Recently I wrote a post about what non-Christians get wrong when talking to conservative believers about same sex marriage. Thanks in large part to Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's rather Pat Robertson-esque remarks about God's judgment, I get to turn the tables. Here then is a primer on how Christians ought not address the issue with non-Christians.
We can begin with Dan Cathy's remarks. Unless Mr. Cathy has now joined Westboro Baptist Church, he will have a difficult time accounting for all the sins in America that God hasn't judged us for. Let me be clear, I'm pretty sure Westboro has exactly two convictions, neither of which are related to Christianity: we are media whores and we love money. What they have managed to do, though, is provide a blueprint for Mr. Cathy to follow. God's judgment is everywhere, and not all of it is related to homosexuality. Soldiers dying in war are a result of God's judgment. Crime. Porn. AIDS. Just connect every ill to God's judgment, and voila, you have the perfect method for insisting that people follow the rules your tribe thinks are important to avoid God's judgment. The criteria are nebulous, but what really matters here is power and having the world the way my tribe prefers it.
Excursus: To show how abhorrent this practice can become, one only need read the heinously stupid, offensive, and sexist comments by one Jared Wilson, a self-flaggelating Calvinist with an abiding hostility to women couched as righteousness. As part of his diatribe against the shitty 50 Shades of Grey (the only thing we agree on is that modifier), Wilson quotes an even more odious Wilson, Douglas Wilson, who once wrote that rape is God's "general judgment" on America for abandoning our god-ordained gender roles, including women submitting to their husbands' sexual desires. What is clear about this tactic is that there is simply no way for a Christian to convince any nonChristian of any kind of connection between what is happening and "God's judgment," nor can they connect their assertions to any tenable biblical position.
Homosexuality is not natural. Well, the people engaging in gay sex aren't androids, so it's clearly part of the natural world. You may mean it's against natural law, but then you'd have to explain why animals do it as well. Then you could say it's against god's natural order, and I'd ask you why man on man was prohibited in Leviticus and not woman on woman. (This is the case, by the way. The prohibition is gender specific.) Is lesbianism part of god's natural order? That would make me feel so much better about certain porn sites.
Homosexual sex is anatomically improper. This is a mechanical argument. Here's all I know to say: they seem to enjoy it, and straight couples enjoy similar experiences, so unless you're part of the "vajayjay only" movement, leave this one alone.
Homosexual sex doesn't lead to procreation. No shit. But it does lead to recreation. Again, unless you're part of the "ovulation only" movement, you probably ought to leave this one alone as well. I should also point out that many people don't give a single shit about having kids. To say that it's improper because it doesn't lead to childbirth is to confuse pragmatics with aesthetics or biological function with physio-emotional activity. Unless you can demonstrate that it's immoral, you're making an argument about preference.
Homosexual sex is immoral. There it is. Trot out the verses from Leviticus. You'll need to pretend God doesn't order the execution of homosexuals (Lev. 20:13). You'll also need to pretend lesbianism doesn't count (Lev. 18:22). You'll then need to explain all the prohibitions from the holiness code (Lev. 17-26) that are no longer considered immoral. And finally, you'll need to realize you're talking to people who don't believe your magic book is magic.
That's the critical issue here, folks. People like me who don't believe the Bible is inspired will only shake our heads at you when you pick and choose verses from your magic book while you happily ignore hundreds of commandments from the same book. Even if you followed every jot and tittle of the law (that's Bible talk for you pagans), I still wouldn't believe the book is binding on people because I don't believe in the inspiration of your book. No "rule" in the Bible is binding on anyone. Christians who think the rules are binding are loathe to actually follow them, but when it comes to an issue of power, politics, or cultural control, they feel absolutely free to apply rules with no hermeneutical method save preference.
God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for homosexual sex. Here's where ignorance of your own text gets you, Christians. It would help if you actually read the damn book. In Ezekiel 16:49-50, the prophet chronicles the sins of Sodom: overfed, unconcerned, haughty, contempuous of the poor and needy, and committing abominations. There's that word. What is clear here is that Ezekiel doesn't list homosexuality, but a Christian will be quick to jump on abominations. Two things, read back through the holiness code to see how many abominations there are, many of which will shock you for their utter banality, and then recognize how hospitality customs functioned (function) in the Middle East. The greatest sin of Sodom was that her inhabitants intended to rape visitors to the city. It was an egregious offense to treat a visitor badly, but to consider sexual violence against them, male or female, would certainly qualify as an abomination.
I fully expect Christians to still use these passages as if someone somewhere will finally be convinced that God hates homosexuality. The odds are good that if anyone is converted by this shclock, the next obvious question ought to be "When do we start executing them?" After all, isn't consistency warranted here?