Friday, November 23, 2012

The Wrong Side of History

(Note: I don’t necessarily endorse any the websites behind the hyperlinks that follow.  The last source at the close of this post also is not for the squeamish, but it is also a poignant reminder of exactly what it is that we are talking about here and how the Scriptures could treat homosexuality as being something less than perfect.  Caveat emptor, and all apologies if two hundred other bloggers have already made the same point that I make below.)

“The Wrong Side of History” is a phrase that was used repeatedly in 2012: one of those phrases that people suddenly pick up on and end up using ad nauseum.  In the broadcast and information media it was used most often in favor of efforts to legalize same-sex marriage, as it were.  For example, in the month of May the phrase was in vogue after Amendment One was passed in the Tar Heel State.  It was followed by Shepard Smith’s infamous usage of the same phrase during one of Smith’s many broadcasts on Fox News Channel where the man cannot keep his opinion to himself.

So there it is: people who oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage (as if such a phrase were not oxymoronic) are on the wrong side of history.  Translation: Everybody else has already run and jumped off the cliff, so why don’t you conservatives get with the program already and do the same?  Alternate translation: Humanity only grows wiser and wiser with the passing of time and with every new era; so you will be proven in the future to be unwise or to be barbarians.

Okay, I’ll play Shepard Smith’s game.  I would really hate to be on the wrong side of history; I really would.  And because I do not want to be on the wrong side of history, I hereby announce that I will not do anything to esteem or dignify homosexuality; in fact, this means that I may also find myself actively opposing so-called same-sex marriage on the grounds of benevolence vis-à-vis biblical teaching about sexuality.  After all, people talk so much about history, but have they already forgotten the history of the Western world when it comes to homosexuality?  To quote Wikipedia:

It was expected and socially acceptable for a freeborn Roman man to want sex with both female and male partners, as long as he took the penetrative role.

However, we later read in the same entry:

Attitudes toward same-sex behavior changed as Christianity became more prominent in the Empire. The modern perception of Roman sexual decadence can be traced to early Christian polemic.[192] Apart from measures to protect the liberty of citizens, the prosecution of homosexual acts as a general crime began in the 3rd century of the Christian era when male prostitution was banned by Philip the Arab. A series of laws regulating homosexual acts were promulgated during the social crisis of the 3rd century, from the statutory rape of minors to gay marriage.[193]

By the end of the 4th century, passive homosexual acts under the Christian Empire were punishable by burning.[194] "Death by sword" was the punishment for a "man coupling like a woman" under the Theodosian Code.[195] It can be argued, however, that legislation under Christian rule was an extension of traditional Roman views on appropriate gender roles, and not an abrupt shift based on Christian theology. It is in the 6th century, under Justinian, that legal and moral discourse on homosexuality becomes distinctly Christian:[196] all same-sex acts, passive or active, no matter who the partners, were declared contrary to nature and punishable by death.[197] Homosexual behaviors were pointed to as causes for God's wrath following a series of disasters around 542 and 559.[198]

Oh, but it’s Wikipedia.  Can’t trust anything they say, right?  To the contrary; the pendulum of history swings in both directions.

No comments: