Recently, Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist, made a video about a Christian group who was present a gay pride event of some sort. They held up signs saying they were sorry for the way in which gays were treated by other Christians. Now barring discussion about why these Christians were there, who they are, and what exactly they believe about homosexuality, Mehta takes issue with their apology because they did not admit that homosexuality was morally permissible. This is the only occasion, he contends, in which the gay community should accept any apologies from Christians.
Apparently, according to Mehta, disapproving of homosexuality is a “despicable view.” It is unclear why it is and Mehta does not explain. Homosexuality has been regarded as immoral by most cultures at most times. One can disagree in a civil way with homosexuality without hating homosexuals or feeling any ill-will toward them. This sort of incendiary language comes from gay activists who try to cast disapproval of homosexuality as a type of racism or sexism. This is because many people seem to believe that as soon as you’ve established that someone is a racist, you can be as malevolent and nasty toward them as you want ( barring outright violence or illegal behaviour). Even if homosexual desires are fixed and immutable ( which is debatable) the choice to indulge those desires are not a given at all. As with anything else, we have a choice about the desires we choose to indulge. So to claim that homosexuality is an immutable characteristic like race and sex is simply indefensible, because it depends on both a desire and an action ( unlike race and sex). There are many Christians who disapprove of homosexuality in a civil way, Mehta refuses to disapprove of Christians’ views in a civil way. Tolerance is a two-way street. If the gay community (or their high-horsed defenders like Mehta) want it, they must show it as well. It rings hollow to demand compassion and civility from those whom you refuse to show compassion and civility to. The hypocrisy here is crystal clear.
Once again, the Friendly Atheist overwhelms us with his friendliness.