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FIRST-PERSON: How, they ask, can it be love?

McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)–“How do you respond to the assertion that your position does not appear very loving?” the reporter asked. She added, “As a Christian, aren’t you, above all, to exhibit love?”

The aforementioned questions were posed by a reporter seeking my thoughts regarding the Oregon Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to void some 3,000 marriage licenses issued to homosexual couples by Multnomah County (home to Portland, and Oregon’s most populous county) during the spring of 2004.

I said that I thought the decision was correct. I added that the commissioners were wrong to unilaterally attempt to redefine marriage so as to include homosexual relationships.

That is when she posed the oft-asked query. Reporters ask it without fail. Proponents of homosexual “marriage” usually scream it at the top of their lungs. Liberals repeat it in a condescending tone. “As a Christian, how do your justify your opposition to homosexual marriage [or homosexuality in general] as love?”

If I had the proverbial nickel for every time I’ve been asked that question, I would, at the very least, drive a nicer car. My 1995 Ford Escort is adequate transportation, but the new Mustang, according to my son, is “sweet.”

The reason the question is asked so frequently is that the concept of love is distorted in our current culture. Americans, we are told, love baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and (insert the name of your favorite automobile manufacturer or sports team).

Love is viewed as a mere feeling. More often than not, it is understood to be an empathetic emotion. Love, according to American popular culture, should accentuate the positive and eliminate, or at the very least ignore, the negative.

Applied to homosexual behavior and same-sex “marriage,” love American-style emphasizes tolerance and compassion. Totally absent in popular culture’s connotation of love is any orientation toward truth.

While love does include some measure of tolerance and compassion, real love also embraces truth.

“Love,” the Apostle Paul wrote, “does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.” In the Book of Proverbs we are told, “Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed.”

If love is genuine, it tells the truth.

From a biological standpoint, homosexuality is aberrant. Despite the claims of homosexuals, and those who “love” them, no definitive study has ever established proof of a genetic origin for homosexuality. Not one.

Homosexual behavior is extremely unhealthy. One study has shown that the life expectancy of homosexuals (men and women) is reduced by as much as half that of heterosexuals. Also, a serious variety of sexually transmitted diseases unique to homosexuals are a direct result of violating the biological design of the human body.

Even if the negative health consequences of homosexual behavior are ignored, another reality remains. Homosexuals do not procreate. While some may come to have children by some alternate means, two men or two women are incapable of producing offspring. Additionally, studies strongly suggest that the best environment for raising children include both a mother and a father.

To those who charge that opposition to homosexual behavior and same-sex “marriage” is unloving, I ask, “Why is it considered unloving to insist on the truth?” I will grant you that it may not be emotionally positive or seem empathetic; however, truth is what is best for individuals and for society.

Did you know that some people are able to drink through their nose? I have seen it done. Trust me; it is not a pretty sight.

If someone were to assert that it is their choice to ingest liquids through their nose, they would be correct. However, love would compel me to point out the truth that the nose was not designed for such a use. I might even suggest that pursuing such a practice could eventually result in negative, albeit unintended, consequences.

If nose-drinkers sought to have their practice legitimized as an acceptable form for the intake of liquids, I would oppose them. Love would motivate me to oppose a biologically aberrant behavior from being portrayed as a normal choice.

Silly analogy? Perhaps. However, there is nothing silly about the attempt to redefine marriage so as to include homosexual relationships. In so doing, society will legitimize a lifestyle that is both biologically and sociologically unhealthy.

“Love” that ignores the truth and is only emotionally positive or empathetic is not genuine love. Real love risks telling the truth.
Kelly Boggs, whose column appears each Friday in Baptist Press, is pastor of the Portland-area Valley Baptist Church in McMinnville, Ore.

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  • Kelly Boggs