Friday, October 25, 2013

Shame & Homosexuality

Shame & Homosexuality
by Greg Koukl

Somehow, society's finger of shame is now pointing in the opposite direction.
One of the things that struck me hardest is when Mel White talked about those who would hurl insults, call him names, throw bottles at him.... My immediate reaction to that was what a terrible thing for someone to do. And John made the same comment and I imagine everyone else felt the same way too. I have a rule on this program that there is no name calling, there is no ad hominems, there is no maligning of individuals because it's impolite. Now having said that, I still had to pause and think for a moment. What is going on when we call names to a person in public for something that they do that we think is morally inappropriate? What we're doing is shaming them. Then I had to ask myself a question, and I haven't worked all of this out, my friends, but it's worthy of some consideration. Why are we so reluctant to publicly shame someone or publicly shame behavior?
It's impolite to shame somebody. It's impolite to call names. A lot of people hold that when it comes to a Christian's view of this issue, but there is a lot of shame in our society now and a lot of shameful fingers being pointed. So it isn't like the society isn't against shame. It's that they're shaming different things. In fact, if I were to say that homosexuality is despicable and homosexuals ought to be ashamed of themselves because they're perverts, that would be so unreasonable in many people's minds that they would respond this way: "Shame on you, Greg Koukl, for saying such a thing."
You see, the tendency to shame is still there. But the shame is now directed at the people who are morally sensitive to these issues. People like me are called, "homophobes," "bigots," "fundamentalists."
Now, I'm not arguing here for name calling. I'm simply making an observation. And I am asking the question: is there not an appropriateness to publicly shaming behavior that is, in fact, publicly shameful? Do you think that if adultery were a shameful act in the eyes of most people, as it was in the past, that there would be as much adultery today? There was a time when it was shameful to cohabit with a member of the opposite sex, to live together. It was shameful. Did we have many people cohabiting? No. Did we have as many pregnancies out of wedlock? No. Did we have as much venereal disease? No. Why? Because society had a moral code and they enforced that code, to some degree, through the concept of shame. Now the society is completely topsey turvey. The shame is still there, but now the good things are shamed and the bad things are applauded.


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