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Wednesday, October 9, 2013
While there is a place for a biblical argument against the case set forth by Frederick Fuller (“Pick whatever biblical passage suits your fancy,” Sept. 11 commentary), it may prove more effective to highlight some of the fallacies inherent in his commentary.
First, Fuller characterizes Christians as people who use the Bible to support their own ideologies. While this is true of some, to make a generalization like this is to commit two logical fallacies, that of the straw man argument — setting up a fake argument which one attributes to one’s opponents in order to attack it — and sweeping generalization.
There are bad apples in any religious community, and it is not reasonable to apply their mistaken ideas to the rest of the group of which they claim to be a part.
Second, Fuller takes a passage in the Bible — the scenario of Lot and his two daughters, which is clearly condemned in Scripture — and tries to use a mistaken view of predestination and God’s providence to illustrate the point that John Stec (“When will the attack on the family end?,” Sept. 5 commentary) is being hypocritical. Fuller is making an argument which is itself a fallacy: tu quoque, “you, too.” It is akin to the boy pointing his finger at his brother when asked not to do something and yelling, “Well, he does it too!” This is a “red herring,” a fallacy used chiefly to divert the reader’s attention from the issue at hand.
In addition, Bishop John Shelby Spong is anything but an acclaimed biblical scholar. Instead, he would be more correctly categorized as an academic elitist whom almost all evangelicals would consider a heretic for his views on the authority of the Bible. In addition, Fuller ignores the particular advice in Psalms to young men (who are often rightly characterized in the Bible as being rash and foolish) to heed God’s word and hide it in their hearts if they are to cleanse their ways. God’s word is not irrelevant, even in our modern world.
Regardless of what has been “proven” scientifically concerning sexual orientation, arguing that no one chooses his or her sexuality is beside the point. If sexuality has become subjective in the last several decades, it is logical to assume that almost anything else considered criminal today (as homosexuality was and still is in many cultures) could likewise become subjective. Why are homicides or rapes considered crimes? Their perpetrators could have been born that way.
Finally, to say that homosexuality does nothing to destroy families is to define a family as “whatever you want it to be.” It is this very relativist worldview which is wreaking havoc on our culture today. If pretty much anything goes, who’s to say what’s wrong and what’s right?
The homosexual community has made it clear in court case after court case that its members are not satisfied with same-sex marriage being merely legal. They want full and equal rights alongside heterosexual couples. Thus, we see that it is false to say that one’s sexual orientation affects no one but that person. Tolerance has become the excuse for discrimination; if one is critical of another’s sexual orientation, that person is marked as being politically incorrect, intolerant. Our culture is tolerant of everything — except intolerance.
In logic, we call this a violation of the law of noncontradiction. When a culture can no longer distinguish between right and wrong, between evil and good, between honor and shame, the society inevitably sinks into disarray and the years of that nation or people are numbered.
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