Why Not Condemn the "Heart Attack" Lifestyle?
Wherein SWMNT again presses me to further support my arguments against homosexuality, first presented in this article: Is Homosexuality a Dysfunction?, and continued in this one: If Homosexuality is a Dysfunction, Why the Condemnation?.
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the case, but it seems to me that health risks are being used to condemn a behavior as part of a justification for deeming it immoral. If that's the case, it seems to me that there are many behaviors ahead of homosexual related diseases that are more deserving of being labeled "immoral." It's not that we celebrate the "Heart Attack" lifestyle, it's that we don't define as immoral the behaviors related to it.I think the two issues are being confused here: the moral case against it and the health case — perhaps my own fault for working both angles. The problem is that if one has no problems with sex-on-demand, no concept of how human relations ought to be structured, and no belief in an objective purpose and moral order for humans, then it becomes difficult to argue a strictly moral case for homosexuality itself. In this case, I must resort to a merely pragmatic approach to evaluating whether it is a prudent thing to do or encourage. Although, if it can be agreed that homosexuality is an unhealthy lifestyle, then perhaps it could still be agreed to be "immoral" by some secular standard.
The kinds of health risks are different in many cases for homosexuality than for heart disease. For heart disease it is a matter of poor diet and exercise (to simplify it), which may (or may not) lead inch-by-inch to a problem. But with homosexuality it is more like playing Russian roulette, since any one encounter could result in a sexually transmitted disease, some of which are devastating. It's more meaningful to say, "don't go to bed with that stranger, you might get AIDS" than it is to say, "don't eat that cheese cake, you might have a coronary failure."
It is also not a matter of saying that a bowl of ice cream or a chilidog are intrinsically bad. Our bodies are capable of processing such things in moderation. But there are things about homosexuality that the body was not "designed" to handle with grace, like anal sex. And moderation regarding singularly high-risk behaviors only reduces the number of bullets in the roulette chamber rather than being an ideal preventative measure as with heart health. And I won't even go into any related psycho-social issues, which would be difficult to find parallel in a mere laxity in dietary substance.
Of course we don't affirm those who are couch potatoes and eat burgers and fries for every meal, but I will admit to never having seen Jerry Falwell campaign against saturated fats and cholesterol. It is not that it is considered a virtue in the Christian community; indeed, I would say that abusing your body in this or any other way would be deemed sinful by any theologian that I can think of. However, I do know that James Dobson has dedicated shows to health concerns like this in addition to his shows on sexual issues; and even LifeWay has product lines devoted to health and fitness.
Christianity not only frowns upon the abuse of the body, through dietary means or otherwise, you will actually find numerous Christian ministries dedicated to the cause of health. Of course, there are a few ministries dedicated to serving homosexual causes, but the difference is that the health ministries are not picketed and accused of hate speech and bigotry. Here's a choice example of this, and a choice excerpt:
"If anyone deserves a plague of Biblical proportions right now, it's the Radical Right," said Avenger Liz Harris. Five Avengers stormed the organization's headquarters, carrying signs proclaiming "Queer Love Is Not A Disease," and chanting "Exodus, stop your hate and fear! Help like yours is killing queers!" Once inside, the activists climbed onto the reception desk, shouted "We don't need to be cured," and released 1,000 "locusts" (crickets) in an attempt to shut the operation down.The thing is, this health cause is already taken up by the culture. Watch any secular talk show long enough or go to any bookstore and you will find a mountain of items on this subject. Christians do not necessarily need to preach the immorality of the heart attack lifestyle; it is already assumed by the culture. In fact, it is almost a morbid obsession in some quarters. It is a bit like the environmentalist movement. Christians should be, and are, concerned about the earth (in a balanced way), but we have little need to jump on a bandwagon that is already swarming with nutballs. Unfortunately, they have managed to turn us off so badly that many Christians don't even want the stigma of being thought of as an "environmentalists," even though that would not technically be a bad thing, and we have as much cause as any to lead that charge.
Your general point, though, is noted and should serve as an indictment of all those Christians who have their Burger King butts parked in their lazy-boys mocking Will and Grace and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It's a wonder that some of us can see well enough to aim our fingers with the kinds of planks found in our eyes.