As a college president, I’d argue there are some things that should be confronted, some that should be confessed and some about which we can have a conversation. As a teacher, it is my goal to produce students who are able to distinguish between these three categories.
Let’s consider the anecdote of abortion as an example. Simply put, why would anyone be open to a “conversation” about murdering young children? Surely, we don’t believe we can “converse” about genocide rather than confront it, do we?
And, if I am wrong, are we ready to have a “conversation” about the relative merits of Pol Pot’s killing fields? How about the pros and cons of Robespierre’s guillotine? Maybe we should start a “conversation” about Mao’s cultural revolution and its 70 million dead?
All moral people draw moral distinctions between behaviors that are worthy of “conversation” and those that are not. There are some things we simply condemn, and rightfully so.
Now, if we can agree that there is definitely a category of immorality (i.e. sin) which should be repudiated rather than debated, then why have we decided that sexual immorality is somehow in a different class, a class that should be measured by “conversation” rather than conviction?
Ours has become a culture of expression and choice. We now believe ourselves to be an amoral people where right and wrong are not determined by consistency and objective resolve, but rather by “fluidity,” “conversation” and subjective social constructs. In other words, when it comes to sex, everything is a moving target.
Here’s the question: If we have decided the self-evident truths that condemn genocide and the killing fields of Pol Pot do not likewise exist in matters of human sexuality, shouldn’t we be asking what’s next?
For example, if there is no moral compass other than “conversation” to give us direction concerning the morality of same-sex intercourse then why not have a “conversation” about consensual pederasty? Why not discuss the merits of adultery? Why not have dialogue about how those who identify as incestuous need “safe spaces” where they can be affirmed, and loved for who they are?
Any rational people understanding the basic principles of cause and effect must at least be willing to ask where this logic will end.
If you’re still not feeling a bit unstable on this slippery slope, I recommend this simple exercise: Go to any article in any magazine or website that argues for “conversations” about sexual morality and simply replace the acronym of the day with another set of letters.
For example, every time you see LGBTQ in an article, simply replace those letters with ISIS. Change nothing else. Do this throughout the entire column in question.
In doing this, something will quickly become quite obvious. Sentences will emerge such as these: “Love is love and ISIS has the right to love who they want to love.” “The ISIS community simply wants to be accepted and affirmed.” “What right does anyone have to refuse to bake a cake for an ISIS wedding?”
As such absurdities jump off the page, hopefully it becomes clear how absolutely ridiculous our culture’s game of sexual politics has become.
If our inclinations (sexual or otherwise) have become the sum total of our human identity then any emotion or passion (aberrant or not) can be, and logically must be, codified into law as the marker of our minority status, bringing with it all the rights, protections and privileges therein.
In this brave new world of hyphens and acronyms, we paint ourselves into a corner of “tolerance” where we must affirm the proclivities of anyone who “identifies” as ISIS just as much as we do all who identify as LGBTQ. After all, in both cases it could be easily argued, “that’s just who they are.”
When subjective feelings define human sexuality, how can we logically deny anyone else’s subjective feelings when it comes to other moral questions, especially those pertaining to what it means to be human?
If you find these anecdotes troubling, you should. But I ask — What is the difference between affirming one sinful inclination and affirming another? In other words, why is an inclination toward anti-Semitism something we all assume we can and should condemn, control and change, but an inclination toward a given sexual act is not? Why do we “normalize” one sinful predisposition but condemn another?
Bottom line — The absurd ontological claims implicit in assumptions of sexual amorality are the ultimate insult to what it means to be human. We are imago Dei. We are not the imago dog. We are made in the image of God, and, thank God, through his grace, we have the moral awareness, moral responsibility and moral wherewithal to act like it.
One is not defined by his desire to engage in aberrant sex any more than one is defined by a desire to persecute Jews or burn crosses. In both cases, because we are human beings and not animals, we are simply supposed to not do it.
We can’t justify our sinful nature simply by saying, “That’s just who we are.”
• Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, is the author of “Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery 2017).