Mars Hill Forum # 35: Adjacent to Syracue University: Harry Freeman Jones and a “Confession”
John C. Rankin
[excerpted from First the Gospel, Then Politics …, 1999, Vol. 2, not published]
On October 30, 1996, I addressed a Mars Hill Forum at a coffee-house adjacent to Syracuse University (NY). My interlocutor was Harry Freeman Jones, a well-known local homosexual activist. Jones claimed that he and his partner were the “longest married homosexuals” in the nation, dating their “marriage” back to 1973.
Jones was arguing for the marriage of homosexuals in “mutually committed relationships,” and set himself up as a model. However, he was also in the public spotlight because he defended the use of local parks for homosexual trysts as a matter of civil liberties. These trysts involved men openly having sex with each other, and within sight of children at a playground.
During our forum, I briefly touched the question of the volitional nature of homosexuality, alluding to the genetic debate, but focusing on the broad range of sentiment within the homosexual-rights movement – from the opinion that it is predetermined to the opinion that it is wholly a matter of choice. It was an aside to another point where I was simply notifying Mr. Jones and the audience of my position, with his and their freedom to question me further if they wished.
After making the aside, I moved on to the point at hand and said to him: “I believe that homosexuals can change and become heterosexual.” His response: “And heterosexuals can change and become homosexual.”
For me, this comment is a candid a self-evaluation of the homosexual-rights movement. The recruiting reality of the pansexual jihad. Now, we Christians recruit people to eternal life, and this should always be done through the ethics of informed choice. And thus, the real contest is between those who recruit for life out of self-giving love, and those broken people who recruit for death out of their own consuming brokenness.
Jones also made a comment while steering clear of arguing that homosexuality was genetic and explicitly spoke of the ability of heterosexuals to become homosexual. Thus, his sense is that the homosexual-rights movement is its own “community of choice.” Or, de facto, a religion. He said that if it were not for homosexuals, I would be walking around naked, since “all” the clothes designers (in his estimation) are homosexual. If they design clothes – great. But is Jones also saying that no heterosexuals have ever designed or made clothes? Or that the design and manufacture of clothes is somehow intrinsic to homosexuality, a kind of sex-determined skill? Who clothed Adam and Eve, and how did Noah and Abraham clothe themselves?
What he was doing was trying to make heterosexual existence and survival a parasite of homosexual culture. A true reversal that would theologically make intrinsic creation a product of and dependent upon intrinsic destruction, e.g., the Babylonian Genesis. Evil is a parasite of the good, yet Jones wants to make good the parasite of evil. As Isaiah says:
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
“Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight” (5:20-21).
Also, at one point I Spoke concerning Resolution #4 on “Human Sexuality and Civil Rights.” Most the audience approved of homosexuality in one fashion or another.
I stopped at this juncture, where I had been arguing the fairness of the power of informed choice, paused and then looked at the audience. I said that I was going to confess to them the consequences of the sexual choices I had made over the course of my lifetime.
Many of them leaned forward with anticipation of what this “confession” would entail (not knowing my background). I then said: “Chad, Stuart, Jeremy and Brittney.” As it sank in, they did not know what to do with this “revelation.” An equal standard of defining private and public domains, applicable equally to all parties.
I then said that I gladly accept these, the public consequences of my private relationship with my wife, and do not expect or wish for any help from the government in raising my children. In fact, I wish the government would honor the biblical priority of home and family. I also said that those who have other public consequences to their private sexualities should have the same integrity to reap what they have sown. And if that means a sexually transmitted disease, then they too should handle it apart from government monies.
This is fairness between the married and unmarried based on the ethics and power of informed choice, between heterosexual and homosexual. Moreover, it is far more expensive to raise and educate children than to pay the medical expenses of STDs, and I am glad to embrace that choice. Even for the most expensive AIDS treatment near the end of a patient’s life, how does that line up with the expenses of 22 years of raising just one child, not to mention four? The difference in value is more than commensurate. A shortened and painful life for the “fast-track” homosexual with no personal legacy on the one hand, versus a full life span and the joy and legacy of children on the other hand.
TEI International Leadership School
House of Lords 17 October 2017
Text of John Rankin’s address on the occasion of the 500th annive5rsary of the Reformation.