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FIRST-PERSON: The incremental acceptance of homosexuality

McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)–“Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable,” wrote G.K. Chesterton. A recent societal survey supports the sage social critic’s observation.

A poll conducted by The Gallup Organization found that 91 percent of Americans agreed polygamy is wrong. The survey, taken in May, also discovered that 54 percent of respondents believed homosexual behavior to be morally unacceptable.

While homosexual conduct is still frowned on by a majority, it has never been more accepted in the United States. One survey from 1970 found that 84 percent of Americans believed homosexuality to be a “social corruption.” A 30-point favorable shift in just over three decades is significant, perhaps even revolutionary.

While homosexual behavior has made great strides toward societal acceptance in the past few decades, polygamy has not. It would seem that with America’s increasing permissiveness toward all things sexual that the practice of multiple marriage partners would also enjoy a favorable shift. That has not been the case.

How has homosexuality, once deemed aberrant by an overwhelming majority of Americans, gained in acceptance while polygamy has remained an anathema to the public at large? To put it bluntly, many in America have allowed themselves to be snookered.

The modern homosexual rights movement began around 1970. Since that time, homosexual activists have made a concerted effort to shape public perception concerning their lifestyle. Judging by the recent Gallup poll, they have been very successful.

One strategy of homosexual activists was to convince society at large that their behavior was a natural proclivity and not a choice. Hence, they began to trumpet that homosexuality was a condition that was genetically determined.

Even though there has never been a single definitive study linking homosexual behavior to biology, activists have insisted their behavior is rooted in genetics. For 30 years, like a broken record, advocates of homosexuality have declared that same-sex attraction is biological. Many in America now accept the assertion without question.

A lie repeated loud enough and long enough will eventually be accepted by some as the truth.

The media has also been complicit in the push to alter the public’s perception on homosexuality. In 1987, The New York Times -– America’s most influential newspaper –- succumbed to activist pressure and changed its editorial policy and began using the word “gay” to refer to all things homosexual.

While the shift was subtle, it was also effective. “Homosexual” is a precise term that denotes a practice. “Gay” is a softer word that conveys an attitude. Thus, in the media, homosexuality was no longer defined in terms of sexual practice, but rather as a positive and progressive approach to life.

Again, a lie repeated loud enough and long enough will eventually be accepted by some as the truth.

While activists managed to persuade the media to refer to homosexuality in a more positive light, they were at the same time denigrating those who dared suggest that the “gay” lifestyle was not a good lifestyle.

Debate on the issue of homosexuality was not an option for activists. Anyone who took issue with the homosexual rights movement was branded a homophobe and an intolerant bigot. Comparisons to Adolf Hitler were reserved for those who declared homosexuality a moral wrong.

Activists have labeled opponents with slurs for so long that many Americans now believe that opposition to homosexuality is somehow inherently immoral.

Misrepresentations, like lies, repeated loud enough and long enough become accepted by some as the truth.

While homosexual activists have been busy shaping public perception of their lifestyle, there has been no comparable polygamy rights movement. Hence, while both behaviors are aberrant, one has gained in acceptance while the other remains verboten.

To those who have been snookered by homosexual activists and to those who advocate on their behalf, allow me to quote Chesterton again, “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”

Excusing a practice that is morally wrong does not magically transform it into a moral right.
Kelly Boggs’ column appears each Friday in Baptist Press. He is pastor of the Portland-area Valley Baptist Church in McMinnville, Ore.

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  • Kelly Boggs