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Homosexuality and the Family | Dr. Joe Boot

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Adapted and excerpted from The Mission of God: A Manifesto of Hope for Society (London: Wilberforce Publications, 2016).

The biblical view of homosexual acts will be viewed by many today as draconian, intolerant and unthinkable. Indeed, as Jonathan Burnside points out regarding present sensibilities, the biblical references to sodomy, "will find themselves labeled as 'texts of terror,'"[1] and certainly in the West, these parts of the Bible would be considered 'hate speech' by human rights commissions. This leads people to think that because the contemporary social context is in some ways hostile to biblical sexual ethics, biblical law must at best be irrelevant or, at worst, should be actively excluded from the debate. But this hasty conclusion is misguided in light of the present social crisis and current legal reforms. Burnside continues, "When we compare biblical law with recent sexual offenses reform...we will find that biblical law is not irrelevant. On the contrary, we will see that consent is not the only way of thinking about sexual offenses in modern society. Biblical law provides us with the idea of relational sexual order."[2]

But is Burnside right? Are penalties for sexual offenses necessary for preserving the survival of the biblical family unit? Is relational sexual order destroyed by the reduction of sexual offenses to a matter of individual consent? Social history, not just the biblical material, suggests he is right. As we reflect on fifty years since the passing of the Sexual Offences Act and the decriminalization of homosexuality in Britain, and the more recent redefinitions of marriage in Europe and Canada, we see that relational chaos has indeed ensued. After a decision of the European Court of Human Rights, it is now lawful for a father-in-law to marry his daughter-in-law and likewise for a son and his mother-in-law to wed. The result is 'scrambled parenthood,' a conflict of generationality where fathers and sons are sexually interchangeable.[3]

Once marriage and family are redefined, the floodgates are opened to a bewildering world of confused, ruinous, relational chaos. It must also be said that this reality is not simply an unintended consequence of socially libertarian attitudes. Homosexual acts were decriminalized by political pressure in the West because a religious and ideological agenda underlies the thinking of many of the intellectuals and activists at the heart of the social revolution against the family.

Thus the sexual revolution was first a cultural revolution that then became a legal revolution. The first implication of the sexual revolution is that legal protection for the family is steadily removed and various offenses against it (including the sexual) go unpunished. Second, in exploiting the now-unprotected family in favour of raw sexuality, we find anarchic libertarians, Marxist educators, radical feminists, homosexual activists, pornographers, as well as the courts and statist social engineers, turning their collective guns against the family, usually in the name of rights and freedom. If there were any doubt that legal sanctions are necessary for the survival of the biblical family unit (whether our culture wants it to survive is another question), the words of the noted American homosexual activist, Michael Swift should offer food for thought. In the original editorial he described this piece as an eruption of rage, a mad dream of his desired America, where 'oppressed' homosexuals could eventually dominate the social order:


We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theater bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all-male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together. Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us. Women, you cry for freedom. You say you are no longer satisfied with men; they make you unhappy. We, connoisseurs of the masculine face, the masculine physique, shall take your men from you then.… Women, you say you wish to live with each other instead of with men. Then go and be with each other.… All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked. Instead, legislation shall be passed which engenders love between men.… If you dare to cry faggot, fairy, queer, at us, we will stab you in your cowardly hearts and defile your dead, puny bodies. We shall write poems of the love between men; we shall stage plays in which man openly caresses man; we shall make films about the love between heroic men which will replace the cheap, superficial, sentimental, insipid, juvenile, heterosexual infatuations presently dominating your cinema screens.… Our writers and artists will make love between men fashionable and de rigueur, and we will succeed because we are adept at setting styles.… You will be shocked and frightened when you find that your presidents and their sons, your industrialists, your senators, your mayors, your generals, your athletes, your film stars, your television personalities, your civic leaders, your priests are not the safe, familiar, bourgeois, heterosexual figures you assumed them to be. We are everywhere; we have infiltrated your ranks.… There will be no compromises. We are not middle-class weaklings. Highly intelligent, we are the natural aristocrats of the human race.… Those who oppose us will be exiled.… The family unit-spawning ground of lies, betrayals, mediocrity, hypocrisy and violence will be abolished. The family unit, which only dampens imagination and curbs free will, must be eliminated. Perfect boys will be conceived and grown in the genetic laboratory. They will be bonded together in communal setting, under the control and instruction of homosexual savants. All churches who condemn us will be closed. Our only gods are handsome young men.… The exquisite society to emerge will be governed by an elite comprised of gay poets. One of the major requirements for a position of power in the new society of homoeroticism will be indulgence in the Greek passion. Any man contaminated with heterosexual lust will be automatically barred from a position of influence. All males who insist on remaining stupidly heterosexual will be tried in homosexual courts of justice and will become invisible men. We shall rewrite history, history filled and debased with your heterosexual lies and distortions.… We shall be victorious because we are fueled with the ferocious bitterness of the oppressed.… We too are capable of firing guns and manning the barricades of the ultimate revolution. Tremble, hetero swine, when we appear before you without our masks.[4]


There is no mistaking the hatred, rage and perversion explicit in his neo-Leninist worldview, recast in terms of homoeroticism. Particularly noteworthy is the facet of misogyny in homosexualist thought, typically overlooked by feminists. There is an unconcealed hatred of women, as well as a desire to revive and normalize Greco-Roman pederasty (in schools and dormitories), and naturally the family must be utterly destroyed. Now obviously it is very important to be clear that not all those struggling with same-sex attraction or in homosexual lifestyles share Swift's sentiments – in fact many would outright reject them. But the intellectual stronghold and spirit behind the homoerotic worldview, one widely embraced by homosexual and queer activists and entrenched among much of the intellectual class, would endorse much in this 'manifesto.' A culture that decriminalizes homosexual practice is one on the brink of total revolution and cultural death.

The reality is, reflecting on these words of Swift penned back in the 1987, a good deal of what he claims will be done, has already been done. From the overturning of laws against homosexual acts, to the criminalizing of speech against homosexuality (through the Human Rights Commission in Canada – hate crimes regulations) to the revolutionizing of gender and family identity, to the take-over of values in the entertainment industry, to the attempt to 'queer' children from kindergarten up, to re-writing history (gay history), transforming sex education and inserting "gay-straight" alliances into government schools in the guise of anti-bullying campaigns, many of these stated goals are already accomplished. Such a progressive sequence of perversion and evil is predicted in Leviticus 20:13–16. Moreover, as Burnside points out:


The legislation of homosexual relations and the introduction of same-sex civil partnerships is seen, in some quarters, as paving the way for three-way civil partnerships and this, in turn, is said to create pressure for the legalization of bestiality. This mirrors the Levitical sequence of 20:13-16. Civil unions between three persons became legal in the Netherlands in 2005.… [T]here is no conceptual reason why the next three-way union could not be between two men and one woman, or even between three men – including a man, a father, and his son. In the United States, the case is being made by practitioners and academics for the legalization of bestiality. Singer argues…the pursuit of equality should allow sexual contact between humans and non-human species.[5]

It is in light of these present realities that Burnside sees biblical laws concerning sexual offenses as of "profound relevance."[6] Biblical penology points beyond anarchic, individualised consent to a positive vision for society founded in God's relational order. Our chaotic practices are indicative of our idolatry, the dishonouring of our parents and our adulterous ways – despising our children by treasonous attitudes to the family. Yet, there is always the possibility of change. As any people turns back toward the living God, the gospel of Jesus Christ and his inscripturated word, they will steadily return to God's law protecting the family and have regard for biblical sanctions against sexual crimes.

Because our religious faith has been altered as a people in the West, our criminal laws regarding the family and sexuality have followed the new religion – an 'I' world of self-centred, self-gratification, a 'godhood' the individual delegates to the state, to enforce the new 'liberty.' But surely the Christian must agree that the Puritan John Cotton was right: "The more any Law smells of man the more unprofitable." Humanistic law has led to social chaos and crisis. It is time to turn again to the words of Isaiah 33:22: "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us."[7]

[1]Jonathan Burnside,God, Justice and Society: Aspects of Law and Legality in the Bible (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 375.

[2]Burnside, God, justice and society, 375.

[3]See Burnside, God, justice and society, 378–379.

[4]Michael Swift, Homosexual Manifesto, first published as 'Gay Revolutionary' in 'The Gay Community News,' 1987., accessed, November 2012. The article was found to be of serious concern in the United States and so was reprinted in full in the Congressional Record. Nervous of this exposure, the claim of some homosexualists that the piece was satire has proven completely hollow – the cultural changes effected by homosexual activism in the twenty-five years since its publication have proven otherwise.

[5]Burnside, God, justice and society, 384–385.

[6]Burnside, God, justice and society, 385.

[7]John Cotton, cited in George Lee Haskins, Law and authority in early Massachusetts: a study in tradition and design (Lanham, NY: University Press of America, 1985), 160.