American Growing Pains

There are 5 different kinds of bloggers out there. There are those who blog multiple times a day, there are those who blog on a daily basis, and there are those who blog on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. Then there are two more kinds who don’t follow any particular kind of schedule – those who blog when they have something important to say, and those who used to blog when they had something important to say, but got too busy with life and work and the daily routines of parenthood and church membership and their newly found hobby of knitting, to blog for the last 7 months. This last kind of blogger is a lot more common than you might think. And except for the knitting part, I fall into this last category almost perfectly.

But I’ve started to get all riled up about things lately, and since I can only tell my wife how I feel so many times without getting the “yeah, you said that already” face, my only recourse is to blog about it. So here is my first blog post in over 7 months, and let me warn you…it’s a doozie.

So as you probably heard, this past week Kirk Cameron has been blasted over and over about his response to a question by Piers Morgan on his show on CNN. The question was this: “Do you think homosexuality is a sin?” I’ve watched Kirk’s response, and I totally don’t understand the basis behind this furor.  In case you haven’t seen it, watch it here:

Here are the exact statements that I hear Kirk making:

  • Marriage was defined by God in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve – one man, one woman, for life, and no one should try to re-define marriage
  • Homosexuality is unnatural, detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization
  • Everyone uses a standard of morality to make judgment calls on what is sinful
  • He believes that all people are sinful, and he is at the top of the list, and needs a savior and an overhaul of the heart more than anyone

Here is the only real statement I hear Piers Morgan making:

  • Telling kids that being gay is a sin, that in itself is incredibly destructive and damaging in a country where 7 states now have legalized [gay marriage]

It’s not hard to see that Kirk was making broad statements about the act of homosexuality, using a Biblical standard of morality. Morgan was making a very directed statement at Christians, specifically Kirk Cameron, using a standard of morality that is a minority in this country – only 7 out of 50 states have legalized gay marriage, and he thinks that is enough to say that it’s a sin to tell kids that gay marriage is wrong. Kirk never calls any one person a sinner, but instead says all of humanity is sinful. Morgan points directly at people who are anti-gay marriage, and says they are sinning. So who exactly is being judgmental and intolerant here?

Interestingly, Piers Morgan brings the Kirk Cameron interview up in many of his following interviews. A couple that caught my attention were Lewis Black and Cindy McCain. Here’s Lewis Black:

The points I hear them making:

  • It is not possible to be vocal about your religious values and also be a proponent of freedom for all
  • Homosexuality is not a choice, and science has (apparently) proven this already
  • Kirk Cameron’s response did NOT come across as offensive to Piers Morgan at first
  • Lewis Black knows enough about Christianity to know that being anti-gay is not being a real Christian
  • Christians hate homosexuals

Four things jumped out at me:

First, even Piers Morgan wasn’t offended at Kirk Cameron’s statements to begin with. It sounded a lot like he was saying that he didn’t get offended until others started getting offended. Isn’t that kind of going with the crowd?

Second, Lewis Black considers himself an expert in Christianity (apparently because he’s a Jew). I’ve heard Lewis Black’s views on Judaism and Christianity — see this video, but be warned, it’s filled with profanity. In it, Black points out his views on the Bible, and interestingly at the end, he admits that the Bible defines marriage between one man and one woman. All the same, if Black really knew the Bible as he thinks he does, his view of Christianity would be very different. There are people who spend their entire lives studying the Bible, Biblical culture and the original languages, and their truly expert opinions don’t line up with Black’s.

Third, Morgan makes the generalization that all Christians hate homosexuals. Although some self-proclaimed Christians do hate homosexuals, there are plenty of declared atheists who hate homosexuals, too. Any Biblical Christian wouldn’t hate anyone, because Jesus taught to love – even your enemies! And gays are not our enemies, so loving them isn’t even supposed to be hard. The line is drawn between how we feel about people, and what we can allow to become the moral standard in this country. John 1:17 says that “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”  Christians are to practice both grace and truth as we imitate Christ – showing grace to people, but standing up for Biblical truth. It’s a hard thing to do, which is probably why the world doesn’t see us doing it very well, but it’s the standard by which we should treat homosexuality. We should love the person, but not allow the sin to become the standard in our country.

Fourth, they state multiple times, with conviction, that science has already proven that people are born gay – they have no choice in the matter. But is that really true?  Actually, although there have been some studies that show that there are a few genetic traits that might lead to homosexual tendencies, there is no scientific evidence that homosexuality is 100% genetic (see this article). And how could it be? Thinking in genetic and evolutionary terms, how could the human race continue if homosexuality was passed through our genes? I won’t give you an anatomy/physiology/reproduction lesson, but homosexuality isn’t exactly conducive to making babies.  Just sayin’….

Later Piers Morgan interviews Cindy McCain, wife of Republican Senator (and former presidential candidate) John McCain. Here’s that video:

There’s a lot less to pull from this interview, and Mrs. McCain does stand up for Kirk Cameron’s right to have his beliefs. I thought it was interesting that Mrs. McCain basically says that the reason homosexual couples should have the right to marry is because they already have the right to adopt children. Isn’t that a little backwards? But the thing that stands out the most is Piers Morgan’s statement: “What I don’t like is some of the rhetoric used against the gay community. Whether you agree with them or not, whatever you believe about gay marriage, just don’t use the abusive rhetoric that, in my view, sort of de-humanizes them as a community. I find it ridiculous.”  He is basically saying that the words that Kirk Cameron used (unnatural, detrimental, destructive) were “abusive” and “de-humanizing.” What about the rhetoric used again Kirk Cameron since that interview?

  • GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) made a statement calling Kirk Cameron old-fashioned: “Kirk Cameron sounds even more dated than his 1980s TV character.”
  • Roseanne Barr tweeted that Kirk Cameron is an accomplice to murder: “Kirk or kurt or whatever Cameron is an accomplice to murder with his hate speech.”

These are just two of literally thousands of tweets made since that interview that bash Kirk Cameron and Christians in general. Where’s Piers Morgan when we need him?  We could use him to say on national television that he doesn’t like the abusive rhetoric used against Christians in this country. Of course, that would never come out of his mouth.

In the end, Kirk Cameraon, and almost all Christians, have been labeled intolerant and bigots. Perhaps the intolerant label is correct. We must stand for truth, and we can’t tolerate what is blatantly sinful behavior to become the norm in our culture. But calling us bigots is wrong – that implies hatred for homosexuals, and I don’t think that is the case. I don’t think Kirk Cameron hates anyone – he said as much in his response to all the reactions to his original interview.  He said, “I believe we need to learn how to debate these things with greater love and respect…”  Well said, Kirk. Well said. The worst form of intolerance here is that people can’t tolerate Kirk Cameron having an opinion different than their own.

I didn’t intend for this to become a rant, but I see that it has, and I apologize. I’m sure I’ll get some emotion-strewn comments, and they are welcome (as long as they are clean). So go ahead and tell me…what’s your opinion on all of this?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “American Growing Pains

  1. *****Marriage was defined by God in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve – one man, one woman, for life, and no one should try to re-define marriage*********. I don’t remember them getting married. I don’t believe in Adam and Even in any case.
    ************* Homosexuality is unnatural, detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization**************
    Homosexuality is natural. Always has been, always will be. How is it destructive to anything? I’d say that the heterosexuals are doing just fine what with lust, adultery, fornication, war,…. need I go on?

    **** He believes that all people are sinful, and he is at the top of the list, and needs a savior and an overhaul of the heart more than anyone******
    Then why mention just one section of people who are wired to love their own sex? Let him worry about his own sin.

    I just think that telling people that the way God made them – because being gay is NOT a choice – is wrong and they should somehow not have what everyone else has, is wrong. It causes death and misery. If we all worried about the harm we cause first, and pointed at others second, we’d all be better off, I think.

    God bless

    • Thank you for your comment! Isn’t it great that we can disagree without hating each other?!?

      Just to respond to your comments…

      A formal wedding ceremony isn’t mentioned between Adam and Eve, but using scripture to interpret scripture (like all good theologians do…), there is no doubt that they were considered “married” by God. For a good discussion of what Biblical marriage is, see here. Also, Jesus speaks of Adam and Eve as if they are real people, so to have faith in Jesus is to have faith in what He says to be true.

      How is homosexuality natural? What biological purpose does it serve? According to the naturalist standpoint, everything about us can be explained through natural, biological, and evolutionary terms. For homosexuality to be natural, it would have to be passed through hereditary means…which is impossible if the homosexual person can’t reproduce. The only other way that homosexuality could be passed genetically is through mutations of genes, and any good biologist would tell you that 99.99999… percent of mutations are harmful and detrimental to the survival of an individual or a species. And the ones that aren’t harmful/detrimental only show up in a population if they enhance the chance for survival…which homosexuality does not.

      I agree that heterosexuals are just as destructive to our society as homosexuals…that particular point made by Cameron is a little weak.

      Finally, the reason Kirk Cameron mentioned just one section of people is because he was asked about that one section of people. Piers Morgan didn’t say “Is being a human a sin?”, and Kirk Cameron pointed out homosexuals. Piers Morgan specifically asked about homosexuals…so Kirk Cameron spoke his opinion on that one section of the population. By saying that all people are sinful, and that he is at the top of the list, Cameron WAS worrying about his own sin. He wasn’t pointing to a particular gay person and saying “sinner!” He was saying, look, we’re all sinners. We all need Jesus. Homosexuality is a sin…it’s discussed as a sin in both Old and New Testaments. But so is hatred. Jesus said that if you hate your brother, you are guilty of murder in God’s eyes. That’s a pretty strict standard!!! But because of God’s grace in his offer of forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ, all sinners – homosexuals and heterosexuals – have the opportunity to be saved. Praise be to God!

  2. Welcome back, Jeremy! I’ve taken a blog hiatus as well since moving to FL and getting married and I don’t feel bad about it one bit. I hope all is well with you, your family, and your new little one. :) I must be living in a cave because I didn’t hear about the Kirk Cameron interview until I read your post. I’m glad I waited to read your recap because I think you did an excellent job of hitting all the major points of the debate/debacle. :) See when you get fired up again!

    • Thanks, Katie! And congrats on your semi-recent marriage! I think you can call your marriage “recent” as long as the wedding was in the last year. But I may be wrong…

      Our family is doing well…life has gotten so busy as the girls get older. I don’t think that’s going to change for several years.

      So I guess the big question anyone asks a semi-recent married couple is…when are you going to have a baby?? :) You’ll get tired of that question real quick… :)

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