One protest I’ve heard from Christians, perhaps more than any other, to support their anti-homosexual stance, is about (read this in a booming voice): God’s Pattern For The World.
They argue that, even if the scant mentions of homosexual behavior can’t be made to condemn all homosexual relationships, it’s crystal clear that God has laid out a pattern for society, and homosexuality is a corruption of that pattern.
There are, undoubtedly, patterns within the Bible. The number 7, for instance. The notion of sacrifice. Adoption. The chiasmic literary structure in many Psalms. People having their name changed. Late-in-life children. Hanging out on roofs. Problematic men named Saul.
You see, finding patterns in the Bible is a lot like finding pictures in the clouds. What you and I see as we lay in the grass gazing upwards is going to be very much dependent on what we already know. This is why the Rorschach test is a thing, right? What you see can reflect who you are and what’s going on inside your head.
When we try to impose the patterns that we see upon others, or upon society in general, logic begins to break down, but this doesn’t seem to stop folks. I’ve been pondering this issue lately, and trying to find spare moments for research, and it’s clear that one post isn’t going to be sufficient. But I wanted to share some of the more disturbing things that I have found so far (references listed at end).
Many prominent Christians quite recently (and perhaps even currently) believed that God’s Pattern For The World was one of racial segregation, racial supremacy, and even slavery.
From C. R. Dickey:
“The point of importance here is that some kind of infiltration did take place which resulted in marriages contrary to God’s established order and His expressed will. Therefore, the sin responsible for the death sentence was a widespread and forbidden mixing of dissimilar peoples…”
“We are hearing much idle talk these days to the effect that there must be no such thing anywhere as “second class citizens.” This nonsense is based on the assumption that God created all human beings equal in every respect, and that He has drawn no lines of distinction among them. But in the Bible we find inequalities that segregate into classes members of the same family, to say nothing about distinctive qualities of race and color.”
“These chapters establish proof of discrimination in God’s plan, discrimination which bears directly on the segregation controversy today.”
From Bob Jones:
“If you are against segregation and against racial separation, then you are against God Almighty because He made racial separation in order to preserve the race through whom He could send the Messiah andthrough whom He could send the Bible. God is the author of segregation.”
“When you run into conflict with God’s established order racially, you have trouble. You do not produce harmony. You produce destruction and trouble, and this nation is in the greatest danger it has ever been in in its history.”
Robert Lewis Dabney held the belief, as many did and do–I have heard this, here in the North, in my own lifetime–that the Curse of Ham is upon certain races:
“But while we believe that ‘God made of one blood all nations of men to dwell under the whole heavens,’ we know that the African has become, according to a well-known law of natural history, by the manifold influences of the ages, a different, fixed species of the race, separated from the white man by traits, bodily, mental and moral almost as rigid and permanent as those of genus.”
And of course, white ladies and children must be protected from contact:
“…this Negro of yours, reviewing and censuring the records of white sessions, and sitting to judge appeals brought before you by white parties, possibly by white ladies!…Do you tell me that after you have admitted this Negro thus to your debates, your votes, your pulpits, your sick and dying beds, your weddings and funerals, you will still exclude him from your parlours and tables?”
Do you see the parallels between the “Christian” protests against equality, even personhood, for racial minorities and the “Christian” protests against homosexuality? Because what I see? It’s a pattern.