Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Sodomy laws

Pastor Tim Bayly advocates against the repeal of sodomy laws in blog posts here and here. I disagree with Pastor Bayly here in that I don't think this is something for government to be involved in.

I believe the primary role for government is to guard our persons, property and contracts from being infringed upon against our will by other people. Furthermore, government is established to take care of things that would not be done by the private sector, such as infrastructure and national defense. After government takes care of necessary functions, it should be as limited as possible.

One reason for this is that human beings are corrupt and evil by nature. The more power that government has, the more chance it will be abused by those in government. We don't even need to talk about the 900 FBI files on prominent Republicans being kept in the Clinton White House for an example of this corruption. King David was a man after God's own heart, but he committed adultery with his friend Uriah's wife and then used his power as king to have Uriah murdered to cover up his sin.

I disagree that sodomy laws are in the same category as laws against abortion. While sodomy may be a matter of life and death, diseases brought about by promiscuity or other such sexual behaviors forbidden by God are not inflicted on someone against his or her will. Abortion is the willful, intentional murder of another human life. Making murder illegal is well within the bounds of government's primary responsibilities, which are to guard our persons, property and contracts from those who would do us harm.

Clearly, we cannot "silence our voices" on the murder of over 46 million unborn babies and the blood that stains our land and our hearts. We are obligated, as Christians, to save those lives. By the same token, just because some Christians oppose government prohibition of sodomy does not mean we have to "silence our voices" on sodomy. The Christian church can (and must) still be a witness to the culture and show people their sin. Men must be aware of their sin in order to be saved: if we do not see our sin there is no need to accept the substitutionary atonement of Christ's blood to cover that sin.

If we agree that government is to forbid sodomy because of the damage such sin does to one's body (as Pastor Bayly says, a matter of life and death) then we could pass legislation to make all manner of things illegal, from a diet that raises our cholesterol to levels that damage our hearts to a diet too heavy in sugar that damages our teeth. After all, our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:18-20) and we have been bought by the Blood of Christ. Should we have laws that prohibit choices that damage that temple?

So long as sexual sin is committed by consenting adults, I do not believe government should prohibit it. (Of course, rape, sexual abuse, and pedophilia should be punished very harshly, and much more harshly than those crimes are now.) That certainly does not mean that government should provide legal recognition to same-sex "marriage", nor does it mean that government should be providing special legal protection for the perversion of "gender identity" as the Bloomington City Council will consider starting tonight. It does mean that government should be as limited as possible.