Last week Anglican Mainstream posted a link to a guest editorial from the NARTH website in the USA written by Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council and a long time friend of NARTH.
Peter was responding to an article in USA Today, April 20 by Jonathan Merritt which criticized the evangelical church in general and the pro-family public policy movement in particular. Merritt said that “Evangelical opposition to . . . ‘the homosexual agenda’ has often been vitriolic and unbalanced by a message of love for our gay neighbors.”
The Editorial Policy of the Anglican Mainstream website “seeks to present material relevant to the vision for biblically faithful Christian faith in the Anglican Communion. Material posted on the Anglican Mainstream site drawn from other sources should not be taken to imply that AM necessarily approves of or agrees with their content.”
In posting Peter Sprigg editorial, AM is presumably presenting material relevant to biblically faithful Christians and agrees broadly with the ideas expressed by him. Sprigg’s ideas are commonplace amongst the pro-life, pro-family, ex-gay, “biblically faithful” movements. Here is a summary of his argument:
Foundational truths about homosexuality are routinely ignored or obscured.
Christians are misinformed that gays have chosen their sexual orientation.
Sexual orientation is an umbrella term for three different things–sexual attractions, sexual behaviour, and sexual self-identification.
People do not “choose” to experience same-sex sexual attractions.
People are not born gay–developmental factors from childhood are at work.
People choose to become sexually active, choose their sexual partners, and choose whether to identify themselves as gay.
Homosexuals are people who choose to engage in homosexual acts.
Homosexuality is voluntary homosexual activity.
Homosexual activists demand public affirmation of their sex lives.
The terms gay and lesbian reinforce the myth that homosexuality is an intrinsic identity.
It is demeaning to define a person as gay based on their sexual conduct.
Conservatives can show respect and love for gay people by defining them not as gay but as human.
No human beings are created to be gay.
It is not homosexuals whose right to express their beliefs that is in jeopardy but those who believe in traditional family values.
No movement is subject to more hateful and vitriolic rhetoric from homosexual activists than the ex-gay movement.
Activists deny outright the existence of ex-gays.
Activists seek to prevent those with unwanted same-sex attractions from having access to the care that they seek.
Care for those with unwanted same-sex attractions might be one of the first victims of non-discrimination laws.
Pro-family movements must resist policies that would amount to governmental affirmation that homosexual conduct is normal, natural, and harmless.
Homosexual conduct is harmful to the people who engage in it, and to society at large.
Homosexual conduct is demonstrably associated with higher rates of sexual promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and child sexual abuse.
The pro-family belief that God’s model is a lifelong, monogamous, heterosexual union and that God desires a better path for his gay friends is more than sufficient to get them labelled as hatemongers and bigots by homosexual activists.
Labels applied to the pro-life movement by homosexual activists are a form of spiritual blackmail and propaganda.
The portrait of the pro-family movement is mostly a caricature drawn by homosexual activists and promoted by the mainstream media.
These ideas, offensive to LGBT people and many faithful Christians are repeated ad nauseam by those claiming to be Biblically faithful and orthodox. As LGBT people are slowly accepted by the Church as people created by God and blessed by God as we are, such ideas come to be seen as extreme prejudice driven by fear. They need to be highlighted not to give them the oxygen of publicity but to enable the poison it spreads to be identified and countered with truth and love.