Are homosexuals made of a higher moral fiber than the average heterosexual? That seems to be the consensus of many Americans in light of the “coming out” party of star University of Missouri football player Michael Sam.
First, let me be clear. I am a conservative, evangelical, Bible-believing Christian that embraces the biblical standard for sex and marriage. I am well aware that there are at least a couple of factions ready to debate me on the subject of whether or not homosexuality is wrong, should be tolerated, or is a lifestyle that should be celebrated.
There is the crowd that rejects Scripture all together and the notion that any system of morality is superior to another. Then there is the neo-orthodox “Christian” existentialist faction that embraces a more liberal interpretation of the Bible, or simply concludes, as one pastor shared with me, “The Apostle Paul was wrong on some matters.”
Ultimately the debate with these two factions (or worldviews) and the plethora of sub-factions that they represent is not a debate over homosexuality. No, instead it is a discussion of the relevance, nature, and authority of Scripture. I love to engage in that debate. Like the Apostle Paul in the Athenian marketplace, I have no desire to draw swords with those who disagree with me. But I do desire, with compassion, to give an apologetic for the faith “once for all delivered to the saints.” (1 Peter 3:15; Jude 3)
That’s not what I’m doing with this post.
But suppose for a moment that we remove the lens of my conservative evangelical presuppositions.Let’s just say, for the sake of discussion, that I agree with one of the more liberal factions that I previously mentioned. Would I not, given these new presuppositions, conclude that homosexuality is no more or no less moral than heterosexuality? But that isn’t the vibe I’m getting from the response of the media, the majority of fans, or even the president of the United States concerning the announcement of Michael Sam.
Let me explain. I shared an apartment with a group of fellow seminarians in Raleigh, North Carolina for a few years. At first we lived in North Raleigh next to another group of heterosexual males who did not share our biblical presuppositions.
These neighbors worked hard in the Research Triangle Park area, seemed sociable, enjoyed throwing back a few beers on occasion, and could be caught checking out the girls from time to time. Like most young men, even Christians, they appeared to struggle with a lust for the OPPOSITE sex.
Eventually my roommates and I moved to a different apartment, across town near Carter-Finley Stadium. Awesome amenities – and for three of us, closer to the young ladies we would eventually marry!
However, at this new location a group of homosexual malesmoved into the same building one floor below our apartment. Obviously, they also did not share our biblical presuppositions. And, like our former neighbors,they also worked hard in the Triangle Park area, seemed sociable, and enjoyed throwing back a few beers on occasion. But instead of catching them checking out the pretty ladies in the apartment complex, they could be overheard making sexually crude comments toward one another. They appeared to struggle with a lust for the SAME sex, even outside their group.
Here’s my point. If I lay aside my evangelical Christian beliefs, I assume I would see no difference between these two groups of neighbors. In fact, I would not even be able to assume that my roommates and I were any better off for holding one another accountable in the pursuit of practicing abstinence until marriage.
So why is it that many who argue that I should lay aside such presuppositions and judgments seem to be, whether intentional or not, arguing that homosexuals are superior moralists?
Why do I make such a claim?
Heterosexual men (regardless of their view of Scripture) acknowledge that they struggle with lust for the opposite sex. The bulk of counseling material that I have read suggests that around 90% of heterosexual men admit that they struggle with lust. (I usually assume that the other 10% struggle with lying.) They will usually admit that they have no business in a locker room or dressing with beautiful females, even if some of those females do not like men. They also admit, if married, that their wives would not want women in a dressing room with them at the local spa. But heterosexual male athletes are being asked to accept homosexuals into the locker room. I guess homosexuals have it all under control.
The assumption that gay men have better control over their lust is not one I could accept even if I were not a Christian. Based on my observations, friendships, and life experiences, I would say the struggle with lust is about the same for homosexuals as it is for heterosexuals. Others would argue that homosexuals are even more promiscuous and prone to sexual addictions.
Therefore, if a woman is not a “heterophobe” for not wanting straight men in her locker room, why is a straight man a homophobe for not wanting gay men in the locker room? Obviously, the assumption is that homosexuals have a better check on their lusts.
The intention of this post is not to argue for the conservative Christian worldview. That’s another post for another day. I simply wanted to question the hypocrisy I would observe if I were not a Christian. I would either conclude that it is not homophobic to ask that gay men not share a locker room with straight men, or I would conclude that men and women should all have enough self control to share locker rooms, restrooms, showers, etc. Let’s just all become naturists, right. After all, if homosexuals can keep their lusts under control in a locker room with the same sex, heterosexuals can keep their lusts under control in a locker room with the opposite sex. Unless, of course, homosexuals are morally superior.