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The Christian Debate On Homosexuality Essay

2780 words - 12 pages

The American debate on homosexuality reveals an unquestionable, though awfully uninvited, fusion between religion and politics, revealing a dangerous lack of separation between the church and state. The concern is not about the presence of spirituality in American politics, but the implications institutionalized religion has on the lives and rights of human beings. Nothing hinders the political and social progress of lesbian women and gay men quite like the complexities of religion. Dating back to the beginning of literature itself, homosexuality is far from modern. Nonetheless, homosexuality is currently the most divisive and fiercely debated topic in recent religious discourse. While most Christians maintain allegiance in labeling same-sex relationships as morally wrong, the church is dramatically divided on the proper place for gays and lesbians in American society and of course, American politics.

Homosexuality has existed since the beginning of recorded human history and yet, attitudes towards gay and lesbian individuals vary extensively. Some societies tolerate them; others openly welcome and encourage them; and most blatantly condemn them (Bates, 46). Throughout our country’s history, homosexuals have been misunderstood and discriminated against, leading many to acquire an irrational fear of gays and lesbians. Known as homophobia, this fear has prompted heterosexual individuals with a feeling a superiority and authority when using the word “homosexual” interchangeably with the words pervert, faggot, sodomite, and so on. Homophobes typically perceive homosexuality as a threat to society. Nonetheless, the Gay Rights Movement has achieved impressive progress since 1973 when the American Psychological Association (APA) eradicated homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. This kicked off the liberation movements in the 1970s and 80s that planted in homosexuals a newfound hope for their future and inspired gay rights activists deeper still in their fight for freedom and acceptance. As they continue their successes in the social and political arenas, they become increasingly threatening to various religious traditions… most notably, Christian fundamentalism.

Religious fundamentalism was first introduced into the American Protestant church in the late 1800s and early 1900s as a reaction to the theological “liberalism” and cultural “modernism” that was taking root in America at the time. The movements sought to adapt traditional Christian beliefs in a way that could adapt to the technological advances taking place in social and natural sciences. Landmark discoveries like Charles Darwin’s theory of biological evolution by natural selection threatened the very fabric of Christian tradition. Christian conservatives disputed the growing rejection of the Bible’s inerrancy and literality, which evangelicals regard as most fundamental to the Christian faith. While liberals aimed to shape Christianity in a way that might evolve with an...

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