-baster (again not very romantic) the couple go to a sex store where Kacy (the butch one) shops for a dildo that can squirt out the sperm so she can use it to “personally” impregnate the femme Cori. What a heart-breaking glimpse into the futility of sin. (By the way, such a device does not exist...yet.)
3. Here we definitely enter the Phil Robertson arena of telling it like it is. Consider God-designed heterosex: the husband inserts his penis into his wife’s vagina. Like a hand-in-glove, there are dozens of anatomical design and response parameters that perfectly sync up. If done properly, with the male in particular being careful to meet his wife’s emotional needs as well as to provide the right friction in the right spot, both partners bond in a powerful and exquisitely enjoyable way, experiencing the “little death and rebirth” that is an orgasm. They can gaze into one another’s eyes and take in one another’s breath. And, miracle of miracles, under the right circumstances, the seed from the man can merge with the egg of the woman to produce a new human life, a new eternal soul and image-bearer of God. This picture of intimacy – of the “two becoming one” – as well as its co-creative elements are a powerful, poignant and prophetic glimpse into our Creator’s purposes and plans. Now take the grotesquerie that is homosex, using two men as an example. The receptacle of death and decay is substituted for the vessel of life. Nothing fits properly and without great care and the use of artificial lubricants, damage to the receiver’s anatomy results. Except for the extremely fit and hyper-flexible, face-to-face, eye-to-eye, breath-to-breath intercourse is impossible, as is mutual climax without other tricks being up their proverbial sleeves. And where the man and woman can produce a baby, for two men new life is virtually impossible. Anal fissures and all manner of infections and diseases – some fatal – are the common physiological byproducts. Boiling it all down to a memorable meme: heterosex ~ fertilized egg, homosex ~ inseminated turd.
This is a hard-saying, but a radically true one. And as the parade of preening emperors grows, spouting their PC nonsense and leading our culture – and yes those tragically cursed with same-sex desires – into deeper realms of bondage, we need now more than ever to use the mirror of truth to point out that they’ve all left the house without any pants on.
Whether a man can “marry” another man with our culture’s approval (Rom. 1:32) comes before the highest secular court in our land today. The nine judges and sundry legal advocates will conduct this mockery of true justice under the symbolic gaze of Moses holding the Ten Commandments (and ironically during Holy Week).
The one Advocate who absolutely will not be allowed to testify? The triune God and His law-word. And that is why we are ultimately doomed. My guess (and prayer) is that the forces for unraveling the gender and sexual norms instituted by our Creator will only achieve a partial victory. But make no mistake about it. God will not be mocked. As long as we continue to tell the King of King and Lord of Lords that there is no room at our national table, our accelerating slide into the abyss of chaos and “reaping-what-we-have sown” judgment will continue apace.
By the way: this is not a white-flag of surrender comment. I for one plan to continue to stand for our nation’s King, pray, preach the truth, educate, agitate and in general make war on the armies of night. Because I know that in the end He will be glorified and have His way. America will continue her decline, be plowed under in some form or fashion, then be re-seeded with the Gospel of the Kingdom and rise again from the ashes.
Arise and take courage ye Gideons! The Roman empire wasn’t conquered in a day!
Not surprisingly, gay-rights advocates have used the process for selecting the new bishop of Rome to score points for their side. Andrew Sullivan is just one who has noted that the new head of the largest organization still pushing back on the efforts to normalize homosexuality was chosen by representatives that deliberated in a room arrayed with the most famous frescoes in the world. Their creator? Michelangelo Buonarroti, artiste and supposed homosexual extraordinaire.
Oh, the irony.
Allow me to take Sullivan’s claim, break it apart, and see what light it may shed on our own culture’s deliberations concerning the love that at one time did not dare speak its name.
1. No learned person would deny that homo-erotically inclined people have existed in every time and place immemorial. But it has only been in the past 150 or so years that the notion of a homosexual — a person who self-identifies primarily on the basis of their all-encompassing and supposedly immutable same-sex inclinations — has come into vogue. Before that people just had sex, many wherever they could find it. And if it happened to be with someone of the same sex, for many cultures that mattered only a little or not at all. And very few of these people would do it exclusively and, furthermore, would have created an identity based around this particular behavior or inclination. So to call Michelangelo a homosexual is an anachronism right out to the gate.
2. Along with our modern obsession with self — self-actualization, absorption, definition, love, pleasuring…everything “self” except “self-control” (which by the way is the cultural seed-bed from which the modern notion of a “homosexual” sprang) — our era tends to eroticize everything. We have substituted the orgasm for the Cross “as the focus of longing and the image of fulfillment,” as Malcolm Muggeridge so poignantly observed. As a result, any deep love and affection between two men is immediately charged with all manner of homo-erotic overtones. And this is particularly true when viewed by people who have same-sex inclinations themselves and a interest, whether conscious or not, to make them seem common, normal and, all the better, the disposition of extraordinary people. (The same impetus drove the 10% myth for so long…until studies finally popped that balloon.) I would suggest that Sullivan’s insinuations say more about him than the Roman Catholic church.
So Michelangelo and Tommaso dei Cavalieri had a deep and affectionate relationship. What does that prove? So did Jesus and John.
Oh wait, homophiles think they were homosexuals as well.
Frankly that’s almost as blockheaded and agenda driven as it is blasphemous.
3. Even if Michelangelo had homo-erotic impulses, there is no evidence he acted on them. Contrary to the LGBTQ playbook, having these types of feelings (which are actually something many men will experience at some point in their lives) and not acting on them no more makes a person a homosexual than other men’s innate sexual interests in a beautiful woman who is not their wife makes them an adulterer. Orientations are not necessarily sinful. Acting on those that are contrary to the word of God is.
4. Michelangelo was famously unconcerned about his appearance, often sleeping in his clothes, and lived a very austere and, by every indication, chaste life. And there is some evidence that he once strongly rejected what would be many gay men’s dream. It was reported that a man once approached him about taking his son on as an apprentice, telling him that boy could double as a willing partner in bed. Michelangelo refused and sought to get the man fired from his job for having made the offer.
5. Cavalieri was not the only inspiration for Michelangelo’s poetry. Later in life he fell in love with a widow, Vittoria Colonna. They became very close, writing poems to one another. Sadly, she died before the relationship could go any further, something the great artist called the greatest regret of his life.
6. If Michelangelo was homo-erotically inclined and actually had a sexual relationship with Cavalieri, that’s not anything the LGBTQ world should crow about. The great artist was thirty-four years his senior.
This brings up a little discussed problem within the homosexual ethos. The number of May/December romances (and that’s putting it kindly) is pretty incredible and creepy. Troy Perry, the founder of the gay “Christian” denomination (Metropolitan Community Churches), after numerous failed attempts, is at last in a long term relationship…with a man young enough to be his son. Beat writers Allen Ginsberg and William Burrough’s preferred younger men (by corey jefferson). Sadly their fame among the younger, drug-addled kids of the 60s gave them ample opportunities to explore these interests. Gay rights icon Harvey Milk was known for not only his promiscuity but his interest in younger men. And the British writer Christopher Isherwood was forty-eight when he began his relationship with Don Bachardy, eighteen.
One of the great but little-known ironies of the gay rights movement of the time was that one of its heroes, Evelyn Hooker, the psychologist who supposedly “proved” that gay people were completely normal, was a close neighbor of Chris and Don. She wouldn’t allow them both in her home she was so disturbed by their relationship.
Now this isn’t to say there aren’t any May/December relationships between heterosexuals that are troubling. Any relationships that involve great disparities in age, particularly when the younger party is yet a teenager, are troubling. But I would contend that heterosexual May/December relationships are less troubling than the homo-erotic relationships going back to the Greco-Roman world and beyond that reflect a fascination with “boy beauty.” When you factor in the father issues that affect so many gay men (politically incorrect to say but nevertheless true), things get even more disturbing. Finally, May/December heterosexual relationships at least embody the male-female structure that nature and nature’s God ordained.
6. Finally, if Michelangelo was ahead of his time by five-hundred years and was a self-identified, practicing homosexual like Andrew Sullivan, what would that prove? Every advocate of Biblical morality that I know, and I would presume that would include the college of cardinals and certainly the new pope, accepts that homo-erotically inclined people can be talented, bright, kind, etc.; possessing all manner of positive attributes. No one who isn’t simply ignorant or a bigot thinks that gays have any less value than other people and shouldn’t be afforded all the protections and rights due any other citizen of this country. What relevance does it have if Michelangelo was straight, gay or, more than likely, just an odd genius who redirected so much of his energies to his art that he never found the way to be one or the other? His genius should be marveled at and enjoyed regardless.
One can only wonder whether in the end Michelangelo’s frescoes helped inspire the cardinals to choose well and give the world a man who will stand on the word of God rather than the vagaries of trends or ill-founded traditions; a man who will lift up the cross of Christ as the true focus for longing and fulfillment.
When examining sexual mores throughout history, one discovers that adultery, polygamy, misogyny, rape, occult prostitution, homosex, gender confusion, pedophilia, pederasty, infanticide, etc. were not aberrations, departures from traditional morality. In point of fact they formed the bedrock of what is truly traditional sexual morality.
As with all problems, we can blame this largely on the Fall (Gen. 3). Once man was cut off from the Source of Life and locked himself in his own ego-box; once he was left to parse reality through the self-referential lens of his own fallen, fallible and finite mind; once his divine nature was exchanged for the filthy rags that necessarily invited the wrath of God; once the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve were sold unto slavery to the dark prince of the air (Eph. 2:1-4), it shouldn’t surprise anyone that all hell would break loose. (Correction: that all hell should try and break loose. In His mercy, God has shot the world through with grace. And this — what theologians call common grace — has kept things from being as bad as Satan would have them be and as man is capable of being. That particular infinite nightmare is being held at bay until hell is finally stocked with the devil and his proteges, both demonic and human.)
It is only as Christianity has taken root and been cultivated over generations that the genie of lust, pride and power has been bottled enough for the “Ozzie and Harriet” ideal to finally emerge: covenantal, conjugal (from the Latin “join or yoke together”) marriage between a husband and a wife (only yesterday it seems it would have been redundant to name the two parties) featuring romantic love, complete equality and mutual submission (with male headship), a commitment to sexual and emotional faithfulness “until death do us part” and the awesome potential to create and then nurture and raise new human beings created in both the image of God and their parents.
More than a few scholars credit this harnessing of libidinous energy (particularly on the part of men) and the normalization of conjugal marriage and the nuclear family as the key foundation for a healthy, flourishing culture; that when these absolutes are tinkered with or — worse — discarded, that culture is doomed. (One of the best books on the subject is The Family and Civilization.)
Tragically, the western world has been chipping away at this cornerstone for some time. The sexual revolution of the 1920’s, crescendoing in the 60’s, was a major blow to the bottle. Ditto the tsunami of no-fault divorce laws that swept over our nation in the 1970s (by corey jefferson). The current move to redefine marriage and normalize homosexuality (and a raft of other impulses that “destroy the binary” and make fluid gender and sexual identities) is the third blow.
Three strikes and we may well be out.
Personally, there’s no question in my mind that the genie’s bottle is on the verge of being shattered. And what is sobering — chilling in fact — is that there has never been a society in history that has recovered once the genie has been rereleased. (Matt. 12:43-45)
I can’t remember the source of the original quote (T.S. Eliot?) or even its exact words, but the sentiment went something like this:
It can take a millennium to lay a foundation stone of the Kingdom into the earth – but only a generation for any culture to see it lost.