Thursday, April 14, 2005

"...he is gay and has known it since he was a teenager"

The Star Tribune did an article on State Sen. Paul Koering. Koering is a conservative Republican from Brainerd county, and there is something he wants us all to know: he has decided to "come out." That is, he is telling everyone that he openly embraces and indulges immoral sexual desires for other men.

Well, of course, that isn't what he says, and it isn't what the article says. And that -- not the sad case of Mr. Koering himself -- will be the point of this reflection.

The article itself approaches this disclosure as a bit of an oddity, since Koering is a conservative Republican and has favored letting the state decided on "gay" (i.e. homosexual) "marriage," which is not usually preceived to be the "gay" position. The reporting uncritically accepts Koering's stance that this revelation concerns the embrace and disclosure of a fact of nature, of an "orientation," with no moral dimensions or overtones.

Now, if he had told the world that he was a rapist, and has known it since he was a teenager; or that he was a child molestor, or given to bestiality, or to theft, or to sado-masochism, or to wife abuse, one hopes that the article's tone might have been different. It is hard to conceive of a mainstream media (MSM) publication saying colorlessly, "he is sexually attracted to goats, and has known it since he was a teenager," or "he is sexually excited by hurting women, and has known it since he was a teenager." Maybe the tone would have been different. This, however, is not a certainty.

(Now, if he had "come out" with one of these personal revelations, and if he attempted to make the case that he was driven to it by Puritanical Christian parents, a typical MSM article still might have been sympathetic in tone. Being a Christian is held, at best, to be an oddity. To be a Puritanical Christian, however, is unforgivable.)

Now, there is of course no moral ground for this differentiation among practices. I have no more authority to call murder, rape, child abuse, nor theft "wrong" than I do homosexuality. That one's accomplice in homosexuality may be complicit is immaterial to the morality of the action. A drug dealer is not a moral person, nor is a prostitute nor a dominatrix, simply because his or her clients seek out his services.

An act is not right or wrong because it harms another human being. If one is an evolutionist, for instance, one must believe that the various extant species got where they are today by hurting all sorts of weaker beings, including those of their own species. There is no charitable imperative to be found in the bloody tooth or claw of "Nature."

An act is right or wrong if God says it is right or wrong. He says that murder, theft and adultery are wrong (Romans 13:9). He also says that homosexuality is wrong (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Timothy 1:10, among others).

The media still usually frown on murder and theft; they're not so sure about adultery. Homosexuailty, however, is currently exempt from all criticism in the MSM because it enjoys a favored status not shared by the other practices mentioned above. Not share yet, at any rate.

And this is where it matters in a public official. It reveals that person's moral and spiritual matrix. If a man cannot figure out that homosexuality is contrary to nature (Romans 1:26-27), and if he does not care that it is contrary to God's will (1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Timothy 1:10), then we know from the outset that his moral compass is tragically out of whack. He's unreliable. Like any broken analog clock, he'll be right every so often -- but it will be a happy coincidence, nothing more.

We want our elected officials, our legislators, to understand justice. But Proverbs 28:5a tells us that "Evil men do not understand justice." What defines a man as "evil"? Opposition to the perrson and word of God.

Now sadly, in our fallen world and in our apostate culture, our choices are often far from ideal. I would not argue that a Christian should never vote for a homosexual. He might very well vote for Mr. Koering as the best of his electable choices -- while at the same time praying that God would give him repentance and saving faith in Christ, that he might be reconciled to God and know His cleansing mercy. Then Mr. Koering could speak of his bondage to perverse desires in the past tense (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), as all Christians are learning to do. And he could exercise his office from a morally consistent base.

It is unlikely that a financier would "come out" as believing that 1 + 1 = 3. He knows he'd be ruined. But folks boldly proclaim to the world (and the church) that their moral calculator is hopelessly broken... and there is, as they expect, hardly a yawn.

But one good thing has come from Mr. Koering's revelation. I have no idea whether a Christian has ever prayed for his conversion before. Now I know for a fact that one has.

Perhaps you'll multiply that number?

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