Loving Us into Extinction
A Baptist leader says we're 'equally made in the image of God.' Yet he usurps God's authority when he advocates eliminating gays
I have fond memories of growing up in my Southern Baptist church in Lexington, Ky. My father was a deacon, my mother taught Sunday school for 14 years, and -- like all good Southern Baptists -- we attended services on Wednesday nights and twice on Sunday. Several of our church leaders graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in nearby Louisville.
As a result, I was horrified -- as all fair-minded Americans should be -- to read the recent comments of Albert Mohler, the current president of that seminary and a board member of Focus on the Family.
In his blog on March 2, Mohler explores the mounting body of scientific research suggesting that sexual orientation is shaped by biological factors. In doing so, he alludes to the Religious Right's slow and reluctant concession that sexual orientation is an innate human characteristic, not a behavioral choice. The argument that homosexuality is simply a behavioral issue is the foundation for the Religious Right's arguments against equal civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.
Mohler goes on to state, "If a biological basis is found, and if a prenatal test is developed, and if successful treatment to reverse sexual orientation to heterosexual is developed, we would support its use as we should unapologetically support the use of any appropriate means to avoid sexual temptation and the inevitable effects of sin."
Later he adds, "We can and must insist that no scientific finding can change the basic sinfulness of all homosexual behavior."
Translation: Straight people have a "sexual orientation" -- LGBT people, even in utero, have a "sinful temptation."
Despite the overwhelming body of empirical evidence, policy statements from all the major mental health associations and the living testimonies of grace, love, and faithfulness displayed by LGBT people, Mohler and his friends remain unrepentantly determined to stand by their bigotry and love us into extinction.
Mohler acknowledges that we all "are equally made in the image of God." Yet he usurps the Creator's authority with the audacity to advocate eliminating -- or at least altering -- the existence of future LGBT people. Such are the dangerous tenets of fundamentalist ideology, and they should scare all of us to death.