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Fallacious Argument Against Homosexuality

Author of Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire, Jennifer Wright Knust has written an article on CNN’s Belief Blog that uses a really fallacious argument against the sin of homosexuality.  Several fallacious arguments, actually.

Okay, every argument she presents is fallacious, but I’m not going to get into that right now because I’m going to be reviewing her book in its entirety very shortly.  I need a break from atheism, so I thought I’d briefly turn to liberal Christianity.

The argument I wish to highlight is:

“I love gay people, but the Bible forces me to condemn them” is a poor excuse that attempts to avoid accountability by wrapping a very particular and narrow interpretation of a few biblical passages in a cloak of divinely inspired respectability.

You may as well say “I love murderers, but the Bible forces me to condemn them.”  “I love liars, but the Bible forces me to condemn them.”  “I love rapists, but the Bible forces me to condemn them.”  The Bible doesn’t force you to condemn anyone; the fact that what they are doing is against God and nature is why you condemn them.  Not every single human behavior is (or should be) acceptable.

No, the Bible has specific reasons for condemning homosexuality.  (Bookmark that article; I’ll be referring to it throughout my review of Dr. Knust’s book.)

The hole?  The argument assumes that homosexuality is natural, perhaps even desirable.  But, history tells us that is not the case.  Few (if any) cultures accepted homosexuality.  Some turned a blind eye (the Greeks and the Romans, for example, “trained” young men by letting an older man “adopt” him and do sexual things to him), but it wasn’t just “normal” in any but the most depraved societies.  Marriage has always been between the sexes, a man to a woman (or sometimes man to women or woman to men).

If Dr. Knust wants homosexuality to be okay, she has to prove that it is.  Her argument is just another reason why Christians can’t have a meaningful debate about homosexuality.  We’re just backwards bigots, don’t you know?

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About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on May 18, 2011, in Apologetics, Bible Thoughts, Heresy, Morality, Sin and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. you can say what you like but..
    i was born this way….no matter gay, straight, bi, lesbian, transgender, black, white, beige god makes no mistakes 😉

    • Not a response.

      It does, however, prove that you didn’t read the other articles I have on this site regarding homosexuality. If you had, you’d know that I argue homosexual folks are born that way.

      The rub is this: the so-called Warrior Gene makes folks more predisposed to committing violent acts. So, they are made that way. It’s part of their make-up. They were born violent. That doesn’t automatically make the behavior desirable.

      That’s where the argument becomes fallacious. Genetic predisposition never equals desirable, at least not automatically. People are also genetically predisposed to heart disease and cancer. As well as addictions, like alcoholism. Should we surrender to those? Pack up chemotherapy and cancer research and pass the beer and blunts. PARTY!!!!!!

      Please tell me you now see the ridiculousness of the argument.

      Man, I spent a long time on your non-answer.

  2. “The argument assumes that homosexuality is natural, perhaps even desirable.”

    It is. If you want to say it’s “not natural,” you must first define “natural.” Do you mean “not done in nature”? A quick google search will list the animals that partake in homosexual activity. Does it mean “Doesn’t produce babies”? Then every activity outside of male/female sexual intercourse (including knitting and playing baseball) is unnatural and, by your logic, wrong. You Christians love to throw around the “it’s not natural argument” but you avoid explaining what “natural” means because you’ll instantly lose the argument if you do.

    “But, history tells us that is not the case. Few (if any) cultures accepted homosexuality. ”

    Speaking of fallacies, you are using two: Appeal to Authority and Appeal to Popularity. Just because something is commanded from society leaders, or accepted widely, does not automatically make it right. Many cultures accept stoning girls to death for being raped by a married man, does that make it okay?

    “it wasn’t just “normal” in any but the most depraved societies”

    What study are you citing here? What is your definition of “depraved”? See how you throw meaningless terms out that you don’t defend with logic?

    ” Marriage has always been between the sexes, a man to a woman (or sometimes man to women or woman to men).”

    Oh hey, another logical fallacy: Appeal to Tradition. Do you Christians know what logical fallacies are?

    “Dr. Knust wants homosexuality to be okay, she has to prove that it is”

    Again, this is not how logic works. If you’re claiming something is wrong, the burden of proof is on you. We operate by “innocent (right) until proven guilty (wrong),” not the other way around.

    How would somebody prove that something is okay? Can you prove that drawing pictures is okay? If so, how?

    You Christians are like children in adult bodies.

    • “The argument assumes that homosexuality is natural, perhaps even desirable.”

      It is.

      Are you kidding me? Did you really just say that? Are you really continuing an argument that begs the question? And later, when you accuse me of logical fallacies, please remember this.

      If you want to say it’s “not natural,” you must first define “natural.”

      There’s no broad definition of natural that’s going to work for everything. If I’m going to define “natural sexual intercourse,” then I wouldn’t use either criterion you set forth below.

      Do you mean “not done in nature”? A quick google search will list the animals that partake in homosexual activity.

      I wouldn’t use this as a criterion because humans are animals in the physiological sense, but not the ontological one. An animal is a biological machine, responding by instinct to the input from its environment. We can temper and control instincts.

      Since we’re on this topic, let me ask you a question that I promised myself I would ask the next idiot that said homosexuality is okay because animals do it: Animals also eat their young when threatened. If someone breaks into my house with the intent to kill my children and rape my wife, would it be okay if I ate my 16-month old son to spare him from that threat, since that’s what tigers do?

      Does it mean “Doesn’t produce babies”? Then every activity outside of male/female sexual intercourse (including knitting and playing baseball) is unnatural and, by your logic, wrong.

      I really want to stop responding to you at this point, because that is the dumbest, most illogical, most ridiculous statement I have ever heard in my entire life. This statement here, above everything I have ever heard in my life, proves that atheists don’t give a flying naked molerat about context. You do understand what “context” is, right?

      A grouping of words can mean something different depending on who said it, where it fits in the scheme of their whole point, who they’re saying it to, and a host of other things. I already stated I can’t define “natural” in a broad sense, but I can define what is natural for specific situations . That places a contextual limitation on any definition I advance, so simply by having a criterion like “Must produce babies” doesn’t do a lot for us. What has to produce babies? Since knitting and baseball aren’t in the same category of activities as sex (although some men think of baseball during sex to draw the proceedings out longer), then merely having that as a criterion doesn’t automatically exclude knitting or baseball.

      Since we’ve established in the comments to this post that you were in the Box of Rocks group for reading skill and comprehension, I’m pretty sure that you’re not still with me given I was using words way beyond you like “context,” “limitation,” and “on.” But for everyone else who’s following the argument, a good definition of “natural sexual relations” could be cobbled together from sight. Look at a penis. Now look at a vagina. Notice that the penis is long (maybe not in Doc’s case) and cylindrical. The vagina, on the other hand, is like a hole. An inverse cylinder. When the man gets horny, the penis grows in length. When the woman gets horny, the vagina becomes as slippery as Doc’s arguments, and deepens. And, at that point, the penis can be inserted into the vagina with relative ease, and I know many women who will tell you that that first thrust just takes your breath away.

      So it seems as though that would be the natural use of the penis, and the natural use of the vagina. And I didn’t even break a sweat trying to figure that out. But I should retire, I guess, because now that I’ve explained it, I have lost the argument by default.

      You Christians love to throw around the “it’s not natural argument” but you avoid explaining what “natural” means because you’ll instantly lose the argument if you do.

      Nope, and I explained what I meant by natural, so please show me how I lost the argument instantly.

      “But, history tells us that is not the case. Few (if any) cultures accepted homosexuality. ”

      Speaking of fallacies, you are using two: Appeal to Authority and Appeal to Popularity. Just because something is commanded from society leaders, or accepted widely, does not automatically make it right. Many cultures accept stoning girls to death for being raped by a married man, does that make it okay?

      Fair enough. This is the first good point you’ve made!

      But it doesn’t get you anywhere. This is not only true, and you can’t dispute it, but it is supplementary to my main point, which is that homosexuality isn’t natural. If I establish something as true without a logical fallacy (which I have already done with the central argument), then appealing to tradition and citing history to show that it has held in the past is a reasonable way of backing up my point. It isn’t reasonable to make my point this way, and I didn’t make my point using this.

      I doubt you’d bat an eyelash if I argued that murder was wrong, listed the benefits to society of forbidding murder, and then pointing out that nearly every society has forbidden it. What about parent-child incest? If I argued that was sick and supplemented that by pointing out that no society has let it transpire, wouldn’t that be a good way to back up my original stance?

      “it wasn’t just “normal” in any but the most depraved societies”

      What study are you citing here? What is your definition of “depraved”? See how you throw meaningless terms out that you don’t defend with logic?

      ” Marriage has always been between the sexes, a man to a woman (or sometimes man to women or woman to men).”

      Oh hey, another logical fallacy: Appeal to Tradition. Do you Christians know what logical fallacies are?

      Yes. Have you ever stopped to think why marriage has always been between a man and a woman?

      “Dr. Knust wants homosexuality to be okay, she has to prove that it is”

      Again, this is not how logic works. If you’re claiming something is wrong, the burden of proof is on you. We operate by “innocent (right) until proven guilty (wrong),” not the other way around.

      No, the United States operates by that. In the UK, if you’re accused of a crime, you have to prove that you’re innocent, not the other way around.

      When you can clearly see that the penis is intended to penetrate the vagina and that man-woman marriage benefits society by producing offspring to carry on, then going against that requires something more than just you saying, “Well, you can’t prove that it’s wrong.” Circumstantial evidence indicates otherwise. Please tell me why you think it’s right.

      How would somebody prove that something is okay? Can you prove that drawing pictures is okay? If so, how?

      I can’t prove that drawing is okay, but I can give you some circumstantial evidence that proves it is beneficial:
      http://www.tlcinstitute.org/drawingintervention.html
      http://www.arttherapyblog.com/child-art-therapy/how-art-therapy-for-children-works/
      http://tracyskids.org/pdf/Malchiodi-Ch16.pdf
      http://www.narrativeapproaches.com/narrative%20papers%20folder/art_therapy.htm
      All of those links indicate the benefit of using art for therapeutic purposes. So drawing provides a clear benefit. I’m betting you can’t find any clear benefits to homosexual marriage.

      You Christians are like children in adult bodies.

      You don’t even want to know what I think of you at this point.

  3. “Since we’re on this topic, let me ask you a question that I promised myself I would ask the next idiot that said homosexuality is okay because animals do it: ”

    I didn’t say that. I asked you if “done in nature” is your definition of “natural.” If it is, then “It’s unnatural” doesn’t hold up, since it is done in nature. Of course, like a typical theist, you twist that into, “If animals do X, it’s okay for humans to do X,” because you’re a theist, and logic is hard.

    “There’s no broad definition of natural that’s going to work for everything.

    No, you can’t run away from your own charge. You say homosexuality is wrong because it’s unnatural. In order to make this claim, you must define what you mean by unnatural.

    “. The vagina, on the other hand, is like a hole. An inverse cylinder. When the man gets horny, the penis grows in length. When the woman gets horny, the vagina becomes as slippery as Doc’s arguments, and deepens. And, at that point, the penis can be inserted into the vagina with relative ease, and I know many women who will tell you that that first thrust just takes your breath away.”

    Hey, what do you know, EXACTLY like a penis and an anus! There is physical stimulation that occurs with the prostate in the male’s anus, you know. Any gay man (or woman who likes anal) will tell you.

    “Nope, and I explained what I meant by natural”

    Ah, “unnatural sexual action” is your explanation?

    So why is that wrong? Is it equally as wrong as male/female anal or oral sex? Or masturbation? Or use of condoms?

    Saying “It’s unnatural” doesn’t really mean anything if you’re trying to say how it’s wrong.

    I can make the case that chewing gum is an “unnatural use” of your digestive system, since the purpose for saliva is to produce digestive enzymes to break down the food to ease digestion, and your stomach produces pepsin to get ready to take the food in, so when you chew gum and spit it out, you’re not using the digestive system “for its intended purpose.” THerefore, it is “unnatural.” So, is that just as wrong as homosexuality now?

    “I doubt you’d bat an eyelash if I argued that murder was wrong, ”

    Because it harms somebody, and my view is that harming other people is wrong. I don’t care how many civilizations have banned it for how long.

    “Have you ever stopped to think why marriage has always been between a man and a woman?”

    I know exactly why is. Bigots like you who like to think you’re superior to gays.

    ” Please tell me why you think it’s right.”

    See my chewing gum example. Since chewing gum is unnatural, it must be wrong. Prove to me why it’s right.

    “I’m betting you can’t find any clear benefits to homosexual marriage.”

    Of course I can. Homosexual people can marry who they want, and adopt and raise kids. Happiness all around. How is that not a benefit?

    And that’s beside the point. One does not need to prove a benefit or else the thing is “wrong.” My point is that something isn’t “wrong” until you can say why it is. Skipping rocks across a lake has no benefits that you can cite, so is that wrong until proven right?

    “You don’t even want to know what I think of you at this point.”

    You are the most condescending, insulting debater I have ever experienced, so I’ll extend the same to you. Oh, wait, I do know what to think of you: Typical brainwashed theist who insults and twists arguments to defend their baseless beliefs.

  4. Oh, and also, the same “It’s natural because it is easy to do and fits” can be used to defend masturbation and oral sex. The penis fits perfectly in the hand. The mouth is nice and wet to suck on a penis (or a tongue in the vagina). Therefore, masturbation and oral sex among anybody is “natural,” by your own definition.

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