LGBT Argues For Legislating Morality

Meet The Press is one of the Sunday political shows that I podcast so that I can watch it at the gym usually on Sunday afternoon. One of the guests this past Sunday was Senator John McCain, the former Republican presidential nominee. McCain had just returned from Afghanistan and was sharing his opinion on how the United States should move forward in that country.

Eventually, David Gregory, the host of the show, shifted the conversation a bit and asked McCain some questions regarding the military’s controversial policy regarding homosexuals commonly referred to as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” In the course of the conversation, Gregory played a portion of a video that seemed to show that McCain’s wife, Cindy, disagreed with the senator’s position on the subject. I later saw more of the 2:27 video on The Rachel Maddow Show (another newsy and political show that I podcast).

The video consists of a number of well known members of pop culture speaking out against the bullying of kids in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. This campaign is in response to some recent suicides of students that were precipitated by bullying that occurred at school and spread via social media. I’d encourage you to watch the video especially the segment that starts 50 seconds in and continues to about 1:20. In those 30 seconds the message is that the government’s laws shape how people view the LGBT community. If the laws were changed to be more accepting of people who identify with LGBT, then bullying wouldn’t be so prevalent. That’s what the video is arguing. Watch it for yourself.

Now here’s what I find interesting. Many of the secular and non-religious people in our country argue that Christians inappropriately try to legislate morality. Even many Christians have been influenced by this kind of thinking and parrot the same message. But if I understand the message of this video correctly, it is arguing that we should legislate morality on behalf of the LGBT community.

The argument goes something like this: If the laws of our country prohibit members of the LGBT community from getting married, donating blood, adopting, and serving openly in the military, then we shouldn’t be surprised when people bully and taunt them. Here’s a quote: “The laws teach bullys that what they are doing is acceptable.”

Now let me see if I’ve got this right. If Christians (and people of other religious faiths) argue against legalizing same sex marriage (and other related issues), they are chastised for inappropriately trying to legislate their own personal morality onto others. But if members of pop culture who support LGBT rights argue for legalizing same sex marriage (and other issues mentioned in the video), that’s good, noble, and right. Does that seem like a double standard to anyone else?

I’ll pick up this issue again in future posts but let me just say that I agree with this video on a couple of things. First, any kind of bullying is wrong. I’m happy to join with them and others in persuading people not to harass people because they self identify with the LGBT community. My reasons for not bullying are significantly different than their reasons but the bottom line is that all Christians can join them in condemning bullying.

Secondly, I agree with them that the law has a teaching effect. If the government passes laws that says something is legal, then most people are going to think that it is also morally right. The truth is that everyone wants to legislate morality they just want to legislate their morality. Consider the abortion issue. Pro-life advocates argue that if abortion were illegal, there would be fewer abortions because over time fewer people would want abortions. Laws against abortion would teach people that society thinks of it as morally wrong just like the current laws allowing abortion teach people that society thinks that it is morally permissible.

Now that Christians and the LGBT community agree that laws do (and should) shape the moral conscience of a nation I assume that Christians will no longer face the charge that they are inappropriately legislating morality. But now of course we are going to have to have a national discussion about what kind of moral standards we want to legislate.

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