Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Knee-Jerk Reaction

Just a quick post before I head out to class. I knew I couldn't say "no" to the blog for too long. :)

I was looking at Warren Throckmorton's blog earlier this week and noticed his links to these pieces by both Peter LaBarbera and Matt Barber. I've written about Barber before, and I don't much care for him. I don't know much about LaBarbera, but I doubt I'd be too much a fan of his, either. Both of the men seem to be so virulently opposed to homosexual people that any possible logical arguments they have are overshadowed by polemical statements and sheer ignorance of what it means to be gay (i.e. It's not about sex!)

However, I think there might be a reason behind their negativity that goes much farther simple adherence to Scripture. Here was a quote by Barber late in his piece that caught my attention:

"The sheer mechanics of homosexual conduct very naturally elicits revulsion in most rational folk."

That seems simple and unsurprising, but it got me thinking. For one, he pretty much implies that if you don't have "revulsion" towards gay sex, then you most likely aren't "rational." I guess that means he thinks if one is actually attracted (or maybe simply tempted) by gay sex, and certainly if one participates in it, then that person is inherently irrational. Seeing your opponents as inherently irrational is nothing new, and both sides of the political arena do it. However, I don't think it's really Christ-like. More than that, I don't think one should hold up their "knee-jerk" reaction to something as the starting point for their belief that it is wrong.

It's not hard to see something as wrong when you naturally are grossed-out by it. But to build a variety of political, Scriptural, and ethical arguments around that "knee-jerk" is irresponsible. I've happened to notice that pundits who admit to being repulsed by homosexuality tend not to be the most tempered or nuanced about the subject. Whereas people like the folks at Exodus -- like them or not -- do seem to guard their words a bit more, despite the fact that both groups disagree with homosexual behavior for the supposed same religious reasons.

Like I said, just a thought. I don't think we should disqualify folks with a "knee-jerk" reactions towards homosexuality from commenting on GLBT issues, but we don't need to be holding up those reactions as the basis for good political or religious argument. People, at best, need to be calm, cool, respectful, and objective. Maybe I'm just hoping for too much here. :)

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