Homosexuality, Abortion, and thoughts on tolerance
“My colleague Helga Kuhse and I suggest that a period of twenty-eight days after birth might be allowed before an infant is accepted as having the same right to life as others.”
“Rats are indisputably more aware of their surroundings, and more able to respond in purposeful and complex ways to things they like or dislike, than a fetus at ten or even thirty-two weeks gestation.”
“The calf, the pig, and the much-derided chicken come out well ahead of the fetus at any stage of pregnancy, while if we make the comparison with a fetus of less than three months, a fish would show more signs of consciousness.”
“Characteristics like rationality, autonomy and self-consciousness…make a difference. Infants lack these characteristics. Killing them, therefore, cannot be equated with killing normal human beings.”
Stephen Pinker, from Rethinking Life and Death and Writings on an Ethical Life
“No one is born gay. The idea is ridiculous. Homosexuality is an adaptation, not an inborn trait.”
-Camille Paglia, lesbian activist
In a recent report by the Australia Institute titled “Mapping Homophobia in Australia, “we are told that 62 percent of evangelical Christians are homophobic. The evidence? People were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement, “I believe that homosexuality is immoral.” If they agreed, they were classified as homophobic. Basically, there was no moral engagement of the complexities surrounding human sexuality, proclivity, or disposition, but merely a label used to brand an entire class of people with the supreme shame: intolerance.
Again: Millions call themselves “pro-choice” (which we know is an intellectual pose for pro-abortion) in the matter of abortion. But that is coherent for them, and why? Well, namely, because to them the idea of abortion is a morally neutral subject, and therefore the choice is devoid of moral significance except for its availability to the sovereign freedom of the individual will. Is it any wonder that through science we can help to generate life in the womb, and through the same science can kill a child about to come from the womb, with no moral differentiation? Its all about relative choice and opinion. Autonomy.
Once again, we turn to the social critic Camille Paglia for a stinging indictment of the modern homosexual movement:
“For gays to demand that sincere Christians cease lobbying Washington about the increasing liberal drift of government policy shows colossal historical amnesia. For pity’s sake, it was the flamboyant, thunderous activism of evangelical Protestant ministers in the 19th century that powered the abolitionist movement and led to the end of slavery in the United States. (Of course, these massively documented facts were concealed in Steven Spielberg’s Liberal Hollywood Lite version of “Amistad.”)…
Similarly, eloquent Protestant ministers like Martin Luther King Jr. And Jesse Jackson have been central to the modern Civil Rights Movement, which secured voting rights for African Americans and opened the way to the election of a rising number of black politicians at the local, state and federal levels. So gays should quit whining like female dogs (obscenity removed) about Southern Baptists exercising their constitutional right to free speech about homosexuality, which is indeed condemned by the Bible, despite the tortuous casuistry of so many self0interested parties, including clerics. I have been warning and warning for years that the insulting disrespect shown by gay activists to religion—which has been going on for 20 years virtually unchecked on TV talk shows, with their biased liberal hosts—would produce a backlash over time….
As a libertarian, I believe that government must stay out of our private lives. As an atheist, I believe that government has no business sanctifying the unions of some persons (heterosexuals) but not others (homosexuals), particularly when certain benefits (such as employer-sponsored spousal health-insurance) flow to one group only.
As a scholar, however, I am troubled by the provincialism and amorality of the gay male world, when compared to the vastness of philosophical perspective provided by orthodox religion—or even by ancient paganism, which honored nature. And as a lesbian, I’m sick and tired of the gay rights movement being damaged by the cowardly incapacity for self-examination of many gay men.”
What I find to be odd is what Ms. Paglia calls the colossal historical amnesia. I also find it interesting that civil rights are somehow equated with homosexual rights. This is clearly a pose. Now, the left and specifically the homosexual camp, is quick to lump all conservative Christians in with Westboro Baptist Church; however, if I lumped all gays in with child molesters would that be “tolerated?” No.
Let us explore for just a moment some of the virtues of Secular Humanism or Atheism (which are for all intents and purposes, the virtues of the left and of the homosexual movement). Take the idea of the individual self-worth or the idea of anti-slavery. These are clearly ideas that the left hold dear.
Now, the idea of self-worth is very important; however, is this purely a virtue of the left? When we look back into ancient civilization, we see the emergence of our culture from both Jerusalem and Athens. Let us first look at Athens. Take the Greeks and comb through their society and you will be hard pressed to find evidence for the importance of the individual. We are all aware of the parents taking the sick child out on the hillside and depositing it there over night, only to return in the morning to see if it had lived. This wasn’t even the crime. The crime was that the great thinkers of the day, namely, Plato and Aristotle, knew about this, and treated it with an unwavering equanimity. You could say it was a way of life. Look at the Romans—if parents had a daughter and preferred a son, they could discard the daughter and try again.
What is specifically Christian or Western about the idea of self-worth? Well, namely, the idea of treating others the way you would like to be treated. It wasn’t until Jesus arrived on the scene and began to preach His message of unconditional love that the idea of self-worth became a virtue embraced by mankind. The secular, reason-based Greeks did not discover this. I posit that it was brought into the world via Jerusalem and not Athens.
Now what about the idea of being anti-slavery? Well, this is not difficult to sift through if one has even a requisite understanding of history. Until the 19th Century, slavery was a worldwide institution. Orlando Patterson, the anthropologist points this out in his writings, as does Eugene Genovese. Slavery needed no defenders, and why? Well, because it had no critics. Now, the left will say things like, “Christians are responsible for slavery in the United States.” They have devoted long books to the subject. Those books require many pages for a reason. It takes a lot of ink and a lot of paper to do that much history revising. The truth is, Christianity, and specifically Christianity of the evangelical stripe were responsible for the beginning of the abolitionist movement. The idea that one should not rule over another man without his consent is from Christian doctrine. This was eventually incorporated as the framework of our Democracy in the United States.
I think however; we can learn a lot about the slavery issue by studying the debates between Lincoln and Douglas. Lincoln took the anti-slavery position, while Douglas took the liberal, “pro-choice” position. Basically, Douglas said, you should let the states choose what is good for them. Leave their autonomy intact. At one point, Douglas even said he was “personally opposed” to it. At the same time, Douglas was hesitant to impose his moral views on the new territories. Lincoln basically said, if Negroes are like hogs, then the pro-choice position is right. He then went on to say that if they were human beings, that it would be grotesquely evil to treat them like hogs, to buy and sell them as merchandise.
It is interesting that many “pro-choice” advocates do not like to be called “pro-abortion.” They say they are instead, personally opposed. Well, if you ask them for a reason why they are personally opposed, the answer is predictable. There is only one reason to be personally opposed to abortion. One would be opposed only if they felt that the fetus was more than simply a random collection of cells—in fact, they believe it is a human being.
Is it a hog or a human?
Richard Dawkins has been quoted as saying “With respect to those meanings of “human” that are relevant to the morality of abortion, any fetus is less human than an adult pig.” Well this is telling. Here is a man of the left at least being honest. If only they all we so honest.
Why does the left push the issue of abortion? Well, because they know it is important if they are going to continue the culture of sexual promiscuity. If men and women are going to engage in indiscriminate sex, there are going to be mistakes. There must be a way to clean these up. A baby conceived out of one of these encounters is viewed as an unwanted guest. The left will grant the women full autonomy and control over the life of the baby, even to the point of executioner.
Factor in politics, and the mystery deepens. It seems bizarre that many who claim the political virtue of compassion are champions of abortion rights. These people are able to cry tears for just about every vulnerable group in the world. They feel the pain of the seals, they grieve over sex trafficking in Asia, and they are worried about the plight of children in Darfur. They react with genuine indignation and mobilize to take action. Why, then, do the unborn persons in their own communities not usually inspire a similar compassionate response? No other liberal principle of compassion, self-worth, equality, or love is allowed to get in the way of the principle of autonomy. It is difficult to find a liberal liberal.
Another principle that the left would claim as their own is acceptance or compassion. They distort this word to mean tolerance. Now, the Christian understanding of tolerance goes as follows: “I am morally opposed to your behavior and I fully disagree with it because the Bible condemns it; however, I do not feel the government should interfere in your personal life, so who am I to interfere with your personal life as long as your behavior doesn’t affect me or my family in any way?” This is a textbook example of tolerance. It isn’t exactly fun. It basically means, “gross, but I will live with it.”
Let me show you how tolerance has been distorted by the left in their effort to redefine morality and specifically, traditional views:
In a much-quoted line, Leslie Armour, professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Ottawa, writes, “Our idea is that to be a virtuous citizen is to be one who tolerates everything except intolerance.” Now this is ridiculous. This is a self-defeating statement. However, no one said that the left was philosophically grounded.
The United Nations Declarition of Principles on Tolerance (1995) asserts, “Tolerance…involves the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism.” Well, this is brilliant! So they reject absolutism and dogma, yet they seem to do so in an absolute way…and the very fact that they penned this statement seems to indicate that they hold to a view doesn’t it? So they claim A and –A at the same time. They are in a sense holding on to a one-ended stick. Is that even possible?
Thomas A. Helmbock, executive vice president of the national Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, writes, “The definition of the new tolerance is that every individuals beliefs, values, lifestyle, and perception of truth claims are equal…There is no hierarch of truth. Your beliefs and my beliefs are equal and all truth is relative.” Really? Well, is that statement true? How can he prove that? If truth is up to the individual, then why did he even write down his thoughts? What is the point of reading? Further, if truth really is relative, then how do we distinguish between Hitler and Mother Theresa? How do we know good from evil?
No wonder the left sees no problem with any form of promiscuity.
My final quote comes from our current president. This is a frightening quote that I think puts into context where we are now as Americans:
“We must be careful not to mistake absolutism for principle.”—Barrack Hussein Obama
Aside from being philosophically self-defeating, this statement is telling.
He is saying there are no absolute standards, except for the principles of those in power. Now, if this is true, then what if Hitler were in power? If a usurpatory government was in control, the citizenry could do nothing, because there would be no objective standard by which to compare the leadership to. Secondly, he assumes a status like divinity to make a statement such as this. Kant said, “From the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.” How can a man know principle from absolute? If God has given absolutes, who are we to demolish them and create principles in their place?
Well, this is the telling part.
Nietzsche was perhaps the father of modern atheism. What I appreciate about him though was his honesty. He basically said that if humanity could kill God, that soon after traditional morality would disappear. I think we live in a time in which society thinks they have killed God. They see the Christians that are still vocal as vestiges of a day gone by. As Nietzsche pointed out in his poem, The Madman, our Churches and Sanctuaries are tombs and sepulchers to a dead deity. Why? Because man has killed God.
Now, God isn’t dead. However, to many who live among us—they are dead.