APOLOGIA is a column in which I address issues having to do with faith, science, and ethics, and in which I try to use careful reasoning and evidence to seek what's true. Undoubtedly I will end up disagreeing with at least a few people. And probably I will make a mistake here and there. My hope is that I will show respect to those with whom I disagree, that I (and others) will learn from my mistakes, and that we'll get closer to what's true, good, and beautiful. - Hendrik van der Breggen
January 04, 2017
Hendrik van der Breggen
The Carillon, January
week The Carillon deemed Steinbach's
gay pride parade the 2016 event that's had the “greatest impact” on our
community and called for more conversation and understanding.
I submit the following questions and answers with
the hope they will be helpful.
1. Aren't you homophobic if you have concerns about homosexuality?
No, a phobia is an irrational fear or hatred of
something. It's possible to have reasonable concerns without being phobic.
Logic note: To dismiss someone's arguments
expressing reasonable concerns about same-sex sex solely on the grounds the
arguer is allegedly homophobic is to commit the ad hominem fallacy (the mistake in reasoning of
attacking the person instead of his/ her argument when doing so is not relevant).
2. Are there any reasonable concerns
about same-sex sex?
3. Aren't people with same-sex attractions born that
probably plays an important role that varies for different people. But social
and psychological factors have a role, too.
note: Being born with propensities isn't sufficient reason for acting on those
propensities let alone making them the core of one's identity. I may be born
with propensities for greed, incest, or sex with multiple partners, but this isn't
enough to justify my acting according to, or identifying with, these propensities.
Born that way doesn't mean acting or identifying that way. More reasoning is required.
4. Doesn't science show homosexuals
are genetically determined to be gay, like black people are genetically
determined to be black, so questioning gay identity is unjust—as racism is
No, the gay-is-like-black analogy is faulty. Though same-sex
desires are not chosen, gay identity is a social construct that involves
decisions to embrace/ identify with those desires (so being gay is not wholly
determined, unlike race). Moreover, some/ many gays change to various degrees
(unlike race). Also, various health concerns are associated with same-sex sex
(unlike race). See my column “Is being gay like
5. Doesn't Jesus command us to love our neighbours (including
Nevertheless, Jesus also tells us that the moral law continues to stand and He
even intensifies it. The moral law includes sexual purity, which limits sex to
one man and one woman within marriage.
6. So, what would Jesus do?
would help and stand with the marginalized and downtrodden, and He would say go
and sin no more. Love and truth are not mutually exclusive.