Plenty of rational people remain befuddled at how we got to the point of having same-sex marriage imposed upon the country. It still “doesn’t make sense”. Past articles here have been written about some of the delusions in the pop culture of our time that have led us into this “Twilight Zone” type of existence. The process of mental erosion and manipulation has really been a long one and is too involved to chronicle in depth or in one post, but here are some of the major tools that were used to put us where we are today. Hopefully it will be instructive as these tactics will continue to be used on this and other subjects.
Trick 1: Emotionalism
The average person is not taught formal logic, argumentation, or philosophy to a meaningful degree. That leaves the door wide open for Trick 1. Emotionalism defies logic and other rational processes which is why rational people are so perplexed when they find someone immersed in it.
A typical scenario is this: a parent has a child who suddenly announces that he/she is “gay” and the emotional heartstrings begin to be played. The parent doesn’t want to think of their precious child as a sinner under God’s condemnation for engaging in homosexual acts so the line is drawn: choose the child or choose the Church. It has caused division in homes and churches because the parent’s or parents’ emotional attachment to the child is greater than their commitment to Scripture.
Similarly, a homosexual person who goes to a church and has a bad experience sets the stage for another emotional tug. This experience is used to indict the whole of the church as being mean to homosexuals in general. This move can then be used to justify shifting the focus to “bad church people” while ignoring church doctrine on the matter and their own bad behavior. Furthermore, we are not allowed to be reminded that other churches and church people are “good” to homosexuals. That card never gets played. Instead, people insulate and comfort themselves with a self-justifying cocoon padded with sympathizers.
The emotional attachment we have to people, be they friends or family, or our instinctive affection for simple common courtesy or an extension of love and care to a person cannot be allowed to outweigh what Scripture actually says and what historical Church doctrine has been. The call to Christ is a call to the crucifixion of one’s self to the lusts of the flesh and to a conformity to Christ. The things that mean the most to us, friends and family, and the things that tempt us have to be killed and killed again in this conformation process. Jesus knew the cost of following him was high in this regard. He knew that opposition and persecution would be found in governmental authorities and in our closest associations.
For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” – Matthew 10:35-38
The real test of fidelity to Jesus is when you have to confront your family members. That is a test that all too many people have not wanted to endure. Scripture takes a back seat to worldly, emotional attachment. The modern atheist movement has benefited greatly by playing upon the “emotional problem of suffering” and the homosexual movement has also had great success by appealing to frail, human emotions.
Trick 2: Narrowly Focus
By narrowly focusing on one thing, people on the margins can be swayed to an otherwise illogical position. How often have you heard someone say, “It’s about equality” when they were advocating for same-sex marriage? It was a common refrain. Equality is a buzzword with an emotional ring to it. It appeals to our sense of fair play. Never mind the fact that a male/female pairing is not the same as a male/male or female/female pairing in gender or procreative activity or any number of other factors. That observation is never allowed. If it is raised then it is mocked and dismissed before the focus is shifted to inheritance or benefits or the objector is bullied with accusations of being a bigoted, unfair homophobe or some other baseless charge.
Another example deconstructs marriage to focus on one element. “It’s about love.” Really? It is as if “love” were the only prerequisite for a marriage. What about the fact that all cultures throughout history have recognized that marriage was fundamentally a male/female bonding with the general intent to produce children? The male/female component absolutely must be dismissed by homosexual advocates because it would automatically rule them out by definition. So it is ignored. The same is done for procreation because that would also immediately rule out homosexuals. After all, how can you deny two people who love each other and want to commit to a lifelong, monogamous relationship the “right” to do that? You can’t unless you want to be labeled as a bigoted, unfair homophobe again.
“Monogamy” is another canard trotted out, as in the paragraph above. Again, marriage is skinned down to nothing but love and monogamy. Why? Because these are ideal goals of marriage which appeal to heterosexuals in our culture. It puts them on empathetic grounds with the poor, struggling homosexual couple who just want to be like the heterosexuals but, by some stroke of bad luck, they can’t be. On the surface, it seems that homosexuals can love and be monogamous, too, just like heterosexual couples. The truth of the matter, though, is that most of the men aren’t and the women are not as faithful as their heterosexual counterparts. Again, the attempt is to match a simplistic aspect of marriage to something that homosexuals could possibly achieve.
“Lifelong” is another adjective often used to achieve the same goal. To hear them tell it, homosexual advocates want that lifelong, committed relationship that heterosexuals have. The reality is that very, very few of them aspire to or achieve this. I discuss that in more detail in another article, but the upshot is that the vast majority of same-sex relationships do not last very long at all. An average of five years would probably be a rather charitable number overstating the reality.
Trick 3: Screw-up Scripture
Since most people do not spend a lot of time studying Scripture and the higher scholarship related to it, they are, again, easy targets for this Trick. Activists like to pretend that there is some legitimate debate going on in the biblical academic world regarding what the Bible teaches or the Church has historically taught. The reality is something rather different. There are a handful of people with some level of academic credentials that try to make waves, mostly for public consumption in attempts to muddy the waters for the uninformed. The mainstream of biblical academics realizes that the Bible is firmly against homosexuality and tomes like Robert Gagnon’s The Bible and Homosexual Practice really have settled the issue for all but the most die-hard supporters. While there are some unorthodox supporters in the higher halls of academia, most of the weakness is found among the laity and the pastoral class where scholarship is not always as highly valued as personal relationships (see Trick 1: Emotionalism above).
By confusing people they attempt to de-legitimatize Scriptural authority. A very fine example of this deceptive approach is this article with the subtitle, “Christians need to accept that Jesus was sometimes wrong—in fact, he might even want us to.” Oddly enough, the author acknowledges that Jesus would disapprove of homosexuality, but he then goes on to build a faulty argument as to why Jesus was wrong for us today! The mental gymnastics people will go through to condone what the Bible clearly condemns is stunning. But the uninformed youngster today might well read this and think that it is a wonderful, open-minded, contemporary, relevant, and scholarly approach to Scripture. In reality, it is simply leading people astray and causing division in the Church – which is the main objective.
Trick 4: Go Fix Your Own Sins First
The first time I was told that the church needed to go solve all its other sin problems before it got around to homosexuality I was dumbfounded. The absolute illogic of it was beyond comprehension. However, it was not a plot aimed at the logical person. It was aimed at the guilt-ridden person. People who feel inherently guilty because they recognize their own sinfulness can be convinced that they should not condemn anyone else’s sin until they fix their own personal “sin problem”.
Nowhere in Scripture do you find such a concept or statement. Everyone is sinful and everyone must repent and then control themselves so that they don’t fall back into their old ways of sin. And, like it or not, we are required to hold each other accountable for our sin. That is a brief description of what Scripture actually teaches.
The goal of this approach is to disarm people and remove them from the battlefront. A person who is sidelined by guilt will be at least tolerant of and perhaps become accepting of homosexuality.
Trick 5: False Portraits
Presenting a false portrait of homosexual life is crucial to gaining acceptance, especially among the young. The brief outline of homosexual life that I gave in my previous article tells us that it is an unstable, dysfunctional, and unhappy life. But you would never know that through TV and movie portrayals. They don’t talk about the drug abuse, the physical abuse, the cheap and tawdry sex, or the mental anguish. Sure, the heterosexual community has such problems as well but within the homosexual community they are multiplied many times over – especially for the men! The typical movie or TV portrayal will be a positive, funny, likable, and intelligent image which has the intention or result of leaving the viewer with only good feelings regarding the homosexual character. It does not show the man drinking because he is distressed or going home to a boyfriend or picking up a stranger at a gay bar for quick sexual satisfaction. The seedy side may make a few appearances on obscure cable channels but it does not make mainstream broadcasts or movies as a rule.
Trick 6: The Tolerance Shell Game
This was a good one. Cry out for tolerance then engage in intolerant behavior. Much like the guilt in Trick 4, this had the effect of causing churches to be more accommodating to homosexuals. It led to the ordination of people with same-sex attraction who were not acting upon that attraction. It seemed so reasonable, compassionate, and tolerant. After all, don’t we all struggle with sin that we don’t act upon? Sure! Churches began to liberalize even more in order to “welcome” homosexuals into their midst. Then somewhere along the way we began to see calls for ordaining practicing homosexual ministers, affirming homosexual couples, and then talking about conducting homosexual marriages. Any appeal to Scriptural authority was painted as bigotry, homophobia, “on the wrong side of history”, and so forth per Trick 3. Emotional appeals were ladled out as in Trick 1. Talk of equality, love and other narrowly focused parallels were tossed into the mix as per Trick 2 in order to “flood the zone” and here we are. We have same-sex marriage, practicing homosexuals ordained into the clergy, general confusion about Scripture among the uneducated and uncaring, and division within the church and the country. I’m reminded of Aesop’s fable of the Farmer and the Snake.
ONE WINTER a Farmer found a Snake stiff and frozen with cold. He had compassion on it, and taking it up, placed it in his bosom. The Snake was quickly revived by the warmth, and resuming its natural instincts, bit its benefactor, inflicting on him a mortal wound. “Oh,” cried the Farmer with his last breath, “I am rightly served for pitying a scoundrel.”
The greatest kindness will not bind the ungrateful.
Aesop’s Fables. Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Chicago; Belford. Clarke & Co. 1887.
And so it has been with the “tolerance” of homosexuals in the church. There was not an attitude of gratitude. They seized upon the opportunity afforded to them and continued their push for normalization. If one could not see beforehand that the goal was to change the church not to fit in and learn to abide by its doctrines, certainly it is clear now that this was and still is the ultimate goal for the activists. The “scoundrel” came in among us feigning calls for mercy and pity in order to waylay the merciful, kind, and unsuspecting. They played our Christian charity against us. It was a crafty move worthy of the serpent of Genesis 3.
Homosexual advocacy has arguably had its greatest success by circumventing the critical thinkers and appealing to forms of emotion and deception. Young people, who are often either not interested in such topics or haven’t had the education or maturity to think them through, are soft targets for these forms of manipulation for gay affirmation.
When I was in my young twenties and the topic of homosexual marriage was raised I was opposed to it on religious grounds and on the grounds of gender non-complementarity. Beyond that I was pretty much indifferent. It seemed like a silly idea. Nobody would ever really want to do such a thing and certainly the country would not tolerate it. It was ridiculous and laughable. At that time I really did not recognize the harm involved in homosexuality to the homosexual person nor did I think in terms of children, adoption, benefits, or other public policy matters. Even the idea that it would be an assault on religious freedoms never crossed my mind. I would probably have been very “live and let live” on the subject then. But as it has developed over my lifetime, my personal experiences with being married and raising four children, my religious education, my experiences with homosexual friends and family, my awareness of public policy implications, my observations on history, and so forth my positions have matured which has hardened my opposition to anything affirming homosexuality. Maturity has its benefits. How young people today will shape up remains to be seen. We can certainly learn some lessons from history in order to be more aware of the Tricks and better set to counteract them.