This is a conversation I had via the Internet with a homosexual atheist friend from my old school. He posted something online which listed some emotional examples of hate crimes against homosexuals and declared that homophobia is wrong. I decided to question him about his beliefs.
Me: I agree, of course, that the descriptions of how these people were treated is morally and emotionally disturbing. People are sick and hateful. I am glad that I was not raised to hate homosexuals. In the sense described here then, I certainly think that “homophobia” is childish and wrong.
The last line though, “who are we to judge?” interested me. I would say that homosexuality is wrong just like lying and thieving etc. are wrong. I am no better than any homosexual then, because I do things I know to be wrong. I judge these things wrong because they have already been deemed wrong by my Creator. While I agree that the things described here are wrong then (hatred of homosexuals and foul treatment), I also believe homosexuality to be wrong. I do not understand what basis someone would have for thinking homophobia to be wrong, but not homosexuality. Hopefully that makes sense.
Atheist:“Judge not, lest ye be judged.”
Me: Then we should not judge others for judging. See, that usage of the “judge not” saying is self-refuting, because it has to be pulled from its context in order to be used that way.
Besides, why use that part of Scripture (that is where the saying originates, even though it frequently is misunderstood and misused) while ignoring the many other passages that teach that homosexuality is wrong? I am not trying to be a jerk; it just does not make sense to me.
Atheist:Because the vast majority of the scripture is untrustworthy. You know far better than I the arcane history of its compilation and writing (and rewriting to suit purposes). I choose to recognize the noble ideas proposed and learn from that wisdom, and not waste time and thought upon scripture.
Me: I am not sure you understand the trouble I am having understanding your position.
As far as I know, you affirm that:
Homophobia is wrong
homosexuality is not wrong.
I do not understand what basis you have for thinking homophobia to be wrong, and homosexuality not being wrong. You quoted to me, “Judge not, lest ye be judged”, but this does not really provide a basis for the following reasons:
1. It is self-refuting, because you are judging that judging is wrong.
2. You broke the rule when you judged that homophobia is wrong, so it seems to me that you do not in practice appeal to this rule.
3. I do not see where there is a basis for believing that the statement “Judge not lest ye be judged” is objectively right.
I only mentioned Scripture to clarify that the statement originates from Scripture and within its original context does not have these problems. If you could clarify for me how you deal with these things to justify that homophobia is wrong and homosexuality is not wrong then it would go a long way in helping me to understand your position. Until then I am stuck with affirming that homophobia is wrong as well as homosexuality, since the Bible is my basis for morality and there are the above logical problems with rejecting this basis. I am not asking you to waste time and thought on Scripture, but rather to help me to understand your own position and how you justify your moral claims.
Also, there are a lot of injustices listed against homosexuals in what you posted. Again, I agree that most of these things listed are injustices and evil. I can say that because God provides a standard for justice by which I can judge things to be just or not. Since you reject this standard, I am curious as to what your standard for justice is?
As for your comments regarding Scripture, I do not agree. What is it about the Bible which makes you think that it is untrustworthy? What specific objections do you have about its origins? What specifically has been rewritten to suit purposes? Maybe if you describe more of what you mean I can understand. If not, that is okay too.
Atheist: A grain of truth becomes lost in a puddle of thought.
Me: How does that answer my question?
Atheist: You are over thinking.
Me: Not at all. I am beginning to think that you have not given any thought to why you say that some things are right and others are wrong, even though you reposted the same material again. It is not a hard question to answer for me, maybe it is for you.