Saturday, June 30, 2018

Does Consensual and Harmless Sexual Intercourse Legitimize Homosexuality?

            Whenever I discuss against homosexuality in any forum, I can always predict this question to crop up: “When two consenting individuals engage in sex, why is that sexual activity wrong, especially when it is harmless?” The two key words in that question are ‘consent’ and ‘harmless.’

            When I encountered this question for the very first time, I thought this question was so valid that consensual and harmless sex did seem to legitimize gay sex!

            I had no clue then that this question was made popular by the renowned atheist Richard Dawkins, who in his work, God Delusion, said “Enjoy your own sex life (as long as it damages no one else) and leave others to enjoy theirs in private whatever their inclination, which are none of your business…”1 (Emphasis Mine).

            This then is what the gay activists are stating. What’s wrong when two [single] men or two [single] women fall in love with each other and decide to consensually engage in sexual intercourse? What if their consensual sex is harmless? If this is the case, why should anyone object to gay sex? This is the force of their argument.

            Then I thought about my opposition to gay sex. Why do I passionately oppose gay sex (homosexuality)?

            Primarily, I oppose homosexuality since I am a Christian!

            The Bible condemns homosexuality. God determines homosexuality as a sin. Hence I oppose homosexuality.

            But I wanted to learn more about the biblical condemnation of homosexuality.  The God of the Bible would not have arbitrarily condemned homosexuality. I was sure HE had valid reasons to condemn homosexuality.

            So why did God condemn homosexuality? This was a very easy question to answer.

            God condemned homosexuality since sexual intercourse is to be enjoyed within the precincts of a marriage between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7 cf. 1 Corinthians 6: 12-20). Hence, God, explicitly, prohibits homosexuality (cf. Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Romans 1:26-27). 

            Fair enough! As a Christian, this made sense to me.

            When I thought of this subject from within the confines of Historic Christianity, I understood that the question of a consensual and a harmless gay sex cannot even be raised. Why?

            When gay sex, in all forms and shapes (metaphorically speaking), is unequivocally forbidden by God, there can be no question about gay sex being consensual or harmless. Therefore, a Christian cannot indulge in or practice gay sex. Period!

            But when I talk about this subject in any forum, there are non-Christians in the form of atheists, skeptics and agnostics, and then there are Christians (and people belonging to other religious worldviews) who honestly question their faith. They are the ‘sincere rebels.’

            Unfortunately, non-Christians do not accept the Bible as God’s Word and so was the case with the sincere rebels. Hence, speaking to them, on this theme, from the vantage point of the Bible, need not necessarily resonate with them.

            There had to be another way to approach this theme with these folks. It's the way of natural law theory. We would receive much clarity if we think about this subject from the perspective of natural law theory.

            Much acclaimed theologian of the Catholic church, Thomas Aquinas, bases his doctrine on natural law. Natural law “does not refer to the laws of nature, the laws that science aims to describe. According to natural law moral theory, the moral standards that govern human behavior are, in some sense, objectively derived from the nature of human beings and the nature of the world… St. Thomas Aquinas, for example, identifies the rational nature of human beings as that which defines moral law: "the rule and measure of human acts is the reason, which is the first principle of human acts" (Aquinas, ST I-II, Q.90, A.I). On this common view, since human beings are by nature rational beings, it is morally appropriate that they should behave in a way that conforms to their rational nature. Thus, Aquinas derives the moral law from the nature of human beings (thus, "natural law").”2

            So now I prefer to approach the theme of gay sex being consensual and harmless from the perspective of natural law.

             Let me try to simplify this perspective without bogging you down with the heavy and deep Aristotelian point of view that natural law theory is predicated upon:

            (1)  The nature or essence of every biological organ, according to natural law theory, involves its purposes (or final causes). So the purpose of the eyeball is to make us see. Similarly, sexual intercourse also has its own purpose, which is to procreate (bear children).

            But I have heard arguments that the final cause or the purpose of sexual intercourse is the pleasure. This is wrong! Pleasure cannot be a purpose for sexual intercourse.

            Think about eating. You may argue that eating is pleasurable, but the biological point of eating is not to give pleasure, but to offer the body the nutrients it needs to be healthy and survive. The pleasure of eating is nature’s way of getting us to eat.

            As Professor Edward Feser states, “So, the final cause of sex is procreation, and the final cause of sexual pleasure is to get us to indulge in sex, so that we’ll thereby procreate…Notice also that nature makes it very difficult to indulge in sex without procreation. There is no prophylactic sheathe issued with a penis at birth, and no diaphragm issued with a vagina. It takes some effort to come up with these devices, and even then, in the form in which they existed for most of human history they were not terribly effective.”3

            (2) Natural law theory states that an action or a behavior, even if it does not harm anyone else, need not be acceptable or need not be the normal way of living life.

            The life of an alcoholic is not acceptable, even if he/she does not harm anyone. Similarly, a person – inclined to molest children (even if he has not molested children) – who masturbates to pictures of naked children is living a sick life. Such a person is not living the way a normal human ought to live.

            Therefore, gay sex cannot be justified even if it were harmless.

            (3) In the same manner, consensus cannot be a legitimate reason for an action/behavior. Gay people cannot argue that consensual sex is always righteous. 

            Consensual sex cannot be righteous always. A pedophile cannot argue that he had sex with a child because the child consented. A parent cannot claim that he/she had sex with his/her child (minor or major) because the child agreed to have sex with the parent. In a marriage, consensus between the husband and the wife to have sex with others outside the marriage does not justify their affairs.

            I will summarize now:

            A. According to natural law theory, the main purpose of sex is procreation through the sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. Thus gay sex cannot be natural, but it is an abnormal activity/behavior. 

            B. For reasons mentioned in (2) and (3), consensual and harmless sex cannot justify gay sex.

            But remember that this question was popularized by the renowned atheist, Richard Dawkins, and his fellow New Atheists. If you are an atheist, you can do just about anything and everything because you are your own authority (cf. relative morality and subjective truth claims). The problem with your position is that if you justify homosexuality, you should also, by the very same logic, endorse/accept bestiality, adultery, polyamory, incest, pedophilia etc.

            I have only one request to you if you are an atheist; please do not yield to your subjective desires, for they can absolutely mislead you. Ask God in utter sincerity, by assuming HIS presence, to reveal HIMSELF to you, and HE will indeed do so.

            If you are a Christian and if you are still unable to understand that a consensual and a harmless sex cannot justify homosexuality, then please communicate with your pastor or your church elder. Else please contact me. (My contact information is available on this website.)

            Therefore, the notion that gay sex is acceptable if it is consensual and harmless is invalid and a false assertion. 


1God Delusion, Richard Dawkins, p.264.

2, last accessed on 30th June 2018.

3The Last Superstition, Edward Feser, p.142.

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