Jim West on Heterophobia and Homophobia

Jim WestIn a post Leftist Ideology and Heterophobia in Biblical Studies Jim West writes:

I find it passing curious that leftist ideologues who regularly smear anyone and everyone who raises legitimate questions about the theological propriety of homosexuality are not themselves treated to the same campaign. …

Furthermore, what’s even more interesting here is the fact that the constant demonization of the views of others by the use of derogatory labels is part and parcel of an awful lot of discussions these days.  …

It’s easy to call someone a homophobe; it’s not quite so easy to show, from a biblical and theological point of view, that homosexuality is a legitimate demonstration of being human.

Well said, Jim. As I wrote in my post How to Ask Churches to Accept Homosexuality as Normal,

the only way for the gay community to win over evangelical churches is by convincing them with biblical arguments,

and name calling is counter-productive as well as wrong.

8 thoughts on “Jim West on Heterophobia and Homophobia

  1. Hmmm… have been meaning to say this on that earlier post, How to ask churches…, but what with all the glitches, never quite got there…

    Tell me, Peter … and Jim, if you happen to read… where do you suppose the gay community and its supporters learnt this behaviour? Whose exemplary behaviour taught them the way of aggression and insult?

    None other, of course, than the Church, which has had 2,000+ years to practice with its heresy and witch hunts, calling out and damning everyone who dares to stand up for other viewpoints — locking them up, torturing them, burning them at the stake and worse. Look around; you don’t need to go as far as the notorious and noxious Westboro Baptist Church in the USA, just listen to the strident voices of unJesus here in the UK: the RC Archbishop O’Brien; Anglican so-called ‘Mainstream'; and the scaremongering and ‘slippery slope’ arguments presented by the C4M lobby…

    So please: don’t give me intimidation by the gay lobby; look to the Christian right, to the conservative/fundamentalist evangelical community, to the Church of Rome, where intimidation, bullying and insults have been refined and perfected almost to an art form…

  2. True; and nor would I argue that they do … but perhaps those such as Jim now calling out the heterophobes would do better to clean up their own act first … specks and planks, anyone?

  3. I’m not sure that most people within the gay community actually want to be accepted by the evangelical Christian community so much as just respected and left alone. My guess is that most LGB people are not Christians, so I don’t know that acceptance is what they’re looking for. Rather I think it’s probably that they just want to be left alone or at least not actively lobbied *against*.

  4. ‘the only way for the gay community to win over evangelical churches is by convincing them with biblical arguments’

    And the only way evangelical churches will win over the gay community is by loving their (gay) neighbours as themselves, something that I find spectacularly absent when Christians attempt to deal with gay issues.

  5. AMEN, Paul!

    And is this not the way around it should be? What business is it of the gay community to attempt to win or woo evangelicals? Topsy turvy thinking indeed here, Peter: it is the evangelical community, if it is to be true to its own identity as self-proclaimed heralds of good news, that must do its utmost to win and woo the gay community!

  6. Paul, agreed! Phil, I also agree with you that “the evangelical community … must do its utmost to win and woo the gay community!” But I was intending with these posts to reach out in this way, to build bridges by showing the gay community where common ground might be found.

    Rhea, it is good if most of the gay community leave the church alone – or better still are attracted to it. But there is a vocal section, even if a minority, which persists in calling Christians names and attacking them without understanding. It is those people that Jim and I are addressing. I think Jim is justified in calling them “heterophobes”. But responding by name calling is not the most helpful thing, which is why I ended my post with a more positive alternative.

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