Shellfish and Civil Rights: Why Homosexuals Have it All Wrong

Over the last couple of years, I’ve written a fair amount (elsewhere) about homosexuality and same-sex marriage, so in light of Tuesday’s U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to overturn California’s Prop 8 (a citizen referendum that banned same-sex marriage)—and the fact that this situation is far from resolved—here’s a heaping helping of my thinking on these subjects, revised and updated a bit.

Prop 8: Painful Times

The Los Angeles Times was “pained” to see California’s Proposition 8 take effect, and “longs for the day” when Prop 8 is “relegated to history” (this according to an editorial shortly after Prop 8 was passed).

I, on the other hand, am pained by all the sore-loser crying over Prop 8 and long for the day when liberal editorial boards are relegated to history.

Homosexuality is just plain wrong. I base my position primarily on my Christian faith (more on that later), but for all the secular humanists out there, who are so enamored of the god called science, I also base my position on physical, empirical, verifiable fact: male bodies weren’t made to go together, nor were female bodies.

And if there are so many lesbians (and there are) saying, “I don’t need a man,” why do they become mannish or date mannish women? So many lesbians dress like men, wear their hair like men, act like men, talk like men, and so many homosexual men (who “don’t need a woman”) act like women, dress like women, wear their hair like women, talk like women—if you don’t need someone of the opposite gender, then why do you bother becoming like the opposite gender, or date such people?

The Times also makes the uneducated claim that courts were created to rule on the constitutionality of laws. No, actually, they weren’t. When the Founders were setting up our nation’s government, certain of them made sure that the establishment of courts was for the sole purpose of declaring whether alleged actions were in accordance with written law, and these men also strictly opposed the concept of “judicial review.” If someone did something, and that act was deemed by law enforcement officials to be in violation of the law, and the individual took their case to court, the court’s job was to determine whether their act (or acts) broke the law. That was it. That was all that courts were supposed to do. It wasn’t until later on, in the U.S. Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison in 1803, that the Court, against the will of the Founders, enacted the unfortunate precedent of judicial review, whereby courts now have the final say on every law that comes before them.

Homosexual = Black? I Don’t Think So

In the wake of Prop 8, there’s been a lot of talk from the homosexual community about civil rights—specifically, that marriage of any type is a civil right, and that civil rights should be off-limits to the decisions of voters, and, therefore, that Prop 8 should never have been allowed (and, since it was allowed, should now be thrown out). Advocates of the homosexual community have even compared their plight to that of blacks struggling for civil rights in the ’60s. All this talk of civil rights on the part of homosexuals, though, and the comparing of their situation to the black civil rights movement, is unfounded.

First, blacks were routinely segregated—separate bathrooms, water fountains, schools—and denied the right to vote, and knocked over with firehoses; none of this is happening to homosexuals. So for them to be comparing their “plight” to that of blacks in the 1960s is absurd, preposterous, and insulting to blacks.

When we talk of civil rights, what we’re speaking of is political rights. For example, the Bill of Rights outlines the fundamental political liberties that citizens of this free country have, liberties that keep government from becoming tyrannical and oppressing its people: If you don’t like a certain politician or political party, you have the civil (political) right to vote them out of office; if you dislike something the government is doing, you have the civil (political) right to peacefully protest; if the government tries to tell you who or how to worship, you have the civil (political) right to refuse and to worship as you see fit. In other words, civil rights are all about checks and balances between the government and the people, about ensuring that things stay honest between the two.

This is what made the black civil-rights movement a civil-rights movement; they had previously been denied the political freedoms due every American, such as the right to vote, and thus had a legitimate civil-rights argument: To deny them, for example, the right to vote was to treat them unequally under the law. This is the true meaning of the phrase “equal treatment under the law.”

Homosexuals, on the other hand, are not being denied such rights. Relationships, unlike voting, etc., have nothing to do with protecting citizens from political tyranny. Furthermore, if relationships are classified under the “equal treatment under the law” rubric, then it becomes impossible to objectively draw the line as to which relationships qualify for “equal treatment.” What right would any of us have, for example, to deny a 16-year-old the “right” to be with a 21-year-old? Who are any of us to say that such a relationship is not valid? 16-year-olds are people too, right? They have feelings, don’t they? Can’t they be “in love”?

Marriage has nothing to do with civil rights. Marriage is a religious and social issue, something that has nothing to do with keeping government off our backs. Thus, it is an issue whose fate is in the hands of the people.

Second, the color of your skin is amoral—that is, it has nothing to do with morality—whereas sexual activity has a lot to do with morality. There is disagreement as to whether homosexuality is genetic; I will here give homosexuals the benefit of the doubt (even though no “gay gene” has been discovered and thus cannot be said empirically to exist), but it doesn’t affect my point, which is this: whether genetic-based or learned, homosexual activity (unlike skin color) is a behavior, and since the realm of behavior is where morality resides (e.g., is it moral or immoral to engage in such-and-such a behavior?), what homosexuals are asking of society is to enshrine as a civil right a certain behavior—one that many of us find immoral.

It is true that a lot of our civil rights involve behaviors—voting, protesting, worshiping—but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who believes that those behaviors are immoral, because they’re not. On the other hand, there are a great many people who view homosexual behavior as immoral, and thus it is ridiculous, from our point of view, that such behavior, in the context of “same-sex marriage” or even “civil unions,” should be honored as a protected civil right. Of course, most homosexuals see nothing immoral about their sexual behavior, but they need to remember that many people do. So to have homosexuals asking people such as myself to grant civil-right status to what I view as immoral behavior would be like me asking my countrymen to confer civil-right status on something that most of them find objectionable, such as stealing. I may think stealing is okay, but that doesn’t make it so. I may have even been born with a genetic compulsion to steal, but that still wouldn’t make it right for me to steal—it would help me to understand why I steal, but it wouldn’t make my stealing moral, and it wouldn’t mean I’d have a basic civil right to have my stealing protected under law.

Furthermore, there are many things in human genetics that exist but aren’t supposed to, such as physical ailments and mental illnesses. It is clear that these things are abnormal, and we fight to overcome them—we search for cures, we use medicine, counseling, various therapies. And it is clear, based on (if nothing else) the picture our physiology paints, that homosexuality, whether genetic or chosen, is abnormal.

We have each been given a conscience, which is the mediator of our morality. All of us, myself included, face a variety of situations each day in which we must make a choice concerning how we’re going to behave—opportunities to steal or leave be, to hit someone with whom we’re angry or to resist, to be rude or polite. Many of these things could even be said to be impulses … but that doesn’t make them okay to do. I may have a bad temper, or a penchant for being a crotchety jerk, or a passion for pleasure that knows no bounds … but having an impulse for any of these doesn’t legitimize acting on them.

We Ain’t Talking About Shellfish

In one of his Townhall columns, titled “Jack Black, Jesus and Prop 8,” Frank Pastore raises an intriguing issue, one about which there is much confusion and that’s often used against Christians.

I’m talking about the Old Testament prohibition against shellfish. I know: earth-shattering stuff, right? Not on it’s own, it’s not, but it’s become a famous talking point for homosexual advocates, believe it or not.

Whenever anyone such as myself brings up the Old Testament prohibitions against homosexual activity, homosexual advocates often rebut with something like this: “Well the Old Testament also bans the eating of shellfish, but you eat shellfish, right?” Well, first of all, no, I don’t eat shellfish. I think they’re disgusting. But that’s besides the point. Yes, many Christians eat shellfish but oppose homosexuality. So they’re big fat hypocrites, right?

No. And here’s why: In the course of early human history, everyone had become alike in the sense that everyone did whatever they wanted to do, in rebellion against God and how He wanted us to live. So God, in order to teach mankind His ways, began a process of sanctification, which is a fancy way of saying “setting us apart”—making us like Him, making us different from the world. But since we humans can be quite blockheaded, God decided to take things slowly and teach us one bit at a time. One of the key strategies He used was to teach us spiritual truth through object lessons, using everyday material things that the ancient Israelites had easy access to. One such thing was the animal kingdom, so God used animals to teach the Israelites the difference between holiness (spiritual cleanliness) and unholiness (spiritual uncleanliness). And here’s where the shellfish come in.

Shellfish are bottomfeeders. They eat off the ocean floor, where lots of germy stuff settles. Thus they represented unholiness (spiritual uncleanliness). So God told the Israelites to avoid eating shellfish (and that they could eat regular fish, which aren’t bottomfeeders), and thus gave them a tangible demonstration of how to live the spiritually clean life God wanted them to live. (As a side note: God used other animals this way, telling the Israelites, for example, to not eat scavenger birds, because they ate things that had been long dead and thus represented spiritual uncleanliness).

So it’s not that God was declaring shellfish to be evil and forever avoided; it was simply an object lesson during the early portion of mankind’s gradual process of spiritual growth. When Jesus was on Earth, He declared that it wasn’t what went into the body that defiled a person, but what came out of a person’s heart that caused defilement—thus implying that every kind of food was acceptable for eating. This was confirmed after His Ascension when the Apostle Peter had a vision of a sheet containing several types of animals that Jews considered unclean, but God told him, “What God has cleansed you must not call common” (Acts 10:9-16). This was God’s way of telling Peter that Gentiles were welcome in His kingdom, and, I think, another way of God saying, “It’s not about the food.”

And now we come to homosexuality, which, unlike shellfish, was not merely an object lesson. As I’ve said, Jesus confirmed that there was nothing inherently wrong with shellfish, and that God really was okay with us eating them after all, that He’d only been using them to demonstrate a spiritual lesson. But God never used this strategy in regards to human sexuality. From the very beginning of the Bible (Adam and Eve) to the very end of it (Revelation’s picture of Jesus as the groom and the Church as His bride), God makes clear His one and only intention for human sexuality: that of one man and one woman in a lifelong commitment (which we call “marriage”). He never gave His approval to polygamy (not even in the case of Solomon), or to adultery (David got in big trouble for that), or to any other sexual relationship besides “one man/one woman” marriage. Not even to homosexuality. And yes, I know (as many homosexuals have lovingly told me) that Jesus never said anything specific against homosexuality. Then again, He never said anything specifically against child molesting, either, but I’m sure we all know what he thinks about that.

Jesus, however, did have some things to say about human sexuality in general, and what he said is telling. First, during one of his many conversations with his adversaries, he told them, “Have you not read (in the law) how from the beginning God created them male and female?” To me, this is Jesus’s way of saying, “Duh, people. Isn’t it obvious? Male and female go together; nothing else does.” Second, Jesus was clear that fornication was unacceptable to God … and fornication is defined as any sexual relationship outside the bonds of marriage … and the Bible clearly demonstrates that marriage is between one man and one woman … so by speaking against fornication, Jesus is speaking against every type of sexual relationship outside “one man/one woman” marriage—including bestiality, adultery, pedophilia, polygamy, and, yes, homosexuality.

Homosexuals Missing a Lot of Points

The Rev. (and I use that term loosely) Susan Russell of All-Saints Episcopal Church in Monrovia, Calif., said some while back: “The United States is founded on values of freedom of religion and from religion.” Actually, “reverend,” “freedom from religion” is nothing but a fanciful idea dreamed up by atheists and the ACLU (the Anti-Christian-Liberties Union). Like “separation of church and state,” it’s a phrase found nowhere in our nation’s founding documents. Besides that, no one can be free from religion; even if you don’t subscribe to an “organized” religion, you subscribe to whatever unorganized hodgepodge you decide upon throughout the course of your life. In other words, you believe something, and whatever it is you believe, that is your religion.

Russell went on to say: “All-Saints is part of a national group that believes God’s laws include everyone and that the United States Constitution provides protection for everyone.” Well, duh. Of course the Constitution applies equally to everyone—but it doesn’t say anything about marriage (or abortion, for that matter). And true equality doesn’t mean equal results; it means having equal protection of our basic civil (political) rights, and we all have that. You can disagree with any decision, but a decision not in your favor doesn’t mean that your basic rights have been violated.

And it’s funny that Russell speaks of God’s laws applying to everyone, because she glaringly fails to encourage obedience to one of His fundamental teachings: that He designed marriage as a particular thing, to the exclusion of all other things, as a way of demonstrating to us the differences and similarities between Himself and humans, and His desire (despite our differences) for intimacy with us.

God is clear in his displeasure with homosexuality, as is nature. If you have disagreement with these, then on what do you base your disagreement? Love? The world doesn’t know what true love is. True Love came to us 2,000 years ago and we nailed him to a cross. The world wouldn’t know love if it stared it in the face. And if your definition of love was the one standard, the be-all and end-all, then what of one man and several women who say they “love” each other? And what of the 23-year-old woman and the 16-year-old boy who say they “love” each other, and that their relationship is “consensual”? Just as most people recognize the obvious truth that adults shouldn’t be having sex with children, it should be just as obvious that two males or two females don’t go together.

This entire issue is ridiculous. I’ve heard a few people say that same-sex marriage should never have come before voters; they’re right, it shouldn’t have—because the proper sexual relationship between the sexes should be as clear as day, and unnatural behaviors should be left to the darkness, from whence they come and where they belong.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Homosexuality: A Civil Rights Issue?
  2. Trackback: Biden & Co. Clueless on Issues Surrounding Homosexuality « Jason Drexler Writes

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