We’ve just learned that Alan Keyes’ daughter, Maya Marcel-Keyes, is a self-described “queer liberal.” The Keyes’ family joins the ranks of Phyllis Schlafly, Dick and Lynne Cheney, Randall Terry (an adopted son), Sadie Fields, head of Georgia’s Christian Coalition, all prominent conservatives, who have a child who is a self-proclaimed homosexual. Julianne Malveax, writing for USA Today, castigates the Keyes because they kicked their daughter out of their house and refused to pay her college tuition. Malveaux is aghast at such behavior from someone like Keyes who supports “family values.” Let’s suppose Ms. Malveaux’s daughters joined a terrorist organization? Would she continue to fund her child’s college education? What if she learned that her son was a pedophile or a rapist? Would she continue to subsidize her behavior by giving her sanctuary to continue his lifestyle choices? Would it be wrong for my wife and me to kick my son out of our house if he joined the Ku Klux Klan?

Malveaux recognizes that homosexuality is forbidden in the Bible, but it’s no big deal. This quotation from her is unbelievable. I have to assume she did not proof read her article, or an editor did a bad job of editing:

Keyes and his ilk say the Bible expressly forbids homosexuality. They need to read Harvard Professor Peter Gomes’ 1996 masterpiece, The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart. Gomes acknowledges biblical teaching on homosexuality, but notes that the Bible gives no more weight to homosexuality than it does to adultery, lying, stealing, killing and judging others.[1]

This is an astounding claim. She has fallen into moral quicksand, defining deviancy so far down, to use Patrick Moynihan’s phrase, that almost nothing is immoral except the person who claims some things are immoral and stands firm in that conviction. Can I assume from her words that if her husband were committing adultery, lying, stealing, and killing that she would practice her version of “family values” and not judge him? I don’t think so.

Then she has the audacity to call Peter Gomes’ The Good Book “a masterpiece.” It’s trash. Gomes attacks those who use the Bible as a moral standard to evaluate whether homosexuality is both sinful and criminal. His approach is to explain away the obvious by misstating the facts, conveniently leaving out important textual details, and making wild leaps in logic. His first tactic is to discount the biblical prohibitions against homosexuality by turning them into ceremonial laws that supposedly found their fulfillment in the finished work of Christ. He reasons this way: Since Leviticus 18:19–23 and 20:10–6 are part of the “Holiness Code” that “prohibits eating raw meat, planting two different kinds of seed in the same field and wearing garments with two different kinds of yarn”—and these laws no longer apply because they find their fulfillment in the redemptive work of Christ—then we can conclude that the prohibitions regarding homosexuality no longer apply since they are in the same code.

There are problems with this line of reasoning. First, the same “Holiness Code” that condemns homosexuality also prohibits adultery (Lev. 18:20), child sacrifice (v. 21), and sex with animals (v. 23). Is Mr. Gomes telling us that these are now acceptable alternative lifestyle choices that should be protected by law? If his answer is yes, then let him say so.

Second, Leviticus 19 (still part of the “Holiness Code”) prohibits stealing and lying (v. 11), oppressing neighbors and robbing them (v. 13), withholding wages from a laborer (v. 13), cursing the deaf and tripping the blind (v. 14), showing partiality in judicial matters (v. 15), slandering (v. 16), and taking vengeance (v. 18). Leviticus 20 repeats the prohibitions against child sacrifice (vv. 2-5), adultery (v. 10), homosexuality (v. 13), and bestiality (vv. 15–6). Are we to conclude, using Mr. Gomes’ logic, that these laws no longer apply today because they are found in the “Holiness Code”?

Third, homosexuality is “an abomination” (Lev. 18:22) that deserves the death penalty (20:13). Certain ceremonial violations also were considered “abominations,” but not one was a capital crime. The breach of the ceremonial law resulted in separation from the religious activity of Israel for a stated period, a form of temporal excommunication. Thus there is a qualitative difference between eating pork (Lev. 11:7), sexual abstinence during a woman’s menstrual period (18:19), ritual shaving (19:27)—all pointing to the redemptive work of Christ—and homosexual practice.

Malveaux and Gomes would do better by acknowledging that the Bible prohibits homosexuality and concluding that the Bible is not God’s Word than to try to make it say something it doesn’t.


[1] Julianne Malveaux, “When sexuality trumps moral values,” USA Today (February 18, 2005), 11A.