Christians are intolerant homophobic bigots. They are prejudice towards homosexuals and attempt to prevent two consenting adults from participating in a mutual and loving relationship. These kinds of accusations are often made against the mystical christ. Those who accuse Christians of this rely on poor reasoning and stereotypes to make broad brushing claims that are neither accurate nor true. They make claims about how love and equality should be for everyone. The problem is that many have not thought through the issue logically and rationally and instead are relying on emotional arguments to demonize those who do not agree with them.
Supporters of the gay rights movement often accuse Christians of being intolerant, but they have a problem; everyone wants to limit marriage, even those who support the gay rights movement. Gay rights advocates do not want marriage for anyone and everyone, they want marriage limited on their terms, namely between two consenting adults regardless of gender. So they are also intolerant but in a different way. If you want to limit marriage at all you are no different than Christians in this because you both want to limit marriage, you just disagree on how it should be limited. In our culture nearly everyone believes that one man and two women, or three men and seven women, or a man and an animal should not be considered for marriage, but why?
For what reason is marriage limited to two consenting adults? Many other cultures have allowed marriage between adults and adolescents. On what basis can we say that this ought not to be allowed? It is true that someone might say that a twelve year old is not mature enough to make these kinds of decisions, but that still doesn’t solve the dilemma. What standard are we appealing to when we say that it is acceptable to be intolerant towards adult and adolescent relationships? Common sense is not a sufficient solution, because then we have to ask, whose common sense? What culture’s common sense? How do we decide which group’s common sense rules the land: majority rule? Who really wants that? If majority rule is the foundation by which we determine what rules are enforced, and if the majority decides to take advantage of the minority and abuse them, we then have to conclude that this is right since it is based on common sense. There is no reason to believe in minority rights.
Christians do not rely on majority rule to determine right from wrong. Christians believe that God created them male and female and that marriage is between one man and one woman since this promotes human flourishing. This foundation is based on the Bible and the authority of the creator, not our own or the majority rule fallacy. So the question I ask is, on what basis do non-Christians determine what is acceptable and unacceptable for marriage, or anything for that matter? You might strongly believe and feel that marriage should be between two consenting adults regardless of gender, but why should your feelings matter? Why should what you feel be given priority over what others feel? Can you see that your world view is largely determined by your culture and the people who have influenced you? Now, you might not like or even agree with the Christian’s basis and foundation for why we believe what we believe, but at least Christians have a foundation that is based on something other than “I like this” – and if you rely on common sense that is rooted in majority rule, you are really a cultural imperialist.
Many cultures hold very different views on marriage and morality. Some cultures believe polygamy is healthy and encourages human flourishing. Some cultures believe pedophilia is healthy and encourages human flourishing. As a westerner you likely disagree with those cultures, by why? Why should your culture’s views be superior to theirs? If you believe those cultures are wrong and ought not to allow pedophilia and your reasoning is based on some form of majority rule/common sense, you are committing cultural imperialism. Whether you are willing to say or even recognize it does not change the fact that you believe your culture is superior to other cultures – why though? What about western culture gives us the right to say we are more enlightened, intelligent, and civilized than other cultures? Unless there is some objective standard by which you can appeal to that transcends cultural beliefs, you have no basis to say your moral views are the right ones and others are wrong.
As a Christian I am not a cultural imperialist. I view all cultures as having both good and bad in them. The foundation on which I determine right from wrong is the Bible, and because of that foundation I have a basis for human rights. Human rights exist because man is made in the image of God and therefore all men are created equal – they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If you don’t believe in God how do you logically conclude that humans are worth more than rocks, dirt, or trees? How do you say that the majority should not abuse the minority? How do you answer the age old question that philosopher David Hume brought up; how do you get an ought from an is? How do you look at the world and see how it is and say it ought to be different? Until you answer that question you cannot rightly tell someone that what they believe is right or wrong, unless you want be a cultural imperialist.