Sunday, October 30, 2011

No Explanation Required... Unless You've Confused the Issue

Religious belief that homosexuality is sinful not at odds with notion homosexuals shouldn't be bullied

The Toronto Star is reporting that Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale MP David Sweet is refusing to explain his participation in a recent "it gets better" YouTube video produced by John Baird.

This is as it should be. No explanation is required.

But for those obsessed with headhunting for Conservative MPs, Sweet's participation is as infuriating as Baird's. For a time, Baird was criticized for making the video while not being publicly fabulous enough. Baird refused to take the bait, so now the headhunters are on to their next target: David Sweet.

“For them to stand up and say, ‘It gets better, just hang in there kids,’ is so disrespectful and disingenuous and shows they’re out of touch with the community,” complained EGALE Canada executive director Helen Kennedy, who also complained the Tories aren't doing enough to satisfy the legislative demands of the LGBT community. “They actually have the power and authority and the responsibility to make it better. We’re talking about politicians who enact legislation, who bring in bills to the legislature, into the House of Commons to make a difference in everyone’s life and in particular in the case of our LGBT youth and the community in general and they’re not doing that.”

Of particular complaint has been Sweet's 2002 remarks that he believed homosexuality is a sin.

“Yes, absolutely,” Sweet agreed at the time. “We take the Scriptures as the word of God. We look at homosexual behaviour and say that’s not what’s prescribed in the Scripture.”

Some look at these comments, then look at Sweet's participation in an anti-bullying video, and suggest he has something to explain. They're absolutely wrong, on the most fundamental of logical pretenses.

Simply put, a religious belief that homosexuality is sinful -- a notion with which this author actually vociferously disagrees -- is not tantamount to a belief that homosexuals should be bullied. Nor is it at odds with a belief that homosexuals should not be bullied, because no one should be bullied.

The attitude adopted by those who believe Sweet has anything to explain seem to presume that Christians have some kind of moral duty to condemn anyone who sins on an existential basis. While some extreme religious sects seem to believe this to be the case, for the average Christian it isn't so.

Rather, Jesus Christ mandated that sinners are to be treated with compassion. So if one believes that homosexuality is sinful -- again, this author vehemently does not -- one's moral duty as a Christian is to offer them compassion and guidance.

Your not-so-humble scribe would posit that David Sweet is wrong about homosexuality. It doesn't disqualify him from speaking out against homophobic bullying, just as John Baird isn't disqualified for not being "out" enough.

If Helen Kennedy and her compatriots can't wrap their heads around that idea, that's their problem, not David Sweet's. Vis a vis his participation in the "it gets better" video, Sweet has nothing to explain, and so should explain nothing.

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