The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Is Bestiality Next for the Episcopal Church USA?

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Today’s entertainment, political, media, and religionist propagandists have, in the words of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “defined deviancy down” so that what was morally shocking twenty years ago is acceptable, or at least tolerated, behavior today. Robert Bork, no stranger to moral degradation, having been “Borked” on national television and entered the dictionary as a verb, explains the phenomenon: “Emile Durkheim, a founder of sociology, posited that there is a limit to the amount of deviant behavior any community can ‘afford to recognize.’ As behavior worsens, the community adjusts its standards so that conduct once thought reprehensible is no longer deemed so.”[1]

At the same time, these same moral retrofitters are defining their own brand of moral deviancy up. What was considered morally normal thirty years ago—two-parents of the opposite sex married and living together, participation in the Boy Scouts and being protected from homosexual predators, rejecting a pro-death culture, and stay-at-home moms—is now portrayed “as oppressive and shot through with pathologies. ‘As part of the vast social project of moral leveling,” [Charles] Krauthammer wrote, “it is not enough for the deviant to be normalized. The normal must be found to be deviant.’ This situation is thoroughly perverse. Underclass values become increasingly acceptable to the middle class, especially their young, and middle-class values become increasingly contemptible to the cultural elites.”[2]

Americans have become desensitized when it comes to stories about moral degeneracy. Immoral acts that were once only spoken of in hushed tones thirty years ago are now included in the curriculum of our nation’s government schools and espoused by leaders in liberal denominations. The latest ratcheting up of the moral deviancy bar has come, once again, from the Episcopal Church USA. Its new leader is Katherine Jefferts Schori, bishop of Nevada. In 2003, she voted in favor of the denomination’s openly homosexual bishop. “God welcomes all to the table. People who agree and people who disagree,” she said. “All of the marginalized are most especially welcome at the table.”[3] Jesus welcomed the woman caught in adultery, the polyamorous Samaritan woman, the despised collectors, zealous religious revolutionaries, and a man ensnared by his riches. Jesus would have accepted homosexuals. But like the above mentioned group of sinners, Jesus would have required a change in lifestyle to go along with the claim of a change in heart. The woman caught in the very act of adultery was told to “go and sin no more.” Jesus would have said the same thing to the homosexual.

Trained as a biologist, Jefferts Schori says “homosexuality is ‘a given characteristic, not chosen.’”[4] There are a number of people who used to engage in sodomy who would disagree. As a biologist, doesn’t Jefferts Schori know the basics of anatomy? Homosexuality (the name itself describes its unreproductive behavior) is contrary to the basics of Biology 101.

Where do we stop with the biological determinism argument? Adultery? Rape? Pedophilia? Murder? Bestiality? It used to be said that “The devil made me do it.” Now it’s “My genes made me do it.”

Homosexuals are identified not by a trait or a gene, but rather by their actions. Without the action, they would be indistinguishable from all other people. It is only when they alter their behavior that they become a group that is recognized as being different. If we were to assume momentarily that homosexuality was genetic, then the most one could conclude is that those individuals were not morally responsible for being homosexual. However, that does not mean that they are not morally responsible for homosexual actions! Merely having the gene would not force one to carry out the behavior. For instance, if scientists were able to document that a “rape gene” existed, we certainly would not blame an individual for possessing this gene, but neither would we allow him to act upon that rape disposition.[5]

While waiting for our breakfast at a Waffle House just north of Phoenix, Arizona, I picked up a copy of the June 2006 issue of Deer Valley magazine and began reading. An article written by Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio caught my attention. The title was striking: “Bestiality, an unsavory topic that had to be addressed.” It seems that bestiality is a problem in Maricopa County: “a public servant was caught by a young girl and her father in the act of attempting to engage in a sex act with the little girl’s young pet lamb. . . . Recently a man was sexually abusing four dogs” (29).

Is the Episcopal Church USA ready to welcome these two men if they claim that bestiality is biologically determined? Is a bishopric waiting for them in about twenty years? I can see the denomination’s slogan now: “Sodomy today, bestiality tomorrow! God welcomes all to the table.”

Endnotes:

[1] Robert H. Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline (New York: Regan Books, 1996), 3.
[2] Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah, 3–4.
[3] Quoted in Cathy Lynn Grossman, “Episcopalians elect female leader,”USA Today (June 19, 2006), 1A.
[4] Quoted in Cathy Lynn Grossman, “New Episcopal leader brings ‘open heart,’” USA Today
(June 19, 2006), 5D.[5] Brad Harrub, Bert Thompson, and Dave Miller, “‘This is the Way God Made Me’: A Scientific Examination of Homosexuality and the ‘Gay Gene’”

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