Skip to comments.Picking on the Wrong Guy (Grove City College Prof. attacked for opposing death penalty for gays)
Posted on 03/19/2010 1:10:48 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Dr. Warren Throckmorton is taking it from all sides now.
Throckmorton, an associate professor of psychology at Grove City College, has long been outspoken on the subject of homosexuality. He has been one of the few voices in academia and in professional associations such as the American Psychological Association to uphold the biblical view on homosexuality. For these positions, he is something of a pariah in those academic and professional circlesall the while continuing to participate in their conferences and publish in their journals.
(Disclosures: Warren Throckmorton has written for WORLDmag.com, my daughter graduated from Grove City College, and I have served on the board of an Exodus-affiliated ex-gay ministry.)
Now, however, he is taking shots from the conservative side. When Uganda considered a law that would punish homosexual behavior with the death penalty, Throckmorton spoke out against it. Some conservative activists in this country spoke out in favor of the law, or said that Americans should be silent on the issue and let Ugandans decide without U.S. interference. These same activists saw Throckmortons opposition to the law as an indication that he was going soft on homosexuality, a charge Throckmorton denies. He told me, I believe that homosexual behavior is a sin, but I simply think it is wrong to execute people for engaging in homosexual behavior.
Throckmortons position upset conservative activist Peter LaBarbera, who told OneNewsNow, the news service of the American Family Association, that Throckmorton has lost his faith in Gods ability to change people.
Again, Throckmorton denies the charge. He said LaBarberas accusation is flat wrong and ignores the body of my work and efforts to bring evangelical concerns to the professions. I have been working to make the professional bodies aware that religious identity is powerful and for many evangelicals so vital that it overwhelms all other considerations.
But Throckmortons position is nuanced. He does believe in change, but added that the data are clear that change comes more easily for some than for others. Throckmorton also said he knows there are many people who have ceased homosexual behavior and are now either celibate or live in faithful, married, heterosexual lives. But he added that even these people sometimes experience same-sex attractions.
Homosexual behavior is sin, Throckmorton said. All sexual behavior outside of marriage violates Gods teaching. But acknowledging this doesnt mean that all desire and temptation suddenly go away. An honest look at the scientific data simply dont support that conclusion.
I have served on the board of an ex-gay ministry, I have written about the issue for almost two decades, and I have many gay friends and ex-gay friends. I have looked at this issue from many sides, and I have come to appreciate the position of men like Peter LaBarbera, who believe that there is a gay agenda and a very fierce and ugly ideological and political and cultural war underway. This is the fight that LaBarbera is waging.
But it is also true that there are many wounded and struggling gay people and their families. They are not fighting a cultural war; they are fighting a war against depression, suicide, and emotional and spiritual pathologies. This is the fight that Warren Throckmorton is waging.
Ive been involved in both fights. They are both important fights. And they are related fights. But they are different fights.
The Peter LaBarberas of the world want the Warren Throckmortons to say things like: Quit your homosexuality and embrace Jesus. Its as simple as that. The Warren Throckmortons of the world respond: It may be as simple as that, but its not as easy as that.
Im not vouching for every jot and tittle of what Throckmorton thinks, has written, or believes, but I interviewed him at some length after this controversy broke, and in addition to the statements I have already cited, he concluded with this: There is no way you can look at my plain statements on biblical orthodoxy and call me gay-affirming. But I believe that many who engage in the culture war regarding homosexuality stigmatize and demonize struggling homosexuals. They are hurting our ability to reach gay people for Christ. I believe homosexual behavior is sin. But so is failing to tell the truth. So is blaming every conceivable social pathology on gays.
Again, I appreciate the work of Peter LaBarbera and others who have fought the gay agenda for years. But I dont know how much more a biblically orthodox person could want from Warren Throckmorton than these clear and unambiguous statements. Peter LaBarbera and his fellow travelers in the pro-family movement are picking on the wrong guy.
See here for reference :
Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill Draws Evangelical Opposition
A Ugandan legislator who proposed the highly contested Anti-Homosexuality Bill insists the measure is being misconstrued.
“There has been a distortion in the media that we are providing death for gays. That is not true,” ruling party MP David Bahati said on BBC. “When a homosexual defiles a kid of less than 18 years old, we are providing a penalty for this.”
The bill, which is currently being debated by a parliamentary committee, has drawn global attention from gay rights advocates and religious leaders alike, many of whom are condemning the legislation for promoting hatred and handing down severe penalties against homosexuals and their family, friends, and even pastors. Punishments range from a fine and a three-year imprisonment to life imprisonment and the death penalty.
Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda and can be punished with life imprisonment. But the anti-homosexuality legislation was designed to “fill the gaps” in the provisions of existing laws and “strengthen the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family.”
Bahati told BBC that homosexuality is neither a human right nor is it in-born.
“It is a behavior learned and it can be unlearned,” he said on BBC.
Some religious leaders in Uganda are backing the legislation, but many more within and outside the country are gravely concerned.
“Regardless of the diverse theological views of our religious traditions regarding the morality of homosexuality, in our churches, communities and families, we seek to embrace our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as God’s children worthy of respect and love,” said a group of U.S. Catholic, evangelical and mainline Protestant leaders, in a statement Monday.
Most recently, on Thursday, evangelical Pastor Rick Warren released a video to Ugandan pastors detailing his opposition to the bill and correcting media reports that state otherwise.
As a pastor, he said it is not his role to interfere with the politics of other nations, he said it is his role to speak out on moral issues.
Warren called the Anti-Homosexuality bill “unjust, extreme and un-Christian” toward homosexuals.
“ALL life, no matter how humble or broken, whether unborn or dying, is precious to God,” said Warren, who works with pastors in Uganda on the “Purpose Driven” campaign and P.E.A.C.E. Plan.
Passing the bill would have “a chilling effect” on the HIV/AIDS ministry of churches in Uganda, the southern California pastor added. With the proposed legislation threatening to penalize those who provide counseling to someone struggling with their sexuality and work with people infected with HIV/AIDS and who do not report the homosexual within 24 hours of knowledge, fewer people who are HIV positive will seek care from the churches out of fear of being reported.
“You and I know that the churches of Uganda are the truly caring communities where people receive hope and help, not condemnation,” the megachurch pastor said in his video message.
While affirming that marriage is intended to be between one man and one woman and that all sex outside of marriage is not what God intends, Warren also stressed, “Jesus also taught us that the greatest commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves. Since God created all, and Jesus suffered and died for all, then we are to treat all with respect.
“The Great Commandment has been the centerpiece of my life and ministry for over 35 years.”
According to Bloomberg, a refined version of the bill is expected to be presented to Parliament in two weeks. Dr. James Nsaba Buturo, minister of Uganda for Ethics and Integrity, told Bloomberg that the draft bill will drop the death penalty and life imprisonment for gays.
Before the changes, which have not yet been made, the measure stated that persons who commit the offense of “aggravated homosexuality” where the offense is committed against those below the age of 18 and where the offender is living with HIV shall be liable on conviction to suffer death and to imprisonment for life. Another provision nullifies international treaties, protocols, and declarations that are “contradictory to the spirit and provisions enshrined in this act.”
Really? Besides anonymous internet posters, who would be in the first category? I smell strawmen.
In the second category, there are some who are rabid anti-interventionists. Many of them are libertarians and would support, for example, gay marriage in the US.
At first I thought it was about a prof asserting that murderers who happened to be gay shouldn't be executed. Then I got confused when I saw it was Grove City.
That's not the only strawman. As I recall the Ugandan death penalty was not for someone having gay sex. It was for knowingly transmitting aids and gay pederasty.
Well, this is interesting. I'm not for it, but a death penalty for someone knowingly passing AIDS via statutory rape is a different kettle of fish altogether. I wonder how much attention it would get if they applied it regardless of whether it was hetero- or homosexual.
Congratulations to this man. Think about how society has been turned on its ear with people thinking that perverts that often ingest feces during rimming and felching activities are victims of people who approve of disgusting behavior. Gullible People can be made to believe anything.
Uganda faces a terrible problem with AIDs. Promiscuity, both homosexual and heterosexual, is the problem. However, gays must be extended the same opportunity for forgiveness which the Lord has offered all of sinful mankind. Death ends all options. I am grateful that I lived until I learned the truth through Jesus. I would not want any one else to lose that chance.
Grove City is a conservative school that takes no federal money at all, including loans. They are not infested with the usual lefties of academia.
I agree with you and Prof. Throckmorton in general that gays need to be extended forgiveness.
But I think the issue here is a little bit different — it is about applying a penalty to a gay person who KNOWS he has AIDS yet KNOWINGLY infects someone else.
*THAT* is the issue under debate. Ugandan legislators seem to equate this to something akin to murdering someone.
I have very mixed feelings about this. I think promiscuity, both homo-and hetero-, is the cause of the spread of AIDs in Africa, and I admire Uganda for taking a stand. If the policy of the Ugandan govt. saves lives, I am all for it.
Warren of course is wrong as usual about this necessarily being un-Christian.
The death penalty is in Scripture, even for homosexuals.
Should that be the law of the land? That is up to each country, but Jesus said he came to not remove one jot or tittle of the law.
Now, he did fulfill some things, namely the ceremonial law.
But, the moral law and its associated legal components were never abrogated.
That said, Biblically it should only be instituted in cases where an entire nation comes together to covenant to do so like in the Old Testament.
Forcing it on people would be wrong, so there would have to be severely overwhelming public support to be justified.
Well, this is entirely different than being an anti-gay thing.
Only the left believes conservatives want to kill homosexuals
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