The Christian Debate on Homosexuality

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The American debate on homosexuality reveals an unquestionable, though awfully uninvited, fusion between religion and politics, revealing a dangerous lack of separation between the church and state. The concern is not about the presence of spirituality in American politics, but the implications institutionalized religion has on the lives and rights of human beings. Nothing hinders the political and social progress of lesbian women and gay men quite like the complexities of religion. Dating back to the beginning of literature itself, homosexuality is far from modern. Nonetheless, homosexuality is currently the most divisive and fiercely debated topic in recent religious discourse. While most Christians maintain allegiance in labeling same-sex relationships as morally wrong, the church is dramatically divided on the proper place for gays and lesbians in American society and of course, American politics. Homosexuality has existed since the beginning of recorded human history and yet, attitudes towards gay and lesbian individuals vary extensively. Some societies tolerate them; others openly welcome and encourage them; and most blatantly condemn them (Bates, 46). Throughout our country’s history, homosexuals have been misunderstood and discriminated against, leading many to acquire an irrational fear of gays and lesbians. Known as homophobia, this fear has prompted heterosexual individuals with a feeling a superiority and authority when using the word “homosexual” interchangeably with the words pervert, faggot, sodomite, and so on. Homophobes typically perceive homosexuality as a threat to society. Nonetheless, the Gay Rights Movement has achieved impressive progress since 1973 when the American Psychological Association (APA) eradi... ... middle of paper ... ...e underestimate the influence religion has on American politics. According to public opinion polls, at least 40% of voters subscribe to a literal interpretation of the Bible and thus, 40% of voters are conservative Christians. Wald and Calhoun-Brown reveal the Christian Right is "closely allied with the Republican Party" (206). “Stealth campaigns” (219), led by committees who hide behind soft names like “Focus on the Family”, ultimately seek to eliminate same-sex marriage, women’s rights, and more. For example, while Concerned Women for America sounds like a women's right's organization, the 500,000-member committee focuses primarily on lobbying antigay and prolife legislation. Along the same lines Focus on the Family (founded 1981 by James Dobson) and the Traditional Values Coalition (formed in 1989 by Pat Robertson) are also advocates of the anti-gay movement.

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