“His Excellency, the Commander in Chief approves the sentence and with Abhorrence and detestation of such Infamous Crimes, orders Lieutt. Enslin to be drummed out of Camp tomorrow morning by all the Drummers and Fifers in the army never to return…”(Arnebeck)
These words, penned on March 10, 1778 by George Washington, compose the general court martial of Lieutenant Frederick Gotthold Enslin for the crimes of attempted sodomy and false reporting. It was 250 years ago and America was a group of young colonies fighting for independence. Homosexuality was criminal behavior in all thirteen colonies. The colonies became states and the penalty for homosexual behavior was death in four of those colonies. Thomas Jefferson was soon to author a bill in his home state of Virginia advocating dismemberment as the penalty for homosexuality (Miller, p.51).
“We’re going to make sure that nothing stands in the way of loving couples, gay or straight, to adopt children.”
These are the words of Hillary Clinton spoken to the Human Rights Campaign on March 4, 2007 (Carpenter).
Both of the above statements emanated from popular leaders of their times. Both leaders were unashamed of their respective stances on the subject of homosexuality. And both leaders, as they expressed these sentiments, were prospective future Presidents of the United States of America.
So what happened between 1778 and 2007 in the moral evolution of our nation? What can occur in a mere six or seven generations that results in such polar movement in respected philosophy? More relevant, is there something that we, as Christian women could have done to prevent the moral landslide that has occurred? Most important, is it too late?
It is very late. Sesame Street now has a young character who has two daddies. A quick Google search of high school homosexuality brings to your computer screen a YOUTUBE video in which two high school guys, both of which are good looking jockey types, find their way to a quiet meeting place before school starts one morning. In the course of their conversation together, you hear that they are gay, that they both care deeply for one another, but one of them is afraid to let others know about the relationship. By the end of the six minute clip, you hear all of the convincing reasons that no one should be ashamed of sexual orientation. In a touching triumphant climax, the hesitant young man grabs the hand of his partner in full view of a large group of students and the clip ends with a passionate kiss between the two. A high school is acknowledged in the credits for assistance in the production of this very gay-friendly video (Orloff). Many school systems across our nation are training school children in “tolerance” of “alternate lifestyles” using techniques that are coercive in nature to promote favorable attitudes toward same sex marriage (Throckmorton, p.3). The mainstream media routinely makes heroes and heroines of those who “bravely come out” and proudly display homosexual behavior. We watched as Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres and other icons in the entertainment industry were applauded for their “honesty” and “bravery” when they announced their homosexuality. Then we watched as their popularity increased and their fan bases broadened. Fifteen years ago, gay rights groups were invited to participate, for the first time, in the inaugural parade for the incoming President of the United States.
As a Christian, I stopped watching almost all network television. I stopped supporting several companies because of their commitment to the homosexual community’s agenda. I voted for candidates who opposed the legalization of gay marriages. I spoke in women’s forums about God’s definition of family. I diligently taught my children the scriptures about how God views homosexuality and even required them to do research from social, scientific, historical, and medical perspectives about homosexuality. After all, I am a Christian and all Christian parents have got to be battling our culture’s acceptance of this sin, right?
And then one Wednesday night while teaching a teen girls’ Bible class, the truth about the culture’s effect on the church began to illuminate my naivety. “But Mrs. Cindy, you know there are guys at my school who just naturally look and act homosexual….It’s just part of their built-in personality. Don’t you think maybe they were just born that way?”…and “Mrs. Cindy, I just don’t think some people can help it. Sometimes they may not get to pick how they want to be.” Shortly after that class, one of my dear sisters in Christ was devastated when her twenty- year-old son came home and announced to his devoted Christian parents “I am gay.”
These events and shocking statements from those brought up in the Lord’s church brought me face to face with a stark reality: It is past time that we turned back to the Book for the answers our kids so desperately need in a society that applauds what God calls “vile affections” (Rom.1:26 ). Our teen Bible classes should address the issue and study conclusively Genesis 19, Leviticus18:22-30, Romans 1, and I Corinthians 6:9,10 among other passages that so plainly condemn homosexuality. But if our classes are failing our children, we as parents must be ever more vigilant. Instilling respect for the authority of the Word begins when our children are toddlers and as they mature, we read it, love it, and dissect it together. We must obtain and faithfully use the resources with which God has blessed us to actively vie for the very souls of our children. Remember, the devil is on the prowl (I Peter 5:8). He is active in his pursuit of your children and the relativism of our culture that demands their acceptance of sin is one of his most successful modern ploys.
While never underestimating the power of the Word alone, we do well as mothers to show our children the omniscience of God by pointing out external evidences as well. We teach truth through historical evidence. Books such as “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” by Edward Gibbon will show your children the price to be paid in the stamina of nations as they suffer the consequences of departures from Biblical standards of morality. We teach from scientific evidence. Your children should know that there is no evidence for any homosexual gene although millions of dollars were spent in The Human Genome Project searching for that evidence (Harrub). We teach from the medical perspective. As politically incorrect as it may sound, your teens should be aware that the AIDS epidemic would not exist were it not for the practice of homosexuality.
We teach from cultural evidence. You can prepare your children for the world’s barrage of lies about homosexuality. They will face these cleverly devised myths in their teenage worlds. Since no genetic reason for homosexuality can be found, gay activists would have us believe that large percentages of the population are homosexuals. It lends credence to any constituency when the public believes the constituency is large. So, on many advocacy websites you will read that one in 10 Americans is homosexual. But, in truth, the most widely accepted study of sexual practices in the U.S. is the National Health and Social Life Survey. (Thirty-one pro-homosexual groups have admitted the credibility of this survey.) In the NHSLS study the findings were quite a contrast. 2.8% of the male populace identify themselves as homosexuals and only 1.4% of the female population claim to be lesbians. The study also showed that a scant 0.9% of men and 0.4 % of women reported exclusively having same sex partners since the age of 18. When you subtract those who have also engaged in heterosexual activity, the figure leaves you with less than half of one percent who actually claim to be 100% homosexual (Laumann). If we were writing these ratios into a sitcom, we would need 199 heterosexual characters before we would write in one single character who was exclusively homosexual (Harrub). But the devil is the father of lies and he would love for us to believe that every other house on our street has a responsible homosexual hero inside.
Secondly, in the absence of genetic evidence, advocates have touted a list of “vulnerabilities” of those who are homosexuals. According to the group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, suicide is the number one cause of death in homosexual teens. They tell us that homosexuals make up 20-40% of the homeless community in the U.S. and that 50% of teen homosexuals report that they are rejected by parents. Fifty-five percent of homosexual men have suffered from alcohol abuse. Twenty eight percent of young homosexuals are high school drop-outs. They report high incidences of harassment toward the homosexual community in our schools and a lack of programs to “support gay and lesbian youth.” And, as if expecting all readers to join hands with them in an amazing leap of faith, they tell us that 78% of hate crimes toward homosexuals are not reported to anyone (PFLAG). (If they are not reported to anyone, what is the source of the percentage given?!)
Then, at the end of a two page list of bad things that homosexuals must deal with every day, the question is posed, “Why would anyone CHOOSE to be a homosexual?” At first, the reasoning seems logical. After all, I don’t want to be a part of a culture that is characterized by lots of suicidal, addicted, harassed and rejected human beings. But the logic is also flawed. Do you think that the lives of cocaine addicts are riddled with violence, depression, desperation and sometimes suicide? Of course, they are. Do we thus conclude that cocaine addiction is resultant from an imposed orientation rather than a choice, at some point, to try cocaine? After all, why would anyone use cocaine, when the lives of addicts are so tormented? I know people who are homeless, rejected by peers and family members–people who are afraid for their lives because they gambled away the blessings of material prosperity. Do I conclude that, because these people are miserable in this lifestyle, that they didn’t make deliberate choices that directed them to such? Of course, my friends who are alcoholics and gamblers would not choose the degrading consequences of their behaviors. But many of them continue to choose to engage in the same behavior that placed them in these desperate situations in the first place.
The fact is, sin is a hard taskmaster. We are tempted, sometimes in strong, compelling ways. Some temptations are particularly strong for certain individuals. Environment, personality and circumstances affect our abilities to resist. But God cannot be tempted by evil nor does he tempt man to sin (James 1:13). Once we first rationalize our way into addictive sin, we sometimes continue down paths of self destruction. But the responsibility for initial sin and for its continuation lies with the sinner. This truth spans all cultures and social strata. It is eternal truth and, just like the devil’s lies, it permeates and influences best when planted in the hearts of children at early ages. What has happened between the lifetime of George Washington and that of Hillary Clinton cannot be changed. What happens on our watch as mothers in America will be decisive in the future of our country and the eternal destinies of our children.
This post first published in Christian Woman, Gospel Advocate Publications, Nashville, TN Recommended Resources for Teaching Children and Teens:
www.apologeticspress.org an invaluable website containing a wide array of informative articles from both Biblical and scientific perspectives.
Does God Love Michael’s Two Daddies, by Sheila Butt. Available from Apologetics Press.
Sexual Anarchy, by Dr. Dave Miller, Available from Apologetics Press.
Persecution, By David Limbaugh, Regnery Publishing, Inc.
Arnebeck, Bob George Washington and Homosexuality, www.geocities.com/bobarnebeck/gwhomo.html
Carpenter, Amanda B. (2007), Hillary’s Speech to Gay Rights Group, Calls Marriage Amendment “Mean Spirited”, www.himanevents.com/rightangle/index.php
Harrub, Brad and Dave Miller (2004) This is the Way God Made Me—A Scientific Examination of Homosexuality and the “Gay Gene”, www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2553.
Laumann, Edward O., John H. Gagnon, Robert T. Michael, and Stuart Michaels,(1992), National Health and Social Life Survey, www.icpsr.umich.edu/cocoon/ISPR/STUDY?06647.xml
Miller, Dave (2006), Sexual Anarchy, (Montgomery, AL, Apologetics Press).
Orloff, Living Lives www.youtube.com.,PFLAG Phoenix, www.pflagphoenix.org/education/youth-stats.html
Throckmorton, Warren, Gary Welton and Mike Ingram (2004), Same Sex “Marriage” and Schools: Critical Review of the GSLEN Same-Sex “Marriage” Curriculum, (Grove City, PA, Carolina Maud Publishing).