Sexual Ethics Essay

As readers can see, Gushee takes every step in his argument with a bias toward viewing same-sex attraction as natural and irresistible for those who experience it, toward viewing same-sex relationships as behaviorally and morally indistinguishable from a healthy marriage between a man and a woman, and toward viewing the divinely inspired authors of scripture as completely ignorant of these “stubborn facts.” He concludes that their biblical morality was therefore concerned only with the violent, exploitative homosexual conduct they knew about, which was all they knew about.

I said above that Gushee’s first problem is a bad anthropology, and one sees it here.

And Gushee is far too certain—more than even the boilerplate statements of the modern psychological establishment can justify—that same-sex attraction, in a determinate proportion of the population, is both fixed and irresistible.

Tell that to Rosaria Butterfield, Wesley Hill, Doug Mainwaring, Robert Oscar Lopez, Eve Tushnet, or the men and women in the Catholic documentary “The Desire of the Everlasting Hills.” All their experiences differ, but each of them has managed to come out of the homosexual life and live in faith and sexual integrity with the help of their families and friends.

And I have to say I was taken aback, not by the conclusions about sexuality Gushee reaches, which are perfectly conventional in the world today, but by the sophistry he employs to square those conclusions with scripture-based Christian sexual ethics.

Sexual Ethics Essay

As I tweeted after reading his Post essay, Gushee gives us bad anthropology, shallow theology, and uncharitable ethics, but impeccable social fashion for today’s world.But when Gushee suggests in his column series that “in Genesis 3 perspective no one’s sexuality is innocent” (his italics), that “everyone’s sexuality is broken in ways known quite well to each of us in our own hearts,” and that “everyone’s sexuality needs to be morally disciplined and ordered,” he seems really to be saying that we must not only accept that we are sinful, but accept our sins themselves.Shrug off that cross and be the sinning creature that God made you. He is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Radford University, in Radford, Virginia, where he taught constitutional law, American politics, and political...Because I am a Catholic, not an evangelical, and because I am a political theorist and constitutional scholar, not a theologian, I was only dimly aware of David Gushee before his Post essay.But that essay “mainstreamed” an argument that should be of interest to all Christians, so I went to the series of sixteen online columns Gushee wrote for Baptist News Global over the last few months (the last installment herehas links to all the previous ones), now also published as a short book.Here is my own summary of Gushee’s extended argument through his column series, as fairly as I can make it out: Gay people exist among us, and cannot change. Some Christians, including some gays, believe a Christian sexual ethic requires celibacy on their part.But celibacy is an “exceptional and rare calling” that most simply will not embrace.What is “morally disciplined and ordered” about that? Sinners and their sins may come in packages, but the struggle to live in faith means exchanging the burden of sin for the burden of the Cross, praying for the grace to accept the weight of joy promised in the exchange. Gushee seems to dispense with the latter by telling us the former can be rationalized away. Leviticus calls homosexual acts an abomination, but it describes many other acts that way too. And also for a death penalty for every other “abomination” in Old Testament law?Maybe this prohibition was just a way of setting Israel apart from other nearby cultures, or maybe it was just a male-domination thing.


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