August 27, 2014

Christian Atheists: Are Christians who support homosexuality experiencing a type of atheism?

Homosexuality is becoming more accepted, even among traditional religions like Christianity. Our society is changing, catching up with the times.

Some are not pleased by the change though. One blogger notes some objections that have been raised:
Evangelical singer Victoria Beeching announced last week that she is gay and that she believes God loves her just the way she is. Her views are shared by a growing number of Christians, but, according to Robert P. George, they have traded the true Christian God for a deity that “is soft-spirited and easily placated or appeased” and “makes no stringent moral demands of human beings.” They have been led, claims George, “into Plato’s third form of atheism,” a belief in “an imaginary God made in the image and likeness of man, as man is conceived in the pseudo-religion of expressive individualism and me-generation liberalism.” 
I can't help but giggle a bit at the description of a third form of atheism centered around an imaginary God, in the image and likeness of man.

That's what atheists think of believers. By that definition, all Christians are atheists to us. Kind of funny, isn't it?

The blogger goes on to make good points though. Robert George argued that progressive Christians are grasped by moral relativism, but that's simply not true--progressives are still moral. They just believe differently in this aspect, and accept that some parts of the Bible are a bit less applicable today.

I have to ask--does George feel the same about people that believe slavery is wrong? Or folks that don't require a rape victim to marry her rapist? People that eat shellfish? Are they also all moral relativists?

This is really a matter of semantics. Kyle Cupp, the blogger in question, makes a good closing point on what acceptance of homosexuality does mean, however:
George is right, however, that Christians’ acceptance of homosexuality is a threat to traditional Christianity. As I’ve argued before, challenging this traditional understanding of human sexuality means challenging the basic symbolism on which Scripture and Tradition present God and his Church. And that can mean giving up on biblical inerrancy. That’s no little thing, but it isn’t tantamount to a “do whatever you like” theology.
At the end of the day, I don't think this is even a battle to be fought in religious terms. I truly hope that Christianity becomes truly accepting, so that homosexual believers have a community that is welcoming. But the actual battle for human rights is a secular one.

In religion, it is easy to divide people into categories: Believers and Those That Need To Be Converted, for instance. Such divisions don't bode well for respecting human rights on all levels. I know, I know, there will be believers that don't agree with me--but hear me out.

Take abortion for instance. We've talked about ritual abortion in the Bible. Abortion is widely considered an immoral decision by opponents, often on religious grounds (although there is secular support for it also). However, by defenders, abortion is not considered immoral. In situations like this, you have deep divisions formed based on morality, and these situations can only be settled using a secular moral code. Secular morality makes the playing field level. If you consider the action immoral, you don't engage in it. For people that do consider it moral, the ability to engage in the action is safeguarded.

I believe it's the same for LGBT+ rights--they have to be safeguarded by secular means.

And then we can leave the religious to sort themselves out.

Atheists, indeed. *chuckles*

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