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June is Pride month. It dates officially to 1999 but has roots back to 1969.

Pride month is about presenting LGBTQ people in a way that counters social stigma, which at one time characterized much of society’s response to these lifestyles and the people who adopt them.

I have no problem affirming that LGBTQ individuals are made in the image of God just like everyone else, that they are unique and eternally significant, worthy of respect, and someone for whom Christ sacrificed his life on the cross to provide a way of redemption. I think LGBTQ individuals should always enjoy and be afforded their basic civil rights as Americans.

This does not mean I endorse or believe their lifestyle choices are anything but choices—I do not believe one is born gay—or that I believe a choice to pursue LGBTQ lifestyles is a moral activity, any more than I believe heterosexual individuals choosing to engage in adultery are acting morally.

I do not believe homosexual, or LGBTQ, sexual behavior that rejects God’s moral teachings in Scripture are “worse” or somehow a different kind of sin than heterosexuals participating in immoral activity enjoined by Scripture. Sin is sin in God’s eyes.

Because I disagree with LGBTQ lifestyle choices or sexual expression does not mean ipso facto that I hate them or that I am a bigot, as LGBTQ activists and often now the media like to contend. No, it simply means I disagree with their beliefs and/or activities. I believe in freedom of speech, for me and them, so I do not support and indeed react strongly to cancel culture attempts to silence viewpoints that do not affirm LGBTQ lifestyles.

Pride month has become much more than a statement about destigmatizing a people group. It is about promoting a whole range of lifestyle choices the Bible calls immoral. 

Consequently, I cannot support Pride month and I am weary of the corporate virtue signaling that assaults me in media, wherein innumerable businesses now rush to proclaim their active support for “inclusion” and “accepting” everyone, e.g., the NFL’s “Football is gay.” Big corporations are coloring their logos rainbow.

There was a time when corporate America stayed out of politics, at least publicly and otherwise during business transactions. The business of America was business, and no business wanted to take sides on issues in a way that might divide its customer base. Now, corporations are falling over themselves pell-mell to embrace the latest political correctness, whether Pride or BLM.

Why corporate rush to display LGBTQ bona-fides?

1-Virtue signaling

2-Fear of litigation or online generated bullying

3-Fear loss of customers 

4-Belief they are groundbreakers

Mostly, though, corporations are virtue signaling on Pride because they believe it’s what the public wants so they want to claim they are “with it,” trustworthy enterprises where America should shop. It’s still about the bottom line.

As I write, Pride month is nearly over. I don’t think it helped LGBTQ people. It’s just more marketing noise.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Ipso facto. It’s a Latin phrase meaning an inevitable result, by the fact itself, or that a specific outcome is a direct consequence or effect of some belief or action. It’s what we’ve come to in American culture.

If you hold to traditional or biblical moral standards, you now can expect ipso facto to be called intolerant, bigot, prejudiced, discriminatory, hater, or depending upon the issue, homophobic, transphobic, or sexist.

This is now par for the course, especially given Year 2020’s wholesale rush to throw off moral codes, law and order, and common sense.

Consider March Madness. According to the author of a recent piece on Oral Roberts University’s run in March Madness, the school’s views regarding homosexuality are “wildly out of line with modern society and the basic values of human decency…prejudiced teachings and moral regressiveness…toxic notions of fundamentalism that fetishize chastity, abstinence…their anti-LGBTQ+ stance, which is nothing short of discriminatory… decrees banning homosexual conduct, stating that marriage is only between a man and a woman, and specifically banning male students from wearing makeup.” For this the author argues ORU, which “is a hotbed of institutional transphobia, homophobia with regressive, sexist policies (with) no way to separate their men’s basketball team from the dangers of their religious dogma,” should be banned from the NCAA March Madness tournament.

The author provides no actual examples of the phobias, i.e. hateful acts toward someone, that she decries, and she does not acknowledge that ORU forbids not simply homosexual activity but all sexual activity between non-married individuals. Apparently, she is unfamiliar with the First Amendment, because her values are more righteous than thou and thus trumps religious liberty. In her view it is acceptable for her to be prejudiced against Christian teaching and to deny Christians their religious freedom to hold to matters of moral conscience.

As I’ve noted before, sexual progressivism is becoming the point of the spear for the Left, a way of advancing its agenda while overpowering religious or specifically Christian traditional views of morality

This is now becoming a growing concern for Christian colleges and universities, so ORU is not alone, and will not likely be alone going forward. In fact, along with churches, Christian colleges and universities stand in the way of the Left’s march toward acceptance of its sexually progressive, brook-no-debate orthodoxy. And it’s happening to states and other entities without overt religious commitments but with concerns about fairness in athletics. Consider North Carolina.

Whatever one thinks about ORU, the university’s articulation of its views about LGBTQ are in line with traditional Christian views of morality, and for that matter, what most of the general public considered moral until only recently. 

What is called the Gay Rights and later the LGBT Movement is not something routed in antiquity but one developed just in the past 70 years, for example, some highlights:

1969 – The Stonewall Riots, NYC. Stonewall Inn a clandestine, gay club in Greenwich Village.

1973 – Homosexuality no longer considered mental illness by American Psychiatric Association.

1978 – Rainbow Flag first used in a Gay Pride parade.

1979 – first March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

1980 – American Psychiatric Association added gender identity disorder to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). 

1980s-1990s – AIDS.

1993 – “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” via B Clinton, allowing Gays to serve in military. Law repealed under Obama 2011.

2013 – DSM changes gender identity disorder to gender dysphoria.

2015 – Boy Scouts lift ban on transgender.

2015 – Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 US 644 (2015), same sex marriage allowed by SCOTUS.

2016 – Military allows transgender soldiers to serve openly but curtailed by President Trump 2018.

2021 – President Biden via Executive Order lifts ban on most transgender individuals serving in the military.

From a Christian point of view, the Word of God does not change and has not changed. What God considered sin or immorality before the 1970s He still does today. And it should be noted the Scripture does not say homosexual immorality is somehow a worse form of sin than heterosexual immorality.

God as Creator gave us a perfect design that met humanity’s needs. But in 2021, American culture largely embraced the tenets of the Left’s sexual progressivism in the name of personal freedom. If “consenting adults” are involved one may do what one wants and no one should judge. Any one or any organization that disagrees with this view is ipso facto a bigot and a hater, to be denied, suppressed, removed, ruined, stamped out as unworthy.

Sad to say, but this ipso facto equation is going to get worse.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2021    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

 

Ohio Senator Rob Portman recently announced his support for same-sex marriage. Why he adopted this view is more interesting than the fact he is the first Republican in the United States Senate to publicly do so.

The Senator recently learned his now 21-year-old son is gay. “Knowing that my son is gay,” the Senator said, “prompted me to consider the issue from another perspective.”

In another public announcement recently Mr. Rob Bell, former pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the author of the controversial Love Wins, told an audience in San Francisco that he now endorses same-sex marriage. He justified his position by saying, “I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man.”

So twice in a month notable leaders claim love is the reason they now endorse same-sex marriage. According to Senator Portman and Mr. Bell, love explains their dramatic change of heart. Apparently for them, in the words of the Beatles, “Love is all you need.” But is it?

A few years ago when I was serving as the president of a Christian university, a gay rights group called Soulforce demanded entrance to classrooms and chapel. I simply said, “No thank you.” The university did not verbally condemn the young people comprising the group nor did it criticize other Christian institutions that chose to give Soulforce campus access. We just decided to go a different direction.

I received more mail on this decision than any other in which I was involved during my nearly seventeen years as the university president. More than 90% of this mail supported my decision and lauded the university for the stand it took. About 10% or less of the mail on this issue criticized my decision. What interested me most is that of those who disagreed with me nearly all pointed to a loved one, brother, sister, uncle, or dear friend who was gay and that this love changed their mind about the moral legitimacy of homosexuality. In other words, love was their justification for their view.

Since that time I have time and again noted this link. Indeed when a news channel promoted a “teaser” stating the Senator had changed his position, I said to my wife, “I’m guessing his daughter has come out.” I was wrong: his son had come out.

Love is a wonderful human emotion and expression, but love for the wrong things does not make them good, right, or morally defensible.

If a person says he loves to have sex with little children his actions are not made right or righteous by his love. If a sadist loves to hurt people the love for harming others does not make the action right or moral.

After the Civil War had concluded, John Wilkes Booth’s love for the Confederacy led him to kill a President, and of course his action was immoral. It was still murder.

If a person loves to lie, cheat, or steal, these actions do not become good or right bathed in love. If people pursue sexual intimacy with someone not their spouse, because they love the other person, the adultery is not legitimized.

Love for an action or behavior does not determine its morality. What God says about the action or behavior defines its morality. The reason: love is a choice emerging from human hearts born in and tainted by sin. Love is therefore not always a trustworthy guide to moral considerations. Only God’s Word, the God who is Love in its righteous form, provides a trustworthy guide.

I understand Senator and Mrs. Portman’s love for their son, a love they should maintain no matter what he does or who he says he has become. But their love does not make his same-sex behavior good, right, or moral.

I have less empathy for Mr. Bell, who knows better and who is turning his back on his evangelical roots. Sadly, he claims to be expressing his unbiblical affirmation of same-sex marriage in the name of a better understanding of the Christian faith. His desire to express love is admirable, but it is a love based upon a false interpretation of the Bible. His viewpoint is wrong, not because I said so but because God in his Word says so, and Mr. Bell’s love does not change this truth.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2013

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

Many media outlets are using the term “anti-gay” for certain presidential candidates’ convictions that homosexuality is immoral. The term is, or at least could be, misleading.

It’s misleading because one who believes homosexuality is wrong is not necessarily ipso facto “anti-gay,” meaning against people who choose or live a homosexual or lesbian lifestyle.

To be honest, though, it could be. It is unfortunately true that some people who believe homosexual behavior is wrong also reject, demean, or otherwise dismiss gays or lesbians. It’s even sadly true that some of these people hate and a few have done violence to gay or lesbian people. None of this is justifiable under any moral code, of course, but still, these people act as immorally in different ways as they accuse gays and lesbians of acting sexually.

What I object to, though, is media’s easy equation of convictions about the morality of homosexuality with anti-gay attitudes and behaviors. Because one believes homosexuality is wrong, as I noted above, does not mean one is anti-gay—any more than a person believing heterosexual adultery is wrong makes him or her “anti-straight.” This logic is illogical.

I know many people who hold deep-seated views, based upon their religious convictions, that homosexuality in any of its forms is immoral, wrong, and a sin. Nearly all of these people are also compassionate toward those who involve themselves in homosexuality, and I don’t know anyone who wants to make homosexuality a crime. Nor do any of these people want to deny gays or lesbians their civil liberties, available and guaranteed to them like any other American—including immoral heterosexuals.

This means, for example, that one can believe homosexuality is immoral and improper while at the same time working productively with persons involved in gay or lesbian relationships. They can believe homosexuality is wrong yet be friends with, even appreciate the talents and personality of, gay or lesbian people, just like most of them do with heterosexuals involved in any number of immoral activities.

So it is inaccurate for media automatically to describe someone as “anti-gay” simply because he or she believes homosexuality is immoral.

As long as media persists in this inaccurate portrayal it does a disservice to the person being so-labeled, misleads the American people, and sacrifices the reputation of the media involved

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

 

Despite conservative outcry, fear-mongering, and dark warnings of a hastened Armageddon the demise this week of the United States military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy doesn’t matter all that much.

Congress voted earlier, and Wednesday this week President Barack Obama signed into law a repeal of the nation’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy toward gays and lesbians serving openly in the United States armed forces. The policy had been in effect since 1993 when the Clinton Administration supported its adoption as a compromise policy allowing gays and lesbians to serve as long as they or their commanders didn’t make an issue of their sexuality. Prior to this time, gay and lesbian citizens were denied entry into the American military and were dismissed if discovered.

Since his days as a candidate President Obama has made no secret of his support for this change. In the sense of a promise made and delivered this is a victory for the Obama Administration. After the President’s brokered tax deal this month he’s on a small roll. He should enjoy it. Given the tough budgetary choices, volatile economy, and chronic wars and rumors of wars facing him he’s not likely to have too many more good days.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell doesn’t matter much for several reasons. Gays and lesbians have been and are serving in the military, sometimes with distinction and rarely with issues developing around their sexuality. Gays and lesbians already have access to virtually every other professional opportunity in the American economy and culture, so why not the military?

If it’s a matter of civil liberties, than it’s a no-brainer. Gays and lesbians, however much some people find their sexual orientation unacceptable, are just as much citizens of a free country as heterosexuals.

A number of years ago I watched as a local school district all but crucified a teacher who'd been outed. He was, by virtually everyone's testimony, a good, effective teacher. His only "crime" or "unprofessional" act is that he was gay. Christians in the community led the charge to oust this person, made national news, and it wasn't pretty. It was awful. Had the man done something inappropriate than surely he should have been held to account. But he had not. This was all about who could be the most moral by casting the first stone. No one "won" in this charade, least of all not the community, the school district, certainly not the teacher. It was politics not moral suasion. It was ineffective and wrong.

Women have been serving effectively in the United States military since World War II, and even before that in non-soldier or sailor staff roles. Since the Persian Gulf War women have flown combat aircraft for the United States. While they yet do not serve in combat arms positions, women serve in virtually every other role in the American armed forces.

So what’s the point? Doesn’t it seem logical that if any emotional or psychological or gender-related issues develop in military situations they are far more likely to develop between straight men and women as opposed to heterosexual and homosexual individuals? For one thing, there’s simply far more straight men and women serving than gay or lesbians serving. In this case, gender tensions are more likely to develop from time to time than any tensions rooted in sexual orientation. So if heterosexual people can manage to serve near one another in the American military, without inappropriate consequences, why can’t homosexual individuals do the same along with them?

And why, pray tell, are conservatives or religious groups so bent out of shape over potential immoral homosexual activities when the armed forces certainly has its share of potential and real immoral heterosexual activities? The reason is, of course, an implication that homosexual immorality is worse than heterosexual immorality, a moral distinction not found in Scripture.

Let me be clear: I do not embrace or condone homosexual behavior. I believe the Bible’s teachings on sexuality, heterosexual, homosexual, and otherwise, are quite clear. Sex is a gift of God reserved for monogamous, lifelong, heterosexual marriage. Sex outside this definition, gay or straight, is in God's eyes immoral.

But I think conservatives and/or Christians have long since lost the culture war on this one—and I've written about it—and need to determine how they are going to live in a society that openly allows homosexuality.

Sure, gay and lesbian interests will declare the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell a great victory and try to use it as a springboard furthering their other social goals. But won’t they work toward those goals anyway?

In the end, when it comes down to it, gays and lesbians can be and have been just as patriotic, sacrificial, noble, brave, or heroic as any other soldier or sailor. I say, “Let them serve.” Address moral concerns with moral living and a moral message, not politics and not the military.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow Dr. Rogers at www.twitter.com/rexmrogers.

 

Homosexuality is, according to the Bible, a sin. So are premarital or extramarital heterosexual sexual relationships. So is idolatry, anger, gossip, and using God’s name in vain. While some sins are more heinous than others from a human perspective, morally speaking, sin is sin. There's no hierarchy of "badness."

The mistake Christians and/or conservatives have made is either to consider homosexuality worse than other sins, including heterosexual sin, or to equate LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) individuals with homosexuality. Yet a human being's identity cannot be reduced to an individual moral choice, including sexual sin. In other words, a thief is a person who steals, but is a thief always and only a thief?

So, while I believe a Christian cannot embrace or condone homosexual behavior, I also believe we must not reject, run from, disrespect, or worse, ignore LGBT people.

OK, if that’s true, to borrow from the late Francis A. Schaeffer, “How shall we then live?” Here’s my latest effort to answer that question in terms of homosexuality: "Homosexuality Goes Mainstream--What Now?"

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Dr. Rogers or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow Dr. Rogers at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.