The Genetic Fallacy of the Language of “Gay” and “Gay Marriage”
John C. Rankin
In the politics of the debate over homosexuality and same-sex marriage, the use of the word “gay” has been a central linguistic strategy for those who advance pansexuality.
As noted elsewhere, homosexuality is rooted in the deep pains tracing back to physical, sexual and emotional abuse people suffer as children or teenagers. Or other forms of feeling emotionally isolated, usually due to a) the chosen absence of the biological father, b) his unchosen absence, and/or c) his emotional absence in some capacity. The majority of those who suffer thus and act out sexuality, do so in terms of heterosexual promiscuity – birds of a feather with homosexuality, and thus pansexuality is the deeper reality.
The craving of the human soul in such children is for the love not given or sensed, for a happiness denied, as it were. The word “gay” historically means “happy,” and its use as a synonym for homosexual identity is thus an appeal for a happiness sought, however ersatz.
It is also a political term, and as such I do not use it, unless in quotes to designate how someone else is using it. I likewise do not use the terms “left” and “right,” “liberal” and “conservative” – for in each case they come with political baggage than can obfuscate clarity of definition and intent. I speak of what is biblical and unbiblical, and in terms of a penultimate political identity, I am a “pro-life libertarian” as rooted in the unalienable rights of life, liberty and property/pursuit of happiness (in the sense of shalom) given by the Creator. As well, here, “gay” as a term for “happy” has been lost to the culture. It is only seen in service to a homosexual identity. In the 1930s, if a man and woman spoke of having a “gay marriage,” they were happily married. Now such language is not possible.
In the original same-sex marriage court rulings of Goodridge, Re: Marriage Cases and Kerrigan, to the recent court battles over Proposition 8 in California, and the First District Court in the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), both of which reached the U.S. Supreme Court – in none of these was the political language of “gay” challenged, nor the attempt made to prove that homosexuality is a genetically given or fixed trait suitable for civil rights classification. And in the First District appeal written by Attorney Mary Bonauto, her argument on the matter was wholly in subjective terms.
How is it that a subjective identity – that which is malleable – can be treated in law as if it were objective in nature?
The answer lies in the failure of the church – both Roman Catholic and Protestant. The Roman Church, at various levels, has long spoken of “gay Catholics” in the metaethics of assumption that they are born that way, and thus, they must be celibate. However, this language can unintentionally forfeit the biblical definition of human sexuality rooted in the order of creation, and thus the reasons why broken sexuality happens, and how the apostle Paul says of those who were once “male prostitutes and homosexual offenders”: “You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God.”
They have been changed by the new life of the Gospel. But the imposed political orthodoxy of the pansexual movement is that such change is not possible. You can become a homosexual, they say, but you cannot leave homosexuality. It is a one-way religion, just like historical Islam. And the church has buckled under this imposition, thus denying true biblical happiness for those who call themselves “gay” in an unfulfillable intramural and putative internecine prophecy.
So when Pope Francis affirms the humanity of homosexual and lesbian persons (amen), but also calls them “gay Catholics,” a genetic fallacy that unintentionally undercuts the Gospel looms.
And whereas most of “old mainline” Protestantism has become theologically, sexually and ethically syncretized, and yields to full-fledged pansexuality, the evangelical and Black churches have been holding out. But a creeping syncretism is also worming its way into them relentlessly.
So when Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, sent out an email in March, 2014, seeking to claim fidelity to the Scriptures while hiring “gay Christians in legal same-sex marriages” (the summary language used in an article by Christianity Today), the same forfeiture is also unintentionally in place. Stearns quickly repudiated his position about hiring such people, but the underlying genetic fallacy in the metaethics of language remains in place – namely, equating God-given ontology (male and female in the image of God) with broken actions that can be healed in the name of Jesus. The very Gospel is at stake.