“Opinion is like a pendulum and obeys the same law. If it goes past the centre of gravity on one side, it must go a like distance on the other; and it is only after a certain time that it finds the true point at which it can remain at rest.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
Many years ago, homosexuality—rather, homosexual activity—was illegal in many western societies. The most immediate example that comes to mind is England. In “The Imitation Game,” Benedict Cumberbatch brilliantly portrays one of the greatest scientists who ever lived: Alan Turing. In the film, as in real life, Turing was arrested, and chemically castrated for “homosexual acts.” Turing was offered prison, or chemical castration, and he chose castration.
In psychology, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, classified homosexuality as a mental disorder until it was revised in 1973. This is all to say that the gay rights movement has come a long way since Alan Turing’s castration.
However, as with pendulums, human society tends to reach broadly from one side of the spectrum to the other. Over the last decade, we’ve been rapidly swinging away from the past–the persecution of gays and lesbians—to a very different future. What does that mean? Many things. Some good, some bad. The good: fewer people are willing to take a bat to someone else’s head just because they’re different. The bad: more people are beginning to harbor negative thoughts toward those who believe that homosexual activity is a sin.
A clarification, as people are wont to jump to conclusions without first consulting their brain. As a Christian, I don’t condone homosexual conduct morally. However, I also don’t condone violence or abuse of any kind toward someone simply because they suffer under a particular set of burdens that others don’t. So, in that regard, I’m glad there’s a better understanding of gays and lesbians than there was years ago. This understanding has led to a general decrease in animosity that might bubble over into violence.
However, as the pendulum swings, we are facing a new problem. Anti-Christian bigotry has replaced the bigotry of the past. As this bigotry develops, we are witnessing the creation of a culture in which believing the Bible, and as such, that homosexual activity is a sinful behavior, is less and less tolerated. As a result of this new culture, we are seeing attempts to discredit the Bible, smear Christians, and incite hatred against the faithful.
The latest development—and I have to admit I did not see this coming until I read the article on Fox News—is a new study linking “homophobia” with mental instability.
According to Fox News:
“A new study of university students in Italy revealed that people who have strongly negative views of gay people also have higher levels of psychoticism and inappropriate coping mechanisms than those who are accepting of homosexuality…
Overall, the better the mental health of the person (based on the responses to the questionnaire), the less likely he or she was to be homophobic, the researchers found…High levels of hostility and anger, measured as psychoticism, were also linked to homophobia…”
There’s a lot more to the study, and I’d encourage you to read it so that you’re as informed as possible. However, what’s to be extrapolated from the intent and analysis of this study? Homophobic people have a mental disorder.
Now, earlier, I put “homophobic” in quotation marks because the definition of homophobia in relation to the study cited by Fox is an extreme aversion to gay people, marked by intense anger, disgust, or avoidance. Homophobia is not the same as believing that homosexual activity is sinful. Homophobia is more akin to what I described earlier, when someone will abuse someone, kill someone, or simply feel hatred toward someone for being gay.
With that said, this is where it begins. By “it,” I mean the transformation of biblical disapproval of a particular behavior into mental disorder, and eventually into legally actionable “hatred.”
This study isn’t revelatory. All it says is that unstable people tend to be more prone to thought patterns like homophobia. Shocker. Unstable people are prone to a lot of bad things. But that’s not why this study was conducted. This study was conducted to show that disapproval of homosexual behavior is not a choice of belief, but a “disorder,” implying mental damage.
Where we go from here is the altering of the definition of “homophobia.” Soon, “homophobia” will not just be an unnecessary and aggressive hatred or aversion toward gay people—something that is cruel, and potentially dangerous—but simply believing that the homosexual lifestyle is sinful. It will come slowly, but the definition has already begun to change.
If you’ve ever debated anyone regarding gay marriage, you know the term “homophobe” quite well. Any critique of gays is immediately labeled as homophobic in our society. The cultural definition has already changed, now it’s on to the more scientific definition.
Once alleged homophobia is deemed a mental disorder, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to that disorder being made legally negative. Once this happens, it will be Christians who are persecuted and put in prison for their beliefs. Just as Alan Turing was offered castration or jail, Christians will be offered conversion or jail—indoctrination or jail.
If you think I’m crazy, just ask Rob Hughes. Hughes, a street preacher in Essex, was arrested in 2013, interrogated, and held for 11 hours before being released. His DNA was also sampled during the course of his internment. All of this for simply speaking his beliefs aloud. Don’t believe Hughes? Just ask Tony Miano, who had a similar experience.
The pendulum is swinging, and the direction in which it’s headed means only bad things for Christians. This study is just one further step toward aggressive Christian persecution.