Saturday, October 23, 2004

Kristoff on God and Sex


The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: God and Sex

Over the last couple of months, I've been researching the question of how the Bible regards homosexuality. Social liberals tend to be uncomfortable with religious arguments, but that is the ground on which political battles are often decided in America...since Americans are twice as likely to believe in the Devil as in evolution, I also think it's stupid of liberals to forfeit the religious field.

I went to a reception for a city council candidate sponsored by our local homewoner's association. Plans are afoot to build high-rise luxury condos and office buildings in our heretofore unfashionable suburb I wanted to find out where he stood.

I'm keen on development. We're close the the downtown of a major metropolitan area--some glitzy high-rise development would yuppify our town and boost property values. But I discovered to my horror that the other homeowners were dead set against it and that the candidate--against whom I have just cast my absentee ballot--was their man. He promised to stop the high rises, fight city hall, and do what he could to maintain the character of our town--which has been described as "a trailer park without the trailers." One of his supporters, talking me up, noted that in another neighborhood which had been developed recently and become fashionable there was "nothing to do but eat at restaurants or go drinking."

This seemed good to me, but I see their point. While they're ok with the Starbucks that have moved in recently, they don't want the place turned into a latte liberal enclave even if it increases their property values. They want to live in what they perceive as safe "family" neighborhoods amongst people who maintain their preferred lifestyle. And that is what, I suspect, motivates the majority of Americans who vote against gay marriage--something that Kristoff does not get.

Even if a sizeable percentage of Americans claim to believe in the Devil and doubt evolution, very few are evangelical Christians who make a serious attempt to guide their lives according to Biblical principles. Most socially conservative Americans want to live in Dick and Jane family neighborhoods, in a world that looks right--where men do men's jobs, women do women's jobs, and guys don't hold hands in public. They support conservative churches and conservative political candidates who will secure the world that looks right from attack by terrorists and real estate developers--and affirm them in the face of contemptuous latte-drinking Liberals like one of Kristoff's readers who writes: "LOL. My husband just compared the fundies to the mudhens on our lake right now. They have the same little microchips in their little brains as the cooties do."

Kristoff's Biblical exegesis will not persuade them and so long as Liberals regard them as cooties Culture Wars will keep going.

1 comment:

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