Case Against the Case for Gay Marriage, part 1
David, an atheist who is dedicated to exposing Christianity for what it is, has begun a new blog that I discovered quite by accident.
It’s actually a funny story, which I’ll tell even though it has nothing to do with the actual argument that I’ll be critiquing from the site. I was trimming my RSS feed and noticed that, very long ago, John W. Loftus had started a blog called Counter-Apologetics Master Program. He intended to create a degree program to combat Christian apologetics. I noticed that it hadn’t been updated in a long time, so I visited the site to see if it was even still active.
Turns out, the blog address had been abandoned by Loftus, but claimed by David. David started his blog as a counterpoint to Matt Slick’s ministry CARM, even calling his blog by the same acronym. Probably to get accidental traffic.
So, anyway, I literally wandered into this by total accident.
In a deleted post, David challenges CARM to reply to his argument in favor of gay marriage. I don’t know if David deleted the post because it’s a terrible argument, or because he’s attempting to refine it. However, I’m still going to answer it, a piece at a time, in this series.
Even though I’m not affiliated with CARM.
David lays out the following argument in favor of gay marriage:
- Homosexuality is not unnatural.
- Neither homosexuality nor its acts have been proven inferior to heterosexuality or its acts.
- Marriage is a basic human right.
- Homosexual unions are unfairly not being given full and equal rights as heterosexual unions.
- Therefore, homosexual marriages with full and equal rights should be legalized and put into effect.
Premise (1) requires a definition of “natural,” which David does:
By “natural” I refer to what our evolution has taught us to do. In other words, homosexuality is natural because we have been built in by evolution to have sexual attractions, and some, homosexual orientation.
This entire premise hangs on two demonstrably false prongs:
- If it is part of our nature, we should embrace it.
- If a lot of other people do it, it’s perfectly fine.
I agree that we have built-in proclivities, such as sexual attraction. And I agree that homosexual orientation is a possible consequence, but it doesn’t automatically follow that any built-in proclivity is “good.” “Natural” and “good” are not the same.
Alcoholism (indeed many addictions) is also “built-in” by the same mechanisms that give us homosexuality. Which, by this definition, is “natural.” However, I hardly think that they could be called “good.”
In other words, the question of homosexuality isn’t one of “natural,” but one of morality. But let’s hold on to thoughts about “nature” for just one moment — I want to come back there because it is really important.
Next, we have examples of animal species inclined to homosexuality. Well, that’s a nonstarter. That’s a bit like this post where I recounted every talk I’ve ever had with an employee about tardiness. The employee always gave me an angry litany of other people who are “always late.” So what? A few people are “always late,” does that mean it’s now okay to be late? Of course not! Two wrongs don’t make a right.
But pointing to animal behavior for justification is a serious slippery-slope. Let’s illustrate:
- My mom saw a dog eat its own poop.
- Hamsters, tigers, and other animals eat their young when they feel threatened.
- Praying mantis females kill their sex partners and continue to have sex with them as they die.
- Turkey vultures crap on their legs in order to stay cool.
- Komodo dragons flirt by vomiting or pitching a loaf in front of potential mates.
- Since David mentioned that monkeys (our closest relatives) are inclined to homosexuality, I would like to point out that they also eat the ticks they pick off of each other.
Now, since the animals do it, are those behaviors okay? Because I don’t think I’d get laid tonight if I flirted with my wife Komod0-dragon-style. But that’s just a guess.
I think that refutes the idea of using animals as our basis for comparison. But I’m feeling particularly vicious today, so instead of just refuting it, I want to outright demolish it. So …
Scientists who study animal life are called zoologosts. They have recorded 20,000 species of fish, 6,000 species of reptiles, 9,000 birds, 1,000 amphibians, and 15,000 species of mammals. And, although there are a million named species of insects, scientists estimate that there could be another million waiting to be discovered and named! (source)
David says that 1,500 species of animals are inclined to homosexuality. According to the quote, we have discovered approximately 1,051,000 species of animals. That means 0.143% of species practice homosexuality. How is homosexuality “normal” by this definition? I thought we were going with a “majority rules” kind of thing, since 1,500 species practice it.
Of course, to be kind, perhaps we’re only talking about mammals. In which case, we still have a paltry 10%.
Sorry, in either case, you can’t call it “normal.” It’s very abnormal in the animal kingdom!
Therefore, this whole premise is false. Just saying “a lot of other species do it” fails hardcore because homosexuality is extraordinarily rare in the animal kingdom — however you want to slice it.
Let’s return to the question of nature in conclusion. I’m not disagreeing with the premise of homosexuality being inborn, or a part of our nature. What I’m saying is that it can be immoral and also part of our nature. Jesus himself has said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mk 8:34). This means that Jesus is asking us to deny what we are (sinners for all, homosexual for some) in order to be his disciple. He’s not asking us to embrace our nature, but to reject it.
Posted on September 7, 2011, in Apologetics, God, Heresy, Marriage, Morality, Religion, Sin and tagged gay marriage, heterosexual unions, homosexual marriages, homosexual orientation, homosexual unions, homosexuality, sexual attractions. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.