As for the “Christian homosexual” candidate…
Yesterday, I mocked fraudulent evangelical hypocrite Franklin Graham over his holier-than-thou critique of Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s claims of being a “Christian homosexual.” Specifically, I questioned how any alleged religious leader who has praised Donald Trump as God’s chosen one, while ignoring or obfuscating about Trump’s well-known and proudly-declared life of sin, can claim any moral authority in objecting to Buttigieg’s attempts to recast the Christian view of homosexuality as an antiquated bias inessential to the faith.
Leaving the hypocrites aside, however, perhaps a comment is warranted regarding the merits of Buttigieg’s self-description as a Christian homosexual. On its face, of course, one can be a Christian homosexual in the same sense in which one can be a Christian thief or a Christian tyrant, both of which I assume Buttigieg must also be (though he isn’t bragging about it yet), insofar as he is a progressive Democrat. That is, one can be Christian in one’s overt beliefs or by intellectual preference, and yet still be a sinner, even a grave sinner. Are not all Christians, in fact, sinners, according to the tenets of the faith itself? Fine, then, Buttigieg is a Christian homosexual: a Christian by intellectual belief who happens to be living a sinful life by Christian standards.
Needless to say, however, this is not what Buttigieg means when he calls himself a Christian homosexual. He means that his homosexuality is in no way an impediment to his being a Christian in good standing. In other words, he is trying to persuade us that there is no contradiction between living a Christian life and living a homosexual life, but rather that the two are as compatible as being, say, a Christian and a baker.
In response to this typical modern feel-good interpretation of religious belief — “Anything goes, because God loves us, and therefore He would never be so unfair as to judge us” — a good friend, who is Jewish, sent me an e-mail commenting on Buttigieg’s absurdity in light of the Hebrew Bible’s unambiguous position on homosexuality, namely that while the homosexual desire or thought is not in itself sinful, yet the homosexual act is a sin. In other words, from an Old Testament point of view, Buttigieg’s “Christian homosexual” shtick, in the sense that he intends it, is all wet.
My friend went on to inquire as to how the Christian position compares to the Jewish teaching. I am not a theologian, nor do I claim any expertise on the various Christian sects and their peculiarities; for example, groups like the United Church (“the ‘Easy does it!’ crowd,” as a Newfoundland friend once described them to me) went full Buttigieg years ago. But I was raised Catholic, read my St. Thomas, and have a serious interest in such matters from a philosophical point of view, so I do feel qualified to offer my two cents on the non-reformed Christian position on this subject.
The Catholic view on homosexuality is pretty much the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) view: the act is a sin. The freedom of the will is the missing link in modern attitudes about everything from homosexuality to abortion to just about anything else. Thinking of something does not entail or necessitate doing it. You could have a strange dream as a hormonal teenager, in which you are having sex with just about anything: your best friend, your sister, your mother, your dog, or what have you. That dream does not make you a sinner, but — contra today’s progressive morality — neither does it mean you essentially are a homosexual, or that the incest or bestiality “taboos” are merely oppressive denials of “identity.” Nor does it mean — also contra progressivism — that you must act on those thoughts in reality in order to “express your true self,” and hence that you cannot be held accountable, let alone blamed, for any consequences of such actions.
The standard argument for abortion among modern university students — judging from the hundred and forty essays on the topic I had the dubious pleasure of analyzing a couple of years ago — is that “Young people are just going to have sex (nothing they can do to prevent that), but they are not ready to raise a child, so it is unfair to force them to raise one.” All three clauses in that sentence are pure nonsense, but that’s what passes for reasoning in a world that preaches that we should and must follow our urges, because our urges are the meaning of life and source of our true identity.
Pete Buttigieg is a Christian homosexual. That is, he is (ostensibly) a Christian by belief who also happens to be living in Christian sin. He cannot worm his way out of that fact by claiming that somehow the faith has to “get over” its antiquated attitudes. Progressives can claim to be Christians, but Christianity can never be progressive. To demand that it should is merely to make a trivial social club or self-help group out of a scripture-based belief that was meant to be the revelation of eternal truth. If the scripture’s truth doesn’t “work” for you, then you should stop trying to align yourself with it, in cherry-picked form, for your political advantage.